Remembering Montejaque’s first-ever Tourism Day

Remembering Montejaque’s first-ever Tourism Day

Our contributor Paul Whitelock recalls the first-ever Día de Turismo held in Montejaque, the white village where he had moved to live just 12 months previously. The event has continued every year since then, except in 2020, of course, because of Covid-19. Here is what Paul wrote back then.

13 December 2009

The mayor of Montejaque has declared its first-ever Día de Turismo on Saturday 12 December a great success.

Over 1000 people took part in the activities on offer and the mountain village near Ronda was a-buzz with the sounds of people of many nationalities and from all over the region enjoying the beautiful weather and the food and drink on offer throughout the village.

The cars had been cleared from the main square and a large marquee had been erected there.  With a stage and a dozen stands where local firms displayed their wares and organisations provided information on activities such as birdwatching and walking, this was the focal point.

At 12 noon the Mayor, Miguel Alza, welcomed everyone before introducing the President of the Diputación Provincial de Málaga, Salvador Pendón, who told the assembled crowd that the day was important for tourism in the village, as it gave the opportunity to showcase an area of Spain far different from the high-rise blocks, sun and sand of the Costa del Sol.  He was delighted to recognise faces from many villages throughout the Serranía de Ronda and congratulated the village council on its initiative in organising the event.

Then the village band played whilst the visitors, over 100 of whom had travelled from throughout the Serranía on free buses laid on by the council, set about sampling the local products on offer.  A great idea was the “Tasting Trail”, whereby visitors visited 19 locations, many of them bars, where they collected a sticker as proof of their visit on a leaflet distributed by the “stewards”.  On completion, the leaflets were handed in and entered into a raffle for a range of prizes donated by local businesses, including a weekend for two in a hotel in Montejaque.

Other activities in the square included the famous and emblematic Juego del Cántaro, a traditional game involving tossing a large ceramic pitcher from one to another until someone dropped it, to the sound of great hilarity.  There was a demonstration of how to carry a pitcher on your head, games for children and music by the trio, Imagen, as well as free callos (tripe) and wine, courtesy of the Town Hall.

In an exclusive interview with the mayor at the end of the day, Miguel Alza declared himself well satisfied with the outcome of the event.  The lovely weather, the turnout and the willing participation of local businesses and individuals had all combined to make it an event worth repeating on an annual basis.  The council is already thinking ahead to next year and plans to invite the participation of German partner town, Knittlingen, near Stuttgart.

The council invested a mere 5000 euros in the event, which by any standards represents fantastic value for money.  Montejaque has achieved a great deal in terms of promoting the charms and the gastronomy of this most beautiful of the pueblos blancos.

Paul Whitelock

About Paul Whitelock

Paul Whitelock is a retired former languages teacher, school inspector and translator, who emigrated to the Serranía de Ronda in 2008, where he lives with his second wife, Rita, and his dog, Berti. He spends his time between Montejaque and Ronda doing DIY, gardening and writing.