Níjar has a distinct Moorish feel about it with its narrow streets and whitewashed houses. It lies in the foothills of the Sierra Alhamilla and is popular with tourists who make the short excursion from coastal towns like Roquetas de Mar and Mojácar. They mainly visit in order to purchase the attractive and unusual glazed pottery. That is what Níjar is famous for – pottery. And carpets!

There are many pottery shops, some with thousands of pieces on display ranging from ashtrays to large planters and decorative lampshades. The most characteristic of the area is the blue and green pottery, produced from clay and marl with a kaolin coating. The other handicraft most typical of Níjar is the manufacture of jarapas – colourful cotton and wool rugs and blankets.

There are many other hand-made items on sale in the shops: leather ware, jewellery, decorative ironwork, furniture as well as edible items such as honey, cakes and wine. Soaps, candles and many other items made from natural products can also be obtained in Níjar.

I find the town a pleasant place to stroll. The high street is attractive with its many shops and bars and there are quaint narrow cobbled streets with the traditional whitewashed houses so typical of Andalucía. At the top of the main thoroughfare is the town’s main square with an attractive church. The ‘Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación’ was built in the 16th century.

Probably the best time to visit Níjar is in the evening when most of the tourists have gone. Many of them would have combined a trip to Níjar with a visit to the nearby Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, so the town is quite empty in the afternoon too but, at that time of day, many of the shops are closed – the shopkeepers are taking their siesta!

Just outside the town is El Hoyazo, a volcanic crater. I once spent a hot and dusty but, nevertheless, enjoyable hour collecting garnets there. Unfortunately the stones were a bit on the small side!

extract from “Spanish Matters”by Robert Bovington
ISBN 978-1-4452-0773-5 availablefrom www.lulu.com
Somepics of Níjar…


About Robert Bovington

Robert Bovington is an English writer of travel books. These include “Spanish Matters” and “Spanish Impressions” Robert Bovington was born in Brighton, East Sussex, the son of Leonard and Audrey Bovington. He is the first-born and has eight siblings – six brothers and two sisters. Having worked for many years in both the telecommunications industry and the teaching profession, Robert wanted to take on new challenges. He and Diane decided to relocate to Spain and, in 2003, the couple moved to Roquetas de Mar in sunny Andalucía. However, lazing on the beach was not Robert's idea of fun - he wanted to explore his new homeland. It didn't stop there! He was so impressed with Spain, its countryside, its historic cities and its culture that it inspired him to write about his experiences. Robert Bovington has been married to Diane for over thirty years. They have no children. However, Robert’s short marriage to Helene resulted in twin daughters Carole and Sheila. The author is also a grandfather and great grandfather. Robert met Diane when both belonged to the Crescent Operatic Society. Music is one of the author’s great passions. At primary school he sang in a choir in a concert of Bach and Handel. Another of his interests is football and for many years he supported Brighton & Hove Albion home and away. His favourite premiership team is Arsenal. Other interests include information technology, writing and ten-pin bowling.
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