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Lecrin Valley Localities

Albuñuelas Return

Albuñuelas

Immersed in the mountains of the same name, Albuñuelas can be found to the extreme west of the Lecrin Valley. The village has three distinct barrios, the lower, the upper and La Loma. It is medieval in origin and has many picturescue streets and hidden corners. It was recorded in the 10th and 11th centuries by Al Idrisi, the first Muslim geographer on his journey from Granada to the Southern Sahara. It is situated above the Rio Santo and has spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada, the Sierra de Albuñuelas and the Sierras Guájares. There are two supermarkets on the road from the lower to the upper barrio and another in the upper barrio. They are not large but have all that is needed to eat well, including fresh meat and vegetables. There is a bakery in the upper barrio and several bakers drive around the village during the mornings selling their wares. There is also a minivan with fish driving around most mornings and a coupe of ttimes a week a fruit and Vegetable minivan.

Gas is bottled and is delivered once a weekby both Repsol (orange cylinders) on Wednesdays and Cepsa (aluminium cylinders) on Fridays. There is a chemist and a medical consulting room near the school on the main road.

There are terrific places for walking, either by dropping into the gorge of Albuñuelas or by following the GR-7 which arrives from from Saleres in Calle Mojon in the lower barrio. For those who like walking in the hills, the Sierra Albuñuelas is a fantastic area, abundantly green and rightly earning its name of "The lung of the Lecrin Valley." It is covered in rich vegetation, with pine forests and all types of wild flora, aromatic and medicinal plants.

There are places where the visitor can enjoy the marvellous views, such as el Castillo from where you see all three barrios. You can walk through woods of pine or hundred-year old olives which spread across the countryside with valleys leading to the Rio Santo. With such an abundance of water the area has a rich and varied fauna as well as flora. There are partridges, doves, blackbirds, badgers, rabbits, wild boar, deer and mountain goats.

If you need any more information we have it in the Viasur office.

From the age immediately before the reconquest, there is a tower in the upper barrio built in the 16th century. There is also a variety of places of historical interest such as the parish church, the hermitage of San Antonio, the old archbishop´s palace (17th and 18th century) and the Capuchino monastery. There are also old lead, nickel and cobalt mines in the area.

Dúrcal Return

Durcal

This is the biggest village in the valley and is worth a visit. It has a variety of supermarkets and many shops of different types such as fishmongers, butchers, bakers and pastry shops, as well as haberdashers, furniture, clothes, things for the home, fruit and vegetables. There are also frozen food shops, two chemists and a cinema that opens at the weekends. In summer the showings take place in the open air. There are also numerous bars and restaurants. Parking can be difficult at times and it is often easier to park on the outskirts and walk into the centre.

Its name is derived from the arabic Quasb, possibly in reference to the cultivation of cane sugar, although now this has been replaced with orange, olive, almond and lemon groves. After the reconquest by the Catholic Kings, Durcal was the departure point for numerous families that left Andalucia for North Africa, fleeing from Christian pressure of being expelled.

In the 19th century, an aerial cableway of 38 kilometres long from Durcal to Motril was built to carry ore and other produce to the coast, but it was dismantled in 1958. There was also an iron bridge built for the railway that never arrived.

The church of the Immaculate Conception was built in the 16th century as was the hermitage to San Blas. There are the remains of an Arabic fort in the area of Peñon de los Moros as well as an Arab baths. The baths are said to have medicinal properties. There are rumoured to be tunnels leading from the castle to the baths, to be used in times of siege.

On the night of Easter Saturday, the youths of the area flirt with the local girls until sunrise when a dummy representing Judas Escariot is hurled from the iron bridge to symbolize the casting out of evil. On the Day of Resurrection the families go into the fields to meet with friends and eat food cooked in traditional ovens. Afterwards the statue of San Blas is carried from the hermitage to the church in procession.

www.adurcal.com

El Pinar Return

El Pinar

Although there are indications that the area was populated long before the Islamic domination, it is clear that during the latter period it was renamed as shown by the name Izbor, which is clearly of Arabic origin.

