San Pedro de Alcantara market fragrant spices

The Local Market in San Pedro de Alcantara

I love to go to the weekly market when I’m in San Pedro. It’s so colourful and full of atmosphere and energy  – a great place to get a taste of the “real Spain”.

This market, otherwise known as El Barato or Mercadillo visits all the local towns and it comes to us on a Thursday morning.  Held on the Recinta Ferial (Fairground) on Calle Jorge Guillén, it’s off the road to Ronda, near the petrol station.  It’s possible to walk up from the centre of San Pedro. It starts at 9am until around 2pm when everyone goes home for lunch.

Depending on the time of year I would recommend going early as it gets very hot around midday and also you will have to park further away.  It’s very popular.  

San Pedro de Alcantara market friendly traders

You can park your car on the street if you can find a space or try the dirt parking ground off Avenida Pablo Ruiz Picasso.  There is usually a parking attendant there and it costs 1 euro to park.

The market sells most things, but I always buy the fruits and vegetables.   Because they are locally grown they are much more tasty than the supermarket variety.  And, a huge  bonus, there is no plastic packaging.  Everything is given to you in paper bags or you can use your own.  

The vendors are really friendly and will usually let you taste before you buy.  They are really animated, shouting out what they have to sell and encouraging people to come and buy – just like the old market traders. 

I love to get fresh figs and huge red salad tomatoes, plums, juicy peaches and nectarines.

I am usually laden down with produce on my way back to the car.  A visit to the spice stand is also a must.  You can get most spices and rubs; saffron, many different types of paprika, and dried chillis to name few.  

We always buy the pil-pil mix to make our favourite prawns pil-pil. And chimichurri spice mix to add to chicken and fish.  I usually have orders from everyone back home as well so end up with kilos of it (very smelly in the luggage going home!)

San Pedro de Alcantara market fresh produce

It’s best to have a walk around before you buy the heavy fruit and veg.  There are so many other things to look at from clothes and homeware, lots of leather bags, shoes and hats.  Just about everything you can think of really.

It’s always fun to have a coffee break in one of the small cafés that spring up on the day.  

I really can’t recommend a market visit enough, I will never miss it if I’m there on a Thursday.  See our list of things to do for locations of the other market days.