The Sierra de Gádor mountain range is situated in the south-western corner of the province of Almería. It belongs to the Betic system, specifically the Cordillera Penibética . The maximum altitude is 2249 meters – the summit of Launilla Morrón.
To the north is the Sierra Nevada; to the south lies the Mediterranean Sea whilst the Sierras Alhamilla and Contraviesa lie respectively to the east and west.
|Sierra de Gádor nr Enix|
At the foot of the Sierra de Gádor lies the region of the Poniente Almeriense (
Western Almería), traditionally called the Campo de Dalias which, in my opinion, is by far the least attractive part of the diverse region of Almería. Author Gerald Brenan didn’t like it either – “…a depressing sight met my eye. For fifteen miles the road ran in a perfectly straight line across a stony desert…” was part of his description of the Campo de Dalías in his book “South to ”. Nowadays the stony desert is replaced by an ocean of plastic, the ubiquitous invernaderos. These greenhouses may have allowed the Granada provinceof Almería to become Europe's market garden but they sure look ugly!
Never mind, the Sierra de Gádor is a pleasant, largely unspoilt mountain range that is technically part of that delightful region of the Alpujarras. The following towns are within its boundaries:
Felix , Enix , Gádor , Alhama de Almería , Alicún , Huécija , Íllar , Instinción , Rágol , Fondón, Laujar de Andarax , Alcolea, Berja , Dalías and Vícar .
|statue of a miner in Fondón|
In the past, the Sierra de Gádor was heavily mined, mainly for lead and silver but now water is its biggest treasure. The mines were abandoned in the early nineteenth century. Water, surprisingly, still appears to exist in sufficient quantities. In villages like Berja, Felix and Dalías there are numerous fuentes where water can be obtained – the meagre rainfall and the melted snow from the high sierra is efficiently stored and purified before being released as pure clean water.
|a fuente in Dalías|