Izbor is situated in the middle of the Lecrin Valley, on the road to the coast and the quality of its agricultural produce meant it played an important role in supplying Granada. It also starred in the uprising of the Moors in the 16th century when almost all its inhabitants were expelled for being followers of Aben Humeya.

Now it has come under the new Andalucian administration and is lumped together with other enclaves such as Tablate and Acebuches under the Ayuntamiento of Pinos del Valle.

Pinos del Valle Return

Pinos del Valle

Pinos has a strategic position above the lake of Beznar and with easy access to the motorway.

It has two barrios, each with an ancient church. There is a good bakery near to the church in the upper barrio and a supermarket in the church square which butchers its own meat and which is open on Sundays. The lower barrio has a chemist and a bakers.

There is a secondary road from Pinos to Motril with excellent views. The drive is spectacular and from the now abandoned Venta de la Cebada and its Moorish tower one can see the Mediterranean on one side and the Lecrin valley on the other.

Izbor Return

Izbor

On the banks of the Rio Izbor, (once known as the Rio Grande.)

It clings to the mountain side with typicl narrow Alpujarran streets adapted to the terrain.

The centre is only passable to pedestrians and has many hidden corners and cul-de-sacs. There are many hidden patios fullof local flowers. There are two bars and a shop.

Su localización y su tipismo anuncian la proximidad alpujarreña., de calles estrechas y adaptadas a su agreste suelo.

Tablate Return

Tablate

Situado a 4 km de Ízbor, junto a la carretera de Lanjarón se encuentra totalmente despoblado.

Esta pequeña y olvidada población se mantiene en los anales de la historia gracias a la posición tan estratégica que ocupaba en la rebelión de los moriscos, allá por 1569. Los granadinos musulmanes se rebelaron y refugiaron principalmente en la Alpujarra y el Valle de Lecrín. Esta población era una de las claves de su defensa al estar situada en la inexpugnable garganta que forma su río. La lucha se extendió por toda la comarca.

Tablate estuvo habitada hasta los años 50 del S. XX donde aún se celebraban sus procesiones en honor de San Marcos, con banda de música incluida, que traían para tal evento. La procesión discurría desde el pueblo hasta la ermita de la Virgen de las Angustias situada en el Puente de Tablate. En los años 60 empezó a perder población hasta que en los 70 quedaron unas 10 familias que se quedó reducida a una en los 90. Un pastor fue su último habitante que también terminó dejándolo.

El Valle Return

El Valle

El Valle is the Ayuntamiento covering Melegís, Restábal and Saleres.

Although the first written referencesto the area were during the Muslim epoch, settlement nust have been long before this time because of the fertility of the soil and the abundance of water.

The Moors developed the irrigation system, parts of which can still be seen. At one time silk worms were abundant in the area. Families began to arrive until ther population reached six thousand. After the arrival of the Catholic Kings and more specifically the expulsion of the Moors, the agriculture and production of the region suffered badly.

In the 19th century the lack of infrastructure forced a massive emigration, depleting the population once again.

www.elvalle.es

Melegís Return

Melegis

Melegís is situated on the left side of the rio Torrente and is surrounded by orange and lemon groves. It sits at 553m altitude and the population are mainly involved in agriculture. It has a spring of curative waters close to the lake.

In the 15th century it was for a short while the seat of the Granadino Court before the area suffered the wars of the uprising.

In the 18th century important noble families and those with political influence installed themselves here, building fine houses, many of which can be seen to this day displaying their coats of arms on their exterior walls.

There are two small supermarkets in the village and two bakeries (one on the main road). There are two bar/restaurants within easy walking distance, both on the main road: Los Naranjos is on the lower side of the village and has a very pleasant outside terrace with lovely views and La Puerta del Valle on the opposite side of the road further up the hill, which also has a large outside terrace. Both serve good quality local food and very good tapas.

