Souvenir-hunting in southern Spain’s spectacular Sierra Nevada natural park? Read on for our pick of the best places, where you’ll find everything from handmade rugs and leather goods to locally-produced jamón and cheese.
The best souvenir to take home from the Alpujarras – a cluster of lovely villages which spreads itself out along the southern edge of the park – is one of the colourful, handwoven rugs typical of this area. Known as “jarapa” rugs, they are arrayed outside most of the gift shops in Pampaneira, Capileira and Trevélez, but you can buy them in practically any of the Alpujarras. Designed to provide insulation during the region’s cold winters, they’ll liven up any floor back home.
Travellers with a sweet tooth musn’t leave the Sierra Nevada without visiting Abuela Ili, an artisanal chocolatier with outlets in the Alpujarra villages of Pampaniera, Capileira and Lanjarón (as well as in Granada itself). The smell of homemade chocolate entices you in from the street and, once inside, you can try anything you like before making a purchase. That the chocolates are beautifully wrapped means they make great gifts, as well.
Trevélez is the highest of the Alpujarra settlements, nestling at an altitude of 1,476 metres (4,843 feet) in the foothills of Mount Mulhacén, the Iberian Peninsula’s highest mountain. It’s famous for its jamón (the dry air here is ideal for curing meats), so head to Jamones Cano González for a tasty souvenir to take home. As well as the town’s flavour-packed speciality, this delightful shop also sells locally-produced cheese, olive oil and wines.
Piel J Brown is a classy leather workshop located on one of Capileira’s liveliest streets. The brand also has a store in Marbella and sells exquisitely-made bags, belts, jackets and wallets for both men and women. It’s not especially cheap – most of the handbags come in at around €70 (USD$81), for example – but the quality of material and craftmanship mean you’ll be taking home a souvenir that will last years.
The joy of exploring the Alpujarras region by car is owed to the fact that you can stop whenever you see something you like, whether it’s a picturesque mountain village, a spectacular view, or a rickety roadside stall selling local produce. The latter are dotted all over this area’s winding mountain roads: often kept by local farmers, they sell fruit, hams, honey, olive oil and wine, making them ideal if you’re after a souvenir bearing the unique stamp of the Sierra.
Tucked away off one of Pampaniera’s tiny backstreets, Bodega La Moralea is an Aladdin’s cave of Alpujarran goodies, from wine and olive oil to cermaics and spices. As the name suggests (bodega=winery/old-school bar), this cave of wonders is not just a shop – it’s also a tapas bar where you can enjoy a cold one and plate of jamón on the tiny terrace out front. The perfect Alpujarran one-stop-shop.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.