Alpujarra: Six must-see towns
The fast-paced life of cities invites people to step away from their everyday concerns and find time for themselves. If this is how you feel right now, it’s time to choose a destination for your next getaway.
Alpujarra has everything you need and lacks everything you don’t need. In other words, this is a place where you can take a break from your day-to-day life and even your phone. Countless experiences, landscapes and the local cuisine will keep you busy. Alpujarra must be experienced and there is no time for rushing or social media.
All the towns that comprise Alpujarra are sprinkled along Sierra Nevada’s southern slopes, primarily made up of valleys and gorges. This is a region of contrasts, in part due to all the history behind it. This area was colonised in succession: first by the Iberians and Celts, followed by the Roman Empire and the Visigoths, then by the Moors and finally by the Catholic Monarchs.
Although this territory was under Moorish for several years after Granada’s Nasrid kingdom was defeated, the influence of these Moors can still be seen in the agriculture and terrace farming methods, the cubed residential architecture and the local cuisine.
This, and so much more, awaits in the villages in Granada’s unique mountain region.
Lanjarón, the water town
The water named after the town through which it passes originates from the highest mountains in the peninsula. Lanjarón is the village of ‘eternal youth’ because it is one of the country’s oldest towns. Many of these features are attributed to the water that passes through, which is why there is a legend behind the spa at Lanjarón.
‘It is said that 300 years ago, a person who was sick drank the water from a Lanjarón spring and was cured”.
Since then, its fountains have been used for therapeutic purposes, thereby resulting in the spa.
The town’s historic district is an explosion of colour thanks to the surrounding nature and the homes with blue doors and green windows, whitewashed walls and wooden beams.
Órgiva, the largest hippie commune in Spain
‘Beneficio’ is the name of one of the oldest hippie communes in all of Europe and it happens to be located in Órgiva, in the heart of Granada’s Alpujarra region.
The earliest hippies travelled from Ibiza to Alpujarra in the late 1970s, and since then, their lifestyle has remained intact and expanded considerably. The melting pot of cultures is striking but everyone is welcome, which means that there are rituals from all over the planet at this commune.
This small village is perched on one of the highest points of the ravine where the Poqueira River valley is located. At this height, the town’s multiple lookout points offer unbeatable views of the entire mountainside. A panoramic perspective of Cerro Mulhacen or the summits at Picacho de Veleta are just two examples of what can be seen from this elevation.
What stands out the most about this town that has been declared a Cultural Heritage Site is the architecture, consisting of flat roofs to prevent erosion when it rains.
Trevélez and its exquisite delicacies
There are many reasons to visit this town in Alpujarra, but the biggest draw is its ham. Trevélez ham is an exquisite delicacy and suitable only for the most discerning palates.
It is also healthy since it is less salty than other cured hams because the meat is kept in salt for a shorter period of time thanks to the local climate.
This is also the perfect place for city dwellers to undergo relaxation therapy and ‘find peace and flowers at the summits’.
Pampaneira and Berber architecture
Berber architecture remains intact in the streets of this historic and artistic town. The Nasrid occupation reached even Granada’s most inhospitable corners, and Alpujarra was no exception.
Residential Berber architecture is defined by square layouts, sometimes with a main courtyard, and small surveillance towers in homes. The steep and narrow streets provide shelter from the sun on hot days.
Bubión, a special kind of nature
This small town in the Alpujarra region belongs to Sierra Nevada National Park. It is an important part of the municipal district that comprises it, and highlights include the waterfall and Tejar bridge.
There are also archaeological sites worth visiting, such as Fundición and Alto del Pueblo, which were linked to mineral processing and iron extraction.
Any of these quaint villages on the slopes of Sierra Nevada that comprise the Alpujarra region is the perfect place for your next getaway. So sit back and discover all the experiences that await.