One of a trio of popular and picturesque whitewashed villages, Pampaneira – like its neighbours Bubión and Capileira – hugs the steep slopes of a lush river gorge, the Barranco de Poqueira. Pampaneira is the lowest of the three, at just over 1,000m.
The small village – with a population of around 300 – centres on its pretty square dominated by a 16th-century Mudéjar church, the Iglesia de Santa Cruz, with a wooden coffered ceiling and a couple of gilded altarpieces dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. The church is flanked by several bars and handicraft shops.
Set in Sierra Nevada National Park, Estrella de las Nieves offers fantastic views of the Barranco de Poqueira Gorge. It features an outdoor swimming pool and air-conditioned rooms with private balconies. The charming décor combines rustic and modern finishes.
For tourist information on the Alpujarras, visit Nevadensis on the main square, the Plaza de la Libertad, 958 763 127. It sells maps and has details of walks in the area, along with a wealth of activities in the Alpujarras, the Sierra Nevada and Granada province. These include guided walks, horse treks, four-wheel drive excursions, rock climbing and mountain bike tours.
There are several basic accommodation options in the village, the most attractive being the Hostal Ruta del Mulhacén, 958 763 010, which has wonderful views and rooms decorated with colourful locally woven textiles.
Walking routes along the Barranco de Poqueira are clearly marked with signposts and link the three villages.
Less than 2km outside Pampaneira is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, Osel Ling, which means ´clear light´. From its stupa are spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada, the coast and Órgiva.