Trevélez, The Village of Ham!
Of all the wonderful things Spain is known for, one especially salty thing stands out... its Jamón Serrano!
People travel far and wide every year to experience all the amazing things Spain, and Andalucia in particular, has to offer... its rich Moorish and Roman heritage, its colorful culture - think flamenco and bullfighting, the beauty of its mountains, islands and beaches, the warmness of its people, and of course... the rich flavors of its unique cuisine.
Spain has always notoriously been known for its ham, its famous Jamón Serrano to be exact... and it all started here, in this little village that sits at the highest point in the Alpujarras, and in the whole of the Iberian peninsula, usually shrouded in bright white snow, but always picturesque and beautiful... the village of Trevélez.
** The pretty village of Trevélez tucked into the Sierra Nevada Mountains
Driving up to the highest point in the Sierra Nevada mountains, elevation 1,476 meters above sea level, you will find this little gem. Trevélez is perched upon steep cliffs and surrounded by bright green mountains that soar to the top of the great Mulhacén, capped in snow during the winter months and dotted with neon yellow Broom flowers in the Spring...
Its mighty mountains eventually give way to the valley below that is split by the crystal-clear waters of the Rio Trevélez. The river is home to thousands of freshwater trout that are a delicious addition to many of the town's serrano ham dishes.
The village itself is visually separated into three distinct districts (Alto, Medio, Bajo), the lowest area being the most popular with tourists and where you will find most of the action.
Contents on This Page
- Where is Trevélez?
- Trevélez - The Ham
- Where to Stay in Trevélez?
- The Best Places to Eat!
- What to Do in Trevélez?
- Trevélez's Winding Streets and Square
- Hiking In and Around Trevélez
- Visit the Top Sites
- Join a Tour to Trevélez
- The Tourist Office
- When to Visit Trevélez
- How to Arrive
- Trevélez - The History
Where is Trevélez?
Trevélez, at the apex of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and the closest town to Spain's highest peak Mount Mulhacen, is 1,476 meters above sea level.
It lies in the southern half of the Granada Province just 89 kilometers from the city of Granada, although the trip to the capital city will take you an hour and 45 minutes since the roads are so curvy and you have to drive slowly.
Trevélez is also just 69 km to the Mediterranean coast, specifically the Costa Tropical and the highly visited towns of Almuñécar, Motril, and Salobreña. A trip to the coast will take you about one hour and 20 minutes.
Trevélez - The Ham
Like we mentioned above, Trevélez is known worldwide for its salty but sweet Jamón Serrano. The fresh air in the Sierra Nevada, being of such high altitude, is cool and crisp all year long... which makes for the perfect place to cure ham.
Ham curing experts come from all over the world to learn and observe the process of salt and cold air curing in Trevélez. It has also been given the proud designation of a "Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)" due to the cultural importance of its delicious delicacy. A PGI award is given to any agricultural product, raw or processed, which quality, reputation, or other characteristics are linked to its geographical origin.
** (1) A ham Store in Trevélez. (2) Serrano Ham legs hanging.
Come try out Trevélez's famous Jamón Serrano for yourself!
One fun thing to do on your next visit is to take a guided tour of one of the old ham curing factories in town. The Secadero Museum of Jamones Vallejo has one of the oldest drying rooms in the Alpujarras and was awarded by the Agriculture Ministry of Spain as having THE BEST ham in Spain in 2018.
Or, if you're not up for a tour, stop by one of the specialty shops in Trevélez's main square where you will find samples of the town's best hams along with other locally made products like jams, honey, and wines.
What to Do in Trevélez?
A visit to beautiful Trevélez will take you about 1-2 hours, including a nice lunch. Take some time to wander through its pretty streets, visit the specialty food shops in the town square, and walk up to the Barrio Alto where you will find breathtaking views from the Mirador de la Era Fuerte of the mountains and valley below.
1. Explore Trevélez's Winding Streets and Main Square
Trevélez is a more rustic town than what you will find in the Poqueira Gorge villages, Pampaneira, Bubion, and Capileira... although it does share some of the same Moorish ancestry and architecture. You will once again notice the whitewashed homes built into the ever-changing shape and terrain of the mountainside, the covered archways (tinaos), flat Berber roofs, and smoking chimney pots.
