Benamargosa, a charming hamlet tucked away in the valley of the river from which it derives its name, is a hidden treasure within the province of Malaga. Situated a mere 11 kilometres from Vélez-Málaga, it boasts a tranquil town centre characterised by narrow lanes, dazzling white façades, and vibrant flowerpots teeming with geraniums and carnations.
This picturesque village, with its traditional Andalusian architecture and cobblestone streets, is a living testament to the region’s rich history. Visitors can lose themselves in its labyrinthine streets, discovering charming and beautiful corners at every turn.
Beyond its architectural beauty, Benamargosa is renowned for its hospitality. The locals, with their warm welcome and kindness, make every visitor feel at home. Whether you’re savouring the delicious local cuisine in one of the village’s cosy restaurants or exploring the surroundings, the experience in Benamargosa is unforgettable.
While the origins of the name ‘Benamargosa’ continue to be enigmatic, the village itself is steeped in a rich tapestry of history. In more recent times, it has garnered the moniker ‘the little Gibraltar’, a testament to its pivotal role as a crucial centre for tobacco smuggling during the tumultuous period of the Spanish Civil War.
The historical landmarks of Benamargosa serve as enduring reminders of its storied past. The Church of Ntra. Sra. De la Encarnación, a majestic structure dating back to the late sixteenth century, stands as a testament to the village’s religious heritage. Another notable landmark is ‘La Ermita del Cementerio,’ constructed in 1839, which adds to the village’s historical charm.
The village’s history is not just confined to its buildings. The stories passed down through generations, the traditions upheld by its inhabitants, and the festivals celebrated with fervour all contribute to the rich cultural tapestry of Benamargosa. Each winding street and charming building has a tale to tell, making a visit to this village a journey through time. From its humble beginnings to its vibrant present, Benamargosa is a village that embraces its history while looking forward to the future.
Benamargosa, a picturesque village nestled in the valley of the river that bears its name, offers a plethora of tourist attractions. The charming town center, characterized by its narrow streets and vibrant flowerpots, is a true delight. Visitors can explore the area’s rich agricultural heritage, including vineyards, almond orchards, and olive groves in the mountainous regions. The village is also renowned for its pioneering role in tropical fruit cultivation within the La Axarquía administrative district.
In addition to its natural beauty, Benamargosa boasts several historical landmarks. The Church of Ntra. Sra. De la Encarnación, a majestic structure dating back to the late sixteenth century, and ‘La Ermita del Cementerio,’ constructed in 1839, provide a glimpse into the village’s rich history.
A short distance away, the ‘Alcazaba La Fortaleza de Velez Málaga’ is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. Situated in the nearby town of Vélez-Málaga, this fortress offers stunning views of the surrounding area and offers a captivating insight into the region’s past.
Ingenio of San Rafael
Located approximately one kilometer from the town center, on the right bank of the Benamargosa River and fed by the same Salto del Negro irrigation channel, you will find the San Rafael Sugar Mill. Constructed in the year 1900, it underwent a transformation in 1915 when a change of ownership led to its conversion into a flour mill. Although it has long ceased industrial operations, the building is currently in an acceptable state of preservation. Adjacent to the mill, there is also an unfinished structure, which should take into consideration the historical significance of the former sugar mill.
Benamargosa serves as a gateway to the stunning natural surroundings, beckoning visitors to immerse themselves in its lush landscapes. Hiking enthusiasts can embark on adventures in the nearby mountains, tracing trails that unveil breathtaking vistas of the valley below. For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, serene strolls along the riverbanks offer a tranquil way to savor the area’s natural beauty.
Moreover, Benamargosa is a vibrant hub of local traditions and lively celebrations. The cultural week and Corpus Day festivities in summer are truly spectacular, providing a window into the rich cultural tapestry of the village. These events feature traditional music, dance, and culinary delights, allowing visitors to fully embrace the local culture.
Furthermore, Benamargosa boasts a significant agricultural heritage. Visitors have the opportunity to tour local farms, where they can gain insights into the cultivation of tropical fruits like mangoes, avocados, lychees, and kiwis. This unique experience highlights the village’s pioneering role in tropical fruit cultivation within the La Axarquía administrative district.
