Beautiful walks through Spain's highest sierra from Moorish Los Berchules to the beautiful city of Granada
The Sierra Nevada is a dramatically rich Natural Park, which towers over southern Spain as the second highest mountain range in Europe. With fertile valleys of chestnut forests and high moorlands covered in lavender and broom, we are rewarded with some of the finest walking in southern Spain.
On our journey through picturesque villages, we learn of their fascinating Roman and Moorish influences and the exceptionally diverse plant, bird and animal species, such as butterflies, eagles and ibex.
From the small market town of Cadiar, in the river valley, to Trevelez, the highest village in Spain, we are constantly reminded of the unique beauty, culture and history of rural Alpujarra. La Alpujarra lies between the high snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada and the Mediterranean Sea, and is one of the gems of Spain.
Alpine meadows in the peaks and pine forests on the higher slopes give way to chestnut and walnut trees, followed by terraces of olive and vine groves, to finish with orange, lemon and pomegranate trees in the warmer valleys below.
The last Spanish Moors took refuge in these hills, maintaining their customs and way of life. During our walks we see their legacy everywhere: in the distinctive architecture of the mountain villages and in the intricate system of irrigation waterways, fed by the melting snow of the high sierras, which were built by the Moors and have kept the landscape green and fertile for centuries.
Throughout the week, we savour many different flavours from the local style home-cooked meals at the hotel in Berchules, to picking almonds, figs or mulberries straight from the tree, to our bar lunch where we experience a range of delicious local tapas.
On the penultimate day, we transfer to Granada for an overnight stay. This is a free day, but a visit to the Alhambra Palace is particularly recommended. Granada is the European City most recently under moslem rule. It has a spectacular architectural legacy from that 14th Century period and many earlier remains. The 16th Century brought new rulers and culture that give the city its renaissance heritage.
What makes this trip responsible?
Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company.
On this trip we stay for 6 nights in the family-run Hotel Los Berchules, where all the hotel food is home made and by using locally produced and sourced goods. We also use a locally-owned transport company for transfers and we stay in a relatively unknown area of Spain, so clients are providing income to an area that would usually not benefit from tourism.
See our Responsible Tourism Policy for full details.
The Alhambra, Granada