Andalusia is one of Spain’s most diverse and exciting regions and Granada is at the heart of it. While exploring Granada itself will take you a day or more, there are many destinations that lie a short distance from Granada and are invaluable to the Andalusian experience! One of these destinations is the mountain region of Las Alpujarras. Located just 50KM from Granada, the region comprises of 50 plus villages set against the steep gorges and slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Enjoy hiking and exploring these villages including the traditional whitewashed villages of Pampaneira, Bubión and Capileira. The fresh mountain air and the healing natural spring waters of Alpujarras will leave you reenergized and the photogenic beauty of the vast landscapes and breathtaking scenery is good food for the soul!
Here's all you need to plan a terrific day trip from Granada to Las Alpujarras - best tours, tips and a perfectly curated one day itinerary!
Alpujarras de Granada
On the slopes of the grand Sierra Nevada Mountains is a hilly region known as the La Alpujarras. It covers about 70KM of alpine vegetation and rocky outcrops interrupted by fertile terrace farmlands and orchards with natural springs that are fed by the snow capped peaks. Amidst these are tiny whitewashed villages that were inhabited by the Moors in the 14th Century running away from the Granada Inquisition. These villages have Mudéjar churches and houses with flat roofs and unique chimney pots, and are lined with beautiful flowers. Alpujarras is just 50 KM away from Granada and a perfect location for a day trip to admire a unique ecosystem and culture.
The Villages of the Alpujarras You Cannot Miss
The highest village in mainland Spain, it sits precipitously on the Trevélez Valley at 1,476m. Best known for its mountain-air cured ham, jamón Serrano, it is also the base for trekking up to Mt. Mulhacen.
Gateway to Las Alpujarras, Lanjarón is easily recognizable thanks to its mineral water that is packaged and sold across Spain. Soak in the Balneario (spa) to benefit from the properties of minerals and sip on incredible wine.
Nestled in the Guadalfeo River valley, Orgiva is the largest town in the Alpujarras and is surrounded by olive, lemon and orange groves. The town is popular among European settlers and has a lively community.
One of the white-washed villages, Pampaneira is situated the lowest on the Barranco de Poqueira. A picturesque village, it has a 16th Century Mudejar church and a Tibetan Monastery on the outskirts.
The white village of Bubión contrasts against the green slopes of the Poqueira gorge. A tiny village, it is on the GR7 walking trail and is used as a base for hiking in the Sierra Nevada peaks and the Alpujarras.
The highest of the white villages, Capileira offers grand views of the Poqueira valley and the Sierra Nevada peaks. The village is best known for the springs that crisscross the streets and were a contribution of the Moorish wisdom.
A tiny village in the Alpujarras its claim to fame is the mineral water waterfall – La Fuente Agria – which is known to cure Anaemia! The village itself is pretty with a village square and narrow streets lined with flowers.
Made up of two areas, Bérchules and Alcúta, the village is the source of rivers Guadalfeo, Chico and Grande making it a fertile area with orchards. Bérchules is a typically Alpujarrena village with whitewashed houses and flat slate roofs.
Cádiar is the best village to observe Morisco heritage and culture. Filled with monuments and ruins from the past, it also has a rich crafts industry of ceramics. You can take home handmade souvenirs at a good bargain from this village.
Other Fun Things To Do In Alpujarras
Swish and ski across the Sierra Nevada slopes
The Alpujarras are located on the Sierra Nevada slopes and if you visit from December to April you can enjoy skiing on the snow slopes. Visit the Pradollano ski resort for the best facilities and slopes.
Relax and rejuvenate at the spa
Balneario de Lanjarón spa in the town of Lanjarón has natural mineral water springs and exquisite facilities like bubbling pools, mud baths and steam rooms. The mountain air and water will do wonders to your body!
Start your day with a Plato Alpujarreño
Akin to an English breakfast, the Plato Alpujarreño is a platter of the choicest dishes of Alpujarra, including longaniza sausage, ham, morcilla or black pudding and fried potatoes.
Glam up your home with an Alpujarran Rug
The villages of Alpujarras are known for their handicrafts and the best souvenir you can pick from here is a colorful handwoven woollen rug. Other items to pick include ceramics and baskets.
