Sierra Nevada & Granada

8 days
from
$1,749
incl. taxes
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4.7 / 5 from 31 reviews
Walking & Trekking
Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Moderate
Activity Rating - Moderate
Trip code: 
TSN
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
4–14
Min age:
16

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 14, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 2000m, average 1400m
  • Some short steep sections
  • Countries visited: Spain

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 tailor made 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 618.0km/11.0miles

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

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.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailor made 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 tailor made 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.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed June 2019
    donald simpson

    excellent

    All round extremely good holiday with a fine bunch companions interesting people

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The actual terrain/landscape not a flat piece of ground anywhere it was all rugged hills and gulleys/ravines

    What did you think of your group leader?

    excellent

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Hotel Los Berchules was excellent wonderful family run, attentative and with good nourishing food
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Alan Gelson

    Unspoilt high mountains and verdant valleys in one of the most beautiful regions of Europe.

    The Sierra Nevada is the highest mountain range in mainland Spain. They remain snow covered well into the Summer and these walks take place in the wooded valleys in their foothills. The sound of running water seems always to be in the background. The bird life is rich and varied and we heard the cuckoo on our first day. Nightingales and golden orioles and eagles and falcons were viewed with awe and delight. The walks are pretty challenging but rewarding. Conditions under foot are variable but generally reasonable.The Hotel art Los Berchules is a place of repose and delight. The food is first rate and the owners and staff delightful dedicated and friendly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Looking over a wide valley and listening to bird song and seeing a golden oriole whilst a Bonelli's eagle was being mobbed by a Peregrine falcon.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was completely excellent. Reliable knowledgable humorous and dedicated to our safety and enjoyment.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walks are quite challenging but there were opt out points on most days.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We have been fortunate to have been on many walking holidays mainly with Exodus and nearly all have been highly enjoyable and the Sierra Nevada walk was up with the best we have been on.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Jacinta Ashworth

    Peace and beauty

    Just returned from a wonderful holiday in the Sierra Nevada mountains. This tour has been part of the Exodus programme for many years, I understand, and deservedly so. The walking itinerary and accommodation are both excellent. We experienced Spring unfolding as our week progressed - the temperatures rising, the leaves and flowers emerging, the warmth of the sun! The walks were varied - 3 ascending from the village, in cool fresh air, following irrigation channels and gorges and one to the snowline, whilst 2 descended to explore the local villages and cultivated slopes with blossoming almond groves, olive trees and vineyards. We saw wild ibex in the remote Berchules valley. We walked through herby scrub with the intoxicating scent of sage, thyme, rosemary and lavender wafting up as you brushed through it. We viewed the snowcapped peaks and Mulhacen. The staff at the hotel were exceptional - Wendy, Alejandro, Csila, Omar - so friendly and good service. Rooms cleaned immaculately daily, and the meals were lovely - hearty and tasty. Amazing breakfast buffet - no stale rolls here! Chat with Wendy and you will catch her enthusiasm for this area - she is the lychpin - so classy to meet us to chat at breakfast and at the end of our walks, with genuine interest to hear of our adventures each day. And well, as for Granada....what can you say - except book your Alhambra tickets well in advance. The Alhambra is a special place indeed - beauty in architecture and the gardens, with peace (if you pause away from the crowds) and spirituality of a bygone age. Dan our guide helpfully took us to a lovely meal in the city, a fantastic flamenco show and gave those who wanted it a guided walking tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think the Sierra Nevada doesn't offer up its secrets easily. It doesn't shout at you with spiky peaks and chocolate box chalets. But it draws you in subtly if you stop and breathe.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I can highly recommend this trip. Go, and let the mountains gently reveal their secrets to you....
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Gaby Naylor

    Beating expectations

    From the lovely hotel family, who went the extra mile for me when my case was smashed by Ryanair, to the delicious and plentiful meals ,and the comfortable hotel with its great fire this was the perfect base for our superb trek. Great varied walking with Dan as guide who was a fount of knowledge of all things floral, trees, history, people. Just go for it .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The winding path down to the Roman bridge at the bottom of the gorge and then back up to a crazy restaurant in the village.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good, inspired catering for those with long legs and also those with shorter ones and those under the weather. Very knowledgeable and friendly with everyone. Gsoh.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take wet weather clothing
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Steve Braysher

    Top Autumn Walking

    There is a lot of enjoyable walking to be had on this trip, varied routes and tantalising views of big ridges and high peaks. There is also wildlife a plenty but it does need looking hard for. There are some steep ups and downs in places but the paths are considerably better than I had expected and are all very 'doable' if you have a reasonable level of fitness. The hotel in Berchules is a comfortable and very friendly base to operate from, Wendy and her staff couldn't do enough to help and they serve up some appetising food too; tThe packed lunches are perhaps the best I have had anywhere. If you have an interest in avaiation history ask Wendy about the Royal Air Force Asscoiation plaque that is on the bar! Granada is a complete and very enjoyable contrast, a city with a really nice 'feel' to it. A different but decent hotel. The Alhambra really is a must - it would be a shame to not see it if you are in the city.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are no truely stunning or inspirational moments but spending time walking in the relatively empty mountains of the Sierra Nevada with the possibilities of wildlife spotting and the sun on your back (or face) is pretty fine stuff.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dan is a Yorkshireman - and he is a good bloke (high praise). The sort of leader that that gives a group confidence. Punctuality and organisation were pretty much his trademark, his knowledge of the local area, its history, wildlife etc was detailed and his skill with gaffer tape was impressive. Would be very happy to go into the mountains with him again

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    To get the most out of it a reasonable level of fitness is needed. Poles are useful for some of the descents. If you have tickets for the Alhambra you do need to be at the right place at the right time or you won't go in - we witnessed some interesting conversations at the entrance point - if you end up with a bit of paper that says 'this is not a tick' which has to be exchanged for a ticket at the box office make sure you have your passport with you - or you won't get your ticket!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Another excellent Exodus trip, made not only by the walking, venues, accommodation and guide but by the smashing bunch of people who were also on the trip.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Loretta Kinsella

    Spain

    This is a wonderful combination of walking in the lovely Sierra Nevada mountains and then staying in Granada, although we extended our trip to give us 3 days in Granada, which meant we could explore most of this interesting and beautiful city.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the wide expanse of the mountains and the family run hotel in berchules was just perfect, the staff could not do enough, so friendly and lots of lovely home made food. Granada is a wonderful city to explore, churches and Alhambra amazing

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Knew the mountains well

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Many of the walks involve rivers and river crossings, so waterproof boots and some agility needed. Food is very plentiful so be hungry! Well worth extending stay in Granada we stayed in same hotel. Perfect

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Another brilliant exodus 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 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.

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