Spotlight on Sayalonga

Andalucian charm with Mediterranean views Image: Shutterstock/ Romet6

SAYALONGA offers a glimpse into traditional Andalucian life among stunning natural beauty. The village, named for its smooth riverbeds (‘Saya al-longa’ in Arabic), reflects its Moorish heritage through whitewashed houses and winding streets. The Plaza de la Constitución serves as the bustling heart, surrounded by cafes and the historic Iglesia de Santa Catalina, showcasing 16th-century Mudejar-style architecture.

Surrounded by olive and almond groves, Sayalonga boasts panoramic views of the Sierra Almijara mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. Hiking trails wind through vineyards producing Muscatel grapes, essential for the region’s sweet wine.

Local cuisine delights with Andalucian specialties like gazpacho and fresh seafood, complemented by local wines and sherries. Festivals such as the Noche del Vino in August celebrate the village’s cultural heritage with music, dance, and Muscatel wine.

Despite its historic charm, Sayalonga offers modern comforts with accommodations ranging from guesthouses to luxury hotels. Shops, supermarkets, and pharmacies ensure convenience for visitors.

Sayalonga invites travellers to explore its cobblestone streets, try the local food, and take part in its vibrant festivals. This village captures the essence of rural Andalucia, making it a top destination in the Axarquía region of Spain.

The Round Cemetary of Sayalonga

THE Round Cemetery of Sayalonga stands out as one of Spain’s few circular cemeteries, celebrated for its distinctive folk architecture. Located in the heart of Axarquía, it draws over 3,000 visitors annually, making it a prominent local monument.

At the entrance, visitors will find the Interpretation Centre of the Round Cemetery of Sayalonga. This centre provides insights into the cemetery’s history and the significance of its circular design. To reach the cemetery, follow signs throughout the village, guiding you to this unusual architectural structure.

While the Interpretation Centre remains closed for safety reasons, visitors can obtain the key from the Tourist Office to explore its exhibits. The cemetery itself offers a serene atmosphere in the middle of stunning surroundings, inviting visitors to appreciate its unique design and historical significance in the region.

This architectural gem not only serves as a place of remembrance but also as a testament to Sayalonga’s rich cultural heritage and its commitment to preserving unique local landmarks.

A Cultural Treasure Image: Shutterstock/ Pacoasen

International Vibes

SAYALONGA, with a population of approximately 1,647 residents (as per INE 2023), reflects a vibrant international community. Approximately 44.9 per cent of the population consists of foreign residents, highlighting the village’s cosmopolitan character.

The community is notably diverse, with significant numbers from the United Kingdom comprising 27.7 per cent and Germany at 26.2 per cent among the foreign residents. This international presence enriches Sayalonga creating a blend of traditions, languages, and perspectives.

From the cobblestone streets decorated with a range of flags to the multicultural events and culinary offerings, Sayalonga warmly welcomes visitors and residents from around the world. The village’s embrace of cultural diversity not only enhances its charm but also contributes to its inclusive and welcoming atmosphere, making it a unique destination in the Axarquía region of Spain.

A Cultural Melting Pot Image: Shutterstock/ Kevin Hellon

Night-time Biking

JOIN Sayalonga for an evening of adventure with their night biking tour at ‘Cuevas del Becerro Paraíso Starlight’ on Saturday, July 13 at 9:30 pm. Starting from Cuevas del Becerro Town Hall, cyclists will cover approximately 20 km of easy to moderate trails.

Hosted by Sayalonga Town Hall, this free event (excluding transportation) includes a complimentary t-shirt for participants. Essential equipment such as mountain bikes, bike lights or headlamps, and a water bottle are required.

During the ride, there will be a break for stargazing with telescopes, adding an extra dimension to the experience.

Experience the beauty of Cuevas del Becerro by night and enjoy the thrill of biking under the stars with Sayalonga. Register now through the link on the town hall’s Facebook page and don’t miss this unique opportunity!

Night BTT tour under stars Image: Shutterstock/ Roman Mikhailiuk

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!


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