Know Before Taking a Day Trip From Granada to Alpujarras
Guided Vs Self-Guided Tour
The Alpujarras region is beautiful mountain country and its 50 plus villages exhibit a unique culture and architecture. A self guided tour will help you explore this fully and even include hiking the trails. Ideally, you can spend a couple of days in Alpujarras exploring it properly. But, if you are a visitor in Spain for a short time and don’t want to miss out on the best of it then you should take a guided tour of the Alpujarras. With a guided tour you get the services of English or Spanish speaking guide, a comfortable vehicle to travel in and perks like tasting sessions of cheese and chocolates!
Distance & Duration
- The distance between Granada and Lanjarón is 45 KM and takes about 50 minutes.
- The distance between Lanjarón and Pampaneira is 22 KM and takes about 40 minutes.
- The distance between Pampaneira and Bubión is 4 KM and takes about 6 minutes.
- The distance between Bubión and Capileria is 1.7 KM and takes about 4 minutes.
Summer in Alpujarras like rest of Spain is from June to August, with July as the hottest month. The temperatures average around 35 °C during the day and the weather is generally dry and hot. Winter in Alpujarras is from November to March when temperatures average around 14 °C during the day. These are also the wet seasons and especially in January and February experience atleast 18 days of rain and snow. April to June, and September to October are spring and autumn respectively and experience pleasant weather.
Best Time to Visit Alpujarras
The best time to visit Alpujarras region would be from April to June and September to October. These months experience mild and pleasant temperature and are ideal for walking and hiking through the slopes. The busiest time in Alpujarras would be summer; however it’s also very hot and might not be suitable for walking in the tough terrain. If you are keen on skiing and checking out the winter scenery than December and January are the best time to visit Alpujarras.
Alpujarra De Granada Day Trip Itinerary
The region of Alpujarras is just 50 KM away from Granada and makes for a fantastic day trip to explore the alpine countryside. If you opt for an organized tour from Granada to Alpujarras, this is how a typical itinerary would look like.
Your English or Spanish speaking guide will pick you up at 9:00 AM and start your journey in a comfortable vehicle. You will first reach Lanjarón, also known as the Gateway to Las Alpujarras, it is famous for its mineral water springs. You will find yourself breathing clean mountain air and drinking the purest water here. After Lanjarón, you will continue towards Pampaneira at the base of the Poqueira Gorge.
Pampaneira is one of the trio of whitewashed villages that stand out on the Gorge slopes and have been locally described as ‘white lumps of sugar’. In Pampaneira you will admire the 16th century Mudejar church ‘Iglesia de Santa Cruz’ and then move on to the next destination, Bubión.
Bubión offers better views of the Alpujarras and you will take a stroll through the narrow streets and admire the distinct architecture of the homes here. Your next and last destination is Capileira, the highest of the villages in Alpujarras. The village offers breathtaking views of the valley and the Sierra Nevada peaks.
At each of the villages you will sample local delicacies like cheese, homemade chocolate, and ham. After Capileira you will begin the descent and head back to Granada around 5:00 PM.
As you will notice the terrain is mountainous and public transport is more irregular, hence if you wish to do this sample itinerary by public transport you might end up missing out on one or two of the villages. The best way to truly enjoy the Alpujarras region is by taking a guided tour!
- Hiking is a great way to explore the region and many travelers head to Capileira, the highest village and then trek all the way down to Pampaneira. This way you can take the off-road trails and enjoy the scenic spots that offer views of the valley and on a clear day even offer views of the ocean!
- Sunscreen and protection in the form of hats, scarves or caps is must as the direct sunlight can be harsher in the hilly region. Also, ensure you are using good walking shoes, as even on a guided tour there will be a lot of walking through the steep streets.
- Orgiva is a village in the Alpujarras and has witnessed an infusion of bohemian culture in the past few years. You can find weekly markets and souvenir shops there selling handmade crafts and eclectic accessories.
- Mountain goat, plato Alpujarras, chicken with almond sauce, Serrano ham and Iberian pork, Cocido Alpujarreño, and Migas Alpujarreñas are some of the food to be enjoyed in Alpujarras. You can eat at some of these restaurants - El Corral del Castano, Restaurante La Tapa, and Meson Haraicel.
- You will get a paper guide on your guided tour, with all the spots in Las Alpujarras and it is ideal for free walking the villages. Keep a lookout for the viewpoints and admire the Moorish architecture, including the unique water channels that pass through the village and the terrace farms, ensuring irrigation at such heights.
- If you plan on skiing or trekking on the higher slopes ensure you go with an expert guide as the terrain can be tricky and unfamiliar for amateurs.
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