My Guide to the Rural Mountain Villages of Spain – Wild Junket Adventure Travel Blog

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Last Updated on August 17, 2022 by Nellie Huang

Looking to discover off the crushed path in Spain? I lived in Spain for 8 years, and have explored most of the lesser-known components of Spain, together with the mountainous area of las Alpujarras.  

Tucked throughout the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Las Alpujarras is simply an hour’s drive from town of Granada (the place we used to stay), but it surely’s usually ignored by solar seekers who flock to the close by seashores of Costa del Sol.

Backdropped by snow-covered peaks, this little-known area is dotted with olive groves, deep valleys, and whitewashed villages. Not many vacationers enterprise out right here, however those that do are rewarded with empty mountaineering trails, spectacular panorama, and genuine interactions with native individuals and cultures.

Las Alpujarras is undoubtedly my favourite a part of Spain: it’s naturally beautiful, gloriously tourist-free, and surprisingly accessible. My in-laws personal a mountain cottage right here, which we regularly used for weekend retreats and household gatherings. I’ve come to know las Alpujarras fairly nicely through the years, and have compiled a journey information to las Alpujarras that will help you discover the area on a deeper stage.

las alpujarras spain

Las Alpujarras Travel Guide

Where is Las Alpujarras?

Las Alpujarras is situated within the provinces of Granada and Almería of Southern Spain. It’s 1 hour from Granada and a pair of hours from Malaga by automotive. The space lies on the southern flank of the Sierra Nevada mountain vary and stretches throughout an enormous space between the mountains and the Mediterranean. 

The Sierra Nevada runs west-to-east for about 80 km. The valley beneath extends from Órgiva to Cadiar, by means of which the Guadalfeo river flows. The snow on the mountaintop melts each spring and summer season, permitting the slopes of Las Alpujarras to stay inexperienced and fertile all year long regardless of summer season warmth. The jap finish of the Alpujarra, in the direction of Ugijar within the province of Almería, is way more arid.

las alpujarras spain - poqueira gorge


Map of Las Alpujarras

Download this itinerary on Google map.

 


What to Know about Las Alpujarras

The identify las Alpujarras initially got here from the Arabic phrase, Al-basharat, which suggests sierra of pasture. Locals right here primarily stay on agriculture, cultivating olives and fruit within the foothills and valley.

Tracing its roots again to 1492, Las Alpujarras was a spot for refuge for the Moors, or Spanish Muslims, when the Catholic monarchs reconquered Spain. Those who refused to transform have been pressured to flee Granada and search refuge on this remoted, inaccessible area (again then). Today’s Berber affect is obvious within the whitewashed villages, protruding chimneys, and twisted cobblestoned streets.

typical architecture in las alpujarras spain


How to Get to Las Alpujarras

The important gateway to las Alpujarras is Granada, a mid-sized bohemian metropolis in southern Spain. Granada is about an hour’s flight from Madrid, Spain’s capital metropolis, or a 1.5-hour drive from Malaga. If you’re planning to go to Malaga, you may simply hire a automotive and drive to las Alpujarras as a part of your Spain highway journey itinerary.

Flights from Madrid to Granada value round US$50 return. Check for flights right here.

By Car

The best and most handy approach to journey las Alpujarras is by automotive. Beware although, the mountain roads right here will be steep and the streets within the villages will be slim and exhausting to navigate.

Car rental in Spain is extraordinarily reasonably priced and you’ll find leases as low-cost as 30 euros a day. We all the time use Discover Cars as they’ve persistently given the very best costs and customer support.

Search for automotive leases in Spain

By Bus

If you don’t drive, it’s completely attainable to achieve las Alpujarras by public transport. Traveling by bus is straightforward and reasonably priced. The ALSA bus goes from Granada to Lanjaron and in addition between the main villages like Pampaneira and Trevelez. To examine bus routes and fares in Spain, plan your bus route utilizing BusBud

las alpujarras hiking


Best Time to Visit Las Alpujarras

The greatest time to go to Alpujarras area can be in spring (April to June) and fall (September to October). The climate is delicate and nice throughout these months and are perfect for mountaineering by means of the slopes. It’s additionally place to flee from the summer season warmth, as temperatures could also be excessive from July to August, however they dip within the evenings.

