Las Alpujarras of Granada: Nature and unique architecture
Situated in the southern flanks of the Sierra Nevada, cloven by deep, sheltered valleys and gorges, the Alpujarras (also La Alpujarra) form the most picturesque area of the province of Granada - due to the beautiful landscape, the peculiar architecture of its 38 villages and its historical legacy.
The cultural interest of the region lies in its somewhat odd villages, which were the last stronghold of the Spanish Muslims, or Moors. Soon after the Castillians took Granada in 1492, all the city´s Moors were forced to convert to Christianity. Those who refused took to the hills, settling in this remote, inaccessible area. In the 16th century, they were expelled also from this area and their villages were resettled with Christian families. However, these unique hamlets have retained their traditional Berber architecture - terraced clusters of grey-white box-shaped houses with flat clay roofs - which is still common in the Rif and Atlas mountains of Morocco.
How to get there:
From La Almunica del Valle Boutique Hotel head towards Granada and continue on motorway A-44, towards Motril. Take the exit of Lanjarón and from there continue to Órjiva and the Barranco de Poqueira, a valley with the three best preserved villages of the Alpujarras: Capileira, Bubión y Pampaneira.
If you are not afraid of a twisting road, you might want to visit Trevelez, one of Spain's highest villages.
In order to return to Monachil you could just get back to the A-44 motorway or surround the Sierra Nevada, taking the A-4130 road, passing several villages until getting to the A-337, the only road that crosses the mountain range of Sierra Nevada. On the other side you'll be rewarded with impressive views. Continue to La Calahorra, from there on the A-92 motorway to Granada and finally back to Monachil.