Walks in Southern Spain: an introduction to the Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada’s in Southern Spain boasts the highest mountain range in Europe after the Alps. There are over 20 peaks with the highest being over 3,000 metres, but walkers do not have to succumb to mountain climbing to enjoy the fabulous hiking, photographic opportunities or bird watching in the area. Here are three options on where to start planning your walking adventures into this stunning part of Spain.

1: Parque Natural de la Sierra de Grazalema

This park has over 51,695 hectares of river valley views, cliffs, limestone caves, grottoes, and gorges to explore, not to mention quaint white washed villages.

The township of Grazalema itself has a woolen mill worth investigating and the enchanting town of Ronda is good for bull fights.

Getting around this part of Spain can be difficult at times without a car. However, this park is the best option if traveling by public transport as there are airport transfers and a direct train service to Grazalema from Granada.

2: Parque Natural Sierra de Aracena

Another option if you are without a hire car is Parque Natural Sierra de Aracena, situated northwest of Sevilla. This park offers hill rather than mountain walks, and also has many lovely villages to visit. There is a bus connection from Sevilla to close to the park which takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes.

3:  Parque Natural Los Alcornocales

Option three is the walks from the small town of Alcornocales, the main town of Parque Natural Los Alcornocales. This area boasts unspoilt, stunning scenery and offers around 20 walks within the park, which vary from mountain and hill country walks to coastal tracks.

Deep, narrow valleys, called canutos, shelter rare ferns and other subtropical forest vegetation. You can also see the best example of a primeval Iberian forest and cork tree groves in the world. Visit Alcala Conservation Centre for information, and maybe permission for some of the longer walks. A car is essential for this area.

For all three walking locations check that all paths are open in summer, as in high fire danger times some may be closed. Take good walking boots and carry sunscreen, a hat and water.

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