Less well known than its sister in Granada, the essence of the Alpujarra of Almería is a sleepy refuge between valleys and mountains. Until the nineteenth century, there was only one Alpujarra. Still, in 1833, during Spain’s provincial division, the territory was split into two provinces with identical idiosyncrasies.
The Sierra Nevada stands out for its vegetation, for having the most important endemic flora in Europe thanks, among other characteristics, to its height and its low latitude. Along with its landscape and fauna, this variety earned the region the UNESCO title of Biosphere Reserve in 1986. Three years later, it was declared Natural Park. In 1999, Sierra Nevada got the highest environmental protection level in our country as a National Park.
This area of the Alpujarra has been populated continuously for thousands of years, as evidenced by its many archaeological sites such as Los Millares or the Peñon de la Reina. Roman remains can be found throughout the region, but the Muslim culture gave it its current appearance. This valuable legacy is evident everywhere you look: from the streets of towns with evocative names such as Alboloduy, Alhabia, Laujar, Alsodux, Canjáyar, Huécija, to the houses with their typical tinaos and terraos, to the irrigation channels.
Legend has it that the Nasrid King Muley Hassem, Boabdil’s father, took a liking to Isabel de Solis, also known as Soraya. She was a Christian maiden whom he made his favorite. In revenge, the sultana Aixa encouraged a civil war that ended with the defeat of the monarch. Downcast, Muley abdicated in his brother El Zagal and left Granada to go into exile. But he fell deathly ill in Mondéjar. From there, Soraya had his body carried to the highest peak of Sierra Nevada, called Mulhacén, in his honor. Legends aside, the truth is that the Alpujarra of Almeria was the last stronghold of the Nasrid kingdom; here, Boabdil was exiled for two long years before leaving the peninsula for good.
The area is a remarkable example of Mediterranean biodiversity with numerous trails to discover either on foot or mountain bike. Some of the most notable are the Sulayr trail or the Transnevada route. Marvel at the breathtaking views from the emblematic peaks, such as the Cerro del Almirez, La Polarda, or the Chullo (highest in the province), over 2000 meters above sea level.
The Alpujarra of Almeria has an attractive cultural offer such as the Terque museums, like the one dedicated to the Ohanes grape, a multitude of ruins where you can learn about its mining past. Birthplace of many famous poets, like Francisco Villaespesa, who said: ‘Alpujarra is the balcony from which Spain looks out upon the dreamlike coasts of Africa that send loving smiles back from across the sea.’
The Mojacar Parador, discover Almería all year round
The image of Mojacar, with its white houses hanging from the last foothills of the Sierra de Cabrera and just 20 minutes from Cabo de Gata, surprises the visitor upon arrival. At the foot of the beach is the Parador of Mojacar. The average temperature of 20 degrees and over 3,000 hours of sunshine a year make this a privileged place to enjoy and discover Almeria throughout the year.
Wide spaces in which light is the protagonist, spacious and well cared for gardens with subtropical species turn it into a small oasis to enjoy peace and quiet. Its spacious rooms with terraces invite you to feel the colors of the beautiful sunsets that this land offers.
Its restaurant is a gastronomic reference in the area. Its cuisine based on dishes with seasonal and proximity products such as fish, rice, cuttlefish curd, red shrimp Garrucha, fruits, and vegetables from Almeria’s garden makes it a reference point for foodies.