Laroya is filled with beautiful, traditional architecture that has remained unaffected by modern construction over the years. It has around 170 inhabitants.
It is thought that the name of Laroya comes from an Arabic term meaning “casserole” or “pot”, due to the town’s situation nestled between mountains. Its history dates back to the Al-Andalus period; it was as early as this that that town’s prevalence within the marble industry began to develop. With the Christian Re-conquest, the Catholic Monarchs granted the town the title of Villa in 1501. Later, it would be annexed to Baza along with other municipalities.
During the Morisco Rebellion in the Alpujarras (1568-1570), many fled, leaving the town depopulated after the war. It was later repopulated from 1579. The history of Laroya is typical of the vicissitudes of this region and partly defined by its long-term dependence on Baza. Its economy has traditionally been based on both the extraction of marble and agriculture.
On June 16, 1945, there were a series of unexplained fires that brought fear and confusion among the residents, and which have become a facet of local lore. The emigration of the 1960s and 1970s, due to the difficulties of subsistence in the town, brought bankruptcy to the remaining population.
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia Parroquial San Ramón Nonato
The Parish Church is an excellent work, faithful to the neoclassical style, with impressive proportions that stand out amongst the town. It was built during the second half of the seventeenth century by the architect Antonio Munar. The name of the architect who drafted the initial designs is unknown. It is topped with a bell tower covered by a dome, and can be found on Calle de la Estación.
Sendero de Los Molinos PR-A 366
This route through the Sierra de los Filabres begins in the Almerian municipality of Laroya, and weaves between orchards, native oak groves and terraces of olive and almond trees; it runs through the remains of the old mills of Juan García and Manuel Parra, the last operating mill in the area which has recently been restored for touristic use. The route coincides with an old section of the GR-143, which ran from María to Almería. It is also worth noting that on this route there are various interesting natural viewpoints, which grant visitors stunning views of the area.
Sendero Reul Alto PR-A 372
The Reul route enters the heart of the Sierra de Los Filabres, through a gorge of rolled stones and ascending slopes of mountains, passing through the farmhouse El Reul Alto, a name brought from Navarra during the Re-conquest. There is a water fountain where hikers can have a drink and top up water bottles. The path continues up to the Paraje del Cortijico and reaches La Piedra de Juan Felipe at 1,500m. This particular place is blessed with unbeatable views. Throughout the route, visitors should pay close attention to the signage, since there are sections that coincide with other trail routes, such as the GR-143 and PR-A 366.
Laroya is a remote village in the mountains of Almeria, so hotels are scarce. There are, however, a number of country houses, villas and cottages available both in Laroya and just outside in the local surroundings that provide more than adequate places to stay. They are often separated into apartments, villas or cottages. Listed below are our suggestions.
The Picachico villas are equipped with air conditioning and heating. The sitting rooms feature a DVD player and board games, and the kitchens come with a hob and microwave. Some villas have a private hot tub. Next door is the Mesón Acacia Restaurant.
Located in Laroya, this collection of cottages offers fantastic views of the Almanzora Valley. Each rustic cottage has has a kitchen with a hob, microwave and washing machine and access to a shared swimming pool, a terrace with a barbecue.
Among the varied dishes in the town are the famous migas de trigo (fried wheat usually served with pork), olla de trigo (wheat stew), arroz de conejo (rice with rabbit), fritada de sangre (fried black pudding), empedrado (rice with beans and cod) and albóndigas de bacalao (cod balls). For those with a sweet tooth, there are some delicious desserts and sweet treats such as homemade mantecados (lard cakes), buñuelos (doughnuts) and roscos fritos (fried aniseed biscuits coated in sugar).
Popular festivals in Laroya are the Fiestas de San Antón, Fiestas de San Marcos and Día de San Ramón Nonato. More>