Sierra Nevada self-guided walk
Starting in marvellous Granada, this walk explores the spectacular valleys of the Alpujurras in the foothills of Sierra Nevada, a majestic mountain range in the south of Spain. The walk route follows 'caminos', stone trading trails that have linked the beautiful villages for centuries.
The tour starts and finishes in Granada, a vibrant city proud of its Moorish heritage, best captured in the magnificent Alhambra, the 13th century palace of the Sultan of Granada. The next five nights you will spend in the charming villages of the Alpujarras. Although only forty five kilometres south of Granada (and fifty kilometres north of the fleshpots of the Costa del Sol), the Alpujarras is another world, lost in the mists of time. Dry and barren from a distance and dwarfed by the towering peaks of the Sierra Nevada, up close the valleys are fertile, sometimes even lush, hiding oases fed by the permanently melting snows of the mountains.
Although there are few major edifices surviving from the valleys’ fascinating past, the countryside is stamped with signs of the civilisations that have inhabited and shaped it. They are scattered with small white washed villages that seem more North African than European, their flat roofs with tall round chimneys recalling the architecture of the Rif Mountains in Morocco and their colourful twisting lanes often blocked with donkeys and migrating flocks of sheep.
Your first night on tour is in the centre of Granada. The next morning you will be driven the first of the Alpujarras villages. You will then spend the next five days exploring this fascinating region staying in lovely family-run hotels and eating plenty of fine food along the way before being driven back to Granada at the end of the tour.
The routes you walk are made up of caminos, old trading paths, with some forestry tracks and minor roads. While not a particularly difficult route, the trails are generally well-maintained and well-marked, but there are some steep climbs. Despite their altitude, the Alpujarras are in the south of Spain and it does get hot during summer. This is a Grade 4 walk (click for details). The best time to do the walks is from April to June and from September to October. Please note that, if you would like to extend your visit, we have additional walks: Mt Penabon loop (8 mks, 4 hrs) and Junta del Rios (13 kms, 4 hrs)
In Granada you will stay in an excellent 4-star hotel in the centre of the city. The accommodation in the Alpujarras is in a range of comfortable and well-appointed family-run hotels in the centre of the villages, all welcoming, with beautiful views and private bathrooms, several of them with swimming pools.
The local cuisine reflects the area’s rich past and is one of the highlights of the tour. Apart from the classics of Spanish cuisine, the local specialities include pringa (slow cooked meats); salmorejo (a cold tomato puree similar to gazpacho served with boiled eggs and crusty bread); migas de harina (a dish similar to couscous); polea (a sweet porridge dish flavoured with anise, honey and cinnamon, served with fried bread) and plato alpujarreño, another mountain specialty combining the area’s famous ham, sausage, sometimes other pork, egg, potatoes, and olive oil. Andalusia has a variety of wines including some excellent sherries and Malaga wines. Andalusian desserts are heavily influenced by medieval cuisine: sweet, honey drenched dishes flavoured with spices.
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A seven day/six night walk in the Sierra Nevada
Private transfer to and from Granada at the beginning and end of the tour
6 nights accommodation
All breakfasts and dinners
Reading lists and historical and cultural notes
Maps and detailed walking instructions
24-hour telephone backup from our local managers
$2200 with dinners included (there is no b&b only option)
Single supplement: $550
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