|Ruta del Sol y del Vino, the route of Sun and Wine|
On the Ruta del Sol y del Vino, Algarrobo is divided into two parts, one inland and the other coastal, located 3 km away from each other. The inland urban town is usually referred to as "Algarrobo Pueblo", and the coastal town "Algarrobo Costa". It is named after the algarrobo (carob) tree, with long, dark (when ripe) pods; carob is used as a sweetener.
The inland nucleus, located on El Ejido's hillside, is considered the main centre, with paths of narrow, steep winding streets which show its Arab origins. The coastal part of the town is more modern, and boasts two magnificent beaches joined by a bridge and a seafront promenade.
From an artistic and architectural standpoint, Algarrobo has one of the western world's most important Phoenician archaeological sites. The Necropolis de Trayamar is filled with the best-preserved tombs from this era in the western Mediterranean, where artefacts dating from the seventh century BC have been found. Jewellery and other pieces are now in the Museo Arqueológico Provincial de Málaga, along with a scale reconstruction of the tomb.
Another interesting archaeological site, where early evidence of human settlement was unearthed, is the Morro de Mezquitilla, from the third millennium BC. Remains dating from the Bronze Age have also been found and, according to research by the Instituto Arqueológico Alemán de Madrid, there is also evidence of Phoenician and Roman settlements.
More recent monuments include the Ermita de San Sebastián, at the highest point of the town - the top of the Ejido hill, where you get a panoramic view all the way down to the coast; the 16th-century church of Santa Anabin the town centre; the small chapel of the Virgen de la Angustias situated at the town's exit and the two watch towers; the Torre Ladeada (from Muslim times, also known as the Torre del Mar) and the Torre Derecha (a military fort from the 16th century).
The most famous element of Algarrobian gastronomy is the famous Torta de Algarroba (cake with carob, almond and lemon peel). Tortas de aceite (olive oil biscuits) show the town's Arabic heritage, and have been handmade since 1953. Other local produce includes dried fruits, such as figs, raisins and almonds, and traditionally made sweet wine. You can also enjoy typical Axarquia dishes like chivo en salsa (goat in sauce), ajoblanco (cold soup with olives and garlic), potaje algarrabeño and potaje de hinojos (fennel soup). Delicious grilled sardines are found at beachside restaurants in Algarrobo Costa.
August is the ideal month to see the local fiestas. The town's patron saint, San Sebastian, is honoured during the second fortnight; on the penultimate weekend, coinciding with the Feria de la Mezquitilla, the procession of the Virgen de Fátima takes place; and at the end of August is the Festival Folklórico with local, national and international dance groups taking part. On 15 May is the Fiesta del Turista and on 20 January the Fiesta de San Sebastián is held.
Algarrobo is located 32km east of Malaga city, just off the E15/A7 and 8km from Velez-Malaga. Algarrobo Costa is on the N340 coast road.