What to do and what to see in Moclinejo

The municipality of Moclinejo is located southwest of the region of La Axarquía and east of the province of Málaga.

The municipal term of Moclinejo, with a surface of 14 km², limits to the north with the municipalities of El Borge and Almáchar, to the east with Macharaviaya, to the south with Rincón de la Victoria and to the west with Totalán. The municipality has other population centers among which El Valdés stands out, located to the south.

Moclinejo has a landscape of hillocks covered, for the most part, with olive, almond and vineyards. It is known as the Gate to the Raisin Route, as it is part of the Raisin Route within the different village routes into which the region of La Axarquía is divided. In addition, its wine and raisins are recognized for their quality beyond its borders.

Moclinejo town extends over the Piedras Blancas (White Stones) hill at 430 meters high and 24 km from Málaga city; its urban area, of Arab origin, is made up of houses with one or two floors; its narrow streets preserve the winding and anarchic layout of its origins, adapting the houses to the irregularity of the terrain. You will still find niches on the facades of some houses, which shelter the image of some saint.

History of Moclinejo

The origin of Moclinejo dates back to the Muslim era, and its name is a derivative of Moclín, which means "district place".

In 1483, in an attempt by the Christian troops to conquer Málaga, Moclinejo was the scene of a major revolt. A large army from the Christian side made an incursion from Antequera, through La Axarquía, burning all the villages that were in its path, reaching Moclinejo town, where the houses, which were uninhabited, suffered the same fate. The villagers had collected their belongings and had taken refuge in a castle. The Muslims, in response, threw rocks and logs down the rugged slopes, knocking down soldiers and horses, ending in a resounding defeat by Christian troops.

There is a ravine in the vicinity called the Hoya de los Muertos (Deads Wide Valley) and a steep slope called the Cuesta de la Matanza (Carnage Hill), which recall these historical events.

Years later, in 1487 Málaga was conquered by the Catholic Monarchs and, therefore, all the towns in the area. The inhabitants continued to occupy Moclinejo town as Mudejars, until after the Moorish rebellion they were expelled at the end of the 16th century. Moclinejo was repopulated with Christians from other areas.

The vine, economy and livelihood of Moclinejo from the Muslim era was interrupted at the end of the 19th century with the phylloxera plague, which destroyed the vineyards and slowed their development, recovering well in the 20th century.

Today, Moclinejo bases its economic activity, mainly, on the production of sweet wine and raisins.

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What to see in Moclinejo

In Moclinejo town you don't need an exhaustive exploration to start seeing places of interest, because in the small but very beautiful streets you can find buildings differentiated by tiles that decorate them, as well as different mosaics. These streets include Rambla de las Flores Street and Church Street, in Moclinejo, and Hermitage Street, in El Valdés.

Perhaps the most remarkable historical building in Moclinejo is the Church of Our Lady of Grace, which dates from the 16th century and was renovated in the 18th century. It is Mudejar in style and it highlights its bell tower, in addition to its beautiful Arab arcades and its roof. Undoubtedly, the choir grille, in a modernist style, is striking. Inside it houses the images of Saint Bartholomew and Our Lady of Grace.

At the entrance to Moclinejo town there is a sculpture about two meters high known as the Revelling Monument. It is a violin made with metal and a ceramic tambourine that pays homage to the partygoer and the verdiales pandas typical of La Axarquía region. In it there is a poem written that tells the reason for the tribute.

Another sculpture in Moclinejo to pay homage to is the Stonemason Monument, located in the district of El Valdés. It highlights a surreal sculpture that symbolizes the strength of the people who worked the stone, as well as a mosaic tree in which the names of the last stonecutters of Moclinejo are located among its branches.

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What to do in Moclinejo

The municipality of Moclinejo contemplates a typical natural environment of La Axarquía region and its town is open to the Benagalbón River valley.

In Moclinejo town you can make a visit to learn more about the municipality and its customs. One option is the Raisins and Wine Study Centre, located in Spain Square. Its facilities show a journey through the history of these lands through numerous objects, photographs and utensils, and also the aging of wine. The center pays tribute to the traditional cultivation of the vine, the harvest tasks, the process of obtaining the muscat raisin, the drying, the pike, the sieve and the grape treading, as well as the elaboration of the muscat wine.

Close to the previous center you will have the opportunity to visit the Antonio Muñoz Cabrera Winery, the perfect place to taste the Moclinejo wines and learn about their production process. These facilities house a small museum, a room dedicated to the pressing of the grapes and another one dedicated to the production of wine.

Also, next to the Spain Square you can visit the Antonio Segovia Lobillo Exhibition Hall.

On the other hand, in the district of El Valdés you can visit the Axarquía House Museum, a private non-profit initiative, whose objective is to preserve the culture and art of La Axarquía. The house, of 300 m² divided into five floors, is built with materials recovered from old houses in the region.

In addition to the culture, Moclinejo is surrounded by steep slopes and numerous ravines, a dry, broken and stony terrain. In its natural environment there are several hiking routes that you can take and that will take you around Moclinejo.

