Wandering Cheapos: Órgiva, Spain

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Órgiva, the main town in Spain’s western Alpujarras, is a small—though bustling and slightly crunchy—place. Since the publication of Chris Stewart’s book Driving Over Lemons in 1999,the town has absorbed a large influx of Brits.

Be sure to be around on a Thursday, market day, when locals and the sizable expat community gather to buy and sell everything from locally-grown organic vegetables to homemade perfume to medicinal herbal teas.

Gail Jewellery is our favorite stall. It features exquisitely crafted handmade jewellery, using antique and tribal beads from around the world. Prices range from just a few euros to about €150 for a necklace of crude emeralds with an antique silver Rasjasthani prayer box. At Saks or Harrod’s, these prices would be tenfold more expensive.

Grab a café con leche, and get there early. The market runs from 10 a.m. til 1 p.m. At the lower end of the market, the Baraka cafe is a great place to nosh on a felafel while observing the local hippie life.

From Granada, Orgiva can be reached in just under two hours on the Alsina Graells bus line. The town is very small. Any local can point you toward the mercado.

Wandering Cheapo Diane Schutz is a television producer, writer, and budget traveler based in New York City. She has worked recently as a producer for the Travel Channel’s “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.”

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