Almanzora Valley, The Heart of Almeria


Nature, history and human activity

The Almeria region of the Almanzora Valley owes its name to the river that crosses it, on whose banks the first prehistoric settlers settled, initial nuclei that over the centuries gave rise to the twenty-seven municipalities that today make it up. Its limits are fixed to the north with the region of Los Vélez, east with Levante Almeria, south with Filabres and west with the town of Baza Granada. The axis of communications that structures this wide area is the A-334 Huercal Overa-Baza highway, a path that facilitates access to the many places of interest that can be found in this unique area of ​​Andalusian geography.

You have to go up the Almanzora river, marked by almond blossoms, orange trees and orchards, to discover the contrasts that its valley offers. From there, it surprises the monumentality of a Sierra of open and white bowels: the marble, the raison d’être of practically all the peoples of the Valley.

The Almanzora Valley is linked to the industrial exploitation of its natural resources, with outstanding manifestations such as mining, wine production, oil production, agriculture such as the almond tree or the meat industry. All that heritage, technology and “know-how” represents one of the features that have most characterized the way of being, the history and the culture of the people that make up this tourist area.

The taste is grateful to taste the pot of fennel, the rabbit fry, the gurullos with hare, the stewed partridges and the sighs of almond.

Discover here all the beauty that encloses the municipalities of Valle del Almanzora.


A mosaic of civilizations

The Almanzora Valley is one of the regions in which many civilizations have lived and lived, is a true melting pot of cultures. The first human vestiges go back to the Paleolithic where we can still see remains in the Cave of the Treasures in Bacares. From the Phoenician, Carthaginian and Roman periods the nuclei of “Tagili” (Tíjola) or the Roman aqueduct of Albanchez are conserved.

But it was the Nasrid period that left greater architectural and cultural heritage in the region. An example of this is the multitude of constructions and archaeological remains that are preserved at this time. The conquest of the Catholic Monarchs and the repopulation of the area with people of Spanish geography led to the coexistence between the Moors and the “old Christians”, thus forging the spirit of tolerance that characterizes this land. In 1568 there was a revolt of the Moors and the bloody civil war ended with the final expulsion of the Moors of Spain in 1622. However, the Muslim footprint is very important as confirmed by the remains of alcazabas, ditches, oil mills and other samples of The Nasrid culture that still remain in El Valle del Almanzora.

The Renaissance period left numerous religious constructions and, later, the neoclassicism supposed the transition that ended giving way to the industrial revolution, already in century XX. The mining industry and railroad construction were the economic and social pillars of that era.

At present, the exploitation and the elaboration of the marble have turned to the Valley of the Almanzora one of the most appreciated producers of marble in the world.


When living is an art

In the region of the Valley of the Almanzora has been inhabited by all the Mediterranean civilizations reason why its craftsmanship is of a splendid variety. The most flourishing craft industry has been marble since antiquity. The marble of the region has been used in monuments as outstanding as the Alhambra of Granada, the Mosque of Cordova or the Monastery of the Escorial. But in addition to the marble, in Tíjola, Serón and Albox highlights another type of crafts: ceramics and pottery of centenary tradition.

The woodwork in the region has Pedro Gilabert as its greatest exponent. This sculptor has a museum in Arboleas and an own work and style that are reference for workshops and artists. Working with esparto has also been one of the traditional trades in the Almanzora Valley and during the last few years it has been strongly promoted in Serón. We can find bottles, baskets and all kinds of objects of esparto for the decoration of the home and with the seal of the crafts of the zone.


Unusual landscapes

The region of Valle del Almanzora is one of the great green lungs of Andalusia. Located between the Filabres mountains and the Estancias and crossed by the river that gives its name, offers the visitor an unusual beauty, unique and full of contrasts.

In the Sierra de los Filabres is the Calar Alto, at 2,168 m above sea level, it represents the roof of the Sierra and the Almanzora Valley. At its top we find the astronomical observatory, one of the most important in the world for its sophistication and avant-garde. The Calar Alto is one of the most peculiar natural spaces of Spain and its views are really exceptional. In addition, both in the Sierra de Filabres and in the Sierra de las Estancias, we find numerous recreational areas easily accessible and from which depart walking routes that will discover nature in its purest form.

The flora of the Valley of the Almanzora is one of the most diverse of Andalusia with native species and of interest for the fan fond of the tourism in the nature.

As for the fauna of this region, we find protected examples of fox and wild boar, deer, badger and wild cat among others. In addition, it is a passage area for migratory birds and is a place of great interest for anyone who enjoys the observation of the fauna in its natural habitat.


The taste of the good life

The gastronomy of the Almanzora Valley constitutes an outstanding element of the culture of these lands that for centuries had in Andalusian cuisine a fundamental reference, not only for its importance as a source of nutrition and health but also as a form of social relation and calm enjoyment of the Pleasures of good food. On the other hand, Christian civilization also integrated the basic elements of the Mediterranean diet. Both gastronomic cultures unite wisely and let the visitor enjoy a wide, delicious and healthy restorative offer.

Garlic, spices and garden products are basic ingredients for the preparation of the popular coriander crumbs, porridge, wheat pot, rabbit frit or typical potatoes face down. As for the desserts stand out the Easter rolls, the soups, the honey mantecados, the almaja, the fried milk or the bread of figs. It should not be forgotten that the basis of the Mediterranean diet is the olive oil produced and packaged in localities such as Albox, Arboleas, Tíjola, Serón or Urrácal. The ham is also a very characteristic delicacy in El Valle del Almanzora and, for example, that of Serón enjoys international prestige.

The slaughter of the pig is a basic element of the economy of the area but it is also a reason for meeting and celebration in which good gourmets can participate. If we prefer something sweeter, the wide offer of baked goods will make the delicacies of any demanding gourmet. And to accompany the sweets, mistela, typical drink that the visitor can taste in any bar or restaurant.

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