Flavours of Spain
along the mountain side, Lanjaron is an attractive
settlement of white houses with tiled roofs. Above are the
semi arid slopes of Cerro de Caballo.
Below the ground falls in terraces to the valley of Rio Lanjaron.
The area has been settled since Roman times and was an important stop on the Moorish silk road. The stark remains of Castillo Árabe guarded the approaches from the south.
Lanjarón was also key in the fight against Napoleon’s troops in the Spanish War of Independence, earning Lanjaroneses the alternative title of Cañoneros (gunners). The canon outside the town hall is a reminder of these times.
The name means a place of abundant water, and has been an important spa town since the C18th. The waters are reputed to alleviate ailments such as rheumatism and arthritis, as well as liver and kidney problems. The large spa baths, the Balneario were built in 1928. Beside them was a bottled water plant. This has now moved to the edge of the town and has been replaced by a hotel.
The World Health Organisation has recognised Lanjaron as one of the best places for longevity. The climate, pure mountain air, good water and Mediterranean diet mean many of the population live to one hundred. The town hotels are popular with Spanish pensioners on subsidised holidays.
There are a series of small fountains around the town.
Many like this one on Santa Ana has a poem by Federico García Lorca. Next to it is a small lavado.
The Water Museum on the edge of town is a very modern building looks at the history and importance of water to the town and to raise awareness of how precious a resource it is.
Lanjaron is also the place for one of the biggest water festivals in the world, La noche de San Juan. Lasting for 5 or 6 days, the highlight is the Water Race from midnight until 1am on the 23rd June. Participants walk through the streets while locals pour water onto them using hoses, buckets and anything to hand.
As well as the spa and bottled water, Lanjaron has a diverse economy with a honey farm, cheese factory, marmalade factory, olive oil factory as well as a craft brewery.
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