The city of Granada has a lot to do and see. And even more if we count with the various excursions to do from the Andalusian city. In this sense one of the best tours that we can do near Granada is a route through its villages. The province has many of the most beautiful villages of Andalusia and Spain, with a beauty comparable to that of the city.
A short distance from Granada there are more than a dozen villages that meet the expectations of being considered among the most beautiful in the region. From villages in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada to coastal towns, passing through towns with a lot of history. Deciding which ones to visit can be an arduous task and to make it easier for you I have prepared this list with the best and most beautiful villages in Granada that you should visit.
Salobreña is the first town on this list and one of those that I would cross off as a must-see.
Located on the coast, between Almuñécar and Motril, less than 1 hour drive from Granada, this village is one of the most representative of the Andalusian architecture of the coast reflected in its white houses and facades and its cobbled and steep streets.
Being located on a hill near the beach, it offers privileged views of the sea from almost every corner of the village.
The village is not only aesthetically beautiful, but also has several points of interest to visit. The main one is its castle of Arab origin that crowns the upper part of the village and has many centuries of history, specifically since the tenth century. The church of the rosary of Mudejar style or the park of the fountain are other attractions. In any case, strolling through Salobreña is a pleasure for the eyes.
Continuing with the coastal towns, you will also have the possibility to visit Almuñécar.
Among thecoastal towns of Granada is one of the most beautiful and one of the most historical value. It has several places of historical interest such as the Castle of San Miguel, the Roman aqueduct of Sexi or the archaeological park of El Majuelo among others. But the fame of Almuñécar is not only due to these places.
It is also a temple of tapas ideal for a gastronomic tour and has some of the best beaches in the province. A winning combination whichever way you look at it.
The two great beaches of Almuñécar are Playa de la Caletilla and Playa de San Cristóbal which are separated by a rock known as the rock of the saint.
Besides being perfect for swimming, San Cristobal beach and another beach known as La Herradura are ideal for snorkeling. For all these reasons, Almuñécar is a perfect destination, especially in summer.
Montefrio has received multiple praises from international media such as National Geographic, who included it in its list of the towns with the best views in the world.
And no wonder, since this village located 50 kilometers northwest of Granada is located under the shelter of a rock. Located in a mountainous environment, Montefrio was declared in 1982 as a historic-artistic site thanks to its castle or the church of the Villa of the sixteenth century as well as for being a relevant scenario during the reconquest.
The houses with white facades and steep streets also make it a typical postcard of the beautiful Andalusian villages. A combination of history, beautiful surroundings and perfect panoramic views make it one of the most beautiful and important villages in Granada.
The main reason that attracts thousands of tourists to Guadix are its famous cave houses. The town is surrounded by curious rock formations that the inhabitants of the town took advantage of to build houses inside them to take refuge from the summer heat.
So much so that the town has an entire neighborhood of these houses, known as the neighborhood of the caves, where you can visit a house museum to discover its peculiarities. But Guadix has many more charms.
It is also one of the towns with more historical and artistic heritage of the province. Its 11th century citadel was declared a national monument and although it cannot be visited inside, you can walk around and enjoy the views from some of its viewpoints.
The Cathedral of Guadix, the new hermitage and the Roman amphitheater are the other points that have contributed to the historical recognition of this beautiful town.
If you are looking for a mountain village with an impressive environment, Bubión is definitely the one to visit.
This village is located in the foothills of the Veleta peak, one of the highest in the Sierra Nevada, in the heart of the Alpujarra area of Granada. A region with a lot of historical importance, since it was the last Arab stronghold in the peninsula. Thanks to this, villages like Bubión still have great examples of its architecture.
In fact, one of the most remarkable features of Bubión are its staggered houses without roofs. The best way to get to know the village is to stroll through its steep streets enjoying the white facades decorated with flower pots and enjoy the mountainous surroundings.
It is a very quiet destination, perfect for relaxing or hiking the trails that start from the village.
Bubión is located south of Granada, more than 1 hour and 20 minutes away, since to get there you have to travel a long stretch of mountain road, but the trip is well worth it.
Seen from the outside, Soportújar may seem like just another village of steep white streets. But the truth is that it is one of the most peculiar of Granada and I would dare to say that of Spain. This is due to its traditions linked to witchcraft.
In fact Soportújar is known as the village of witches. Tradition has it that this village was chosen by witches and sorcerers to be their secret meeting place.
Walking through its streets you can breathe that magical atmosphere, as there are several places such as caves in which witches are said to have lived, black cats, magic fountains and the occasional sculpture of witches that remind us of its strong link with this tradition.
