Orgiva Spain

Órgiva: #1 for the Alpujarras

Órgiva – Capital of La Alpujarra

About Órgiva

Órgiva, the biggest and most populated town in the Western Alpujarra, is located in the beautiful Rio Guadalfeo Valley and serves as a transportation center for the region’s more isolated High Alpujarran communities and those to the south. Even while the town itself isn’t going to be featured on any chocolate boxes, the surrounding region is very lovely, making it a wonderful starting point for exploring the nearby mountains.

Granada, through Lanjarón, or the southern route from the coast, which skirts the northern slopes of picturesque Sierra Ljar, both need a winding 30-minute drive off the highway. The latter path, particularly in the winter, offers stunning vistas of the Sierra Nevada.

It’s a popular destination because of the mountains’ promise of seclusion, beautiful vistas, and easy access to the coast (30 minutes to Salobrena).

After a short period of time in this city, you will see that variety is one of its most distinguishing features. Órgiva draws a diverse range of individuals, whether they are just passing through or want to make it their permanent home. The laid-back atmosphere and high number of tourists from spring through October reflect this.

Famous or infamous?

One of Chris Stewart’s most popular books, Driving Over Lemons, includes a description of life in La Alpujarra when it was more “spit and sawdust” than it is now.

The ‘Hippy’ hamlet of Beneficio, located in a lovely ravine outside of town, aims to live a simple life in harmony with nature and free from such modern conveniences as vehicles, cell phones, and alcohol. The ‘off-grid’ villages of El Morreón and Los Cigarrones are located farther down the valley and across the river.

While it used to be held at Los Cigarrones on the southern bank of the Guadalfeo near Órgiva, the famous Dragon festival, has now been transferred to a more open site near Santa Fé outside of Granada. The festival is now known for its “messiness” and length.

What to do in Orgiva

Visiting the ocean or the mountains is a snap from Órgiva, thanks to its convenient location. If you take the southern exit from town and merge onto the highway, you’ll be at Almuécar Beach in around 45 minutes. The lovely whitewashed towns of La Alpujarra may be found by taking a drive or excursion into the hills.

Great hikes in the area include those along the Ro Chico and Guadalfeo rivers or the Ruta Olivos Centenarios, a 9-kilometer circuit through old olive fields. Local blogger Con Jamon provides an excellent report of this specific trip.

Try Spanish Highs Sierra Nevada, a local firm in Lanjarón that specializes in walking trips around the region. Caballo Blanco, a horse riding and rescue center in Lanjarón, offers day trips and riding vacations for those who enjoy horseback riding for exploring the highlands.

Where to stay in Orgiva

There are a variety of lodging alternatives in and near Órgiva, including holiday rentals, hotels, B&Bs, camping, glamping, and even retreats. Here are a few of the very greatest examples.

Self-catering holiday rentals

Below you’ll find some great vacation rentals surrounding Órgiva.

Almond Hill House

Just outside of town, sits this gorgeous house with a beautiful garden and a spacious guarded pool. This is a fantastic alternative for gatherings of family and friends. Renovated with great care and operated by Sarah and Matt, a kind couple who are always willing to assist. To make sure you have a pleasant stay and take advantage of everything that the region has to offer, they will go above and beyond your expectations. It can accommodate a party of up to 12 people with the addition of an annex for even more space.

Casa Rural Cortijo El Potro

In the heart of town, you’ll find El Potro, a charming vacation property. For couples or young families, this traditional Andalusian home is perfect for you. The lovely communal pool, which has a separate baby pool, is set in a beautiful garden with orange trees and has spectacular views of the Sierra Ljar mountains in the distance. As a longtime resident of Órgiva, Oliver also owns many additional properties in the neighborhood. There are two beds in this apartment: a queen and a twin, plus a couch bed.

The Glass House

The Glass House is a 10-minute drive up to the Poqueria Gorge’s high Alpujarran settlements if you want to see it. Glamorous and modern, the Glass House offers breathtaking views of Sierra Ljar and easy access to the high Alpujarra and the GR7 hiking trail. Homeowner and manager Robin, who has lived in the region for over a decade, manages the property, which accommodates 6 people, with two spacious double beds and a twin bed.

