Granada Province - Soportújar

Beautiful Soportújar - spectacular views at every turn © Barcley Spicer-Jenkins
Beautiful Soportújar - spectacular views at every turn © Barcley Spicer-Jenkins

Soportújar

This village, located in the Sierra Nevada National Park, has an important factor which distinguishes it from all the other Alpujarra villages: its altitude. This factor allows visitors to enjoy the majesty of the Sierra Nevada, and at the same time, get some great views of the Mediterranean Sea across the Valle de Órgiva. Soportújar has hosted the X Festival de Teatro de Aficionados de la Alpujarra for the past two years, and culture is an essential characteristic of this corner of Granada.

In the 16th century, after the expulsion of the Moors, Felipe II officially recognised Soportújar and repopulated it with families from the north of Spain, mainly Asturias and Galicia. According to legend, the village welcomed night-time witches’ meetings whilst witches watched, hidden in fog. For this reason, residents are known as brujo/as (wizards/witches).

Soportujar’s name means “place of arcades” (soportales), and upon walking its streets, visitors will see why. Due to the steep inclination of the land, which houses built on top of each other, passageways known as tinaos (typical of the Alpjuarras) were created. These support the houses above, forming a network of covered walkways through the village. Amongst the monuments in Soportújar, be sure to take a look at la Iglesia Parroquial Santa Maríá la Mayo, built over a mosque. The Oseling Buddhist temple, ideal for those in search of spiritual enlightenment, was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama himself.

Soportújar also has opportunities for the more adventurous, such as following the GR7 hiking route that connects Tarifa to Burgos. You can also take horse riding excursions or try hang-gliding and paragliding. Another interesting place to see is Dique 24, a 30-metre waterfall; a Civil War bunker; Era de los Aquelarres and Era de las Cruces viewpoints located in the old town: and the Casa Forestal aboretum in the Parque de Soportújar.

Crafts in the village are mainly based on carpentry; predominantly oak as Soportújar has one of the largest oak forests in the province.

Gastronomy

This Alpujarra village is famous for its roscos fritos (donuts covered with sugar and cinnamon), a typical sweet made according to various recipes but always mouth-wateringly tasty!

Fiestas

The most important fiestas in the village take place in January, with Día de San Antón, which is celebrated with bonfires where sausages are roasted, and in August with Día de San Roque. The Feria del Embrujo takes place in the summer, with witch-themed music and processions.

Directions

Soportújar is located 68km from Granada city. Take the A-44 (direction Armilla-Motril) and leave at exit 164 to join with the A-348 towards Lanjarón. Once you pass Órgiva, continue along the GR-421 to your destination.

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