Fiesta del Ajoblanco (Ajoblanco Festival). Almáchar. September. Unique Festival
This festival has been declared to be of Tourist Interest by the Provincial Council of Málaga.
Please check with the local Town Hall or Municipal Tourism Office for the festival date before planning any sightseeing activities.
Almáchar is set in the steep landscape of La Axarquía, surrounded by olive and almond trees, as well as gentle hills covered with vineyards. To be exact, it sits between the Borge and Almáchar rivers. Like most villages in this area, it is of Arabic origin, preserving the classic urban layout with steep, narrow streets. The town centre can be found at the top of its steep hills, winding streets intersecting and diverging in an intricately shaped Moorish pattern.
The hills are dotted with farmhouses, and most of the locals work on the vineyards. Nearly all homes have the traditional paseros (for raisins production), in which grapes are exposed to the sun and turned into raisins. When flooded, the riverbanks nearby become vegetable, citrus and fruit terraces leading up to the town entrance. This peculiar combination of landscapes creates a fascinating collage of colours and lights in the natural surroundings of Almáchar, where the Cascada del Forfe fountain, las Cabras quarter, and Plaza del Santo Cristo retrieve the purest essence of the Axarquía villages.
Local cuisine is another distinctive feature of this town, known for its ajoblanco recipe. This cold soup is an acclaimed Axarquía speciality. Originally from the Moorish cuisine, it was initially called Almond gazpacho because of its basic ingredient (almonds), although the later introduction of garlic (“ajo” in Spanish) turned it into the current ajoblanco.
It is such a popular dish in Almáchar's gastronomy that on the first Saturday of September the town plays host to a festival dedicated to this exquisite delicacy. During the event, thousands of litres of this delicious drink are served with muscat grapes and handed out to all visitors, as well as other local products such as wine and raisins.
The festival is of great importance for the town as it attracts hundreds of visitors. At dusk, a flamenco party starts and a great open-air celebration gives way to the celebration of the Noche de las Candelas, a large bonfire lighting up Almáchar until dawn. There is sangria all night long and, naturally, ajoblanco too.