Nicola Forsyth describes this 10-night, self-guided, hotel-to-hotel walking holiday taking in the dramatic gorges of Spain’s Alpujarras. Luggage transfers make it hassle free.
In a nutshell:
This scenic, self-guided walking holiday rewards visitors with stunning views of the mainland's highest peaks - the Sierra Nevada - as well as the gorges of the Alpujarras. Walkers will love the tour’s variety of landscapes, including orange groves, valleys, mountains and cacti.
Price: £1,095 per person (not including train travel to/from Spain or transfers)
What's included: 10 nights at five selected hotels (three rural hotels; one 2-star hotel; one 3-star hotel); your luggage transported for you from hotel to hotel; route notes and maps; 6 dinners; 5 picnics; 10 breakfasts.
Departures: April, May, June, September, October.
Nearest station to start of trip: Granada
Nearest station to end of trip: Granada
How to travel by train to Granada: It's possibly to travel by train from London to Granada though it does require stopping off overnight in Barcelona (thankfully it's now reachable in a day from London). Take the Eurostar to Paris then change stations in Paris from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon for the connecting train down to Barcelona where you'll stay overnight then catch a train over to Granada. The total journey time from London to Granada is just over 24 hours. The transfer in Paris can take 20-30 minutes on the Paris metro (9 stops), but we recommend you leave at least 50 minutes for the entire transfer (see our guide to How to transfer between train stations across Paris). For more details on the train journey from London to Barcelona, including some suggestions for where to stay near the train stations if you want to break up the journey and spend more time in Paris, see our flight-free journey planner: Train from London to Barcelona.
Optional extra: Add on two nights in Granada City (from £180pp); Add on two nights in Malaga (from £168pp).
What's the trip like:
On Day 1, choose between two walks from Capileira. The more challenging Poqueira Valley (16.5km, 6.5hrs) is more remote, offering beautiful views of the gorges while Poqueira Gorge (10km, 4hrs) takes the lower end, following old mule trails with views of the Trevélez River Valley. Day 2 is a 13km (4hrs) walk to Mecina Fondales via the gorge, passing stone bridges and abandoned farms before climbing the opposite slope, from where you will see the peaks of the Sierra Nevada. Traverse Trevélez Valley and Alpujarran hamlets before decamping to Hotel Mecina Fondales.
On Day 3, enjoy a circular walk from Mecina Fondales (12.5km, 4.5hrs) taking in a number of villages in the Taha Valley . The route crosses ancient terraces, passing old threshing floors and abandoned water mills, before descending to the banks of the River Trevélez and climbing an ancient stone ‘staircase’. On Day 4, move on to Trevélez (15.5km, 6hrs) via Pórtugos before arriving at the Hotel la Fragua. Trevélez is Spain’s highest village, sitting on the slopes of Mulhacén (the mainland’s highest mountain at 3,482 metres).
The next day (Day 5) walk to Bérchules (17.5km, 6hrs) via a panoramic path of wild, open landscape that overlooks the eastern side of the Trevélez Gorge and passes Alcútar village to your final destination of Hotel los Bérchules. On Day 6 choose between three walks from Bérchules.The higher route, Río Grande (15.5km, 6hrs) takes pretty woodland paths to pass over the Río Grande. The lower route (11km, 4hrs) offers a more gentle way to see the valley, while the third route goes to Yegen (12km, 5hrs) taking in the town of Mecina Bombarón and the hamlets of Golco and Montenegro. This option includes climbing above the Río Grande, passing a valley and colourful landscapes.
The following day (Day 7), you will walk to Mairena (12km, 4hrs; shorter option: 10km, 3hrs) after first deciding on a transfer to one of two villages: Yegen, where you will have time to explore before your walk; or Valor if you’d rather a shorter day. During your walk to Mairena you will enjoy views of the peak of San Juan before finishing up at Casa las Chimeneas.
On Days 8 & 9, you can choose between four walks from Mairena (3km to 15km). The Mairena Valley (3km, 1hrs) is a gentle circuit around the village, often accompanied by your hotel hosts David and Emma. It encompasses Peñón de Alfaguara, which reward you with views of the landscape and surrounding village. Down to Ugíjar (6km, 1.5hrs) takes in the market town Ugíjar, the river valley, old olive groves and almond terraces. A circuit above Mairena (11km, 4hrs), affectionately known as the ‘On Top of the World Walk’ by David and Emma given it takes you high above the village, passing stone farmsteads and a chestnut grove and the village of Júbar. The final option, Júbar & Laroles (15km, 5.5hrs) is a circuit linking the two villages and the Laroles river valley. Be sure to pause at the thousand-year-old Chestnut Tree before completing your trip.
How to enquire/book this holiday:
This holiday is provided by Inntravel, one of the founding tour operator members of Green Traveller. One of the great things about this holiday is its flexibility: you have a choice of start/end dates and you can add additional nights on to the itinerary. If you'd like to know more about this holiday, please see more details on the relevant page given below and if you'd like to book it, do contact them directly or complete their booking form and a member of their team will be in touch with you: