This holiday combines our Walking in Competa and High in the Alpujarras holidays.
Picture white villages perched on imposing hillsides reflecting the warm rays of the sun against a backdrop of the Sierra Almijara. Discover orchard valleys, olives groves and rural life as you make your way through the labyrinth of cobbled streets on your way up into the high country for panoramic views with Ramblers Walking Holidays.
The Andalucian town of Cómpeta is barely mentioned in any of the guidebooks on southern Spain, and the benefits are clear to see. One of the famous white villages, located in the Axarquia region, and steeped in Moorish history, Cómpeta remains an active farming town producing almonds, olives, avocados and even its own wine. It has a charming, thriving old town with two chapels, the one of San Sebastian and the other of San Anton, both from the 18th century. However, its magnificent 16th century Church of Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion dominates the town with its belfry towering over the Plaza Almijara, the main square and focal point of Competa.
There’s a good network of footpaths in the region enabling us to mix short and long walks into the hills, stopping at charming villages, giving us a glimpse of a more traditional part of Andalucia. Once in the high country, we have frequent wonderful panoramic views and occasional glimpses of the Mediterranean in the distance
South of the Sierra Nevada range and north of the Sierras of Lujar, La Contraviesa and Gador, lie the Alpujarras Valleys. We have been exploring the valleys and mountains of the Alpujarras since 1990 – we’re pretty sure even the locals don’t know the trails like we do! Our leaders return again and again to this still hidden and little known area of Andalucia.
Capileira, where we stay, is already at 1300m, a pueblo blanco perched above the Poqueira Gorge and the landscape is that of mountains and terraced lands of orchards, vines and olives, irrigated by surrounding deep gorges. There are numerous walks from the village with a myriad of fine scenic paths diverging in all directions. This rugged yet stunningly beautiful area includes mainland Spain’s highest peak, Mulhacen, at 3479m the Iberian Peninsula’s highest mountain, which owes its name to the days when these valleys were cultivated by the Moors. Weather permitting we will stand on top of it, surveying the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, and looking south to the Mediterranean.
Another hike, starting at the hotel, follows the pathways between six local villages, where red peppers and onions dry in the sun against white-washed walls and life moves very slowly. The circular Route of the Acequias takes us deep into the wild and remote valley beneath Mulhacen following ancient irrigation channels.
From Trevélez, at 1700m the highest village in Spain, we follow the ridge between Peña Bon and the Pico de Fuentefria along the GR 240, the long distance footpath which takes its name ‘Sulayr’ from the name the Moors gave the Sierra Nevada – the Mountains of the Sun.
Capileira is a charming small village, with it cobbled alleyways, craft shops and restaurants serving typical Alpujarran food. ‘¡Aqui se come muy bien!’, as the locals say.