A fantastic day out in Las Alpujarras – Visits to the pueblo of Soportujar and town of Pampaneira
I’ve been writing about Nerja and the surrounding areas for nigh on 20 years now. I never get tired of visiting the inland towns and villages of Andalucia. There are some truly magnificent little Pueblos Blancos or “white villages”.
I’m based in a town set in the Andalucia mountains of Sierra Gorda, northeast Malaga province. This is about 1 hour from Nerja itself. The town hall has regular trips to many of the inland towns and villages, these trips are mainly for the over 55’s.
This month trip, November 4th took us to the Alpujarras.
The Alpujarra is a natural and historical region in Andalusia, Spain, on the south slopes of the Sierra Nevada and the adjacent valley. The average elevation is 1,200 metres above sea level. It extends over two provinces, Granada and Almería; it is sometimes referred to in the plural as “Las Alpujarras”. (Wikipedia)
Getting there by coach was interesting. We pass places such as Loja and through Lanjaron; this place is famous for its bottled water. We stopped here so those with a weak bladder could pay a visit. Then, it was onward to our first port of call, the bewitching town of Soportujar.
Soportújar is a municipality located in the province of Granada, Spain. According to the 2015 census, the city has a population of 296 inhabitants (Wikipedia)
This was possibly one of the strangest towns I’ve visited, anywhere! Soportuja is only a small place, you could walk around it in half an hour or less. It is a tangle of little alleyways and narrow streets. Not many on the level, so, you need strong legs.
The this with Soportuja is that it is infested with witches. Yes! Witches.
There is a legend that the most famous of all witches, Baba Yaga.
In Slavic folklore, Baba Yaga is a supernatural being who appears as a deformed or ferocious-looking old woman. In Slavic culture, Baba Yaga lived in a hut usually described as standing on chicken legs. Baba Yaga may help or hinder those that encounter her or seek her out. More.
How she got to Soportuja from her Slavic abode is a bit of a question, she most probably flew? Nonetheless; the house of Baba Yaga is indeed in Soportuja and does stand on two giant chicken legs, they have ferocious claws.
There is also a rather colourful house made from an assortment of M&M’s and other chocolate attractions. You can buy all sorts of witchy paraphernalia, from simple witches on a string to the complete rig-out. This pueblo is very witch orientated. There are a couple of caves you can visit and a giant witches head that makes for a great photoshoot for the visitors.
There are 3 bars/restaurants and a few shops but also some fantastic views that go all the way from the mountains to the Mediterranean Sea.
Pampaneira is a village located in the province of Granada, Spain. According to the 2005 census, the village has a population of 355 inhabitants. It is one of three mountain villages of the Barranco de Poqueira in the Alpujarras region. (Wikipedia)
After leaving Soportuja, we headed even higher into Las Alpujarras, to the town of Pampaneira. The drive there is not for the feint-hearted! There are endless mountain curves to navigate and, believe me, it is a tad scary. Imagine ‘The Italian Job’ coach at the end of the film and you will have a good idea.
The town itself is a fair size. Again, you will need a good pair of legs to get about the streets but it is worth it. There are plenty of bars, shops and restaurants and the prices are good. You can stock up on freshly made chocolates of all shapes and sizes and as well as handmade rugs and other articles.
There is enough to see and do as this is definitely a tourist-orientated town.
After 3 or 4 hours in Pampaneira, it was back down the very scary mountain roads and passing Granada and Loja, we were back in our own village.
It was a great day out. Nerja has plenty of offers of visits to these types of towns and villages, so, when you come and stay with Nerja Beach Holidays, check out what’s available.
Have a great day out.