Las Alpujarras is situated in a mountainous area, so be ready for some harsh climate conditions in winter. The common excessive throughout this season is between 62.6°F (17°C) and 55.1°F (12.8°C). On common, it rains or snows a good quantity: 4 to six instances monthly.

visiting las alpujarras mountains


How Much Time to Explore las Alpujarras?

For first-time guests, I like to recommend spending at the very least 5 days within the area to discover the villages, do some mountaineering, and expertise the gradual tempo of life within the countryside. It’s the kind of place you go to decompress and get away from all of it, so positively give your self a while.

I recommend reserving a comfy nation cottage, do brief hikes from there or go to completely different pueblos (villages) within the day, and sip sangria within the village middle at night time. Below you’ll discover my suggestions for the very best accommodations to remain in.

las alpujarras tinao

  


Best Hotels in las Alpujarras

Las Alpujarras is an enormous space, so the place’s the very best city to base your self at? Lanjaron is the largest city in las Alpujarras; nearly everybody visiting will cross by means of right here. While Lanjaron has essentially the most selections for lodging, it’s extra of a city than rural space, so don’t anticipate to be surrounded by meadows. 

Pampaneira is one other in style city to remain and it enjoys a central location within the valley. Here you’ll discover extra rural lodging with quieter environment. Here are some lodge suggestions:

Luxury: Hotel Balneario de Lanjarón

A landmark lodge within the city of Lanjarón, Hotel Balneario is a contemporary, modern lodge with a well-known spa that attracts vacationers with its facilities, together with thermal baths and stone footbaths. Check charges right here.

Luxury: Alpujarra Secret

Located in Orgiva, this new, fashionable lodge has spacious flats and trendy amenities. The health club and pool are attractive, and so are the communal terrace and scorching tub. This is appropriate for digital nomads. Check charges right here.

Mid Range: Estrella de las Nieves

For these searching for a quiet, reasonably priced possibility in Pampaneira, I like to recommend the Estrella de las Nieves guesthouse. You’ll be staying in a quintessentially Alpujarran white-washed homes, with balconies that provide sweeping views of the Poqueira Gorge. Check charges right here.

Budget: Hotel Rural Alfajía de Antonio

Located within the middle of Capileira, this easy visitor home has conventional but newly renovated rooms which can be heat and cozy. There’s additionally a shared rooftop balcony and kitchen. Check charges right here.

estrella la nieve - alpujarras mountains


My Recommended Las Alpujarras Itinerary

1. Lanjarón

Lanjarón is the primary gateway to las Alpujarras and the primary city you’ll probability upon when driving from Granada. It’s the largest city within the space, though the inhabitants is a mere 4,500 individuals. Famed for its therapeutic waters, Lanjarón has a set of contemporary water fountains dotted all through the city, a lot of that are accompanied by a poem written by Granadina author Federico García Lorca. 

Off the primary highway of Lanjarón, you’ll discover the traditional Moorish quarter, el Barrio Hondillo, with its tunneled walkways and overhead picket beams (tinaos), flower-filled alleys, and overflowing fountains. On the outskirts of city, an historic Moorish citadel stands, perched upon a spectacular rock pinnacle. According to legend, throughout an epic battle between Christians and Moors, the Moorish ruler of Lanjarón hurled himself off the tower of this citadel somewhat than surrendering to the Catholic King.

lanjaron - alpujarras villages

2. Soportújar

Continue driving up the mountains and also you’ll attain Soportújar, a whimsical village of witches! This is my daughter’s favourite pueblo (village) for good motive: right here you’ll discover sculptures of witches flying on broomsticks, black cats wandering the streets, and even a Hansel and Gretel home. According to legend, when the northern Spaniards settled right here, they introduced their customs and pagan beliefs about witches, covens, and darkish nights with them.

At the doorway of the village, you’ll see the ‘Cueva del Ojo de la Bruja,’ or the witch’s cave. This marks the beginning of a stroll that’ll take you to caves, passageways, fairytales properties, and fountains with magical properties and witches. There’s a shock round each nook, and children will certainly take pleasure in it.

After exploring the witch city, make certain to try la Iglesia Parroquial Santa Maríá la Mayo, constructed over a mosque. The Oseling Buddhist temple, supreme for these searching for religious enlightenment, was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama himself.

soportujar alpujarrras

3. Pampaneira

As you weave your method up the mountains from Soportújar, you’ll attain the Poqueira Valley, and the picturesque trio: Pampaneira, Capileira, and Bubión. The three hamlets are mentioned to be essentially the most lovely enclaves in las Alpujarras. They’re situated one subsequent to the opposite, making it simple to go to all three in in the future.

