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The Alpujarras

November 23rd, 2017 | by Jack Coles
The Alpujarras
Travel
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The Alpujarras is a small, mountainous region in the far south of Spain, known for its natural beauty and cured meats. If you’d like to visit this place, there’s a few things you should be aware of: you’re going to need a car and a driving licence to do anything, vegetarians (and anybody else with meat-based dietary requirements) are likely to have a bad time due to the sheer volume of pork products consumed here, and regional pronunciation of words can be very different to what you might expect from GCSE Spanish.

Órgiva

The big attraction of Órgiva is the market they have there every Thursday. It’s very different to, say, Grainger market; for one thing, they use gazebos instead of any permanent structure. What really sets it apart is the sheer variety of stuff there: spices, olives, knock-off designer clothing (I bought some sunglasses for €5), hand-drawn postcards, dreamcatchers, those plastic toys like the ones you get in Poundland, and even a puppy.

Haza del Lino

Haza del Lino has a bar that serves drinks that might seem expensive, however, you get free food with them. Not just a packet of crisps, either, but things like liver and potatoes, or migas (fried breadcrumbs with garlic and onion). Just up the road towards Rubite there’s a partially ruined house that once served as a hideout for communists during the civil war. You can still make out the drawings of Lenin and Stalin, as well as the bullet holes. Well worth visiting if you’re interested in history, as it’s free to enter (i.e. abandoned).

Pampaneira

Not many people realise this, but southern Spain can get really, really cold. Maybe not as cold as midwinter Newcastle, but still cold enough for there to be occasional snow. Pampaneira does its bit to mitigate the cold by producing some really thick carpets that are heavier than most duvets. There’s also a specialist shop that makes all sorts of weird and wonderful chocolate combinations.

Trevélez

At an altitude of 1476m, Trevélez is the highest village in all of Spain (compare that to just 463m for a place called Flash in the UK). So, the views are pretty great, and you’ll get to appreciate these on the drive up. Near the main road there’s a restaurant that has some of the best-tasting hams I’ve ever had. Hanging on the ceiling, these are a real sight.

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