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Ferreirola

Ferreirola ChurchFerreirola is a beautiful little white-washed village set in La Taha valley, and is the starting point for the ‘La Taha’ walk, as well as a good starting point for several other walks in this region. 

There is aFerreirolan old traditional church in this hamlet, as well as an old wash-house and several attractive fountains.

Ferreirola's streets are beautiful and in the old Alpujarran style, all white-washed, narrow and winding, and a delight to walk around and explore.  It feels like stepping back in time visiting this village.   

There is a guesthouse here.

 

Ferreirola Village

 
Golco

Golco is a small village near Mecina Bombaron.  It has an old traditional church. 

GolcoThe surrounding scenery is almost lunar-esque, as the east Alpujarras is more of a desert landscape compared to the green scenery of the west Alpujarras.Golco

 

The village of Golco is approached by a little track, but building work is being done in the village which will increase its size and the road will be improved.

 

Golco Village

 

 
Lanjaron

Lanjaron is one of the larger, more populated townsLanjaron in Las Alpujarras, and has a population of about 3750.  It is a thriving spa town, and its waters are described as ‘health-giving’.  It also produces the famous ‘Lanjaron’ bottled water. 

There is an old Moorish castle on the outskirts of the town, Lanjaron Castlewhich is set upon a dramatic pinnacle of rock and has lovely views of the surrounding hillsides.  Lanjaron also has four nearby Ermitas; Ermita de San Isidro, Ermita de San Roque, Ermita de San Sebastian, and Ermita del Tajo de la Cruz.

Lanjaron is the westernmost town in Las Alpujarras and is the first one visitors reach when entering Las Alpujarras from the N323.  There is an attractive 'welcome archway' as you enter the town.

There are a number of bars, cafes, Lanjaronhotels, and hostels in the town, and plenty of good shops, as well as a Tourist Information Office who are extremely helpful and speak very good English.  The main streets in Lanjaron are very pretty and are tree-lined, and there are also a few Lanjaron Watervery old-looking streets with some tunnelled walkways with beams.  Barrio Hondillo is a good example of this. 

There is a park on the edge of the town, with many trees and paths.  It is called Parque el Salado.

Lanjaron is situated along the route of the long-distance GR7 footpath, and the GR142 footpath.

 
Trevelez

Trevelez is set in a beautifuTrevelez and Sierra Nevadal gorge, and has a population of 775.  It is one of the larger, more populated towns in Las Alpujarras, and is of a surprising Trevelez Townsize as its streets seem to wind on and on, higher and higher. 

It is famous for its air-cured ham ‘Jamon Serrano’, with many shops in the town selling the hams. 

Trevelez is often called the highest village in Spain, and has an elevation of 1476m.

Trevelez is a good base for walks, especially for ascents up the Sierra Nevada, and is at one end of an old ‘pack animal’ route. 

There are several bars, cafes, and hotels here, and also a campsite.

Trevelez Hotel

 
The White Villages Drive

This is a lovely drive around many of the white villages of the Las Alpujarras.  There are lots of beautiful views of the Sierra de la Contraviesa, and the drive goes both high up into the hills and down low into the valley bases and over rivers.

It takes about 3-4 hours to complete, allowing for regular stops to explore several of the villages, and to take photos of the views.  This is a circular drive, and on good, relatively wide roads, (apart from one stretch that involves a thinner windier road down to the valley and up the other side.  This road is still safe and clear however).  There are many villages and towns along the way, but the main well-known ones are Orgiva, Torvizcon, Trevelez, and the 3 mountain villages of Pampaneira, Capileira, and Bubion.  It is a good opportunity to visit other lesser-known villages however, and to discover their charms.  The drive is begun in Orgiva, but as it is circular you can obviously begin wherever is most convenient to you. 

Leave Orgiva by the A348 down to the ‘Seven Eye Bridge’ over the river, and turn left towards Torvizcon.  This is an attractive road; viewed from a distance it snakes away along the hillside, resembling a river curving along in bends.    Pass the Helicoptor Pad belonging to the Forest Defence Team, and continue to follow the road as it travels alongside gentle sloping hillsides, in contrast to the craggier mountainside roads elsewhere.  You can often see the curves of the old road alongside you, and there are lovely views back to the town of Orgiva, nestling in its valley surrounded by a forest of trees.  It is also nice to look down to the riverbed below, and up to the snow-capped mountains above.  

