Spotlight on Comares

Where history meets beauty Image: Shutterstock/ Antonio Ciero Reina

IN the heart of the Axarquía region in the province of Málaga stands the picturesque town of Comares, a place steeped in history and natural beauty. Perched at an altitude of 703 metres above sea level, this charming town has a population of approximately 1,420 residents, who are known locally as ‘Moriscosos’ (Moriscans: people descendant of Muslims).

The name ‘Comares’ itself is a testament to its past, derived from the Arabic word ‘qumaris’ or ‘hins comarix,’ meaning ‘castle in the height.’ While originally established by the Greeks and Phoenicians in the seventh century BC, Comares flourished as a Moorish stronghold from the eighth century CE onwards, playing a pivotal role in regional history.

Comares, one of the 31 villages making up the Axarquía region, is situated at the foothills of the Montes de Málaga. Its landscape, filled with ravines, hamlets, and scattered farms, is dominated by the majestic hill of Mazmúllar, standing at 721 metres.

The Heart of Agriculture

Despite its modest size, Comares plays a significant role in the region’s economy, primarily driven by agriculture. The cultivation of olives, grapes, and almonds thrives here, with the town being a key stop on the renowned Ruta de la Pasa (Raisin Route), dedicated to the production of the esteemed ‘Pasas de Málaga.’

In recent years, Comares has witnessed a growing rural tourism industry, attracting visitors eager to explore its rich cultural heritage and breathtaking surroundings.

Raisin Route

IN the heart of Axarquía, a region renowned for its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage, lies the Ruta de la Pasa (The Raisin Route). This ancient trail winds through vineyards and olive groves, connecting villages steeped in history. One such village is Comares, perched on a hilltop with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside also known as the ‘Balcon de Axarquia’ (The Balcony of Axarquia).

Comares is not only known for its stunning vistas but also for its significant role in the production of raisins, a tradition dating back centuries. As part of the Ruta de la Pasa, visitors can explore Comares’ charming streets lined with whitewashed houses decorated with flowers. Along the route, you can view the traditional drying beds known as ‘paseros,’ where grapes are left to dry in the sun, transforming into the sweet delicacy of raisins.

Wandering through Comares on the Ruta de la Pasa visitors can experience its agricultural heritage and the centuries-old methods of raisin production. The Ruta de la Pasa offers a glimpse into this timeless practice, inviting travellers to experience the beauty and authenticity of rural Andalucia.

Sun-kissed grapes and breathtaking views Image: Shutterstock/ Nancy van den Ende

Comares Local Market

EVERY Saturday, the streets of Comares come alive with the bustling atmosphere of its weekly market, located on Calle de la Iglesia. This general market offers a diverse array of goods, from fresh produce to handmade crafts. Running from 9:00 in the morning until 2 pm, it provides ample opportunity for locals and visitors to browse through the approximately 20 stalls.

Whether you’re in search of locally sourced fruits and vegetables, unique souvenirs, or to simply enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, the Comares Saturday market has something for everyone. It serves as not only a place to pick up fruit and veg but also a social gathering point, where neighbours can catch up and visitors can experience the charm of this picturesque village. So, mark your calendars, and don’t miss out on the lively scene at the Comares weekly market this weekend!

Comares Saturday Market Image: Shutterstock/ A.Freund

Local Events

San Isidro

THE town of Comares is gearing up to celebrate the Fiesta of San Isidro and they have released the poster and the schedule of events. The celebration will be from May 17 to May 19. The Comares Town Hall has arranged a host of free events and activities for the fiesta. It includes outdoor concerts on the stunning Plaza Balcon de Axarquia as well as performances by Orquesta Metropolis and DJ Leo Vargas in the Recinto de la Romeria.

There will also be a traditional ribbon horse race, a paella-tasting, and much more. The town hall has also organised buses from various different towns for different events to help all residents enjoy the festival. For more information about the lineup of events, the schedule, and the bus timetables and routes see the town hall Facebook page. The Comares Town Hall makes sure to translate all their social media posts into English in an effort to include all residents in the local events.

A Taste of Tradition Image: Shutterstock/ Q77photo

Rally Gibralfaro

THE annual Rally Gibralfaro, a staple event in Málaga since 1969, recently roared through the picturesque town of Comares as part of its thrilling course. This rally, a highlight of the Andalucian Rally Championship, also has significance in the Spanish Rally Championship.

Organised by the esteemed Automóvil Club Gibralfaro, the rally showcased skilful drivers navigating the challenging Axarquia roads. The residents of Comares were thrilled when the rally passed through their town on the Totalan to Comares stretch. The locals voiced their gratitude to the local government for making it happen saying ‘I loved the rally, I love to see all the activity in the town. Comares on the front row, it is excellent!’

Revving Through Comares Image: Comares Town Hall

For more Axarquia news and events click here

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!