Discover the history and charm of Carboneras

The Festival of Virgen del Carmen takes place on August 15 Credit: Chipitinbebi CC

The municipality of Carboneras is relatively large in size, covering just over 95 square metres but has a resident population of 8,375.

With 14.5 kilometres of coastline, this former fishing village is certainly attractive to visitors having some 50 hotels and apartments available for rent and some 20 per cent of the  Cabo de Gata – Níjar Natural Park fall within its boundaries.

Defence against Barbary Pirates

The area has a tremendous history and following the expulsion of the Moors, it became an important part of the expanding Christian defence not just against returning Moors but also Barbary Pirates.

In the early 19th Century, funds from charcoal making helped to introduce a number of impressive buildings including what has now become the current town hall.

Many moved to Europe

Britain became a major buyer of esparto grass, harvested around Carboneras and more locals relied on a growing fishing industry but in the early 20th Century work became so difficult that the majority living in the area moved to industrial centres in Spain and Europe.

Now with the introduction of different employers in the industrial sector and the creation of fish farms, the municipality has seen a growth in population as well as relative wealth.

Property prices started to increase at the turn of this century and perhaps the most infamous story surrounds the building of the unopened Algarrobico Hotel which is currently awaiting demolition.

Much to see and do

With much to see and do, including the annual Moors and Christians Festival,  Carboneras is an attractive and popular destination.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page


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