The Almanzora Valley is a region belonging to the province of Almeria, which owes its name to the fact that the 27 municipalities that make it up are located on both banks of the Almanzora river. It covers an area of 1,406 km², characterized by the diversity of cultures and civilizations that have developed between the Sierra de las Estancias and the Sierra de los Filabres.
Along the valley, there is wide vegetation that turns it into a natural lung, where there are almonds and orange trees, as well as protected animal species, such as the wild boar, fox, badger, wildcat, and many others.
The 27 municipalities that make it up are: Albanchez, Albox, Alcontar, Arboleas, Armuña de Almanzora, Bacares, Bayarque, Cantoria, Chercos, Cobdar, Fines, Laroya, Lijar, Lucar, Macael, Olula del Rio, Oria, Partaloa, Purchena, Seron, Sierro, Somontin, Sufli, Taberno, Tijola, Urracal and Zurgena.
The Almanzora Valley reaches the north with the Los Velez region, then goes to the south with Filabres-Tabernas region, then to the east with the Levante Almeriense region and finally, to the west with Baza, a town of Granada.
The first settlers arrived at the Almanzora Valley in the prehistoric stage, specifically in the Paleolithic era. This is according to the proof that is found today in the Cave of the Treasures; along with other paleontological remains of later eras, such as the Phoenician, Carthaginian and Roman periods.
In this region, dozens of civilizations have coexisted, and is the reason why a rich culture has been created that still remians. The different ancestral peoples had a way of life that created elementary aspects of what would later be the region.
It highlights, for example, the Nasrid era, which is looked at with much with respect due to the development of architecture and cultural traditions that are still observed in the municipalities. From this period, a rich architectural heritage is conserved, which are represented in constructions and archaeological remains.
When the reconquest took place on part of the Catholic Kings, a repopulation process was carried out by Spanish citizens to replace the Muslims who dominated the territory. This forced Moorish and Christians to lead a common life, which promoted values of tolerance and respect.
Later, in 1568, the uprising of the Moorish took place, generating a cruel civil war that prompted the definitive expulsion of these inhabitants from the Spanish territory in 1622. Despite this, it was not possible to erase the Muslim mark that was marked on the Almanzora Valley region.
The arrival of the Renaissance era was also important in the area as encouraged important religious monuments to be built. Then came neoclassicism that favored a transition to the industrial revolution in the 20th century.
The Almanzora Valley region has been characterized by the importance of the mining industry as the main economic activity.
At present, its inhabitants continue to take advantage of the industrial processes that natural resources provide.
Highlights include mining, wine and olive production, almond cultivation, and handling livestock – among severl others. From its industrial tradition, it has been possible to create a very particular identity, which is reflected in the history, culture and ways of life of the different localities, which also enjoy a great tourist interest.
A point of interest is in the crafts activities of the region, which shows off heritage of the different Mediterranean civilizations that have settled there. Since ancient times, the exploitation and processing of marble has progressed to be among the best in the world.
With a notable variety in craftsmanship, the marble of the region has helped build important buildings like the Monastery of El Escorial in Madrid, the Mosque of Cordoba and the Alhambra in Granada.
Additionally, in some municipalities of the region, pottery and wood crafts have been practiced for several centuries. Another traditional trade is working with esparto grass. All these activities have served to produce a wide variety of items that can be purchased throughout the region.
The Almanzora Valley is full of a great amount of vegetation, so green dominates the fields and creates spectacular landscapes that everyone who visits falls in love with. This is thanks to all the wonderful contrasts it offers. The forests, along with the river, provide a natural wealth that has facilitated the lives of the inhabitants.
Mountain lovers should come over to the region, as this is an unparalleled opportunity to get in touch with nature and have contact with diverse, supreme flora – all thanks to native species that adorn the landscape and create a wonderful perfume for the journey.
In addition to the various protected animal species that make up the fauna of the region, the Almanzora Valley is characterized by serving as a passageway for migratory birds.