What to do and what to see in Almogía

The municipality of Almogía, with 163 km2, is located in the center of the province of Málaga, integrated in Guadalhorce Valley region, in the foothills of the Montes de Málaga.

The municipality of Almogía borders other municipalities in the province of Málaga, to the north with Antequera and Villanueva de la Concepción, to the east with Casabermeja, to the south with Málaga and Cártama, and to the west with the municipality of Álora.

Its lands, with a landscape dominated by hills occupied by bushes and olive trees, are surrounded by Sierra del Torcal, Montes de Málaga and Hoya de Málaga (Málaga Wide Valley), presenting the maximum altitude of the municipality at the Santi Petri peak (794 m). Some of the areas occupied by holm oak forests, redoubts of the old Mediterranean forests, are of great beauty, such as the hills and Garganta de los Retamares (Brooms Gorge). The wonderful panoramic views from the forest track that goes to Santi Petri and the surroundings of the Casasola Reservoir, whose tributary is the Campanillas River, complete a spectacular setting, as well as the Cauche Stream and the Olivos Stream.

Almogía's economy is centered on agriculture, especially in the exploitation of almond trees and olive trees, although part of its population works in the service sector, on the nearby Costa del Sol.

In addition to the main nucleus, the municipality of Almogía is made up of other population centres, such as Los Moras, Barranco del Sol, Arroyo Coche and Monterroso.

History of Almogía

The presence of man in the lands that make up the current municipality of Almogía is remote, as evidenced by vestiges of some prehistoric cave paintings found in some caves in the municipality. Also, from the Roman and Turdetan times, remains have been found in various parts of the town.

Through the territory of Almogía passed the important road that would serve as infrastructure for commercial exchange between Málaga and the rest of the peninsula.

However, it is with the Arab domination that the current population centre was created around its castle, of which only a few remains of one of its towers remain, the Torre de la Vela (Vela Tower). At the end of the 9th and early 10th centuries, this fortress of Santi Petri acquired great importance in the defense of Bobastro during the rebellion of the Muladi Omar ben Hafsún against the Umayyad dynasty of Córdoba. This castle served as a border fortress from 1410 to 1487.

The name of Almogía is of Arabic origin, which was Al-mexía, which means that it is from the Mexí lineage. However, according to other historical researchers, it means pretty or beautiful.

After the Christian conquest in 1487, the Almogía began to depend on the Kingdom of Castile, which appointed a Christian mayor to govern as warden in the territory. Its castle was used to control the Mudejars in the area.

During the Moorish rebellion of 1570, the Moorish inhabitants of the town participated actively and, after being defeated, were expelled, and the lands of Almogía were repopulated with old Christians from Teba and Antequera.

Throughout the Independence War at the beginning of the 19th century, Almogía and its castle were invaded by Napoleonic troops, who destroyed it in their flight.

At present, Almogía finds its main source of income in agriculture, specifically in the exploitation of fruit trees, olive groves and cereals, but it also has quite a few almond trees and vineyards.

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What to see in Almogía

In Almogía you can see a series of elements within its cultural heritage with different purposes and styles.

One of the most representative elements in the history of Almogía is the Castle of Almogía "Torre de la Vela". These are the remains of the Arab castle, of which only the Torre de la Vela, one of the seven towers that made it up, remains. This castle served as a border fortress from 1410 to 1487. However, after the conquest by Christian troops, it was used to control the Mudejars in the area.

The different religious constructions that exist in Almogía are from times after the reconquest. In chronological order, the first religious temple that you will find is the most representative of the town, the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption. This church was built in the 16th century on an old mosque. It is the most important monument in the municipality of Almogía and its architecture highlights its bell tower on the outside and on the inside, the wooden frame that covers the central nave, a Mudejar coffered ceiling of great value and beauty. Inside it houses several images, including three from the 18th century, the Immaculate Conception, a Child Jesus and a canvas of Saint Paul the Hermit of an unknown author. At the end of the 19th century it was rebuilt after the serious damage suffered by the earthquake that struck the province of Málaga at Christmas 1884.

In the 18th century, other religious buildings were built in Almogía. One of them was the Hermitage of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is located in the upper part of the town. Inside it consists of a small choir and campanile, and houses the images of the two patrons of Almogía, Saint Roch and Saint Sebastian.

The other temple from the 18th century is the Hermitage of the Three Crosses, a small hermitage located on the limits of the municipalities of Almogía, Cártama and Álora, although it is also close to Pizarra. It was restored some years ago and inside each of the four towns has a small altar. It is here where the Verdiales of the Three Crosses Festivity is celebrated in early May.

