Sierra Nevada & Granada

8 days
from
1,765 CAD
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4.6 / 5 from 25 reviews >
Moderate
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Trip code: 
TSN
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–12

Walk in Spain's highest sierra; from Moorish Los Berchules to beautiful 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 neighbouring 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.

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)

Key information

  • 6 nights Hotel Los Berchules and 1 night Granada city centre hotel, all rooms en suite
  • 5 days centre-based walking; 1 free day
  • Group normally 4 to 12, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 2000m, average 1400m
  • Some short steep sections

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 4 picnic lunches and 6 dinners included
  • All accommodation
  • Transfer for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas & vaccinations
  • Single supplement
  • Alhambra Ticket; purchase in advance if you wish to visit
Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

5

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Approximately 5-7 hours walking per day

Terrain:

Low altitude; good paths with some steep ascents

Day by day breakdown
Day 214.0km/9.0miles
Day 316.0km/10.0miles
Day 415.0km/9.0miles
Day 516.0km/10.0miles
Day 620.0km/12.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • 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.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    End Granada.

    For those not travelling on the group flights, the tour ends after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Spain

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Spain

There are no specific health risks.

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.

Weather

Andalucia enjoys one of the mildest off-season climates in Europe, normally ideal for spring and autumn trekking. Days are warm to hot, with temperatures ranging from 10ºC in early spring to 30ºC; nights are cool to warm, with temperatures varying between 0ºC and 20ºC. The risk of rain is low, particularly in September and October, but if it does occur it is most likely to be an occasional shower or storm. April and May are the best months for spring flowers, whilst February brings the Almond blossom. Mountains can always make their own weather and as a result your guide may occasionally vary the walks from those in the itinerary, so as to suit the weather.

Andalucia

Is this trip for you?

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 refer to the 'Extra Expenses' section of the trip notes for further details.

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

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.

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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  • Reviewed September 2018
    Sioned Jones

    Berchules, Sierra Nevada, Spain

    Another great holiday thanks to Exodus! This was my 13th walking holiday with Exodus and one of the best, thanks to the varied walks, excellent leader, great scenery, wonderful family run hotel and good weather.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Following the Moors waterways into the hills and enjoying the long varied walks along the rugged landscape and through pretty little villages. We covered 9 miles, 10 miles, 9 miles, 10 miles, then 12 miles during the week, which was challenging enough for a Grade 3 walk. It was great to be out for a full day, before returning "home" to the wonderful, family run Los Berchules Hotel. Our hosts were Alejandro, his wife Csilla, the lovely Wendy (Alejandro's mum) and Omar. The staff were amazing and nothing was too much bother for them. Alejandro cooked us fantastic, locally sourced food, whilst Csilla and Omar waited on. Wendy made the excellent home made puddings and gave us a warm welcome "home" each day front of house.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dan was a great leader. His local knowledge of history, the way people live and wildlife was second to none and his Yorkshireman sense of humour added to that! Dan allows you to walk on at your own pace, but has control of the group is an unassuming, professional way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Having exhausted most of the Grade 5 centre based options over the years, we were looking for a more challenging Grade 3 walking trip and this one surpassed our expectations in terms of terrain, scenery, length of walks and accommodation. I would highly recommend this holiday.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We are used to a large group of 14 to 16 people, but on this occasion, there were only six of us. That did not detract from the holiday at all, in fact, it added to it as we all got on so well. Thanks Exodus for another fantastic walking holiday!
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Sioned Jones

    Berchules, Sierra Nevada, Spain

    Another great holiday thanks to Exodus! This was my 13th walking holiday with Exodus and one of the best, thanks to the varied walks, excellent leader, great scenery, wonderful family run hotel and good weather.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Following the Moors waterways into the hills and enjoying the long varied walks along the rugged landscape and through pretty little villages. We covered 9 miles, 10 miles, 9 miles, 10 miles, then 12 miles during the week, which was challenging enough for a Grade 3 walk. It was great to be out for a full day, before returning "home" to the wonderful, family run Los Berchules Hotel. Our hosts were Alejandro, his wife Csilla, the lovely Wendy (Alejandro's mum) and Omar. The staff were amazing and nothing was too much bother for them. Alejandro cooked us fantastic, locally sourced food, whilst Csilla and Omar waited on. Wendy made the excellent home made puddings and gave us a warm welcome "home" each day front of house.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dan was a great leader. His local knowledge of history, the way people live and wildlife was second to none and his Yorkshireman sense of humour added to that! Dan allows you to walk on at your own pace, but has control of the group is an unassuming, professional way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Having exhausted most of the Grade 5 centre based options over the years, we were looking for a more challenging Grade 3 walking trip and this one surpassed our expectations in terms of terrain, scenery, length of walks and accommodation. I would highly recommend this holiday.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We are used to a large group of 14 to 16 people, but on this occasion, there were only six of us. That did not detract from the holiday at all, in fact, it added to it as we all got on so well. Thanks Exodus for another fantastic walking holiday!
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Jane Firth

    Loved it!

