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Sierra Nevada & Granada

from $1,479.00

Stunning walks through Spain’s highest sierra; from Los Berchules to Granada

  • Reviews 21 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Moderate
    5/8
  • Group Size Small Group
    4 - 14
All about the Sierra Nevada & Granada.

The Sierra Nevada is Europe’s second highest mountain range and towers over southern Spain. Much of this dramatic landscape is a protected biosphere reserve, rich in wildlife and home to many endemic plant species. Here, and in the neighboring Alpujarra region, we are rewarded with some of the finest walking in Andalucia; from ancient chestnut forests to lavender and broom-clad moorland and white-washed Moorish villages. A night in the city of Granada, home to the magnificent Alhambra Palace, is the perfect end to the week.

 

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts, 4 picnic lunches and 6 dinners included
* 6 nights Hotel Los Berchules and 1 night Granada city center hotel, all rooms ensuite
* Airport transfers (at designated times)

Group normally 4 to 14, plus leader. Min age 16 years

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Alhambra Ticket; purchase in advance if you wish to visit

Highlights

  • Beautiful walks through Spain’s highest sierra
  • Moorish white-washed settlements and the highest village in Spain, Trevelez
  • Family-run hotel offering stunning views and warm hospitality
  • A night in Granada with a free day to explore this beautiful city
  • Alhambra Palace and its grounds (optional)
  1. Day 1 Start Berchules.

    The tour starts this afternoon at our hotel in Berchules where you will meet your leader and the rest of the group at the main trip briefing. Berchlues is located a 2 hour and 45 minute drive from Malaga Airport.

  2. Day 2 Circular walk from the hotel door, following a stone-laid mule path with panoramic views.

    On this first day we take a circular walk from the hotel. Great views and water babbling in the irrigation channels give a good introduction to the Alpujarra. The area is generally agricultural and we will see how the land has been managed through the ages. As well as spotting relics dating back to the middle ages there are stunning views of the region. This will be the shortest and least demanding walk of the week giving a chance to acclimatise.

  3. Day 3 Descend into Guadalfeo Valley to the market town of Cadiar; climb through hamlets to Juviles, site of Mozarabic 10th century castle.

    Today there is the chance to see abundant local flora and fauna while walking through beautiful landscape. The route takes us through several towns and villages, such as Lobras and Timar, until we reach Juviles, home to a 10th Century Mozarabic castle. A 10-minute transfer takes us back to our hotel in Berchules.

  4. Day 4 Walk along Roman paths through La Taha to explore Moorish villages hidden in a deep gorge.

    A short transfer takes us to the beginning of our walk exploring the nature of the Rio Trevelez Valley. We walk along Roman paths through the area of La Taha, a collection of Moorish villages hidden in a deep gorge. Lunch is taken in a tiny bar, where we are offered a selection of local dishes, as available on the day, lunch is paid for locally.

  5. Day 5 Scenic walk from the white village of Trevelez (the highest village in Spain at 1550m); return through working cortijos to see how the traditional way of life continues.

    Our day starts with a short transfer to the white village of Trevelez – at 1550m, it is the highest village in Spain. The town is particularly famous for the quality of its world-renowned Jamon Serrano. There are shopping opportunities in this larger village and a chance to sample the ham at its source. From here we enjoy a scenic circular walk involving riverside sections and a chance to see the local cowboys handle their herds on the hillsides.

  6. Day 6 Walk through a great variety of landscapes, from moonscape to the verdant upper reaches of Berchules' Rio Grande.

    The walk will vary with the season. Normally we take a circular walk from the hotel to take a deeper look at our home valley. An amazingly scenic walk giving an easy access through apparently impossible cliffs. Points of historical and folkloric interest are encountered along the way as well as paddling possibilities at the river crossing. We finish on the longest walk of the week.

  7. Day 7 Free day in Granada and optional visit to the Alhambra Palace (those wishing to visit must purchase a ticket in advance).

