Hiking Pueblo to Pueblo

Pampaneira

Pampaneira

Three small pueblos cling to the slopes of the southern Sierra Nevada mountains north of the town of Orgiva, Spain. Capileira, Bubion, and Pampaneira are stacked along the small roadway that snakes up the gorge of the Poqueira river in La Alpujarra region. The last refuge of the Moors in Spain, La Alpujarra is known these days for its mountain-cured ham, goat’s cheese, honey, strong wine, and rural tourism.

Sierra Nevada mountains

Sierra Nevada mountains

The bus drops you off at Capileira, the highest and most northern of the three villages. With a population of 600, it′s the largest villages and has a good selection of accommodations, small local vendors, bars, and a panaderia full of tasty breads and baked goodies.

The dramatic setting with spectacular views down the gorge and up to the snowy peaks of Sierra Nevada mountains is punctuated by the beautiful labyrinth of narrow whitewashed streets, splashed with color by geraniums, roses and an assortment of plants spewing from the balcones, doorways, and windows.

Flores everywhere

Flores everywhere

pots on wall

Walking routes along the Barranco de Poqueira are clearly marked with signposts and link the three villages. The trail from Capileira leaves from the south end of town and meanders quickly downhill to Bubion, 2K below, passing fields of sheep, a plethora of wildflowers, canals of cascading water, small rustic casitas, and spectacular views of the gorge.

sendero

gwen

Bubion contains more tiendas of local arts and crafts and of course small bars and restaurants that offer a cold beer, tapas, or more significant fare to continue the trek downward, or to return upward if so inclined.

Local crafts in Bubion

Local crafts in Bubion

The final picturesque whitewashed pueblo is Pampaneira, population 355, and centers around a pretty square dominated by a 16th-century Mudéjar church, the Iglesia de Santa Cruz. The church is surrounded by numerous bars and handicraft shops.

bar

The trek down the gorge, exploring each pueblo, and enjoying a cold cerveza, tapas, and fresh trucha (trout) made for a delightful day en las montanas.

resturante

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