A short drive inland through the mountain ranges of the Cierra de las Estancias and the Sierra de los Filabres brings you to numerous charming villages and towns, enveloped in stunning countryside of olive groves, citrus orchards and dramatic hills and valleys. One such town is Albox, situated in the heart of the Almanzora Valley, situated 420m above sea level and approximately 130km from the provincial capital of Almeria.
The name derives from the Arabic word for forest and sounds similar to the Spanish term for forest ‘el bosque’. The origens of Albox date back to Medieval times when the ancient fort town was located on a hill nearby to its current location. In 1503 it was completely destroyed by an earthquake and most of its historical buildings were lost. The town was reconstructed from scratch in its current location.
Albox is a traditional white-washed Spanish market town with a population of around 11,000 inhabitants, of which a small percentage are foreign ex-pat residents. The town has all the facilities and service one would expect from a modern small town: shops, banks, post office, restaurants, bars, schools and a 24 hour medical centre. The nearest major hospital is in Huercal Overa, approximately 21km away.
Albox has a municipal swimming pool, very typical of inland Spanish towns that don’t have access to beaches. You will find most locals frequenting the pool during the weekends and summer holidays. It opens throughout July and August. There is also a sports centre and tennis club, which also has its own swimming pool.
The name derives from the Arabic word for forest and sounds similar to the Spanish term for forest ‘el bosque’.
A large market is held every Tuesday morning and a smaller market on Saturday mornings. On market days the neighbouring streets are shut off to traffic and stalls open up selling fresh fruit, vegetables and bread. Jamons (cured ham on the bone) can be found hanging from stalls and shop windows; dozens of varieties of queso (cheese), chorizo (cured sausage) and many more delicacies are on show. The market is extensive, with street upon street, a myriad of noise, colour and smells. In fact you can find just about anything in the Albox market.
The town offers visitors an insight into the lifestyle of a traditional Spanish town, with its traditional customs and culture.
Every year Albox celebrates All Saints Day (Halloween) with a massive week long fiesta (festival) from 31st October-6th November. In Spain Halloween is known as All Saints Day and is a day of celebration for lost loved ones, rather than the commercial version that is commonly celebrated in the UK and US.
The All Saints festival is the biggest annual celebration in Albox, when thousands of people from surrounding towns and villages descend upon Albox to join in the festivities and celebrations.
The week is filled with performances, theatre, fun and games, and of course lots of typical food and drink; a Spanish festival wouldn’t be the same without the typical serving of the giant paella (see photograph to the right) and lots of local wine.
A huge marquee is erected in the centre of town, which plays host to the main events and the streets are filled with stalls, games and fairground rides. The celebrations last well into the early hours of the morning (some until 8am).
Venture further into the beautiful countryside and you will come across other similar unspoilt villages, several rivers also flow close to the town, including the rivers Almanzara and Albanchez, which contribute to the area’s rich agricultural background. It’s hard to believe that the area is under an hour’s drive from the coastal resort of Mojácar.
Albox has the perfect all-year round temperate climate, as does the whole of the Costa Almeria with temperatures rarely falling below 18ºC. It can get a bit chilly during the winter evenings, but the days are generally clear and blue. During the summer months the temperature rises to around 30ºC throughout May-June. July and August can get hotter. It drops again around mid-September to a milder, but still warm 23ºC-27ºC degrees.
Albox has everything you need however this is a very quiet region and does not have a night life so you will need to research this before visiting. About 1 hour from Almeira airport it has a modern road network to get you there so a car is essential. There is a bowling alley, chinese restaurant and a few bars and supermarkets which are fun to visit.If you want a beach this is about a 20-30 minute drive. The temperatures were very high in August and we just wanted to relax by the pool. There are a number of markets offering superb fresh fruit and veg which are a must to visit. This is a place to totally relax and get away from it all and not to party.
Costa Almería reviews
Very clean and lively at Mojacar beach with plenty of shops and coffee bars
If you want the 'real spain' this is it. Rural views but everything you want in a town - though not a tourist town. You can't buy souvenirs here - but the beaches are approx 30 mins away - Mojacar is lovely, and the mountains are equally as good. It would help to know Spanish, but you can probably get by without. Weekly market is well worth a look. Be aware the temp drops by 5 degrees if you go up to Oria in the hills, and on the whole Albox is slightly warmer than the coast too
Costa Almería reviews
There are wide expanses of sandy beach, coupled with rocky coves and spectacular views. The season only kicks off in June so there isn't a huge amount of toursity stuff outside the season, but there are many restaurants and cafes along the front. Much more spanish in feel, but I imagine in high season the bars may spill out, but it is very relaxing, and extremely clean in june. Mojacar town is a good walk from the beach resort but any part of the coast is worth the visit
Albox was a pleasant town, fairly small but had all the main requirements we needed. Supermarkets, one of which was English food, Banks, cashpoints and a few nice cafes along with an unusual market.
Great internet cafe owned by an English woman which was easy and cheap, parking not great and at times really difficult depending on times. Quite dusty with some major roadworks outside the town.
Overall pleasant and convient for amenities.
Costa Almería reviews
Great views, nice beaches.
Downside is they are pretty much packed and everything costs.