What to do and what to see in Cómpeta

The municipality of Cómpeta, with almost 55 km2 and located east of the province of Málaga and northeast of the region of the Axarquía, extends, especially in its northern area, as hanging from the highest peaks of the Sierra de Almijara, ideal place for lovers of nature and hiking. In its term rise as important as La Loma de Motas (1,658 m) in the northernmost area; continuing to the east, the beautiful hill El Lucero (1,779 m), forming its vertex almost perfect cone; a little further south, the hill Las Tres Cruces (1,212 m); and to the east, on the border with Nerja and Granada, stands the hill of Navachica (1,834 m), the highest in the Sierra de Almijara. Others of smaller height and more meridional are the Hill of the Swan (1,486 m) and Green Hill (1,554 m).

The municipality communicates with the province of Granada through the historic Puerto de Cómpeta.

Their lands are irrigated by the Chillar River, which is born in the Fountain of the Cuervo, at 1,600 meters of altitude and the Torrox River, also called the Patamalara River. Other sources within the municipality are the Fountain of Pradillos, which supplies the population; the Fountain of the Mirlo, the Fountain of the Teja, the Fountain of the Gavilán, the Fountain of the Higuerón with the source of the Higuerón River and the Fountain of Venta Vaqueros.

Among its caves, it is worth mentioning the Cave of the Puerto de Cómpeta, the Cave ot the Peñón de los Hornos, La Montera, La Caldera and La Moneda.

The population center of Cómpeta, also known as the cornice of the Costa del Sol because of its location, extends over the foothills of the sierra at about 640 meters above sea level. At its feet, you can see the mountains of the Axarquía, a relief of hills and steep ravines populated by vines and olive groves and dotted with white houses, many of them with the typical paseros in which the grapes are dried to turn them into raisins, elaborated in an artisanal way.

Cómpeta is one of the towns that make up the Route of the Raisin and Wine in the region of the Axarquía. Its wine production is of great quality and enjoys good reputation, so several wineries are engaged in the development of a local variety, sweet and dry wines, known as Cómpeta wines.

History of Cómpeta

The name of Cómpeta derives from the Latin word "Compita" which means a crossroads or meeting place, where the Romans celebrated their parties in honor of the roads and where commercial transactions were carried out.

It is in the Puerto de Cómpeta, a place of communication between the two slopes of the Sierra de Almijara, where the vestiges of its first inhabitants, from the Neolithic era, have been found.

It is not possible to document other cultures in their term until the Arab domination, which left their mark on the location and layout of its streets. In 1487, after the surrender of Vélez-Málaga, he capitulated to the Catholic Monarchs, like other neighboring towns.

He participated in the rebellion that the Moriscos undertook in the region of the Axarquía and the Alpujarra of Granada in 1569, mutinying in the Rock of Frigiliana where bloody battles were fought against Christian troops and after their defeat, were expelled. From 1571, these lands are repopulated with old Christians from Seville, Baena, Estepa and Puente Genil, among other towns. In the parish the minutes of the first marriage between Christians, celebrated in the year 1573, are preserved.

By the mid-eighteenth century, much of their land was in the hands of the church. In 1771, before its progressive depopulation, a new distribution of land was carried out, boosting the cultivation of vineyards, and it was in the 19th century, with the commercialization of the raisin when it reached a great economic splendor with more than 80% of its lands monoculture of vine. Around 1880, with the plague of phylloxera, this crop falls into decline and does not begin its recovery until the third decade of the last century.

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What to see in Cómpeta

Walking through the streets of Cómpeta is enormously reassuring, because they have steep slopes, often saved with flights of stairs, which prevents, in most of them, road traffic. Streets such as Barranco de Grana Street, adorned with flowers that stand out against the white background, possess regional embellishment awards; San Sebastián Street, where the Hermitage of San Sebastián, patron saint of the Villa, leads us to the upper area of the town, from where we can get a beautiful views to it; San Antonio Street, the flattest street, at the end of which rises the Hermitage of San Antón and a wonderful natural viewpoint. The Almijara Square, where the Town Hall and the Church of the Encarnación are located, is the cosmopolitan center and keeps the charm of its architectural style.

