Capileira (an Alpujarran village)

by Robert Bovington
Capileira, at 1436 metres, is the highest of the three Alpujarran villages in the Poqueira valley. Like the other settlements in the Alpujarra, it has narrow streets and its houses have been adapted to the needs of the steep terrain and the local climate – they are whitewashed, have flat roofs and are reminiscent of the architecture of North Africa.
In the centre of the village there is a museum that displays the arts and popular customs of the Alpujarra. There is also an 18th century church – the Iglesia Parroquial de Santa María la Mayor.
However, most people who visit Capileira do so in order to walk – Capiliera is a centre for walking and for accessing the mountains especially Mulhacén which is generally treated as a two-day climb from Capileira with an overnight stop at a mountain refuge en route. Well, they can’t drive that way! The Sierra Nevada Highway used to run through Capileira and out across the Sierra Nevada towards the city of Granada. However, motor traffic is no longer permitted beyond Capileira.

If you do decide to walk in the Sierra Nevada, take care – in 2004 some experienced British walkers lost their lives when the weather changed for the worse! Personally, I would only walk up there in the summer – at those altitudes it is bloody cold! In any case, I prefer to walk between the villages of the Poqueira Gorge. Pampaneira to Capileira via Bubión is a pleasant walk.


About Robert Bovington

Robert Bovington is an English writer of travel books. These include “Spanish Matters” and “Spanish Impressions” Robert Bovington was born in Brighton, East Sussex, the son of Leonard and Audrey Bovington. He is the first-born and has eight siblings – six brothers and two sisters. Having worked for many years in both the telecommunications industry and the teaching profession, Robert wanted to take on new challenges. He and Diane decided to relocate to Spain and, in 2003, the couple moved to Roquetas de Mar in sunny Andalucía. However, lazing on the beach was not Robert's idea of fun - he wanted to explore his new homeland. It didn't stop there! He was so impressed with Spain, its countryside, its historic cities and its culture that it inspired him to write about his experiences. Robert Bovington has been married to Diane for over thirty years. They have no children. However, Robert’s short marriage to Helene resulted in twin daughters Carole and Sheila. The author is also a grandfather and great grandfather. Robert met Diane when both belonged to the Crescent Operatic Society. Music is one of the author’s great passions. At primary school he sang in a choir in a concert of Bach and Handel. Another of his interests is football and for many years he supported Brighton & Hove Albion home and away. His favourite premiership team is Arsenal. Other interests include information technology, writing and ten-pin bowling.
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