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Markets

The Markets of Andalucia are a great pace to stock up on well priced, fresh fruit and vegetables. © Michelle Chaplow
The Markets of Andalucia are a great pace to stock up on well priced, fresh fruit and vegetables

Costa del Sol Markets

Street Markets | Flea Markets | Summer Markets | Medieval Markets

Markets (mercados) are a common sight in towns and villages throughout Costa del Sol are an essential part of local life largely unaffected by competition from supermarkets and hypermarkets. They are colourful, noisy and entertaining and an experience not to be missed, whether you plan to buy anything or not. 

Mercadillos - Most towns have markets on one day a week only (always the same days), while a few have daily fruit and vegetable markets from Mondays to Saturday usually just in the mornings. Market days are varied in coastal towns so they don't coincide.  

There are generally three kind of markets: indoor municipal markets often called 'mercardo de abastos',  permanent street markets and weekly open-air street markets that set up in each town on a weekday. 
 

Rastros - There are also Saturday or Sunday markets in some towns and 'rastros' or flea markets (or car boot sales) which are popular with tourists and a good place to pick up cheap second-hand English books, as well as household items.

Municipal markets

They are controlled by the town hall and are found in most towns. Markets usually operate from 9.00 am until 13.00 pm, although in some towns they occasionally open again on Fridays after siesta time. A variety of goods are commonly sold, including food, flowers, plants, clothes, shoes, ironmongery, crockery, hardware, linen, ceramics, cassettes, carpets, and leather goods. However food markets remain the most popular and are, without doubt, the best place to buy the freshest vegetables and fruit, particularly that which is in season. The stalls are grouped together more or less according to the types of food they offer.

Closest to the entrance are the butchers with meat hanging from hooks across the front of the stalls. Most of it is sold either as filete, sliced into thin steaks and priced according to its tenderness and position on the carcass, or in lumps for stewing.

The next group of stalls belong to the fish merchants. Depending on the season and what the boats have brought in, their counters will be piled with different types of clam, some finer and more expensive than others.

Beyond the fish stalls are the delicatessens and grocers with cheeses, York and smoked hams, olives, dried chickpeas, lentils, beans, salted pork, sausages, big circular drums of salted sardines and bacalao, a strong smelling salt cod eaten everywhere in Andalucia

Vegetable and fruit stalls deal in only three or four varieties, huge bunches of carrots with their fronds still attached to show their freshness, waxy sand-covered potatoes and big misshapen tomatoes which are sliced and served uncooked with olive oil, chopped garlic and rough salt. Others sell everything in season. The vegetable merchants may have broad beans, green beans and peas, cabbage and chard in winter, dark curling spinach, little tender-skinned marrows, green and red peppers, aubergines, orange chunks of pumpkin, yams, cucumbers and large purple onions, mild flavoured and sweet. The spice lady, an essential figure in every Andalucian market whatever its size, has a wooden trestle table brimming over with sacks of herbs. Coriander, marjoram, fennel, black peppercorn, cumin, thyme, rosemary, lavender, bay leaves, rough salt, sticks of cinnamon, expensive cloves, dried red peppers threaded on twine for flavouring stews, nutmeg and mace, shelled almonds for sweets, verbena for tea, and tiny boxes of precious saffron to colour paella.

Street Markets - Mercadillos

Following is a schedule of some of the weekly street markets that take place in the towns on the Costa del Sol:

Monday

  • Marbella - Recinto Ferial (Fairground Site) La Albarizes on the east side of town.
  • Malaga -  Campaniallas in Barriada de Luz district
  • Torrox - Avenida Mediterraneo
  • Alora - Calle Carmona

Tuesday

  • Fuengirola - Recinto Ferial.
  • Manilva - Castillo de la Duquesa
  • Nerja - Calle Antonio Ferrandis
  • Churriana, Malaga  - Puerto de la Torre

Wednesday

  • Estepona - Calle Carmen Laforet off Avenida Puerto del Mar.
  • Istan
  • Alhaurin de la Torre - old town.
  • La Campana, Nueva Andalucia, Marbella - Organic 
  • Malaga - Huellin district
  • Malaga - de la Paz district
  • La Cala de Mijas
  • Rincon de la Victoria - Avenida Cotomar
  • Benalmadena - Avenida rocio Jurado near Parque de la Paloma

