About the spa town of Lanjaron

Famous for its water springs which are dotted all over the hills. Many Spanish come here to drink the water which is said to contain minerals for eternal youth! Orgiva is a busy little market town containing a myriad of small streets and great tapas bars to explore and discover. A visit to this town is in itself an adventure! The towns in the surrounding area are heavily influenced by Gothic and Moorish architecture. Whilst out on the hills you will be surrounded by almond, olive and citrus groves still tended to by ‘man and his mule’. This area of Spain really is steeped in history and rich in culture.

Lanjaron in the Alpujarras

Since 1980, Lanjaron has celebrated Midsummer’s Eve in honour of San Juan Bautista (John the Baptist) with its Fiesta del Agua y del Jamon (Water and Ham Festival), although the ham aspect has been overshadowed over the years by the liquid element. At the stroke of midnight on 23 June, the small mountain village erupts into the greatest water fight in Spain, and maybe even the world.

Famous for its mineral water, Lanjaron is the perfect destination for this crazy water war. Locals make sure they park their cars out of town in anticipation of the liquid onslaught that attracts revellers from all over the country and further afield.

At midnight, participants take to the streets armed with buckets, water pistols, and anything else they can get their hands on. Total strangers soak each other to the skin, while ladies spray the crowd with hose pipes from the safety of their balconies, filling up their buckets in the process.

By the time the whistle blows at the end of the fight, there is a river running through the streets, and all are soaked to the bone. After a quick change of clothes, the cerveza starts pouring, fireworks fill the sky and the real party begins. Over the next few days, revellers celebrate the calm after the storm with a feast of mouthwatering jamon (ham), another product for which Lanjaron is renowned.

Only its ruins remain over a rocky promontory near to the town. It is located about 600 meters of altitude. Its location was superb, because it dominated, on one hand, the access road to the Alpujarra and, on the other, the one that communicated Granada with the Coast. The castle was surrounded by a wall defended by two great towers of rubblework, one to the north, semi-circular, and another one to the south.

Fernando the Catholic King conquered the town in 1490. Its Moorish inhabitants rebelled again in 1500, a revolt that was controlled by the Christians after an epic defence. The captain who defended the place preferred to throw himself from a tower before surrender. It participated in an active way against the Napoleonic troops in the Independence War, its inhabitants receiving the qualifying name of “canoneros” since then.

The castle is currently being renovated.

Sunset over Lanjaron