Granada is a beautiful, big, and vibrant city of the southern part of Spain and there you can find many entertaining activities from traditional bullfights to many art galleries or night clubs. However, if you are looking for some authentic Spanish experiences, it is highly recommended to explore the surrounded villages in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This region is rich in history, has fascinated culture, and can offer great gastronomic options.
The first thing you can expect is the idyllic mountain landscape with small villages, little white houses all over the cliffs, narrow streets, and true siesta and fiesta vibes that cannot be found in the big cities. All the villages are close to each other that you can just walk between them.
Bubión was built by Berbers, people from North Africa, after the Moors invaded Spain. As a result, they introduced those white houses with big flat rooftop areas that have never been typical to Spain before. All the houses are surrounded by the snow-covered hills and small winding streets that make the landscape gorgeous. Bubión has its famous church that originally was a mosque until Christians claimed this region back. It is worth visiting a little house museum here that is an authentic 16th-century house lived by many generations of one family and you can see the living area, winemaking spot, and other original household things.
The village is unique because you can constantly hear running water all around this place. This happens because of the melting snow from the mountains that is running throughout the irrigation system invented by Moors to collect all fresh and clean water. This village is also the biggest producer of traditional colorful rugs called jarapas in the area. These rugs are made and have been made for centuries from the remains of old clothes.
One of the traditional dishes here is plato alpujarreño which is actually a plate of different meats and regional vegetables that consists of blood sausage, chorizo, pork ribs and belly, potatoes, pieces of little breadcrumbs, garlic, oil, peppers and a piece of melon. Alpujarras is also known for its castañas and locals even have a chestnut festival. People are just coming to the main square, roasting chestnuts, listening to traditional music, and drinking the specific liquor called anis. It is a loud, delicious, and authentic experience to attend this event.
After leaving Alpujarras, make a stop at the Poqueira Valley. The beauty of mountains, massive river, and clear blue sky will make you speechless. There is a gap in the mountains and during the days without mist the northern part of Morocco can be seen. Trevélez is considered as one of the highest villages in Spain and the highlight of this place is its special jamón. The ham is cured in unique places called secadero and it is recommended to try it with the local wine.
If you are a fan of medieval settlements, good drinks, delicious food, friendly people and Spanish culture, this place will offer many things to explore. Forget about the Google maps, just get lost between those little old streets and allow yourself to explore. Salud Granada!