Nunca conoceríamos del todo Mojácar sino hablamos de sus personajes. De aquellos que un día abandonaron sus ciudades y sus países para acariciar esa libertad que el nombre de Mojácar les aseguraba. Ellos, más altos y más rubios que los mojaqueros de nacimiento se convirtieron enseguida en referencia de un modo de vida que rápidamente dio la vuelta al mundo entre la élite del “buen vivir” y del arte.
En un lejano pueblo de la provincia de Almería comenzaron a convivir una escasa población de andaluces agricultores con pintores, escritores, pianistas e incluso con el único torero británico que se conozca.
Personajes que vivieron el descubrimiento de Mojácar allá por los años 60 y que hoy, componen sin duda la imagen del recuerdo más cercano y no por ello menos mítico.
Frederick Mooney (Fritz). Win Wells, Henry Higgins, Paul Beckett. William Napier… enterrados en el cementerio de Mojácar, donde hoy descansan en paz. bajo el mismo sol y la misma energía que un día les atrajo aquí.
Pero hagamos memoria. Henry Higgins, el primer torero británico y quizás el último. Su primer padrino fue Brian Epstein de Los Beatles, Henry, de madre colombiana, estudió el difícil arte del toreo en España y tomó la alternativa en la Plaza de Fuengirola de manos de Antonio Ordóñez. En sus carteles aparecía bajo el nombre de Enrique Cañadas y dieron la vuelta a diversos lugares de nuestra geografía, al igual que su libro “How to be a Matador”. Dejó el arte del toreo para dedicarse a la representación de productos de importación, y finalmente, amante de las actividades de riesgo, conoció la muerte en Mojácar al precipitarse en un ala delta.
Frente a él, en el cementerio Mojaquero, en la zona que aquí llaman “de los ingleses” encontramos a Fritz, el prodigioso pintor Neoyorquino que de pequeño vivió en Hawaii, hippie y anárquico, médico y delineante, que no sólo estuvo en la Guerra de Corea como boina verde, sino que llegó al grado de teniente. Vivió en Camboya y Tailandia. Alguien a quien todos conocen muy bien en Mojácar. Íntimo amigo de Bienvenida, y a quien le contaba que tenia pinturas en el Museo de Arte Moderno de Nueva York y en el Banco de América, aunque Frederick ó Fritz Mooney raramente firmaba sus cuadros.
This enthralling hillside pueblo, with its jumble of narrow cobbled streets, both attracts and charms visitors all year round.
The civil war and post war periods plunged Mojacar into further depression, and as recently as the 1960s Mojacar still had no running water, electricity or telephone lines.
It was around this time that things started to turn around for Mojacar, an enthusiastic mayor, Mr Jacinto began offering free plots of land to people who would restore the ruined houses. He provided assistance and encouragement for new settlers welcoming all kinds of intellectuals, artists, journalists and bohemians who were enthralled by Mojacars unique location, light and beaches. Village houses were renovated and whitewashed, with beautifications and improvements remaining loyal to the past. On account of the now growing popularity of the village building works progressed to the construction of new residential developments and hotels along side the beaches, and thus the resort of Mojacar Playa was born.
The Indalo Man talisman, a stick figure with an arch over his head, seen on jewellery, key fobs, t-shirts, and embellishing the frontage of many local businesses and homes, is recognised as the village good luck symbol as well as the adopted emblem of Almeria province. It was also the insignia used by the Indaliano Movement of Mediterranean Art, based in Mojacar and founded by the Almerian painter Jesus de Perceval in the 1940s. Its heritage has links to the prehistoric painted cave markings of Cueva de los Letreros in the Sierra Maria natural park in the north of the province.
Mojacar village guided tour
The lower pueblo marks the starting point of this guided tour, at this point there are numerous cafes, bars, and trinket shops, with the option to follow the road on the steep climb to the main part of the village or take a detour, to the right, to the village fountain and Centro de Arte, Art Centre.
La Fuente Moro, Mojacars fountain, has been a vital water source to the village for centuries, in Moorish times it was the centre of the Mojaquero social life, even now residents still use the water for drinking by filling up their plastic water bottles in a weekly ritual. An important part of Mojacars history, the significant peaceful surrender of the Moorish village to the Catholic Kings, is written on a commemorative plaque situated above the twelve water spouts.
On leaving the fountain the main road continues up and around the outskirts of the pueblo offering access to the main square, Plaza Nueva, the penultimate destination of this route. However, following the map and cutting through the village, by taking the first or second available pathway to the left, leads to the original city entrance via Plaza Flores in the old Jewish quarter.
