A Weekend Away: Purullena

Saturday, August 3, 2019
By Martin Myall

Ricardo Salas MartÌn(Note: This article was published in last month’s paper edition but we felt that our online readers would enjoy this excursion recommendation)

The last time I went to Purullena, which is close to Guadix, was about ten years ago so my recent trip was a nostalgic one and thankfully it takes a fraction of the time to get there nowadays.

Thanks to the A-7, A-44 and A-92 autovías, you can reach Purullena from the Costa Tropical, with its half a dozen ceramics shops and house-caves, in about 90 minutes. The town has two hostales and at least three good eating houses, so if you do decide to make a weekend of it, there is somewhere to eat and sleep.

Besides the town itself, there is the Parque Natural de la Sierra de Huetor, a nearby reservoir and tiny, nearby villages, such as the Marchal with its manor house and cave houses.

Take the 288 exit from the A-92 which is for Purullena, Cortes y Graena and Beas de Guadix.

FTR Purullena Cave Museum 05First let’s deal with the town of just under 3,000 inhabitants itself. Settlements have been found that go back to 1,800BC as the terrain is perfect for cave dwellings – and there is no shortage of troglodyte dwellings! In fact, taking a look around the cave museum is a must because you wouldn’t believe how many rooms, stairs and everything… except windows, are in this museum.

The Nueva-Museo La Inmaculada (646 556 247) is near the top of town and costs three euros per person and is well worth it. There are three levels, so be prepared to do some serious stair climbing. Note, for people with mobility problems there are exterior access ramps between levels.

The first cave is decorated in the same style as modern cave houses in Purullena. The family that runs the museum is living in this cave so that visitors can see a fully functioning, in use, cave-home.

The second cave is decorated in a typical early 20th century style – simple furniture but ornate as many cortijo pieces of furniture were. As for the top cave, it is a museum dedicated to farming tools and typical technology of the early to mid 20th century.

FTR Purullena Cave Museum 03So, that’s the cave museum and it’s probably time to eat and where better than where we ate, Mesón La Taberna, on the right as you enter the village (958 690 003). This is an asador, which means that they specialise in roasting meat. There menu of the day, including weekends, was just 15 euros and for that the main course was roast lamb on the bone… delicious! With the Russian-salad starter, three glasses of wine and coffee, it only came to 30 euros for the both of us to eat, and eat well we did.

Accommodation? Just across the road. We recommend that you spend at least one night because there is so much to see in the town and surrounding area. Hostal-Restaurante el Caminero (958 690 154/ hostalelcaminero@gmail.com) is within staggering distance with a loaded stomach from Meson La Taberna. Prices range from 35 euros for a double room.

Note that neither of the places advertises with us so there is no ulterior motive for recommending them.

FTR Purullena Ceramic shop 02Now, the main reason for going to Purullena is for its ceramics stores, and there are about five. They’re packed to the gills with stock, so be prepared to hitch up a trailer to your car once your wife gets loose in there because boot space is going to be a joke.

If you love Andalusian glazed pottery, especially la Granadina, then you’re going to flip your lid in Purullena.

Which brings us to the neighbouring hamlet of Marchal with its manor house and cave dwellings. It really is small, so don’t blink or you’ll miss it. The manor house is like the Casa Roja in Salobreña but bigger. There is a street around the bottom of the village which is just a line of facades built against the rock because they are cave houses and people’s homes.



Now, a good reason for staying a night so that you have enough time to take it all in is the Parque Natural de la Sierra Huétor. If you like walks through the woods then this is your baby. A bonus are the Civil-War trench networks, which have been preserved, as this was the old northern, defensive line for the city of Granada.

The park’s landscape includes impressive gorges, steep mountains, crystalline streams and abundant karst formations. Water seeps down deep into the heart of the mountain, accumulating to produce galleries and caves such as Cueva del Agua.

One of the rivers that crosses the park is The Fardes, which is home to an abundance of trout and is a favourite haunt for angling enthusiasts. Wildlife? What about birds of prey such as the golden eagle?

Well, the next step is for you to reserve a room and set aside a weekend in the north of the province – a world away from the Costa Tropical but not in distance.

(News/excursion: Purullena, Altiplano, Granada, Andalucia)

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2 Responses to “A Weekend Away: Purullena”

  1. Thanks you Pamela for writing in. We try to do an excursion to the interior every month so next week, on the 1st, we shall be providing the next.

    I certainly enjoyed Purullena as I was there in the 90’s – a state-school-teacher friend of mine lived there and recommended it, so I went up to see her and she showed me around.

    The village is indeed well placed and the surrounding countryside is really beautiful, especially in spring – even the A-92 that far up has an abundance of colours in the centre island!

    It’s a pity that the hardcopy of our magazine doesn’t reach up there far (distribution) but you can always obtain a full PDF copy of it if you are interested.

    Thanks again
    Martin, the online Ed & hardcopy Publisher

  2. Pamela

    Thank you for featuring Purullena. I have a home near the village and its a lovely area to live or visit with so many good eating places, the one you described, i know it well. Many people from the local Town Guadix come to Purullena for their cuisine and to enjoy the free tapas with every drink which are of a good quality. Purullena is also a good base, being close to Guadix and Granada and just over an hour to 2 other cities. If people are looking for something different ( cave houses, ceramics etc) then they will certainly enjoy Purullena and the surrounding area.


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