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La Alpujarra of Granada

La Alpujarra of Granada

The Sierra Nevada is a dramatic, rugged and extensive mountain range, the highest in Europe after the Alps and the most significant section of the Cordillera Penibética. The protected area encompasses 86,208ha of torrential rivers, sheer-sided gorges, stony scree slopes, glacial lakes between snowy summits and, in the foothills of the Alpujarras, cultivated terraces of almond trees and vegetables.

Laroles is the largest of four villages that make up the municipal district of Nevada. It sits in between the rivers Bayárcal and La Ragua and is surrounded by lush chestnut groves. Within its village centre, the two churches are of interest to visitors.

Ugíjar consists of five areas: Ugíjar, Cherín, Jorairátar, Los Montoros and Las Canteras. Granada poet Pedro Antonio de Alarcón once described Ugíjar as “aristocrática” (aristocratic). In Ugíjar, tourists can visit various buildings of historical and artistic interest, including Iglesia de la Virgen del Martirio, constructed in the 16th century in a typical mudéjar style.

Turón is a mountain village where visitors can enjoy rich gastronomy as well as cultural activities, and spectacular scenery. The origins of the village are in the Roman era; however, Neolithic tombs and stone axe-heads have also been discovered here. There are also some lead mines which have been abandoned since Roman times, when Turon was on the Via Herculea.

Torvizcón is the largest town in the Contraviesa, the part of the Alpujarras between the Sierra Nevada and the sea. The village’s traditional whitewashed houses are silhouetted against the Sierra Nevada, and from anywhere on the outskirts visitors can enjoy amazing views, including over the Guadalfeo river.

One of the most striking features of this Granada village is its privileged location, nestled between la Sierra de la Contraviesa and the Mediterranean Sea, making it the perfect destination for lovers of rural tourism as well as for those who prefer sun, sand and sea.

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.

The tiny hamlet of Rubite is an ideal destination for nature lovers, with the perfect combination of the sierra together with both sandy and rocky beaches. Situated in the shadow of La Maroma, the highest peak in the Sierra Tejeda, the village has many points of historical interest, such as the three 12th century wells located around the village. Next to one of these is the Loma del Aljibe viewpoint.

Pórtugos is truly a gift from nature: the village is the source of natural mineral waters with a high iron content; red in colour, they descend in a waterfall called La Fuente Agria. This waters appear at El Chorreón, where the water has worn its way through the rock, and pours through seven openings. The waters are particularly beneficial to people with anaemia, but only if imbibed directly from the fountain.

The area of Nevada is the highest and most eastern-wards in the Alpujarra, and offers amazing natural landscapes. Here, you'll have the opportunity to see wild goats, one of the animals that best represents the alpine alpujarreña fauna. Of the four small villages that make up Nevada, Laroles is the capital. It sits in between the rivers Bayárcal and La Ragua and is surrounded by lush chestnut groves.

The municipality of Murtas is situated at more than 1,500m, making it one of the best vantage points for viewing the whole area - from the peaks of Sierra Nevada until the Mediterranean coast. The village sits at the foot of the highest peak in the Sierra de la Contraviesa, known as Cerrajón. Many people visit its two famous caves - La Gotera, in the north face, and La Vieja in the south. Behind the Venta del Chaleco.

This village is a great combination of the beautiful sierra and the beach, which is just a few minutes away. As a result, visitors to Lújar can experience the mountains and the sea on the same day - perfect. The village is located at the foot of the mountain that shares its name, and the village centre shows evidence of various past influences. The houses sit in the shadow of the mountain like a small gateway.

Lobras is a small village with its distinctive own personality. It feels as if time has stood still when you walk along its streets and visit its monuments. The location also means that visitors can enjoy tranquil landscapes and amazing natural beauty.

The area of La Tahá was part of the Taha de Ferreira, one of 14 such areas established during the Nasrid occupation (they were the Moorish dynasty who built the Alhambra). The tahas were administrative districts divided according to landscape, and each had a capital. The area is reached by the Barranco de Sangre (Blood Ravine), so named because it was the scene of a fierce battle during the War of the Alpujarras.

Situated among chestnut forests, in the highest region of the Alpujarra, Juviles is a small village with links to the past and an air of tranquillity. The most important archaeological remains here are those of an old castle known as El Fuerte. It is a Mozarabic fortress built at the turn of the eighth century. Inside you can still see some old wells, while outside, you can enjoy panoramic views of nature in its purest state: the Taha de Juviles.

Visitors to Cástaras might think that in this village, time has stood still. Its privileged location offers impressive panoramic views over the alpujarra granadina. The village is of Arabic origin, and has conserved much of its historical remains remains. La Ermita de la Virgen de Fátima; constructed with excavated limestone rock and the Iglesia Parroquial de San Miguel are top of the list of monuments to visit.

Visitors looking for tranquillity and the opportunity to spend a few days relaxing will find Carataunas the perfect destination. It is the smallest village in the whole of the Alpujarra region; but its 5km² of land is full of charm. It´s history is based in the Arabic dynasty; there are the remains of a cemetery called Macabé still preserved in the village.

This village, located in the Alpujarra region, is home to some beautiful natural monuments. The village itself has kept the Arabic influence alive, with narrow streets, whitewashed houses and flat roofs a common sight. The “El Fex” farmhouse is a prime example of this Arabic influence; it dates between the 8th and 9th centuries. Visitors can also visit the Muslim remains that have been found in the old Molino de Ramblero mill.

Cádiar is a completely mountainous village that has preserved it´s Morisco feel and character. It was formed by three neighbourhoods: Cádiar, Narila and Yátor, and is situated between Sierra Nevada and Sierra de la Contraviesa. There were some extremely valuable archaeological remains found in the village, including pieces of ceramics from the medieval era.