Los Guájares of the Costa Tropical in the
Granada province is a region of traditional small
mountain villages located near the Mediterranean coast of Spain in the Andalucia (Andalus)
region. Los Guájares is located in an area also called
Valle de Lecrín or Lecrín Valley and is
easily accessible by paved smaller roads that connect with a major highway.
Guájares is near
Malaga, Granada, and
Almeria, and is
readily accessible from the heart of the Costa Tropical,
- Los Guájares is about 50 minutes drive due south of the city of
Granada and Granada airport. Driving from Granada and down the main N323 to the coast,
take the first right turn after the town of
Velez de Benaudalla.
Los Guájares is clearly marked.
- From Malaga, take the N-340 highway east towards the cities of Almuńécar,
Motril, and Almería. In just over an hour upon reaching
Salobreńa, take the N-323 highway
towards Granada. In a few kilometers look for the left turn to Los Guájares before reaching
the town of Velez de Benaudalla.
The nearest coast is at Salobreńa. The large town of
Motril is only 35 minutes from Guajar
Alto, and the town of Almuńécar situated on the coast of the Costa Tropical is only a little
In addition to the highway access, there are more scenic options.
Almuńécar is accessible
via mountain roads, a stunning drive through winding mountain passes. If you take the old
road to the coast from Pinos Del Valle (marked Motril), you will discover a spectacular
route which winds across the hills, past picturesque ruins and high altitude vistas. You
will pass through the small hamlet of Zaza with its spring of mountain water for thirsty
travelers and further along you will glimpse a dark red Arab fortress, which glows against
the sky. It sits very prominently on a saddle of land with endless views down to Salobreńa
and the Mediterranean in one direction and across to the Alpujarras in another.
On the other side of the road here is an old Italianate house, which was once a
staging post for shepherds driving sheep and goats from the coast up to higher
altitude summer pastures and making the seaward journey later in the year.
Just north, over the first wall of mountains that frame the
Costa Tropical, is nestled the beautiful valley of Los Guájares, also called Valle de
Lecrín or Lecrín Valley. It is nourished by the River Toba that comes from the higher
mountains and winds its way through the Los Guájares valley, providing abundant
water for the lush fruit cultivation of the Lecrín Valley.
The Los Guájares valley, long dominated by the Arab conquerors until the 15th
century, was named Los Guájares by those Arabs which translates into
"oasis between the mountains" and the village of Guajar Alto "paradise on earth".
There are three villages that comprise Los Guájares: Guajar Faragüit, Guajar Fondón,
and Guajar Alto. The villages lie in the narrow Guajar valley winding among orange and
chirimoya (custard apple) trees, old water deposits and beautiful ravines. These
pristine mountain villages are home to about 2,000 people, supported by a thriving
agricultural economy. The largest of the towns is Guajar Faragüit, the smallest is
Guajar Fondón (Guajar Fondón is the lowest of the three towns, is surrounded by
olive and almond trees, is watered by the Rio de la Toba, and is the closest to the
N323 highway), and highest up into the mountains (and furthest from N323) is Guajar
Alto. In the summer the River Toba is dammed up, in an idyllic spot within walking
distance of the village, to create a small lake surrounded by a picnic area for
residents and visitors in the Costa Tropical to enjoy.
Guajar Fondón: Guajar Fondón is located on the Rio de la Toba, at 263 meters of
altitude, and it has almost 500 inhabitants. The church is an interesting example
of the first Mudejar parish. It was restored in the second half of
the XVIII century, respecting the original Mudejar architecture.
Guajar Faragüit: Guajar Faragüit is the most important of the three Guájares towns,
since it houses the head of the district and the town council. Guajar Faragüit is
located over Guajar Fondón and below Guájar Alto and its name means in the original
Arabic "hidden garden". Near its center, crowning a hill, there is an old fortified
town in a very good state of preservation called El Castillejo. It was built between
the end of the XIII century and the beginning of the XIV century, during the period of
Guajar Alto: As its name indicates, Guajar Alto is the highest of the three Guájares
towns and it is situated at 450 meters in altitude. It is also the smallest of the
three towns, and is the furthest away from the coast. The name Guájar derives from
the Arab word "Wa-run" meaning "of difficult access".
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