What to do in Alhaurin de la Torre
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Alhaurin de la Torre is a town nestled on the slopes of the Sierra de Mijas. As it is only 8.8 km West of Malaga Airport, it won't be hard for you to reach the place. The town is officially part of the Malaga Metropolitan Area but is more associated locally to the comarca of Valle del Guadalhorce.
Being close to Malaga, the provincial capital, but far enough from all the hustle and bustle has made Alhaurin de la Torre a favourite residential area. As such, you can find lots of housing estates and villas here. The rapid influx of residents has quickly eroded ancient structures in order to give way to residential and commercial establishments.
Although, when compared to the number of historical structures and ancient architectures that once stood here before, only a few remain standing, there are still some notable places worth visiting. Among them are the Iglesia de San Sebastian, the Ermita de San Francisco de Paula "El Almarillo", the Ermita del Santo Cristo del Cardon, and the Casa Refugio de Torrijos.
The original residents of Alhaurin de la Torre used to rely on agriculture as their primary source of income, that despite the rapid modernization of the area, you can still find large tracks of land with various plants and animals around the place.
Its gardens and parks are dotted with jasmines, geraniums, roses, and other flowers. Farms are inhabited by chickens, goats, horses, dogs, and sheep, while the nearby forested areas, which are covered with pine, carob, and olive trees, are preyed upon by hawks and foxes.
Since Alhaurin de la Torre is near the Mediterranean, its days are mostly sunny. Expect hot sunny winters and mild, snow-less winters. However, snow can sometimes fall in the neighbouring mountains.
There are numerous fiestas and other cultural celebrations within the year. This includes the Carnival of February, Semana Santa of March, Festival Flamenco Torre del Cante of June, and Mercado Medieval of August.
If you're looking for the nearest place where you can have a quick Mediterranean tour upon arriving at the Malaga Airport, then the town of Alhaurin de la Torre comes highly recommended.
History of Alhaurin de la Torre
If you compare the present role of Alhaurin de la Torre with its role in the past, there is a striking similarity. Just like the Alhaurin de la Torre of today, this town was once used by Phoenicians, the oldest known formal settlers in the region, as a place of residence.
Basically, the Phoenicians who built the oldest factories in Malaga and Cartama sometime in 1,000-800 B.C., chose to settle in the environs of Alhaurin de la Torre. The settlers were deeply involved in mining, and there are even remnants of extracted copper, lead, graphite and iron in the area.
When the Romans took over, they renamed the place to Lauro then Lauro Vetus. Uncovered artefacts indicate that the Roman settlers were involved in masonry. Other archaeological finds included coins, pottery, burial grounds, and mosaics.
Some historians believe this is the same place where fugitives from the epic Battle of Munda-Betic sought refuge and beheaded supporters of Julius Caesar. The Battle of Munda is believed to be the biggest battle Julius Caesar ever fought and won.
Like most of the towns in Malaga, Alhaurin de la Torre was once under Moslem rule. The Moors came in the 10th Century and in the centuries that followed, the places in which they dwelt prospered. Aside from their homes, the Moors built farmhouses, mosques and watchtowers (Torre is a Spanish word that means 'tower').
Remnants of a farmhouse and a nearby watchtower are among the scarce vestiges of the Moorish occupation.
In the late 1480's, Christian forces reconquered the region and gave the town its present name. Majority of the Moorish structures and architecture were demolished and replaced with Christian ones. Some of these structures remain standing up to this day.
One of them is the Iglesia de San Sebastian, which was built over a mosque (as was common practice in those days) in 1505. The church was destroyed by a strong earhquake in 1680. What you'll see these days is actually the reconstructed version.
It was during these years that many of the old fruit and citrus trees were planted. Mills for processing wheat and flour were also put up. In the farmlands, water was tapped from the nearby streams and canals were built to divert them.
Monuments and Museums in Alhaurin de la Torre
Monuments in Alhaurin de la Torre
Many of the ancient monuments of the town have been replaced by modern buildings and infrastructure, but here are some of those that remain:
-San Sebastian Church - Found right in the heart of Alhaurin, inside the Plaza de la Conception, this church is the town's premier historical and religious monument. Its rich history includes its construction on top of a mosque, the damage it sustained from a large earthquake, and its subsequent reconstruction.
-Ermita del Alamillo - This place is believed to manifest miraculous acts through San Francisco de Paula. Every Wednesday, devotees perform the Via Crucis or Way of the Cross as a gesture of gratitude to the patron saint.
-Casa Refugio de Torrijos - In English, it means House of Refuge of Torrijos, referring to Gen Jose Maria de Torrijos. Gen. Torrijos once rebelled against Fernando VII and this is the place where he sought refuge before getting captured and subsequently executed.
