Valle del Zalabí
by Shenai Martínez Fernández
Valle del Zalabí was formed in 1973 by the merger of Alcudia de Guadix, Exfiliana and Charches; this village is located near the coast of Almería and has several tourist accommodation in caves.
The municipality of Valle del Zalabí has several monuments including the parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Anunciación, from the 16th century, which preserves a Mudejar coffered ceiling and some relics from the 18th century.
The church of Exfiliana, also from the 16th century, conserves valuable paintings and a 17th century Baroque silver monstrance. Other monuments include the sanctuary of Santa María de la Cabeza, from the 16th century, and the hermitages of Las Animas, San Antón and San Buenaventura.
Valle del Zalabí is home to the Ruiz del Peral Bio-photographic Museum and has beautiful natural spots such as the Balsa de las Suertes, the Monterón de Alcudia, the Cuñana and the Fraguara.
The craftsmanship of this town has historically been based on the work of esparto grass to make material for the animals, but as there are hardly any animals any more, the activity has declined enormously.
In the gastronomy of Valle del Zalabí, the soups with peppers and tomatoes, garlic, potatoes or bread rolls and the great variety of buns and cakes stand out. Typical dishes are porridge, breadcrumbs and corn crumbs, fried rabbit, tarbinas, tagliatelle, garlic, rabbit, kid and pork. For those with a sweet tooth, this town offers exquisite fritters, ojuelas, fried roscos, borrachuelos, flores and manjar blanco.
The festivities are spread over the different areas, being at the end of June, for San Pedro and San Pablo, the patron saint festivities in Exfiliana; at the end of September, the Santo Cristo de la Luz, in Alcudia; and on the first Sunday in August, Nuestra Señora del Rosario, in Cherches. In addition, San Antón (17 January), San Marcos (27 April), the Virgen de la Cabeza (last Sunday in April) and San Gregorio (9 May) are also celebrated.
Valle del Zalabí is located 76 kilometres from Granada, from where it can be reached via the A-92 motorway, taking exit 118 just after Guadix.