In Pictures: Review of Camping Trevelez in las Alpujarras + Andalucian Family Camping, Day 9

Travelling on lonesome mountain roads in Andalusia give way to timeless beauty of the “pueblos blancos” (white villages) like this one below. Beat poet or not, you’d likely utter some poetic stuff other than “Oh sh*t!”

Here’s a review of Camping Trevelez, some 1,560 meters above sea level, in the high Alpujarras of Andalucia for all you happy campers out there on our travel-day 9 of 23 days, in pictures. . . Big Smile! If you need more info, text follows at the end of the pictures. Enjoy!

A look down on the highest village of Spain from our pitch at the top of Camping Trevelez, and a long, loooooooooonnnnnnnggggg way to go! It’s actually only 1.7 kilometers down. But with the kids?!?!? And what comes down, must go back up, right?

Camping Trevelez is all about tranquility and scenic views of the village and all around. The unique feature of this camping site is “terraced-camping” with 4 levels of camping places. Yup, lots of walking here, up and down and all around. Heck, even going to the bathroom was an adventure!

This might be the highest camping site we have pitched our tent at. Although Zernez in Switzerland and Zugspitze are up there in the cold highlands too. Hmmmmm.

A leg of ham at the center of the village dries in the summer sun and welcomes the hungry traveler. And NO, it’s not the real thing. . . just a little monument to the mouth-watering, yummy-yum-YUM specialty of the village.

At night or when it’s really quiet, you can faintly hear the church bells ring that marks the hour from the highest white village of Trevelez, some 1.7 kilometers and a valley away.

Plenty of quiet and shaded nooks and crannies here, even a picnic area with three stone tables in the barbeque area on level 3.

Camping Trevelez welcomes all. It was relatively recently revamped by a dynamic young(er) couple who both speak English and have traveled a bit. In fact, the half-owner is from Australia.

Great for hikers/trekkers/senderismo and all-around nature lovers. We were on the 4th, top level with gravel and and dirt road, flanked by trees on a downward slope on one side and a a wall-of-a-mountain-side on the other.

On the second leg of our fourth family camping, road trip with kids, we went from camping in the pine trees in Bolonia to in the Sierra Nevada, some 1,560 meters above sea level.

Dizzying drive on A-4132, especially for the kids. That’s why we were only moving bit by bit through the alpujarras. The last camping site was only 41 kilometers and one hour away.

For the boys, no matter where we are camping in Europe, it’s is all about playgrounds and swimming pools. This particularly small pools was quite tempting in the simmering Andalusian summer heat. We were wondering why no one was in the pool. And then the boys jumped right in. Watch out! Very COLD water.

Google says it’s 90 kilometers per hour here and the locals seemed to agree. But, of course, were driving 30 on average and 40 max. SLOW-GO FAMILY indeed! Hey, SAFETY FIRST!

Playgrounds are always a nice family friendly addition that our children appreciate . . . what child wouldn’t anyway?!? Here, there was a trampoline, ping-ping table, and a couple of toys that younger children enjoyed. Small enclosed outdoor area of the bar/restaurant with plenty of shade from the trees and a separate dining section with roof cover.

Oh, NO? Don’t be surprised when your drinks come with food. It’s FREE! Welcome to Granada–the land of FREE tapas served with every drink! Ole! So, we had to eat a lot then 🤪

Washing areas “al aire!”–dish washing on the left, clothes on the right. No problem with hot water. The bathroom is abit tight with one entry/exit point each. But there was no problem with social distancing during Covid years when we visited –as campers were pretty much self-regulating.

There’s water source and sink at each level of the camp site, so you wouldn’t have to walk all the way down to level 2. Believe YOU ME, that can be quite a work out otherwise.

Camping Trevelez bar/restaurant with outdoor seating on the left and reception on the right with super cool owners.

