Great Hiking Trails for Everyone
The mountain area in and around the Las Alpujarras is lined with hiking trails like veins running through a body. There are trekking paths for everyone and every ability, including parents with younger children. Our first hike after arriving in the scenic village of Bubion, located in the Poqueira Valley, was a short and easy stroll that can be enjoyed by all (even babies in a backpack), and offers magnificent views of the white villages and the dramatic mountainscapes of the Sierra Nevada.
Starting in the Heart of Bubion
We started our late afternoon hike from our apartment in the heart of Bubion, following the signs for Capileira, the last and highest village in the valley. Our host had told us that it would take about an hour each way, depending on the pace. Walking through the village we were enchanted by the cute houses with colourful curtains in the doorways (to keep the flies away during summertime) and the effort the locals have made to decorate their balconies with flowers and hanging plants. Winding through the village along narrow alleyways, up steep steps and past the main square and church. The sun was already starting to set behind the mountain and gave the white washed houses a golden hue.
Walking towards Capileira
Leaving Bubion behind on the path that runs parallel to the main road and above the sports ground, we climbed the hiking trail towards Capileira. Some say it is the prettiest of the villages, and it was just visible in the distance ahead. The village looked larger in size with the church tower peeping out in the middle and some larger newer apartment blocks sadly spoiled the pleasing view in my eye.
Fog Started Rising
The air started to get cooler and while we had been able to wear our t-shirts during the day, we were now glad to have brought our warmer jackets. The sun was nearly hidden by the mountain and a thick fog suddenly started rising from the valley below. It started to embrace us like a thick blanket and Jerome seemed worried that we might not be able to find our way. Besides the eerie atmosphere it also made the landscape softer and the evening light soothing and even a bit romantic.
The Pretty Village of Capileira
Once the fog had settled we could still easily find the route to Capileira without any troubles, and soon arrived at the outskirts of the hamlet. After walking past the main car park we found ourselves in a warren of narrow streets, much like the ones in Bubion, before arriving at the plaza in the centre of the pretty village of Capileira. Cafes and restaurants with terraces out front were still busy with locals and tourists alike, and it looked like the perfect spot to while away some time with people watching or after a long hike with a café, while the kids are free to run around. Just around the corner from the square we stumbled onto a little bakery that sold sweet and savoury pastries. Instead of having proper dinner we decided to buy some bread and sweet treats to take back to our apartment after having had a long and late lunch that still filled our stomachs.
Souvenir and Handicraft Shopping
The street was lined with souvenir and artisan shops, offering the local handicrafts the area is famous for, colourful woven carpets, leather goods, straw baskets and animals (I still need one of the cacti in my life). My advice, if you like shopping for handmade, traditional products is bring an extra bag, it might be far too tempting…
Returning to Bubion
After meandering through the pretty streets and with the daylight fading quickly, we made a U-turn for Bubion. Having already walked the way decided to take the hiking path back to our apartment and proceeded along the trail in the twilight helped by our torches on our phones. Towards Bubion as we hit the edge of the village we decided to head up and along the main road rather than down on the trail. Thankfully the traffic between the villages is very low and therefore it was not unpleasant to follow the last stretch back into the village on the tarmac.
Long Hike for the Next Day
Once back at our lovely Airbnb apartment we had our bakery supper and played card games until it was time to go to bed. I had planned a long hike to fully experience the Alpujarras for the next day and in order to do the entire route in we needed to leave early, around 9 in the morning so an early bed was a good idea. Find out more about our strenuous but impressive hike into the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the following post.
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