Road trip through the Sierra Nevada: tips for the Alpujarras

Posted on

Everyone knows Andalusia, but very few end up in the mountainous east. The mountain region of the Alpujarras on the southern slope of the Sierra Nevada is breathtakingly beautiful. Snow-white villages flash out of the barren mountain landscape – southern Spain like out of a picture book!

The Alpujarras are just 81 kilometers east of Granada. If you want to discover a original region off the beaten track on your journey through southern Spain, then we can warmly recommend the Alpujarras in the Sierra Nevada National Park. In this blog article we will show you what to expect on your road trip.

1. The Sierra Nevada & the Alpujarras at a glance The Sierra Nevada is the highest mountain range in mainland Spain. It rises in the southeast of the country, just outside the city of Granada. Anyone who knows Granada’s landmark, the Alhambra, has already had a look at the Sierra Nevada: The striking mostly snow-covered mountains, that adorn many photos belong to the Sierra Nevada.

The southern flank of the Sierra Nevada is better known as Alpujarras. Barren valleys and gorges and some of the most beautiful mountain villages in Spain await you here: With their whitewashed little houses, the villages of the Alpujarras are quite an eye-catcher even from afar.

How much time should I allow for the Alpujarras in Sierra Nevada National Park? We stayed ourselves two nights in the Alpujarras, more precisely in Lanjarón. During this time we explored the most important villages in the region and also did a very cool jeep tour. (More on that in a moment.) But honestly: We would have preferred to stay much longer!

So if you are planning to do one or the other longer hike (which we would highly recommend). ), then you should plan at least three nights in the region. The Alpujarras are an Eldorado for hikers.

Then you can, for example, Climb Mulhacén. He is with 3.479 meters the highest peak of the Iberian Peninsula. But don’t worry: there are also plenty of less demanding hikes. If you like nature, you won’t get bored in the Alpujarras, that’s for sure.

2. Our home base: Lanjarón at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Coming from Granada, Lanjarón is the first village in the Alpujarras. If the name sounds familiar to you, then for good reason: Spain’s most famous mineral water is bottled in Lanjarón.

The likeable sleepy little village is our opinion after the perfect starting point for exploring the Alpujarras or the Sierra Nevada. We notice that the clocks tick differently here – namely more slowly – at the latest when we dare to take a first walk into the “centre” (the hotel employee has a sense of humour).

We hardly meet other people, and If so, then they have just made themselves comfortable on one of the park benches and, very frugally, with deep laugh lines in their summer-tanned skin, greet passing people – us.

A little culinary tip for the afternoon: We ate one of the best and cheapest nougat croissants of our lives in the Cafeteria Denebola.

Our hotel tip: Hotel Alcadima We stayed in what is probably the most beautiful hotel in Lanjarón, the Hotel Alcadima. Don’t expect luxury here, but the flair is very authentic and cozy. The hotel complex is really lovingly designed and the garden is surprisingly spacious. In short: simply a place to relax.

The rooms are a bit old, but very nice and comfortable. There is a outdoor pool and even a indoor pool, so you can swim even when the temperature is cooler.

We were very enthusiastic about the dinner, it was really delicious. The really friendly staff also deserves a special mention. Our conclusion: We would come back anytime!

You can book the hotel here: Hotel Alcadima

3.Road trip to the white villages of the Alpujarras Pampaneira, Bubión and Capileira Our tour of discovery of the white villages of the Alpujarras starts in Lanjarón. From here the route leads you eastwards, further and further towards the mountains. With every turn the landscape becomes more spectacular, until finally after about 50 minutes out of nowhere three white villages appear in front of the windshield: Pampaneira, Bubión and Capileira.

They stand out from the barren landscape like the remains of snow from last winter. Pampaneira, Bubión and Capileira are three of the best known and most visited villages in the Alpujarras. They are located on the slopes of the Ravine of the Río Poqueira. The villages are only a few minutes’ drive away, so you can explore them very quickly by car.

However, it is more decelerating to visit the villages as part of a hike to visit. A circular hiking trail connects the three villages. It will take you about 3 to 4 hours here.

The three villages are all quite similar and can be explored quickly, and yet we could spend hours in the narrow streets. In Pampaneira you should plan a stopover at the chocolate factory Abuela ili chocolate. A nice restaurant right by the main square of Pampaneira is Casa Diego.

Trevélez Our next destination: Trevélez, one of the highest municipalities in Spain. On the way there it is worth making a stop at Fuente Agria in the village of Pórtugos . Thanks to the rock, the water from this spring has a high iron content and accordingly tastes strongly of metal. Locals come here to bottle the water, as it is said to have healing properties.

