Recommended to visit
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Andalusia is the most populous and the second-largest autonomous community in Spain and here I mention some of the places that I am happy to recommend.There are many beautiful and interesting places to visit.I would love to hear from you if you have visited any of these, or maybe you can recommend somewhere of your own. Please feel free to comment.
- Albox -
Alfareria Los Puntas
At Alfareria Los Puntas you’ll find pots being made by traditional methods, a family tradition being kept alive by 5th generation potter, Luis Alfonso Fernández, a Masters of pottery. From this historical building, Luis and his family run a workshop that creates beautiful handmade unique pieces. Obviously made with love, for their passion comes across in the pottery and the stories that are interwoven in them.
Luis immediately greeted us with a warm welcome, instantly setting about telling us the history of Alfareria Los Puntas. He was very kind and spoke some English to compensate for my poor Spanish. Together we laughed, we learnt, we enjoyed the time spent there. We were told about techniques that were introduced in the area by the Arabs in the 8th century, about the ovens that are over 300 years old. The pottery process, with the various stages. And about the mysterious markings on the wall. I will let him tell you about them himself!
Finally, we were shown the little Aladdin-cave of a shop, where our eyes lit up and our purses fell open. We bought so many pieces between us, and promised to be back to purchase more. We decided that the imperfections of some pieces are what made them so perfect If you’re looking for that unique gift, I’m sure that you would find something made by Luis’ own hand. If you can’t quite find the right thing, you can place an order for something to be made from your own drawing!
You can visit Luis between 09:00 - 14:00 and 17:00-20:00 Mon to Sat. He says that he likes to have the Sundays off! It was also mentioned that it’s advisable to contact him prior to visiting, to make sure that you don’t have a wasted journey, and that you are able to have his undivided attention. This is because he organises courses à la carte, for associations, schools and institutions, showing them techniques of ceramic construction and decorative techniques.
If you pay a visit, I am sure that you won’t be disappointed!
You can find Alfareria Los Puntas on Cam. Aljambra, just after turning off of ‘Suicide Corner’, on the right-hand side, before you get to The Corner Shop tlf:+34 679 882 888 firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook | YouTube | Tripadvisor
- Albox Chirivel -
Monastery of the Virgin Del Saliente
What a beautiful building. It is a monastery, restaurant and hotel in 18th Century stone, simple beautiful. We had a delicious lunch and couldn't fault it. The views are fantastic up on the mountain, and I'm sure that it will be even more spectacular once the almond trees are in blossom. This is the most important pilgrimage centres in the Spanish southeast. Sarretera Al-71100 Km, 21 Albox _ Almeria | Located on the road between Albox and Chirivel.I have contacted them to ask for definitive days and times of opening to add them here for your convenience.
- Castril -
Sierra de Castril Natural Park We returned to Sierra de Castril Natural Park, last visited with my in laws over a decade ago. It was designated a natural park in 1989 and is stunning.
This time we walked the circular walk, which in hindsight we were ill-equipped for, but it was a great adventure along wooden walk ways, swaying bridges and steep climbs that a mountain goat would have felt right at home with!
To give our hearts a chance to settle we stopped at a little bar at the very top.
Marble Interpretation Centre
A cultural space where 25 years of history and tradition is shared, offering us a host of information of the stories behind the largest marble producer in Spain. The information is supplied in Spanish and English, which makes the visit more attractive, participative and experiential for those who are still learning Spanish! Guided tours are available, I would imagine you would need to book this in advance.Macael Tourism Website
Mirador de las CanterasThe viewpoint has wonderful panoramic views of the valley as well as the marble quarries which occupies more than 6,000 hectares. Located off the A-439.
This Boulevard is located on Avenida de Ronda and was inaugurated in 2007 and is where you can see marble sculptures.
Plaza de la Constitución
This is the most prominent square of Macael, built in 1980 and renovated in 2015. This is where you would find the church. Something I have yet to visit as a wedding was in progress when I arrived. It is the location of the exact replica of the Alhambra’s fountain, carved in Macael white marble by local artisans. The piece is made up of 12 lions. This is known as the Fuente de los Leones
To the entrance of Macael is the most popular tourist icon of the area. The largest mortar in the world. At 3.29m tall and just over 3m in diameter it weighs 30.9 tons. The pestle is almost 5m heigh! This piece is a Guinness World Record
since 2015. The piece perfectly imitates a classic marble mortar and has a pestle made of local yellow marble.
