Mojacar

Mojacar is undoubtably the jewel in the crown of our area, it has a special enchantment, a bewitching allure which captures your soul and never lets you go.

It situated in the southeast of the province of Almeria in Andalusia in the South of Spain, set on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Mojacar Is divided in two different areas, the village and the beach, El Pueblo y La Playa, the combination of both makes Mojácar, without doubt, the most cosmopolitan area of the region.

Mojacar Pueblo: The Moorish old town of Mojacar is perched high on a hill looking down on 17 kms of un-spoilt beaches and is full of charm with its narrow streets and white buildings.  There are magnificent views of the coast from the highest point of the village, the Castle vantage point, but the best way to see the town itself and its medieval architecture is the leave the car and stroll through its streets.

 

Mojacar Playa: Mojacar Playa has 17 kms of un-spoilt beaches and about 5 km are fine sand beaches with a good mix of chiriguitos (beach bars), restaurants, bars, clubs and secluded coves that stretch into the distance.

El Indalo:  When visiting the old town of Mojacar you will notice a symbol painted on many of the homes. The symbol is that of the Indalo Man, an icon of the province of Almeria, which depicts the Neolithic painting found in the caves of Letreros in Velez Blanco. The icon is said to be a man holding an arc with magic powers that protect the area against storms and the ‘evil eye’. According to tradition, it keeps evil at bay and brings good luck to the person who possesses it. Traditionally the inhabitants of Mojácar painted the Indalo symbol on the doors of their houses, long before it was called the Indalo, seeking protection against the daily adversities, hence Mojácar has traditionally been called the “Pueblo Indalo”. Tradition says you must place it at the entrance of the house and that it attracts more luck if are given it as a present. Mojacar attracted many artists who used the Indalo to indicate that their work was from Mojacar, hence increasing its diffusion. Nowadays it is considered the talisman symbol of not only Mojacar, but of all the province of Almeria.

Activities: The area provides plenty of activities for the foreign holidaymaker whilst retaining its traditional Spanish charm and character. The beaches stretch 17 kilometres, much of which is unspoilt and has been designated an area of outstanding natural beauty. There are no less than three Blue European Flag Awards on the beaches for cleanliness. There is a good range of beach and water-sport facilities available – sailing, fishing, jet skis etc. For golfers there are 5 golf courses in the area, Playa Macenas, Cortijo Grande, Valle del Este, Marina de la Torre and Desert Springs, nearby there are the fishing ports of Garrucha and Villaricos, which also have marine ports. There are many other activities in the area, such as karting, a waterpark, an aerodrome, diving, horseback riding, hiking, as well as a wide variety of entertainment and recreation, restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

Fiestas: Mojácar, normally quiet and calm, becomes very lively during its festivals, in which are evident its past, its culture and the art of its people. Of special note are Carnival (February), St. Augustine (August) and Moors and Christians (June), the latter a very beautiful and colourful recreation of historical event when the locals honour their Arab ancestors with a spectacular Moors and Christians festival, complete with extravagant costumes, Arab sabres and mock street battles.

February: CARNIVAL. Taking place before Lent, this pagan festival fills the streets with people wearing highly original costumes and fills the air with original songs. The procession along the main beach road is a colourful musical extravaganza.

Ash Wednesday: THE BURIAL OF THE SARDINE. Literary the Sardine´s funeral, this celebration, taking place once the Carnival is over, signals the transition from earthly pleasure to spiritual contemplation.

28th February: ANDALUSIA DAY. This day is celebrated with various concerts, in which the different municipal schools of music and dance always play an important part.

Thursday in the middle of Lent: DIA DE LA VIEJA. This is a day when the whole family goes to the countryside to enjoy a picnic and BBQ. According to ancient tradition, “la vieja” or old woman, (a rag doll made on a wooden cross frame, dressed in tissue paper and whose head is full of sweets) is stuck into the ground. At the end of the day the doll is broken open and the sweets inside eaten.

Easter: HOLY WEEK. This celebration hovers between mysteries of the divine and the pagan. At night the beautiful religious images are borne silently through the city streets on the shoulder of their bearers while spring in all its glory is welcomed by the lively atmosphere on the bars´ terrace. During the day there is a unique atmosphere mixing relaxation on the beach with the solemnity of the Old Quarter´s different places of interest.

May: PILGRIMAGE OF SAN ISIDRO. This pilgrimage takes places on the Sunday closest to 15th May, when taking full advantage of the arrival of fine weather, the people of Mojácar travel in beautiful carriages bedecked with flowers and accompanied by a band to the hamlet of Sopalmo which lies within Mojácar´s municipal boundaries.

