The Fragrant Village of Melegís...
Deep in the Valley of Lecrin you will come across a number of small villages that thrive on the fertility of their land, Melegís is one. While blossoming orange and lemon trees dot the horizon, their sweet perfume floats on the warm breezes that permeate every corner of this lovely town.
Water is also in abundance here. The ancient Muslims left their mark on Melegís through the development of an immense irrigation system... gushing water canals line every street and alley. You can also see the remains of Moorish watchtowers, castles, and their traditional narrow streets and gardens.
Explore Melegís ➜ in the Lecrin Valley!
Contents on This Page
- Where is Melegís?
- What is the History of Melegís?
- Melegís ➜ Things of Interest
- The BEST Restaurant in Melegís
- Best Places to Stay near Melegís
- Hiking Trails Around Melegís
- BEST Excursions / Tours Near Melegís
- Distances Between Towns & Melegís
- Fiestas and Customs
- Melegís Gastronomy
- Getting to Melegís
Where is Melegís?Located at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains along the Torrente River you will find the quaint village of Melegís. It is part of the municipality of El Valle, a small cluster of villages (Melegís, Restábal and Saleres) in the Lecrin Valley... in the Province of Granada.
Melegís is 40-minutes from the historic Alhambra palace in Granada, one-hour from the slopes of the Sierra Nevada, and just 30-minutes from the coast (Costa Tropical).
** The Béznar Dam - Melegís, Spain
What is the History of Melegís?Once known as "Melexís", Melegís has been home to both Nasrid royals and Christians of the highest nobility.
- Being just 40-minutes from the royal Nasrid palaces (which were home to the King of Granada), Melegís was the perfect location to house the royal Nasrid court. During the 15th century the household of the royal family lived in Melegís, including its advisors, attendants (workers), and possibly the wives and concubines of the king.
- During the fall of the Muslim empire Melegís was conquered by the Marquis of Villena. Later (XVI & XVII centuries) the area was repopulated with Galicians, Castilians, and people from Extremadura.
- Families of high nobility settled in Melegís in the eighteenth century. Most of these families were well connected politically and they built large homes in the village proudly displaying their coat of arms... many of which can still be seen today.
- After a steady depopulation, Melegís joined Restábal and Saleres in 1972 to make up the municipality of El Valle, the town hall resides in neighboring Restábal.
- Today, Melegís is a tiny, sleepy village off the beaten track from most tourist destinations. Its golden era has passed but it is still a place to be enjoyed if you are a lover of hiking, natural surroundings, and good food!
Melegís ➜ Things of Interest
The Church of San Juan Evangelista in MelegísSitting right at the center of Melegís is the Iglesia San Juan Evangelista (Church of Saint John the Evangelist). For such a small town (and having been restored in 2004), the church is quite striking and in wonderful condition.
** Iglesia San Juan Evangelista - Melegís, Spain
This beautiful monument was built in the Mudejar and Renaissance style between 1562 and 1567 by Bartolomé Villegas. Unfortunately, the church caught fire in 1568 and its coffered ceiling was destroyed. It was later rebuilt in 1599. In the 18th century a baroque altarpiece was added.
Emblazoned Houses - MelegísOne thing to look out for as you meander through Melegís are the family crests that adorn many of the old manors in town.
In the 18th century, important noble families with political influence built large homes here, upon which they placed their coats of arms. See if you can find the homes of 'Los Pineda', 'Saenz-Diente and Miras' or 'Calafor'.
Fountain & Lavadero in MelegísAlong one of the many winding streets in Melegís, behind the street with the emblazoned houses, you will find the lavadero (washing house) and village fountain.
Until 1974 the only access to water in the village were these fountains. The locals would gather here to collect water for their homes, the women would wash clothes, and the men would water their thirsty mules.
** Fuente & Lavadero - Melegís, Spain
Today these monuments remain to remind us of our past, our customs and traditions, and how far we have come on our path to a new future.
Thermal Springs in MelegísJust 2 km from Melegís you will find ancient thermal springs. The water comes out at a constant temperature of 24 ºC, which is perfect for bathing. This spring has been known about since ancient times and the healing properties of its waters have been extolled for the treatment of certain skin conditions.
In 2002 the town commissioned a three-part project in the hopes of enhancing the area around Melegís and to honor the natural environment. A new building and swimming pool were built next to the spring in the middle of an orange grove overlooking the Béznar lake.
Mirador de las Alvinillas - MelegísThe area around Melegís and the Lecrin Valley is known for its outstanding natural beauty. People come to this area to get away from the overcrowded villages of the Costa del Sol and Costa Tropical in favor of gentle rolling hills, hiking trails exploding with fruit trees, smaller rustic towns along the Béznar Reservoir, and... the quiet.
** Mirador de las Alvinillas - Melegís, Spain
As you enter the village of Melegís you will see the Mirador de las Alvinillas on your left-hand side (from the north along the GR-3204 road). This picturesque viewpoint is the perfect place to take in all that the Lecrin Valley has to offer. The promenade wraps around the eastern flank of the village and has been adorned with colorful mosaics and interesting artwork along its entirety. From here you will see the quaint villages of Restábal and Pinos del Valle in the distance and the bright blue waters of the Béznar Reservoir below.
