The "white village" Ferreirola

The small village of Ferreirola is well positioned on the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada National Park, at an altitude of 1,000 metres. A former Moorish village, it benefits from a mild climate and is surrounded by beautiful scenery, with rich vegetation and numerous mountain springs. Together with six other small villages, Ferreirola belongs to the parish La Tahá de Pitres. It is situated off the beaten tourist track and is free of passing traffic, making for an unspoilt and peaceful environment. Ferreirola is home to a fair amount of artistic activity: a painter, a guitar maker, and a manufacturer of flamenco dresses and ballet shoes live in the village itself, while a number of ceramic artists also live in the area. Several hiking paths pass through Ferreirola, including the GR142, which traverses the whole of the Alpujarra. The E4/GR7 is also close by.

Alpujarra / Sierra Nevada

The landscape is both striking and varied, ranging from a subtropical climate in the Contraviesa, with an abundance of vineyards and orchards bearing figs, almonds and other fruit, to the arctic tundra of the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada. Traces of the ancient forest, that once covered the Alpujarra remain, consisting mostly of chestnut trees and poplars, and there are a variety of herbs as well as fruit trees.

Like a string of pearls, the small, whitewashed villages with their characteristic flat roofs topped by the region’s distinctive chimneys lie well protected in the valleys. The irrigation channels constructed by the Moors, whereby the water was channelled from the Sierra Nevada down to the valleys below, are still a feature of the Alpujarra today. Indeed, the sound of running water is one of the main “soundtracks” of the area, as is the jingling of bells from the many goats and sheep.

Hiking paths

Fortunately for hikers, the villages are also still the hub of a network of stone-paved mule and donkey tracks, often centuries old and sometimes not much more than a metre wide. One of the European walking paths, the E4/GR7, passes above Ferreirola, and the GR142, which traverses the whole of the Alpujarra, and the “Ruta Medieval de la Alpujarra” (PR-A299) both run through the village. More demanding walks are the routes leading up to the peaks of the mountains Mulhacén and Veleta.

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