To finish with the religious buildings that you can see in Almogía, you will find the Chapel of Holy Christ. It is a small square enclosure that takes advantage of a 17th century construction, with the painting of a Crucified man inside that has a deep devotion. It is one of the fourteen stations that ran through the town.

In the 19th century, The Waterwheel Laundry was built, which was used until 1990. It consists of about thirty basins of mud with washing stones, located around a pool. The water was taken from the waterwheel that took it to the basins and, later, once the clothes had been washed, the water drained into the pool.

Finally, also from the 19th century, you can see the Hortezuela Fountain, which consists of three bodies with curvilinear shapes. It highlights its central mosaic representative of the medieval town. In addition, it is surrounded by gardens and trees.

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What to do in Almogía

One of the oldest routes of the Camino de Santiago passes through the municipality of Almogía, the Camino Mozárabe de Santiago (Mozarab Camino de Santiago), used by the Christians who lived in the Arab kingdoms, the Mozarabs, on their pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. The route begins in each of the eastern provinces of Andalusia (Almería, Granada, Jaén and Málaga) and converges in Córdoba to join the Vía de la Plata in Mérida, passing through the lands of Andalusia and Extremadura through Roman roads, medieval roads and livestock trails, in a historical and safe route with facilities for rest and supplies. In this case, the Mozarab Route of Málaga, which starts from the Church of Santiago in Málaga city, reaches the municipality of Almogía in its second stage.

In addition, in the natural environment of Almogía you can take different hiking routes where you can discover different places that the orography of this municipality hides.

One of these routes is the Charamuza Trail, a 8.8 km circular route that begins and ends at the Almogía hostel and will allow you to discover one of the most beautiful places in the municipality. Places such as the Tajo de la Rambla (Ravine Sheer Drop), in whose surroundings you will have the opportunity to see spanish ibex, and the Charamuza area with a great richness in its flora and birdlife due to the great abundance of water. In the course you will spend several eras, a place where the crops were threshed and winnowed, you will cross several streams such as the Cupiana Stream, the Plata Stream and the Retamales Stream, where riverside vegetation abounds. In the highest areas of the trail you can get some beautiful panoramic views, to the north Torcal de Antequera and to the south Mediterranean Sea, Sierra de Mijas, the towns of Cártama, Alhaurín de la Torre and Alhaurín el Grande, as well as the Almogía's own town centre. In the last section, in the area known as La Rambla, you will pass by orange and fruit orchards.

Another circular route is the Llano El Espinar Trail, a 6.5 km long path that begins and ends at the Almogía hostel, with a low level of difficulty. The route will allow you to get to know an agricultural area near the town, where rainfed crops, mainly olive trees and almond trees, are mixed with the native Mediterranean vegetation and orchards watered by the waters of El Espinar Stream. During your tour, you will have the opportunity to obtain beautiful views of the Campanillas River valley, which crosses Almogía from north to south, the Tajo de la Pela (Pela Sheer Drop) and the colony of kestrels that nest there every year, flying over its surroundings. Part of the route coincides with the Camino Mozárabe de Santiago.

Moving on to a linear route, you will find the Almogía - Cola del Embalse Trail, 13 km long between roundtrip and that also begins at the Almogía hostel and ends at the end of the Casasola Reservoir. On your journey you will have the opportunity to observe spectacular landscapes such as the cliffs and the Campanillas River, enjoy the environment with a rich and varied flora and birdlife, and cross the Puente de las Palomas (Pigeon Bridge), built in Roman times. In addition, you can get beautiful panoramic views of Torcal de Antequera, Villanueva de la Concepción, the Campanillas riverbed, the district of Barranco del Sol (Sun Ravine), Venta de las Palomas (Pigeon Inn) and Venta de la Leche (Milk Inn). You will have the opportunity to watch the kestrels fly over the Tajo de la Pela and, with luck, the spanish ibex climb the rocky areas. After crossing the Puente de las Palomas, the path runs around the riverbed, with riverside vegetation and characteristic birds such as sandpipers, stonechat, washerwomen and gray herons, to the top of a hill. At the end of the tour, you will have the opportunity to observe the tail of the swamp, which is home to numerous ducks such as the Mallard or the Common Coot.

