A hike between villages in Las Alpujarras

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While our friends were visiting us over their Spring Break, we took a day trip up to Las Alpujarras, a group of small villages in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains near Granada, Spain.  I read about this particular hike and it sounded amazing (and do-able with kids).  We planned to hike from the lowest of three villages, Pampaniera, up to the village above it, Bubión, then, if we were up to it, continue to a a third village lying above Bubión, called Capileira (spoiler alert: we weren’t up for it).  Everyone was a bit worn out from their busy week of traveling, but they put their faith in my plan, and followed me up the mountain.

The road up to the mountain was a bit narrow and winding, and I think everyone was a bit apprehensive, but once we arrived in Pampaniera, they were believers.  The town was adorable – a typical Spanish white-washed village, with rivers of water running through the streets, and stores selling authentic, locally-produced Alpujarra rugs.

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This area is beautiful but also noteworthy for its history.  Back in the late 1400’s, the Spanish monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, completed the “reconquista” (putting Southern Spain back under Spanish rule after over 700 years of Moorish rule).  The last Moorish kingdom to fall in 1492 was in nearby Granada.  After the fall of Granada, the Moors fled and many settled in this area, even revolting against the Spanish until finally they were pretty much completely kicked out.  The Moorish influence, however, remains in this area.

We didn’t stay in Pampaniera for long, since our goal was to hike up to Bubión.  We stopped at the visitor center,  where the staff member told us how to find the start of the trail (take any street and follow it up as high as you can, until you see the brown house on the left.  Follow the path that starts there).  We climbed up through the town, and with only a few wrong turns, we eventually found the trail we were looking for.

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We followed this path, which was once the “camino real” connecting the two towns.

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We could see the tower in Bubión above us as we hiked towards it, with the snow-capped Sierra Nevada behind it.

 

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The path was clearly going uphill, since Bubión is located “above” Pampaniera, but overall the path wasn’t too steep. It was no problem for the kids (particularly with friends to distract them!).  It also wasn’t too long at all – it took less than 45 minutes to get up to Bubión, and we were going at an easy pace.

Once we got to Bubión, we took a little break and explored the tiny town while looking for a restaurant for lunch.IMG_1011

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We ended up having to walk all the way through (up) Bubión to find somewhere open, but along the main road (the big, car-driving road) that connects the villages, we found Restaurant Tiede.  It was tasty, with lots of variety for everyone to choose from, and we got to sit on the big terrace, with plenty of room for our whole group.

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I was too busy eating to take any more pictures, but this was the adult table.

 

After lunch, we headed back to Pampaniera.

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heading back down through Bubión

We no longer had the nice view of the snow-covered Sierra, but instead could see Pampaniera below us.

 

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We stopped along the way and got a few nice group pictures.

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I love this picture.  Although, with so many kids, it took me a while to realize this picture is missing little N.

 

 

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We eventually reached the top of Pampaniera, and once again, made our not-so-direct way back to town, using the church steeple as a guide.

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the gang trying to figure out how exactly to get down to the town square
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With this brain trust at work, we had no doubt we could find our way down

Back in Pampaniera, we enjoyed shopping in the local stores, buying our fair share of beautiful, affordable and locally-made rugs (even those of us who had to fly back to the US with a few extra rugs in our suitcase!) before heading back home.  What a fun day!

 

 

 

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