Las Alpujarras

Here you can view all the pictures of las Alpujarras

Las Alpujarras For a long time the Alpujarras have been a hidden and not a well known area, even to the rest of Spain. This is because it is difficult to reach and has steep slopes.
The area stretches out over the provinces of Granada and Almeria. In the south it's bordered by the Sierra de Contraviesa and the Sierra de Gador and in the north by the National Park called the Sierra Nevada.


Las Alpujarras
The area is characterised by small whitewashed villages, rough mountains and fertile valleys.
The touristic center of the western Alpujarras is Órgiva, which lies at approx. 20 minutes by car from Torvizcón.
The Alpujarras climate has great contrasts, because of the differences in altitude. The summers have a hot dry period of several months but the extreme heat that is usual in the rest of Andalucia is not known here. Most of the rain falls in autumn, but there are great contrasts between the low and high mountain areas.
In winter it can get pretty cold sometimes. However even in winter you can spend time outdoors because the sun is normally shining.


Las Alpujarras
The architecture of the Alpujarras has a strong resemblance to that of the Berber villages in the high mountains of the Atlas, and is a heritage of the Moors. Also with the agricultural grounds and the irrigation system. Previously the houses here consisted of two floors and the walls are plastered with lime. Stables for the cattle were usually on the ground floor. In this way one profits from the rising warm air on the floors above. The most characteristic feature however is the flat roof. It consists of thick beams of chestnut and laths with a top layer of grey blue clay. When this makes contact with water it hardens thus forming a waterproof roofing.


Las Alpujarras
The villages are small and seem to be glued to the sunny side of the mountain. They have small steep alleys with a large church surrounded by white house with balconies full of flowers and flat roofs with the characteristic chimneys of the Alpujarras.


Las Alpujarras
The economy of the Alpujarras is still determined by small-scale agriculture. Donkeys are still being used as pack animal, and on the way you can come across herds of sheep and goats. Tourism is a source of income but not the most important one. Many tourists come to this area, but there are no big hotels or holiday resorts (and fortunately they will not come here). Tourists stay at campsites, houses and little hostals or hotels. Or, of course, in our house in Torvizcón...


History

During the Morish rule from 711 until 1492 the area had its most prosperous time. By maximum use of its natural resources and by building ingenious irrigation systems there was intensive agricultural activity.
When the Moors were beaten by the Catholic Kings in Granada in 1492 all of the Moors had to convert to Christianity. Those who refused fled to the hills of the Alpujarras. From there, under the leadership of Aben Humeya they resisted the Christian domination and a period of 80 years of guerilla war followed.
Las Alpujarras
In 1568 King Philips forbade the use of the Arab language and the Islamitic religion. This caused riots in the Alpujarras which were suppressed violently and ended with the public execution of Aben Humeya in Granada. This was followed up in 1610 by the decree of King Phillips II in which all inhabitants of Arabic origin were expelled.
To meet the loss of inhabitants the area was repopulated with 12000 Christian families from the northwest of Spain. However the 40 villages (approx.) in the Alpujarras have all preserved their characteristic Berber architecture.


Activities

Las Alpujarras We think hiking one of the most interesting things to do. There are lots of marked walks. Hiking maps, hiking books and routes we have described ourselves are available.
By car you can visit the rest of the Alpujarras. The area covers 2400 km2 and consists of approx. 40 villages. All the roads are practical. Narrow, but never too narrow, and always asphalted. In any case, it's never too busy.


Las Alpujarras Órgiva is the tourist centre of the Alpujarras . It is also the largest town in the area. There is an ample choice of restaurants, bars, shops and banks. Órgiva is 20 minutes away from Torvizcón by car.

You can get to Granada, with the beautiful Alhambra palace in about 1 ½ hour. It's about ½ hour drive to Trevelez. Trevelez is the highest village in Spain and is famous for his traditional ham (jamón).


Las Alpujarras We have more pictures of this beautiful area.
View them here.