Just south of the historic Moorish city of Granada, The Lecrin Valley is a lovely green, orchard-covered area at the foot of the dramatic Sierra Nevada mountains and within half an hour of the beautiful Costa Tropical. Perfect as a holiday destination, it’s away from the hustle and bustle of the coast, yet within easy reach, and only a short distance to the city of Granada.
Driving times are about 1 hour 15 from Malaga (with the newly completed motorway), 35 mins from Granada airport, 20 minutes to Granada city and 25 minutes to the Costa Tropical.
The Lecrin valley is made up of 8 municipios, made up of 17 villages or towns:
- El Padul.
- El Pinar: Pinos del valle, Ízbor.
- El Valle: Melegís, Restábal, Saleres.
- Lecrín: Acequias, Chite, Béznar, Mondújar, Murchas, Talara.
- Villamena: Cónchar, Cozvijar.
According to Wikipedia: “Lecrín is derived from the Arabic Iqlim, meaning “gateway”: this refers to a small area of land situated between the villages of Mondújar and Talará, which controlled the access to the vast coastal areas of sugar production in Moorish times”.
However, the other school of thought is that El Valle de Lecrin actually means “Valley of Happiness” and this is how the residents like to think of it!
Apart from Dúrcal and Padul, which are the area’s biggest and busiest towns, agriculture and farming remain the principal occupation with pine, citrus, almond, olive and grape as the main crops. (Click Here for an article on Durcal Ayuntamiento’s website, www.adurcal.com on the history of farming in the area).
In more recent times it has become a popular destination for Spanish and international holidaymakers looking for a quiet and relaxing holiday amongst the orchards, but with easy reach of the city of Granada and the relatively unspoilt Costa Tropical.
An area of outstanding natural beauty, the Lecrin Valley is famous for its verdant landscape (due to the melt-water run off from the Sierra Nevada), its citrus groves, its walks, birdlife and amazing spring colours. Oranges, lemons, figs, pomegranates (in Spanish – granadas) and cactus line the roadsides.
Steeped in history it’s been populated since neanderthal times according to archeologists, was a popular destination for the Romans who built baths here (there are still ruins of some in Mondujar) due to the thermal springs. It then spent decads under Moorish rule, with the last remaining Nasrid Queen being buried under the historic church at Mondujar. Ruined fortresses and Moorish castles pepper the landscape and the villages are still full of the same Moorish architectural influences as seen in the region’s capital, Granada.
It was also a key region in the Spanish Civil War and while that part of the nation’s history is not particularly talked about, there are references to the struggle in many of the villages’ statues, fiestas and buildings.
See History page for a comprehensive article on the History of Lecrin.