Fairs and festivities
The festivities commence with the honoring of San Sebastián, the patron saint of Benamargosa, on the 20th of January. This event is a grand affair, characterized by religious processions and cultural events that unite the entire village in a spirit of harmony and festivity.
As the year unfolds, the village prepares for the Corpus Day festivities during the summer. These celebrations are a testament to the village’s profound traditions, featuring vibrant processions and a multitude of cultural events. The streets burst with music, dance, and joyous gatherings, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry of Benamargosa.
Furthermore, the village hosts a ‘Feria del Campo’ in April and a grand fair in the first week of August. These events, highlighted by lively performances and local cuisine, establish Benamargosa as a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic taste of Spanish culture.
- San Sebastián Day: Celebrated on the 20th of January, this event pays tribute to San Sebastián, the patron saint of Benamargosa. It is characterized by religious processions and cultural events that bring the entire village together in a spirit of harmony and celebration.
- Corpus Day: Held during the summer, these festivities are a testament to the village’s deep-rooted traditions. They feature lively processions and a multitude of cultural events, with the streets filled with music, dance, and joyous gatherings.
- Feria del Campo: This fair takes place on a Sunday in April and is a vibrant event featuring performances and local cuisine.
- August Fair: The grand fair is held in the first week of August and, like the Feria del Campo, is marked by lively performances and local cuisine.
These dates are generally consistent each year. However, specific dates for events like the Corpus Day festivities and the August Fair may vary slightly depending on the calendar year.
Benamargosa’s cuisine is a delightful fusion of traditional and contemporary flavors, celebrated for its connection to the rich agricultural heritage of the region.
One renowned specialty is ‘Ajoblanco,’ a variant of gazpacho that excludes tomatoes but incorporates ground almonds, often served with peeled grapes or raisins. This refreshing soup is a local staple, particularly enjoyed during the summer months.
Another crowd-pleaser is ‘Gazpacho con Bacalao,’ a hearty soup thickened with boiled potatoes, eggs, onions, garlic, oil, pepper, mayonnaise, and cod. It presents a unique twist on the traditional gazpacho, offering a rich and satisfying flavor profile.
‘Sopa de Tomate,’ a refreshing tomato soup, starts with a sauté of tomatoes, onions, garlic, and peppers. The addition of water, almonds, asparagus, and seafood creates a delightful blend of fresh ingredients that perfectly encapsulates the essence of Benamargosa’s cuisine.
The incorporation of tropical products, like avocado pears, adds a distinctive touch to the culinary experience. ‘Baty Cate’ stands out as a sweet and creamy avocado shake, brimming with vitamins. It’s made using cinnamon, ground avocado, sugar, and milk, showcasing the village’s pioneering role in tropical fruit cultivation within the La Axarquía administrative district.
To conclude a meal, the ‘Tortas de Aceite’ make for a delectable dessert. Crafted from flour, mataluva (a type of anise), fried oil, cinnamon, sugar, and fried almonds, these sweet treats offer a perfect ending to a Benamargosa dining experience.
From the hearty ‘Gazpachuelo’ to the refreshing ‘Ajoblanco’ and the unique ‘Baty Cate,’ Benamargosa’s cuisine promises a culinary journey unlike any other.
How to get to Benamargosa
Embarking on a journey to Benamargosa is a simple and straightforward experience. Nestled just 11 kilometres away from Vélez-Málaga, the village is conveniently accessible via both private and public transportation. Its strategic location near the coast makes it an ideal destination for day trips. Visitors can immerse themselves in the exploration of the stunning countryside, basking in the tranquil ambiance that the village offers. Whether you’re navigating winding mountain roads by car or traversing the scenic route via public transport, the journey to Benamargosa is as delightful as the destination itself.
Finally, remember that we provide cost-effective car hire in Malaga to cater to all your transportation needs. When planning your visit to Malaga, having your own vehicle allows you the freedom to explore not only this town but also other destinations in the region, reducing reliance on public transportation.