A fiesta based on the beginnings of wine sounds great, doesn’t it?

How about a celebration of local pork products to go with it? December in Spain is starting to look – and taste – very nice indeed. Experience it all for yourself and come along to Colmenar close to Málaga, for the Fería del Mosto y la Chacina 2012.

Where is it?

Fly into the airport at Málaga -  plenty of bargain flights at this time of year – and arrive to mild Winter temperatures and blue skies. Pick up a hire car there and drive the short 30 kms along the Costa del Sol towards the pretty white village of Colmenar. For foodies, this is the Axarquia region -  or the Ruta del Vino – rich in great tasting wine and superb food, and in fact the area was once considered to be a virtual  ‘hive’ of activity!

Why? – Colmenar’s name was originally Colmena de Abeja, or the Beehive, and once the basis of it’s economy…today you will find a pretty place right in the Málaga mountains, and is still as sweet as the honey made here.

View of Malaga from the Malaga mountains

Up in the mountains of Málaga

When is it?

The Festival of Grape Must and Pork Produce takes place this year on Sunday December 16th, and kicks off at midday. This will be the 13th consecutive year that the festival has taken place, so why not join in with the fun?

Various stalls will be set out showcasing the best products from the area, you will be able to taste all of them and have the chance to purchase and  take home some tasty reminders of your holiday here. Honey rich in the taste of the mountain herbs, soft Jamón, peppered Salchichon and rich Chorizo…all washed down with the first juice from the local grapes.

Come along to the festival

What else is there?

Besides the Festival, which is a good enough reason to visit, there are plenty more attractions in Colmenar. Why not visit the Honey Museum – Museo Provincial de la Miel – located on Calle Posito , 1.

An explanation of how the honey is made, and the different types available, are part of the guided tour. There is a small fee for the tour, but if you just want to look around yourself then the visit is free.

Open Tuesdays to Saturdays  from 10 am until 2pm, and 3 pm to 6 pm. Closed on  Sundays and Mondays, and holidays.

Climb to the highest point in town to the top of the Calle del Camino Solano. Here you will find the Hermitage of Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria. It was built in the 17th century, and dedicated to the local saint. In fact it is worth the climb even if just for the superb views.

Plenty of places to eat and drink in Colmenar, it’s a friendly sort of place, and a good base if you don’t want to be too far removed from Málaga, but still want the feel of the mountains and enjoy walking, rambling and hiking. The best of both worlds!

Malaga mountains

Enjoy some local trekking in the Montes

Where to stay?

There are 14 lovely perfect places to pitch up in Colmenar, check out these holiday rental homes…

If you want to enjoy the mild Málaga climate, and breathe the fresh air of the Montes, then why not choose a retreat with style.  Imagine cooking up a storm in this kitchen…you’ll find it and the rest of the lovely house at property number 5610. Love to cook? Fancy a day course in cooking while on holiday? You’re in right spot, local Gastronomic Goddess Lynsey Drake offers courses for the day where she will show you how to get the best out of local and perhaps unfamiliar ingredients, contact her via Twitter to book up…

Traditional kitchen property number 5610

 Consider Colmenar for your next Spanish holiday, combine the country life with the bustling city of Málaga and all of it’s attractions well under an hour away…perfect, and with a foodie festival thrown in too! No wonder life is as sweet as honey in the Montes!

Carol Byrne
Posted by Carol Byrne
Originally from Dublin, Carol has also lived in London and Wales before settling in Spain with her husband and family in 2006. She and her family run a rural retreat high in the Alpujarras mountains of Granada, which you can find here as property number 17043. She blogs about traditional village life, sparked by a passion for the culture and history of Spain, and teaches English locally..