Macharaviaya is a small, old-fashioned municipality which began life as an Arabic farmstead, its name derived from ‘Machar Ibn Yahha’ meaning ‘farm of the son of Yahha’. After the expulsion of the Moors, the town went into decline as, unlike with most other towns in the area, there was no official repopulation programme.
During the 18th century, the arrival of the influential Gálvez family began a period of economic prosperity for the community. A new church was built, a drinking water system was introduced and the Gálvez family continued to finance an economic development programme.
Another period of decline followed the arrival of the phylloxera pest, a sap-sucking insect which feeds on the roots of grapevines, which destroyed much of the vineyards in the Axarquia. In fact, the pest, thought to have been inadvertantly brought to Europe from America in the 1860’s, is thought to have destroyed between two-thirds and nine-tenths of European vineyards by the end of the 1800’s.
Macharaviaya, due to its peaceful location, became the refuge for artists and the town has slowly begun to develop once more, with many buildings now restored and repaired after a long period of neglect. A bit off the beaten track, it is a good place to visit if you are looking for a bit of peace and quiet.
Area: 7 square kilometres
Altitude: 240 mtrs above sea level
Population: +/- 400
Distance from Nerja: 38 km
Driving Time: +/- 45 mins
Places of Interest
Iglesia San Jacinto
The Gálvez monument
Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación (in Benaque)
Fábrica de Naipes (The old Playing Card factory)
Local specialities include: Ajoblanco, Sopa de Maimones, Gazpachuela, Gazpacho and Grapes.
Fiesta de San Bernardo (August)
Virgen del Rosario (October 7th)
Tourist Office/Town Hall
calle Real 12