All around is glorious nature. For peace and stunning beauty, Andaluz-style, then Bubión in the high Alpujarras is the place to be …
Bubión is one of the high villages of Las Alpujarras, situated on the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada, Spain's highest mountain range. Sitting proudly in the midst of the incredibly beautiful Poqueira Ravine, it is the middle one of the three traditional Moorish villages located here (Capileira and Pampaneira are the others).
At an altitude of 1,350 metres above sea level (approximately 4,430 feet), it's a wonderfully dramatic position and it's no coincidence that Rustic Blue chose it as their home.
The views in every direction are quite exceptional. To the north, the highest mountains on the Spanish mainland, Veleta and Mulhacén, rise up dramatically to the skyline (for much of the year covered by a thick blanket of snow).
To the south, the Mediterranean Sea glistens beyond the coastal mountain ranges of Lújar and the Contraviersa. The Rif Mountains of Morocco are sometimes clearly visible from here, particularly in the mellow evening light of autumn and winter. Places don't come much more beautiful than this.
The village dates back to Roman times but is perhaps more famous for its Moorish origins.
Hence the classic architecture of the village, identical to Berber originals in the Atlas mountains of Northern Africa. Characterised by flat roofs and prominent chimney pots, the houses spill down the steep mountainside, connected by little walkways and by just one, narrow, winding, cobbled street.
All around is glorious nature: chestnut, walnut, and oak trees, cherry and mulberry too. Here and there you will come across the locals tending their "huertos" (little vegetable gardens), perhaps leading a small flock of goats or sheep to new pastures or returning home from a day's toil in the fields along with their mules.
In recent years rural and eco-tourism have developed and is now the mainstay of the local economy. Several village houses have been converted into attractive self-catering holiday homes. There is one major hotel, the Villa Turistica de Bubión, and an excellent-value hostal, Las Terrazas as well as a charming little casa rural, La Sevillana.
These provide accommodation for the walkers, horse-riders and mountain bikers who visit the area as well as Spanish weekenders (who come mainly in the winter months, attracted by the snowy mountains).
There are a handful of bars and restaurants, in the main offering traditional Alpujarran fare, good wholesome food at affordable prices, washed down by local vinos and still-generously poured spirits. This is Andalucía, so there's usually plenty of night-time fun for anyone who seeks it.
Two (rather basic) little supermercados, a few artisanias (selling local weavings and ceramics), a couple of hairdressers, a hardware store, a dental practice, a medical consulto with its adjoining farmacia (pharmacy), and an estanco (which sells stamps, cigarettes and all manner of other knickknacks) more or less makes up the rest of commercial activity here.
Apart from the obvious attractions of its magnificent mountain setting, its history and traditional lifestyle, Bubión has long held an attraction for artists and craftspeople.
An excellent French weaver has her home (and her loom here) and a local art gallery offers exhibitions from time to time.
A small, but fascinating museum, Casa Alpujarreña housing artefacts from times gone by, can be found in the main plaza (the village square) alongside the church, built on the site of the original mosque. The two lavaderos (wash rooms, where the villagers no doubt caught up with the latest gossip and intrigue whilst scrubbing their clothes) have recently been restored.
If you enjoy peace and tranquility, Andaluz-style, Bubión is the place for you.
Except, that is, during the penultimate weekend of August when the main village fiestas are held: four days of fun preceded by four nights of music, dancing and making merry. Nobody sleeps much during the fiestas - be warned!