These routes include the Moclinejo - Totalán Trail SL-A 68, which runs between the municipalities of Moclinejo and Totalán. It is a trail of 8.3 km and an estimated duration of four hours. The route starts at the entrance arch to Moclinejo town and ends at the Totalán municipal sports centre. During the tour you will pass through levels such as Piedras Blancas, Alto de Lema (Lema Top) and Cota Vareno (Vareno Level), and then descend towards the Totalán Stream.

Another route within the municipality of Moclinejo is the Sandoval Route, which connects Moclinejo town with the district of El Valdés, passing by the Cortijada de Sandoval (Sandoval Farmhouse). It is a route of about 5 km in length that was traditionally used to transport fruit with pack animals, but which, with the rise of rural tourism, has been reopened for the enjoyment of the inhabitants and visitors of Moclinejo. You can extend this route with the path that leads to Antequera.

Finally, the municipality of Moclinejo has a covered sports hall, a paddle tennis court with artificial grass, a football pitch with artificial grass, a gym and a municipal swimming pool.

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Traditional festivities and celebrations in Moclinejo

Moclinejo has a large number of celebrations among which take place in his town and those of the district of El Valdés. These festivities are both local and national in nature, but each one reveals the essence of the inhabitants and customs of Moclinejo.

The first celebration that you can enjoy during the year is Holy Week, which takes place in the months of March or April, depending on the year. In this it has special relevance in Moclinejo on Easter, since the Garden Festival is celebrated, in which the Spain Square is adorned with flowerpots and plants from the neighbors, recreating the Garden of Olives and culminating the act with the Procession of the Risen.

Continuing a little in the calendar in the month of May you can take advantage to have fun with different celebrations. The first takes place around May 1 and is the Livestock Fair, on El Valdés River, which consists of areas dedicated to exhibition and business, recreation, etc. Another is El Valdés Cultural Week with a week in which all kinds of cultural activities are promoted. Among them, music, theater, exhibitions take on a leading role, as well as events to enhance the participation of the residents of El Valdés, Moclinejo and the many visitors who come during these celebrations. To end the month the Pilgrimage is celebrated.

In the month of June, Moclinejo Cultural Week takes place, a week with all kinds of cultural activities that, as in El Valdés Cultural Week, concentrates inhabitants of both population centers along with visitors who come to Moclinejo to spend week.

To start with the summer festivities you will find El Valdés Fair, which is held during the penultimate week of July, in honor of its patron saint Our Lady of Lourdes. All the attendees, both from El Valdés and Moclinejo, participate in its celebration with musical performances, folklore, pyrotechnics and tape races on horseback. During the weekend, a large number of residents and visitors from different places congregate, enjoying the fabulous typical gastronomy of La Axarquía.

The Moclinejo Fair is the last week of August, in honor of Saint Bartholomew, patron saint of Moclinejo. The whole town participates in its celebration, with musical performances, folklore, pyrotechnics, tape races on horseback. These days the Procession of Saint Bartholomew takes place through the streets of Moclinejo, the celebration of a rociera mass, as well as the celebration of the Flemish Night.

On the first Sunday of September, the Winemakers' Festival is held, declared a Unique Interest Festival and which aims to highlight the quality of the wine and Moclinejo raisins, as well as pay tribute to the women and men who work in the cultivation of the vine. The large number of visitors and neighbors who enjoy the different activities scheduled for the occasion, all related to the wine activity, recreate scenarios where the tasks of the vineyard are represented live, such as the grape treading, the sieve and the “pica” of raisins. All this is enlivened with the ancient sound of the verdiales that, in their different styles, liven up the streets. During the festival, tastings of typical products are offered, such as gazpacho, bread rolls and muscat wine in different parts of the town.

To finish, the first weekend of December the Christmas Pastoral Contests are held in Moclinejo and El Valdés. They are traditional meetings of pastorals and nativity scenes that each year have more participation from groups at the provincial level and a large number of visitors. In addition, you can enjoy the tasting of bread rolls of wine with anise.

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Gastronomy of Moclinejo

The gastronomy of Moclinejo is based on the typical gastronomy of La Axarquía region. This part of the region is characterized by the importance of the grape and the products derived from this fruit such as wine and raisins. In this way it is not surprising that Moclinejo belongs to the Raisin Route within La Axarquía.

However, apart from vine crops, other crops such as avocado, custard apple, mango and papaya, from a type of subtropical tree, have gradually gained prominence in Moclinejo. The products obtained from these crops have contributed richness to the local gastronomy in an important way.

Dishes such as ajoblanco, gazpachuelo, maimón soups, cooked cod, raisin sirloin and migas accompanied by grapes, melon, watermelon, oranges, olives, herrings and other products from the region are made with typical Moclinejo countryside products.

Regarding pastries and desserts, in Moclinejo the typical borrachuelos, raisins and bread rolls of wine are typical.

Finally, we must not forget the famous Moclinejo wine, perfect to accompany the previous dishes.

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