- Ocre -
Orce is beautiful. You can sit in the square to enjoy a coffee and churro whilst listening to the bells of the church. At Orce are some of the most important Palaeontological* sites in Europe and Asia. Only 2kms from the center is the natural spring of Fuencaliente, where water flows at between 18 and 20 degrees throughout the year! (*a science dealing with the life of past geologic periods as known from fossil remains)
- Olula del Rio -
Museo Ibanez and the Pérez Siquier Center If you get the opportunity go to Olula del Río and visit the amazing Museo Ibanez and the Pérez Siquier Center. Home to the largest collections of Contemporary Art in Andalusia. Amazingly this is offered to visitors for FREE! I can't fault the place as the staff are wonderful, the buildings are clean and modern. As for the art, they were very thought-provoking. I love that it got us wondering, translating, debating and sometimes giggling.
- Oria -
Castillo de Oria (Castle ruins & Viewing platforms)
You will find the remains of the fort perimeter which overlooked the village of Oria. The only entrance to this fort would have been from the North, where the north tower also connects with the farm house. Inside the Castle of Oria there are the deteriorated remains of what was, with viewing platforms to marvel over the wonderful open views, it is breathtaking up there. Now, you could walk all around the houses to get there, which is very pretty, and steep. Or you can start from The Bar San Antonio, walk down the side of it where it is better sign posted and less steep.
Calle Ciezar, s/n, 04810
Basilica du Nuestra
Cerro de la CruzFrom almost anywhere in Oria you'll be able to see the Cross on the hill, the Cerro de la Cruz. I have been told that villages and towns have crosses overlooking them to ward off evil and protect the homes and people beneath it. I am happy to be corrected if you know otherwise. You can get to the cross, but you have to be willing to climb like a mountain goat. A friend and I did this and were greeted with a spectacular view. Dotted below us, we had cloud formations. I was in awe. The best place to start the walk is along Calle Retamar, near the Townhill.
Senor de las Mercedes (Church)
This is "The House of Kings" a large public building with multiple functions built in the 18th Century. It stands in the centre of an urban area, a temple with a cruciform plan. It has 3 naves which are separated by pillars. Outside it has a single brick tower and octagonal bell tower. In 2008 the ruins were illuminated.
Calle de España, s/n, 04810
Ermita de San Gregoria (Chapel)
Just on the outskirts on the old Cullar road is this little chapel, thought to be the site of the first parish chapel in the area. We have heard that it isn't opened but houses the saints for the festival processions. Carretera AL-8100, 04810
Carniceria El Parrita (Butchers)
Since 1969 the Sanchez Martinez family have been making meat products for the residents of Oria. I love that they have been using family recipes handed down, and they do not use artificial preservatives or additives. Now, as you may know, I am a veggie (well, pescatarian) but I can appreciate this and my husband would love it if I visited this shop more often! The family supply establishments all around Almeria. All the production phases are carried out from this one location, from meat supplied by local farmers, which have been fed on a natural diet. You can find them on Avenida de Andalucía 63, 04810 Oria. They are open weekdays 9.30am - 2pm and 5.30pm to 8.30pm. Also Saturdays 9.30am to 2.30pm
La Polaca Confiteria (Confectioners)
On Calle La Polaca, quite near to the church, you will find this little gem, it's been a traditional confectioner since 1875!. If you have a sweet tooth, this is the place for you, they've candied sweets, nougats and cakes, using recipes handed down the generations, many made by hand. Louisa served me on the day I visited, and she was just as sweet as what she serves. I think she told me her daughter Ana also works there, I believe Ana is the director. They are open Monday to Saturday 8.30am to 2pm then 5pm until 9pm. They are even open Sundays 9am to 1.30pm, I presume because the market is held on that day just around the corner.
- Seron -
Serón is about 40mins away from our village and situated on the northern slopes of the Sierra de los Filabres. It's there that I visited the picnic area la Jordana and spent a very enjoyable few hours in the fresh cool air of the mountains, enjoying a 'bring your own picnic' and a game of Boules/Pétanque with my good neighbour friends.
Castillo / Castle and Museum
This 13th Century Castle ruin (free) gives you an impressive view of the Almanzora Valley. The steep climb to get there is well worth the effort.The Museum next to the castle (free) is a small museum where you can practice reading in Spanish to learn the history of the local area. Being next to the castle, be warned that its a steep climb to get there.