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Getting There & Exploring

To explore the area, you can drive on the E902 to the town of Lanjarón, 46km (29 miles) southeast of Granada. This spa town is known for its mineral waters. Continue from here to Orgiva, which is the best center for the western Alpujarras. Orgiva is the largest town of the region. It's known for its baroque church on the main street and a lively Thursday market (best in the morning).

At Orgiva you can leave the C-332, following the signs to the village of Pampaneira along a road that winds in serpentine curves. At 1,059m (3,474 ft.), this hamlet overlooks the Poqueira Gorge, a mammoth ravine carved by the Río Poqueira. The town's craft looms are well known, as are its fountains, springs, and tiny squares. Pampaneira is 14km (8 1/2 miles) northeast of Orgiva.

From Pampaneira, you can climb to two of the best-known villages. It takes about an hour to reach Bubión and about two to reach Capileira. The latter is at 1,436m (4,711 ft.) and also overlooks the Poqueira Gorge. At its Plaza Mayor you can visit a little museum with an excellent display of Alpujarras handicrafts. It's open Tuesday to Sunday from 11:30am to 2pm. Bubión, on the other hand, is best for its village charm and Berber architecture, with dozens of artisan shops.

If you follow the signposts to the end of the trail, you'll reach the little village of Trevélez as you climb one of the highest roads in Europe. This village, known for its jamón serrano (Serrano ham), is Spain's second-highest community, at 1,476m (4,842 ft.). It is on the slopes of Mulhacén, and many hikers use it as their base for ascending the mountain. After finishing your tour in Trevélez, you work your way back to Orgiva and Lanjarón (the original gateway), connecting to the E902 that will take you north back to Granada.

It's best to explore Las Alpujarras by car, although buses run by Alsina Graells (tel. 95-878-50-02; www.alsinagraells.es) leave Granada daily at noon and 5:15pm for the most scenic of the villages. Buses return to Granada from Alcutar, the farthest town out, at 5:15am and 5pm. Ask at the Granada bus station (tel. 95-818-54-80) for the most recent schedule.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.