DAY 3 – Lujar to Capiliera – 86km ,Apr 1
A challenging but exceptional day on the bike as we traversed the Alpujarras. We rode out under clear, cold skies(3C), from whitewashed village to whitewashed village – there were few cars, excellent quality roads and spectacular views – sometimes you could see Africa where we were only a few days ago! The day started with a 12km descent and views across to Mulhacén, the highest mountain in the Iberian Peninsula. We then climbed to coffee and traversed for essentially the rest of the day, lunching in one of the regions most famous towns, Trevelez. Today was genuinely one of the best days you could have on the bike, enjoying the winding roads, the smooth descents and testing climbs! Two back to back days of big climbs in shorter distances, 8,000ft in just 53 miles!
The Alpujarra is a natural and historical region in Andalusia, Spain, on the south slopes of the Sierra Nevada and the adjacent valley. The average elevation is 1,200 metres (4,000 ft) and it extends over two provinces, Granada and Almería.
The terracing and the irrigation of the hillsides (the “Alpujarra alta”) was the work of Berbers, who inhabited this area after the Moorish invasion of 711 AD. They also created villages on the hillsides in the style to which they were accustomed in the mountains of North Africa: narrow, winding streets and small flat-roofed houses.
Capileira in La Alpujarra is the highest village in the Poqueira Gorge and the second highest in Spain at 1432 m. It lies on the sunny, southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains, from where it gazes down the spectacular valleys towards the Mediterranean – and Africa!
Once famed as the last refuge of the Moors in Spain, La Alpujarra is better known these days for its mountain-cured ham, goat’s cheese, honey, strong wine and rural tourism with superb trails.