Guejar Sierra is a beautiful white washed village with cobbled streets nestling in the Sierra Nevada Mountains just half an hour from the city of Granada and half an hour from the Sierra Nevada ski resort in the South of Spain. Not only is this a quaint village surrounded by stunning scenery but there is a whole host of activities here to make this a perfect holiday destination. Read on to find out more.
At over 1000 metres altitude and with the Canales reservoir at its feet Guejar Sierra really is in a spectacular location in the Sierra Nevada Nacional & Natural Park. An environmental paradise with one of the most diverse flora and fauna in Europe.
Although the Visigoths were the first to settle in these fertile lands, it was the Moors that developed what was then known as Qaryat Walyar. The Andalusí population grew around 2 fortresses, one on each side of the river, one built on the Cerro known as “La Fuerte” and the other on the Cerro del Castillejo of which remains can still be seen today. During this period the town was split into 3 distict nighbourhoods. The Barrio Alto with mills and public baths, The Centro or del Castillo where the Cadí resided in a castle now known as Plaza Nueva o Colmenillas; and el Barrio Hondillo, now known as Calle del Moral. During the reign of the Moors water systems were developed with fountains, laundries and complex irrigation systems supporting their main businesses of agriculture & silk.
You can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, paragliding, archaeology tours, horse riding or just a stroll through the village and the surrounding mountains all year round. Sticking to the lower mountains during the winter, unless you want to tramp through the snow, and cooling off in the higher mountains in summer.
Autumn brings beautiful colours of the trees, and a harvest of figs, walnuts, chestnuts and almonds. As you walk through the streets of the village you will see the locals all out on the street roasting their peppers.
In winter the ski resort is the main attraction with skiing, snowboarding & sledging.
Spring is stunning with flowers blooming everywhere and the almond and cherry trees full of blossom.
The summer months offer a cool respite from the heat of the city where you can cool off with a swim in the fresh mountain water of the reservoir or for those looking for something more active you can hire canoes. The cherries are now ready to pick off the trees.
The local cuisine is typical mountain fayre. Hearty meals of fresh salads, roast kid, chicken in garlic, chorizo, morcilla (black pudding) and patatas a lo pobre (thinly sliced potatoes slow cooked in olive oil with green peppers & garlic). When in season, freshly picked wild mushrooms will also be served and cherries for dessert.
If that wasn’t enough there also amazing venues to hold your wedding in this wonderful village
Fiesta de la Asadura Matancera
Held at the beginning of February this is the most well-known fiesta and brings many visiters to the village. A large pork stew is made in the square accompanied by fresh bread and Mosto – a local wine that will knock your socks off! And all for free too!
Fiesta de Carnaval
At the end of February the traditional fiesta of carnival is celebrated with lots of fancy dress, masks and music.
Celebracion de Semana Santa
As in all towns, cities and villages in Spain, Easter week is celebrated in Guejar Sierra. Here they have their own special addition to the celebrations on Easter Sunday with an interpretation of a biblical passage of the life of Christ “El niño perdido y hallado en el Templo” – The boy lost and found in the temple. On this day the neighbours decorate a corner of the village to hide the baby Jesus, meanwhile in the main square an altar is set up for the Virgen del Rosario where she waits for San Juan to find the baby Jesus and bring him to her.
Día de La Cruz
On the 3rd of May crosses are decorated in the squares of the village.
Festival de la Cereza
At the end of July when the cherries are ripe for picking the village holds a cherry festival with music and dancing throughout the street and each bar making a special tapa with cherries.
Fiestas Patronales en Honor de San Roque y Nuestra Señora del Rosario.
On and around the 15th of August is the largest annual fiesta of the village with a full program of events, including concerts, processions, horses racing through the streets and treasure hunts and foam parties for the children.
Fiestas de Canales en honor a Nuestra Señora de Gracias
Local Fiesta in Canales during the first weekend of September ending with a Giant Paella on the Sunday.
Feria y Fiestas del Barrio Alto
Similar to the Fiestas Patronales but held in the Barrio Alto of the village with a emphasis on Flamenco and barbecues sardines on the last day.
Fiesta Fin de Año
New Years Eve is celebrated in the village square with fireworks and music. The town hall hands out mini bottles of cava, paper hats, masks, party poppers, streamers and 12 grapes to be eaten on the chimes of midnight.
The village has a whole host of different accommodation including, camping, hotels, B&B’s, apartments and lovely rural houses with open fires.
Paragliding – http://www.flygranada.com/
Skiing, Hiking, Canoeing and Mountain Biking – http://exploraguejarsierra.com
Horse Riding – http://www.thehollyoak.com/
Archaeology Tours – http://www.arquenatura.com/
Guided walks with donkeys to carry your bags http://elarriero.es/
Organisation of Tailor made Holidays, Weddings and Events www.awolgranada.com
Restaurants & Bars
Bus Timetable from Granada