Almeria’s hidden treasures

If you go into Neja, which is on the coast by Almeria, turn inland follow the windy road for 30 minutes you come to Competa.  As you get close to it there is a viewpoint, with this fantastic, whitewashed town built into the hillside on your right, and spectacular views through the valley to the sea on the left.

The town of Competa is in a stunningly beautiful setting and as you drive up to the village it has the feeling of a remote Spanish village that you would have found many years ago, nestling on the hillside.

Enjoy wandering around this pretty whitewashed town with its labyrinth of narrow, winding streets, with authentic Spanish shops, dotted here and there. The town even has a charity shop where you can source a bargain. The feel of the village is one of tranquillity, it has lots of charm with flowers growing everywhere

There are many cafes and restaurants, most have amazing views overlooking the neighbouring hills and valley down to the sea, extraordinarily beautiful.  At night time, because there are no lights from cities or towns nearby, the sky is filled with a trillion sparkling bright stars, a lovely sight to behold.

The town is in the region called Axarquia, Sierra de Almijara. It dates back to the Moorish times and is 638 meters above sea level, 53k from Malaga and a 30-minute drive from Nerja.

The main centre is the Plaza Alimjara, with its bustling bars and is dominated by the magnificent 16th century Church, Nuestra Senora De La Asuncion, also known as the Cathedral of Axarquia.

The church for this small town is one of the most awe-inspiring I have ever seen.  I cannot believe why a small village like Competa would have such a breath-taking church.  I am not talking about the outside, which is quaint but nothing different, but when you step inside,  for me it took my breath away, it literally is breath-taking with masterpieces of the painter Francisco Hernandez.

The church for a town of this size is awe-inspiring, the money that must have been spent making this church into a stunningly, lovely place of worship, where did it come from?

On one side of the outside of the church there are a series of ceramic mosaics depicting the history of the town and the 800-year Moorish domination of Competa.

There is a Museum of Artes and Traditions, on display are many old tools, costumes, art works and many more articles related to Competa.  Also, the Museum features a photo archive of the town’s heritage.

There are many walks from the town of the nearby countryside, where magnificent views will be plentiful.

There are a couple of small hotels in the village and a vast array of holiday homes to rent in the town and in the countryside.

After a couple of days lets venture on down the valley towards the sea.  Here you can pass several small villages and see the beautiful landscape altering as you go down the valley.

On the coast about 40 minutes from Competa is a Spanish seaside town, Torre Del Mar.

It has a superb wide sandy beach, which every morning has different picture patterns left in the sand made by the Council Tractors.

During the summer there are water sports, two outdoor pools, padel, squash, and tennis, and there is golf nearby.  Torre del Mar is a very flat area so easy to get about walking and bike hire is available. There is a long promenade around 4k with multiple cafes and restaurants. The specialities are roasted sardines.  There are small boats filled with sand and wood and they cook the sardines over it, these are all along on the beach in front of the cafes. It has an old disused lighthouse on the promenade, which has been refurbished and stands proudly in its blue and white stripes

The resort is very much tailored for the Spanish as it seems to have kept this gem of a seaside town a secret.  It has it all though, water park, lots of activities for the day, lovely beach sparkling sea and plenty of nightlife.

If you are interested in sightseeing, you could catch a tram to the nearby town of Velez Malaga which offers more in the way of culture and sights.

In Torre Del Mar there are plenty of good shops if you wanted to do some shopping, well known shops and there is also a huge shopping mall close by.

Torre Del Mar and Competa are two completely different areas, offering so much to do and see, without having to be amongst hoardes of people, well worth visiting.

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