After a family GAP YEAR. . . that turned into over four years, living in Jerez de la Frontera, it’s finally time for our semi-nomadic family to move again, from one camping site to the next. . . all the way to Poland. For how long? We don’t exactly know.

Slow down as you approach Camping Trevelez from either direction. You cannot easily spot the entrance from the road. There are only a couple of small signs; no flags like in other camping sites. WATCH OUT around the bends because locals drive fast (actually at the speed limits) on these two-lane narrow, mountain roads.
There’s our little one, walking two levels down, ’round the long way, to get water for cooking. The ramp to the right goes into the more secluded camping on level 3.
He’s smiling now, before he filled that jug of water and carried it up to the tent. Good training!
Old but clean WC/bathroom with aout 5 stalls for shower and toilet. It’s a bit tight, but campers are for the most part respectful of social distancing measures during this Covid-19 pandemic.
One of the highest camping sites we’ve been in, at 1,560 meters above sea level. The highest peaks of Spain (and Portugal) are 3,481 meters (Mulhacen) and 3,371 m (Alcazaba)–both only a few hours walk away. Yeah, right!

REVIEW of Camping Trevelez in Las Alpujarra, Granada

Here’s something that can help plan your camping in this part of the Sierra Nevada of Andalucia.

What we like about this campground? 

TRANQUILITY–that’s Camping Trevelez in a word. And what’s to like about this camping site? The near-wild nature of the campground and the views of tranquility of the village in the distance and the mountains surrounding it.

What we don’t like about this camping site?

What not to like? Bathrooms are sufficient, about 6 out of 10, in terms of cleanliness and the pool had a lit of dead insects. Nice to have a swimming pool as an additional entertainment for the kids. Big mosquitos here, the kind that can take a chunk of flesh out of you bare skin. So, bring insect repellent, mosquito nets or voodoo magic that you can to cast these bloodsucking fu@#ers out.

NOTE: In case you’re wondering. . . NO, we have not received (nor expect to receive) any form of compensation or freebies or anything at all for reviewing or mentioning this or any others on our blog.  We do because it may be helpful to you and others. And it’s fun too!

On part 4 of our family camping road trip in Europe, we spend a week camping in the mountains of Las Alpujarras in the sunnysouthside of the Sierra Nevada. We begin our trip in Orgiva, near Pampaneira, visiting the white villages of Capileira, Bubion, Pampaneira, Yegen and Trevelez before heading to the caves of Guadix.

PRICE

Below-average price at €32.80 euros (tax included) for a family of 4 (2 kids–1 under 6) in a 4-person tent with electricity at the beginning of the summer season (early July). It was €35 at the last camping in Orgiva.

Price Breakdown per night: €5.80 for a 4-person tent, €4.80 car, €4 for electricity, €5.50 per adult, €4 for children under 12 years old.

PITCH

How’s the pitch? Single square plots/pitches on the side of the camp’s hilly roads. Nothing fancy.

Big enough for our (now-bigger) 4-person Amayama tent, dining area with two tables and 4 chairs. The car is between the tent and the road, so it adds a bit of protection and privacy.

Bald patches of dirt pitch on over-driven grass and groundcover greens. Dusty from dirt and road everytime a car would pass by.

It’s a bit of a hard pitch, so it was a bit tough to put the pegs into the ground. But, nobroken pegs in spite of it.

On the far end of the level (4) at the top of the camp were small cabins for rent.

PLAY areas

SWIMMING POOL: Is camping all about playgrounds and swimming pools, I wondered. For our boys, it certainly looks like it!

This particularly small pool was quite tempting in the simmering Andalusian summer heat where it can get already quite hot at 10 o’clock even in the summer shade. During this summer, it was unusually hotter.

We were wondering why no one was in the pool. And then the boys jumped right in. Watch out! Very COLD water. 10 minutes is about all they could take. This is mountain camping after all where the water is cooled overnight!

PLAYGOUNDS are always a nice family-friendly addition that our children appreciate . . . what child wouldn’t anyway?!?

