When we sailed along the coast from Málaga in easterly direction, we noticed that the mountains from Marbella, got bigger and bigger. We were looking from our ship at Parque Nacional Sierra Nevada.
I had never been in the Sierra Nevada. To me Sierra Nevada has always been a mysterious area, the name (‘snowy mountain range’) also appeals to the imagination. I know it’s a favorite ski area (for the Spanish) and many Spaghetti Westerns have been filmed here, because this mountain range in the South of Spain would still be very authentic and rough.
Mountains or Seas?
I have this theory that you either love being in the woods or begin on the water. Of course, you can like both, but most of the times when you ask where people go on their holidays or weekends off, they have a preference for forest or water! In my situation it’s clear: I love water 😊. To me it’s always dynamic, a symbol of movement and you can see far away from the sea. In the mountains you can have beautiful views as well, but you are more enclosed.
Once in a while, it’s good to leave the water though, and explore the mountains! And the Sierra Nevada would be a good opportunity: the highest mountain range in Europe, with 16 peaks above 3000 meters.
In the harbor of Almerimar we rented a car for 1 day and had an amazing trip through the Sierra Nevada.
A lot of sunshine, exploring the white little villages and always have a view on the water as well. With our drone in the middle of the mountains, we shot this video:
We visited 5 villages in the valley near Granada, called las Alpujarras: Órgiva, Lanjarón, Capilera, Pampaneira and Trevélez. In the close-up part of the map, you can see the sharp hairpin bends:
When we started to come close to the mountains, we noticed that a lot motorcyclists were enjoying driving in the area as well: cutting the corners and having a drink on 1 of the beautiful terraces overviewing the mountains and the snow on top.
We were surprised how authentic the mountain villages were: traditional cobblestone cottages, whitewashed houses, small streets, olive cultivation. It’s the last area the Moors left Spain, you see a lot of their heritage (chimneys, irrigation canals).
Often the villages were a bit hidden, we could drive 45 minutes and see no people and then around a corner a small village would show up, stuck against the steep slope via terraces (‘tinaos’). We saw 3 times shepherds walking in the mountains, crossing the street, with a herd of sheep or goats.
The village of Trevélez is known for being the highest village of Spain and producing one of the best Serrano hams. The small town of 800 inhabitants is so steep that it is divided in 3 districts (‘barrios’): there is a low, middle and high level of the town (‘la baja’, ‘la media’, ‘la alta’) which you can reach by driving through the narrows street.
We wanted to try the ham and we ended up by Meson del Jamon, you can see the ham hanging on the ceiling. You could sit on the roof terrace of this restaurant and enjoy the sun and mountains.