The villages of the Alpujarra: wonders of Andalusia

The Alpujarra is a region made up of a dozen white villages of Berber origin at the foot of the Sierra Nevada.
Villages of the Alpujarra

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Today, we’re heading for Andalusia, just 1 hour’s drive from Granada and at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, to discover the Alpujarra region and its little white villages. It’s a culturally rich region, with some magnificent scenery.

A word of advice before setting off to explore these villages: hang on tight in the car! The roads are narrow and winding, but I promise you, it’s worth the diversions.

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The Alpujarra or Las Alpujarras

The Sierra Nevada (“snowy mountain” in Spanish) includes around fifteen peaks topping out at over 3,000 m, covered in snow in winter. Isn’t that amazing? The northern flank of the Sierra includes one of Europe’s largest ski resorts.But that’s not where we’re going today. In this article, we’ll be exploring the villages of the Alpujarra or las Alpujarras (singular and plural are accepted). These are small villages with white houses, narrow streets and flower-filled squares.The villages of the Alpujarra are steeped in the region’s Berber heritage. This is reflected in the whiteness of the houses, the flat roofs (also known as “terraos“) and the mountainside location. The region is also famous for its handicrafts: “jarapas“, a thick fabric made from recycled fibres and used to make colourful rugs or blankets. In Capileira in particular, you can visit a traditional weaving workshop.Where to stay? You can choose accommodation directly in Granada and go on a 1-day excursion, or opt for a small hotel in one of the small villages listed below.

6 Alpujarra villages not to be missed

Capileira

Let’s start with the best-known village in the Alpujarra: Capileira, situated at an altitude of almost 1,500 metres, offers some of the best views in the region. Many hiking trails start from this village. You can also drive up to La Hoya del Portillo (> 2150 m altitude) – the road is stony but passable. From the car park, it’s a short 2km climb (4 A-R) to the Mirador Puerto Molina.

One address: Restaurante Abuxarra.

Bubión

A little further down the road from Capileira (2km) is the small village of Bubión, with its steep streets. If you’re a history buff, this is the place for you. There are still traces of the Roman and Moorish civilisations here, including the Artesa de los Moros, a large 2-metre-high stone whose use is still a mystery. I recommend a visit to the Museo Casa Alpujarreña to find out more about life in the Alpujarra.

One address: Restaurante Teide.

Pampaneira

Slightly downhill (4km from Bubión), you’ll arrive in Pampaneira. Here, you can take your time wandering through the narrow streets and discovering small, authentic local shops such as Bodega La Moralea, where you’ll find local hams, sausages and cheeses of all kinds, and Telar de Mercedes, a weaving workshop.

💡If you want to make the most of your visit to these 3 Apujarra villages, you can opt for a hike with an English-speaking guide that links the three. The guide will tell you all about the history of this picturesque region of Andalusia!

Soportújar

A 15-minute drive West from Pampaneira is Soportújar. After the Reconquest and the expulsion of the Muslims, Soportújar was repopulated by families from Galicia, where it was already known that witches abounded. And … this gave it a special reputation where witchcraft is common and you’ll find various sculptures of witches in the village!One address: Venta El Buñuelo between Soportújar and Lanjarón.

Lanjarón

This is the nearest village to Granada (45 km). It is famous for its water and its thermal properties (there is also a Water Museum to visit). It also competes with Trevélez for the title of best ham in the region.

Trevélez

A little further East, Trevélez is also well worth a visit. It is divided into three neighbourhoods: upper, middle and lower. The easiest part to get to and the most popular with tourists is the barrio bajo (the lower part), where you’ll find plenty of ham shops!

One address: Restaurante La Fragua – in the hotel of the same name.

Gastronomie de l’Alpujarra

The gastronomy of the region is … generous! At the table, you’ll find ham (especially in the village of Trevélez) but also very rich soups made up of meats and legumes. Goat’s cheese and wine are also a must. The region has several vineyards and produces mainly red wine. 

It’s a region you probably don’t think about enough on a roadtrip to Andalusia, yet it hides a wealth of treasures for nature lovers, history buffs and travellers looking to get off the beaten track.

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Q&A : The villages of the Alpujarra

The Alpujarra, also known as Las Alpujarras, is a region located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada in Andalusia. It is famous for its small white villages, narrow streets and flower-filled squares.

Capileira, Bubión, Pampaneira, Soportújar, Lanjarón and Trevélez are the villages not to be missed.

The Alpujarra is about 1 hour’s drive from Granada. However, take care as the roads can be narrow and winding.

Yes, it is possible to book a day trip from Granada to discover the Alpujarra. This can be a great option for those who don’t want to rent a car.

These villages are marked by the region’s Berber heritage, visible in their architecture, crafts and culture.

Spring and early autumn are the ideal times to visit the Alpujarra and enjoy its magnificent landscapes.

Yes, as well as exploring the villages, you can go hiking, visit traditional weaving workshops, sample local produce and learn more about the region’s history and culture.

Absolutely! The Alpujarra is the perfect destination for those who want to get off the beaten track and discover a region rich in history, culture and natural beauty.

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