Here, there was a trampoline, ping-ping table, and a couple of well-used toys that the younger children still enjoyed.

Located in the small enclosed outdoor area of the bar/restaurant with plenty of shade from the trees, the mountain side and a separate dining section with roof cover.

On part 4 of our family camping road trip in Europe, we spend a week camping in the mountains of Las Alpujarras in the sunnysouthside of the Sierra Nevada. We begin our trip in Orgiva, near Pampaneira, visiting the white villages of Capileira, Bubion, Pampaneira, Yegen and Trevelez before heading to the caves of Guadix.

ACCESSibility

Slow down as you get near Cammping Trevelez because it is not easy to spot the entrance from the road, especially as you come around the bend. Locals seemed to drive at the speed limits on these two-lane narrow, mountain roads–too fast for us though.

The entrance has two small wooden signs with the name of the camping site that can be seen up close if you are coming from either direction.

There are no flag poles, like in other camping, that can give you a heads-up as you get near.

As you pull into the lot, there’s an spacious lot to the right of the entrance, across from the restaurant and reception. In this lot, it is easier for campervans and caravans to turn.

We did not see any gate that restricts access to the campgrounds.

SHADE

Shade is especially helpful when camping in the summer in Andalucia. And in the mountains, you can actually get sunburned. You’re in Spain after all and closer to the sun! Duh!

Here, there’s sufficient shade over pitches. Lots of shade from full-grown trees all over the place and in each corner of a section for tents. We had a bit of sun on our tent for a little while but the tent quickly cooled off.

Privacy hedges 

Not much really inbetween pitches in the same level. But the separate camping areas provide plenty of privacy and space between campers.

The outer border of the campsite had chain-link (see though) fences, surrounded by trees. The upper part is a steep mountain side.

The fence is actually broken and leads to a “short-cut” along a wild bucolic path along a stream towards town.

First half of free electrons family camping road trip number 4, from Jerez de la Frontera to Andorra la Vella.

SANITARY FACILITIES

Bathrooms are nice and clean but old, freshly painted in Andalusian white-and-blue, giving a quaint rustic look with solar panels on the roof. There’s plenty of FREE hot water. I know, I know, right? Where else do they chrage for water?!?!? In some campsite in Belgium, they do!

This campsite has been here for a while, you can tell, you know. It’s got old facilities but they’re quite clean. It comes with toilet paper. Believe you me, there are plenty of camping sites out there that do NOT provide this most essential product of modern civilized society! It also has soap and sanitizing gel.

Each section (males vs females) with prefabricated small shower and toilet stalls for 4 or 5 people with a bench to put clothes on.

NO PROBLEM with water drainage.

NO separate FAMILY or KIDS’ WC/bathroom which, admittedly, is a novelty for camping sites, but NOT unusual for family-friendly camping sites in Spain.

Dishwashing and clothes-washing areas are sufficiently clean, just outside teh bathroom area. There were five sinks for washing dishes and five for washing clothes.

DINE or DRINKS

The camping’s restaurant is best for drinks, although you can order food as well and help with local economic development, especially if you don’t wanna drive or WALK to town.

It has plenty of shaded/unshaded outdoor seating area. You might NOT like shade, but it could be a life-saver in the summer. YOU’RE in SPAIN after all!

Remember: FREE tapas for every drink! It’s a good place to unwind after a walk from Trevelez while the kids play and before the sun sets.

WI-FI

WIFI only at the reception/bar area. Works ok, fast, free (or at least no additional costs)!

others

We did not see the following additional amenities: laundry room, washer/dryer machines, refrigerator, freezer or microwave. It’s likely there. We probably just missed them.

Check out this video of FREE things you can do with kids in the Sierra Nevada. . . in the snow!

TIPS for Camping Orgiva in Las Alpujarras

WALKING: There can be a lot of walking involved in this camp, even if you just need to go to the toilet/showers and even with the stone step-stairs. If you treat your walk as some form of kinhin or walking meditation, you might blend just right in with the calm and solitude of the environment.

