Blog: El Paraje de las Alpujarras and Sierra Nevada walks · nature · culture · events · publications · weather
blog by: El Paraje
Berchules, Granada, Spain

31 March 2010

Visita de Ildefonso Falcones a Juviles

Guests that passed through Juviles today, saw the announcement that Ildefonso Falcones will visit this village this coming Saturday. Google could not help but the web of the town hall does mention it. Our guests were sure it was the 3rd of April. Juviles will dedicate a street to this author out of gratefulness that this village is receiving more visitors as the protagonist of his second historical novel La mano de Fátima, published in 2009, was born in this village. The story starts off with the uprising of the Moors in the Alpujarras in 1564. A large part of the book is situated in this area, and therefore more foreign visitors can be expected when this excellent novel becomes available in more languages.
The expected date for the English translation The hand of Fatima is according to Amazon the 19th of August. For the Dutch and Flemish readers of this blog, we would like to mention that the Dutch translation De hand van Fatima is due to come out on the 24th of May.
Idelfonso Falcones, internationally renowned for his bestseller La catedral del mar (The cathedral of the sea), will inaugurate the street that will be named after him at 14.00 hours. Calle Ildefonso Falcones is a new street that connects the Paseo de las Eras with the Edificio Cultural of Juviles.
P.S. This morning (the 1st of April) we found an article in the Ideal of Rafael Vílchez, confirming the 3rd of April or Sábado Santo.

Visita de Ildefonso Falcones a Juviles. Reconocimiento por parte del Excmo. Ayuntamiento

PS 3rd of April. And so it happened:
Ildefonso Falcones inaugurating his street in Juviles on the 3rd of April 2010 - photo: casa rural El Paraje

Ildefonso Falcones signing our copies of La mano de Fátima - photo: Encarni Barragán

Related links:
- Juviles dedicará una calle al escritor Ildefonso Falcones Ideal 20-10-09
- Los paisajes de la mano de Fátima, Toni Hill y Fernando Casal, Editorial Electa

related keywords: eventos, evenementen, evénements, veranstaltungen, publicatie, libros, books, boeken, livres, bücher

30 March 2010

Borage or Borago Officinalis

Borage is an annual herb that at this moment flowers abundantly along the Río Cádiar and probably at many other places in the Alpujarras which are humid enough and not higher than 1,300 metres. The borage of the forget-me-not- family or Boraginaceae originated in Syria and is a good honey flower. Nowadays the commercial cultivation of this starflower is mainly as an oilseed, although in former days it was cultivated for medicinal (which explains the indication ´officinalis´) and culinary uses. As a fresh vegetable, borage, with a cucumber like taste, is often used in salads or as a garnish. The flower has a sweet honey-like taste and is sometimes used to decorate desserts. There are many countries where borage is used in cooking, which sounds very tempting to try something out. Nevertheless, when we read on on wikipedia, it says that the leaves and flowers have been found to contain small amounts of the liver-toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids. So we prefer not to take any risks and enjoy just the beauty of the gentian-blue flowers.

Borago officinalis along the Río Cádiar - photo: casa rural El Paraje
related keywords: borraja, bernagie, komkommerkruid, bourrache officinale, Boretsch, Borretch, Gurkenkraut

29 March 2010

The Alpujarras villages list

The Alpujarras is a region defined by history, geography, nature and culture. Therefore there is no exact definition to be found about which villages belong to the Alpujarras. Depending on the subject, the borderline may change.
The heart of the Alpujarras is the Alpujarra alta and media in the Granada province (Alpujarra Granadina). We like to include the low Alpujarras Granadina or Alpujarras Costa and the Alpujarras Almeriense. This article has a permanent link in the side column.

* The village links below are the label indexes to articles in this blog.
* In case the town hall maintains an official web, its link is shown as (web)
* In case we think the town hall website has added value, its link is shown as (web!)
* In case we have dedicated an article to the villages, its link is shown as (special)
* In casa private websites about the village have good (non dupilicate) info we mention them as well

alcútar (see bérchules)
alpujarra de la sierra web!
   mecina bombarón web  facebook
   yegen )
atalbéitar (see: taha)
bayacas (see: órgiva)
bubión (streetmap)
bérchules web  oldweb special
cádiar (cádiar, narila. yátor)
capileira (streetmap)
cástaras (cástaras, nieles) web also view recuerdos de castaras
cherín (see: ugíjar)
cojáyar (see: see murtas)
ferreirola (see: taha)
fondales (see: taha)
jorairátar (see: ugíjar)
juviles web
júbar (see: nevada)
lanjarón (web!)
laroles (see: nevada)
lobras (lobras, tímar) web
las canteras (see: ugíjar)
los montoros (see: ugíjar)
mairena (see: nevada)
mecina alfahar (see: válor)
mecina bombarón (see: alpujarra de la sierra)
mecina (see: taha)
mecinilla (see: taha)
mecina tedel (see: murtas)
montenegro (see: alpujarra de la sierra)
murtas (cojáyar, murtas , mecina tedel) web
narila (see: cádir)
nevada (júbar, laroles, mairena, picena) web!
nieles (see: cástaras) web
notáez (see: almegíjar)
órgiva (órgiva , bayacas, tablones) web!
pampaneira (web) (streetmap)
picena (see: nevada)
pitres (see: taha)
pórtugos web!
soportújar web!
taha (atalbéitar, capilerilla, ferreirola, fondales, mecina, mecinilla, pitres) web facebook (see also!)
tablones (see: órgiva)
tímar (see: lobras)
torvizcón web
trevélez web
ugíjar (ugíjar, cherín, jorairatar)
válor (válor, mecina alfahár)
yátor (see: cádiar)
yegen (see: alpujarra de la sierra)

