Day 2 to 7
During our time in Capileira our walks will take us along mule tracks and hillside paths through the Andalucian white-washed villages, into the Poqueira Gorge, down into the Poqueira Valley and to Mulhacen, the highest mountain in Iberia. Picturesque viewpoints, splendid lunch spots and Moorish history awaits us. There will also be a day at leisure for you to explore on your own or relax at the hotel. An example of some of the walks we may include in our programme (dependent on weather conditions and the ability of the group) are as follows:
The Six Village Walk: Ascent 400m / descent 850m, approx 10 miles, 5 hours
A classic exploration of typical Alpujarras white villages, little changed since Moorish times. This is a walk out of the hotel and over the low ridge to the south east of our village. Following tracks and mule paths through gentle countryside and quiet villages, we finish the day in Mecinilla where the Bar Aljibe will offer refreshments as we wait for the bus to take us back up to Capileira.
Route of the Acequias: Ascent 1000m / decent 1000m, approx 11 miles, 5 ½ hours This is a circular walk straight from our hotel. We walk through the village and head north up the Poqueira Gorge. Our route meanders through the jumbled rocks of the valley floor before arriving at a shady stream junction below San Tomas and ascends steeply to a goat farm at San Tomas at 2120m where we join the Route of the Acequias: irrigation channels with origins lost in the mists of time. From here there are spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada mountains above. After a picnic lunch we find and follow the crystal clear chattering upper channel before descending for a well-earned rest and foot paddle in the lower channel. We then drop down into the woods and arrive back in Capileira in time for a refreshing drink or ice-cream. We then follow the high water channels (acequias) to return to Capileira.
Pena Bon and Pico de Fuentefria: Ascent 900m / decent 900m, 10 miles, 5 hours A hired coach takes us to Trevelez from where we climb steadily in long zigzags and emerge from the trees near the rocky viewpoint of Pena Bon. We then ascend to the prominent rocks of Pico de Fuentefria for a picnic lunch. After lunch, the ridge south over Piedra de los Ladrones makes a lovely scenic descent before we drop down back to Trevelez on the new GR 240 Sulayr path for welcome refreshments in the village square bars.
Mulhacen: Ascent 800m / decent 800m, 8 miles, 4 hours At 3479m above sea level, Mulhacen is the highest mountain in Iberia. An ascent will be a highlight of the tour if local transport and weather conditions combine favourably. We take the National Park minibus up the bumpy trail to Alto del Chorrillo on the 2700m contour line, stopping on the way at a viewpoint to spot the Rif and Atlas Mountains of Morocco on the horizon. We ascend less than 800m, gently but steadlily, mindful of the altitude, up the well cairned track past old shepherds’ shelters and the remains of Civil War trenches. Near the summit cairn and shrine there are a number of good lunch spots among the ruined surveyors’ shelters – although they may be filled with snow until late in the season! Careful not to disturb the ibex we descend to the minibus on our outward route, pausing at the Mirador de Trevelez at the edge of the ridge for views of the Trevelez valley and village far, far below.
Poqueira Gorge South: Ascent 800m / decent 800m, 10 miles, 5 hours After leaving the village we turn down steeply towards the Poqueira Gorge at the Puente Chiscar. From here we rise on narrow tracks then forest roads past long-abandoned Cortijo smallholdings to the panoramic views from the crest of the ridge at Atalaya, a spectacular place for a picnic lunch. Our onward route drops down past the unexpected Osel-Ling Buddhist retreat and turns back up the Poqueira Valley, vistas of the high Sierra ridge above Capileira and Bubion opening out in front of us. After a steep drop down to the Puente Molino we rise steeply back up to Capileira.