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Hidden Gems

Pampaneira, La Alpujjara. Granada

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1 day in PAMPANEIRA

Estimated time to visit: 4 hours (time for lunch not included) 

 

Pampaneira is one of the most charming villages in Las Alpujarras, and one of the highest.

With its 2 sisters, Capileria and Bubión, they shape a beautiful landscape of white villages in the Sierra.  The charm comes at a price, and this merit has also brought along an increasing number of visitors. Las Alpujarras is a land of white villages south of Granada and the Sierra Nevada. These are high lands, with an average of 1,200 meters above sea level, so get ready to drive in winding, small roads. Many people consider the Alpujarras as part of Granada, but they extend to Almería.

Pampaneira has a vibrant artisan community, and one of the best things to do in Pampaneira is shopping textiles, ceramics, rugs or specialties from local food producers.

There are many interesting hikes in the area, most of which start from Campaneira.

Pampaneira- visitors guide

Where is Pampaneira

Pampaneira is located at more than 1,000 meters above sea level, and, along with Bubión and Capileria, they shape the Poqueira Gorge. These villages are located under the Mulhacen and Veleta, two of Spain´s highest peaks.

Located at one hour and thirty minutes drive from Granada and seventy kilometers of windy roads. 

Where to stay in Pampaneira

Pampaneira offers good quality accommodation and unless you visit on peak season you should be able to find affordable prices. Some of the hostels and apartments are located in buildings with local style architecture and others offer fantastic views. A few of them offer both. Our favourite options to stay in Pampaneira are the Dreams Alpujarra flats and the hotel  Estrella de las Nieves. Fantastic options in both cases. 

Things to do in Pampaneira

Pampaneira, Bubión, and Capileira are all located at a ravine (the Porqueira gorge) which made the area rather inaccessible. Pampaneira has been included in many of the lists that local Spanish newspapers put together with the prettiest villages in Spain.  We have our own list, and as you have rightly guessed, Pampaneira is in our list too!

There are a good number of reasons why Pampaneira is today amongst the top tourist attractions in Granada and Andalucía.

Landscape

Pampeneira is nested in the mountain and it offers fantastic views of both the valley below and the mountain peaks above.

Berber architecture

As you will read when we cover the history of Pampaneira, the initial settlers were Berbers that left the city of Granada when the city was conquered. The Berbers used to occupy the beautiful Albaicin district in Granada, with narrow white streets and amazing views over the Alhambra Palace. The Berbers made use of the same architecture when they developed Pampaneira they used similar white houses with flat roofs chimneys and narrow streets where white arches locally known as tinaos. The streets are covered with flowers that offer a beautiful contrast with the white walls.

Hiking

The area near Pampaneira offers fantastic hiking opportunities. The trail between Pampaneira and Capileira is just 2 kilometers apart is one of the most frequently used hiking trails. But there are many more trails where you will be able to enjoy the Poquiera Gorge area and its ravines, waterfalls, and bridges.

Top sights in Pampaneira

The most important sights in Pampaneira include the church of Santa Cruz and la Plaza de la Libertad Freedom square.  The church is of Mudejar style and dates back to the 16th century. The square is where you will find most action in Pampaneira and shops, bars and restaurants gathered there. We love two items near the square. One is the old laundry house, overlooking the church,  which perfectly illustrates the hard work and life of ancient days. Right next to the church.

Gastronomy

Most visitors will arrive to Pampaneira in spring or summer and get a wrong impression about the area. Winters are very cold here, and despite the blue skies, traditional local gastronomy has consisted of warm hearty dishes. The Alpujarras platter is a potato dish with vegetables and sausages which is perfect for a long hiking day.

Tours to Pampaneira

If you stay in Granada and would like to visit the area of Las Alpujarras and Pampaneira just in one day you may want to consider joining an organized tour instead of driving. If you have more than one day our recommendation is to book a car and drive to las Alpujarras to be able to enjoy different villages, get to Lanjaron, Trevelez, famous for its Iberian hamsBut if you have just one day to dedicate to the area of Las Alpujarras during your trip itinerary in Granada, then a day tour is probably the best option. You can find two interesting options below. 

70 kilometers from Granada (1 hour and 20 minutes drive)

Textile artisans in Pampaneira
Pampaneira in the Alpujarra

History of Pampaneira

The Berbers settled in the Alpujarras after the Moorish invasion, and they organized themselves in small villages, with white walls, narrow streets, and flat roofs (as it was customary in the mountains of Northern Africa from where they arrived). They worked in the silk industry for centuries.

After the conquest of Granada in 1492, the Alpujarras became a land full of Moorish not willing to convert. Many rebellions took place in las Alpujarras, and the descents of the Moorish, the Moriscos as they were named, were forced to leave in 1570. Colons from Galicia and Extremaduras were brought to inhabit the Alpujarras, but all in all, the population plumbed.

The Alpujarra faced many combats during the Spanish Civil War, and it has only been at the end of the XIX Century when this land has seen a revival thanks to tourism. The deep and fertile valleys of the Alpujarra are full of olive, vines, and chestnuts on the lower levels, and oak and alpine flora. The Alpujarras are famous for pig farming and the production of ham.

Video of Pampaneira

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