Puerta de la Ciudad also known as Puerta de la Almedina, is the old city gateway, dating back to the 15th century, the archway proudly displays the Mojacar coat of arms and the inscription of Puerta de la Ciudad, doorway to the city, in both Spanish and Arabic.
After passing under the archway the next port of call is the main street of Calle de Enmedio, home to the Ayuntamiento de Mojacar, the town hall building, and its pretty plaza, a gathering spot for the locals, the plaza cafe bar utilises the square as its outside seating area, daytime shade is provided by a magnificent old tree and subtle lighting creates a special evening atmosphere.
Across from the town hall a narrow stairway ascends to the Plaza del Parterre, now a beautifully maintained square decorated with numerous plants and flowers, it was once the location of the old Arab cemetery and is situated by the side of the church.
The church itself, Iglesia Santa Maria, holds a commanding presence, its fortress like structure serves as a reminder of times gone by. As does the Mojaqueras statue, it stands in the square at the church entrance, a marble memorial to the village women of Mojacar and a representation of their typical dress and traditional role of water carrier. The female statue expertly covers her face with her shawl, held in place by her teeth, while she carries a pitcher of water on her head.
From here, a left turn affords access to Plaza Fronton and the Tourist Information Centre, turning right, along Alcalde Jacinto, leads to Plaza Nueva, the main square of the village, which is always buzzing with sightseers and shoppers. Many of the shops, bars, cafes and restaurants are situated in the cobbled streets surrounding the main square and along and around Calle de Enmedio. Mirador de la Plaza Nueva, the platform on the edge of the plaza, presents amazing views down to the valley below as well as a place to sit and relax, sample some local refreshments and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.
One final place of interest, signposted from Plaza Nueva, is the Mirador del Castillo, a steep climb, up yet more cobbled walkways, leads to the viewing point at the highest point of the village, from where there are magnificent views of Mojacars coastline and the Mediterranean sea.
Exclusive Airport Shuttles provide shuttle bus services and private transfers to and from Almería, Alicante and Murcia airports to the resorts of Mojacar, Garrucha, Vera Playa and surrounding towns. The Almería service meets all flights from the UK and Ireland as well as selected European and internal flights. The Alicante and Murcia scheduled services run at specific times for departures and arrivals. All of our buses stop at dedicated pick up and drop off points.
Things To Do in Mojácar
The mountain village of Mojácar, is located in the south eastern province of Almería in Andalusia, behind the Cabrera mountain range. The village has been the focal point of many writers and artists over the centuries that were attracted by the white-washed houses and cobbled streets that overlook several miles of sandy beach known as Mojácar Playa. This sandy beach resort offers activities such as sailing, fishing and a variety of watersports and is the modern counterpart to the more traditional Mojácar village, although the two areas are just 2km apart. Mojácar enjoys warm temperatures year round with very little rainfall.
Things To Do in Mojácar
• Festivities of San Agustin: Mojácar fiestas in honour of its patron saint with evening celebrations, sports and a procession from the fountain to the church.
• Mojácar Street Market: Spanish housewives and tourists flock here on Wednesday mornings to shop for everyday items and speciality goods.
• Golf: A variety of quality 18-hole courses are within easy reach of Mojácar. The Marina Golf Mojácar is adjacent to the sea and combines flat fairways with mountainside terrain. Alternatively, try Almería’s Desert Springs course which was designed by Peter McEvoy and incorporates water features, lush fairways and harsh desert terrain.
• The Badlands of Almería: Visit Almería's arid hinterland that attracted Hollywood moviemakers to film spaghetti westerns such as Fistful of Dollars. It’s a family day out where Wild-West shoot-outs and can-can shows are part of the entertainment.
• Troglodyte Villages: See where modern day cave dwellers have made some extraordinary homes by burrowing into the soft rock.
• Granada and the Alhambra Palace: This Moorish city is just an hour and a half’s drive away.
• Carnival: This pagan festival takes place before Lent. It is a colourful, musical extravaganza where the streets are full of people wearing costumes and singing songs.
• The Festival of the Moors and Christians: Celebrating the heroic deeds of locals in the fight between the Moors and Christians, everyone joins in Mojácar’s most important fiesta.
When to go to Mojácar
Mojácar offers visitors a pleasant all year round climate. The summer is especially popular with holidaymakers as the temperature averages around 25°C, making it perfect for both beach activities and sightseeing. Mojácar is also popular in winter when temperatures average a pleasant 12°C.
• Nearest Airports: Almería (80km, less than 1 hours drive).
• Local Transport: The local Yellow Bus Service offers regular buses in and out of the surrounding areas.
• Currency: EUR
• Language: Castilian Spanish
• Religion: Christianity