We had heard that there is a beautiful little mountain village called Laroya in the Sierra de los Filabres so today we went to look for it seeking inspiration for painting and photography.

Marble quarry

We drove through the mountains until we came across marble quarries and the town of Macael which was clearly prospering from this industry.

Veins of marble

We stopped at the quarries as the veins of marble and the stratas of rock on the exposed faces were fascinating.

First view of Laroya

At Macael, we turned off on to a narrow mountain road that wound its way through unremarkable mountain scenery for 7km, and then, when turning a corner, we suddenly arrived at Laroya, a charming, pretty village overlooking a fertile valley, an oasis in the barren mountains.

Narrow street in Laroya

We explored its narrow streets.

Old window with wooden rejas

Many houses are built of natural stone and retain their old doors and windows with wooden rejas.

Whitewashed houses

Some houses are whitewashed but ….

Bare stone walls

…. others expose bare stone walls.

Working with almonds

Outside one house a woman was busy operating a machine to peel the husks off almonds. She was friendly and stopped her machine to chat to us.

Cat with almonds

A little ginger cat blended in with the pile of almonds …..

Cat in window

…. one of the many cats we encountered in the narrow streets.

Flowers in pots

Flowers grow in pots outside the houses and ….

Vine over window

…. vines and fig trees provide shade.

Man, dog and cats

We saw hardly anybody in the village. This old gentlemen was one of the few people we encountered.

The 16th Century church

We ended up in the little square in front of the 16th Century church and noticed several walks signposted.

Looking back at Laroya

We decided to explore the countryside and took a path that ran alongside fields lined with pomegranate, nispero and membrillo trees.

Poplar trees

The path ran alongside an irrigation channel above a barranco where poplar trees were beginning to display their autumn colours and eventually reached an old mill.

Old mill and water deposit

It was time to make our way back to the village and we were thinking that we should return and stay for a couple of days to explore more of this beautiful countryside.


About Margaret Merry

I grew up in Falmouth, Cornwall, England where, after leaving Falmouth High School, I spent a year at Falmouth School of Art. Then followed three years at Hornsey College of Art in London where I obtained a Diploma in Art and Design. I then spent a post-graduate year at the West of England College of Art in Bristol where I gained an Art Teacher?s Diploma and a Certificate in Education of the University of Bristol. I lived and worked in Truro for over 30 years and became one of Cornwall's most popular artists. My paintings have been exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Paris and London and have been bought by collectors from all over the world. I have published 4 books which became local bestsellers - 'The Natural History of a Westcountry City', 'Margaret Merry's Cornish Garden Sketchbook', 'Sea & Sail' and 'Tidal Reaches'. In 2002 I moved to Spain and now live pn a small farmer the town of Alhabia in the Alpujarra Almeriense in the Province of Almeria. I now get my inspiration from the dramatic scenery of Andalucia and its old cities, towns and villages which I usually capture in watercolour. I also enjoy portraiture and figurative art, particularly nudes and dancers. For these paintings I use artists' soft pastels. I have written and illustrated 3 children's books - The Wise Old Boar, The Lonely Digger and The Adventure of Princess The Pony - which have been published in the USA.
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One Response to Laroya

  1. angela Bell says:

    I went to Los Filabres to a hermitage where a pilgrimage was taking place.Uncle manuel went for a cure for his bad leg! Wonderful scenery up there but a very weird experience!

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