On Foot in the Alpujarras

Location

38° 28' 45.822" N, 2° 11' 50.1576" W

9-Day trek along the 'high route' linking scores of delightful villages in the Alpujarras. You follow vestiges of the Camino Real (Royal Way) - old walled trails and mule paths that were the only access to these mountain villages. We criss-cross acequias (irrigation canals) to walk through the best country in the Sierra. You can start in trailhead village of Bubion (1430 meter), one of a trio of villages teetering on the edge of the dramatic Poqueira Gorge / valley. Traversing flower-filled meadows, maquis and pine-scented forests, you chance upon a scattering of small hamlets and overnight in Busquistar, Castaras and Juviles. The main goal is the remote village of Trevelez (1460m), the highest in Spain, situated at the end of a grand ravine beneath soaring Mount Mulhacen (3482 meter). Spread out above us is the rocky massif of the Sierra Nevada and we plan day walks to enjoy the spectacular setting. There is also the chance of a demanding hike up to the peak of Piedra Ventana (2536 meter). You spend your final nights in the old Andalus village of Bubion - perhaps the most picturesque in the Alpujarras. An optional ascent of Mulhacen (3482 meter) - the highest peak on mainland Spain - is normally possible from here, giving superb views in every direction. You can also combine this great trek with a visit to the brilliant Andalusian city of Granada. Here you have to visit the famous Alhambra - 'Red Castle' in Arabic.

Itenary:

Day 1: Bubion. You can warm up by a walk down the dramatic Poqueira Gorge, perhaps exploring the nearby villages of Capiliera and Pampaneira with a chance to
paddle in a nearby river.

Day 2: Walk via Portugos to Busquistar.
The route takes you around the flanks of the Alpujarras, the name given to the southern valleys of the Sierra
Nevada. Many of the walks in the region follow the old ‘caminos reales’, tracks which have
been used for centuries by drovers. The village is often
called ‘the Hidden Garden’ because of its rich soil and wealth of produce (approx 3 hours walking).

Day 3: Busquistar
A day walk down into the Trevélez valley to several ‘lost’ villages like Mecina
Fondales and Ferreirola. Such villages once supported thriving communities, but over the
years many inhabitants have moved away to the cities, leaving the narrow alleyways almost deserted. (approx 4 hours walking).

Day 4: Busquistar - Castaras
One of the most demanding days so far, walking down into the Trevélez Valley. After crossing the river, you make the steep ascent up a well-graded 'camino real' on the other side of the valley – well worth it for the views, looking back north, of the entire Sierra Nevada. Continuing along quiet roads and paths, we make for Castaras. (approx 4 hours walking).

Day 5: Castaras - Juviles
A relatively short distance is covered today, as you make our way up the shady valley of the Fuente Medina to the small hamlet of Juviles, the next night-stop (approx 2 hours walking). In the afternoon you can make a pleasant optional walk to the rocky outcrop
known as the Fort. From the top are spectacular views of eastern Alpujarras.

Day 6: Juviles - Trevélez
A long morning’s walk takes us across the scrub and gorse high above Juviles flanking
Mount Penabon, with your first views of Mount Mulhacen in the distance, before dropping down through forest to mainland Spain’s highest village, Trevélez.

Day 7 and 8: Exploring Trevélez area
Two days are left free to hike, relax or wander around Trevélez, the highest village in
Spain with a superb aspect looking south. Red peppers and geraniums decorate the
balconies of the white-washed houses. The town is famous for its cured hams and woven
blankets.

Day 9: Trevélez - Bubion
Leaving Trevélez in the morning, you follow a path through pleasant scenery, high above the villages of Busquistar, Pitres and Portugos, perhaps stopping en route for a picnic lunch near a waterfall in La Chorrera gorge, where you are able to look back and
follow our route of the last eight days.

Day 10: In Bubion, optional ascent of Mulhacen
Bubion is a charming village with a choice of various walks and the possibility of horse riding. However, those who wish to, can make the optional walk to the summit of Mulhacen, the highest mountain on the Spanish mainland at 3482 meter. The views from the
summit are simply stunning (approx 6/8 hours walking.

trekking features

  • Length >7 days and < 14 days
  • Maximum Altitude >2000m and <3000m
  • Difficulty - Easy

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