Museums in Alhaurin de la Torre
As for museums, there aren't any in Alhaurin de la Torre. However, Malaga, the provincial capital, has some really exceptional museums worth seeing, and they're just half an hour away. Here are the must-see ones:
-Museo Picasso de Malaga - Located along Calle San Agustin. The shortest route from Alhaurin is via the A-7, where you'll only need 30 minutes to get there. The museum houses about 233 of Pablo Picasso's revolutionary art works.
-Museo De Artes Y Costumbres Populares - Located along Pasillo de Santa Isabel. Featured here are historical artifacts of the region like saddles, harnesses, carpentry and blacksmith equipment, railings, window grills, and other items. This is expected from the English meaning of the establishment's name, which translates to "Museum of Arts and Tradition"
-Museo de la Archicofradía de la Esperanza - This religious museum found along Calle San Jacinto houses many religious artifacts of the Royal Arch Confraternity of the Holy Name of Jesus of Nazareth and the Virgin of Hope. Among the things you can find there are processional fixtures, ceremonial items, and regalia.
Activities in Alhaurin de la Torre
There are lots of things to do in this mountain-town. On this page we'll feature the locals' own brand of Alhaurin de la Torre Entertainment.
Visitors who love to watch or take part in sporting events, are sure to enjoy the following activities:
-Tennis tournaments - A local tennis club that goes by the name La Capellania holds an annual tournament dubbed the Capellania Open.
-Mountain biking - The rugged slopes of the Sierra de Mijas and its underlying environs are perfect for mountain biking. You can rent bikes for your group in some of the resorts in the area. You can also buy biking gear in the bicycle shops in town.
-Horse riding - If you don't know how to ride a bike, then you can saddle up on a horse instead. A guide can accompany and guide the horse while you survey the rural landscape.
-Skateboard - Some of your teenage companions might be delighted to know there's a skateboard park here.
Restaurants in Alhaurin de la Torre
For a town its size, Alhaurin de la Torre restaurants certainly offer enough variety and quality that can satisfy the gastronomical cravings of visitors coming from different places around the globe.
Here are some of the most frequented Alhaurin de la Torre Restaurants where guests have been known to satisfy their discriminating tastes:
-Don Calzone - A cosy pizzeria along Avenida de la Alhambra, Don Calzone is a nice place to have ice cream, homemade desserts, starters, salads, gratinados, bocateria, and of course, pizzas. Its highly recommended pizzas are the Calzone, Alhaurin, Barbeque, and Diavolo.
You're also allowed to pick your own ingredients and concoct your very own pizza. This is great for those who just can't get enough of certain ingredients and despise others.
-Spanish Garden - If you're looking for a scrumptious Spanish meal, Spanish Garden is the place to be. You'll find it along Avenida de Salvador Allende, in the municipality of Torremolinos. A must-try for every visitor is their tasty paella.
Other well-loved dishes include lobster cooked in Pernod and fillet steak with Roquefort sauce.
-Al Alba - Alhaurin de la Torre is nowhere near the sea but if you still crave for seafood, then you can get fresh fish and other seafood dishes here at Al Alba, along Plaza del Molino de Romero. Right in front of it is a playground where your kids can stretch their limbs while waiting for the food to be served.
-La Perla Oriental - Asian visitors or those who simply love Oriental cuisine can savour their favourite dishes at La Perla Oriental, along Avenida de los Reyes Católicos. And yes, for those who haven't tried it yet, they also serve the world-renowned Chinese speciality - Peking duck.
-Bar Tabanco Taperia - If you're looking for a tapas bar with free WiFi, this is the best place in town. It's found along Avenida de Malaga; just a walking distance from one of the town's top tourist spots: the Iglesia de San Sebastian.
-Bar Restaurant Peña - For those visitors who are adventurous enough to try the traditional dishes of every place they visit, this is the restaurant for them. Peña offers traditional Malaga dishes like roast lamb and fresh fish.
Bars and Pubs in Alhaurin de la Torre
After the sun sinks below the horizon in Alhaurin de la Torre, pubs and bars are among the places to go to enjoy the Mediterranean nightlife. Here's where you can get some cool refreshments, alcoholic drinks, or a mug of ice-cold beer.
-Bar Restaurant Peña - One of the highlights of this resto-bar is its nice selection of traditional Malaga and Mediterranean dishes. So, before you down your favourite alcoholic beverage, stuff your stomach and tickle your taste buds with a tang of the local cuisine. You can find Bar Restaurant Peña along Calle Ermita.
-Buddy's Temple Irish Pub - This is where you can enjoy your favourite Irish dry stout while listening to cool jazz music. Located along Avenida del Alamillo, Buddy's Temple also features games of the Premier League and the Spanish Football League. Outside is a summer terrace where guests usually hold parties or reunions.
-La Comarca del Duende - Found along Calle del Alcalde Antonio Sánchez Ruiz, this cosy thematic bar features live bands (usually accompanied with electric or acoustic guitars) and an excellent collection of alcoholic drinks. They also hold live performances (other than those of bands) and parties.
