by Robert Bovington
Bayárcal is the highest village in the Almeriense Alpujarras at over 4000 feet.
The village is surrounded by an oak forest and nearby are groves of chestnut, pine and cherry. In October, the local villagers can be seen collecting chestnuts.
The scenery around this area is spectacular and I quite often drive little circular routes around this area. One suggestion is to start at Cherín and follow the A337 through Picena to Laroles. At a junction take the road to Bayárcal then Paterna del Río and on to Laujar de Andarax. Thence travel along the A348 back to Cherín.
An excellent deviation if you have time is to visit Puerto de Ragua, which, at 2000 metres above sea level, is the only road that links the south and north faces of the Sierra Nevada. Puerto de Ragua is a pleasant place to walk or have a picnic. Snow covers this area from November until April. To drive there continue north from Laroles instead of taking the road to Bayárcal.