The town of Arboleas is on a hillside overlooking the Almanzora Valley. The lower part of the town consists principally of white walled houses and narrow streets, with the small church of Santiago, together with several new apartment blocks.


In the upper part of the town is a modern Town Hall and tree lined square with its statue celebrating Al Arbuli, a modern museum dedicated to the famous local wood artist Pedro Gilabert, with the associated art gallery and assembly hall, and some new housing.

santiago churchtorre vigia arboleas

The municipality of Arboleas covers 66 square kms, and lies between two chains of mountains, to the south the Sierra de Las Filabres, and to the north the Sierra de Las Estancias. Overlooking the town is the ancient Moorish watch tower, now renovated.

The area which stretches along the banks of the Almanzora River contains the villages of La Cinta, El Rincon, Casablanca (legendary home of a Moorish Prince), El Prado (the meadow), La Judea (with its historic Jewish connotations), and La Perla (the precious pearl of earlier Arab inhabitants, who it is said kept the keys to their homes when they were expelled, hoping one day to return).


It is said that in the last century people fished for delicious trout in the crystal clear waters of the Almanzora River, and the river turned more than a dozen flour mills in the villages along its course. Now the river is a dry sandy expanse most of the time. Even when the heavy rains fall in the mountains during a cold front, the river has only a short lived trickle of water. 

Despite the lack of water, orange and lemon trees flourish along the valley. Irrigation is provided by boqueras and cimbras (an ancient Arabic collection and storage system) and by wells and springs, with acequias taking the water to the fields.

To the south of the town, the Arroyo Aceituno winds its way into the hills, climbing 200 metres through the villages of Los Carrascos, Los Garcias, El Chopo, Los Cojos, Los Torres, Las Huevanillas and Los Colorados. Here the primary vegetation is olive and almond trees. It culminates in the 500 metre high Sierra de la Murta, the only forest zone in the area, where there are abundant pine trees.

To the north of the town, across the main Huercal Overa to Baza road, the local road passes behind the olive press and winds its way into the hills and the villages of Limaria and Los Higuerales. This is the highest part of Arboleas, with the Cerro Limaria at 700 metres, and the views of the distant Mediterranean.