    Our first Exodus holiday and it will certainly not be the last. Everything ran smoothly even though we had to have a replacement guide due to illness. Dan, our guide, had a great sense of humour and was knowledgeable about the region. The walks were varied and the scenery was beautiful. Hotel Los Bérchules was comfortable and very clean. Wendy, Alejandro, Csilla and Omar made us all feel so at home. The food was super, tasty homemade bread and marmalade at breakfast, satisfying packed lunches and generous portions at dinner with always a homemade pudding. Finally our fellow travellers were a great group of people, so interesting and full of fun.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Managing to keep on walking whatever the weather threw at us!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dan is a great leader, calm and confident with a great sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take an extra day for Granada, so much to see, so little time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No complaints at all! 😊
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Des Cassidy

    Great time

    Stars aligned for this trip, Outstanding Lead, Landscape, hosts and crew. Our guide Dan, had a bit of style and swagger. instilled confidence in all the group making all the walks of Sierra Nevada a stroll in the park. Hotel Los Berchurles a welcome retreat full of charactor and warmth. Wendy, Shelia, Alejandro and Omar,all served us well. Our fellow guests was the final part in the alignment and it was great to share anniversaries, quizs, horse wrestling with them all.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Great restaurant recommendation for Granada and what a beautiful city. Be warned one day does not do it justice.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Top of the tree, lucky to have Dan

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Extend your break to take in Malaga and Granada. take a earlier/later plane

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Well done Exodus.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Des Cassidy

    Great time

    Stars aligned for this trip, Outstanding Lead, Landscape, hosts and crew. Our guide Dan, had a bit of style and swagger. instilled confidence in all the group making all the walks of Sierra Nevada a stroll in the park. Hotel Los Berchurles a welcome retreat full of charactor and warmth. Wendy, Shelia, Alejandro and Omar,all served us well. Our fellow guests was the final part in the alignment and it was great to share anniversaries, quizs, horse wrestling with them all.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Great restaurant recommendation for Granada and what a beautiful city. Be warned one day does not do it justice.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Top of the tree, lucky to have Dan

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Extend your break to take in Malaga and Granada. take a earlier/later plane

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Well done Exodus.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Noreen Jennison

    Distressing experience. Spain never again

    I have trekked and been on walking holidays all over the world, some with Exodus. This was my first holiday in Spain and the experience was distressing. I will never holiday in Spain again. This was not due to Exodus nor the walk leader but due to the local people. When I arrived at the hotel (Hotel Los Berchules) the proprietor Alejandro checked us in and also checked that I was vegetarian. When I asked him if their was a lift (my room was up a few flights of stairs and I have slipped discs in my back so lifting a heavy load could cause problems) he said that if I ate meat I would be strong enough to carry my own bag! During the week I saw many cases of animal cruelty. Emaciated dogs chained up with no food or shelter. All the dogs I saw (and there were many roaming free in the villages and countryside) had been mutilated with their ears cut off. There was also posters in the village of Los Bechules advertising a village 'event'. On Sunday 29th April the villagers collected in the square to watch animals being tortured to death. The walk guide told us that the villagers put down a lot of sawdust in the square presumably to soak up all the blood. This distressed me really for the whole week. I have trekked in the High Atlas Mountains and In the High Andes staying with locals peoples and have never come across this level of cruelty. We walked through several villages but hardly saw anyone. A few bars we went into were busy but the local people were not at all friendly. Whilst walking in the countryside we were shouted at by the local 'cowboys' gesticulating to us to move on. (We were on proper paths and walked a proper authorised route). The Hotel was fine but as a vegetarian I was hoping for better quality meals that the vegetarian equivalent to chicken nuggets. My meals were mostly convenience junk food that I would not have eaten at home.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Nothing