albondón (web)
albuñol (web!)
lújar (web)
polopos (castillo de baños, haza del lino, haza del trigo, la guapa, , la mamolapolopos)  web!
rubite (web)
sorvilán (web)
turón web blog de Elsa

alboloduy (web)
alcolea (alcolea, darrical, lucainena) (web!)
alhabia (web)
alhama de almería (web)
alicún (web)
almócita (web)
alsodux (web)
bayárcal (web!)
beires (web)
beninar ( (bení (wikipedia)
bentarique (web)
berja (web!)
canjáyar (web) (canjá
darrical (see: alcolea)
fondón (web!)
guarros (see:paterna del río)
huécija (web!)
illar (web)
instinción (web)
laujar de andarax (web)
lucainena (see: alcolea)
ohanes (web) turist info at
padules (web!)
paterna del río (paterna del río, guarros) (web)
rágol (web)
santa cruz de marchena (web)
terque (web!)

Related articles:
Introduction to the Alpujarras
- Alpujarras road map
- Guía turistica de la Alpujarra

Related links:
- Municipalities and description from ADR !
- Sistema de Información Multiterritorial de Granada
- Sistema de Información Multiterritorial de Almería
- The Alpujarran villages on the offical turistic website
- La Alpujarra (wikipedia) (with list and links of villages)

related keyword: alpujarras, sierra nevada, wandelen, wandelingen, wanderung, B&B, hotel, bérchules, trektocht, hiking, trekking, standplaatsvakantie,wandelvakanties

28 March 2010

Alpujarras market days schedule

In the days that private transport was a luxury, the merchants came to the villages.
In the Alpujarras there still exists a schedule for those small markets. This post has a permanent link in the sidebar.

Bérchules - day 2 and 22
Busquístar - Tuesdays
Cádiar - day 3 and 18 of each month
Cañar - Wednesdays
Capileira - Saturdays
Lanjarón - Fridays
Laroles (Nevada)- day 10 and 25
Mecina Bombarón - day 2 and 17
Murtas - Sunday (not frequently used, closest by are Ugíjar and Cádiar)
Orgiva - Thursdays
Orgiva - first Saturday of the month mercado de las artes
Pampaneira - Mondays
Pórtugos - Tuesdays
Pitres - Fridays
Torvizcón - day 1 and 16
Trevélez - Wednesdays
Ugíjar - day 5 and 20
Valor - day 4 and 19
Yegen - day 6 and 21

Alcolea - day 14 and 29
Alhama de Almería - Fridays
Fondón - day 2 and 16
Laujar de Andarrax - day 3 and 17
Padules - Tuesdays
Ohanes - day 10, 20 and 30

Related links:
- source:
related key words: list, market days, overzicht, marktdagen, lista, mercado ambulante, mercadillo, jour de marché, markttag

27 March 2010

Walking route Cádiar por el GR7

Just before the busy Semana Santa starts, we saw a change to check our walking route ´Cádiar por el GR7´ (see map with numbers) today. We walked from Alcútar (3) down to the Río Cádiar (7) without encountering difficulties, just enjoying the perfect temperature and the stillness of a brilliant spring morning. We already knew that the GR7 ´bridge´(7) had disappeared and that Paco from Narila had made a very good bridge to cross a side river. Luckily, he doesn´t mind other people using his bridge. You can follow a small path on the right river bank towards the dam, which can always be used to cross the Río Cádiar.
From Narila we tried following the GR7 that used to run just along the river (10-11), but too much of the path has disappeared. We advise everybody to just follow the small country road between Narila and Cádiar, which has also got its own pleasant atmosphere (9-12).
After we crossed the bridge in Cádiar (13) to continue towards Lobras, we witnessed how many plots of land have just completely disappeared! What a shame for the people that used to grow their fruit and vegetables here. In stead of walking on a small unpaved country road, you now walk in the very wide river bed.
The branch were it used to be possible to go left to Alquería de Morayma (14) is no longer there, neither the bridge to cross the river. From the ruin that used to be once a ´posada´, the path was recognizable again as it starts to run further away from the river. We saw people that have been lucky enough not to loose their land, busy on their fields. We continued our way to Lobras without noticing many differences, except for the unusual amount of water coming down from the Barranco the Albayar.

From Lobras we continued along the irrigation channel (halfway between Lobras and 17), instead of following the GR7 towards Tímar. We mentioned in an earlier post that it was difficult to cross the Río Tímar some weeks ago and that the new walking connection between these two villages along the Acequia de los Castaños is just as pretty. The lovely part between Tímar and Juviles (following the GR7 and not the route as indicated on the map), can be done without any difficulty whatsoever. A farmer working the land along the Río Cádiar on a spring morning - photo: casa rural El Paraje

Related links:
All GR7 stages in the Alpujarras with maps, from the website Mancomunidad de municipios de la Alpujarra Granadina

Alpujarras outdoors activities link list

This is a list of Alpujarras based organisations dedicated to outdoor activities. We will update this list when we find out more. This article has a permanent link in the side column.

