Time: 4 hours
Distance: 7 km
About the walk
This is an interesting and scenic route which passes through the three ‘pueblos blancos’ or white villages of the Poqueira gorge, Pampaneira, Bubión and Capileira.
Part 1: The walk begins at Pampaneira church square and climbs up Calle Estación to the high part of Pampaneira village. Going past the old public laundry washing area and the last houses on the edge of the village, the path then becomes an old dirt road, which once used to be the only road that connected Pampaneira to Bubión.
Soon after leaving the village if you look back to the south, you can see the village’s staggered slate and clay rooftops from a unique perspective. The path ascends smoothly between fields, dotted with cherry, almond, walnut, chestnut and some of the few remaining mulberry trees, testament to the area’s once thriving silk trade.
Ancient farms span the gorge, bearing the legacy of the Moorish settlers who once terraced these slopes to make the rugged and mountainous terrain easier to farm. To this day you can still follow the network of ancient ‘acequias’ or irrigation channels that direct water down to the slopes from the snow-capped mountains.
Part 2: After climbing the path for about 45 minutes, you will arrive in the lower reaches of Bubión village. Follow the path through the village, past the church and toward the ‘polideportivo’ or the multi-sport court. Then turn right up the Calle Real and continue northwards to pick up the path to Capileira, which runs parallel to the main road. The path continues along past restored cortijos and crosses some small footbridges, leading past small orchards full of cherry, apple, pear and peach trees.
Part 3: After climbing for about 2 km, you arrive in the lower reaches of Capileira. Hugging the lower flanks of the village, walk through the narrow and winding lanes, passing under some ‘tinaos’ or covered walkways. Then, taking the path from the old threshing circle at the bottom of the village, descend down to the the Chiscar bridge, which crosses the Poqueira river.
Part 4: Cross the bridge and continue south on the opposite bank of the gorge. The path continues levelly past some orchards and old cortijos, before crossing through a lush, wooded area, over the Barranco de Haza Redonda (Haza Redonda Gorge). Looking south from here you will be able to see the rooftops of Pampaneira, and looking north you will have an excellent view of the Poqueira river basin and the base of Mulhacén.
Part 5: The path then begins to gently ascend through a small forest of oak trees and the path once again crosses the Poqueira river at Peunte Molino, or Mill bridge, next to the ruins of an old mill. The route continues to climb the opposite bank between orchards, and over a secondary gorge with poplar trees, and back up to Bubión. The path takes you past the sport court again and up towards the church.
Part 6: (optional) If you wish to return to Pampaneira follow the dirt path below the church square back down to Pampaneira, where the route ends.
For information on staying at Casita Buena Vista go to www.alpujarraretreat.com