Less than 10 minutes drive around the mountain Is our local village. Although, it is only a small place, here you will find 3 mini markets; an excellent butchers; petrol station; banks (with ATM); bars and restaurants. There is also a small market each Sunday. On the hillside above the village are the remains of a Moorish castle, and the Basilica church is probably the most beautiful and impressive in the whole of Almeria!
Los Velez – comprises the villages of Maria and Chirivel and the small towns of Velez Rubio and Velez Blanco, all nestling below the towering Sierra de Maria, which climbs to more than 2000 metres. All these places are worth a visit, especially on market days when they are much more lively!. You will find interesting churches; a castle; a bull fighting museum; a real ale brewery http://www.saxonbreweryspain.com/ ; a range of shops, bars and restaurants; parks and public swimming pools. We like to go the Velez Blanco on market day, buy picnic ingredients or perhaps a roast chicken, and take it up to the pine wood picnic area beyond Maria. Then maybe do a stretch along one of the way marked paths.
Saliente Monastery is spectacularly situated high in the Sierra de las Estancias. There is a bar/restaurant next door. Each year in September, the Monastery attracts 1000’s of pilgrims who walk there overnight from the local towns and villages, to take part in a huge service and lay flowers at the altar.
Horse Riding and Quad Bikes are available at the nearby village of Partaloa. http://www.rancholuzdelsol.com/
Fiestas – throughout the summer you will never be far from a lively fiesta. Some are week long affairs involving all kinds of entertainment and fun fairs. Some have procession commemorating the Moors and Christians. Others are just neighbourhood parties with singing and dancing where everyone is welcome.
Easter – Semana Santa is a good time to visit this part of Spain. Throughout the week there are processions accompanied by bands playing sombre but stirring music. Take a look at some the videos of this web site.
Monday – Huercal Overa, Cullar, Antas
Tuesday – Albox, Los Gallardos
Wednesday – Cantoria, Baza, Velez Blanco, Mojacar
Thurday – Cuevas del Almanzora, Olula del Rio, Sorbas
Friday – Chirivel, Garrucha, Turre
Saturday – Velez Rubio, Arboleas, Vera, Aguilas
Sunday – Oria, Villaricos, Fines