Melegís is interesting to walk around; it has some imposing buildings, a lovely church and is characterised by the number of huertos or orchards within the village itself. Below the village is a maze of small lanes through the orange groves and it is possible to find a ruined Moorish castle at the entrance to the gorge on the Rio Dúrcal.

Good walking here and up into the hills. If you want some help, you should contact us for an accompanied walk or buy one of the local walks available from the office.

The Viasur office is located near the church. The Tabacos near the office sells postage stamps.

Restabal Return

Restabal

Is situated next to the confluence of the Rios Santo and Durcal, at the foot of the cerro de los Canjorros at 538m altitude. The population is primarily dedicated to agriculture such as olives, almonds, orange, lemon and various vegetables.

A Covirán supermarket and the supermarket of María-Jesús, as well as the Bar/Restaurant Jovi can be found in the area to the left of the main road as you travel in the direction of Pinos del Valle, beyond the main square past the bank, farmacia (Pharmacy) and town hall. Take the last turning left downhill. Excellent walks down to the lake of Beznar and up into the hills. Restábal has the remains of an Arab castle. Stunning views across the lake from the road to Pinos.

The views above the Beznar lake on the road to Pinos are well worth viewing.

Saleres Return

Saleres

Is probably the most picturesque of all the villages and still maintains its Moorish charm with it narrow streets and friendly people.

The village has no shops or bars, although local traders set up stalls on a regular basis at the entrance to the village.

Local bakeries deliver bread each day.

The church is highlighted in guide books as worthy of a visit and it is a good place to start walks into the surrounding hills or to the other villages in the Valley.

Lecrín Return

Lecrin

Lecrín is the Ayuntamiento that covers the villages of Talará, Mondújar, Murchas, Acequias, Chite and Beznar.

The main nucleus is made up of Mondujar and Talara and it is here that you can find most services such as banks, chemist, bakers, butchers and small supermarkets as well as bars and restaurants.

Acequias Return

Acequias

This is a very small, pretty village, close to the Sierra Nevada and nestling on the side of the Rio Torrente. It has no supermarkets or bars.

There is an old Arab mill at the top of the village and it is possible to walk up into the hills from here. There are daily deliveries of bread and there is a small travelling supermarket which visits the village several times a week.

Béznar Return

Béznar

Situated on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada and with a dam and lake to its foot, it is divided into three barrios and sits at an altitude of 536m. It is close to the motorway and the main occupation of the population is agriculture.

It has an important past, in particular during the Moorish uprising in the 16th century when it was used as a base for operations against the uprisers.

The recent construction of the dam has made a great difference to the area with lovely views across the water now possible.

Chite Return

Chite

The village has one small shop. It has a fascinating antiques and bric-a-brac shop called Camel Stop in Calle Carniceria, which is run by an English artist. The nearest bars and restaurants are in Talara, 15mins walk away.

There are some interesting walks around the village, both upper and lower – and a stunning drive down towards the lake.

The village is within walking distance of Lecrín.

Mondújar Return

Mondujar

Is situated close to the motorway from Bailen to Motril and to the western side of the Sierra Nevada.

Historically Mondujar owes its importance to its medieval castle which has now all but disappeared. It was the scene of the death of the second to last king of the Nazari dynasty, Mulay Hacen, and was later used by king Boabdil when he left Granada city for the Alpujarras after the arrival of the Catholic Kings.

It has two barrios, the church barrio, the oldest part, and the new barrio.

It stands at 738m of altitud, a little above Talara.

Murchas Return

Murchas

This small village, just off the main road down the valley, has a small supermarket and excellent bakery just off the main square.

There is a small resident’s association bar, but it is only a two minute drive or ten minute walk to Lecrín.

It is possible to do some good walks through the olive and citrus groves down to Melegís and to the Arab castle. Part of the European walking route GR7 runs through Murchas to the Alpujarras.

Talará Return

Talara

There are banks, shops, pharmacy, restaurants and bars in Lecrín, as well as a small post office.

