An Abundance of Hiking Trails
The Las Alpujarras region reaches out to visitors craving to be explored by foot with an abundance of trails and tracks that run through the wild and unspoilt landscape of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Our first hike had been more strenuous than expected and to follow up we aimed for a calm morning followed by a short, circular walk between the picturesque villages of Capileira and Bubion but by a different route to our first evening stroll.
Breakfast in Capileira
First we needed breakfast and so drove the short way to Capileira to find a café. Having parked our car in the main car park at the entrance of the village we strolled towards the tourist information just opposite Hostal Moraima to find out about possible routes that we could take that day. Although the opening times said it would be open all morning we found the office closed, apparently the guide likes to go for ad hoc coffee breaks whenever he pleases! This was no problem for us, we just took seats in the café opposite and ordered tostadas with jam and honey.
Shopping for Handicrafts and Souvenirs
While we waited for breakfast to arrive Jerome and I took a wander through some of the artisan and souvenir shops that line the nearby street. The colourful wares were displayed on the walls and stands outside the shops. Besides the usual tourist tat you can find some genuine local handicrafts, including woven carpets, blankets and straw baskets. There were also shops selling delicious regional foods, anything from local jamon (cured ham) to cheeses and jams.
Hiking Routes at the Local Tourist Information
After breakfast we returned to the Tourist Information, we had watched the guy return from our café. He was talking to a tourist who wanted to hike up into the Sierra Nevada Mountains, taking the same route we had completed the day before, and then spend the night in the refuge before climbing to the top of the mountain range and the peak of Mulhacen. He looked well prepared for the hike and the officer sold him a detailed map with the routes of the area. The officer also advised the hiker that the weather would improve again over the next days. However, we thought that was not true as my Spanish weather app showed worsening conditions and we personally would not have set out onto a hike like he was planning to venture on with the threat of mist and rain.
Setting out Onto our Hike to Bubion
Anyway, after studying the maps of trails in the tourist office we decided that we would do a circular route from Capileira to a point above Bubion, walk down into the village and then return to Capileira to collect our car. For this walk we did not really need a detailed hiking map, the route was indicated as clearly market on posts. We first followed the main mountain road uphill and out of the village towards Trevelez. The first stretch of the hike leads along the tarmac road but thankfully due to its remoteness, only few cars passed us along the route. The road climbs high above the village, past the deserted and murky local swimming pool and some isolated houses offering panoramic views of the Poqueira Valley and the towering mountains of the Sierra Nevada.
Turning Towards Pitres
At the ruin of an abandoned house we turned right onto a gravelled road. This track can be followed easily and leads to the small village of Pitres, in the next valley, further east. We did not really have enough time to walk the whole way there and found a spot on the rocks for a picnic, just after a narrow hiking path turns off, down to Bubion.
Taking the Trail to Bubion
The grey weather meant that we did not have the stunning views of the previous days, but it still was a peaceful spot to sit for a while and enjoy the vistas and some good local picnic food. Taking the narrow hiking trail down to Bubion, we wandered through the low trees of a stone oak forest, that always reminds us of our hikes on Mallorca. When Jerome was little he always used to imagine that the Japanese character Totoro was close by collecting acorns and he even kept a look out for the cat bus from the films. Nowadays, older, he likes to run ahead, seeking the right route and then guiding us along. Once we had left the forest we arrived at the outskirts of the pretty village of Bubion. Many people say that Capileira is the most beautiful of the three in the valley, we disagree and felt that Bubion had more charm with its narrow alleys and white washed houses surpassing the larger Capileira.
Return to Capileira
Meandering through the village streets we strolled past the church and the main square to the path that would lead back to Capileira. We had walked along the track on our first evening in the area and quickly found our way back to the highest village of the Poqueira valley where we had a drink in one of the cafes and the boys enjoyed a sweet pastry.
Dninner at Restaurant El Corral del Castaño
We would later return to Capileira to dine at Restaurant El Corral del Castaño. The menu offered a selection of regional dishes and the portions were rather large but tasty. Chris savoured a succulent leg of lamb while I enjoyed a vegetarian dish with couscous and mango sauce. Jerome, like most kids enjoyed a pizza, which they also offered besides a small selection of other child friendly dishes. The dinner was the perfect end to our short hiking trip in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and we fully enjoyed our stay, after busy Granada, in this secluded part of Spain and are sure to return sometime for more…
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