Pampaneira, the liveliest and most visited village of the three, is the primary you’ll probability upon. The city was established earlier than the Moorish invasion throughout the Roman interval, when it was generally known as ‘Pampinaria’. It was named after a Latin time period that roughly interprets to imply “vineyard.” Today, it’s full of handicraft shops, artisan retailers, water fountains, and eating places.

Las Alpujarras: My Guide to the Rural Mountain Villages of Spain

4. Bubión

Slightly greater up within the mountains is the sleepy village of Bubión, which like its neighbors is surrounded by magnificent views of the usually snow-capped Sierra Nevada peaks and the Alpujarras. Bubión is an effective base for strolling and is on the GR7 long-distance footpath. An incredible place to only wander across the slim streets and admire the native crafts and flower laden balconies.

Apart from just a few craft retailers, there’s a small people museum, Museo Casa Alpujarreña. The village church at Bubión is without doubt one of the village’s most distinctive constructions; it was constructed throughout the Sixteenth century within the Mudéjar type using Moorish mudéjar masonry.

las alpujarras spain

5. Capileira

The highest of the three hamlets, Capileira lies at 1,436 meters above sea stage. Capileira was removed from the cultural and political middle of Spain, which made Moorish management arrive late right here and Christian conquest happen later. In the early Sixteenth century, below orders from the Catholic Monarchs, a church was constructed on prime of a former mosque. The authentic construction was razed in favor of a Mudéjar-style constructing within the 18th century.

The village museum, the Museo Etnológico Pedro Antonio Alarcón, is situated on Calle Mentidero. It options native crafts and clothes in addition to a show about Nineteenth-century author Pedro Antonio Alarcón who wrote an account of his journey to las Alpujarras. It’s open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. till 2:30 p.m.

If you stroll alongside the riverbank, you’ll come to the Eras de Aldeire, a sequence of historic threshing flooring that have been utilized for wheat and barley. A viewpoint (mirador) provides a spectacular view of the Poqueira valley in addition to the Veleta peak within the distance.

capileira - las alpujarras villages

6. Pórtugos

Pórtugos is dwelling to iron-rich springs with a definite crimson hue that fall in a waterfall known as La Fuente Agria. These waters originate at El Chorreón, the place the water has eroded its by means of the rock and flows by means of seven shops. The waters are notably helpful to individuals affected by anemia if consumed straight from the fountain. 

Don’t miss the Iglesia Parroquial de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación, a recent church constructed over the ruins of a Sixteenth-century chapel, within the centre.

fuente agria - las alpujarras spain

7. Trevélez

Trevélez is the best village within the Alpujarras, at 1,476 meters tall above sea stage.The village is well-known for its air-cured ham produced at excessive altitude. The chilly setting as a result of its excessive elevation supplies supreme circumstances for jamón curing and storage. Try it for your self at any of Trevelez’s quite a few taverns, the place hams grasp from the ceiling.

A must-try is the plato alpujareño, a mix of Spanish ham, blood/pork sausages, fried eggs and patatas a lo pobre (pan-fried potato). 


What to Pack for las Alpujarras

As you’ll be mountaineering in las Alpujarras, having pair of mountaineering boots is necessary. The strolling paths are made from stone and will be very slippery when moist.

Bring a small daypack on your digital camera, water bottle and snacks. Regardless of once you go to, the daytime and night temperatures differ rather a lot in las Alpujarras. The solar will be sturdy within the afternoon, so a hat and sunscreen are important.

Packing List for las Alpujarras

las alpujarras hiking


Further Reading on Spain

In all these years of dwelling in Spain, I’ve had the privilege of touring throughout the nation — and las Alpujarras stays my favourite area. I hope you want the realm as a lot as I do. 

Here are extra of my articles on Spain that will help you together with your journey planning:

Let us know within the feedback discipline beneath when you have any questions and we’ll be blissful that will help you out!

Disclaimer: This content material was created in partnership with the Spanish Tourism Board. You can discover out extra details about Slow Travel in Spain at Spain.data/en/. Follow the marketing campaign on Facebook and Twitter utilizing the hashtag #SlowTravelSpain.

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