Thursday

  • San Pedro - by sports pavilion.
  • Torremolinos - El Calvario near Town Hall.
  • Alhaurin El Grande - by Guardia Civil in town centre.
  • Malaga - Parque Juan Jurado Lorca
  • Velez-Malaga - Calle Herreras
  • Riviera, Mijas Costa - Avenida Polaris

Friday

  • Arroyo de la Miel, Benalmadena - by Tivoli World.
  • Manilva - near the football ground
  • Casares - Calle de la Carrera

Saturday

  • Marbella - Ecological Market, Parque de la Alameda, 1st Saturday of the month (Morning)
  • Coin - Organic Market, Plaza Villa de Coin, every 3rd Saturday of the month (Morning)
  • Coin - Weekly Market In local Feria ground
  • Mijas Costa - Las Lagunas

Flea Markets or Car boot Sales

These markets are of a more modern creation. Some like the Sabanillas Sunday car boot sale grew out of a few stalls twenty years ago. They tend to sell antiques and souvenirs, leather goods, arts, crafts, paintings, sunglasses leather goods, CD's and fashion accessories. We also include Ecological food produc markets. Times generally about 10.00 to 14.00 or as specified.

Saturday

  • Nueva Andalucia - Centro Plaza Shopping Centre and Marbell Arena (was Bullring) opposite Puerto Banus
  • Mijas Costa - Las Lagunas near Euromarket
  • Fuengirola - Large Car boot sale in the recinto ferial, Avenida Padre Jesus Cautive.
  • Puerto Banus - Artisan Market, Plaza de Antonio Banderas (Summer)
  • Malaga - El Palo district
  • Malaga - Huellin district

Sunday

  • Sotogrande - Upmarket rastro in the port
  • Sabinillas, Manilva - Popular car boot sale at Recinto Ferial. Carretera los Baños
  • Estepona - Market in the port
  • Estepona - Rastro in the Plaza de Toros
  • Arroyo de la Miel - At Tivoli World
  • Torremolinos - Car boot sale in car park of football ground and bullring.
  • Fuengerola - Ecological Market, Puerto Deportivo 
  • Marbella - Puerto Deportivo (12.00 to 18.00)
  • Benahavis - Esplanade de la Ermita 
  • Mijas - La Lagunas, Poligon industrial San Rafael.
  • La Cala de Mijas - Ecological Market in Bulevar de La Cala de Mijas (last Sunday)
  • Calypso, Mijas Costa - Rastro in car park of comercial centre Valdepinos
  • Malaga - Large rastro in the recinto ferial
  • Malaga - El Zoco de Muelle Uno (First three Sundays of the month)
  • Malaga -Charity market in the central Alameda (first Sunday)
  • Malaga - Paseo Maritimo de la Malagueta 
  • Malaga - Plaza de la Merced (fourth sunday)
  • Coin - Car boot sale in the car park of La Trocha comercial center.
  • Nerja - Calle Gaviota
  • Almuñeca (Costa tropical) Avenida Feneca
  • Gibraltar - Charity car boot sale in Safeway Car Park Westside.
  • Ronda - General market in recinto ferial on Carratera de Burgo.

Summer Tourist Markets

The following markets are open every day in the summer and often go late into the evening with entertainment and food. They tend to sell unique art objects, handmade jewellery, ceramics and local crafts. Taking place morning and into the afternoon

  • Puerto Banus - Plaza Antonio Banderas
  • Sotogrande - Rivera del Marlín, Sotogrande Marina
  • Malaga - Baños de Carmen (evenings)

Medieval Market

Andalucia Medieval organises medieval markets and activities throughout Andalucia. The markets take place in an area decorated in a medieval style and include lots of stalls selling hand crafts and food. There are also musical and theatrical performances throughout the day and plenty of actvities for children.  The medieval market takes place from time to time usually in the summer. Look out for local posters.

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