Nestled in the mountains of Granada, Southern Spain, is my favourite little village in Europe; Galera. Just 1183 Spanish locals live here, and a handful of British; most likely attracted to the rural beauty and unique character it has to offer. When my dad took me and my sisters for a visit in 2013, I instantly fell in Love. So now whenever somebody asks for Spanish recommendations this is on the top of my list. Galera is made up of lots of pretty cave houses built into the side of the mountains; which is what gives it it’s unique Spanish charm.
Its rural location and lack of ‘real’ tourism mean the locals speak very little English, but that only adds to its charm. The staff in pubs and shops there are some of the most accommodating I have come across in Europe; constantly showing patience with our patchy Spanish. Though small, Galera offers a lot to see. I have spent full days just wandering around the village and over the mountain paths taking in the views. The Church, sitting high on the hill, is central to this community so you’ll often see locals taking the long walk up the winding path to Sunday Mass. Don’t worry though, if Mass isn’t your thing there’s the community pool open in summer for local and tourists alike.
Wednesdays are when the locals flock to the centre of the village, for their giant fresh fruit and veg (seriously… some of them are HUGE!) from the weekly market. This is where you’ll be able to get a full weeks worth of locally grown veg for under €10 and a new pair of shorts for as little as €3. Cheeses, meats, plants and jewellery; there isn’t anything you won’t find on a Wednesday.
If you wanted to stay in Galera, there are a lot of cave houses available to rent; but there is also Hotel Galera. The hotel recently came under new owners and has since seen many improvements over the past year; often holding public parties which have proven to be popular with everyone in Galera.
Next time you’re in South/East Spain, have a wander over to Galera; you’ll be more than welcomed by everyone you meet, and blown away by its beauty.
For more on Galera, click here