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The Village

The stunningly picturesque town of Restabal in the Lecrín Valley. read more..

The Lecrín Valley is tucked away slightly to the southwest of the magnificent and historic city of Granada, equidistant between the town and the warm climes of Spain's unspoiled Costa Tropical.

The whole area has a unique and tranquil beauty and is an ideal location both for visitors looking for a place to retreat or those keen to participate in a very comprehensive range of outdoor activities.

 

Albuñuelas village is a typical moorish village that is hardly visable until you are almost upon it. All the villages in the area have their own charm and character. If you have time, you should explore: Béznar, Melejís, Nigüelas, Pinos del Valle, Restábal and Saleres.

Walking in Lecrin Valley

Life is simple here, focussing on family, land and health.

It is ruled by the seasons, saints' days and the wax and waning of the moon. Everything in the seventeen or so small agricultural villages of the valley is done with a relaxed but steady pace.

The locals, generous, kind and fun, have time for pleasantries despite working hard to tend and harvest their crops of almonds, olives, oranges and lemons, apples, pomegranates, cherries, peaches - and even, nearer to the coast, bananas, avocados and mangoes. There is always an abundance of fresh vegetables, olive oil and honey.

 

Animals are reared for meat by almost every house owner - providing healthy, well fed, happy animals and tender, sweet and unadulterated meat. Days start at sunrise when the men lead their mules laden with woven grass panniers full of tools, and their dogs (often riding on top) out of the village to the surrounding countryside to tend their crops.

They leave the stables in the ground floor of the village houses and clip clop out through the narrow streets of the villages - just wide enough for them. Not much room for cars in the centre!

The Lecrin Valley

Time here passes easily, taken up by the agricultural activities of the Valley:

  • olive picking in January
  • the sight of miles of pink almond blossom in February
  • the sweet, heady smell of orange blossom in April and May
  • the increasing smell of rosemary, lavender and thyme on the hills as the sun becomes hotter in June
  • the summer sun reveals racks and rows of drying tomatoes, chillies, peppers and maize, and the smell of fruit being preserved
  • in September, the late evening sounds of machines shelling the almonds brought to the village by mule from the campo
  • the October sight of the grapes arriving in the village and the smell of fermentation of the new vintage
  • the evocative smell of olive wood burning on cosy hearths tells us winter is on us and there is snow on the Sierra
 

The summer months are also the time to party! Every village has its own week to fiesta - and no one can party like the Spanish! These colourful events involve parades, fairgrounds, dancing, football, bands and many, many fireworks!

Local fishmonger

Granada and the Lecrín Valley are both steeped in history.

The Moors in the 7th century moved from their base in Granada and discovered the fertile earth and flowing rivers of the valley and founded the 17 villages which all still exist. They gave it its name El Valle de Lecrín (the Valley of Happiness).

The valley is dotted by Arab castles, forts and look-out towers. Lecrín Castle is the grave of Moorish kings and queens of Granada. The last burial is believed to be of Moriama, the wife of Boabdil the last Moorish King of the Nazrids who surrendered to the Catholic Monarchs.

The Valley was subsequently fought over during the Morisco uprising - because of its strategically important position as the only southerly access route to Granada and the only point of entry to the Western Alpujarras across the famous Tablate Bridge in the south of the valley.

More recently Federico Garcia Lorca, Spain's greatest modern poet and playwright, was born June 5, 1898 at Fuentevaqueros in the Spanish province of Granada. Lorca was executed by firing squad at Viznar at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains during the Spanish Civil War for his left wing beliefs.

 
 
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