-Bar Tabanco Taperia - Want to put your vocal cords to work? This place, which sits along Avenida de Malaga, features a Karaoke bar. It also provides free Internet access through WiFi. You can also have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks here.
Although these four Alhaurin de la Torre pubs and bars provide ample nighttime entertainment for a town of its size, chances are, you won't be spending the night here. In most cases, the visitors of this town prefer to be billeted in hotels in neighbouring communities like Malaga, Torremonilos, or Benalmádena because that's where most of the action is.
Therefore, if you're on a quick vacation in these parts, we recommend you visit all four in one night. Alhaurin de la Torre is just about half an hour from most of the hotels in any of the communities mentioned earlier, so once you're done with your bar-hopping you can head back to your hotel and you'll be snuggled in bed in no time.
Alhaurin de la Torre Hotels
This town is known as a residential community for people who work in nearby Malaga and its environs. For this reason, there aren't many Alhaurin de la Torre hotels that we would highly recommend. In fact, there are only two.
One is at the heart of town - the Hostal Al Patio, along Calle de los Alamos. The other one is Cortijo Chico, a classy hotel-cum-restaurant along Avenida de las Américas, very near the Malaga Airport. While there are other places to stay in Alhaurin de la Torre, we recommend you look elsewhere if, for some reason, you don't decide to book in either of the two hotels we just mentioned.
Basically, we suggest you stay in Malaga, Torremolinos, or Benalmádena, where you can find nice, relaxing hotels in strategic locations. What we have below is our own short selection of hotels, picked not only for their proximity to Alhaurin de la Torre but also for their management's superb attention to quality.
-Hotel Molina Lario - Conveniently located in Malaga, along Molina Lario, this place is also within walking distance to two tourist spots: the Cathedral and the Picasso Museum. Their rooms already have a bathtub, a direct dial telephone, and satellite/cable TV. Their amenities include an on-site bar/cafe, Internet centre, and an outdoor swimming pool.
-Hotel AC Malaga Palacio - Here's another cosy hotel in Malaga. This one's along Calle de la Cortina del Muelle. Its amenities include a restaurant, outdoor pool, sauna, bar, and fitness centre. They also provide laundry service and babysitting. Inside your room, you'll have a direct dial telephone, satellite/cable TV, a hairdryer, and a shower.
-Hotel Roc Flamingo - If you pick this place along Avda. Isabel Manoja, in Torremolinos, you'll be conveniently located near the town's shopping centre. Roc Flamingo has a function room, Internet centre, terrace, gaming room, billiard room, and a swimming pool. Upper floors are accessible through a lift.
-Hotel Bali - You might be happy to know that this place, which is found along Avenida de Telefónica, in Benalmádena, is already very near the beach. Its room facilities include a direct dial phone, satellite/cable TV, and an excellent view of the sea. There's an Internet centre, terrace, on-site restaurant, bar/cafe, children's playground, and a lift.
It won't take you more than half an hour to reach Alhaurin de la Torre from any of the hotels mentioned.
Shopping in Alhaurin de la Torre
-Oteros Sport - The entire province of Malaga is blessed with lots of scenic trails, which are perfect for mountain biking, biking, or hiking. If you haven't brought any sporting wear with you or if you simply need to purchase a new one, Oteros Sport has an extensive collection of sporting goods for you to choose from.
-Fon Bike - As mentioned earlier, one of the outdoor activities we highly recommend is biking. In connection with this, we also would like to suggest Fon Bike as a potential source for your biking needs. You can find it along Calle de Antonio Machado. In case you can't find what you're looking for, there are also other bike shops around town.
-Inma - Like all typical Mediterranean villages, Alhaurin de la Torre receives a fair share of scorching sunlight every day (unless it rains or when its winter). When you feel you need to cool your body down a bit, drop by Inma, along Avenida del Mar. This ice cream shop has ice cream flavours you'll love.
-Mercadona - There are actually three branches of this chain of supermarkets here in Alhaurin de la Torre. It doesn't matter which branch you visit though, as they all have practically the same products. If you're looking for a one-stop shop, then just drop by one of the three branches in town.
-Opencor - For such a small town, this place certainly breeds lots of competition. That's because many people who work in Malaga live here. Where buyers dwell, businesses are sure to follow. Opencor is actually another supermarket. You can find it along Avenida de la Calera.
-Plaza Mayor - Still not satisfied with the shops (or even the supermarkets) in town? Maybe what you really need is a string of adjacent shops in a place as big Plaza Mayor. Although this shopping centre is already in Malaga, it's just about 16 minutes from Alhaurin de la Torre via the A-404. Here you'll find different kinds of shops, restaurants, and even cinemas.
As you can see, the town and its neighbouring communities can easily cater to your Alhaurin de la Torre shopping needs.