Las Roquetas del Mar

Most people will not think of Roquetas del Mar when they think of Andalucía. That is
exactly what makes this quaint fishing village the perfect secret getaway spot.
Wander along the harbor where the local fishermen are hard at work bringing in the
catch of the day or mending frayed nets. Enter the Faro de Roquetas where
paintings, sculptures and photographs retell the history of the region. Stroll along
the sandy beach where the Phoenicians, ancient Greeks and Romans once alit.
Watch the waves lap against the Castillo de Roquetas, a fortress built by its Muslim
forefathers when they settled there in the 18 th century.

Arrive in Roquetas del Mar on 29 December and take part in one of the town’s most
enduring traditions. Las Moragas. Though the origin of the festival is a bit hazy, oral
tradition has passed down a number of legends. Most revolve around the region’s
fishing trade. In the 19 th century, before the city was teeming with its modern-day
ports, the families of sailors out to sea would amass on the beach awaiting the
seafarers’ return. As the journey was long and perilous, the feast was not only in
recognition of the seamen’s homecoming, but also a showing of gratitude to the sea
for safe passage and the bounty of its mysterious depths.

But the name Las Moragas surely stems from the Arabic word muhraqa, which quite
specifically denotes the cooking over fire of dried fruits, sardines and other fish. And
should you find yourself on the beach during the festivities, your olfactory senses
will be overwhelmed with the scents of the tradition and folklore of the Roquetas.
The bonfires are already blazing in the morning hours in preparation for an evening
of feasting, revelry, dancing and merry-making. Festival-goers indulge in fresh catch
all day long and well into the wee hours of the morning. And at the end of the
evening, the locals smear their faces with the burnt ash. A reminder of the

Come to Roquetas del Mar to steep yourself in rich local tradition, scoff down local
cuisine and experience the authentic Spanish flare of a still untouched precious gem!