Sayalonga

Town with a population of 1.200 inhabitants and which belongs to the administrative district of La Axarquía, is situated at 9 kilometres from the coast. Its town centre is composed of one main street around which intricate and winding street lets, typical of the area, are positioned. Some of them are so narrow (the street of La Alcuza) that on walking through, one’s elbows may brush both sides.

The area’s economy is practically kept going with the production of vine, although of late, tropical fruit plantations have been introduced. The historical origin of this town is confusing and, although its foundation is contributed to the Arabs, the etymology of its name is latin: saya- longa, which means “long tunic”. During the times of Arabic occupation in the Iberian Peninsula, what today is the sanctuary of “La Rabita” is built, in which, as from the Eleventh Century, warrior monks in order to defend the district were quartered. With the oncoming of Los Reyes Católicos, Sayalonga falls into Christian hands but when the town is exiled, its inhabitant join up with the Moorish rebellion which was totally crushed in the Battle of Frigiliana in 1569. The most significant places to be visited are the Church of Santa Caralina, of Mudejar style and built in the Sixteenth Century, the above mentioned Sanctuary of La Rabita and, a few kilometres from Sayalonga, the centre of Corumbela which appears to hang from and watch over a high hill and with a beautiful square on which its church, dedicated to Saint Peter, is built. Worthy of note for its peculiarity, the “Cementerio Redondo”, the only existing round cementery in the country. “El Día del Níspero”, celebrated in May, is one of the place´s most important feasts. The summer festivities are at the end of July and the Patron Saint of Sayalonga, “Nra. Sra. Del Rosario”, has her festivity in October. “La sopa cachorreña” is the town’s best known dish, although fried calabash, traditional Arabic dish, fried breadcrumbs with herring and grapes and calf fried in a garlic base are very recommendable.