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A great day out visiting Velez Blanco, only one hour from us in the province of Almeria. A beautiful drive through the Maria mountains to get there and definitely an hour well spent.

The Castillo-Palacio (Renaissance Castle) that crowns the centre of the town is the main attraction, one of the jewels of the Spanish Renaissance. Constructed on top of the old Arab castle in the 16th Century, under order from the first Marqués de Los Vélez, and declared a National Historical Monument, it rises up above a rock more than 1000 metres tall, offering the most spectacular view of the surrounding area. Unfortunately, only the exterior has been preserved to this day as the interior was sold at the beginning of the 20th Century and today is on show at the Museum of Metropolitan Art in New York, US. You can park at the top where the castle is or stroll up from the town.

Other stand-out buildings include the Iglesia de Santiago Apóstol, from the 16th Century, which has some gothic elements to it, as well as Renaissance and Mudejar; The San Luis Convent, from the same century, with a plateresque door and a small mudejar tower; and the Fuente Caños de Caravaca, from the 18th Century.

Outside the centre of town there are various Arab watchtowers, as well as archaeological sites with cave paintings, many located in the Natural Park. Among them is the Cueva Ambrosio and the Cerro de las Canteras, from the Paleolithic and Neolithic times.

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