Information about Albox, Almeria

Today I spent some time in and around the traditional white-washed Spanish market town Albox a very pleasant 45-50 minute drive inland from the coast with stunning countryside views of olive groves, orchards and exceptional hill and valley views. Situated in the heart of the Almanzora Valley, about 420m above sea level and around 130km from the provincial capital of Almeria.

Albox café sceneFrom my understanding the name comes from the Arabic word for forest and sounds very much like the Spanish term for forest ‘el bosque’. Albox dates back to the Medieval times when the ancient fort town was located on a hill nearby to its present location. In 1503 it was completely destroyed by an earthquake and most of its historical buildings were sadly lost. The town was rebuilt in its present location.

It has a population of around 11,500 inhabitants and really in my eyes is a traditional working Spanish town of which a small percentage are foreign residents. The town has many facilities and services you 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.

There is also a municipal swimming pool, very typical of inland Spanish towns that don´t have access to beaches. You will find most locals visiting 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 Donkey Statue in AlboxA 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. Jamones (cured ham on the bone) can be found hanging from stalls and shop windows; many of varieties of queso (cheese), chorizo (cured sausage) and many more traditional Spanish delicacies are on show. The market is extensive, with street upon street of sound, colours and smells. In fact you can find just about anything in the Albox market.

Every year Albox celebrates All Saints Day (which we call Halloween) with a massive week long fiesta (festival) from 31st Oct-6th Nov. 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 other Countries of the world. The All Saints festival is the biggest annual celebration in Albox, when thousands of people from surrounding towns and villages coming to Albox to join in the festivities and celebrations.

The week is filled with many performances, theatre, fun and games, and of course lots of typical Spanish food and drink one of it's most famous events I understand is the Feria de Mediodia, when a huge paella is cooked and served to all the revellers.

The Albox plazaA huge marquee is put up in the centre of town, which features the main events and the streets are filled with stalls. The celebrations last well into the early hours of the morning until around 8am.

Take a drive further into the countryside and you will come across other unspoilt villages, such as Almanzora, Partaloa, La Alfoquia, Arboleas, Zurgena and many more area’s rich historical backgrounds. It’s hard to believe that the area is under an hour’s drive from the coastal resort of Mojácar Playa.

Albox has the perfect all-year round temperate climate, as does the whole of the Costa Almeria with temperatures rarely falling below 18C. It does get slightly cooler during the winter mornings and evenings, but the days are generally clear with blue skies and most of the time pleasant enough that a jacket is not needed during the day. During the summer months the temperatures can rise to around 30C which I have still to experience throughout May to June and seemingly July and August can get hotter not a bad complaint if I do say so myself. It drops again around mid-September to a milder, but still warm 23C-27C degrees.

- Andy, Huercal Overa Office