Lying at the foot of the Zahor hill and at the edge of the Torrente river's cuts, Nigüelas is not only the highest town in the Lecrín Valley, at 931 metres above sea level, but also the most mountainous. Its location constitutes a splendid viewpoint, from where practically all the region can be seen.
The Zahor is only the first of a series of mountains that culminate in the 3,300 metres of altitude of the Cerro del Caballo, in whose summit the municipalities of Lanjarón and Nigüelas coincide. Although there are several tracks that go up to Sierra Nevada from this village, the most advisable is the one that follows the riverbed to the Los Cahorros site. This route allows to contemplate the rest of several water mills and crosses leafy forests of pines.
Nigüelas preserves in its urban area the Museum of the Oil Mill of Las Laerillas: This museum, also known as Molino de Aceite, is not a 15th century oil mill, although there are elements inside it dating from the 13th century. It was in operation until the middle of the last century. Its beams, almost 12 meters long, denote the important industry that it was. It was restored in 1991 on the initiative of the Town Hall, after being donated to the Zayas Foundation, and has been a museum ever since.
And in the vicinity is the Falla de Nigüelas: Of great geological and educational interest and declared a Natural Monument. In this ramp, originated during the Quaternary, we can clearly observe the plane of the fault, its inclination and the magnitude of the displacement. It is a spectacular tectonic accident of great route that separates the massif of Sierra Nevada, block that rises, from the Dúrcal-Padul Depression, block that sinks. In part of the sunken basin, an endorheic reservoir basin was installed, the Padul Lagoon, where important fossil remains of two Pleistocene mammoths have been found.
Church of San Juan Bautista: It is of Mudejar style and was built in the second half of the 15th century. It consists of a single rectangular nave with the main chapel separated by a semicircular toral arch on pilasters; the nave's frame is made of double files with six paired braces. It is built in stone and solid brick beams, the cornice is made of limestone. Its two doorways are Doric style with a semicircular arch. The nave and chapel inside have a Mudejar coffered ceiling, rebuilt after the fire of the Moorish rebellion in 1568. The chapel, in its keystone has a large pineapple carved with muqarnas. It has a baroque altarpiece from the late eighteenth century, gilt and polychrome, with a profuse decoration of great beauty. Inside, there are magnificent sculptures from the 16th to the 20th century, the most outstanding being the sculpture of its patron saint, Saint John the Baptist, or the image of the Virgin of Anguish with the dead body of her son in her arms, and precious paintings from the schools of Granada, some of which are of great value. Next to the temple, the Church Square stands out, whose cobbled surface, with borders, borders of branches, stars and vegetable themes, is worth admiring.
House of the Zayas: This is a stately house from the 16th century; one of the most characteristic elements of this house is the façade with a large door crowned by a bacon, the coat of arms of the Marquises of Astorga and a large eave supported by carved corbels; The distribution of the house follows the scheme of the Granadine Houses, with a central courtyard, around which are the different rooms; it also has a beautiful French style garden (Romantic Garden of the Zayas House), with magnificent borders of boxwood, magnolia, acacia and conifer. In the same garden there are elegant fountains, a good specimen of strawberry tree and a centenary oak. The Town Hall is currently located in this house. But there is also the Müller Garden at the end of the street la solanilla.
Cistern: It is of arabic origin and is located in the church square.
Flour mills: There were many of these in the area. The oldest ones are the Molino Alto, in the middle of the Torrente river ravine, in the Pago de los Cahorros; another one in the town centre, known as the Molino de "Petaca"; and following the course of the canal towards Dúrcal, the Molino Canario, the Molino del "Bizco" (the name that our rural house used to have) and the Molino de Lorenzo. Both the "Petaca" Mill in the town centre and the "Bizco" Mill have been working until our days.
Aljibe de la Plaza de la Iglesia: Located in the Plaza de la Iglesia, it was in use until the seventies.
Partidor de las aguas: With its sixteenth century stone cross on a vaulted structure, it divides the water of the Acequia Real of more than 2 kilometres in length for the fertile plains of Dúrcal and Nigüelas.
Plaza de la Constitución: This is a perfect place to have a drink in the different bars and terraces that we can find.
Another attraction you can find in Nigüelas is the Casa de la Cultura.
Other natural places to visit in Nigüelas are the Cerro del Zahor, the Cerro del Caballo, Mirador de la Razuela, La Pavilla de Nigüelas
Although there are not many known references from the Muslim period about this place, the few existing ones point out that Nigüelas was a farmhouse. Its denomination comes from Niwalas, term that means watchtower or high point. During the Islamic domination this municipality was part of the Taha de Padul, constituting one of the neighbourhoods that delimited with the Lecrín Valley and the western door of Sierra Nevada. After the reconquest it maintained its peculiar agricultural character.
We highlight the fennel stew, the cabbage stew or the thistle stew; the wheat flour crumbs, the bread crumbs and the corn crumbs; the potato, onion, preserved tomato, hard boiled egg, black olives and oil soakings; the orange soakings with oil, roasted cod, dried tomatoes and olives; the rice with rabbit or chicken; the gazpacho; the ajoblanco with almond flour or the ajoblanco with beans; the fried fish marinade; pipirrana; fried with rabbit or chicken; the ratatouille, the stews and casseroles.
As far as desserts are concerned, we would highlight the mantecados de almendra and roscos de manteca, roscos de vino or roscos de anís and the almendras garrapiñadas at Christmas; the buñuelos and torrijas at Easter; and at all times the pestiños, tortas de aceite, leche frita or roscos fritos.
In special meals of season, we emphasize the puchero de pitos (tender beans and pork products); fried beans with shoulder; the hornazos for the celebration of San Marcos and the remojón de San Marcos; cakes of lard or cracklings, the chips to the poor thing with pig roast and paprika, salad of cabbage with fried garlic and paprika in the epoch of slaughter; the rosetas with salt or sugar and cake of rosetas with sugar or honey. The fine oil and salt cakes that are cooked on the flame, are eaten with tender green beans.
To accompany the visit to Nigüelas there are different parties to enjoy.
Provincial Meetings of Polyphony: They are celebrated the second weekend of May where every year about 500 singers of Granada's chorales participate.
Patron Saint Festivities: They are celebrated the third weekend of September in honour of the patron saint Nuestra Señora de las Angustias. In the previous week the musical and theatrical performances begin, the most important act being the representation in the square by a company of national prestige. The celebration each year ends with the "Burial of the Vixen".
Pilgrimage of San Marcos: It is celebrated on April 25th. Of Roman origin, spending a day in the countryside in La Rasuela or Solana del río.
Activities in the neighborhood.
The ski season in the Sierra Nevada goes from November to the end of April.
Granada & Albaicin - Alhambra
Stroll through the old city of Granada and visit World Heritage of Alhambra. For tickets www.alhambradegranada.org
Hiking and alpinismo in the Sierra Nevada
It is a hiker's paradise, with an incredible variety of landscapes. On a clear day, you can even see across the Mediterranean to Morocco.
with views of the snow topped mountains in the village of Cenes de la Vega. The best months are from April to September. (weather conditions) www.ANDAVENTUR.com
I recommend the Rio Verde, a beautiful spot, half way between Granada and the coast
You can trek along the beach or gallop along forest paths. www.caballospalmali.es (Albuñuelas)