- WalkAlpujarra - Trevélez
- Spanishhighs - Lanjarón
- Nevadensis - Pampaneira
- Ibex Trex - Narila
- Rafatours - Motril (oriented mostly on the Alpujarras)

- Virgen de las Nieves - Trevélez
- Dallas Love , Sierra Trails - Bubión
- Cabalgar Rutas Alternativas - Bubión
- Caballo Park - Soportújar
- Caballo Blanco - Lanjarón
- Camino Verde - Busquístar
- Aventura Polar - Puerto de la Ragua, Bayarcal
- Maria Barbero López - Mecina Bombarón (Alpujarra de la Sierra)

- South Side Cycling - Bérchules
- ADR Berja cycling club - Berja

- Spanishhighs - Lanjarón

- Aventura Polar - Puerto de la Ragua, Bayarcal

- BirdwatchAlpujarras - Lanjarón

- Nevadensis - Pampaneira (guided walks, 4x4, mtb btt, gorge descent, skiing, courses)
- Aventura Rural - Lanjarón (gorge descent, archery, bridge diving, 4x4, mtb btt)
- Multiaventura - Órgiva (quads, paintball, archery, mtb bike hire)
- Saltarios - Órgiva (Cano, rafting and more)
- Al Mihras - Laujar de Andarax (youth groups oriented)

- Vivetuaventura - Bérchules
- Iniza - Lucainea de Alcolea (Almería)

- Click to jump to a special article about sports events

- Alpujarras and Sierra Nevada Sports events
- Professional sports and thai yoga massages at El Paraje
- El Paraje now has crampons available
- Mountain biking in the Alpujarras Sierra Nevada

- Casa Rural El Paraje is dedicated to walkers and organise guided mountain-bike trips.
- Rafa-tours. Excursions throughout the Alpujarras guided by Rafael Gan ´el connaisseur´.
- Nómadas. Outdoors activity materials shop in Durcal.
- Solo Aventura. Outdoors activity materials shop and online shopping in Granada city.

- online brochure about the transnevada biking trail
- alpujarras routes
- Some road cycling suggestions around Haza del Lino
- Mountain gear rental service of Spanish Highs
- Granada activa. The Association of Active Tourism Companies of Granada
- Viasur S.L. Travel agency for the Alpujarras and Valle lecrin, with extended outdoor activity packages

related keywords: turismo activo, activiteiten, paardrijden, reiten, rutas a caballo, wandelen, senderismo, wandern, radfahren, cyclisme, fietsen

Link partners

If you have a content related website (Alpujarras - Sierra Nevada - Spain - nature - trekking - hiking etc) and are interested in a link exchange, please contact us on

Si tiene una pagina web con contenido relacionado con Las Alpujarras -  La Sierra Nevada -  senderismo - naturaleza etc. puede contactarnos por intercambio de enlances

Wanneer je website hebt die een relatie heeft met onze onderwerpen,  alpujarras , sierra nevada, spanje, andalusie, wandelen, wandelvakantie, bed and breakfast, kan je contact metons opnemen voor het ruilen van links:

related keyword: linkruil, site toevoegen, add site, reciprocal link, add link, link toevoegen, hotel, B&B

26 March 2010

Alpujarras news guide

How to keep up-to-date about the Alpujarras? On the Internet you can find anything, don´t you. Well we get lost in sites that are outdated, just copy any feed from any source, have more google adds than content, are impossible to navigate, or do not have a clear scope. In this article we will try to guide you to the Alpujarras news. We will update this article as we find more interesting sources. Suggestions are welcome. This article has a permanent link in the sidebar.


- IDEAL. All articles with keyword Alpujarra, but you can put your own keyword(s). (Spanish)
- SUR.ES All articles with keyword Alpujarra. but you can put your own. keyword(s). (Spanish)
- La Opinion de Granada especially its Archive or Hemeroteca : put your keyword(s) and choose a timeframe. (Spanish)
- Comarca Alpujarra. Digital newspaper of Almería. (Spanish)

- El Blog Rural de las Alpujarras. Blog de Antonio J. Puerta. (Spanish)
- Sierra Nevada news (of Spanish Highs)

- Foro-ciudad provincia Granada. Organized per village! Forum as well as village dedicated news (noticias)! Some village forums are well used others are dead. But the news feeds per village might interest you. (Spanish)

Related articles:
find blog articles by subject label

related keywords: news, nieuws, noticias, nachrichten, nouvelles, kranten, diario, zeitung

25 March 2010

XV Feria ´Hecho en la Alpujarra´ 2010 in Orgiva

From the 1st to the 5th of April, the trade fair ´Made in the Alpujarra´ is organized for the fifteenth time in Órgiva. This Feria del Turismo, Artesanía y Alimentación ´Hecho en la Alpujarra´ 2010, is a an exhibitition of tourism, crafts and local products that can be visited on four consecutive days from 11.00 to 21.00 hours.
No official announcements are yet to be found on the Internet, so we checked with the town hall and got the confirmation that it will be organized again this year.

Related links:
- Article in the IDEAL newspaper 2-April-2010 on the feria 2010
Official blog with all participants of the feria Hecho en la Alpujarra 2009
Web of the town hall Orgiva (ayuntamiento)
Orgiva on Turgranada tourist board
Videos on Youtube of the feria 2009

related keywords: eventos, evenementen, evénements, veranstaltungen, comer y beber, eten en drinken, manger et boir, essen und trinken

The GR142 long distance foot path through the Alpujarras

We already publicated special articles about the long distance foot paths GR7 and GR240 (also called Sulayr). We use these ´Alpujarras specials´ to gather all the information we have about these routes and we keep updating them whenever we find new relevant information. These articles therefore have a permanent link in the right hand column.
The third LDP that runs through the Alpujarras is the GR142.


