LIKE an illustration from a fairytale, the Barranco Blanco will enchant you – once you find it.
But the search is more than worth it, for this serene spot (which means White Ravine in Spanish) is set in stunning woodland teeming with wildlife – including wild boars – and its river ends in a magical waterfall.
Located in the foothills of the Sierra Alpujata between Coin and Alhaurin el Grande, it cannot be seen from the surrounding roads.
These days it’s a photographer’s paradise and a hotspot for horseriding, mountain biking, walking and river swimming. But, just like the stories by the Grimms brothers and Hans Anderson, it has a darker side, too.
This beautiful spot was allegedly used as a Nazi training camp during the Second World War, due to Hitler and Franco’s friendship.
The Olive Press previously investigated the area’s Nazi history in 2010.
The remnants of their occupation are not obvious at first sight, as nature has done its best to erase Hitler’s impact, but they are still there.
Driving in from the main road, past the water tower, the small white building on the left was originally a sentry point.
Around the waterfall there are more houses, now in disrepair, which were formerly part of the Nazi military complex and home to SS soldiers.
“There is certainly some truth to the links,” says one Austrian resident. “It seems to spring back to a former SS officer who bought a lot of land here and eventually fled to South America.”
It is difficult to picture this wonderful valley as a cradle of evil, but it seems that even the Nazis were unable to resist Barranco Blanco’s enduring charm.