To end the routes, there is the Almogía - Santi Petri Trail, 13 km long between round trips that begins at the Almogía hostel, runs through ancient royal gullies and ends at the top of the highest hill in the municipality, Cerro de Santi Petri (Santi Petri Hill). From here you can get spectacular panoramic views of Málaga city, Sierra de Alhaurín de la Torre, Sierra de Mijas, Sierra de Alpujata, Sierra de las Nieves, Guadalhorce Valley and its municipalities, Sierra de Huma, Torcal de Antequera, the mountains of Nororma region, Montes de Málaga and Mediterranean Sea. If the day is clear, you can glimpse the mountains of North Africa, the Atlas mountains. At its top you will find the remains of the Castle of Santi Petri, from the 10th century, currently completely demolished, but which in the days of the Caliphate was one of the most important defensive fortresses of Bobastro.

Finally, if you want to practice sports but without leaving the population center, Almogía has a sports court, a municipal swimming pool and a municipal football pitch.

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Traditional festivities and celebrations in Almogía

In Almogía, in addition to national and regional festivals, other local festivals are also celebrated.

In February the Carnivals are celebrated, with the classic costumes and chirigotas passing through the streets of the town and subsequent performance, awards ceremony and contests that take place in a marquee that is set up in Constitución Square, where the organization puts a stage, lights and music.

In the months of March or April, depending on the year, Holy Week is celebrated, one of the most important festivals in Almogía, in which the two brotherhoods carry out their processional outings on Holy Thursday and Good Friday: the Venerable Brotherhood of the Holy Christ of the True Cross, Holy Burial, Our Lady of the Sorrows and Holy Mary of Conception and Tears, known as the Brotherhood of Christ; and the Brotherhood of Procession and Worship of Our Father Jesus Nazarene, Holy Mary of the Sorrows, Our Lady of the Soledad and Child Jesus, known as the Brotherhood of Jesus and canonically constituted in 1775.

The first Sunday in May is the Verdiales of the Three Crosses Festival, a festival classified as a Provincial Tourist Singularity Festival. It takes place in the surroundings of the Hermitage of the Three Crosses, located in the limits of the municipalities of Almogía, Cártama, Álora and Pizarra. In its celebration, the verdiales pandas from the four municipalities participate competing in what they call "panda clash", showing their best music and dancing for a full day, which together with culinary tastings centre the day.

In mid-May the Pilgrimage of Saint Isidore the Laborer is celebrated, which gathers every year a greater influx of public and groups that make the pilgrimage route to the Dos Herrizas Enclosure, where a great party takes place. The Cattle Fair is the preamble to the traditional pilgrimage.

The Los Moras Fair is held in June and the Barranco del Sol Fair takes place around Saint John's Day. On the other hand, the first weekend in July is the Arroyo Coche Fair and in the middle of the month the Monterroso Fair. Musical and other performances are scheduled in them, all in a festive atmosphere.

At the beginning of August, the Cuna de Verdiales (Cradle of the Verdiales) festival is celebrated in Almogía and the Almogía-style verdial is one of the oldest folkloric expressions in Europe, hence the municipality is considered the Cradle of the Verdiales. Representative pandas of the three styles, Almogía, Montes and Comares participate in the event. The style that is represented in each part of the municipality is set by the Campanillas River, the districts that remain on the east bank of the river, practice the style of the Montes, while those of the west bank, the style of Almogía. The party style of the Almogía party is the one with the fastest playing and the violin directs the group, while in the Montes, the tambourine, of exaggerated dimensions, is the protagonist.

Around August 15, the August Fair in honor of Saint Roch and Saint Sebastian is held , patrons of Almogía. Its varied program begins with a mass in honor of the Patron Saints, Saint Roch and Saint Sebastian in the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, with the participation of the Choir of Our Lady of the Assumption. Later the procession of the Patron Saints takes place, accompanied by the bearers and the True Cross Music Band. Sports and musical activities are also carried out, as well as dances in the official booth enlivened by the orchestras.

Finally, at the beginning of October, Almond Day is celebrated, cataloged as a Provincial Tourist Singularity Festival, with a massive attendance. With your visit, in addition to getting to know Almogía, you will be able to taste typical dishes in the many stalls that are set up for the occasion, as well as purchase products made by hand by great masters, such as ceramics, etc. All this in a festive atmosphere enlivened with verdiales music.

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Gastronomy of Almogía

Almogía's gastronomy is based on typical Andalusian dishes.

With wild asparagus a dish is prepared to which, in addition to asparagus, potatoes and cod are added and it is known as chanfaina, which is quite famous in Almogía.

There are other very famous dishes in Almogía such as chilled garlic and almond soup and white porras, made with the same ingredients.

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