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Greentraveller's Guide to Las Alpujarras

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Posted by Florence Fortnam at 01:30 on Wednesday 16 September 2015

As part of our celebration of off-the-beaten-track destinations in Europe, we have produced a Greentraveller's Guide to what to see and do in Las Alpujarras, the beautiful mountainous region in southern Spain.

Produced with the support of local hoteliers and UK tour operator Inntravel (which runs a range of 'slow holidays' to Las Alpujarras and to Andalucia in general, including short breaks, self-catering properties, and family holidays), the guide features local food and drink, places to stay, local attractions, activities, and how to travel to the area and get around by public transport.

Bordering the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada National Park and crammed with beautiful hillhop towns, fabulous artisan food producers and wonderful walking and cycling trails, Las Alpujarras is the Spanish rural idyll, much of it still untouched by time and tourism.

The guide shows visitors how to make the most of the area, featuring over 50 recommendations for where to stay, eat, and what to see and do. It includes an interactive map of all the featured businesses.

Casa Las Chimeneas is a rambling guesthouse in a delightful whitewashed village of typically labyrinthine alleys high in eastern Las AlpujarrasCasa Las Chimeneas is a rambling guesthouse in a delightful whitewashed village of typically labyrinthine alleys high in eastern Las AlpujarrasProfessional travel writer Paul Bloomfield researched and wrote the guide based on visiting Las Alpujarras earlier this summerProfessional travel writer Paul Bloomfield researched and wrote the guide based on visiting Las Alpujarras earlier this summerWritten and researched by professional travel writer Paul Bloomfield (right), who stayed at Casa Las Chimeneasthe guide includes some of the best places to stay in Las Alpujarras, from a B&B perched on the hillside with dramatic Sierra Nevada views to a traditional self-catering casa surrounded by almond groves and orchards. Many of these places offer much more than simply a bed for the night, too: there's the hotel that doubles up as a yoga retreat and cookery school and a guesthouse which runs writing and photography breaks.

Paul writes: "The eastern Alpujarras in particular is still relatively untouched by tourism. Yet whether your interests are culinary or botanical, you’re a hiker or a twitcher, fascinated by photography or ancient history, this region is ripe for exploring. Mostly, it’s the land-that-time-forgot feel that’s captivating.

"Life moves at a gentle pace here; fast food means pouring a glass of gazpacho from the jug chilling in the fridge –  slow travel at its most appealing."

Paul has also picked out his favourite places to eat in Las Alpujarras which celebrate the best local ingredients, from cafés and restaurants serving up traditional dishes such as chilled almond and garlic soup and roasted Moorish lamb, to farms and villages across the region producing wonderful jamón serrano ham and sparkling cavas, and harvesters of olives.

Hanging jamón serrano. Photo: Paul BloomfieldHanging jamón serrano. Photo: Paul Bloomfield The area is packed with history and heritage, too. The Moorish era has left its indelible imprint on the region; discover its history in fortressed, troglodyte dwellings and castles across the region. There are also plenty of cultural sights worth a day's exploration, such as weaving workshops and even a Buddhist retreat. And if it's fun and frolicks you're after, we've highlighted the region's best fiestas and events to get you in the party spirit.

Now famous for its (still inhabited) troglodyte dwellings, Guadix was already old when the Romans settled here at the town they called Acci. Photo: Granada Tourist Board www.turgranada.esNow famous for its (still inhabited) troglodyte dwellings, Guadix was already old when the Romans settled here at the town they called Acci. Photo: Granada Tourist Board www.turgranada.esWith the Sierra Nevada National Park on its doorstep, Las Alpujarras is a playground for outdoor activities, such as walking, cycling, and winter sports. The region is a biodiversity hotspot: spot rare birds, butterflies and the big-horned ibex.

James Keane, Inntravel Product Manager for Spain and PortugalJames Keane, Inntravel Product Manager for Spain and PortugalJames Keane, Inntravel Product Manager for Spain and Portugal, says: "Nestling in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, mainland Spain’s highest mountain range, Las Alpujarras is a region seemingly untouched by the passage of time. This is an area completely in tune with the seasons: spring is heralded by the appearance of almond blossom, autumn brings sweet chestnuts, and the onset of winter wrestles olives from their branches, soon to be turned into the region’s prized olive oil. 

"In this Greentraveller's Guide to Las Alpujarras, we’ve sought out a range of accommodation, highlighting the best things to do and our favourite places to enjoy local food. We hope you enjoy discovering all that this much-overlooked corner of Spain has to offer."

Valley Trevelez. Photo: InntravelValley Trevelez. Photo: InntravelRichard Hammond, Chief Executive of greentraveller.co.uk, says: “We hope this Greentraveller’s Guide to Las Alpujarras will help visitors make the most of their time in this glorious part of Spain, in a way that brings local economic benefits while conserving the very special landscape.

"This guide is the latest of our online destination platforms that are proving popular with holidaymakers looking for that special local touch."

>> Greentraveller's Guide to Las Alpujarras

>> See all of our Greentraveller's Guides

Posted by Florence Fortnam

The area around Mairena - a typical vista in Las Alpujarras. Photo: Diana Jarvis/GreentravellerThe area around Mairena - a typical vista in Las Alpujarras. Photo: Diana Jarvis/Greentraveller

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Blogs posts categorised as 'Reviews' have been written with the support of one or more of the following: accommodation owner, activity provider, operator, equipment supplier, tourist board, protected landscape authority or other destination-focussed authority. The reviewer retains full editorial control of the work, which has been written in the reviewer's own words based on their experience of the accommodation, activity, equipment or destination.

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