The province of Almeria is divided into eight ‘Comarcas’ or districts. Each comarca has its own character, from the volcanic desert landscape of the Cabo de Gata, to the lush green valleys in the mountains of the Los Vélez region.
The Almanzora Comarca is characterised by the river that flows through the region, the Rio Almanzora. On either side of the fertile valley the arid mountains of the Lúcar, Estancias and Filabres ranges dominate the skyline. The valley has attracted humans since the Neolithic period and there are traces of ancient peoples from that time, the Argars. They were followed by Iberians, who were visited by the Phoenician traders from the eastern Mediterranean. The Romans and Moors also left their mark. During the Moorish rebellions of the late 16th century (also called the War of the Alpujarras or the Morisco Revolt), D. Juan de Austria, stepbrother of King Felipe II, based his armies in the Almanzora whilst he crushed the revolt. A few years later, the author Miguel de Cervantes became the tax collector for the area. Three hundred years later, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Almanzora enjoyed an economic boom thanks to the mining industry. The mining boom proved short-lived and the ruined foundries, derelict mine workings and abandoned railway buildings are plain to see. Longer lived is the marble industry that currently provides 80% of the marble produced in Spain. The Moors used marble from Almanzora in the Alhambra at Granada and the Mosque in Cordoba. The Almanzora is a place of long-standing traditions and an ancient way of life that still remains largely untouched.