Málaga Province - Comares

The white hilltop village of Comares   © Michelle Chaplow
The white hilltop village of Comares

Comares

One of the highest white villages in Andalucía at 739 metres above sea level, Comares can be spied for miles around, rising high above the surrounding countryside and resembling a natural extension to the craggy rock face. First time visitors may still find the approach baffling in the fact that the village keeps disappearing from view as the windy country roads dip and curve. It has a population of about 1.500.

The journey from Málaga airport is less than an hour, while the nearest town Velez-Malaga and coastal resort - Torre del Mar  are half an hour away. 

Despite being breathtakingly pretty, Comares is often missed by tourists which is a shame as it is a very pleaseant place for a stroll and there are a number of interesting monuments to see. It is very tiidy e, and an exquisite small hotel on the main plaza. There are also two plazas, two bars, two supermarkets, a post office (open 13.00 to 13.30 Monday to Friday) and a bank.

Throughout the village, there are colourful ceramic plaques depicting Comares´ important place in history, which can be traced back to the third century BC. The village was one of the principle defensive bastions of Omar Ben Hafsun and during the early times of the Moorish caliphs in Cordoba, protected what are now the ruins of the local capital on the Mazmullar plateau, some four kilometres from the village and worth a visit.

HISTORY

The Moors built a fortress in Comares that was, together with las Benthomiz and Zalía, one of the three principle forts in the Axarquía. Two of the towers that reinforced the wall are still here, one of them next to the cemetery at the top of the village. It is thought that moorish rebel leader Omar Ben Hafun whose base was Bobastro frequented Comares castle during the rebellion of 912AD against the Calif in Cordoba. Comares was finally conquered by the Catholic Kings from the north in 1487.

Things to do

Comares has a zip line from the village to the hill opposite. It is located next to the Via Ferrata la Fuente Gorda to the north of the village. It is an exciting  436 metres long. It does not open on a regular basis. Cost of a ride is 15€ but a group of eight is needed. To enquire call +34 697 218 289.

Things to see

The village remains typically Moorish in its layout and design with narrow cobbled streets, interspersed with arches,  flanked with simple whitewashed houses. Park by the modern entrance arch to the village and walk up to the main square. Take a rest in Bar La Plaza before taking the 'village walk' following the route laid out by the blue ceramic foot prints. It takes about an hour. If you are short of time you can take a short cut back to the square missing out the castle. The square is open on one side and affords spectacular views. On the door of the town hall is a holder for leaflets and a tourist map of the village. if there are none left, take a photo of the ceramic wall map.   

Iglesia Nuestra Sñra de la Encarnacion.
The Parish Church
is 16th century with a beautiful coffered / stucco / moulded ceiling. It is recorded as dating form 1505.

Torre la Tajona
Old castle wall and cemetry. Pleasant to walk around and the views are, quite literally, incredible. From the south, rolling hills of olive and almond trees reach to the sea while, to the north, dramatic mountains rise up far into distance, like a bewitching lunar landscape which shifts and changes according to the light.

Arcos Arabes
Two of the arches in the village are thought to date back to medieval time.

Monument Al Fiesterero
Where alse would there be a mumument to the men and women who take part in fiestas. 

Ceramic panels
The story of the village and its monuments are told on 10 ceramic tile panels. 

Verdiales in Comares. © Michelle Chaplow
Comares leads the way in a local flamenco-like folk music called Verdiales. Plaza Los Verdiales is a homage to the genre.

The main industry in Comares is the production of olive oil, wine and almonds while, in the valley, esparto grass is grown for domestic and agricultural use.

 

Hotels in comares

Hotel Restaurante Atalaya Hotel Restaurante Atalaya

Hotel Restaurante Atalaya is a 10-minute walk from the centre of Comares. It offers a sun terrace, free Wi-Fi zone and free parking. Each heated room has a balcony and comes with a fan and TV. Breakfast is offered at Hotel Restaurante Atalaya for an additional cost.

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