Cómpeta, pronounced by stressing the Com and not the Peta, is a high mountain village situated in the foothills of Sierra Almijara with an 18 km long windy road taking you up to the village from the coast. It’s on the route of sun and wine and has a population of some 3.600 people from about 35 different nationalities.
You can drive all the way up to the central square, la plaza Almijara, where there are plenty of bars, restaurants and shops sitting submissively below the Church of la Asuncion with its unique belfry tower, a reference point on the Cómpeta skyline. It seems to rise right up through the clouds as you stand below to admire it. Walking through the arch to the Paseo de las Tradiciones you find a much needed shady terrace with public toilets and the history of the village shown in a series of ceramic murals. You can´t park your car there but you can drop people off who don´t want to have to walk up the steep cobbled streets leading to it.
Other places of interest are the Hadriano Museum in the oldest part of town, which is just a house with a mill inside. The Chapel of San Cayetano which sits behind the museum on San Sebastián street and in turn leads to the quieter end of town, the cemetery. There is also a wine museum that sells different types of local wine, produce and handicrafts as well as searching food and drinks.
August 15th is the Noche del Vino, the annual festival where free drinks can be sampled throughout the streets which are alive with Flamenco and other dance and music. In the morning there are demonstrations showing the treading of the grapes followed by lunch of migas and sardines with salad. Traditionally the villagers leave the town on this day to go to their country houses to harvest their grapes, placing them on enormous drying beds and turning them in the harsh sunlight into raisins. Once sufficiently baked the grapes are then collected and the stalks snipped off, rendering them ready for consumption. The leaving partyas the villagers departed for their fincas was made an official fiesta by the local council in 1975.
The best way to get to Cómpeta is either up from Algarrobo, past Sayalonga and continue up, or up from Torrox Pueblo and then turn left.