But Trevélez is otherworldly and seems to be much more off the beaten track. Its streets are quiet and the tranquility of its surroundings can be felt deep within you. As many of the Alpujarra villages are teeming with tourists, Trevélez is the ideal place to get away.
** (1) Flowers in Trevélez, (2) Pretty winding street, (3) Main town square in Trevélez.
You will find the Trevélez main square in the Barrio Bajo. It is full of restaurants, bars, specialty food shops, tourist shops, and home to the town's visitors center.
From there, take the self-guided tour of the village by following the signs that are placed throughout town marked "Ruta de Los Tres Barrios" (Three Neighborhoods Route). It's a great way to explore the upper areas and see the most important sites in town.
2. Visit Trevélez's Other Top Sites - What not to Miss...
The top places to see while you're in the village of Trevélez are:
- The Fountains & Ancient Tinaos - While on your walk around the village of Trevélez pay special attention to the many fountains and places of worship that are built into the rock and covered with the traditional Moorish Tinaos (wooden ceiling beams).
- The Parish Church of San Benito - This Mudejar style church was built in the 17th century on the remains of an old mosque dating to the Nasrid period. Currently located in the Plaza de la Iglesia, this parish church was rebuilt after being burned down during the Spanish Civil War.
** Fountain and Blessings, and the Parish Church of San Benito in Trevélez.
- The Secadero Museum of Jamones Vallejo - Take a guided tour of the ham curing factory that was chosen in 2018 as havng the "Best Ham in Spain".Jamones Vallejo
Monday to Thursday: 9:30 - 13:30 and 15:00 - 18:00
Address: Haza de la Iglesia s / n 18417 Trevélez Granada
Telephone: +34 958 85 85 35
Mobile: +34 629 48 38 23.
Book Tour Here: www.jamonesvallejo.com
General Admission: Entry without tapa: 5.95€, Entry with Tapa and Wine: 8.95€
Guided Tour with Tapa and Wine: 16.95€
Course (on cutting the ham): 30€
- The Hermitage of San Antonio in Trevélez - Located in the backstreets of the Barrio Medio or middle area of town is another church built in the Mudejar style in the 17th-18th centuries. Here you will find an effigy of both the Virgen de las Nieves and Santo San Antonio.
** The Secadero Museum of Jamones Vallejo and Hermitage of San Antonio in Trevélez.
- The Rio Trevélez - The Rio Trevélez runs through town and you will find bridges on either end that are great spots to take photos.
** The beautiful Rio Trevélez and the Bridge leaving town.
3. Enjoy the Hiking in and Around Trevélez
From Trevélez you can reach real heights! 3479 meters to be exact!
If you are an avid or just an occasional hiker, the hiking from Trevélez is phenomenal. The village itself may be the highest in Spain but Mount Mulhacén is the highest point on the Iberian Peninsula AND is the highest peak in western Europe outside of the Alps.
Mt. Mulhacén was named after the last Moorish King of Granada, Muley Hacen, back in the 15th century. It is thought that he may have been carried to the top and buried at the summit.
- Trevélez to Mount Mulhacen - The trek to Mulhacén (3479 meters above sea level) is a two-day round-trip climb from Trevélez with an overnight stop at a mountain refuge (2,500m) in route. The refuge can also be reached by leaving from the town of Capileira where the hike is also 1-2 hours shorter.
Another shorter option to Mulhacén, if you don't have two days, is to catch a bus from Capileira to a second starting point (Mirador de Trevélez (2,700m)), reducing the climb to half a day.
** Trevélez Hiking Trails to Mt. Mulhacén
- Sulayr GR 240 - Trevélez - This route sends you trekking through the beautiful hills of the Sierra Nevada, past waterfalls, and back down to the village of Capileira in the Poqueira Gorge. This one-way trail is 19 k and takes about 6 hours to complete, leaving from Trevélez you will be heading southwest and downhill.
Find more detailed information here: Sulayr Trevélez – Capileira.
- Trevélez to Las Siete Lagunas (Seven Lagoons) - the green meadows around the Siete Lagunas, or seven lakes, provide a vivid contrast to the barren and desolate surroundings of the Sierra. The 17.5 k climb up from Trevélez will take you about 7.5 hours and makes a great day hike.
Find more detailed information here: Trevélez – Siete Lagunas.
