MORAGA ON THE BEACH IN MARBELLa
In Marbella at various points along the beach you can find a number of fishing boats filled with sand which are used for moragas.
A moraga is a night-time barbeque party, usually held on the beach. It is traditional to Malaga province, but is also found in other parts of Andalucia. A moraga is differentiated from a barbeque in that the food being cooked is espeto (stick) of sardines.
The party of festival has evolved over time. In the 19th century, it was traditionally held after catching fish in the shallow waters with small nets. The fish would be roasted on small wood fires made on the beach and the feast would be accompanied by an evening of evening of guitar music, singing and dancing.
Moragas still take place, but without the fishing, a simple fun day where wood roasted sardines, as well as other types of fish such as mackerel, are enjoyed.
The traditional of roasting of sardines on wooden sticks is a skilled operation. Manychiringuitos on the Malaga (and Andalucia) coast have been using old fishing boats filled with sand as the base for an espeto for the past 30 years. The boats are the ideal height and are painted in vivid colours to look traditional.
Marbella Town Hall (as well as Estepona and Fuengirola and others) have set up boats for residents and tourist to hold their own moragas. They are not actually wooden fishing boats, but steel skips painted to look like boats.
Zona 1: Zona de Moraga - Playa San Pedro (Five boats 1-5, three places on each A-C)
Zona 2: Zona de Moraga - Playa Nueva Andalucía (Two boats, two places on each, #1 - #4)
Zona 3: Zona de Moraga - Playa del Cable (Twelve boats, two places on each, #1 - #24)
Zona 4: Zona de Moraga - Playa de la Víbora (Two boats, two places on each, #1 - #4)
The four zones are available in the summer from 1 June to 15 October from 20.00hrs.
The moraga must finish at 02.00 and you must tidy up and put all rubbish in the bin provided.
In the winter from 16th October to 31 May Zone 1 and Zone 3 are also available from 12.00 to 20.00 hrs
HOW TO RESERVE A MORAGA
If you want to reserve a moraga for yourself and your friends, go to Oficinas de Atención del Ciudadano (OAC) of the town hall in Orange Square, Marbella or one of the Teniente de Ayuntamiento (sub district town hall office) in San Pedro Plaza de la Iglesia and fill in the formulario de solicitud de Moraga (Moraga request form). You will need a present your ID or passport and know the date when you want to hold your moraga. Dates available from one day to one months notice. There is no fee.
Tips for holding a moraga
Remember you will need to bring along all you own facilities (fuel, espeto, chairs, tables etc) as only the sand bed on the mock boat is provided. Most people start their moraga in the late afternoon as the sun is setting. It can be quite a party atmosphere especially in Marbella where 'boats' are shared.
Do not underestimate the things that you will need to carry down to the beach for a successful moraga. Folding tables, beach chairs, firewood or charcoal, bricks to support a grill, the metal grill itself, food to cook plus salads and bread, serving plates, paper plates and cutlery, plastic cups (not glasses), a cool box full of drinks and ice. Plus beach towels and shawls for when it gets cooler later on.
Have a great moraga!