From Pórtugos, ours meanders Car following tight curves deeper and deeper into the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Other road users are rare here in the gorges and valleys of the Alpujarras.

Only when we reach Trevélez do we meet other individuals again. 801 People live in Trevélez. For the Alpujarras, that’s a lot. And really, at least the main square is more urban than that of Pampaneira or Bubión. If you turn twice, you will find yourself back in empty streets. Even in one of the largest villages in the Alpujarras, we can’t get rid of the feeling of walking through an idyllic village.

Tips for Trevélez If you like the specialty of the region, the Jamón de Trevélez, want to taste, then now is the right time: The ham factory Tienda Maruja is one of only very few companies that produces this origin-protected ham.

We had a very good lunch at the Restaurant Meson La Fragua. The restaurant is an institution in Trevélez with very good cuisine. On the upper floor you dine here with a wonderful view of the landscape. There are also vegetarian dishes. Really recommended!

You have a great view of Trevélez from Calle Carretera. From a small vantage point, which is located on the other side of the gorge, you look directly at the whitewashed houses.

4. Jeep Tour through the Sierra Nevada Is it possible to surpass this quota of scenic beauty? We say yes! As part of a jeep tour through the barren mountain ranges of the Sierra Nevada. Unlike with a rental car, you can drive on the numerous off-road slopes with a jeep. This is how you get to know the Alpujarras again from a completely new perspective.

It jerks and rumbles as our somewhat outdated jeep makes its way up the deserted gravel road . With every exit, every inhalation and exhalation in this lonely landscape we take more deceleration with us, more rest, more serenity – not knowing that the icing on the cake of seclusion was yet to come.

O Sel Ling, the Buddhist meditation center fascinates us more than any other place in the Alpujarras the end. It might as well be in Tibet. The atmosphere is terrific – much nicer than words could ever describe.

Info to the jeep tour We were traveling with the provider Nevadensis, which we can highly recommend. The tour lasts about 5 hours and is conducted in private groups. The price for this is approximately 200 Euro.

Another provider for jeep tours is Nevada Guides. You can even book their tour through GetYourGuide: Jeep tour through the Sierra Nevada.

5 . More tips for your road trip through the Alpujarras/Sierra Nevada Getting around the Alpujarras The nearest major airport is in Malaga. From there it is about 1.5 hours to Lanjarón. You can easily pick up your rental car at Málaga airport.

We always book our car through Sunny Cars. Sunny Cars is an intermediary platform. This means: You book via the Sunny Cars website and pick up your car from a local car rental company (Hertz, Europcar etc.).

The most important advantage of booking via Sunny Cars is that a fully comprehensive insurance without excess is already included here. In the event of damage (regardless of whether it is your fault or not), Sunny Cars will reimburse you for the deductible.

You can search for cheap rental cars here: Sunny Cars

The main roads in the Alpujarras are easily accessible with your own car. However, if you want to drive further into the mountains, this is only possible via gravel roads and in this case a Jeep Tour is recommended.

The best travel time for the Alpujarras/Sierra Nevada In Andalusia the climate tends to be very dry and extremely hot, but the The mountainous region of the Alpujarras is a bit out of line, because the temperature here is usually lower than in the coastal regions. The higher you go, the cooler it naturally gets. In winter, the Sierra Nevada is a popular winter sports area and you can go skiing, for example.

We ourselves were at the end of October/beginning of November in the Alpujarras. The weather was quite mixed: sometimes very pleasant and sunny, sometimes quite rainy and very cool.

The least precipitation falls between June and September. Should you travel to the region in autumn, then we would We therefore recommend September most likely, as the chance of nice weather is simply greater in this month. Otherwise, spring (May, June) is of course also a great time to travel.

Travel Guide for Andalusia We ourselves were traveling with the Lonely Planet travel guide Andalusia, which we can highly recommend. The Alpujarras also find space here on some pages. You shouldn’t expect a really detailed description of the region, but it’s enough for an overview. If you travel to several places in Andalusia, then the travel guide is definitely the right choice: It is compact and very attractively designed.

You can buy the travel guide here : Lonely Planet Travel Guide Andalusia

Transparency: Invitation & Affiliate Links We have been accepted by Granada Tourism and Spain Tourism – thank you very much! This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

2016Have you ever been to the Sierra Nevada or to the villages of the Alpujarras? Please leave us a comment with your tips and experiences – we look forward to it!