Soportújar is one of the most beautiful villages in the Granada Alpujarra, a region that was the last stronghold of the Moors. In the past century, it became a refuge for artists, musicians, and writers from all over the world, drawn by its unique energy under the sheltering roof of the peninsula. Wandering through its narrow streets leads to encounters with countless legends that evoke secret caves and spells cast under the full moon.
The locals of Soportújar are known as “the witches,” a tradition rooted in the Galician origin of their ancestors. During the reign of Philip II, the Rebellion of the Alpujarras (1568-1571) took place, leading to the expulsion of the Moorish population from this Granada region. Many villages, including Soportújar, were left uninhabited, and people from other parts of Spain resettled them. In the case of Soportújar, most of the new inhabitants came from the north, especially Galicia, known for its Celtic roots, pagan festivals, superstitions, and beliefs.
Today, in the 21st century, the witches have been embraced as the village’s identity, transforming legends into a tourist attraction. This offers a fascinating itinerary through caves, houses, fountains, and witch figures that lead to the Era de los Aquelarres, a fascinating and mysterious place. This is the perfect excuse to discover a picturesque village of “tinaos,” traditional Alpujarra architecture with covered passageways. Hence its name: Soportújar, “place of porticos.”
Throughout the streets, you’ll encounter fantastic characters, elements of fiction emerging from dreams – or nightmares – taking over corners of the village. The infamous Baba Yagá greets from the entrance, a recurring character in Slavic mythology described in terrifying ways. It’s said she lives in a house with chicken legs (you’ll see it later on one of the streets) and feeds on people. You’ll reach her after passing the Cueva del Ojo de la Bruja, a cave near the cemetery. It’s said that necromancy was once practiced here, and there’s even a crack where wandering souls are believed to roam.
Walking through the village, you’ll come across the Wishing Well, where tossing a coin wards off bad luck, a large snake crossing the “tinaos,” the dream-weaving spider, the Dragon Fountain with magical properties, and even Baba Yaga’s house resting on two gigantic chicken legs, indicating that the Slavic witch has migrated from Northern Europe in search of the sun in Southern Granada. These places, at night, in the silence, become even more mysterious.
Any time of the year is a good time to visit Soportújar, but there are special occasions when the village is even more magical:
Feria del Embrujo (Enchantment Fair): The second week of August, in honor of San Roque, a medieval market is set up filled with potions, crafts, parades, and performances. At night, Soportújar is illuminated with torches and the drums resonate, creating an atmosphere in line with the witch theme. The August Festival is the pinnacle of Soportújar’s cultural calendar. This lively event draws both locals and visitors to the village square, where all kinds of diabolical characters flood the streets ready to bewitch the visitors, traditional music and dance performances take center stage.
Halloween: At the end of October, during the All Saints’ Day holiday, the streets are decorated in an even more terrifying manner. Experience Halloween like never before in the bewitching ambiance of Soportújar. The village comes alive with eerie decorations, creating a captivating atmosphere for all ages. Blending local folklore with global Halloween traditions, this celebration offers a unique and unforgettable experience.
Maio Embrujado (Enchanted May): In May, Soportújar hosts a celebration of Galician origin in honor of the ancient inhabitants of the municipality. It exalts the nature of the surroundings to welcome spring, with dances, performances, etc. The entire village is adorned with flowers, plants, and leaves, a true sight to behold.
Soportújar is conveniently accessible from Granada City or the Costa Tropical. Soportújar is located just 50 minutes from the capital of Granada, via the winding road that passes through Lanjarón, known as the “village of water.” The journey takes approximately 1 hour and follows a scenic route through the Sierra Nevada mountains. To get there, take the A-44 highway towards Motril and then follow the signs towards Lanjarón, taking the A348 road. Soportújar is situated 17 km from Lanjarón.. Alternatively, reliable bus services connect Granada and Soportújar, ensuring convenient access for all. If you’re coming from the Costa Tropical, Soportújar is about 40 kilometers away. Take the A-44 motorway towards Granada, and then continue on the A348 road, following the signs to Lanjarón.