The Region of Los Vélez, a jewel of Eastern Andalusia

The Region of Los Vélez, a jewel of eastern Andalusia

Bordering on the Region of Murcia, the Region of Los Vélez is special and worth visiting not only for its history and natural heritage but specially for its inhabitants.

Arriving from Lorca, we get into the valley of the Corneros river in the Region of Los Vélez. The ruins of the medieval fortress of Xiquena establish the limit between the Region of Murcia and Andalusia. In the distance, at the foot of the Mahimón mountain range, the castle of Vélez Blanco is raised as a visual milestone. Its vigour made us feel hopelessly attracted!

Ruins of the medieval fortress of Xiquena (Lorca).

Ruins of the medieval fortress of Xiquena (Lorca).

 

The road is then divided into two branches: towards Vélez Rubio, landmark of the Region, or towards the meadow of Vélez Blanco, finding shelter in its fortress.

Vélez Rubio

Home of the Bronze and Copper Ages cultures, Vélez Rubio hosted a Roman settlement important for being its core crossed by the road between Cartago and Castulo. This singularity and the subsequent cultural influences have transformed the urban area into an outdoor museum, declared Historical-Artistic Site.

Church of Vélez Rubio (Credit: Juan Heredia)

Church of Vélez Rubio ( Credit: Juan Heredia)

Vélez Blanco

Crowned by the beauty of its Renaissance castle built on ancient defensive constructions, Vélez Blanco shows a historical set of deep Muslim roots that merged with later architectural contributions give a monumental character to the metropolis.

Moving towards the west, in our way to Chirivel, we get into the province of Almería. We slowly go up the rambla of El Ginte, natural path that takes us to the foot of the mountain range Las Estancias. Passing to the other gradient we make a small incursion in the region of Almanzora, looking for the sanctuary of La Virgen del Saliente. After appreciating the magnificent views from the Sanctuary, we continue towards Chirivel, border with the region of Guadix. The route crosses vast fields of almond trees, whose blooming is a magnificent show of colours and scents in February.

The medieval old quarter of Vélez Blanco (Vélez Blanco).

The medieval old quarter of Vélez Blanco (Vélez Blanco).

Chirivel

It is based in the fertility of a bank full of orchards, plots, ravines and vast plains. Its inhabitants are guardians of ancient important traditions such as the Muslim roots pastries or the craftsmanship of honey and esparto. What is more, the population has established itself among the biggest ecological producers of Almeria.

Crossing the mountain range of María, we get to the village of the same name.

María

At the very heart of the Natural Park, María itself is a town of great landscape interest from which many routes set off. Due to its privileged natural environment, it has emerged as the greatest defender of the last bastion of the large Mediterranean forests of the province.

Sierra de María y Los Vélez (Credit: Juan Heredia CC by)

Sierra de María y Los Vélez (Credit: Juan Heredia CC by)

Have a complete look at the Comarca de Los Vélez with this video:

And remember that you can discover this awesome destination with some of our routes:

 

Castles and sanctuaries selfguided bike route in Eastern Spain
Selfguided / 8 days / 540€
This 8-days itinerary will carry you from medieval castles and holy sanctuaries to sunny landscapes through Eastern Andalusia and the Region of Murcia. Enjoy a bike trip full of History and histories.

 

Vélez Blanco. Credit: Antonio Periago. Flickr CC-BYThrough the last medieval border of Al-Andalus by bike
Selfguided / 7 days / 530€
From Aledo to Vélez Blanco, passing by the Fortress of the Sun in Lorca, you will go over arid valleys, climb to impregnable fortresses and discover Muslim hamlets. A 7 days’ trip through time to discover the last medieval border in Spain.