See this blog article in which we have incorporated the module GR142 from our website

THE STAGES (taken from the online topo guide)


Another map

GPS TRACKS (WIKILOC thanks to those who have shared their info):
Cástaras - Jorairátar
The online topo guide also has the coordinates of all waypoints mentioned in the above profiles


official list on Search per city (village)
the online topo guide has a accommodation page per stage

click here

- Overview of all villages and related municipalities with websites
- Campings in the Alpujarras
- Guided walking on our outdoors overview
- Alpujarras road map

Related links:
- leaflet of dipalme : Darrical - Alcolea PDF

related key words: alpujarras, sierra nevada, wandelen, wandelingen, wanderung, B&B, hotel, berchules, trektocht, hiking, trekking, standplaats vakantie, wandelvakanties, holiday, urlaub, vacances

23 March 2010

Semana Santa in the Alpujarras

Most people from abroad know that Spain celebrates Semana Santa intensively, and some tourists plan their visit to Spain in this Easter week to experience the special athmosphere. During the whole of the Holy Week, street processions are organised in many towns, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. People carry statues of saints around on floats or wooden platforms in an atmosphere of mourning. The people who carry the weight of the floats are called ´costaleros´ and are expected to carry the ´thrones´ with solemnity and grace. The religious fraternities and brotherhoods (or hermandades) are responsable for carrying the statues and organising the penitents and musicians.
What foreigners not always realize, is that it is mainly in Andalusian towns that Easter celebrations are held. Last year we had guests from Cataluña, who had never assisted an Easter procession in their lives before. They had decided to spend their last day of their Easter holidays in Lanjarón as they had heard that this town helt various processions as it has a number of fraternities.
Lanjarón probably holds the most elaborate processions of the Alpujarras, and as far as we know the only Alpujarran town with a website dedicated to the Holy Week.

View Samana Santa in Granada on online TV of the CofradesGranada

Nuestra Señora María Santísima de Dolores y Soledad, del cartel de lanjaró
Related links:
Semana Santa in Lanjarón
- Lanjaron on Turgranada tourist board
Real Federación de Hermandades y Cofradías de Semana Santa de la ciudad de Granada
Semana Santa en Granada web de cofrade Luis Serrano Donaire
- Foral de Guia Almeria (portal foro de la Semana Santa de Almeriam on mforos)
Farol de guia (on blogcindario)

related keywords: eventos , evenementen, evénements, veranstaltungen, pasen, paasweek, semaine sainte, pâques, ostern, karwoche, osterwoche, passionswoche

22 March 2010

Carlos Cano - Pasodoble Torero a Gerald Brenan

José Carlos Cano Fernández (28.01.1946 - 19.12.2000) known as Carlos Cano is a famous copla and ballad singer from Granada. After thinking about one of his chansons for the music of the day, we stumbled on a song in which the text is dedicated to Gerald Brenan and the Alpujarras. In stead of selecting a music of the day song, we decided to write this post and incorporate the lyrics.

Pasodoble Torero a Gerald Brenan

Le voy a dedicar con to mi corazón un pasodoble a Gerald Brenan.
Pasodoble de sol de clavel reventón como si un torero fuera.

Y que nadie me hable de Londón ni leches de britin ni cambrí.
Yegen, Alpujarra, Andalucía, Granada , su alegría, y rosas de Alhaurín.
Y dirle bajico, mu bajico limón, azulina y yerbagüena.
Y la casa encalá y el vino de Albondón y una sillica en la puerta.

Y a las güenas tardes tenga usted, don Gerardo Vaya animación
Mucho forastero últimamente, que no deja la gente vivir ni a Dios

¡Ay! Alpujarra, Alpujarra, Qué grandes son las estrellas
Más grandes los corazones olé y viva Gerald Brenan.
Cierro los ojos y te siento aunque de ti yo esté lejos.
¡Ay! Alpujarra, Alpujarra, ¡ay! Alpujarra

Yo te voy a cantar de lo jondo de mí y con palabras del pueblo.
Tú que fuiste Sultán de la Ciencia ilustrá. Un trovero alpujarreño
Y te voy a cantar regorviura, prenda, algarabitos y balate
Menda, capuana, jamucuco, olé y de trabuco: ¡Viva tu madre!

¡Ay! Alpujarra, Alpujarra, Qué grandes son las estrellas
Más grandes los corazones olé y viva Gerald Brenan.
Cierro los ojos y te siento aunque de ti yo esté lejos.
¡Ay! Alpujarra, Alpujarra, ¡ay! Alpujarra

Related articles:
Sendero Local ´Gerald Brenan´, Yegen (13 december 2008)
Ruta literaria por el sendero de Gerald Brenan (27 november 2008)

related keywords: musica, muziek, musique, musik

21 March 2010

The Alexander Music School, first 2010 concert

The Alexander Music School in Ferreirola organizes its first concert of 2010 on Saturday the 27th of March at 19.00 hours. The group Amadís Antigua will perform baroque music. The concert will take place in the Ferreirola Church (La Taha de Pitres). It is a concert in aid of the restoration fund for this church. More details can be found here.
The Alexander music school is also known for the organisation of the festival Music in the Mountains or Musica en las Montañas. We do not know the plans for 2010 yet. CD recordings of concerts of previous years form part of the Wapapura project. Within our Taha label you will find more articles on the 2009 festival.

Related articles:
Música en las Montañas 2009, an intimate concert in Atalbéitar (08 august 2009)
Música para Sierra Nevada in La Taha (21 august 2009)

Related links.
Ferreirola on Turgranada tourist board

related keywords: musica, muziek, musique, musik, eventos , evenementen, evénements, veranstaltungen

20 March 2010

Narcissus Cantabricus

Today we felt like taking pictures of wild flowers that symbolize spring as this season starts officially tomorrow. For that reason we followed part of the pequeño recorrido PR 25 and the PR 32 in the Sierra de la Contraviesa towards Jorairátar, and we walked back on the GR142 through the Rambla de Repenil. Nature is further there, as the average altitude is about four hundreds metres lower than were we are at El Paraje. Right on leaving Cádiar, on the Collado de la Ventilla, we saw many graceful daffodils. It appeared to be the White Hoop-petticoat Daffodil. This trumpet-shaped low white narcissus can be found in Southeren Spain, the Balearic Islands and North-west Africa (Algeria and Marroco). It is therefore quite curious that this delicate flower carries the name Narcissus Cantabricus. Later we saw grape hyacinths, poppies and many other beautiful flowers, but the Narcissus Cantabricus remained our day favourite.