    Transfer to Granada (just under 2 hours) and free time to explore this wonderful city at your own pace. There is the opportunity to visit one of Europe’s most visited historical monuments – the magnificent Alhambra Palace. If you would like to visit the Alhambra Palace in Granada, tickets are restricted so you will need to book this in advance. Please refer to the ’Extra Expenses’ section of the trip notes for further details.

  8. Day 8 End Granada.

    The tour ends after breakfast.

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Where you stay

Hotels

You will spend 6 nights in the traditional rural town of Berchules, staying in the family run Hotel Los Berchules. All rooms are en suite and all twin rooms have balconies with a table and chairs offering views of the mountains and valley. There is also a swimming pool (for use seasonally- usually June to September) set amidst the garden, and a lounge/bar area with comfortable sofas and a wood burning fire. Free Wi-fi is also available.

On your last night in Granada you will stay in a 3 star hotel in the city centre, within walking distance of all sights and restaurants. Single rooms here are limited but can be requested at the time of booking at a supplement from GBP25 (subject to availability). In Berchules, single rooms are available at no charge (subject to availability). These rooms are small and basic, without a view and with no TV, but all are en suite.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 4 picnic lunches and 6 dinners are included.

Breakfast in Berchules: Cereals or yoghurt, toast with marmalade or tomato, fresh orange juice and tea/coffee. A similar continental breakfast is provided in Granada.

Lunch: Bread, cheese/cold meat, tomato, chocolate/biscuits, fresh fruit, and local products are provided as part of the packed lunch.

Dinner: First course usually typical Spanish soup, main local dish with meat/fish and vegetables, followed by fresh fruit or typical sweet for dessert.

Vegetarians: It is possible to cater for vegetarians and other dietary requirements. Please inform us at time of booking.

Mealtimes in Spain are later than in many other countries; dinner is usually taken between 20:00 and 21.30.

Moderate – Activity Level 3

This centre-based walking week takes us through some of the finest scenery and villages in the sierras, with magnificent long distance views and many fantastic walks on the mountain flanks, ridges and in the valleys. We consider the walking to be moderate and no previous experience is needed.

We reach some fairly high elevations and on one day, walking from the highest village in Spain, the route can reach 2,000m above sea level. Whilst the gradients are reasonable, you should be prepared for some short, steep sections both uphill and downhill. You should be reasonably fit before you join this trip, though the walks are not long and the pace is leisurely. On most days we will walk for 5 to 7 hours on a mixture of forest roads and paths, some of which are rough, stony and difficult underfoot. Although we are in Andalucia, most walks involve some wet sections whatever the season, so good walking boots are essential. The heat can make the walking quite demanding at times.

Walking distances and hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Please be advised:

The entrance into the Alhambra is not included in the tour and should you wish to pay a visit on the last day in Granada you must purchase your own ticket in advance. We recommend purchasing this as far in advance as possible as they can sell out months ahead. Please inquire with our office for further details.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

