The town of Nigüelas is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada at 940 m above sea level, is the highest town in the Lecrin Valley, the region to which it belongs. The lands of the plain in its municipal area are irrigated by the Torrente River, which in turn irrigates those of Dúrcal, Acequias and Mondújar, forming a community of irrigators whose beginnings are from the medieval period. Its farmland is occupied by olive groves, vineyards, almonds and cereals, those of dry land, and vegetables, corn and fruit trees that are irrigated. The municipality of Nigüelas with 30 km2 extends to a large extent through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada National Park, leaving more than 80% of the municipal area within the protected natural area, that is, about 25 km2. Thus, we are in an environment with a majestic natural heritage, with beautiful landscapes and abundant vegetation and fauna.
In its orography highlights the Horse Peak (3,013 m), during the winter season remains covered with snow. From its summit you can see the sea on clear days.
This beautiful environment offers us the opportunity to enjoy nature with the practice of hiking through its enchanting landscapes and viewpoints such as the Rasuela Viewpoint, from which you can see the entire Lecrin Valley and natural accidents such as the Falla of Nigüelas, a authentic Natural Monument. A section of the GR-7 from Lanjarón to Nigüelas trail passes through its municipality.
There are also caves excavated in a hill where people live.
Its name comes from the Arabic Niwallas that means Watchtower, although there is another theory that maintains a Latin origin of the town due to the structure of its old houses in the form of inverted ships called “navículas”.
In one way or another, the greatest legacy is of Arab origin, such as ditches, the cistern, mills, etc. But there are sections of road in the plain of Nigüelas that pass through an old Roman road, like the Villaverde road, which suggests that there was some military or civil settlement.
There is, within the cultural heritage of Nigüelas, different attractions to see and enjoy.
Church of Saint Juan Bautista: It is of Mudejar style and was built in the second half of the 15th century, it consists of a single rectangular nave with the main chapel separated by a half-point toral arch over pilasters; The armor of the ship is made of double files with six paired braces. It is built in stone and girders of solid brick, the cornice is limestone. Its two covers are Doric style and semicircular arch. The nave and the chapel inside it have a Mudejar coffering, rebuilt after the fire of the Moorish rebellion of 1568. The chapel, in its key features a large pineapple carved from muqarnas. It has a baroque altarpiece from the late eighteenth century, gold and polychrome, with a profuse decoration of great beauty. Inside it houses magnificent sculptures from the 16th to the 20th centuries, highlighting that of its patron saint, Saint Juan Bautista or the image of the Virgin of the Angustias with the dead body of his son in his arms and precious paintings of the Granada schools, some of them of great value. Next to the temple, the Church Square stands out, and its cobblestone, with borders, borders of branches, stars and plant themes, is worthy of admiration.
House of the Zayas: It is a stately home of the sixteenth century; one of the most characteristic elements of this house is the facade with a large gate crowned by a bacon, the coat of arms of the Marquises of Astorga and a large eaves supported by carved corbels; the distribution of the house follows the scheme of the Grenadine Houses, with a central patio, around which the different rooms are located; It also has a beautiful French-style garden, with magnificent flower beds, magnolias, acacias and conifers. In the same garden there are elegant fountains, a good specimen of madroño and a centenary oak. In this house the Town Hall is currently located.
Cistern: It is of Arab origin and is located in the Church Square.
Flour mills: In the area there was a large number of this type of mill. The oldest are the High Mill, in the heart of the Torrente River, in the Pago of the Cahorros; another in the urban area, known as the "Petaca" Mill; and following the course of the irrigation ditch towards Dúrcal, the Canary Mill, the Mill of the "Bizco" and the Mill of Lorenzo. Up to now, the "Petaca" Mill in the town center and the Mill of the "Bizco" have been in operation.
Cistern of the Square: Located in the Church Square, it was in use until the seventies.
Water splitter: With its 16th century stone cross over a vaulted structure, it divides the water from the Acequia Real over 2 kilometers in length to the vegas of Dúrcal and Nigüelas.
Constitution Square: It is a perfect place to have a drink in the different bars and terraces that we can find.
Another attraction to be found in Nigüelas is the House of Culture.
In Nigüelas we find different entertainments to make in a visit to this municipality.
Museum of the Almazara de las Laerillas: This museum, also known as the Oil Mill, is about a 15th century oil mill, although there are elements inside it that date back to the 13th century. It was in operation until the middle of the last century. Its beams of almost 12 meters long denote the important industry that it was. It was restored in 1991 on the initiative of the City Council, after donating it to the Zayas Foundation, and since then it has been a museum.
Cave houses: Type of houses are inhabited and some of them have been conditioned for rural tourism.
To extend the contact with nature, we can enjoy the different mountain ranges found in Nigüelas:
Falla of Nigüelas: Of great geological and didactic interest and declared a Natural Monument. In this ramp originated during the Quaternary, the fault plane, its inclination and the magnitude of the displacement can be clearly observed. It is a spectacular tectonic accident of great route that separates the massif of Sierra Nevada, block that rises, of the Depression of Dúrcal-Padul, block that sinks. In part of the sunken basin, an endorheic marshy basin was installed, the Laguna del Padul, where important fossil remains of two Pleistocene mammoths have been found.
Other natural places to visit in Nigüelas are the Hill of the Zahor and the Hill of the Horse.
To accompany the visit to Nigüelas there are different festivities to enjoy.
Provincial Meetings of Polyphony: The second weekend of May is celebrated, where about 500 choir singers from Granada participate every year.
Festivities: The third weekend of September is celebrated in honor of the patron saint of Our Lady of the Angustias. In the previous week the musical performances and the theater begin, being the most important theatrical act the representation in the square by a company of national prestige. The celebration every year ends with the "Entierro de la Zorra".
Pilgrimage of Saint Marcos: Celebrated on April 25. From Roman origin, spending a field day on the Rasuela or on the Solana of the River.
We emphasize the fennel stew, the stew of cabbage or the stew of thistles; crumbs of wheat flour, bread crumbs and corn crumbs; the soaps of potatoes, onions, canned tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, black olives and oil; the soaking of oranges with oil, roasted cod, dried tomatoes and olives; rice with rabbit or chicken; gazpacho; the ajoblanco with almond flour or the ajoblanco of beans; pickled fried fish; pipirrana; fry with rabbit or chicken; the ratatouille, the stews and casseroles.
As for desserts, we highlight the almond mantecados and butter roscos, wine roscos or anise roscos and the almonds garrapiñadas at Christmas; the fritters and torrijas at Easter; and at all times the pestiños, the oil cakes, the fried milk or the fried roscos.
In special seasonal meals, we highlight the whistling pot (pods of tender beans and pork products); fried beans with shoulder; the hornazos for the festivity of Saint Marcos and the “remojón” of Saint Marcos; butter cakes or fried pork rinds, fried potatoes with pork and roast paprika, cabbage salad with fried garlic and paprika at the time of slaughter; rosettes with salt or sugar and rosette cake with sugar or honey. The thin cakes of oil and salt that cooked to the flame, are eaten with tender green beans.