The Western Alpujarra (Granada Province)
“Valleys of olive and orange groves”
La Alpujarra (also known as Las Alpujarras) is a magical, mystical, mountain land and an area of great natural beauty. Stretching from the snow-covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains in the north including Mulhacén, mainland Spain´s highest peak (3482m), to the mountains of the Sierra Almijara just inland from the Mediterranean coast to the south. Straddling both the provinces of Granada (the western Alpujarra, our region) and Almeria (the eastern Alpujarra), the region extends almost a 100km west to east.
The eastern Alpujarra, in the province of Almeria, though very attractive, is quite arid, whereas the stunning valleys of the western Alpujarra are among the most fertile in Spain.
From the alpine forests below the glacial lands of the peaks down to the fertile valleys of olive and orange groves, the vast differences in altitude and a warm southern climate means that the western Alpujarra is one of the richest, most biodiverse regions in Spain.
The area is also renowned for the diversity of its wildlife and is a birdwatcher´s paradise. The mountain Ibex (cabra hispánica), wild boar, badgers, wild cats, deer and foxes as well as numerous species of birds including imperial and booted eagles, golden orioles, bee-eaters and the beautiful hoopoe, can all be seen here.
The area also has over 80 endemic species and even an ant that apart from the Alpujarras can only be found in the Himalayas!
The valleys of the western Alpujarra mountains are cut by deep gorges fed by clear mountain water cascading off the snowy peaks. Filtered through acequias (irrigation channels built by the Moors over 500 years ago), the plentiful water feeds the cultivated terraces and the drinking fountains found throughout the beautiful, white Berber style villages that cling mesmerizingly to the steep valley walls.
“Walks in the spectacular mountains”
The steepness of the land means that the houses in the villages seem to be piled on top of one another. The characteristic flat roofs with their distinctive mushroom-like chimneys and the tináos (covered walkways) that extend across the steep narrow streets, give the beautiful villages of La Alpujarra a unique and picturesque appearance.
The beautiful La Taha valley and the breath-taking Poqueira valley nearby is a unique area within the region. On the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the area is home to some of the prettiest and most traditional “pueblos” or villages in the region. Whitewashed stone houses, old churches, colourful plazas and abundant freshwater fountains fed by the melt waters of the high mountains.
Although just one hour´s drive from the beautiful Moorish city of Granada, with its famous Alhambra palace, a half hour drive from Órgiva (the largest town in the western Alpujarra), one hour´s drive from the coast and just over an hour and a half drive to the fabulous ski resort of Sierra Nevada, the friendly local people, the relaxed pace of life, the quiet, almost traffic free roads, gives you the feeling of going back in time to the Spain of old.
There are countless beautiful walks in the spectacular mountains and valleys of La Alpujarra, either on foot, horseback or mountain bike. Or more sedentary pursuits such as picnicking in shady glades of fruit and almond trees, pottering about in the craft shops and pretty villages, drinking the local tipple and eating the fabulous tapas of locally cured hams and cheeses; or just sitting around watching the ever-changing and beautiful light of the mountains.
The Alpujarra mountain range really is the place where you can live your dreams.
Around and about in Las Alpujarras
An area rich in wildlife, stunning scenery and classic Spanish towns.