Tollos, a village in the mountains of Alicante, Spain
Tollos was founded over 750 years ago by the Moriscos. They were largely responsible for the terracing and many irrigation systems in the area. They were expelled in 1609 and the area remained virtually unpopulated until the feudal lords encouraged immigrants from Mallorca to repopulate it later in the seventeenth century. Most of the local people are their descendants, but many moved out in the 1960s and ’70s when they moved away to look for work in the growing towns and cities instead of working the land.
However, the community spirit of the village is still very strong, and most families enjoy getting together again when they come back for long weekends and in the summer. Many have renovated their houses in the hope of coming back here full time when they retire. The restaurant was the natural place to meet and catch up on each other’s news especially in the balmy summer nights on the terrace.
The village has a swimming pool (completely modernised in 2009), children’s playground and sports area. The town hall houses the local council’s offices, the village hall and the doctor’s surgery. There is also a chemist’s, which opens twice a week, and an old people’s home. There is no shop, but the baker from the next village calls four times a week, the butcher comes by once a week and so does the veg van. The mobile phone signal is good, and the internet connection is good.
Tollos is 770 metres (about 2,500 feet) above sea level, so the climate is less humid than on the coast. The weather is generally mild and sunny. The unspoilt countryside surrounding the village is criss-crossed by a multitude of mountain tracks and paths, which makes it a delightful area for walking and cycling.