The Fuente Agria was really our waterfalling excuse to talk about the beautiful city of Granada as well as to visit the white towns of Las Alpujarras in the Sierra Nevada range of Southern Spain, which themselves were said to be the highest mountains in the country. Indeed, these mountains were the very ones that backed the famous view of the Alhambra from the Albayzin District of the city of Granada at the Mirador San Nicolás. In any case, this small waterfall was modestly-sized (probably on the order of 5m), but it provided a bit of peace and quiet as well as some relative seclusion on the morning of our visit.
We found that visiting this waterfall was quite easy. From the church just to the east of the Alpujarran town of Pórtugos (see directions below), we then crossed the road and followed a sign saying "El Chorrerón" past a picnic area behind a roadside building. Then, we descended a short series of steps leading to a dripping fern-fringed cove containing the Fuente Agria. This would be the end of the walk, but it was so lush and peaceful down here that we lingered for a while.
The stream seemed to be very mineral rich. So the stream bed appeared to have a reddish appearance, which you can see in the photo at the top of this page. This characteristic would continue further downstream where the reddish stream would weave its way between the lush greenery of this spot. Speaking of the greenery, it seemed like this area had the right combination of sufficient precipitation, shade, and the stream of water to sustain this habitat. It even seemed healthy enough for us to hear birds singing during our visit. Indeed, this seemed like a slice of Eden before we headed back up to the car to continue driving the curvy roads of Las Alpujarras.
Overall, we spent about 35 minutes away from the car. However, this could easily be as short of a visit as you want or as long of a visit as desired depending on how much you linger.
The town of Travélez (30 minutes from Pórtugos) was the turnaround point of our quick tour of Las Alpujarras. This was the highest of the white towns and it was famous for its version of serrano ham
The white towns of Las Alpujarras cling to the steep mountainsides of the Sierra Nevadas. Thus, It was clear to us why this was one of the last Moorish settlements to hold out against the Reconquista
This was Granada's signature view from the Mirador San Nicolás towards the Alhambra backed by the Sierra Nevada mountains which still clung to its snow despite the hot weather
When they tell you to allocate at least a half-day to visit Granada's Alhambra, believe it! Plus, book early (weeks before going on your trip) for the Palacio Nazaríes or else you may get shut out
This was the church just to the east of Pórtugos where we parked the car and checked out the Fuente Agria
This as one of the spur paths leading down to this dead-end where we caught a glimpse of the mineral-rich property of the stream feeding the Fuente Agria, which was further downstream from here
Following the El Chorrerón sign, which had us cross this picnic area
Looking back across the road at the church and our parked car
This was the inviting picnic area where we could've easily lingered around a bit more and enjoy a snack
Julie and Tahia approaching the Fuente Agria to get a closer look
Looking downstream from the tiny falls, which revealed the reddish stream bed as well as the continuation of the lush vegetation flanking the stream providing quite a contrast between the red and green
Another look at the Fuente Agria, where we could see there was a water channel moving the stream alongside (instead of undercutting) the flat stone surface here
Tahia enjoying herself at the Fuente Agria. Note the stairs to the left was the access to get down to this little slice of Eden
From the city of Granada, we drove south along the A-44 (Autovía de Sierra Nevada) in the direction of Motril for roughly 32km south of the GR-30 and A-44 interchange. Then, we left the A-44 to take the A-348 for a twisty 16km to the town of Gonzalez Robles. From there, we kept left and took the even twistier A-4132 for roughly 23km passing through the town of Pórtugos until we encountered a white church at a bend in the road just east of town. There was a small area for parking near the church, which we took advantage of during our visit.
Overall, this drive took us between 90 minutes and 2 hours (with gas and food as well as mirador stops along the way). Given the narrow and twisty nature of the roads in the Sierra Nevada, I definitely had to exercise patience (from large vehicles and slow drivers) as well as caution (from large vehicles going in the opposite direction) in addition to fighting road fatigue to be safe.
To give you some context, Granada was 126km (90 minutes drive) northeast of Málaga, 172km (2.5 hours drive) southeast of Córdoba, 250km (2.5 hours drive) east of Sevilla, and 420km (4 hours drive) south of Madrid.
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