This village was formed in 1976 with the union of three old villages, Ambroz, Belicena and Purchil. These developed during the 18th century, as a result of the joining of various hamlets and estates. Of the three, Belicena was the first population to be established. Originally built by the Romans, it was a typical agricultural village used to supply the local area with produce. After the re-conquest, Belicena was repopulated with Christians but Ambroz and Purchil kept their Moorish populations until their expulsion, they were then repopulated with families from other parts of Andalucía, Madrid and Zamora. Vegas de Genil is part of the metropolitan area of Granada city, and is found just to the west of the capital.
In Ambroz, there are two churches to visit. The first is a small chapel that belonged to the third order of San Francisco of Granada. The second is the New Church, from its tower you can get a panoramic view of the Granada lowlands. Close to this church is el Cortijo de San Ignacio, a country estate with its own oil mill. Inside, you can see a baroque-style painting of the building.
Purchil is the capital of the municipality of Vegas de Genil; the local council is located here. Visitors should take a trip to la Iglesia de San José, a church that contains two sculptures by Pedro de Mena; these dates from the end of the 17th century and depict a virgin with child and la Virgen de Belén.
Finally, in Belicena, you can visit the oldest church in Vegas de Genil. It is dedicated to San Sebastian and built on a site that was previously home to a mosque. It is also worth visiting el Cortijo de Las Cañas, another impressive country estate. The chapel la Ermita del Santo Cristo de las Cañas can be found on the street from Belicena to Santa Fe.One of the most attractive natural environments in Vegas de Genil is Camino de Cantarranas, located between Ambroz and Purchil, it sits between lush poplar groves and tobacco dryers. Walking this path is said to be one of the most rural routes available in Granada, you walk, you accompany the flow of water towards the irrigation channels from the Arabic era.
In Vegas de Genil, you can find a vast range of traditional dishes, including gachas picantes, (spicy porridge); la olla de San Antón, (a traditional stew); pimientos rellenos, (stuffed peppers) and el conejo al limón, (rabbit with lemon).
You can also try some amazing sweets and desserts, like los huevos moles and los huevos en Gloria, (made with eggs and sugar); los roscos de San Antón, (doughnuts); flores en dulce, (flower shaped doughnuts); lechuga con miel negra, (lettuce with honey) and dulces de la leche frita, (“fried milk”- made by adding milk and sugar to flour which is then fried).
The calendar of fiestas in Vegas de Genil is different for each of the individual villages. In Purchil, they celebrate the fiestas of the patron saint the Friday before the start of Semana Santa (easter). During the second weekend of May is the Feria. In Ambroz, the fiestas take place in October. In Belicena, they celebrate el Día de la Toma on 2 January and their traditional festival on 25 April. Also, in Ambroz and Purchil, they celebrate Fiestas de la Merendica; held days before Lent, this is a traditional celebration which takes place in the countryside.
Vegas de Genil is 12km from Granada city. Take the A-329, going through Santa Fe then joining with the Belicena road: GR-SO-26.