The history of Almuñécar begins in 1500 B.C., with the presence of the Argaric culture of the Bronze Age. With the passage of time, the municipality has been an enclave coveted by numerous settlers since the dawn of history.
At the end of the 9th century, the Phoenicians colonised the territory, calling it Ex. Later, in the 3rd century BC, the Romans named the flourishing town Sexi Firmum Iulium, which exported salted fish and the prized garum (pasta made with fish viscera) to the entire empire.
The Laurita Necropolis and the Puente de Noy Necropolis testify to its Phoenician-Punic past, while from the Roman period monuments such as the imposing Aqueduct, the Columbariums of La Torre del Monje and La Albina, the Salazones Factory and the Seven Palaces Cave are preserved. In addition, the Arabs have left in the town an imprint impossible to erase, as is the current name of the municipality, which comes from the Arabic name Al-Munekab (fortress on the hill). Among the narrow and intricate streets of the old town, you can still breathe the essence of the Andalusian Almuñécar, whose inhabitants witnessed the landing of Abderramán I, founder of the Emirate Umayyad in 755. The watchtowers that mark the sexitan coast and the Castle of San Miguel that corroborates the population are inheritance of the almost eight hundred years of Muslim presence in the area.
Finally, the Christians built the Church of La Encarnación and the Pilar de la Calle Real. In the mid-nineteenth century was built the Palacete de La Najarra and more recently the sculptures that beautify the population, among others, the Monument to Abderramán I, the Monument to the Phoenicians or the Puerta de Almuñécar in honor of Blas Infante.
Along 19 km of coastline, Almuñécar has beaches for all tastes and public: urban beaches, coves between cliffs, gravel beaches, beaches of grey and black sand, naturist beaches. The beaches located next to the population centres of La Herradura, Almuñécar, Velilla and Taramay are equipped with a wide range of accessibility, sanitary and surveillance services. Some of them have been awarded the Blue Flag on numerous occasions. There are also numerous beaches between cliffs, far away from population centres with easy access on foot, others are charming coves very much in demand by the visitor. All of them are recommended for bathing at any time of the year. There are 26 beaches on the Almuñécar coastline. We highlight some of them (related according to their geographical situation from West to East):
Almuñécar and La Herradura have 19 km of coastline and thanks to the variety of the relief, alternate urban beaches and easy access with small sandy coves framed between cliffs or rocks ideal for example, for lovers of scuba diving, underwater photography, Snorkel … The warm and crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea are the perfect setting for the practice of many water activities such as kitesurfing, padelsurfing, windsurfing, sailing, jet skis …
If you prefer a boat trip, we recommend contacting some of the companies that organize excursions by the sea and visit the Marina del Este, designed in the purest Mediterranean style that stands out for its welcoming appearance.
If you are a lover of botany and fauna, you are in luck because at the same time that you practice hiking, cycling or horseback riding you can see native vegetation and acclimatized composed for example of oleanders, reeds, reeds, palm hearts, lentiscos and olive trees, acebuches, almonds, figs or ricins (a species introduced in Roman times that was exploited together with the famous “Garum”), also used as medicinal remedies especially in the 60s, and of course a great variety of subtropical such as the Bird of Paradise with its spectacular flowering, mango, papaya, babaco, guava, cherimoya and avocado.If your thing is to go by air, and get to know Almuñécar and La Herradura from a bird’s eye view, we have several ideal starting points for paragliding, hang gliding or paratrike… if you haven’t made up your mind yet, you can always try a tandem!
During the day we propose you to visit some of the leisure centres, such as the Nature Park “Peña Escrita”, the Mediterranean Fauna Aquarium, the Botanical Park of El Majuelo, the Ornithological Park “Loro Sexi” and if your visit is during the summer do not miss the opportunity to go to the “Aquatropic”, a salt water aquatic park ideal for families to enjoy the delights of young and old with its slides, wave pool, waterfall lake or kamikaze…
If you come with the desire to relax, Almuñécar y La Herradura has several spa facilities that offer various aesthetic and relaxing treatments to combat stress, although you can also clear your mind by strolling through the centre, where you will find shops and boutiques. If you like to go to the flea markets, they are held here on Fridays; and on Sundays we have the second-hand flea market.
You can’t visit us and not go out to taste our exquisite gastronomy based in great part on tropical fruits and sea products.
In Almuñécar there is a varied range of establishments, for example restaurants with traditional cuisine, others with more international or creative cuisine, chiringuitos where you will find fried fish or sardine spits, tapas bars …
Among the many legends that surround Almuñécar, two of them stand out: The mermaid and the well.
Legend of the mermaid:
The elders tell us that they heard from their ancestors that in Almuñécar lived a woman named Josefina who was widowed young, sick and with only one beautiful daughter by the name of Marina. Marina grew up resigned and dedicated in body and soul to the care of her beloved mother. Her only distraction, in the little time she had left, was to go down to the beach and sit there every night.
She, of incomparable beauty, rejected each and every one of the pretenders of the village with the excuse of her multiple chores for her mother Josefina. Her nocturnal exits towards the sea every night made her taciturn and thinking, her character was reserved and mystical. Marina listened to the murmur of the breaking of the waves and observed the horizon, where the light of the moon reflected on the sea of silver stars.
People considered her crazy and she even reached her mother’s ears, until one day she asked her what was the reason for her visits to the beach, to which Marina replied that she was going to meet her beloved, the sea. Josefina, surprised, sentenced that if she continued like this, she would end up becoming a fish.
Shortly afterwards, Josefina died and Marina, after burying her mother, went down to the beach on a moonlit night, undressed and got into the sea, from which she never came out again.
It is said that every full moon night in June, the silhouette of a young and beautiful mermaid is seen on the Rock, lying looking at the horizon and shortly afterwards disappearing into the water. Without a doubt, Marina merged with her beloved sea.
Legend of the well:
Before the Spanish Civil War, radicals looted and burned churches, wiping out all the images. A woman who was aware of what had happened, decided to keep and keep safe the face and hands of the Virgen de los Dolores inside a well. After a few years and after the Civil War, some women found these pieces. Thanks to the woman who hid them, the relic of this Virgin was kept safe.
- Festivals of the district of San Sebastián in honour of his Patron – 20 January.
- Fiestas patronales in honor of San José (La Herradura) – 19 de marzo.
- Declared Easter dof Tourist-Cultural Interest – Variable festivity.
May Crosses – 3
- Pilgrimage of the Virgin of Fatima in the district of El Cerval – 13th May.
- Pilgrimage of San Isidro Labrador – Sunday closest to 15 May
Corpus Christi – Variable party.
- Night and day of San Juan – 23 y 24 of june.
- Taramay neighbourhood festivals – first weekend in July.
Festivals of the district of Los Marinos in honor of Our Lady of Carmen (patroness of sailors) – 16 of July
- Patron celebrations in honour of Our Lady of the Ancient Crowned,patron saint of the city – from 9 to 15 August.
- Celebrations in honour of San Miguel (patron saint of the district of San Miguel) – 29 de september.
- Celebrations in honour of the Virgin Mother in the Torrecuevas neighbourhood – 12 October.
- Festivals in the neighborhood of Carrera de la Concepción in honor of the Inmaculada Concepción – 8 of december.