How to Find an Abandoned Village

Updated : Oct 23, 2019 in Articles

How to Find an Abandoned Village

Uh, my first trip to Spain was April, May So, I’m going to try to recap all of the places I went to in Spain. But, my memory could fail me. Anyway, here’s a map. Got the map out.. just conveniently, right? Uh, so anyway… Started way up in London, went to Almería first. That’s where I began. Uh, so I’m in Almería with Chris. How’s it going Chris? Yeah, everything’s good. (Napolitano) At this point, I had no idea, how do you look for a village. I started driving, knocking on doors of abandoned places. That was kind of ridiculous… led to some cool stories. Chris, he’s working the GoPro. And he’s literally pointing to Ohp, there’s an abandoned place. There you go. Probably the lowest point in taking this approach of knocking on doors, was when I found one abandoned place, there was a phone number outside, and I called it, and, actually in the middle of nowhere, in Spain, and they told me to come back, and I told them, I’m sorry but I’m probably not going to come back. Anyway, spent a little time on the beach. Here’s Cabo de Gata…and. From there, I went to Murcia and visited a friend who helped me a lot. Laura invited me to Sunday lunch, in a small town, outside of Murcia, and which was really amazing. Got to learn the culture, got to meet her family, her Grandmother. Real Spanish cooking. Her family never really understood why I was so interested in the 80-90 year-old turtle in their back patio. But, to me it was interesting… so, maybe something was lost in translation there. But, uh, that’s one more element. And we wound up looking at a lot of places around here. Uh, there’s an area called the Huerta which surrounds the city, um but it’s an agricultural area it’s right on the edge of the city it’s a ten minute walk from the Huerta to the center of the city. Beyond sharing her culture with me where Laura really helped out was showing me a good research approach for how to find a village. Doing internet research, showing me how I can contact different town halls, different real estate agents, if we want to take that approach. And from Murcia, I wound up hopping all the way over to Sevilla after that. Also at this point, one of Laura’s friends, Lucia, came along for a couple of weeks to help with driving, help with translation, help in general with the project. And Sevilla, there were some football matches. Just, cool things happening in the city. I didn’t really get into village or space hunting, didn’t look for anything abandoned. While I didn’t look for anything abandoned, it did come my way. While I was off for a minute, Lucia was talking with someone at Plaza España (trying to sell his friend’s house). That’s where Star Wars was shot, famously, in Sevilla. Um, from Sevilla, I actually spent a bit of time in Lisbon. And Lisbon, I hopped back down to Malaga. And found a really cool place, just outside of Malaga. Called Casillas de Díaz. So here we are looking for Casillas de Díaz. And we’re actually making some calls to town hall, beforehand. In order to find out the exact location. But, calling town hall, actually did not work, this time. So, here’s the back-up strategy: Go to the nearest town to where you know the village is, and you go to a bar, or a tapas restaurant, and you start asking old Spanish people. When you see the green garbage, turn left. What do you think? Ok. Go? Go, why not? Umm, no. No? No, no, this is crazy. Yeah, yeah, this won’t take us anywhere. So, here we are speaking with man number four. The final one that we have to speak with. We’re actually up in the mountains, in a small little town now, and the village is right around the corner. So, finally, had success. Didn’t get completely lost. And found the village. And Malaga to Granada. Looked a bit around Granada. There’s an interesting area called Alpujarras. And Granada to Murcia again. And eventually Murcia back to Almería. We need that, talk with the mayor. Yeah, of course, of course. But I think that it’s the same. The mayor will like the idea as well. You think the mayor, is going to like the idea also? Yes, yes, I think. Here, next to this, there is water. So in a small town outside of Almería. I actually found a lot of success in contacting town hall, someone who works with the mayor, at town hall, actually took me out, around the town, showing me abandoned properties, showing me there’s a proper village nearby, and we spoke a lot about what could be done with it how to revitalize it. Very, he had very interesting ideas, he really knew his town. And, uh, yeah he showed me some beautiful nature as well. And it was amazing, and relaxing. And, it was great. So, yeah, that about wrapped up the trip, for the first month, and it was a really good way to end it. Almería, back to Murcia. And then from Murcia I went to Alicante. Alicante International Airport, flew to visit some family, and relax. So, and now I’m going back and that’s it.


  • I did kind of the same process but without phone calls, just asking local people and using some internet resources such as:
    My trip started in Santiago de Compostela and I went in zig zag between the border of Portugal and Spain down to Sevilla through Castelo Branco, Mérida, and many small villages and beautifull landscapes. I was alone with my car an d my CDs. Then in Sevilla I contacted people to do some wwoofing and I found some place in near Cordoba, after some days, showered and well eated I went Cadiz, Malaga, Almería, Algeciras and all andalusí coast until Murcia, then Madrid (family) through Albacete and then Galicia again. I am very pleased to know I'm not the only one putting crazy ideas into practice! Hope we meet in our ways.

  • Good luck, great initiative! If you end up in the Costa del Sol or thereabouts, I recommend you look at water sources.

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