Güéjar Sierra is located on the north-western slope of the Parque Natural de Sierra Nevada, along the hillside of the Cerro del Calar, and by the Río Genil. This is a mountain town divided into three neighbourhoods, situated on steep slopes with crystal clear streams – the perfect place for enjoying the outdoors.
This town is the starting point for the many walks in the mid-mountain and high-mountain areas of the Sierra Nevada, such as the Vereda de la Estrella. Güéjar Sierra is 16 kilometres from Granada and 25 kilometres from the ski resort of the Sierra Nevada, and is a great place for riding, hiking or biking. The buildings in the village are typical of mountain architecture. The town’s surroundings, with their chestnut forests, old quarries and green jasper bushes, are breath-taking. Here you can also see and the old tram track of the Sierra Nevada, dotted with tunnels and bridges.
This tram used to stop in Maitena and El Charcón, which are now popular areas for weekenders from Granada. In both towns there are good restaurants serving typical local dishes. The lakes in Maitena, with their fresh, clean waters, are fantastic for swimming in during the summer. The nearby Pantano de Canales also offers various activities and water sports.
Güéjar Sierra dates back to Muslim times, although the Romans and Visigoths could have inhabited the area before the Moors. During the Arab time it was a small town dedicated to the production of silk. It was taken by the Catholic Kings during the Reconquista, although its people joined the Moorish uprising years later.
The rebellion was brutally suppressed and the Moors expelled, but not before resisting fiercely. According to historians, Juan de Austria himself had to intervene in suppressing the 300 inhabitants here with is 15,000 highly trained and armed soldiers. From 1572 to 1575 the area was repopulated and was separated from Granada. It then became an independent township.
Güéjar Sierra is one of the best areas in Granada for eating out on weekends. The famous goat stew with garlic and red potatoes, the spicy porridge and the Migas are all delicious. The pig offal is the food that the locals eat to celebrate the town’s offal festival.
You can also try the pork products, such as chorizo and blood sausage, accompanied by good local wine. The artisan bread, baked in a wood oven, and Migas, made with flour, are delicious.
The local pastries include aniseed doughnuts and fried milk with sugar and cinnamon.