Somontín forms a natural balcony, known as the Balcón del Almanzora (Balcony of the Almanzora), overlooking the whole Almanzora Valley, a corner of Almería from which visitors can enjoy the beauty of the area. It has around 450 inhabitants.
The origin of Somontín dates back to the Roman era (second century AD), although evidence suggests that the original nucleus of the village was situated south of the current enclave. The village is likely to have been a place of importance since Emperor Marco Aurelio gave it authorization to coin money. At the beginning of the Al-Andalus period, it was resettled in its current location, which provided better defense and water. By the ninth century, Hisn Somontan emerged as a safe fortress. More>
THINGS TO SEE
Iglesia de Santa María
The church was built in the sixteenth century with an impressive Mudejar wooden coffered ceiling. The church deteriorated from various causes and, in 1983, part of the roof sank, including this coffered ceiling. The two images of La Virgen de Los Dolores and San Sebastian El Chico survived the burning of saints that took place during the Civil War. Located on Calle Iglesia.
Throughout the Almanzora Valley, the old public laundry facilities of the towns are beautifully preserved. They are places of great ethnological interest that transport us to another era, in which these facilities were social hubs; spaces where chores were balanced with the exchange of local news. Located on Calle Barranco.
Balcón del Almanzora
The viewpoint, also known as Pretil, was named Balcón del Almanzora (Almanzora Balcony) by Francisco Villaespesa, who was astonished by the magnificent view from here. From this particular viewpoint, you can see all the villages of the Almanzora Valley from Cantoria to Lúcar, panoramic views of the quarries and, of course, all the shallow cultivation valley. Located on Calle Iglesia.
Fuente de San Sebastián
This fountain provides water from the mountains. When used at different times in the year, visitors can observe the curious effect that the water is cold in the summer and hot in the winter. The fountain was the result of the union of the three sources that existed in Somontín at the end of the nineteenth century. Water from this source is regulated in batches of fifteen days, each of which starts at 6:00p.m. and is privately owned. However, it can be used freely for the domestic supply of the entire town and the surplus is used for the irrigation of fields. Located on Calle del Pilar.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Cortijo de Carrillo
Remains from the Roman era have been preserved to this day and are located in the archaeological sites of Cortijo de Carrillo, located 2km away from the centre of town.
Nature lovers will find this a perfect destination to enjoy rural tourism, with hiking routes and tranquil walks throughout the surrounding areas.
Gastronomically, the high quality olive oil cultivated in the local olive plantations stands out as the main product of the town. Visitors should also try local dishes such as fritada de purchena (rabbit and tomato), migas (fried breadcrumbs served with pork), olla de pelotas (chickpea stew), empedrado (bean and cod rice) and albóndigas de bacalao (cod balls). Sweet treats include mantecados (lard cakes), buñuelos (fried doughnuts) and roscos (fried aniseed dumplings).
Popular festivals in Somontín are Paseo de la Rosca, Moros y Cristianos, San Sebastián and Santa Inés. More>