There are two or three Covirán supermarkets where you can buy most things and Bar Garvi on the corner serves good local food.

There are a few discos and small nightclubs here. Not the prettiest part of the valley, it is nevertheless the place where you can get almost anything you need.

The closest ATM’s are here and there is a small ferreteria should you need any hardware whilst you are here.

Padul Return

Padul

Can be found only 13 kilometres from Granada. It is a large village with just about everything one could need.

The name comes from the Latin Palus-dis, which means lagoon or a wet place undoubtedly because there was an important lagoon next to the village which was drained in the 18th century to convert it into a fertile plain. The mors called it Al Badul and they made the area very prosperous as much for its produce as for its silk and olive mills. Although the traditional work of the aea was agricultural, the need for construction materials has led to the development of many quarries in the area.

The remains of a necropolis and some relics from the 3rd century BC in the Cortijo de la Cuesta as well as numerous wheel tracks indicate that this was part of the Roman Empire and probably a connecting route to the town of Sexi (Almuñecar) on the coast. But the finds of arrow heads and other artifacts indicate that the area has been inhabited since prehistoric times.

In the area of La Laguna there are still drainage channels to be seen. The particular type of peat here has gifted up the remains of many prehistoric animals.

Traditions remaining to this day are the collecting of firewood on the night of 19th of January to warm San Sebastián when he comes down from his hermitage and the romería of San Isidro on 15th of May.

www.elpadul.es

Nigüelas Return

Niguelas

Its name derives from Niwalas and it was originally under the Islamic rule of Padul.

After the reconquest it maintained its special agricultural character and this is maintained to this day.

The village is on the eastern side of the valley, backing onto the Sierra Nevada.

There are bars, several supermarkets and a bakery, all of which can be found near the church. On the outskirts of the village on the road towards Dúrcal is the restaurant: Hostal Alquería de Los Lentos, a picturesque old water mill, a friendly place with good food, which is a little more interesting than many of the other restaurants.

Just up from the main square there is a small Olive Mill museum which is of local interest and worth a visit.

There are good walks from the village, up into the national park. You need to take the road down into the valley, across the river and towards the head of the gorge. You can take a well established route to the Alpujarras town of Lanjarón. This takes about 3 hours.

www.niguelas.org

Villamena Return

Villamena

El Ayuntamiento de Villamena nació en 1974 al fusionarse las localidades de Cónchar y Cozvijar, ambas de origen islámico, periodo durante el que se dedicaron fundamentalmente a la agricultura con un sofisticado, sistema de riegos para la época, conocido como turno y tanda que es una manera de distribuir el agua en proporción a la superficie cultivable de cada propietario.

Como toda la comarca, perdió mucho tras la expulsión de los moriscos al desconocer los nuevos colonos las técnicas de cultivo que eran habituales para aquellos.

Conchar y Cozvijar, dos pueblos unidos por olivos, almendros y viñedos, proveedores de vinos de nuevo cuño y otros populares, alegres y traviesos que algunos les gusta "añejar" y expendidos en los bares junto a variadas tapas que hacen felices a la parroquia y forasteros.

Cozvíjar Return

Cozvíjar

Al sur de la Laguna del Padul y junto al río Dúrcal, en su margen derecha, se encuentra esta localidad a 746 m. de altitud, de recursos agrícolas como los olivos, viñas y almendros sus campos son rojizos.

Se puede acceder a ella desde la autovia A-44.

Conchar Return

Conchar

At the foot of the Sierra de las Albuñuelas and next to the Rio Dúrcal can be found this small village. It is mainly an agricultural village with vines, olives and almonds.

There is one main road into the village (which is stunning!), although there is a track down a small valley at the opposite end of the village.

There are no shops or supermarkets here but local traders bring goods by van each day. There is a very good bakery in a small square off Calle Bajo.

The bar/restaurant La Huertacilla on the edge of the village serves good local food and has a terrace outside with wonderful views. There are some excellent walks down the valley from here.

www.conchar.com