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Out and About
This month we’re in…
. . The local authority comprises Torrox Costa, as well as Torrox Pueblo; a pretty town approximately 4.5 kilometres inland from its costal sister and El Morche to the west.
Nine kilometres of beach, from Vilches beach in the east along to and including El Morche, make up Torrox’s coastline. La Ferrara beach, situated in the middle, slightly west of the famous lighthouse, is one of the Costa del Sol’s 22 Blue Flag beaches and was awarded the status in 2016.
In 2015 Torrox’s beaches made international news when the town announced that police would confiscate belongings and fine people who left items like parasols and deck-chairs on the beach, in order to secure their preferred spot early in the morning and then leaving them there until they returned to the beach later. ‘Beach Hoggers’ is how the British press labelled them and the local police are back in action in 2016, imposing a 30 euro fine on anyone caught doing so!
Torrox Costa claims to have the best climate in Europe
– this is not just an invention by the town hall – UK weather forecasting company, Meteogroup, carried out scientific research in 2008, which demonstrated that Torrox has an average year-round temperature of 18 degrees centigrade.
Torrox’s wide Paseo Marítimo, or promenade, is lined with restaurants and bars, or chiringuitos, serving anything from typical Malaga fried fish, to Italian, German and British food. Another famous sight on the promenade is the town’s Iberostar four-star hotel. The imposing building offers over 300 rooms, as well as apartments, three swimming pools and extensive gardens.
But perhaps the most well-known landmark on the promenade is the lighthouse, situated on the mouth of the river Torrox and between Ferrara beach and Playa El Peñoncillo. It was built in 1865 on the site of a small castle which had been used as a look-out tower since its construction in 1510. The original castle was built to warn the town of pirate ships approaching land and was used during invasions in subsequent wars against other European countries, including France and Britain. In 1917 the lighthouse became electric. However, due to the frequent power cuts during Spain’s Civil War, the lighthouse’s lamp reverted back to being run on oil. The current system was installed in 1983 and that is the lighthouse we still see today.
On the same site as the lighthouse, a museum stands today, known as the Conjunto Arqueológico El Faro – Centro de Interpretación Mansion Clavicum, exhibiting even earlier evidence of Torrox as an important fishing town; artefacts and ruins dating back to Roman times. The archaeological site was declared a site of cultural interest by the Spanish government’s sub-delegation for the protection of historic heritage ( Protección del Patrimonio Histórico) in 2007 and makes up the remains of the ancient Roman city of Clavicum, including a villa, necropolis, pottery kiln and baths, as well as examples of Roman pottery and even human skeletons. Entrance to the museum is free.
The Romana and Peñoncillo walking routes are also available around Torrox, which highlight important places in the ancient town of Clavicum, as well as points of interest at other times in Torrox’s history.
Like any Spanish town, Torrox has a year-round programme of activities, some of which it shares with Torrox pueblo. From the Día del Turista (tourist day), which pays tribute to the town’s regular visitors and holiday-makers in September, to Oktoberfest, at the end of September, which has become a highlight in the town’s calendar, coming about mainly thanks to the large German population. The event generally takes place around the Avenida de América and on the Paseo Marítimo by the Ferrara beach. October also sees Feria, or fair, in Torrox Pueblo, while El Morche celebrates its local festival from 15 until 18 August this year. The famous Migas festival always takes place on the Sunday before Christmas, when the typical dish of migas (fried breadcrumbs) is served up with a glass of Moscatel wine. The festival celebrates the importance of agriculture in Torrox and migas are the traditional dish that was given to those working in the fields as a filling meal that would give them enough energy to work the long hours.
Other summer activities that take place in Torrox Costa include an outdoor cinema at the lighthouse as well as music and dance performances on the Paseo Marítimo.
Behind the Paseo, Torrox also offers a good size coastal towns with a range of services and amenities, including Russells British Stores, Lews Fish and Chips Restaurant, Craigs Steak house or Buddah House Restaurant on Peñoncillo, if you want to relax whilst you are in Torrox contact Sylvia Bowyer at the Rebeccah Curtis Wellbeing Centre for gentle solution for body pain. At Alegria you can enjoy Bed and Breakfast facilities and a Shiatsu healing massage. If you need mobility assistance, Blue Badge Mobility have a vast range of equipment for hire or sale. If you need insurance contact Mark Lewis at Lewis Insurance and if you fancy visiting other areas Schlosser Reisen organise daily excursions to Granada, Seville, Cordoba, Gibraltar and more destinations.
Getting to Torrox is easy, as buses from Malaga and Torre del Mar pass through Torrox on their way to Nerja and a local bus service operates between Torrox Costa and Torrox Pueblo.
While neighbouring Nerja has always tended to be more popular with British holidaymakers and foreign residents, Torrox has a higher German population and many choose the town as their holiday and retirement destination. Tourism really took off in Torrox in the early 1980s, a few years after the death of Francisco Franco, in 1975, which in turn ended almost 40 years of dictatorship in Spain.
As the town claims to have the best climate in Europe a visit to Torrox is pleasant at any time of year, but as a coastal town perhaps summer is the ideal moment, to make the most of its nine kilometres of beaches!
Written by Jennie Rhodes