Walking Holidays in Spain - Mainland - Andalucia - White Villages & Mountains


Holiday Highlights
  • One of the most wild and undiscovered mountain ranges of Spain following the GR7
  • Enjoy undisturbed walking stretching from high peaks of the Sierra Nevada to the shimmering Mediterranean below
  • Add extra nights in the fascinating city of Granada with world-famous Moorish Palace & Gardens


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The Alpujarra is one of the most wild and undiscovered mountain ranges of Spain, stretching from the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada to the Mediterranean below. Life has changed little since the Moors first cultivated the terraces many centuries ago. You may observe farmers tending the land with their mules, or perhaps local women washing clothes in the village springs or shelling almonds by hand.

The tiny whitewashed villages, which cling precariously to the mountainsides, are linked by the ancient Camino Real (or GR7). On this track, you will walk through shady olive and almond groves and cross tiny mountain springs with snow-capped mountains above and the distant Mediterranean in view. Whatever the season, there is plenty to relish: the spectacular almond blossom of February and March, the pretty wild flowers of late spring and early summer, or the vibrant colours and fruits of autumn (when you will be able to pick almonds, wild figs, mulberries and grapes along the way). Apart from an occasional shepherd tending his herds, your walk will be undisturbed and blissfully peaceful.

Day 1: You will be transferred from either Almeria or Granada Airport (or Malaga with an additional charge) to Mairena, known as the Balcony of the Alpujarra with its panoramic views down to the Mediterranean. On clear days in winter, you can see to the Atlas Mountains beyond. Overnight Mairena.

Day 2: You are transported high above Mairena and spend the day walking back along a wild river valley with an overall descent of 700 metres. In the high Sierra, watch out for birds of prey, ibex and wild boar! Later enjoy the village of Laroles and the tiny hamlet of Jubar, where you can stop for a welcome drink before your first glimpse of the lush, cultivated terraces of the lower Sierra. Overnight Mairena.

Ascent 260m, Descent 700m, Distance 12 ½ miles, Time 5 hours. Or take a slightly less high route around the Laroles Valley from the hotel.

Day 3: Head west from Mairena across almond terraces and lavender fields via the village of Valor, famous in the past for its silk production. There is a wonderful picnic spot under the original Moorish bridge next to the river before you continue past the natural iron water springs of Cuesta Vinas and then a short steep climb to the village of Yegen, where the Hispanist, Gerald Brenan lived and wrote his famous book South of Granada. You will have a short transfer back to Valor where you are spending the night.

Ascent and Descent 300m, Distance 8 ¾ miles, Time 4 hours.

Day 4: You will be transferred back to Yegen after breakfast. A wonderful and diverse walk, leading you from the cultivated terraces down to the sculpted shapes of desert-like bad-lands, then up again to craggy alpine valleys. This is magical and wild territory with striking rock formations and many bird-watching opportunities. Look out for bee-eaters, rollers, hoopoes and Bonelli eagles at the right time of year. After climbing to the pine forests above Berchules, come down the ancient track that used to be the old silk-trading route, connecting the Alpujarra with Granada. Overnight Berchules.

Ascent 530m, Descent 550m, Distance 9 ¼ miles, Time 4½ hours.

Day 5: Climb steeply out of Berchules to the highest point of the trek, crossing the ridge at 2000 metres. (A gradual climb of 700m.) Enjoy the foothills of Mulhacen, the highest mountain in Spain, dropping down to the steep-sided rugged valley of Trevelez, famous for its air-dried ham and artisanal shops. Overnight Trevelez.

Ascent 990m, Descent 820m, Distance 11 ¼ miles, Time 5 hours.

Day 6: A pleasant walk from Trevelez to the beautiful village of Capileira. Either take the low-level tranquil contouring Pista Forestal (Ascent 370m, Descent 500m, Distance 12 ½ miles, Time 4 ¾ hours), or the high-level Sulayr path on the southern flank of the Sierra Nevada (Ascent 890m, Descent 970m, Distance 12 ¾ miles, Time 5½ hours). Overnight Capileira.

Day 7: Either relish two nights in Capileira and a local walk in the spectacular Poqueira Gorge, or alternatively transfer back to Mairena, where, weather permitting, you can cap the week with an ascent to the summit of San Juan (2750m) or take a more gentle local walk.

Day 8:Transfer back to the airport for your flight home.

This map is for illustration purposes only and we cannot be held responsible for its accuracy.

Andalucia Trek

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We have chosen hotels for their intimacy and charm. They are all small family-run hotels that are very much part of the village community and each has its own character. From Mairena, a beautifully converted village house (parts of which date back centuries) to Bubion, you will find a delightful combination of rustic charm and modern conveniences. All rooms have their own bath or shower (depending on the hotel) and English is widely spoken. Dinner is included every night and you will have the chance to savour the best of Andalucian cuisine.

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Availability Information

March to June is superb for wild flowers, clear skies and a vista of snow-capped mountains – an ideal time for keen photographers. From September to November, the harsh summer light starts to mellow as the landscape turns golden yellow and mornings become soft and dewy. In July and August, we feel the summer heat is too intense to make walking a pleasure.

Please note our best to go information is generally referring to the walking which may fall in the early or late season in some places. This may mean that not all tourist facilities will be open at the time you visit.

When to book your walking holiday in Spain - Mainland - Andalucia - White Villages & Mountains

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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