Lecrin Valley, Granada - A Happy Place

Bliss. Sitting on a sunny patio with lovely views, in some shade. The pool jets have just stopped making me realise just how incredibly quiet it is. I'm alone. I parked my car by the white church, walked down a semi-cobbled path, past the ancient fish market place and opened my front door. Actually I'm in Lecrin Valley which translates as 'Happy Valley' or Valley of Happiness' with some of my family. Two sons, one Spanish girlfriend and hubby. They're not here now.

A weekend escape, a house swap, on which my eldest son, the guitar maker, and his girlfriend, sister of son number two's girlfriend, couldn't make. We came down from home in Jaen province on Friday evening. Son number two and girlfriend left first and collected the keys, arriving at the house and welcoming us not long after.

Casa Tagomago accepted my points swap request via Guest to Guest and they are the reason I am in Happy Valley with a glass of water, second one of beer and a cold chicken sandwich, the leftovers from last night barbecue. I'm on the patio because as with everything in Tagomago it is very well planned and there's an outside plug so my laptop, which needs a new battery or dies after minutes, can be plugged in and I can be outside writing.

The rest of my party have gone canyoning. They've headed off and paid to jump off rocks into cold water - each to his own. My own is this. I've been exploring and seen some of Lecrin Valley's numerous white villages and gorgeous scenery - I like it. I'll be coming back.

If you know the area of The Alpujarras Lecrin is so much more and so much less. I'll explain. Don't get me wrong I love The Alpujarras, the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, but the whole area, each little Moorish village has become so busy and touristy that it's quaint, traditional and unpleasantly busy at the same time.

Lecrin has wonderful windy mountain roads, huge views and white towns without the hoardes and tourist shops. I like it very much. I drove around on a Sunday morning and the roads were empty. A charming village here, a waterfall there and avocado trees lining the road.

avocado trees

Halfway between Granada and the Costa Tropical at Motril it's a good base. Yesterday, Saturday, after a not particularly early start checking out activites for today, I recommend you do it beforehand, as I did to my sons, we went to the lovely little, but busy on the last weekend in August, cove of La Herradura next to Almunecar for the snorkelling. Well they did. I walked into town, which I prefer out of season, we then met for lunch and as they wanted to take a kayak or canoe, is there a difference? I walked along to the other end of the horseshoe-shaped bay in the afternoon.

Sweaty and humidly-shattered we drove back inland, stopped at a supermarket, shopped for a barbecue and happily went home to Casa Tagomoago to shower, light the barbie, chill and not have to consider the alcohol content or windy roads. The welcome gift of a bottle of red wine didn't last past the first evening. After dining, and very well, in Restaurant Los Naranjas in the next village of Melegis, we sampled our welcome wine while star-gazing on the roof terrace.

Which brings me back to the present. I love my sons, all being together or one by one plus girlfriends. I also love going away with just hubby, 'cos as the trip planner with only us two I get to do everything I want to. But then I don't get precious moments like this - being alone - my happy place in a Happy Place.

Casa Tagomago is a holiday home available for rent as well as swaps see the website Casa Tagomago

Read my House Swapping with Guest to Guest post.

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