If you are attracted by the idea of visiting it, I recommend you to do it in August during its festivities in which the fair of the bewitchment is celebrated. During these festivities all the lights of the village are turned off and only torches are lit to give a magical atmosphere to the celebrations. Besides being original, Soportujar is comparable in beauty to other villages of the Alpujarra.
7. Alhama de Granada
Alhama de Granada is located about 50 minutes south of Granada. Although it is not as well known as others on this list, it has plenty of arguments to be in it.
The village is in the middle of a natural park surrounded by ravines and in the middle of a gorge known as the Tajo de Alhama through which passes the river of the same name.
Its main attraction is its thermal baths of Arab origin, fed by a spring that is located at the entrance of the village and where you can bathe freely and without paying admission.
In addition to its natural environment, Alhama has very beautiful streets with historic buildings such as the old prison, the house of the Inquisition or the aforementioned spa. It is an extremely photogenic village and a natural starting point to visit part of the Sierra Nevada through its hiking trails.
Pampaneira is very close to Bubión, also in the heart of the Alpujarra Granadina. In fact, they share charm and many architectural similarities with steep streets, white facades and staggered houses without roofs.
It is worth a visit along with Bubión and discover why this small village of less than 400 inhabitants has received several national tourism awards.
What sets it apart from other villages in the area is its artisan tradition. Historically its inhabitants have been mostly artisans and even today there are several stalls where samples of their remarkable skill are sold. You can find rugs, baskets, wickerwork and pottery among other things.
The Latin translation of the name Capileira is something like "the highest place". A name that honors its location at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and at the foot of the Veleta and Mulhacen, the latter the highest peak of the Iberian Peninsula.
Capileira is located next to Pampaneira and Bubión at the top of the Barranco de Poqueira where these three beautiful villages are located. Given its height at 1436 meters above sea level this village was one of the last to resist the Arab conquest and later the Christian reconquest.
Once you get to Capileira, the best thing to do is to enjoy its spectacular views. The village has several spectacular viewpoints but the best are the Tajo del Diablo, the Perchel, and the viewpoint of the Junta de los Rios.
Capileira is also a starting point for excursions to high mountain trails that lead to Las Eras de Aldeire or the mountain refuge at 2500 meters high which are the starting point of the ascent to the highest peaks of the peninsula, the Veleta and Mulhacen.
Since we are talking about high altitude villages, we must highlight the highest of them all. Trevélez is located more than 1500 meters above sea level which makes it the highest village in the province and the peninsula. In fact it is one of the closest to the top of Mulhacén.
It is 100 kilometers and almost two hours drive from Granada so you will need good arguments to visit it. But luckily it has them.
Trevélez is famous for its hams that are produced in the same village and where you can visit their drying rooms and learn how they are produced, besides tasting them of course.
But it also has very interesting places like the Church of San Benito rebuilt after the civil war. Also very popular are the festivities of the Virgen de la Nieves in August in which there is a hike to the peak of Mulhacén. But above all Trevélez is a town with a very varied and beautiful natural environment.
Other villages you can visit
These ten villages are, in my opinion, the most beautiful in Granada. But the list could go on and on. If you have already visited some of these villages and want to expand more, now I will briefly summarize others that can perfectly fit in this list and in any of the best villages of Granada.
Castril is another beautiful and typical Andalusian village of white houses and a very beautiful natural environment. It is located in the Natural Park of the Sierra de Castril although it is somewhat distant from Granada, about 140 kilometers.
It is a historically very important town in the region of the Alpujarra, which in fact is its capital. As a result of its relevance, Órgiva has buildings such as the 18th century Castle-Palace of the Counts of Sástago.
This town is famous for its waters. In fact, it gives its name to one of the most important mineral water brands in Spain. These waters are also used in its spa. Although it is not only water, Lanjarón is also a town very suitable for walking and enjoying its beautiful streets.
La Calahorra is located in the region of Guadix near the Sierra Nevada National Park.
The village grows around a hill on which stands its castle that can be visited and enjoy the views offered by the village. In winter it serves as a gateway to the ski resort of Puerto de La Ragua.
How to get to these towns
All of these towns are less than two hours from Granada, although some are more accessible than others. Here is a summary of the best means of transportation and options for getting to them:
- By car: If you have a car, this is the most recommended transport to visit the villages of Granda. Mainly because of the freedom it gives us and above all because it is the most comfortable way to get to the most remote villages that are in the mountains. In the case of Sierra Nevada, here you have a post dedicated to How to get to Sierra Nevada.
- By bus: The bus is the best alternative, and in many cases the only one, to reach these villages. Alsa is the company that offers trips to all these destinations from the bus station in Granada.
- By train: The train is only valid to go to Guadix, since it is the only town in this list connected by train with Granada. It is a regional train of Renfe that takes just over an hour to cover the journey.