Remember you can roll down if you want but you must climb back up to return.

FIRE: Do NOT make fires outside of the designated BBQ/barbeque areas. It can be quite dangerous, especially in sweltering dry summer months. You don’t wanna start a forest fire, do you?

SWIM CAPS: To be able to use the swimming pools, make sure to bring swimming caps/headgear (you know, those little things you put over your head to make sure your hair does NOT get into the pool, and if you have it on too tight, your eyes start to squint like you’re a drunken runaway monkey. . .) Yup, that one!

Although it was not really needed (or enforced) here, it would do you good to bring them with you when camping in Spain (maybe even France) to save you money, just in case the camping site that you ended up in has a pool and are strict about enforcing the so-called regulations, if there are in fact any such thing.

A mesmerizing tapestry of colors and quilt-like patterns adorn the streets of Pampaneira and. . . HEY!. . . they work quite well in giving some relief from the scorching Andalucian summer sun.

what to do near CAMPING Trevelez in Las Alpujarras

So, what to see or do nearby? Hiking, trekking whateverchamacallit. You’re in the mountains after all!

At 3,479 meters above sea level Mulhacen is the highest mountain in Spain and the Iberian peninsula. The Alcazaba of the Sierra Nevadas is only about a hundred meters shorter. And it’s only,

They are less than a day’s walk according to experienced travelers. But NOT yet for us . Hey, we’ve got young kids! (and really, we are way out of shape for that kind of adventure. Maybe next time!)

And what about Trevelez? At 1,486 Trevelez meters was thought to be the highest village in Spain until Valdelinares, at 1,690 meters in the province of Aragon claimed that honor. But I think we can safely say that it is the highest of the WHITE villages (pueblos blancos) in Spain. Fair enough? And it’s only a half-hour walk (1.7 kilometers) down from Camping Trevelez.

It’s a steep climb to get here! But this a shaded water fountain called “Fuente Virgen de las Nieves” (Fountain of the Virgin Mother of the Snows) welcomes the tired and thirsty with its almost-ice cold fresh mountain water. Located at Barrio Alto (High Neighborhood) of Trevelez.

What else?

The other must-see white villages of Bubion and Capileira (second highest white village in Spain) and Pampaneira are a little more than haf-an-hour away (west of Trevelez).

And remember you are only about 1.5 hours to the nearest beaches (Playa Granada in Motril or Playa Nudista El Ruso–roughly translates to the Beach of the Russian Nudist (ahem, ahem)–in La Rabita).

Any others?

Further north is Hoya de la Mora in the Sierra Nevada–The southernmost part of Europe, where you can ski or sled or do your snowy things down a mountain as late as early May and swim in the Mediterranean sea within one hour of each other.

You can literally hit the snow slopes all morning and swim in the Mediterranean in the afternoon.

With over 300 days of strong Andalusian sunshine here in southern Spain, you would not think that there would be snow. Think again!

The traditional chimney of white houses with flat roofs in Capileira and Bubion called “terraos” and “tinaos.

Orgiva–described as the “gateway to the Alpujarra” that connects the coast of malaga with Granada and the white vilages of the southern Sierra Nevada (NO, not the one in the United States!!!). Open market Thursdays is a good time to replenish your camping food supply and possibly discover knick-knack keepsakes.

Next Stop: Yegen, Camping Alpujarras

Onwards, upwards. . . . to Andorra! Here’s the first half of our family camping road trip. . . number FOUR! 1,617-something kilometers from Jerez de la Frontera, detour to Bolonia, then Setenil de las Bodegas, the white villages of the Alpujarras, the caves of Guadix, Baeza, Ubeda, Ossa de Montiel, the hanging houses of Cuenca, Lake Caspe and finally the little country of Andorra. . . at least for the first half of this trip!

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