The Alpujarra is placed between Sierra Nevada, the Lújar range and the Gádor range. It finds its way to the Mediterranean Sea from the Mulhacén, the highest peak of the Iberian Peninsula. Its landscape is rough yet colourful, its orography is scattered with ravines, canyons and valleys, where the villages of this district lie and sometimes climb.
This region was inhabited by Phoenicians and Romans, but the eight centuries of Arab domination gave them its peculiar architecture, its water irrigation system, its cuisine and even its name. Isolated and with difficult access along centuries, this steep land has kept itself nearly untouched, as if the Alpujarra had been stopped in time. The villages of the Alpujarra, with its whitewashed houses, spread themselves along the slopes between green forests.
The beauty of these villages is only one of its many attractions. Lanjarón, city with many spas, famous for the longevity and good health of its population, is the gate to the alpujarras wonders. Trévelez, the highest town in Europe, is known overall because of its exquisite jams. Another main touristy destination is the Poqueira ravine, where we can find the villages of Pamponeira, Bubión and Capileira. The stories tell of an area with goblins and witches, as well as the smells of olive trees and trout with jam.
The Guadalfeo River divides longitudinally the Alpujarra into two sections, the result of this being the High Alpujarra and the Low Alpujarra. The High Alpujarra lies on the southern side of Sierra Nevada where we can find beautiful villages such as Bérdules, Busquístar, Bubión, Juviles o Yegen. The Low Alpujarra is formed by La Contraviesa, where we can find peculiar villages such as Lújar, Sorvilán and Albondón among others.
These villages have marvelled everybody with their charm. Pedro Antonio de Alarcón dedicated them his first travel book in Spanish and Gerald Brennan told us about its excellences in Al sur de Granada. For Federico García Lorca it was “the country of nowhere”. The dances and the songs are an important part of a rich folklore and an ancestral tradition. The Moors and Christians fiestas are celebrated in a large number of places but one of the most original manifestations of the district are the Trovos from La Alpujarra. In this Trovos, the two troveros sing in turns improvising the response according to what the other has sung.
Next to La Alpujarra we find the fertile Lecrín valley where the fields of orange and lemon trees perfume the air in spring with a very heady blossom smell. Old flour mills, Muslim castles and charming cortijos, sprinkle this quiet and bright district.