Ugíjar is one of the most authentic towns in the province, and certainly the richest in historical buildings and monuments. Pedro Antonio de Alarcón described it as ‘aristocratic’ and the illustrious 1950s Swiss traveller Jean-Christian Spahni thought Ugíjar was the most colourful town of La Alpujarra.
This area has many accommodation options, excellent restaurants and all kinds of shops and services. Its unique geographic location, at the edge of La Alpujarra, makes it ideal as a base for tours of the region and neighbouring towns.
Cherín, surrounded by olive groves, is the closest and most interesting of the nearby towns. But if the east of the town looks like an orchard, the south looks like an African desert: you just have to cross the Rambla Seca and get to Las Canteras. The arid landscape also encompasses Los Montoros, from where you can enjoy fresh air and fantastic views. The views from Jorairátar in the foothills of the Sierra de la Contraviesa are also spectacular.
Nestled in the valley of the Río Nechite, in the eastern part of La Alpujarra, Ugíjar was already a town in the Roman Empire. This is backed up by some historians who believe it was then was called ‘Hortum Sacrum’, a Latin name that means ‘holy orchard’. The first written reference of the town dates back to the 11th century in the chronicles of Al-Udri.
During the Moorish period it was part of the Taha de Ugíjar, but was given town status in 1493. This happened when Boabdil, the last Moorish king, moved his residence to the region after he handed over Granada to the Catholic Monarchs. At that time Ugíjar was a prosperous town that enjoyed a flourishing agricultural industry and was defended by a fortress in Cherín. However, this period of prosperity came to an end with the Moorish rebellion and their subsequent expulsion from Spain.
Local game dishes, especially marinated partridge, are very popular here. Ugíjar hams are also amazing. One of the best recipes is the Mojo, made with olives and cod.
A local family makes excellent handcrafted nougat and sells it all over Spain.