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Walking in Andalusia: Alpujarras and Granada  The Natural Adventure Company 21

Walking in Sierra Nevada: Alpujarras and Granada

Overview

Alpujarras is a charming mountain region on the southern side of the Sierra Nevada range, situated between the snowy peaks and the Mediterranean sea and steeped in history and traditions. Following the old goatherd trails and through terraced farmlands you will pass by picturesque white-washed villages, deep gorges, and Mediterranean orchards. You will also feel the magnetic and mysterious Moorish influence. You will start and end the trip at the magnificent city of Granada, with its beautiful Alhambra Palace.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Granada

Arrival in the splendid city of Granada, small and surprisingly cosmopolitan – with an intriguing mix of ancient lanes and modern avenues. You can smell the spices and taste the dried fruits as you walk along the former Arab quarter in the city. Visit the incredible Alhambra (you should book in advance your ticket and entrance slot) and its beautiful gardens, palaces and fountains. Enjoy the warm and welcoming character of Andalusian people as you stop for a drink and a tapa at one of the lively terraces. 

Day 2: Upper Poqueira Valley | 7.5 km

This morning a taxi will take you to the first town in the Alpujarras – Capileira. After settling at the comfortable hotel, you have a nice route that will introduce you to the white-washed villages that are a trademark in the Alpujarras. Ancient threshing grounds, old cortijos and terraced olives groves accompany you along the way. 

  • Walking for the day: 7.5 km, 3-3.5 hours ↑350 m ↓350 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Real de Poqueira (Capileira) or similar

Day 3: Poqueira Valley | 10 km

The Poqueira valley, carved below the high peaks of Sierra Nevada, is a dramatic gorge that has three beautiful villages perched high on its eastern side. Today’s route follows ancient trails, passing historic bridges, water channels and abandoned terraced crop fields, not cultivated anymore. When you get to the towns, the winding streets, small churches and narrow lanes will take you back in time. Don´t miss the arts & crafts shops in Pampaneira: leather-makers, rug artisans or potters and even a small traditional chocolate factory-museum for some energy recovery!

  • Walking for the day: 10 km, 5-6 hours ↑560 m ↓560 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Real de Poqueira (Capileira) or similar

Day 4: Capileira – Mecina | 8 km

This walk leaves the Poqueira valley behind and offers a very varied scenery walking along old stony footpaths as you head east – from an old Mediterranean wood of holm oaks (the former native species) to a reforested area planted with pine trees. The last section of the walk will introduce you to the Taha de Pitres. This area of small villages was included in a water council (Taha), created to regulate water usage in Moorish times. At the end of the day, enjoy a splash in the swimming pool of your accommodation at Mecina Fondales.

  • Walking for the day: 8 km, 4 hours ↑100 m ↓520 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel de Mecina Fondales (Mecina Fondales) or similar

Day 5: Mecina – Trevélez | 13 km

After a short transfer, your route starts in Busquístar. Splendid views on this long, but easy and rewarding, walk through the Trevélez valley. Holm oak forests, ravines, old cortijos and fields overlooking a great valley that lies beneath the shadow of the Mulhacén peak (3479 m), the highest summit in mainland Spain. Trevélez is your goal for today – a town with three neighbourhoods beautifully hanging in a staggered way on the eastern slopes of Mulhacén. It is also considered the best producer of jamón serrano of the Alpujarras, which will enable you to finish the day tasting a delicious tapa of local serrano ham before dipping into the swimming pool at the hotel!

  • Walking for the day: 13 km, 5-6 hours ↑750 m ↓530 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel La Fragua II (Trevélez) similar

Day 6: Trevélez | 12-18 km

Trevélez has lots to offer, so there are some walks to choose from today: a spectacular longer walk high into the Sierra Nevada, a circular route around Trevélez and a shorter walk along part of the Camino de Granada, the way that pilgrims followed when coming from the south and heading to Santiago de Compostela.

  • Walking for the day: 12-18 km, 3.5-8 hours ↑285 m ↓1400 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel La Fragua II (Trevélez) or similar

Day 7: Granada

You leave the Alpujarras (private transfer is included) and have a free day to explore Granada. You cannot miss the Alhambra, the Cathedral, the monasteries or the emblematic Albayzin neighbourhood – a perfect finish touch to a splendid hiking week in the Alpujarras!

Day 8: Departure

The tour ends after breakfast. Departure or you can prolong your stay.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in nice 2-star and 3-star hotels, in double or twin private en-suite rooms. These hotels are generally located in historic, carefully decorated buildings and they provide exclusive services for their clients – friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.  Some have a swimming pool or SPA and, in many cases, a restaurant with unique, sophisticated cuisine. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality.

Click to view default hotels

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a property of equal standard. We will provide full accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Accommodation is on a bed & breakfast basis. There are 5 dinners included in the Alpujarras. Picnic lunches are optional at an extra charge and can be ordered locally, or products for picnics can be purchased in the villages where you’ll be staying. On some days you have the option of having your lunch in a restaurant along the way. In Granada, there is a wide choice of restaurants, where you can have dinner.

Difficulty & terrain

This walking holiday requires a normal fitness level; it is suited to regular walkers who are used to hiking in some rugged terrain. Easy walks of 3-5 hours a day on hilly areas, using sometimes stony paths (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

This trip is available from the beginning of February until the end of June and from the very last days of August until the end of November. In July and August, it gets very hot for walking. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Granada. An alternative airport is Malaga.

By train or bus
  • Granada Airport: The Granada-Airport bus line connects with the city centre, located at 17 km, with stops in strategic places like Avenida de Andalucía, the bus station, Gran Vía de Colón and Paseo del Violón, next to the Palacio de Congresos. The full journey lasts approximately 45 minutes. The timetable can be checked here
  • Malaga Airport: you can take ALSA bus to Granada (journey time ~ 2-2.5 h) or you can use the Omio planner above. Note that the bus station in Granada is located on the outskirts of the town.

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 overnights with breakfast as detailed in the itinerary
  • 7 breakfasts and 5 dinners (Days 2-6)
  • Luggage transfer when changing hotels (one piece of luggage per person, max 20 kg)
  • Private transfers Granada-Capileira on Day 2 and Trevélez-Granada on Day 7
  • Detailed digital holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps. Please note that the info pack is emailed to you before departure and no printed documents are mailed or provided on-site
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners in Granada, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights in Granada
  • Extra nights along the way can be booked on request

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