Weather & FAQs
Facing south on the sunny side of the Sierra Nevada, Capileira enjoys a Mediterranean climate and averages 300 days of sun a year. It’s generally warm and dry, and gets much cooler after sunset because of the altitude, which means it is comfortable even in high summer. There is no particular rainy season, but more rain is expected in the winter. It also snows in winter, but the snowline is above the village.
At 1,435 metres Capileira is the second highest village in Spain (after Trevelez, also in La Alpujarra).
Nature and wildlife
Capileira is the gateway to the Sierra Nevada National Park and Spain’s highest mountain, Mulhacen, at 3,481 metres. The wildlife is spectacular. Close to the village, and from Casa Luna’s terrace, you can see a multitude of birdlife, including (depending on the season) bee-eaters, golden orioles, hawks, kestrels and eagles. Walking close to Capileira there is a good chance you will see cabra (wild mountain goats) and you might see ibex, foxes, even wild boar. There are twenty types of butterfly in the valley, which is very fertile. Grapevines, fig trees, mulberry, cherry, almond and chestnut trees abound. Tall poplar trees that sway in the breeze are characteristic of the valley. The rare combination of altitude and sun means that a host of endemic plant and flower species have evolved here. The valley is ablaze with wild flowers in spring and early summer.
- Los Reyes Magos (Procession of the Three Wise Men): 5th January
- Los Chiscos (San Anton): 16th January
- Fiestas Patronales: last weekend in April. Procession of the guardian of the village, La Virgen de la Cabeza.
- Romeria (pilgrimage to Mulhacen): nearest Sunday to 5th August
- Main summer fiesta: usually the second weekend in August
- La Mauraca (roast chestnuts, bonfires and anise): 1st November
Capileira’s main attractions
People come for the excellent walking and hiking, the beautiful scenery and fresh mountain air. Mountain biking and horse riding are also very popular. The village and its surrounds are also very peaceful and relaxing, and there are plenty of nice restaurants and bars to while away lunchtimes or evenings or to read a book over morning coffee.
About 2 hours 15 minutes’ drive
Low cost air fares plus hire car followed by Casa Luna makes for a great, inexpensive Alpujarras holiday. It’s a straightforward drive along the coastal motorway and then up into the mountains.
About 2 hours 30 minutes’ drive
Almeria Aiport is a little further but is a good alternative to Malaga.
About 1 hour 20 minutes’ drive
At the moment there aren’t many flights to Granada Airport, but there is always talk of new airlines arriving. Please check.
Are there buses to Capileira?
Yes, and quite a few people choose to come by bus, but please note that the service is limited to just three a day to/from Granada. If you are flying into Malaga it is best to arrive in the morning to allow time to reach Granada, and from Granada to Capileira/Orgiva. Having a car makes life easier and allows you to explore more of the Alpujarras, as well as making day trips to Granada easier.
Here are the latest bus times and bus company link
Where’s the nearest beach?
Salobrena on the Costa Tropical: 1.15hrs by car. Cantarrijan, just past La Herradura, has a naturist beach. Or you can cool off in the Poqueira river below the village. Some people like to go a little further, to the scenic Cabo De Gata coastal area in Almeria.
Do we need to reserve tickets for the Alhambra?
Advance booking is advisable as there is a quota system that permits a limited number of visitors each day. The official site for information is here. Some tickets are also sold on site early in the morning if you prefer to try your luck.
What shops are there in Capileira?
Two village supermarkets; two excellent bakeries, each with wood-fired bread ovens; a chemists; butchers; art gallery and shop with work by local artists; leather goods, rug, craft and gift shops; local ham, wine and cheese sellers; tobacconists (also sells souvenirs and stamps); restaurants and bars.
Is there Internet?
Many of the restaurants and bars have free WiFi. We particularly recommend Tilos.
Why do people go to the Alpujarras?
For the walking, for a romantic holiday, for a week or two away from the city in a historic area of great natural beauty. Only 20 years ago the Alpujarras were virtually unknown outside of Spain and rarely visited even by the Spanish. Once poor it has now risen from neglect and offers decent facilities for visitors, while remaining unsophisticated and real. It has become popular in recent years to people looking for peace and quiet, the sun-and-siesta lifestyle, pure mountain air and water, the splendid walking and majestic Sierra Nevada, or the atmosphere of history in the unspoiled once-Moorish villages.
When to visit
January to March: great for walks when the sun shines (and there can be surprisingly warm, sunny days). Otherwise, its hauntingly beautiful but chilly. If snow falls in the village, it soon melts as the snowline is higher up. Log fires perfume the air with the scent of chestnut, pine and other local woods. Almond and cherry are in blossom.
April and May: spring puts on a show of poppies and countless colourful wild flowers all over the hillsides. This is perhaps the most popular season for hikers. There may be a shower or two, but otherwise the weather is usually excellent.
June to August: lovely and hot! Capileira is especially popular in August with Spanish holidaymakers escaping the extreme heat and humidity of the cities and coast: summer nights are not hot here, just deliciously warm. Pitres campsite (5km away) opens its large open-air swimming pool to non-campers.
September and October are gorgeous, relaxing months that tend to be popular with couples and hikers who prefer to avoid the August excitement.
November and even December are often still T-shirt weather in the daytime and the leaves change to reds, oranges and yellows, walnuts, chestnuts and almonds ripen, and sunsets are fabulous. Again, great walking at this time.
The doctors surgery is next to the Ayuntamiento (town hall) on the main road. It opens Mon to Fri, 9.00 – 10.30 am. In Pitres, 15 minutes away by car, there is a 24-hour emergency clinic on the main square. The pharmacy in Capileira is run by a very nice, helpful family. As usual, always arrange your own holiday insurance cover.
How do we find Casa Luna?
When you make your booking we will send detailed directions. The usual arrangement is that our friend Lynn will meet you when you arrive and show you to the house. Exact arrangements are made by email and/or text messages.
Arrival and departure times at the house
Arrival is preferred between 4pm and 10pm, though we try to be flexible. Please try to leave by 11am.
Where can we park?
The village has three car parking areas, all of them near the house. Most convenient for Casa Luna is the large car park on the left as you arrive in the village. Parking in the Alpujarras is free and safe.
How much traffic goes by the house?
None! Casa Luna is in a traffic-free part of the village a few minutes’ walk from the car park.
Do we need to bring towels and bedding?
Clean bedding linen and towels are provided. But please bring your own towels if you plan to go to the beach, river or swimming pool.
Can we bring our dog?
Yes, dogs are welcome, but please let us know at the time of booking.