Narcissus Cantabricus near Cádiar - photo: casa rural El Paraje

19 March 2010

Horseback riding with Virgen de las Nieves

There have been a lot of horseback riding initiatives in the Alpujarras, but only a few survived over the years. For guests that would like an excursion of a few hours, our suggestion is Virgen de las Nieves in Trevélez. It is officially registered and insured, but you will not easily find anything on the Internet. The contact point is the small bar in the upper part or ´barrio alto´ of the village of Trevélez that has the same name. We offer their leaflet here below, but cannot link you to any website. This Spanish family will offer you a truly Alpujarran experience.
Rutas a caballo Virgen de las Nieves
Barrio alto de Trevélez
tel: 958 858601 mobile: 619 031821 (José Antonio)
Rutas a caballo Virgen de las Nieves - photo: leaflet copy 

Leaflet inside text:
Ven, cabalga con nosotros. Si ya sabes montar, disfruta de nuestros espléndidos caballos, pero si aún no has aprendido, déjate enseñar. Tenemos todo tipo de caballos. Dóciles, para aprender y rápidos para disfrutar; educados como niños, nobles y sencillos. Conocemos cada punto como si formase parte de nosotros. Por nuestras rutas discurren los paisajes más bellos jamás soñados, impressionantes montañas y cristalinos ríos se entrelazan entre perpetuos valles de forma maravillosa.

Vertaal huidige pagina naar het Nerderlands  Een nederlandse ervaring October 2010
Voor het opdoen van bijzondere paardrijervaringen is een verblijf in El Paraje zeer geschikt. Je kunt je mengen in de lokale bevolking en rondrijdend als een cowboy kun je genieten van de schitterende omgeving. Vanuit Berchules rij je in een half uur naar het hoogst gelegen dorp van Spanje, Trevelez. In het hoogst gelegen deel van het dorp (barrio alto) woont Jose Antonio, een local met hart voor zijn paarden. Hij heeft een stal met drie paarden. Je kunt (met handen en voeten en het telefoonnummer van El Paraje) duidelijke afspraken maken met betrekking tot het paardrijden. Antonio staat open voor alle suggesties en is erg zorgzaam, hij past de ritten aan op ieders wensen, ook als je al onderweg bent. De ritten variëren van een uur tot hele dagtochten van 8 uur. In alle gevallen ga je de bergen in. Je gaat (letterlijk en figuurlijk) door diepe dalen, langs steile afgronden, je steekt riviertjes over en je komt tot duizelingwekkende hoogten.
De ritten zijn voor ruiters van elk niveau toegankelijk. Voorwaarde is wel dat je goed moet kunnen zitten en dat je eventuele hoogtevrees kunt bedwingen. Het is zeker de moeite waard om eventuele angsten te overwinnen want het landschap is uniek en wanneer je één met je paard door de bergen rijdt waan je je alleen op aarde!

Regi en Peter

Related links:
- horse riding trail holidays with
Dallas Love , Sierra Trails in Bubión
- horse riding per hour as well as trails with
Cabalgar Rutas Alternativas in Bubión
- horse riding per hour as well as trails with
Caballo Park in Soportujar
- lessons and trails with
Caballo Blanco in Lanjarón
- lessons, riding per hour as well as trails with
Camino Verde in Busquistar
related keywords: montar a caballo, paardrijden, équitation, reiten

17 March 2010

New Alpujarras road map

There have been a few changes to the Alpujarras roads, which makes a new road map useful. The Granada - Motril highway A-44 has been finished and connected with the A-346 to Torvizcón. Works have been going on to improve and alter the route of the A-348 between Cádiar, Yátor and Ugíjar and to connect it with the A-347 to Berja. Last week the road between Cádiar and Ugíjar was opened.
The renovation of the A-348 from Torvizcón to Cádiar was already finished two years ago. It needs to be said though, that this road has suffered a lot of rain damage and that at some parts only one lane is available. The rest of the A-348 and the A346 doesn´t not give any problems.
Google maps is up-to-date concerning these roads but most paper maps and internet map scans reflect the old situation. We liked the old map because it was simple but it was not complete either. Besides, the road numbers changed a few years ago. Writing this article we realized that a correct map of the Alpujarras does not seem to exist. Even Google goes wrong on the small roads and you need to zoom in quite strongly to get them showed, losing the overview completely. The official Granada road map of the obras publicas of the Junta de Andalucia(pdf) is also far from complete. That is why we decided to edit this map ourselves to put in the connections for example between Nieles, Tímar and Lobras as wel as the road to El Golco. Please advise us on other corrections we should apply to the map below.

Click on the photo to enlarge it in a new window.
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Related links:
- road condition information from
DGT for Granada and Almería

related keywords: mapa, wegenkaart, carte routière, fahrplan

16 March 2010

Introduction to the Alpujarras

This weblog started in July 2008 as an extension of the website of our country hotel in Bérchules. We decided to take the Alpujarras, our passions and informative value for potential visitors of the Alpujarras, as the scope for our articles.

As this weblog is growing and becoming an Alpujarras information source we realized that in this blog this region was not even properly introduced.

In this article we would like to correct this and therefor extracted the module Alpujarras from our website and added a permanent link to this article in the side column.