Hotels and B&B

Hotel Puerta Nazar, Hotel Mirasol, and the beautiful Casa Jazmin guest home are just a few of the options in town. The Hotel Taray Botánico, located just outside of town, has a wonderful pool amid lush grounds, as well as the well regarded restaurant El Flor de Limonero.

An alternative to the above-mentioned campgrounds that is both affordable and great for families is the Camping Órgiva, popularly dubbed as ‘Bottom Camping’ by local expats owing to its placement on the road going south out of town.

Where to eat and drink

You’ll be able to find enough to do in Órgiva for a week or two if you plan on being there that long. Here are a few popular choices amongst both residents and tourists. 

It’s wonderful for families with small children to come to Pizzeria Almazara in the summer because of the outside area with a climbing structure for them. I like everything about it, especially the pizzas and the salads, which are unusual for Spanish cuisine but good nevertheless. There is enough variety on the menu to keep you coming back for many trips, and the helpful and cheerful staff, some of whom understand English, will make you feel right at home.

As far as little Spanish towns go, Agua viva is the most out of the ordinary of the bunch. Quality, diversity, originality, and presentation are all strong points of this restaurant. Cuisine from throughout the globe is served, as well as a terrific value menu del dia giving three meals and a drink for €10 on weekdays. Every Thursday night, there will be an Indian Thali night.

The restaurant El Limonero, which has moved to Avenida González Robles adjacent to the Mirasol hotel, serves up a wide range of Spanish food, both modern and traditional. These vegetarian-friendly establishments have earned the 2020 Travellers’ Choice Award from Tripadvisor.

When we want to go all out for Sunday lunch, we like to go to Restaurant Taray Botánico. In a lovely location with views of Sierra Ljar, this restaurant serves cuisine that is an evolution of classic Spanish fare.

It’d be incomplete if we didn’t include two local favorites for something a little more traditional from the region. Tapas are excellent at Bar Camping Órgiva‘s restaurant, which is on the road out of town. Sunday lunch is a big deal there year-round. For children, there is a play park with extremely pleasant waiters. As for a centrally located restaurant, try El Molino Viejo. It has a lovely patio as well as an inviting dining room inside, so you can go there rain or shine.

As for vegetarians and vegans, the halal restaurant and teahouse Baraka, located near the market at the top of town, serves delectable vegetarian and vegan fare as well as fresh juices and home-made ice cream, milkshakes, and lemonades in the summer. Here, you’ll find Arabic delicacies like kebabs and tajin and hummus offered alongside more traditional Spanish fare like tortilla and gazpacho if you’re in the mood for something different. It’s also possible to find people who can communicate in English around here.

Also, Baraka is the spot to go to experience the market’s social aspect.

Other options include the Plaza Bar Sastago, where you may have a café con leche or cerveza while people-watching. Snacks, relaxation, and people-watching are all available at Galindo‘s bakery. El Recreo, a new restaurant from the owners of El Camping. Both Pizza ‘n’ Love and De Curtis Cafe provide excellent pizza, as well as many other options.

Where to shop

Thursday is market day in Órgiva, and it’s a major deal for the inhabitants, as well as those from nearby towns like Beneficio and other places. Most of the items on sale are standard fare, such as a wide selection of fruits and vegetables and other locally sourced goods, as well as shoe and garment stalls and hardware vendors The town’s creative “New Age” spirit may be seen in the form of handcrafted jewelry, custom children’s apparel, and other vendors. In the summer, the market may become quite crowded, hot, and stuffy, so get there early to avoid the hassle.

Several local grocery chains can be found in Órgiva, including the well-known Da and Covirán. The supermarkets Da and Supermercado Alpujarra are good choices if you are self-catering. To entice the environmentally concerned client, there is an indoor market with fresh fish and meat, as well as organic fruits and vegetables.

There aren’t many places to buy souvenirs, which some would consider a plus; nonetheless, there are a few specialty gift stores. Lanjarón or Pampaneira, two of the most renowned white-washed towns in the western Alpujarras, are better places to go souvenir shopping if you’re in the market for them.

Shops close for siesta – 14.00-17.30 as a general rule, although schedules vary from store to shop – and most establishments are closed on Sunday as is the case in most small Spanish towns. The only place to get bread, milk, and wine on Sundays is at a kiosk on Avenida de los Robles. Do your grocery shopping before you arrive if you’re planning to pick up your rental on a Saturday, since this is a frequent day for handovers for vacation rentals.

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