June: MOORS AND CHRISTIANS. Celebrated the weekend nearest to the of 10th June. This fiesta celebrates the heroic deeds which led to the cultural religious interchange between Moors and Christians. This is Mojacar´s most important fiesta and everyone joins in. The high point comes on Sunday afternoon with a grandiose procession which starts at Mojácar´s highest streets and ends in the lower part of the village, close to the fountain.

June 22nd: MOJÁCAR´s “ROMANTIC NIGHT” Experience the most romantic night of all…. Live music, special themed menus, squares and streets full of decorative balloons, photo call and much more. Everyone joins together for the most romantic kiss at midnight.

June 23rd: THE NIGHT OF SAN JUAN. On the night of the 23rd of June everyone goes down to the beach to eat sardines, watch the bonfires and the fireworks to celebrate the most magical night of the year.

August: FIESTAS DE SOPALMO. Early August. In honour of Cristo Rey. This is Mojácar at its most genuine, when the Queen of the fiesta and her handmaidens are crowned and there is a traditional “corrida de cintas” competition of horsemanship, where riders must spear a small ring hanging from a ribbon.

August: THE CANDLELIT NIGHT. Coincides with the night of San Lorenzo’s Tears (known as the rain of stars) the historic Mojácar Pueblo hosts its famous “Night of the Candles”. Mojácar offers to visitors the chance to contemplate the starlit sky by turning off the electric lights and lighting the Pueblo with candles.

August 28th: FESTIVITIES OF SAN AGUSTIN. Coinciding with the weekend, Mojácar celebrates its fiestas in honour of its patron saint. Festivities include sports events, evening celebrations and corridas de cintas. The floral offering merits a special mention: women in traditional Mojácar costume carry their water pitchers full of water and flowers in a procession from the fountain to the church.

October 7th: DIA DE LA PATRONA: VIGEN DEL ROSARIO. This celebration of the Patron of Nuestra Señora del Rosario includes different activities, such as the traditional “corrida de cintas”. The married townswomen wear traditional dress.

December: CHRISTMAS IN MOJACAR. Christmas sees recital of popular carols, activities for children and the New Year celebration in the shadow of the church´s clock tower. This is followed on 5th January by the Epiphany parade. This is a fun family time where everyone, young and old alike, enjoy themselves.

 

The Weather: Mojácar has more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, the average annual temperature is around 20° c, and winter is normally mild with temperatures of around 18°C. As the Costa Almeria is known to be the hottest, driest region of Spain with over 3,000 hours of sun each year, it makes for the perfect destination for tourists looking for a guaranteed sunshine holiday.

 

Communication: Communication is very good, the motorway is just a few kilometres away, with Almeria airport 90 km, Murcia at 150 km and Alicante at 220 km away.

 

Mojacar Gossip: One of Mojacar’s claims to fame is its hotly disputed assertion that Walt Disney was born here. The story goes that he was the illegitimate son of a beautiful local washerwoman who fled to America to escape the disgrace and seek her fortune. Unable to provide for him, she gave him up for adoption to Flora and Elias Disney of Chicago. The tale can neither be proved nor disproved; his birth registration record has never been found - neither in Chicago or in Mojacar (where all records were destroyed during the Spanish Civil War).

 

History: The history of Mojacar actually dates back 4000 years to the Bronze Age around 2000 BC, the first signs of human settlement date back to Neolithic times. It was later inhabited successively by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Barbarians and finally the Moors. The name “Mojacar” derives from its Moorish occupation and the Arab word "Munsaqar". The moors defended the town against the Christian armies for hundreds of years until King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel reclaimed it in the late 15th century. On June 12th, 1488, the Moorish governor handed over the town of Mojácar and its fortress to the Catholic Kings, who, in exchange, granted it city status. Mojacar remains true to its Moorish legacy with its old Moorish fortress and the Mudejar architecture the area still evokes an Arabic aura. Under a law passed in 1987, the Arab architecture here will be preserved for posterity and for the joy of visitors who are enamoured with its ambience. During the 19th century, Mojácar grew in wealth and population. But at the start of the 1950s, it was still poorly communicated with no running water or electricity. In the 50s and 60s Mojácar began to open up to the outside world, thanks to the numerous intellectuals, artists and bohemians who moved to the town, captivated by its allure. In the space of a few years the town was modernised and started to gain importance as a tourist destination, although not at the expense of its old-world charm.

 

All in all, Mojacar town and Mojacar Playa offers a fantastic combination of the traditional Spanish town with a lovely modern beach resort. A great place to relax and soak up the local ambiance and culture.