I am sure that things will have changed quite a lot from my last visit to this remarkable White Village. Many expats from the U.K. have settled here and have helped to swell the population, which has a cosmopolitan feel.
Mojacar is located in the province of Almeria, on the Costa Calida. This beautiful Moorish town looks from a distance as if it might have been created from a snowfall of sugar lumps. It has a distinctly Â“fairytaleÂ” quality with its clusters of ancient whitewashed buildings, clinging to the sides of the hilltop.
Sandwiched between the mountains of the Sierra Cabrera and the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean, Mojacar is the largest and most popular tourist centre of this south-eastern corner of Spain.
For visitors, the old town is a delightful labyrinth of winding, cobbled streets with boutiques, artisan shops and superb eating-places, with magnificent views to the mountains, sea and desert hinterland.
Just two kilometres away, down at the seafront, you are in another world of modern day tourism with bustling beaches international bars and restaurants. Several really good hotels are to be found on the seafront also in the town.
Residential buildings are restricted to two storeys and hotels canÂ’t be built higher than four floors.
Mojacar offers plenty of activities for the foreign holidaymaker whilst retaining its traditional Spanish charm and character.
The beach is 17 kilometres long and a large part of it is a designated area for natural beauty. Only 7 kilometres is developed and is so unspoiled that, within this stretch, there are no less than 3 Blue European Flag Awards for beach cleanliness.
Mojacar is a unique blend of mountains and valley areas sheltering the beach and the sea. Every modern convenience is to be found here as well as a sports facility, sailing, fishing and golf, just to mention a few. One of MojacarÂ’s greatest claims to fame is the hotly disputed assertion that Walt Disney was born there. The story goes that he was the illegitimate son of a beautiful local washerwoman who fled to America to escape the disgrace and to seek her fortune.
Unable to provide for him, she gave him up for adoption to Flora and Elias Disney of Chicago.
The tale can neither be proved nor disproved as his birth registration record has never been found - either in Chicago or in Mojacar, where all records were destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. The Arabs named this place Â“MunsaqarÂ” and defended it against the Christian armies for hundreds of years until King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel reclaimed it in the late 15th century.
But the legacy of the Arab invaders remains in the old Moorish fortress and the Mudejar architecture, which makes the foreign visitor feel he has arrived on the African continent. Under a law passed in 1987, to the delight of international visitors, the Arab architecture here will be preserved for posterity.
Each summer the locals honour their Arab ancestors with a spectacular Moors and Christians fiesta, complete with extravagant costumes, Arab sabres and mock street battles, throughout which the Spanish male protagonists puff, somewhat incongruously, on huge cigars!