Use the pointing hand at the bottom right to go to the next page !!
(Iexplorer: CTRL F5 to reload skipping cache if needed)

The Alpujarra is a region with a variety of scenery of great natural beauty. It stretches from the Sierra Nevada in the north to the Mediterranean in the south, and from Lanjarón and the Sierra de Lújar in the west to Ohanes and Punta de las Entinas in the east. A little bit more than half of its surface is part of the Granada province, the rest of the Almería province.In the high Alpujarra you´ll find picturesque mountain villages, in the valleys and along the coast a few bigger towns and in the Contraviesa small hamlets scattered between vineyards.One of the most interesting aspects of the mountain villages is their vernacular arquitecture. Whitewashed cubic houses are built one above the other. These houses with their flat roofs and chimneys in the form of truncated cones, are built against steep slopes. Small passageways are created by the ´tinaos´ or porches that span narrow village streets.
This Alpujarran style of building cannot be found in any other part of Spain and was probably introduced by the Arabs.Archaelogical remains found in the Alpujarra region indicate that the origins of human settlement date back to 3500 B.C. Then the Phoenicians, Greek and Romans had successively occasional settlements near the coast, but probably not ventured far inland because of the difficult accessibility.
Nevertheless a few remains of the Roman period can be found, for example a bridge in Mecina Bombarón and cobbled paths and mines in La Taha.

The population reached its highest levels during the presence of the Arabs. They were the first to start building villages in the high Alpujarra. Of the fortresses that they built a few remains are left. But where they had once built mezquitas, churches arose after their expulsión, some in Mudejar style. The Arabs introduced new crops and a system of terraced farming. Their knowledge of irrigation techniques, making use of an extensive network of ´acequias´ or water channels, created a prosperous arboriculture and silk industry.
The Arabs had shown how to adapt one´s way of life to the surroundings. They had the ability to make use of the available water in such a way, that, amongst others, poplars, chestnuts and mulberry trees, could grow here. These ´semicultvated´ trees give the high Alpujarra its lush character up to today.
The low Alpujarra is characterized by beautiful groves of olives, figs, almond and and citrus trees.

The Sierra de la Contraviesa is the mountain range between the Sierra Nevada and the Mediterranean coast and is best known for its wines.De vineyards situated at nearly 1400 metres are among the highest to be found in Europe.It had been a wine producing region for many centuries until in 1833 the phylloxera almost made an end to it all. A few farmers planted resistent varieties of grapes, others replaced the vines for almond and fig trees, but a great many people left the area completely.Most farmers that had stayed, continued their family tradition of producing ´vino de la costa´, a young fruity rosé coloured wine on a small scale. Nevertheless, in the early eighties a few enterprising winegrowers rediscovered the area and started experimenting with quality varieties, as well as with the indigenous types like the vigiriego grape for the white wines. Thanks to the hard work and perseverence of these people its now also possible to enjoy quality wines and cava´s from the Alpujarra.

Related links:
- Tourist board alpujarras valle lecrín
- Alpujarras on Wikiperdia
- Comprehensive leaflet from the tourist board about the Alpujarras and Valle lecrín, in English

related keywords: introducción, inleiding , introduction, einfuhrung alpujarras, sierra nevada, wandelen, wandelingen, wanderung, B&B, hotel, berchules, trektocht, hiking, trekking, standplaats vakantie, wandelvakanties, holiday, urlaub, vacances

14 March 2010

Music of the day (archive)

Regular visitors of our blog may have noticed the music of the day player in the side column.
The music of the day idea was born during the long wet winter of 2010. On the one hand, we like music and play a variety of Spanish and international music in our small guest house. On the other hand, we like to put our energy in our website and blog when the weather does not really permit us to be outside and check walks, work on the land or do maintenance on the house.
Over the years, and educated by guests our collection of classic and modern Spanish music has grown. Now we enjoy searching on the internet pieces of music that we play regularly and that we think to be special. By saving the music items in this archive and giving them links to performers and authors, we think that over a period of time a nice, El Paraje archive may grow.
We have chosen to cross the Alpujarras boundaries with the subject music.

The traditional Alpujarras music or ´musica tradicional de la Alpujarra´ is related to harvest songs, religious songs and songs of trades. In 2010 the Festival de musica tradicional de la Alpujarra will be organized in Almócita on the 8th of August. (see article)
Some we found on internet.
- a video of the performance of Grupo Zarzamora at the XXIV Festival de musica tradicional de la Alpujarra in Rubite 14th August 2005 (with a typical long alpujarran introduction!).
- music of this slideshow with musica tradicional alpujareña on
- 'El Pajarillo' Interpretada por el Centro de Educación de Adultos de Mecina (from
- 'Romance de Galán y García' Cantado por María Pérez Salguero, de Mecina (from
- Guitarras en la Alpujarra of Paco Santiago Gonzalez
- poster 2006
- videos taha musica de la alpujarra 2010 with taha choir ´los compadres´and more´

play : Enrique Morente: Solea de la ciencia - flamenco 
play : Michel Camilo y Tomatito: rom within - piano guitar jazz 
play : Pancho Cespedes: vida loca - ballad 
play : Miguel Poveda: buenas intenciones - flamenco 
play : Niño Josele : when I fall in love - (acc. jazz guitar)
play : Estopa and Rosario : run run - popular 
play : Malú:  Diles - popular 
play : Performer unknown:  Danza espanola oriental Enrique Granados - classical piano 
play : Amaral : El universo sobre mi - popular 
play : Ismael Serrano : Ya nada es lo que era - ballad 
play : Nina Pastori : Ave Maria - 
play : Niño Josele : waltz for debby - (acc. jazz guitar)
play : Pata Negra : blues de los niños - (popular)
play : Rosana : Tormenta de arena - (popular) (songtext)
play : Manuel de Falla : danza del fuego - (classical music) (video1) (video2)
play : Nenan Daconte : tenia tanto que darte - (popular) (video)
play : Pepe Habichuela : Mi tierra - (flamenco guitar)
play : Tomatito : Dulce Manantial - (flamenco guitar with ´palmas´)
play : Diego el Cigala y Bebo Valdés: Lagimas Negras - (cuban flamenco fusion )
play : Anouar Brahem - Les Jardins de Ziryab - (modern arab lute )
play : Paco Peña y - Eduardo Falu - Danza cordobesa - (Spanish guitar)
play : Pablo y Manu - You had a bad day - (OT 2008 popular)
play : Montse Cortés and Vicente Amigo - Oda a la guitarra - (flamenco)