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I thought George did the best he could to make an uninteresting walking environment as interesting as he could. Also after the hotel proprietor had been so rude to me when I first arrived about being vegetarian George, who overheard him' carried my bag upstairs for me. Thank you George.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you care about animal welfare and are distressed at seeing animal cruelty then don't do this holiday. If you are vegetarian and would like a decent meal at the end of a days walking then don't do this holiday and don't stay in this hotel. If you would like to meet friendly locals on holiday then don't bother with this holiday. If you are used to seeing fantastic scenery on walking holidays then this probably isn't the holiday for you. The holiday seemed like a case of trying to make the best of nothing very much.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    In case readers think I was the only one on the trip who did not reply enjoy the holiday because of all of the above: At the airport on the way home one of the other walkers in the group said that of all the Exodus Holidays she had been on this was the worst. Again this is not the fault of Exodus or George the guide.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Noreen for her feedback, although we sincerely regret that she did not enjoy her time in Spain. We appreciate that witnessing the animal cruelty described would have been very concerning and worrying, however, we would like to reassure that Exodus does not endorse these types of activities, and our groups did not witness the festival being held in the village. We were disappointed to read that Noreen felt that the food provided for her as a vegetarian was poor as it is always our intention that clients with dietary requirements are well catered for and we believe this is usually the case on our trips. We are, however, genuinely sorry that Noreen’s experience was not so positive.

    Monica Princic – Product Manager for Spain

  • Reviewed June 2017
    Anne Smith

    Hiking the Sierra Nevada an amazing landscape

    A wonderful week based in the most friendly and supportive Hotel Los Berchules. Long days hiking the narrow trails captivated by the landscape dressed in spring flowers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking in the footsteps of the moors who created the most intricate scene of irrigation canals, edged in wild flowers and providing water for local farmers. Having lunch perched in the most beautiful places with a group of walkers who shared my holiday dreams and styles.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    George is an extremely knowledgeable guide his information and perspective on moorish Andalusia is enthralling. George encouraged us all to extend the experience with side trips and enjoying the local bars at the end of the day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trails are rough and the days long so get fit on hilly terrain and uneven surfaces. Pack light it's easy to wash out your walking clothes in the evening.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Both drives from Malaga and to Granada are very long and twisty, be prepared with car sickness tablets if your prone. These drives detract from the wonderful walks.
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Janet Milne

    Walking in Sierra Nevada and Granada

    An unspoilt area of Spain with interesting walks and scenery. It was good to have walks starting from the hotel and / or a short transfer to a local village. At the end of the week to have a day and overnight stay in Granada worked well especially as the hotel was very central to the old part of the city. The hotel in Berchules was lovely. The staff very welcoming and accommodating. The food was excellent as was the service.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We went in May so the mountain sides were covered in spring flowers including many orchids. We also saw eagles, golden orioles and hoopoes. I found the geology of the area very interesting as there were some incredible rock formations and folding.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    George was an excellent leader with a detailed knowledge of the history and culture of the area. The walks were well paced with opportunities to stop to take photographs and look at the spectacular views.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although most days there were opportunities to replenish water bottles at local fountains, do take 2 x 1 litre water bottles as the temperature can rise quickly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a very enjoyable walking holiday in an unspoilt area of Spain. There was a good variety of walks, each showcasing a different aspect of the area whether it be historical, geological or flora and fauna.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    David Cartwright

    Sierra Nevada and Grenada.

    The trip met all my expectations The walking was excellent and the company brilliant Our leader was enthusistic, patient and extremely knowlegeable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of the path ---- every day!!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As above Would recomment him to anyone as a guide and leader

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book early to gain entrance to the Alhamra--- if you really really want to go because its full, ie really full of tourists!!!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend this trip to any walker
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Edward Curtis

    Great mix of history and hiking

    Great walking in a dramatic and historic landscape which isn't as well known as it deserves to be. This trip has a variety of different walks with lots of different aspects to keep your interest. The scenery is dramatic - lots of crags and gorges with views of the snow topped mountains, but there is also the history and culture of the area. The villages are scenic but not twee, this is a working agricultural landscape after all, and the terraces and ancient moorish irrigation system give the landscape a distinctive character.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The variety of walks was a real high point. By walking in a different valley or at a different altitude on each walk every day had its own distinct landscape and character.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader did a great job of guiding us around the area. As well as the basics of looking after the group and getting everyone around the hikes he gave us some insights into the local way of life and history that really brought the landscape we were walking through to life.

Dates & Prices

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Call us on 1 800 267 3347