- Trevélez to Busquístar - This is one of the most attractive legs of the GR-7 long-distance walking trail, and it's a great place to start exploring the beautiful countryside of the Alpujarras. The walk starts in Trevélez and takes you past a picturesque waterfall, through a forest of holm oaks, past various crumbling farmhouses, and then descends into the pretty village of Busquístar. The route is 13 km and takes 4 hours.
Find more detailed information here: Trevélez – Busquístar.
** Trevélez Hiking Trails to Siete Lagunas... photo credit
Recommended Hiking Book!
Where to Stay in Trevélez
As for Trevélez, there are quite a few rustic hotels that are highly rated and perfectly located if you plan to do some hiking. The top two we recommend are:
Rent a Pretty Cottage or Traditional Berber-style Home
Another option, if you are looking for a little more space and privacy, is to rent a cottage or an original Berber house or apartment in town.
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One more option in Trevélez, if you are a low-cost traveler, is the local campground!
The Best Places to Eat in Trevélez!
Do not leave Trevélez without tasting their world-class Jamón Serrano!
Like many of the other nearby villages, Trevélez's cuisine consists of typical Alpujarran dishes. Like we have said before, they are especially known for their locally cured hams, cheeses, and fortified wines.
Trevélez has a nice selection of restaurants in its main square as well as a few others sprinkled throughout town. The Meson La Fragua is located in Trevélez's nicest rural hotel.
Book a Tour to Trevélez from Granada!
Just want to visit the area for the day, but don't know the best areas to visit? Join a tour from Granada and let them do all the work!
There are also several outdoor activities and tours you can join... if you're feeling adventurous. Rafting, hiking, cycling, or even a Four-Wheel Drive Safari are among your choices... See them all here...
Address - Calle Carcel, 8, 18417 Trevélez, Granada
Tel: 958 858 501
Monday to Saturday: 10:00 – 14:00
Contact Form: www.trevelez.es/contacto
The tourist office is located in the large plaza in the lower level of town (Barrio Bajo). It's on the northern side of the parking area.
|# of inhabitants:||742 (2018)|
|Distance to Granada:||89 km|
** Entrance into Trevélez over the Bridge.
Other Important Information You Should Know About Trevélez
1. Trevélez is a Great Place to Find Specialty Food Items
Take advantage of the locally produced food items while visiting Trevélez. It's a great place to pick up a few gift items for friends and family back home.
Not only will you find a fantastic assortment of hams and cheeses, but you will also get the chance to try some local jams and jellies, honey, wine, and a few types of olive oil. There are also local craft shops selling typical Alpujarra textiles like blankets, rugs, and clothing.
Address - P/ Francisco Abellan 2, 18417 Trevélez Spain
Tel: +34 958 85 87 60
Address - Isabel II, 12, Trevélez Spain
Tel: +34 654 31 27 95
** Hams, Honey, Olive Oil, and Wines produced locally in Trevélez.
2. Fiestas in Trevélez
The Patron Saint Festivities of San Antonio - (13-14 June) - On these days, the village enjoys a huge feast together and watches a dramatic re-enactment of the battle between the Moors and the Christians.
San Benito - Saturday closest to July 11 - A celebration with religious ceremonies and a feast of "papas de matanza" (a type of roasted potato dish).
Pilgrimage to the Mulhacén of the Virgen de las Nieves - (August 4 and 5) - Every year, since 1912, the Pilgrimage of the Virgen de las Nieves has taken place in the municipality of Trevélez. On August 4, in the afternoon, many residents of the town go up to spend the night in Siente Lagunas, the ascent is done on foot and the Virgin is carried on horseback. The next day they ascend to the peak before sunrise.
Feria de Ganado (Cattle Fair) - The third weekend of October, The Trevélez Fair takes place every year in October. Although originally it was a cattle fair, today it has expanded to include much more...
The Autumn Fair (Feria de Artesanía, Turismo y Agricultura Ecológica) - On October 12th - 15th, Pampaneira (20 km away) holds a giant fair... the biggest in the area... where you will find a wonderful assortment of locally made Alupjarra products, including textiles (colorful rugs and blankets), crafts, soaps and candles, jellies and jams, jars of honey, Moorish pastries and more...
The Chestnut Festival (Fiesta de la Mauraca) - On November 1st Pampaneira holds its famous chestnut festival (which also takes place in neighboring villages). It is celebrated by roasting chestnuts over an open fire and dancing and singing to traditional Alpujarra songs. The roasted chestnuts are later enjoyed with a warm anise-flavored liquor.