play : Paco Santiago Gonzalez - Choro de la Alpujarra - (guitar)
play : Anna Belén y Juan Valerrama - Envidia - (ballad)
play : Andres Segovia - Asturias (Isaac Albéniz) (classic spanish guitar)
play : Camarón de la isla y Paco de Lucia - Bulerias (flamenco)
play : Virginia Maestro - Lunas Rotas (ballad)
play : Alex Ubago - No te rindes (popular)
play : Eduardo Paniagua- Fiesta de Santa María (medieval)
play : Pasión Vega- Maria se bebe de las calles (ballad)
play : Sergio Dalma - No me digas que no (popular)
play : El Lebrijano with Orquestra Arabigo Andaluza (CD Casablanca)- Ay por dios (arabo - andalusian)
play : Narciso Yepes (orchestra unknown) - Concierto de Aranjuez (adagio) - composer: Joaquin Rodrigo (classical music) (see video)
play : Sabina - Y nos dieron las diez (popular ranchera)

play : Lola Flores - Ay, pena, penita pena (copla) (see video ! )
play : Gerardo Nuñez - A la Nana (lullaby) (non traditional flamenco guitar)

play : Miguel Poveda and Mariza - meu fado (fado -flamenco duet from the film Fado of Carlos Saura)
play : John Williams - recuerdo de la Alhambra, composer:Tárrega (classic Spanish guitar)
play : Chambao - ahí estas tú (popular) (more on listengo)
play : Rosana - el talismán (popular) (more on listengo)

play : Norbert Kraft - Sevilla, composer: Isaac Albéniz, (classical Spanish guitar)
play : Vicente Amigo - ciudad de las ideas (flamenco guitar) (see video on this blog) (more on listengo)

Related articles:
Carlos Cano - Pasodoble Torero a Gerald Brenan

- Vicente Amigo guitarist
Bebo y Cigala

Related links:
The Alexander Music School in Ferreirola Alpujarras
- Guitarras en la Alpujarra - Paco Santiago Gonzalez
Discografía Alpujarreña

- Ravenna Flamenco - a multimedia magazine for the anglophone flamenco guitar aficionado
- The flamenco world

related keywords: musica, muziek, musique, musik

10 March 2010

Walking connections between Yegen and Mecina Bombarón

Last week it was difficult to walk the GR7 from Yegen to Mecina Bombarón. Between Yegen and Montenegro some large rocks had blocked the path, and there was a danger of more rocks coming down. Besides, there was a lot of water running through the Río Mecina near El Golco. An emergency bridge has been made at that point, but certain days the water level was much higher than the bridge itself. As the weather improves, water levels drop rapidly and today we heard that the GR7 between the two villages no longer imposes serious problems for walkers.

Nevertheless, it reminded us of a walking route at the other side of the main road called Sendero de las Encinas. It is still on the brochure of the town hall and on the website of Alpujarra de la Sierra, although it was not newly waymarked like the other small local walks. A few years ago we tried walking this route starting in Mecina Bombarón, but we got a little bit lost as the waymarking wasn´t very good and the path was overgrown at some parts. Now we thought we would give it a try again, walking the route in the opposite direction. From the village of Yegen we followed the Sendero de la Salud, which starts next to the play ground. This route is one of the Senderos Locales that was recently waymarked anew with wooden posts with white arrows. It follows the old Camino Real, a beautiful cobbled path that took people to Granada or Guadix on the other side of the sierra.

Where the Sendero de la Salud starts to go down, you leave this waymarked route by keeping to the left. There is an old yellow-and-white sign on a chestnut tree a few metres further on, but that is about the last one you will see for about an hour. You keep going up on the Camino Real until you see a marker post of the Sulayr route. Here you go left down a dirt track towards a holm oak grove. Here you see a few very old ´encinas´, which have given this route its name. In the distance you already see the path that will take you back to Mecina Bombarón. You get to the main road close to the Fuente de los Remedios.

It is only on the last part, where you no longer need them, that you see yellow-and-white waymarks again. The Sendero de las Encinas would normally take you over the old Roman bridge back to the vilage. Unfortunately the bridge got so badly damaged, that you need to use the main road to cross the Río Mecina.

As the GR7 does not give any problems anymore, combining the two walking connections is possible again. The two make a really varied and attractive circular walk of 14,5 kilometres. In case that you find the circular route too long or strenuous (height difference of almost 700 metres), it is possible to make use of the public transport. Don´t trust the schedule you find on the website of the local bus company ALSA too much though. The first time we tried to get on the bus to Yegen it left Mecina Bombarón at 11.15 hours, half an hour earlier than the time you see on the internet and the timetable in the town hall. After asking a few people, we understood that it mostly leaves at aroud 11.30 hours. There is a bus going from Yegen to Mecina Bombarón at 15.30 hours according to the timetable on the ALSA website, but we do not now how realiable this information is.
Sendero de las Encinas with Mecina Bombarón and El Golco in the background - photo: casa rural El Paraje

Related links:
All GR7 stages in the Alpujarras with maps , from the website Mancomunidad de municipios de la Alpujarra Granadina

related keywords: senderismo, rutas, wandelen, wandelingen, randonnée, promenades, wandern, wanderungen, Berchules, B&B, hotel, trektocht

