Alcolea is a municipality in the province of Almeria. It has 1051 inhabitants and is located 65 km from the capital.
The centre of Alcolea is at an altitude of 739 meters above sea level.
The village of Alcolea is set on a hillside in the landscape with its unique architecture of flat-roofed houses, typical of its Moorish past, and surrounded by olive groves. Among the monuments and points of interest are the Iglesia Parroquial de San Sebastián, with its unique tower, and the Ermita de Santa Rosa.
The confluence of the Sierra Nevada, and Gador form a single, narrow stretch, mixing the rapid waters that run from the heights of the huge Barranco del Puerto de la Ragua, and collect in the rivers Bayárcal and Paterna, flowing down to Benin, to lead to Adra. It is this boxed valley that is the very backbone of the Alpujarra, a natural gateway in and out of this region.
In the time of the Muslim emirate, the land belonging to the administrative district of Berja taha, was called Alpujarra, a term that was later extended to include all this historical region. It borders the towns of Berja to the south; Laujar Andarax and Paterna, to the east; Bayárcal, Picena, Ugíjar Cherín to the north, and Cojáyar, Murtas and Turon to the west. Its population, which is declining steadily, is approximately 1,000 inhabitants, concentrated mostly in Alcolea, with reduced numbers in Darrícal, with outlying areas being mostly almost abandoned.
Downstream of Alcolea, following the course of the river, past the plains of Lucainena and Alcolea, we arrive at the Sotillos. Here the river joins Cherín, from where flow the waters collected in the grenadine cliff face of the barranco del Puerto de la Ragua (rivers Picena and Laroles).
Alcolea was originally known as Alcolaya by Muslim geographers of the time. Ruins of a fortress, built for defense by the Emirate, are still preserved in the Castillejo.
Lucainena, possibly a name of Latin origin, could be the name of a farm, Lucainus. During the Hispanic Muslim period, Locaynina would have been a place that had a mosque and rábita.
Darrícal is a name of Arabic origin that was first recorded in the fifteenth century. In the early sixteenth century it consisted of four districts and a rábita, protected by a turret.
These populations are predominantly agricultural, organized around small irrigation vegas, typically Mediterranean with a strong Moorish style.
In local folklore, highlights of the music and dance of the Alpujarras include: fandango, songs and lullabies.
Iglesia Parroquial de San Sebastián
Ermita de Santa Rosa
Iglesia de Ángel Custodio (Darrícal)
Iglesia parroquial (Lucainena)
The municipality is famous for its olives. It is said that the olive groves of Alcolea are the highest in the world. Just as these olives are the hallmark of Alcolea, the oil too is of an excellent quality. It can (and should) be purchased in the famous mill.
Among the areas well known dishes are Migas, Gachas, Ascoscús, Choto in garlic and a lot of dishes flavored with the tasty oil of Alcolea.
Exit Almeria. Take: E-15 / A-7. Pass near Aguadulce, El Ejido and Adra. Take Exit 391 – Berja – Adra. Take: A-347 and continue through Berja until you reach the town.
Distances from Alcolea
Berja 17 km
Almeria 67 km
Aguadulce 57 km
Láujar Andarax 7 km
Alhama de Almería 47 km
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