The valleys of our region -the "Marina Alta"- combine the two fundamental elements of the Mediterranean world: mountains and sea, resulting in a landscape of transparent blues and intense greens.

The abrupt coasts, with impressive cliffs, conceal harbours and quiet creeks. Only a few kilometres inland is a landscape of small valleys, known as "Les Valls de la Marina", with neatly terraced hillsides and lofty summits.

On the peak of the Cavall Verd

Benimaurell in
the spring
Our mountains are covered with kermes oaks, pines, carob trees, palmettos and white rock rose; along the footpaths and gullies we find red valerian and oleanders, which lend colour to the countryside. Almond and cherry trees, with their successive flowerings and autumnal reds, usher in the spring and autumn. Small kitchen gardens for domestic consumption complete the palette of colours.
The earliest settlements in the area date from the Palaeolithic, and the area is one of the richest in macroschematic rock paintings, recently declared part of the World's Heritage by UNESCO. We can admire these in the numerous natural shelters in La Vall de la Gallinera, Pla de Petracos or Barranc de L'Infern, among other places.
Terraces of cherries in the autumn

A stream near Fleix
The Arab influence is visible in the castles and watchtowers strung out across our valleys, as well as in their terraces, water channels and in the names of our villages whose origin is self-evident: Benissivá, Benialí, Benimaurell ... The Moriscos occupied these lands until the 17th century and heroically refused to abandon them. Following their final expulsion, the area was repopulated by Mallorcan settlers.
Our villages, generally small, some of them with barely a hundred inhabitants, are friendly and hospitable and many now have facilities and infrastructures for ramblers and visitors in general. They represent the hidden face of the Costa Blanca, yet to be discovered.
Among these valleys, La Vall de Laguar stands unrivalled in its impressive beauty; it unfolds before the traveller's eyes, trapped between the Penyó or Cavall Verde mountains to the South and the La Carrasca mountains to the North, the latter rent asunder by the impressive gorge known as the Barranco del Infierno or Hell's Ravine. Towards the East lie green plains carpeted with orange groves and beyond them the blue line of the sea.
Gorge of the
Barranco del Infierno

Nestling on the fertile slopes of the Cavall Verd (the Green Horse) are the three villages of the valley, Campell, Fleix and Benimaurell, with a combined population of nearly nine hundred inhabitants.

The history of Laguar or Al-Ahuar (the caves) is inexorably linked to its Arab origin and to the Moriscos.

The Cavall Verd at sunrise

When King Philip III ordered their expulsion and the ships were ready in the port of Denia to transport them to Oran, the Moriscos of Laguar, led by the legendary heroine and healer Ezmé, took refuge in their mythical mountain, the Cavall Verd, where according to an ancient legend a green horse would come to save them.

They finally surrendered at the top of the mountain. A terrible slaughter ensued and the valley was left deserted. Years later, the Borgia family, who were the owners of the valley, granted a village charter to 27 families of Mallorcan settlers, who brought with them their customs, language and gastronomy.
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