Some nice days ahead

Without any doubt, this must have been the wettest winter since decades. There is a lot of damage to roads, bridges and tracks, but in general, life in the Alpujarras is pretty much going on as normal. In the west of Andalucía there are still serious floodings. We had no extremely low temperatures and prize ourselves lucky with the minor repairs to be done in spring.
Last week heavy rainfall made place for ´normal´ unstable weather. This week however, the weather promises to give us a nice break. Although the wind is a bit chilly, the sun warms both skin and heart. Let´s hope that the worst has passed.
Late almond blossom - photo: casa rural El Paraje
Related links:
- Bérchules weather forecast AEMET

related keywords: el tiempo, het weer, le temps, das wetter

4 March 2010

English edition Sendero Sulayr or GR240

At the end of 2009, the Editorial Penibética published an English editition of the GR240, the Long Distance Footpath that circles the Sierra Nevada. Stanford in England and Pied-a-Terra in the Netherlands offer this book on-line.
The Sulayr is a circular LDP, of about 300 kilometres, which is divided into 19 sections. Most trail sections start or end in the middle-of-nowhere. You therefore need to be quite fit to walk the many extra kilometres to find accommodation if you do not want to camp high up. As far as we know, there are two organizations that offer guided or self-guided Sulayr walks; either the whole tour or sections of it. One is the Spanish company Nevadensis in Pampaneira and the other is the English company Spanish Highs based in Lanjarón.
For those who are interested in doing a part of the route on the southern slopes, we give a few ideas. Our suggestion would be to start in Capileira as this town can be reached by public transport. The first walking day you cover the beautiful section to Trevélez, a village with a wide choice of accommodations. We personally like hotel La Fragua as they also offer good food. From Trevélez it is 25 kilometres to the Loma de Lastonar. For those who find this too long, they could split this section up, by walking down to El Paraje from Hoya Herrera. Next morning we could take you up to this point from where you can walk on to the Loma de Lastonar. Our Dutch colleagues Yvonne and Jo of Casa Bombarón in Mecina Bombarón can pick you up at this point and bring you up again the morning after. They can do the same for the next section so that you could consider staying at their B&B for two nights. They like walking themselves and know the area above Mecina Bombarón well enough to give advise on the walks. Then we suggest you contact our English colleagues David and Emma of Las Chimeneas in Mairena to cover the sections that pass through the sierra above their village as they also offer 4x4 transfers. Las Chimeneas in Mairena is a gorgeous accommodation and their restaurant can certainly be recommended. You can contact us if you want to know the mileage that will be charged, or for any other questions you might have on this challenging LDP.
Wooden waymarker of the Sulayr with the symbol of this GR240, the estrella de las nieves - photo: casa rural El Paraje

Related links:
- articles on the GR240 on this weblog
- Sulayr information on the website of the Junta de Andalucía.

related keywords: senderismo, rutas, wandelen, wandelingen, randonnée, promenades, wandern, wanderungen, libros, books, boeken, livres, bücher

2 March 2010

Escudo Casa Claudio in Bérchules

In Bérchules there is one house with a coat of arms on the facade. It can be found in the Calle Real, close to the Plaza de Abastos. This coat of arms is close to entrance door of house number 1, known as Casa Claudio. It is part of the historic heritage and was included in the list of historic elements of the ADR Alpujarra, for which Agustín Sánchez Hita made an inventory a couple of years ago. The description of the ´escudo de armas´ says that it is engraved in marble and that it is divided in four fields. As we can see on the photograph we see on the upper left a castle, on the upper right a double eagle, on the lower left a goat underneath a tree, and on the lower right five padlocks. On the vertical band that divides the different fields we see lilies and on the horizontal band goblets. In the text of the website of the ADR we can also read that this decorative element is badly conserved. We suppose that it has been cleaned not to long ago as everything is clearly recognizable at the moment. No historic information is given on the website of the ADR Alpujarra, and we are curious to find out if anybody knows more about the background of this ´escudo nobilario´ or ´blasón de la familia´.Escudo de la Casa Claudio in Bérchules - photo: Casa Rural El Paraje

Related articles:
- Links on Berchules and Alcutar

1 March 2010

Junta de los Riós circular walk damaged

Our walking route to the Junta de los Ríos is a circular route that returns along the Acequia Nueva as we explained in an earlier post. We had heard that the Acequia Nueva of Bérchules suffered a lot during the recent spells of bad weather. Today we took the opportunity to see the damage with our own eyes. At some parts, the path and the irrigation channel have disappeared completely. At one point it is necesarry to cross a steep slope with loose stones. At other parts you need to be a bit agile and creative to find your way. From an easy leisurely walk the part along the acequia has changed into a challenging route only for experienced walkers. We therefor advise walkers to do the official linear walk that follows the old Camino a Lanteira. It runs a bit higher up and does not give any serious problems. It passes the Fábrica de los Moros where the two rivers join and continues up to Cortijo los Pollos. Go as far as you think you can manage, keeping in mind you walk the same way back.
It is vital that the irrigation channel will be repaired for the farmers in Bérchules and Alcútar that depend on the water from the Acequia Nueva. The restoration will be a mayor project, costly and time consuming. We hope for the farmers that money will become available to start with the repairs soon. We also hope that the restoration project will take into account that the Acequia Nueva is part of the protected heritage as we can see on the list of Bienes de Interés Cultural. Although the circular walk is not advisable at the moment, the beauty of the Bérchules river valley can still be enjoyed following the official linear walk.

related keywords: senderismo, rutas, wandelen, wandelingen, randonnée, promenades, wandern, wanderungen, wandelvakantie, wandelroutes, B&B, hotel