Arboleas is a small town in the Almanzora valley on the banks of the river of the same name, not far from the larger market town of Albox. The old part of the town has cobbled streets and an ancient church, constructed in 1492 by the Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo. Although very much a part of the old town, the church was sensibly built on higher ground away from the river, because after heavy rains the river thunders down the valley, often flooding the nearby fields and orchards. This area has been inhabited since prehistoric days and has a long and interesting history, details of which can be found in the impressive new Town Hall in the higher part of the town.
The Moors played a large part in this history and an Arab writer name Abu Ben Abdalacis Al Arboli was born here in the 14th Century, he wrote a book about the food of the region, whose original copy is kept in the National Library. In 1488 Arboleas , together with many villages of the area, surrendered to Christian rule under the Catholic Kings, after the troops from Lorca, together with those of the daughters of the Marques of Velez, won their battle against the Moors.
Nowadays, with easy access provided by the dual carriageway between Huercal Overa and Baza, many British people have made this small town their home, and in Arroyo Aceituno, at the entrance to a beautiful valley that runs along the base of the Filabres mountains, there is an expanding residential area of neat villas with pretty gardens and pools, where many live.
The British join in the local fiestas, the times and dates of which are advertised in the local papers.
Arboleas has a strong agricultural economy, growing citrus, olive and almond
trees and cereals such as wheat and barley. These orchards and fields extend up the river Almanzora towards Cantoria and Albanchez and many of the products are sold in the large market every Tuesday in Albox.
The town backs onto the lower north eastern slopes of the Filabres mountains and from it many excursions, drives and walks are possible. The marble mining villages are not far away, where the huge white slices cut out of the mountains shine in the sunshine, the most dramatic example being the village of Cóbdar. Further to the west the Filabres rise higher, displaying pine clad slopes and sometimes snow capped summits in the winter months.
During the season, wild boar are shot in these wild, empty spaces and they feature on the menu in many a restaurant in the Filabres.