Alpujarras: The Hidden Gem of Andalucia With Traces of Moorish History

Alpujarras is a region which is located at the foothills of the splendid Sierra Nevada Mountains. While the region boasts charming farmlands, deep gorges and breathtaking peaks, it’s most notably known for its picturesque and Berber influenced white villages. The region is home to around fifty villages which have all retained their original and distinctive architecture amidst the deep valleys and scenic hills.

The region is called home by locals as well as those who have come here seeking spirituality. In one of the small towns named Orgiva, we find a small yet cosy cafe called Teteria Baraka. The owner, Qasim Barrio Raposa came to the Alpujarras region after he experienced a calling to Islam. Leaving Bilbao, Qasim decided to join the close-knit community of Muslims in the town of Orgiva.

The region is replete with such examples as well as those who desire to spend their lives at a slower pace. With all the villages surrounded by the awe-inspiring Sierra Nevada Mountains as well as the fertile lands upon which grows lush vegetation, it’s easy to see why many prefer to spend their time in a more rural environment.

Sierra Nevada Mountains, Image Credit, Noah Boyer, Unsplash

With Granada only an hour away from the region, many make it a point to visit Alpujarras after their trip to the Alhambra Palace. While it’s well known that Granada was the last stronghold for the Muslims in Andalucia, what happened next often goes missed. Many of the Muslims who were expelled from Granada in the late 15th century began making their way to the mountainous region of Alpujarras. It was here that they found refuge and began settling in with the family members that remained. The history of Muslims may be small here, yet it played an important role in the future of the region. Until this day, many Muslims in Spain prefer to move and settle here due to its history, heritage and sizeable Muslim community.

Those wanting to visit will find that the region is easily accessible and hosts a range of activities. From hiking to skiing and shopping to simply admiring the surroundings, the Alpujarras region is slowly becoming a top destination for those visiting the Andalucian region of Spain.

We recommend visiting Orgiva which is known to be an excellent starting point when exploring the region of Alpujarras. Although a small village comprising of only a few streets, there’s a fragrance here unlike any other place in the region. Due to the abundance of olive, lemon and orange groves, the streets are filled with an almost therapeutic fragrance, leaving visitors feeling refreshed and at ease.

close-up photography of sliced lemons
Lemons Image credit Tirza Van Dijk, Unsplash

Orgiva is also home to the Castle of the Counts of Sástago which stands out due to its Moorish architecture. Once you’ve built up an appetite, head over to Teteria Baraka – one of the only Halal eateries in the village. Here you’ll find a mix of Arab and Spanish style dishes as well as kebabs, Spanish omelettes, Moroccan pastries and many organic options.

Juber Ahmed
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Juber Ahmed is our Digital Editor and travel enthusiast with a keen interest in Islamic history and heritage. He travels with his wife to various places around the world and writes about his experiences.
 
Juber's favourite Quote...
"The World Is a Book and Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only One Page" [Saint Augustine]
Tags: Alhambra Place, Alpujarras, andalucia, arab, bilbao, castle of the courts of sastago, fragrance, Granada, halal, hiking, history, islam, lemon, Moorish, morroccan, muslims, organic, Orgiva, qasim, scenic hills, Sierra Nevada Mountains, skiing, spain, spanish, Teteria Baraka, traces, villages

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