The Andarax valley in the eastern Alpujarras is an unspoiled region of rustic beauty.
When Boabdil, the last Moorish king of Granada, was defeated in 1492, he was sent to rule over a small fiefdom in the eastern Alpujarra mountains of Almeria. He settled near the source of the Andarax river, on the “silk route” which once connected Granada with the port of Almeria, although his carefree retirement was short-lived, for he was soon sent into exile in Africa. Its brief appointment with history over, the sleepy Andarax Valley settled back into a quiet rural existence, but now an increasing number of discerning travelers are discovering the pleasures of this unspoiled inland paradise, which falls within the Sierra Nevada National Park.
Complementing a growing number of rural accommodations and organized outdoor activities, the opening in 1998 of the Villa Turistica de la Alpujarra in the town of Laujar de Andarax has done much to encourage visitors to the area. This pleasant rural holiday complex is the latest in Andalusia’s network of “villas turisticas”. Accommodation is in 31 semi-detached units, sleeping 2 to 6 guests, attractively arranged like a small self-contained village, with all the facilities of a modern hotel. Horse riding, hiking or simply enjoying the scenery and the fresh air are the main draws.
The Nacimiento, the source of the Andarax river, is an area of particular beauty. Wine lovers, too, will find much of interest. At 3,000 feet altitude, the high plains of the Almeria Alpujarra are perfect for growing grapes. In other times this area was famous for its late-ripening, durable eating grapes, which were exported all over the world. Raised grapevines growing on postage stamp terraces which cling precariously to the steep mountainsides are a reminder of those days.
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Copyright © 2000-2006 Mark and David Little & J.D. Dallet