The Béznar Dam & Reservoir - MelegísThe Béznar Dam and lake lie just below the town of Melegís. They are located along the Izbor and Torrente rivers, near the banks of the village of Béznar.
The dam was built to improve irrigation for the farmers of the Costa Tropical and to supply water to nearby towns. The dam also protects the area from flooding and supplies water to the hydroelectric power station in Vélez de Benaudalla (another fine village worth visiting).
Las Eras de Melegís
** Plaza with Orange Trees - Melegís, Spain
In the area of town known as "Las Eras de Melegís", named for the threshing floors that once existed here, there is a small plaza dedicated to the Heart of Jesus.
Here you will find a small statue of Jesus standing atop a wide pillar. Halfway up the pillar there is also an opening with a dedication to San Antonio.
Los Naranjos - The BEST Restaurant in MelegísSurprisingly, this tiny village has a great restaurant and it's a favorite among the locals. If you plan to eat here on the weekend, a reservation is recommended. Call: +34 958 793 414
Best Places to Stay near MelegísIf you are thinking about staying in the Lecrin Valley, we recommend the following...
- In the village of Melegís itself there is one low-cost hostel that is run by the same family that owns the restaurant above, Hostal y Apartamento Rural Los Naranjos
- If you are looking for a nice, cozy, rural hotel our three favorite in the area are: Hotel Alcadima (Lanjarón, 7.8 km), El Secreto del Olivo (Nigüelas, 5.5 km), and Casa Rural Molino Del Puente (Dúrcal, 7 km)
- And there are many great country houses to rent in the area that are stunning and surrounded by nature. Here are four great ones... Jardín de los Limones, Casa Finca los Limones, Casa Perla del Valle, Casa Aire de Lecrin (Pinos del Valle, 3.1 km)
- If you haven't found anything yet, you can also try VRBO.com (Melegís), they have a ton of great rural homes to rent in the valley, like this one!
Hiking Trails Around Melegís
- Melegís ➜ Béznar Reservoir - 3.75km, 1h 15min - A very pleasant stroll through the orange groves of
the Lecrín Valley, this circular route starts in the pretty, white village of Melegís, and also takes in the Béznar lake. Level:
A short, easy walk, suitable for most people.
Find more detailed information here: Melegís ➜ Béznar Reservoir
- Melegís ➜ Murchas - 5 km, 1h 30min - The GR-7 long-distance walking trail links the attractive
Lecrín Valley villages of Melegís and Murchas. This walk takes you up from Melegís to Murchas on the GR-7, before returning by a different
route to make an easy and pleasant circuit.
Very easy – suitable for all ages and levels of fitness.
Find more detailed information here: Melegís ➜ Murchas
** Hiking Trails Surrounded by Orange Groves - Melegís, Spain
- Cónchar ➜ Atalaya del Marchal - 10km, 3 hours - A very pleasant walk starting and finishing
in the village of Cónchar. From the Atalaya del Marchal you have fantastic 360-degree views of the Lecrin Valley and the Sierra Nevada mountains.
The route takes you through a mix of almost untouched countryside and small farms growing grapes, almonds and olives. Level:
The walk is straightforward, using good paths and roads. It does include quite a steep climb.
Find more detailed information here: Cónchar ➜ Atalaya del Marchal
BEST Excursions Near Melegís in the Lecrin Valley
Recommended Hiking Book!
Distances Between Melegís and Other VillagesLecrin Valley Towns
Restábal - 4 min (1.6 km)
Lecrin - 5 min (3.4 km)
Pinos del Valle - 12 min (6.0 km)
Albuñuelas - 13 min (6.5 km)
Dúrcal - 16 min (10.1 km)
Conchar - 19 min (16.8 km)
Melegís Village Information
|Region:||Alpujarra & Lecrin Valley|
|# Of Inhabitants:||~ 414 (2015)|
|Patron Saint:||San Antonio de Padua|
|Distance to Granada:||42 min (41.6 km)|
** Interesting Details - Melegís, Spain
Melegís Fiestas and CustomsJueves Lardero (Día de la Merendica) - Thursday before Ash Wednesday - a day of celebration after fasting for Lent. The local people of Melegís head to the countryside where they enjoy a large feast together.
Glory Saturday - after the Resurrection Mass - a bonfire is lit in the village and enjoyed by all. The locals will often purify themselves by washing their faces in a nearby stream.
Melegís GastronomyThe cuisine in Melegís is a combination of what you will find in the Alpujarras and the Costa Tropical. You will find a large assortment of grilled meats and sausages, migas (breadcrumbs with sausage and garlic), fresh seafood, and fresh salads with orange slices, preserved lemons, or locally made goat cheese.
Some more traditional favorites include: lemon gazpacho, albondigas (meatballs) with cod, stews, garlic soup, fried meat with tomato and garlic, and potato salad with preserved lemon.
And, for dessert: Pan de higo, flan, or fresh fruits and cheeses.
Getting to MelegísFrom Granada: Get on GR-30 from Calle Gran Vía de Colón (11 min (2.9 km)), then follow GR-30 and A-44 to GR-SE-27. Take exit 160 from A-44 (19 min (31.7 km)). Then take GR-3204 to Calle Naranjo in Melegís (8 min (4.6 km)).
From Lecrín: Take GR-3204. Arrive at Melegís.