WHITE VILLAGES OF SIERRA NEVADA

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the last day when we walked in the home valley of our guide George.  This was a valley full of varied flora and views.  We had an excellent lunch in a village hotel and as we walked through the picturesque villages and countryside, we enjoyed eating figs, almonds and walnuts washed down with mineral water from the local springs, including a naturally sparkling spring. Or maybe it was sharing a beer in a village cafe and discussing the day with the group as we waited for the hotel minibus to pick us up and return for a shower, more beer, a swim and supper.  Or perhaps just walking with a great group of people.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our original group leader Jeremy had a medical emergency, so  having met us at the airport he was only able to walk with us on day 1.  He was friendly and sensitive to different walking speeds of the group.  He was replaced by another local british guide, George.George had a great knowledge of the area, an interest in the history of the Sierra Nevada, a good command of Spanish and knew many of the locals.  He was an athletic walker and inspired confidence and curiosity.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I found the area to be hotter than I expected, and only wore half the clothes I took. I washed my walking kit every night and it was ready to wear in the morning.  I didn't spend much money as there were few shopping opportunities.  Food and drink was limited in the villages as this is quite an impoverished region.  Having said this it was wonderful to meet shepherds in the hills with their flocks of sheep and goats, and to see the "cowboys" who still roam the hills on hores-back checking their stock.My wife and I spent a day in Granada visiting the Alhambra.  The visit was very worthwhile but Granada was hot.  Great ice-creams and tapas. 6 of us went together in a taxi to make it cost effective.  The hotel organised the taxi for us.   
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We opted out of walking on one day, to explore the village of Berchules and to enjoy the hotel pool.  We had personal service - the pool and garden to ourselves -  bliss. This was our 4th Exodus holiday and our guides and hotel exceeded expectations.  The hotel was very comfortable, twin-bedded rooms with ensuite bathrooms, plenty of hot water, balcony with view over the surrounding countryside.  The hotel staff were friendly, food plentiful with a large packed lunch provided every day.  Even the dog was friendly, excitedly accompanying us all day when we walked from the hotel.If you've ever considered this holiday - take it! 

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Sierra Nevada & Granada

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A zig zag descent into a craggy valley.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    George was an excellent leader, very friendly and very knowledgeable about the local history. He has lived in the area for a number of years.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Good walking boots are definitely required. Take a camera and sun hat. The trip to Granada was interesting but one day was not enough, we wished we had booked an extra day there to see everything there is to see of the city even if that would have meant arranging our own transport back to Malaga for the flight back.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There are no hair driers in the rooms, but they may have been available if we had asked.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

SIERRA NEVADA & GRANADA

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day revealed some new delight, whether it be understanding the complex irrigation systems, lunching in a spot where it was impossible to avoid sitting on an orchid, watching birds of prey circling above in a clear bue sky or just enjoying a good walk in excellent company.  The Alhambra was perhaps the icing on the cake.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Jeremy was a great walking companion with lots of local knowledge, real enthusiasm for the area and clear explanations of the various walks.  He paced us well and was usually able to encourage us along the final kilometre with the promise of refreshment in a local bar.  It is a great luxury to walk in stunning countryside knowing that the route has been thoroughly researched and adapted to the group's needs.He was also a massive support when the Alhambra ticket facility crashed just as we arrived to pick ours up.  The half hour it took to get re-started was frustrating but we got there in the end. 
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We were lucky with the weather and had glorious sunshine all week.  Instead of the waterproofs and thermals we had thought we might want, we needed sunhats and sunblock, so be prepared for any conditions.  As others have indicated, also be prepared for it to be wet under foot - it's all down to those extensive irrigation systems.If you want to visit the Alhambra, book on line before you travel. 
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a superb holiday option if you like spectacular scenery and varied wildlife.  The hotel in Berchules is friendly, provides tasty food and has great views.  Although the staff speak excellent English, they are happy to encourage you to practice your Spanish.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Walking in the Alpujarra

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The added bonus of a trip to Granada and particularly The Alhambra was more than I had hoped for.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    George is clearly knowledgeable and passionate about his home.  He was constantly friendly, helpful and a reassuring presence.  He has a great relationship with the hotel which gave a warm feeling of continuity.  His knowledge of Granada and assistance with finding our way around was also great as it meant we could see the City in the short space of time we had.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check the local weather forecast before you go.  It would be helpful to have done some hill walking beforehand and be used to walking on rough terrain.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my first Exodus holiday but it will not be my last.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Sierra nevada and Grenada

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I have wanted to visit the Alhambra for many years so this was an excellent end to the week. Although it is impossible to see everything in one day so I now need to go back to see the rest...
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    George was excellent. He was organised in a laid back way - everything happened as and when it should. He was very good at managing the different walking abilities and speeds within the group without any fuss. He was very knowledgeable about the local area and culture and shared just enough stories and information.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you book your Alhambra tickets on line before travelling. The walk descriptions in the brochure were pretty accurate so the level is what I was expecting - there is always the worry that it is going to be too easy or too hard.

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