23 Jun, 2024 @ 12:55
2 mins read

The little-known town in Granada that has become one of the most in-demand locations for British property hunters

Credit: GranadaNatural.com

THE tiny town of Gualchos might not evoke the same romance and sun-soaked splendour as its Malaga counterparts, but the charming Granada town squashed between the soaring Sierra Nevada and the Mediterranean Sea is perhaps one of Spain’s friendliest to foreigners. 

So enchanting is Gualchos, in fact, that it’s among the country’s most popular for foreign property buyers, with foreign demand representing more than half of total interest in home buying, according to a recent Idealista report

For years now, the town of 5,308 has been a preferred destination for a diverse group of foreigners, although its community of Northern Europeans — particularly Irish, British, and Danish — is especially robust. 

The report reveals that British nationals make up the highest foreign demand in Gualchos. 

But this likely comes as no surprise to those who’ve had the privilege of wandering Gualchos’ white, flower pot-lined streets. 

Its charm comes from the mixture of striking natural beauty, rich culture and the welcoming nature of its people. 

With a rich history beginning in the Bronze Age —  archaeological evidence points to human settlement in the area 3,000 years before Christ — Gualchos has the Sierra Nevada at its back and the ocean stretching before it. 

Like other ancient towns along the coastline of the mountainous Alpujarra region, Gualchos maintains a unique architectural heritage, with roofs constructed from ornate Arabic tile and a street plan typical of Muslim villages constructed in the era of the Nasrid Dynasty during the Late Middle Ages. 

The municipality of Gualchos is formed by two distinct population centres. 

Credit: GranadaNatural.com

Gualchos proper is located in the rugged highlands, while Castell de Ferro is on the coast. 

In between lies the tiny village of El Romeral. 

Gualchos’ unique geographic setting makes it a prime destination for exploring Andalucia’s natural wonders. 

Besides endless hiking opportunities in the nearby mountains, the warm, shallow waters along the Mediterranean coastline offer world-class diving opportunities. 

In the nearby Calahonda region, at the entrance of a sea cave called Cueva de Las Palomas, divers can watch brightly coloured marine fauna, like octopi, eels, and lobsters, and exotic fish like triggerfish and groupers, as well as sea fans and other soft corals. 

Additionally, divers can explore underwater ruins like a defensive cannon once used by Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War. 

Back on dry land, Gualcho visitors can enjoy a variety of seasonal festivals with unique activities, including traditional bonfire jumping on the beach during the Fiesta de San Juan in late June, or a giant communal paella during the annual Fiesta del Turista

The festival, which usually takes place in August, is perhaps most emblematic of Gualchos’ warm and welcoming attitude towards both foreign visitors and its burgeoning expat community. 

Hosted by the local neighbourhood association, the festival is meant to pay homage to the first foreign tourists who came to the town on vacation in the 1960s, as well as to welcome and thank the current foreign community members for recognising the beauty and charm of the little Grenadine town.

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