If you are unimpressed by “risking your life” to visit the white villages of the southern Axarquia you should take a trip to Almachar. Situated just 14 kms from Velez Malaga and approached by a gently rising road that winds from the valley of the Almachar river through avocado orchards, vineyards and olive groves Almachar village retains the true feeling of Spain.Like many villages in the area it is of Arabic origin and is full of narrow winding streets and alleys. During the Moslem occupation Almachar, Cutar, El Borge and Moclinejo formed what were known as ”The Four Villages” which enjoyed the protection of the Comares Fortress.
Almachar has had a varied background starting as the home to herding families and then going into grape production. At the end of the 19th century it was renowned for the excellent quality of cloths that it manufactured and there were in excess of 100 workshops involved in the industry. Today however the grape reigns supreme and the village is known for its cultivation of muscatel grapes and raisins industry. Almachar is situation on the “Route of the Raisin” and an enjoyable day can be had following the 62.5 km route which takes you through villages and regions of the south-western area of the axarquia.
Wondering through the village you will find many interesting nooks and crannies. The church of St. Matthew is situated in Plaza Santo Cristo which is where you will also find the Raisin Museum which is dedicated to the history of the production of raisins and shows step by step, the complicated and difficult process.
There are many surprises in the village, behind the curtains of an ordinary look home is hidden the local mobile phone shop or if you look harder you will find a wonderful bazaar. The butcher's masquerades as a home complete with stripped blinds and a wonderful display of potted plants.
There are a number of fiestas celebrated in the village and plaques are put up each year to commemorate them.
With a relatively small expat community this village has retained all its Spanishness but is still close to the “bright lights” of the Costa.