About the area....
The Sierras of Tejeda, Almijara and Almara National Park- The Gorge of the Rio Verde. (The Green River)
The area we live and work in are the stunningly scenic mountain ranges of the Costa Tropical, an area renowned for its scenic beauty, high mountains with wild animals and birds, deep gorges connected by the Rio verde with its multitude of waterfalls and very often white rapids, terraced valleys abundant with tropical fruit trees and wild herbs such as rosemary, thyme and lavender. It is a place of artistic inspiration, a place of peacefulness and sanctuary.. where the visual beauty is enhanced by the warm welcome of the local villagers, the scent of wild herbs, the orchestra of birdsong and the pure, fresh, energising mountain air. The area is dotted with small sleepy villages located on or near the ancient, scenic mountain road that winds from the coast to Granada, known as the 'Suspiro de los Moros' or "sigh of the Moors", named after the exit route of the ruling Muslim Moorish leader Boabdil after the final conquest of Spain by the Christians in 1492.
The Rio Verde (Green River) is hugely popular with sports and nature tourism, boasting many waterfalls and rapids, as well as deep ravines and gorges and the stunning waterfalls of the Rio Verde. Further up the mountain, there are routes to the Sierra de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama national park for incredible trekking and camping opportunities. Wild goats are often seen making their ways around the mountain ranges here, most often seen at dusk and dawn.It is a perfect place for birdwatchers and lovers of wild flowers.
Some of the local waterfalls
The agriculture of this area is wide and varied, and many of the crops date back in cultural history to the times of Moorish Spain.. Almonds, olives, oranges and lemons, which are now grown mainly for local consumption only. Abundant crops here, and showing how this area is still part of the Costa Tropical (Tropical Coast) despite its mountain ranges, are mangos, loquat, figs, chirimoyas and avocados.. you may even see bananas growing in the area!
Another specialiality here is the production of fine mountain flower honey and also the gathering of herbs for medicinal and culinary uses. It is a place full of trees, plants and flowers, a result of the brilliance of the acequias and alberquas, the waterways and storage containers that criss cross the whole of Granada, a legacy from the Moors that are still used everyday.
The human historical beginnings of the area are rooted in the Neolithic period of approx 4500 BC and we are near ancient cave burial sites known as the Umbria Tinajas. Artifacts found in the local caves include tools and ceramics, give us an interesting view into times long past. These are held at the Archeological Museum of Granada
As well as the obvious... arts and crafts holidays, the whole of this area is famous for its canyoneering, hiking, cycling, rock climbing, paragliding and cave exploration.The natural beauty and breathtaking scenery of the mountains, valleys and rivers lends itself to a multitude of inspirational artistic endeavours... and now, with the modern emphasis on well-being, serenity, caring for our Earth, also all that comes under eco tourism, for a greener, healthier way of life... All in all an area to immerse oneself in not only creativity, but also a place to relax, destress and be at peace.
The origins of the white villages on the Suspiro de los Moros road are based on the transport of fish produce from the beautiful seaside town of Almuñécar to Granada during the Roman and Phoenician eras. North African Muslims or "Moors" invaded the area beginning in the 8th Century AD, and it was they who put the rich soil and abundant water supply of the Rio Verde to intensive use, creating terraced fields clinging to the mountainside and irrigation systems known as acequias that spiderweb the whole of this part of Granada, and that still exist and function to this day providing mountain water to the farms and cortijos that dot the mountainsides and valleys. Under the Moors the region thrived, reaching its height of productivity and population, this has only recently been eclipsed. After the expulsion of the Moors by the Christians in the 15th and 16th Centuries the area went into a long period of sad decline, but has once again revived in the 20th century with the growth of fine quality fruit produce that is sold internationally.
You can find out more about the area, its history and culture ... & also about the flora, fauna of , Granada, Andalucia at this great website :