Órgiva (La Alpujarra Granadina)

Órgiva, capital of the Alpujarra of Granada. Between lemons and olive trees, on a green plain watered by the Guadalfeo river, sits Órgiva. A cosmopolitan municipality with dozens of nationalities - despite having only 5,700 inhabitants - Órgiva is considered the capital of the Alpujarra of Granada. Located between the Sierra de Lújar and the peaks of the Sierra Nevada, it is the gateway to the Poqueira ravine, Trevélez or Soportújar, the village of witches. Especially if you come from the Costa Tropical. For those travelling from Granada, the gateway to the Alpujarra is Lanjarón, the village of water with its famous spring of health. Whatever the case, it is well worth a stop to discover what to see in Órgiva: it can take a morning, a whole day or several days, depending on the visitor's taste. The bridge of the Siete Ojos (Seven Eyes), which can only be crossed by one vehicle, spans the Guadalfeo riverbed, welcoming visitors to Órgiva. The air is purer, fresher. Especially if it has already snowed in the Sierra Nevada. The sight of these mountains, the roof of the peninsula, painted in white is always imposing. The winding road through the historic centre shows a glimpse of what this village has to offer: shops, bars, a Renaissance temple with two towers pointing to the sky. And the odd character in strange garb: a Tibetan lama, a Sufi or hippies from any of the settlements outside Órgiva. A route through the Alpujarra of Granada is not only a way of getting to know beautiful natural landscapes and picturesque villages; it is also a way of enriching oneself with the diversity of the people who have settled in the south of Granada for decades. Órgiva is a melting pot of cultures. Its beginnings identify it as the Greek colony of Exoche, mentioned by the geographer Ptolemy. It was in the Nasrid period when it was renamed Albastch, meaning plain, and for several centuries it was called Albacete de Órgiva. In 1492, Boabdil, the exiled King, enjoyed its lands thanks to a decree of the Catholic Monarchs, but it was during the Moorish uprising when it became the scene of bloody battles where the Tower of the House-Palace of the Counts of Sástago played a great defensive role on the part of Mayor Gaspar de Saravia against the host of Abén Farag. On the outer gate of the Parish Church of Nuestra Señora de la Expectación there is a cross erected by Juan Fernández de Córdova, in 1596, in memory of the adjudication that had been made to the lordship of Órgiva. On the other hand, and as a curious fact, the inhabitants of Órgiva have traditionally been known as the hueveros "güeveros", although the official gentilicio is orgiveños/as. There are two theories, the first of which is that it is a term coined for the traditional sale of eggs in the town, and the second, on the other hand, is linked to the fact that thousands of coloured eggshells were decorated in the streets of the town to welcome the visit of King Alfonso XIII. It is well known that King Alfonso XIII was in Órgiva as it is documented, but it is not known for sure if they really decorated the streets or just the name comes from tradition.

The province of Cordoba is divided into three clearly defined geographical regions. The Sierra, to the north, the Campiña to the south, and separating the two is the Guadalquivir valley. The countryside is one of the most outstanding elements of the Cordovan landscape; large areas of crops that have represented, over the centuries, the greatest source of wealth in the economic activity of Cordoba. Its lands are gently rolling hills that the Romans called Campania (countryside or land on the outskirts of the city that is easily cultivated) and the Muslims called Qampinya. Our Campiña, as a geographical unit with particular characteristics, was described by Muslim geographers in their studies of al-Andalus. This area, south of Córdoba, on the borders with the provinces of Jaén, Granada, Málaga and Seville, has been an area of conflict for the control of its property since ancient times. Some of Caesar's most famous battles against the Pompeians (Ategua or Munda) took place here. And during the Middle Ages there were various clashes between Muslims and Christians that did not end until the conquest of the city of Granada in 1492. It was precisely in the Campiña that the border line separating the kingdoms of Castile and Granada was situated, almost unalterable for more than two hundred years, which meant that troops from both sides sacked villages alternately depending on who was occupying them. The raids against Baena, Castro del Río, Espejo, Lucena and Cabra throughout the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries are well known. The large estates into which the lands of the Campiña were distributed were succeeded by private properties and large land leases in the 18th century, which gave rise to a large number of farmhouses that today form the most characteristic image of the area. The arrival of industrialisation in the 19th century brought with it improvements in agriculture and the creation of cooperatives, which encouraged the extensive cultivation of these lands, mainly olive trees and vines, irrigated by two tributaries of the Guadalquivir, the Guadajoz to the north and the Genil to the south. Today, the Campiña of Cordoba has been divided administratively into two large associations of municipalities: the eastern Campiña and the southern Campiña. Comprising a total of sixteen municipalities, the towns and villages of the Campiña have an important cultural and archaeological heritage made up of castles, churches, palaces and other constructions that represent the mark left by the different cultures that have lived in these territories. The Campiña, in general, has historically been a very important crossroads for the different peoples who have settled in these regions, leaving an important cultural legacy that represents the diversity of its tourist offer. But it is not all about cultural heritage; industry and craftsmanship have brought the Cordoba countryside to the forefront in the manufacture of domestic furniture and ceramics, not to mention the agri-food products famous beyond its borders, such as the preserved quince jelly from Puente Genil or the exquisite wines with the Montilla-Moriles designation of origin. Today the countryside is a new world to be discovered even for the people of Cordoba. Don't see so far away what is so close to you, visit the countryside!

• Hiking and Trekking • Horse Riding • Gastronomic Tourism • Spa & Relax • Skiing – winter season • Adventure tourism • Mountain Biking