When you think of Spain, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Tapas, wine, bull fighting perhaps. Or if like me, you have grown up watching TV shows about Brits doing stupid things abroad, chances are your first thought will be of places like Benidorm with its high-rise hotel complexes puncturing the skyline and dozens of British food establishments out-weighing the Spanish ones. Benidorm is, after all, Spain’s biggest holiday resort with over five million tourists flocking there each year.
If that doesn’t sound very appealing however, don’t be put off – there are still plenty of traditionally Spanish places worth visiting, including the historical village of Mojacar, Almeria.
This traditional little, white-washed village set in the foot hills of the Sierra Cabrera mountain range is just 90km from Almeria, the capital of the province.
Why You Should Visit Mojacar
With its narrow labyrinth of cobbled-streets that typify the Northern African Moors influence you will be forgiven for thinking that you have been transported to some quaint little Moroccan town, and with no lofty buildings in sight to blot out the sun, this is a place far removed from the Spain that has become increasingly popular with package-holiday tourists.
But this stunning village was not always so.
The History of Mojacar
If you look back into the history of Mojacar this tiny settlement has been subjected to war, drought and disease turning it into a depressing, rundown place to be. Even running water, electricity and telephone cables were not available here until the 1960’s when a local major decided to give away free land to anyone with the enthusiasm to restore the tiny ruined houses into what we see today.
Now though, this has become a jewel in Almeria’s crown.
The village itself is teaming with bars, cafes and restaurants which all seem extremely inviting after you have hiked up the hillside from the beach front in order to look around the various quaint, boutique gift shops laden with trinkets, crafts and souvenirs.
Whilst there be sure to visit the La Fuente Moro, the fountain of Mojacar, which has been a vital water source to the village for centuries and remains so today, with locals often returning to fill water bottles up in an act similar to the one residents would have undertaken before running water arrived.
What Else Will You See Wandering the Streets of Mojacar?
If you are after a cafe with an impressive view head to the Ayuntamiento de Mojacar, the town hall with its pretty plaza which has become a gathering spot for locals and tourists alike, to sit in the sun and watch the world go by.
Whilst there if you enjoy seeing beautiful flowers in bloom, head to the Plaza del Parterre, once home to an Arab cemetery this delightful square is now a place where nature and tranquility can be appreciated. Afterwards, when you are ready for a bit of retail therapy head into Plaza Nueva, the main hub of the village, where numerous shops line the charming streets nearby before settling in to watch the sunset over the valley from Mirador de la Plaza Neuva.
For the more energetic amongst us, that love a bit of a challenge, head up the steep incline to Mirador del Castillo where you will be rewarded with fantastic views from the highest point in the village out across the Mojacar coastline and the Taberna desert.
Finally if you are a beach-lover with a desire to top up your tan wander down to Mojacar Playa where you will find 17km of extensive, unspoilt sandy beaches far removed from the cramped beaches of the more popular Spanish resorts. Whilst livelier than the old town of Mojacar, Mojacar Playa still retains a traditional Spanish feel, offering visitors the character and charm that is so often yearned for when visiting a new area.
If you are after a hint of the traditional with one of the hottest climates this could be the perfect destination for you.
Mojacar is a wonderful place to relax, soak up local culture and lazy around in the sun. It has just the right amount of things to see, shops to wander around and restaurants to sample to make for a great holiday.
Plus, it is so far removed from what I would consider to be the typical boozed-up Brit abroad holiday location that it highlights why people originally flocked to Spain all those years ago.
With the lack of tourism comes a lack of hotels therefore, if you think that this could be the place for you to enjoy a week or two in the sun, why not consider renting a traditional white-washed villa for yourself through a company such as James Villa Holidays to really immerse yourself into the Mojacar way of life.
One Final Thought…
It has long been rumoured that back in 1901 a man called Jose Guirado Zamora was born in Mojacar. This man later left Spain for a new life in America and went on to create some of the best-loved characters of all time. Don’t recognise the name? That’s because he subsequently changed it and went on to become Walt Disney.
Now this may be a story of fiction but it is a tale that has long survived as a legend in Mojacar.
Have you been to Mojacar? Would you recommend it to others?