Roughly within the 1200 metre altitude barrier.
This easy walk takes in 4 important historical villages that fall within the civil authority known as the Taha de Pitres.
La Taha, an Arabic term applied to the geographical area of administrative organisation now long since replaced in all areas of Spain with the exception of the Pitres region. There the Christians continued to use the term and the structure for practical reasons.
Pitres marks the start of the walk along the Caminos Reales. An area not more than 2 kms. long, it can be completed within 5 to 6 hours.
There are significant examples of Moorish architecture and cultural flavour along the route, which includes the villages of Mecina, Ferreirola, Atalbeitar, Busquistar and finally Portugos, where the stream known as the Fuente Agria or bitter fountain is located at the Virgen de las Angustian hermitage.
This route covering a distance in total of 40 kms. takes in the traditional hill villages of Alba, Abrucena and Finana.
Through forest areas, impressive ravines and villages of immense cultural heritage.
The upper element of the walk is made under the shadow of Buitre, often snow covered on its northern slopes at 2465 metres.
There are picnic area and refugios on route, and at the end, some wonderful examples of late Morisco architecture in the village of Finana.
Sunrise over Africa. Mulhacen from Trevelez
The unsurpassed views as the sun rises from the summit of Mulhacen can be enjoyed by putting in the bulk of the 2000 metre climb up from Trevelez, the previous evening.
The stopping point is a simple Bivouac at the refuge at Laguna Hondera. This leaves a tough hike up just over 500 metres in altitude across rocky ground to the peak of Mulhacen before daybreak the following day.
Inspirational is the only way to describe the views as shafts of light illuminate the Med and the African coast far off in the South.
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Castles and bean stew. Marquesado to La Calahorra – Granada
This is another walk on the northern slopes of the Sierra Nevada. The starting point is just outside the village of Jerez del Marquesado, very famous locally for a rich bean stew eaten as a staple by locals.
The village’s origins may have been founded in prehistoric times due to the wealth of mineral deposits in the area.
The first part of the walk has southerly views dominated by the Jerez Peak. The most eastern peak of the Sierra Nevada to exceed 3000 metres.
The trek takes you through the Renaissance villages of Aldeire, Alquife and Lanteira and at the turning point an opportunity to visit the castle at La Calahorra. The most recent castle to be constructed in Spain dating back to 1500, it stands impressively guarding the village with a 360 deg. aspect across the surrounding valley. Over 45 kms. in total the walk can be split in stages using various hostels in the villages or the Refugio Ballesteros under the peak of Penon del Puerto at 2758 metres.
From a start point in the Moorish village of Valor the route takes in other villages along the GR7 path, surely too long for all but the most dedicated walker. The GR7 starts in Tarifa near Gibraltar and stretches over 10,000 kms. to Romania in Eastern Europe.
Of particular cultural interest are the villages of Valor, Mairena and Laroles. The former being the home of Morisco landowner Abén Humeya. Born in 1554, he was famed for leading the uprising against the Catholic rulers of Spain that caused the Morisco’s, formerly Moors, to be extradited back to North Africa from where their ancestors left for Spain in the 6th century.
The 22 kms. of walk takes in a good hike from 900 metres up to the ski resort of Puerto de La Ragua at 2000 metres.
From various points along this route the most spectacular views can be had, south down through the Adra valley to the Mediterranean Sea and north down the slopes and across the valley to La Calahorra where the impressive 16th century castle stands guard over the Olive and Almond trees like a Gilliamesque fortress.