At the junction take the road signposted Torvizcon (still the A348), and continue along the base of the Sierra de la Contraviesa.  Torvizcon is a friendly town, hidden between the hillsides, almost unseen until you are upon it, and has a nice little village square.  Continue on the road past Torvizcon, and shortly afterwards take the small road down to the left, signposted Almegijar (GR413).  This is a thinner windier road down to the valley base, and is quite twisty.  Some care is recommended, however there is enough width for two vehicles to pass.  Follow this road as it reaches down to the bridge over the Rio Guadalfeo, and up the other side of the valley, passing olive groves.  The road is very quiet, with abundant animal and birdlife, and has fantastic views down the valley and across to Torvizcon, and the Sierra de la Contraviesa and Sierra de Lujar.  The village of Almegijar is reached next and is well worth a visit, with tiny narrow streets full of white-washed houses, a nice church (Iglesia del Santo Cristo de la Salud), with seats outside to watch the inhabitants passing in the village square.  The village is in a lovely setting with pretty views, and is very quiet and peaceful.  On the entrance and exit to the village there is a sign for the ‘Paseo de la Cruz’ which is a tree-lined walkway leading to a panoramic viewpoint marked by a white cross, overlooking the village and its views; definitely well-worth a look.

After Almegijar continue to follow the road towards Trevelez.  This is a delightful quiet road to travel along.  It passes the isolated houses seen from the ‘La Taha walk’, and then go through an interesting abandoned village.  There are beautiful views across to the villages of Busquistar, Portugos, and Pitres and across to the tips of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. 

Just before the junction with the larger GR421 to Trevelez, there is a nice place to stop and look at the views; there are pretty ruined farmhouses, the cultivated fields along the Sierra de la Contraviesa towards Torvizcon, and the snow-capped mountain of Mulhacen behind Trevelez.  Turn left at the junction and follow the road down a gentle descent to the town of Trevelez.  There are plenty of appealing views of this town as you approach it, and then take the bridge over the pretty Rio Trevelez and into the town.  Trevelez is another town well-worth a visit; it is bigger than some of the others along the route, but is still attractive, sat in a gash in the gorge.  It is famous for being ‘the highest village in Spain’, and is a starting point for walkers and skiers beginning the route up the Sierra Nevada.  It is also famous for its Jamon Serrano.

Continue along the road out of Trevelez and onto the village of Busquistar, which is an extremely pretty white-washed place.  It is set in a dramatic gorge, and seems to hang there overlooking the wonderful views.  Just from the carpark, you look down across the flat rooftops and into the gorge and valley below.  This village deserves an exploration, and has a very pretty white church, as well as being the starting point of several walking paths.

The next villages you pass through are Portugos and Pitres which are attractive white villages, not much frequented by tourists and have a very ‘real’ feel to them.  After Pitres, you can make a detour to visit the villages of La Taha valley.  There is a thin road left down to Mecina-Fondales, and Ferreirola, which are very beautiful with steep narrow streets, and houses with beams spanning across to the other side forming little tunnels.  This is the starting point for the ‘La Taha walk’.  The GR421 road continues on however round the hillsides towards the three famous mountain villages of Pampaneira, Capileira, and Bubion.  There is an extremely good viewpoint just as the road curves round to the right, (with space to park), which has a dramatic view of these white villages and the Sierra Nevada mountains behind, as well as beautiful views in the other direction of the hills and valleys.  The three villages nestle in the Poqueira Gorge, seemingly tumbling down the hillside, each house almost on top of the one below it.  They are all extremely beautiful villages and well-worth a visit.  There are lovely rug shops in all the villages, but in particular at Capileira; the highest, least-frequented and quietest village which has amazing views over the rooftops and down the gorge to the other two villages.  Pampaneira also has several nice shops selling beautiful pottery and ornaments, rugs and clothes, jams and honey, etc, and all the villages have a maze of tiny narrow streets that you can wander round.  (The road goes through Pampaneira, and if you want to visit the other two villages then take the road to the right, GR441, before Pampaneira, just after the petrol station).  After Pampaneira, continue descending to the Rio Poqueira and over the bridge, and then up the other side of this spectacular gorge.  As the road continues there are detours possible to visit the villages of Soportujar and Cañar up winding roads to the right; both traditional old-fashioned, charming villages situated high up in the hills with dramatic views down to the valley below, and even a glimpse of the sea from Cañar.  Follow the road as it descends to Orgiva, with several views down to the town and across to the dramatic Sierra Lujar behind, as well as sights of the snaking road to Torvizcon that you drove along earlier.  On arrival in Orgiva there are several bars and cafes to relax in, as well as many sights to see; such as the twin-spire church and village squares.  This is also the starting point for the ‘In, Around, and Above Orgiva Walk’.

  

  

 
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