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Visiting Trevélez: The Home of Jamón Serrano Up High in the Alpujarras

written by Sabrina
published on March 30, 2020

While driving our campervan through Spain in March, we were tired of the busy coastal towns and decided to head inland to find some off-the-beaten-track places in Spain. This was a great decision! We drove straight up from Almería into to the Alpujarras to visit Trevélez. Trevélez is one of the highest village in Las Alpujarras and in Spain. It’s home to amazingly cured Jamón Serrano and surrounded by beautiful mountains. I’m very happy we visited, even though it was FREEZING cold at night (did I mention it’s one of the highest towns in Spain?).

Thinking about visiting Trevélez or the surrounding Alpujarras region and wondering what things to do in and around Trevélez? Read on!

Visiting Trevelez - Parking - Jamon Serrano Alpujarras
Spending the night in our van in the upper part of town with views to die for!

The region of The Alpujarras

In the Spanish province Andalusia we find a 70 kilometre-long stretch of valleys and gorges on the south-side of the Sierra Nevada. This natural and historical region is “Las Alpujarras” and is a beautiful fertile area full of Moorish history, picturesque villages, tranquil hiking routes and a relative lack of tourists.

Because of the snow-melts that come down from the heights of the Sierra Nevada, the Alpujarras are able to stay green and fertile even during the heat of summer. There are farms growing grapes, fruit and almonds; as well as wineries. This area was home to the last of the Spanish Moors following their expulsion from Granada by the Catholics; the villages are therefore filled with the pretty flat-roofed, white houses that are so typical for this part of Andalusia.

There are a number of small villages along the lower slopes of the Sierra Nevada. You can think about Lanjarón, Bérchules (surrounded by chestnut trees), Capileira, Trevélez and Yegen. Yegen is well-known by readers of British author Gerald Brenan who wrote about his life living in the area; and there is even a walking trail named after him.

Some of the prettiest villages in Las Alpujarras are Pampaneira, Bubión and Capiliera. They are stacked above each other on the terraced slopes and are famous for their summer fiestas and traditional art and crafts workshops. Here is the perfect place to watch leather-makers, potters and basket-weavers creating with ancient techniques; and perhaps to buy some authentic Spanish souvenirs!

Something about Trevélez

With so many choices in white-washed villages, we decided to visit the small town of Trevélez for 2 reasons:

  • Back in 2018 I was not yet a vegetarian and a big fan of Serrano ham! When I read that this town produces amazing Jamón Serrano we drove straight there 😀 The town of Trevélez is home to the region’s signature style of ham curing and you are likely to see the Trevélez Jamón serrano hanging on hooks in bars and shops throughout the town. The fresh (and dry) mountain air is what cures the meat so well, and it is some of the best cured ham you will find in the whole of Spain.
  • It’s one of the highest villages in Spain and I LOVE the mountains! Trevélez is one the highest village in Las Alpujarras, and in Spain – there is much competing information what actually is the highest town 🙂 The village of Trevélez is divided into two main parts; the alto (high part) and the bajo (low part). The village sits 1486 kilometres (or 1476km, different sites have different numbers) above sea level and, not surprisingly, has stunning views over the valleys and mountain range. The town center of Trevélez is small and pretty, like many Andalusian villages!
Visiting Trevelez Jamon Serrano Shop
One of many shops with the hams hanging from the ceiling!

What to do in Trevélez

Even though Trevélez is a great place for a short trip, to be fair, there are only a few things to do in Trevélez itself.

Sampling Jamón Serrano

In most bars and shops in town you can either order a plate of freshly cut Jamón Serrano or sample a few pieces in the shops before buying something. There are several ham producers doing tours through their facilities, but as we were there in off-season and only arrived in the afternoon, we were not really sure where to go. Make sure to call ahead if you want to book a tour, or join a guided tour from for example Granada. There also was only touring bus, of which I can imagine there will be a be a lot more in summer!

Visiting Trevelez Jamon Serrano Shop Alpujarras
Sampling the amazing Jamónes and other delicacies of the region!

Eating Alpujarran food

As we were here in off-season and throughout the week, only a handful of places were open, so we didn’t have too much choice, so we went to a restaurant right in the middle of the square. But we were not disappointed! The Alpujarras are known for several signature dishes such as the plato alpujarreño: sausages, potatoes, eggs and ham from the region. We ordered this plate for lunch while visiting Trevélez and I can tell you, we couldn’t move anymore after this meal!! Ask for either a menu del día, or order separate racíones (portions) to share – careful, it’s often WAY too much 😀

Hiking around Trevélez: Mulhacén

If you want to explore the surroundings of Trevélez or you’re hiking the GR7, this town is a good base or stop-over. Trevélez is right at the start of one of the main routes up Mulhacén; a two-day round-trip hike up Spain’s highest peak. It is also the starting point for trips to Las Siete Lagunas; seven glacial lakes set in the mountains. For more information on hiking in the Alpujarra area you might like to read this article on Lonely Planet about the experience.

Visiting Trevelez - Town Center - Jamon Serrano Alpujarras
The center of town! Some restaurants, hotels and ham shops!

Daytrip or Staying in Trevélez?

We travelled by campervan and were able to park for the night on the parking in the upper side of town. I’ve heard of a campsite but have not seen / found it. If you’re coming in summer and want to avoid the crowds, it’s a good idea to spend the night in Trevélez or nearby (for example in thehe artsy Casa3 in Polopos, about an hour from Trevélez)!
You can also make Trevélez a daytrip from for example Granada or Malaga. If you don’t have car and want to make a tour of the surrounding areas, taking a guided our through the Alpujarras and Trevélez may be an efficient way to spend your time!

That’s it for Trevélez!

If you have any questions or comments about traveling to Trevélez please let me know! I’d be happy to answer any questions 😀

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Trevelez Spain things to do
Visit Trevelez in the Alpujarras, Spain
Visit Trevelez Alpujarras in Spain

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