Top 6 reasons to stay in Lecrin Valley on a Granada holiday

Melegis valle de lecrin

The Valley of Happiness

The Valley of Happiness or Valle de Lecrin in Spanish, is 40 kilometers South of the city of Granada. It is 45 kms from the Costa tropical and 45 kms from the unspoilt villages of the Alpujarra. That´s halfway between the Granada coastline and the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Alhambra palace.

This is an ideal location for families. Visitors wanting to explore the Granada region by car can get to most landmarks within a 35 minute drive. The valley is a group of small villages set amongst a backdrop of olive groves and almond trees. The main A44 autovia is accessible from Lecrin Valley so this area is easy to travel to. (Exits at Durcal, Mondujar and Beznar)

The countryside is picturesque. The valley is dotted with orange and lemons trees as far as you can see. There are plenty of pine, olive and almond trees. The area has great hiking trails too. Melegis Lecrin valley

Real Spain

This valley known as the Valley of Happiness by the Arab settlers hundreds of years ago. This name was given for the fresh mountain water that comes from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and for its lush trees and plants. 

Each village in Lecrin valley has its own charm. Some of the villages are Melegis, Pinos del Valle, Restabal, Saleres, Chite, Mondujar, Durcal, Niguelas, Beznar and Talara. Population can be anything from 300 villagers to 1000 in the larger villages. Although this region is off the tourist track this area is popular with European visitors who enjoy the typical Spanish atmosphere and natural setting. 

As each village has two or three fiestas per year, there are plenty to choose from. In the Summer months most of the villages have at least one fiesta week. You can get to experience a traditional festivity while staying in this area and sample the local food too. 

Typical Lecrin villages

 
Melegis
The valley is well-known for its sweet oranges. Melegis is where the Orange packaging warehouse is. All around the valley you will come across 2 kilo bags of sweet oranges and zingy lemons. In Melegis you will come across a viewpoint or mirador overlooking the landscape. From here you can see the reservoir at Beznar. This lookout has a unique design which was created by local art students. They built different seats and benches allowing us to see the view in style. 

Oranges Lecrin valley
Pinos del Valle (also referred to El Pinar)
This lush green village has 300 houses and two parts to the village, the barrio alto and barriobajo. The higher and lower districts both have their own church. Tuesdaysis market day in Pinos del Valle. There are just a few stalls selling plants, ceramics and some basic household items. The local shop Comestibles Maria sells great quality fruit and vegetables. They also stock food, bread and wine for your stay. 

This village celebrates the Crosses of May (first weekend in May) with a pilgrimage up to the top of the hill. This is 1052 metres above sea level, so you get a fabulous view. Fiestas in Lecrin always have lots of loud bangers to animate each procession. They also prepare a paella in the centre of the village to feed everyone. In Mid August the local fiesta is San Roque el Santo Cristo del Zapato (Christ of the shoe) where they have a lot of fireworks. Religious processions and dancing in the square are also part of the celebration. 

The highlight of this summer fiesta is the waving of the flag. 

Stay at:  House in Pinos del Valle

Beznar

From the motorway you can see the Beznar reservoir. This reservoir age began in 1935 close to the site of the previous village of Beznar. The old village is now submerged underwater. The imposing dam wall is a 134 metres high. The fiesta in Beznar village is on the 8th of September, San Antón. The Musketeers Festival. 

Niguelas Lecrin valleyNiguelas

This village is close to Durcal and well-known for its hiking trails and natural caves.The church, Saint John the Baptist, in the main square dates back to 1561 -1562. (shown above) Niguelas local market is every Monday.You can eat out at the Alquería de Los Lentos on their garden terrace. Or try El Secreto del Olivo, a restaurant which serves food at the weekends just off Niguelas main square. 

Stay at Villa in Niguelas

Durcal 

This is the largest town in the area although not as quaint as the other, it will be handy if you need to do any errands or shopping. Wednesday is market day, this market is quite a lot bigger than the other ones dotted around the valley. From Durcal buses leave every hour to Granada. 

Lecrin valley Granada  Fig tree

Mondújar

The village of Mondujar is next to Lecrin. This location is significant as the Moors were here at the end of their reign of Al Andalus. Morayma and Mulay Hacen are buried around here, although the exact place is still a mystery. Castle ruins lie just 600 metres from the village itself, in an area called Cerro del Castillejo. This was the first summer hideaway of the Royal Family of Granada 500 years ago. The local mill, Molino de Mondújar had a full restoration in 2005. This is a museum with an outdoor space. Often used for social events, music concerts or Flamenco in the summer months. On Fridays there is a market in Mondújar.  

Stay at: Villa in Talara 

Restabal

This small village is close to Melegis, has around 600 people listed as citizens. You may come to this area to taste the Thai food at The Thai Elephant restaurant. This is on the road towards Restabal. From the restaurant there is a terrace with views over the countryside.

So whether you love hiking, like discovering interesting local traditions or want to visit the remote Alpujarra Villages, the Valle de Lecrin could be just the spot to plan your holiday.