|coast||15 min / 14 km|
|Airport Málaga||60 min / 40 km|
Almáchar is located high up between the rivers El Borge and Almáchar at 200 meters above sea level. The distance to Málaga is 35 km and to Velez-Málaga 14 km. The Mediterranean is thirty minutes drive distant. The area extends from the peak of the Almáchar hilltop (334m) to the peak of the Vallejo hilltop (609m).
Almachár lies in a mountainous area of the Axarquía. The steep slopes are still farmed in the traditional manner with vines, olives and almonds. In January the landscape is exceptionally attractive, being covered with almond blossom. In small terraced areas of the valley local families grow citrus fruits and vegetables. Many small south facing farmhouses are scattered over the countryside like white snowflakes, most with their traditional grape drying beds in front of the house. Very close by to Almáchar is the village of El Borge, another typical Andalucian whitewashed hill village. Both rivers are dry for most of the year, and are used for access to plots and farmhouses, although occasionally, after heavy rainfall in the winter time they can become raging torrents and impassable - an exciting natural spectacle.
The first settlements were next to the river. The village slowly grew up the hill, with the lower houses being used as the base for the higher houses. The houses are whitewashed and most benefit from a patio. The narrow streets with their interlocking houses are often covered in pots of flowers and climbing shrubs. The community has approximately 2000 inhabitants and since the construction of the new road to Velez-Málaga a few years ago, Almáchar is enjoying a new upturn. Almáchar, previously an almost forgotten village, has cleaned up its image and has become much more of a holiday destination and even an attractive place to live. Spanish families, who previously left the village, are now deciding to stay, and commute rather than move to the coast for work. Almáchar has everything you might need on a day to day basis. As well as many small shops there are restaurants, tapas bars, a public swimming pool in the summer months and a primary school. There are also small businesses such as blacksmiths and carpenters.
The history of Almáchar goes back to the time of the Arabs. The name originated from the Arabic ¨Al Maysar¨ which means pastures. Most of the historical origins go back to the 16th Century, when several shepherding families took over the farmland of the Moors, who were angry about land appropriation, and left. In 1755 the village of Almáchar was affected by several earthquakes which forced the people to leave their homes and move to the countryside. At the end of the 19th Century there were over 100 weavers in the village, who produced high quality linen and other cloth which became famous in the area.
The museo de la pasa, or museum of the grape, demonstrates the procedures required for making raisins. Here you can find an extensive collection of traditional tools and other information regarding the growing of grapes. You can get a good impression of how arduous the work carried out on the steep hillsides was, and still is. The museum is based in an old two storey building which also shows the simple building techniques and materials in use in those days.