by Liz Glazer
With cloudy skies and a chill in the air, the weather was perfect for my planned outing with a group of friends last weekend, to visit the inland town of Coin´s weekly Sunday morning markets. Held in the grounds of La Trocha Industrial Estate, there are three separate market areas: an outdoor organic farmer’s market, a small artisan produce and crafts market and the enormous covered flea market, held in the car park beneath the La Trocha shopping centre building.
Driving along the inland roads above Marbella to reach Coín, there was a magical moment when the landscape changed from winding mountain roads, to Coin’s vast valley landscapes of ploughed fields and open skies with the sierras etched out softly in the background, swathed in a light morning mist. Winding down the car window, I sniffed in the delicious smell of damp rich earth. The Valley of Guadalhorce in which Coín lies, is renowned for its fertile agricultural land and is referred to locally as “La Despensa de Malaga” – Malaga’s pantry.
We got there just before 10 a.m, for the early pickings of fresh local-grown produce from the organic farmer’s market. I read somewhere that Coín is one of the first “transition” towns in Andalucia that aim at creating a more sustainable local economy through initiatives such as this one – a platform for small-scale farmers to sell their produce to local consumers. What a great idea- and it’s certainly going down well, judging from the people that streamed around the stalls while we were there, despite the relatively early hour.
It’s a feast for all the senses to wander around the stalls, irrespective of whether you buy anything or not…
With our organic goodies packed away in our car boot, we dropped in to wander around the artisan produce and crafts market, where you can find some great gifts for others or yourself, ranging from natural beauty products, dried curative herbs, handmade very reasonably-priced glazed pottery, homemade jams, honeys…. There’s a small bar and table area where you can sit and have a rest and a coffee before moving on to explore the flea market – as we did.
The flea market is a vast jumbled, colourful bazaar despite the dim lighting of the covered parking area in which it is held. Most stall holders lay their wares on sheets on the ground before them : piles of new mattresses stacked next to antique furniture, battered teddy bears, pots and pans, fresh flowers and incense, clothes and house-clearance bric-à-brac – the choice is immense and you can easily spend a couple of hours in there having a good mooch around and find some great bargains in the process!
On the way home we stopped off for a bite to eat at a lovely restaurant with an outside patio opposite the Mercadona supermarket outside Coín called La Bohemia – great fresh food, attractively presented, delicious and not too pricey. The restaurant’s walls are adorned with the owner/waiter’s ingenious 3 D wall tapestries – and he has his loom set up by the reception area so that he can continue with his latest masterpiece whenever he has a spare moment. For someone who is totally self-taught (he just took it up as a young boy,so he told us), his creations are rather brilliant! I haven’t any photos, as my camera’s battery had died by then but here’s a link to La Bohemia’s trip advisor page.
A complete contrast to my favourite outdoor Sunday flea market in the mountain village of Benahavis (see post), I nonetheless thoroughly enjoyed our morning at Coin’s La Trocha Sunday markets and I’d definitely recommend this as a fun Sunday outing from Marbella Town with your family and friends.
Text and photos by Liz Glazer
here is a Google earth map with the layout of the La Trocha Industrial estate, showing the location of La Trocha shopping centre and the Organic Farmer’s Market (Mercado Agroalimentario de Coín) – the Artisan & Crafts market is along the strip of buildings between the two.