Among the different elements of the patrimony of Cómpeta they emphasize:

Chuch of our Lady of the Asunción: It is a work of the sixteenth century and one of the most emblematic monuments of Cómpeta. It rises on the floor of three naves separated by semicircular arches that rest on octagonal pillars, closed with pair and knuckle armor, the main and hanging nave, the lateral ones, while the presbytery does it in a half-barrel vault. It contains two murals made by the painter Francisco Hernández in 1972, one dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin and another to the Baptism of Jesus. The first occupies the entire facade of the High Altar and the second is located in the Baptistry. Outside stands its neomudéjar tower raised in brick, four bodies and more than 30 meters high and topped in a hemispherical dome. The cover is of flat arch and belfry of pediment with a niche.

Walk of Traditions: Together with the Church of Our Lady of the Asunción, it helps us through mosaics the customs of this town in the interior of Málaga.

Hermitage of San Sebastián: It was built in the eighteenth century on a single nave covered with hemispherical vault on pendentives. The entrance is under a semicircular arch framed between pilasters and culminating with simple bulrush of a single span.

Hermitage of San Antón: Located to the southwest of the town, just opposite the end of where the Hermitage of San Sebastian is located, is another simple work of the eighteenth century with some more recent reforms.

Panoramic viewpoint: It is located at the entrance of Cómpeta and from it you can get beautiful views to Cómpeta, La Maroma and the Sierras Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park.

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What to do in Cómpeta

Cómpeta has different activities that can be done during your visit.

Wine Museum: It is privately owned. In it we can appreciate the quality of the muscatel wine produced in the area, all this, while we eat at his restaurant, specializing in the cuisine of the Axarquía. It is located on Constitución Avenue.

In addition, the municipality of Cómpeta is visited as a tourist destination for its splendid hiking trails, among which we mention:

Majadillas hiking route: It lasts 3.5 hours and a medium-high difficulty.

Loma del Daire hiking trail: It has a duration of 2.5 hours and a medium-low difficulty.

El Acebuchal hiking trail: It involves a 4 hour route and a high difficulty.

El Lucero trekking route: It takes 6 hours to complete the route and its difficulty is high.

Gaviarra hiking route: With a duration of 3 hours and a low difficulty.

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Traditional festivals in Cómpeta

In Cómpeta you can enjoy a wide variety of festivities throughout the year.

Fair of the Neighborhood: It is celebrated on January 26 and takes place where it is located the Hermitage of San Sebastián, with popular verbena in honor of San Sebastián, patron of the town. A picnic takes place and in the afternoon the Saint is taken in procession.

Holy Week: It constitutes one of the most important celebrations of the calendar. The acts begin with the processions on Palm Sunday and continue throughout Holy Week until Easter Sunday, the last day of celebrations.

Day of the Cross: Of a lot of tradition in the municipality. It is celebrated on May 3 by walking to the area known as Cruz del Monte and there make a snack with all the neighbors who move to the place, some accompanied by crosses made of flowers.

San Juan Day: It takes place on June 24. The tradition consists in going out to the country to have a snack with family and friends.

Summer fair in honor of San Sebastian: It starts on July 24 with rocket fire. The streets are dressed as a party, adorned with pennants. The main part of the party takes place in the Axarquía Square. Stalls are installed to taste typical dishes and drinks of Cómpeta and performances of groups of choirs and dances take place. On the last day, on July 27, during the morning a mass is celebrated and in the afternoon the is celebrated a Pilgrimage in honor of San Sebastián, where knights are accompanied by Andalusians dressed according to tradition, culminating one of the most outstanding acts of the whole celebration. At night, the election of the Queen of the Festivals and her Ladies of Honor takes place.

Night of the Wine: On August 15, homage is paid to the patron saint of the town, Our Lady of the Asunción, and the farmers who leave the next day to start the harvest are also dismissed. What began spontaneously, back in 1974, has become one of the main tourist attractions of the summer. Cataloged as a holiday of national tourist interest, it has international relevance. During the celebration, cultural events are developed involving artists, poets and writers. And on the one hand, it has a folkloric touch with the performance of singers and dance groups and, on the other, with a culinary touch with the free tasting of high quality muscatel wine, produced in the area.

Day of the lights: Tradition rooted in the town since long ago held on September 7. In the evening they are carried out in the cortijos of the town, lights in honor of La Candelaria and they are said alive to the Virgin, in addition a small verbena is celebrated in gratitude to the received fruits.

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Gastronomy of Cómpeta

Among the typical dishes of Cómpeta we find crumbs, fennel stew, fried squash, Easter tortilla, garlic tenderloin, choto, asador a la pastoril, vigil stews (made with chickpeas, potatoes, cod and swiss chard or spinach). And all bathed with semi-sweet wines or dry wines of the place, of great quality; and for dessert, delicious raisins, also from the place.

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