Pampaneira, one of the small, whitewashed mountain villages in the Spanish Sierra Nevada that are part of the Poqueira gorge, are famous for their white chimneys and charming cobblestone streets as well as fantastic regional cuisine. It hugs the steep slopes of a lush river gorge, where away from the main roads, old men in berets and women clad in black watch the world go by, while donkeys walk along otherwise deserted main streets, flowers cascade from window boxes and people greet each other, friend or stranger.
The small village with a population of just around 300, centers on its pretty square dominated by a 16th-century Mudéjar church, the Iglesia de Santa Cruz, with a wooden coffered ceiling and a couple of gilded altarpieces dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. This area also offers a wealth of activities, including guided walks, horse riding treks, four-wheel-drive excursions, rock climbing and mountain bike tours.
Just outside the village is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, Osel Ling. From its stupa are stunning views of the Sierra Nevada and the coast.