The sights in La Iruela are incredible
While on our travel adventure around the Range of Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas, we got lost and ended up in the picturesque village of La Iruela. La Irulea is a little bit before you reach the Hotel El Curro in Burunchel. The sights in this village are incredible and even though we only visited it for a short time, we quickly saw its charms – the castle, the church, and a peculiar small cold meat shop, which we will talk about later.
La Iruela is a small town and easy to get to by car, until you reach its highest point and are forced to snake through narrow, winding streets. In spite of this difficulty, it gave our journey a charming character. After going ‘round and ‘round in search of a parking space, we were lucky and found one directly in front of a small church. It is a good thing we finally found a parking space because the rest of the streets were too narrow for parking.
After parking the car, we stopped for a bit to take pictures and contemplate the church. The church is simple architecturally, so we were surprised by its beautiful bell tower. We continued walking and breathing in the atmosphere of the village, which at this time was empty and quiet. We climbed up the hill to the castle entrance where we paid 2 euros admission. We felt it was well worth it, as the money would go towards their conservation efforts.
I’ll start by describing the gorgeous Church of Saint Domingo de Silos, built during the Spanish Reconquer. We could only see the foundation because it is totally abandoned and in decay. It has no roof and has been invaded and damaged by vegetation and time. It is a real pity that no one has given money to restore this legacy from the past.
However, the castle tower has been restored and you are able to climb to the top and take in the gorgeous views of the town and its surroundings. I felt like a warrior, defending my city against a possible attack from the enemy. It is not difficult to imagine planning strategies when at the top, since it is an excellent spot to stage a defense. In ages past, fortifications were built with a purpose! As we were leaving the castle tower something curious caught our eye. Next to the fortress, there is a small house with a vegetable patch, where an old woman working in the garden, brought to mind more peaceful scenes of gathering vegetables in the quiet, calm surroundings.
We have found it is usually the unexpected, out-of-the-way details which allow you to experience the authentic essence of the village, the history of the place. Who would think that we would find a small, cold meat shop where we felt at home? The name of the shop is Pepita. They export their fabulous products everywhere – made by hand locally, in a traditional way, with lots of honey. The flavor of the sausage or the spicy chorizo was out of this world. They sell sweets and pastries also, so we bought different products (salads and sweets) to take home with us.
For these reasons, if you are thinking of going to Cazorla or the Ranges, you must include this village in your itinerary. You do not need a long time to visit, but this village is able to offer just the right combination of things to make you happy. This is in addition to the wonderful viewpoints of the village and its surroundings. We ruskommend La Iruela with 4 boquerones and if you visit Pepita, remember to mention Rusko and El Boqueron Viajero!