History & Culture

Due to its natural inaccessibility, the Alpujarra always remained isolated and distinct from the surrounding area of Andalucia, a last bastion against invasion.

Neolithic man, Tartesios, Romans and Visigoths have all been in the Alpujarra, but those that had the greatest influence on its appearance were the Moors.   Their system of water channels –‘acequias’- kept the land green and fertile with snow melt from the Sierra Nevada while their flat roofed berber style houses produced the pretty white villages seen today. 

The great Moorish palace of the Alhambra and the Generalife in Granada are easy to visit from here.  Muslim invaders landed in Andalucia in 711 and their kingdom lasted till 1492. Mainly Berber in origin but led by Arabs they are referred to collectively as Moors. They stayed in the Alpujarra for a hundred years after the fall of Granada until they were finally evicted by Don Juan of Austria on the orders of Philip II of Spain after a revolt led by Aben Humeya.  Mock battles commemorating the event are still enacted at local fiestas.

More recently the area was made known to the English by the writer Gerald Brennan, whose sojourn in Yegen between the two World Wars was recorded in his book ‘South from Granada’.  He wrote many other books on Spain including memoirs of visits to Yegen by Virginia Woolf and others of the Bloomsbury set.

During the Spanish Civil War the region was divided by a front line and there was a lot of guerilla activity.  When Carole first came to the area and began her walking holidays, she met people who had fought in the war and has been told many fascinating personal stories.  Her own experience of Spain when Franco was still alive and her many contacts with local families over a wide area ensure she has a great fund of knowledge to impart and also gives her clients access to places other trekkers cannot go!

"A marvelous introduction to the region" - Lyle & Mona

"Enjoyed the authenticity of the whole trip" - Stephen Gee