3. When to Visit Trevélez
Trevélez can get quite chilly in the winter months and completely covered in snow... being so high up in the mountains. The best time to take advantage of the great outdoor activities is in the spring and early fall.
The months of May and June are ideal for hiking as the entire valley is in bloom with bright yellow scotch-broom and red poppies.
But... if you enjoy sitting by a roaring fire in the middle of a winter wonderland... Trevélez is the place in February!
** Trevélez Snow in February - Photo Credit: email@example.com
- During May and October, you are most likely to experience good weather with pleasant average temperatures that fall between 20 degrees Celsius (68°F) and 25 degrees Celsius (77°F).
- The hottest season is in June, July, August, and September.
- Trevélez has dry periods in June, July, August, and September.
- The warmest month is July with an average maximum temperature of 33°C (91°F).
- The coldest month is January with an average maximum temperature of 12°C (53°F).
- November is the wettest month. This month should be avoided if you are not a big fan of rain.
- July is the driest month.
4. How to Arrive
Trevélez is located just 89 kilometers from the city of Granada, but due to the curvy roads, the trip will take you an hour and forty-five minutes.
- From Granada - Driving from Granada and south on the main N-323 highway towards the coast, look for the signs indicating "Las Alpujarras" and "Lanjarón" as you pass over the mountains. Exit the highway and head towards the left (east). Roads will be clearly marked. After passing the town of Lanjarón and just before entering Órgiva, look for the sign indicating directions to Pampaneira, Capileira, and Bubión. Take a left and follow the road straight up into the mountains.
After passing the town of Pampaneira, continue on the same road for another 30 minutes and it will take you up to Trevélez.
The road is winding and you can't drive fast, from this turn, it should take about 20 to 30 minutes to reach Trevélez. It is the third and highest town in the Poqueira Gorge.
- From Malaga - take the N-340 highway east towards Almuñécar, Motril, and Almería. In about an hour, after passing Almuñécar and when you reach Salobreña, take highway N-323 towards Granada. Trevélez is located only 70 kilometers from Salobreña. As you climb the mountains you will pass a dam and a lake on your left. Look for signs indicating "Las Alpujarras" and "Lanjarón". Exit the highway and head towards the right (east). From here follow the directions noted above from Granada.
- From Almería - take the N-340 highway west towards Málaga and Almuñécar. When you reach Salobreña (before Almuñécar), take highway N-323 towards Granada. Follow the directions noted above.
As you drive into Trevélez, make sure to go down towards the "Barrio Bajo" or the lowest level of town. After crossing the bridge, you will come to a large parking area in the middle of the village.
There will be plenty of shops and restaurants in this area and where you will find the tourist office.
6. Trevélez - A Brief History...
- People have inhabited the area around Trevélez since Neolithic times. We know this because a stone, dating to the Neolithic time-period, has been found on the mountain near the village with as of yet undeciphered written text.
- Many 3rd century remains have also been discovered near the town, indicating a Roman settlement in the area as well. The name "Trevélez" comes from the Latin term "Inter-Valleys" or "Between the Valleys", an obvious description of the town's location in the Sierra.
- With the arrival of the Moors, Trevélez starts to take on the characteristics that still define it today, the three distinct neighborhoods, its intricate irrigation system, and its terraced farms.
- During the time of the Catholic Kings, and the Reconquest of the Kingdom of Granada (1482-1492), the Christian armies entered the Alpujarra, but didn't reach Trevélez. Although Granada was taken in 1492, hardly any Christians arrived in Trevélez and the population remained Muslim.
In 1500, the Catholic Kings forced the Moorish population to be baptized, tensions intensified finally exploding into the bloody War of Rebellion (1568-1572). In Trevélez, the Moors would rise up and many would go to the Sierra Nevada to act as bandits against the Christian troops.
- After the final defeat of the Moors, they were expelled from Spain and the area was repopulated with people from the North. Trevélez remained a quiet, isolated village until well into the 18th century.
- In the late 18th century, explorers started to appear on their way to discovering the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Trevélez was used as a starting point for these explorations.
- It wasn't until the 19th century, when Trevélez was discovered by the English, that it started to become the romanticized, bucolic mountain village that it is today...