Cartama is one of the inner towns of the province of Malaga. Located only about 17 km west of Malaga, the provincial capital itself, you'll only need about 27 minutes to get there. The quickest route should be via the Autovia del Guadalhorce or A-357.
The name Cartama can be traced to its Phoenician origins. They called it "Cartha", which can be translated in English to mean "hidden city". This name was later modified into "Cartima" by the second occupants, the Romans.
Being strategically located at the end of the navigable portion of the rio Guadalhorce, Cartama once had a river port way back during the time of the Roman occupation. During their own occupation, the Moors built a formidable castle to guard the town. Despite its current state, it still stands as one of the most striking historical sites in the area.
Another favorite historical site is the La Ermita de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios. This hermitage, which overlooks the town, is very sacred to the locals as it is dedicated to their patron saint, La Virgen de los Remedios, one of the titles of the Virgin Mary. Miracles that occurred during the 1936-39 Civil War, the 1579 epidemic, and many others are attributed to her.
As such, one of the most important celebrations every year is the Fiestas en Honor a Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, which is held every April 22. Just like any typical Spanish town, many fiestas and other religious events are also celebrated on different dates throughout the year.
For those who want to stay for a few days here but want to avoid the hustle and bustle of nearby Malaga, there's a sufficient selection of hotels, bread and breakfasts, and holiday apartment rentals within a 14 km radius from the center town. Most of them are found in either the old Cartama Pueblo or Estacion de Cartama communities.
There's also a good number of restaurants and bars spread out across Estacion de Cartama and Cartama Pueblo where you can enjoy traditional Spanish cuisine, a nice variety of hot and cold beverages, and of course, the mouth-watering tapas.