Getting there: Berchules is 3h45 minutes bus drive from Granada. There are two departures each day, at 12:00 (arr. 15:45) and at 16:30 (arr. 20:15. The cost is 8 euros. Alternatively there is also a bus to Trevelez at 10:00 (arr. 13:15) and a taxi can be taken to Berchules from there.
DAY 1: arrival in Berchules
This is a small village (pop. 900) located on the GR 7 long distance footpath and convenient to start this trip. Your first hotel, the Los Berchules is a comfortable inn with restaurant and swimming pool. Relax from your journey, swim or explore the village on foot. Your walking starts next morning...
This scenic loop will take you through the valley above Berchules, long on history and not too strenuous. The gradients are gentle, except for the final few km. Points of historical and folkloric interest are encountered along the way. [16 km; 1040 m asc/ des, 6 to 8 hours including rests] There is also a shorter option (out and back) of 12 km
Berchules to Trevelez
This is a long walking day and can be shortened by shuttling the first or
second sections– our Area Manager will provide recommendations based on
weather and your interests. The hike is varied with interesting villages, archeological sites, and a possible diversion to a 10C castle near Juviles. The second section is in less inhabited mountainous country and passes through a lovely ancient Oak forest. In warmer months, we suggest walking the second section or taking an alternative higher, cooler route of 18 km following the GR240. [24 km; 1350m asc, 1040m des, 10 hours including
rests] Shorter option is to shuttle and reduce the distance by approx half.
Today's walk explores the valley above Trevelez with views of the Mulhacen, the highest peak in the Sierra Nevada. Melt waters from this mountain are responsible for feeding the many springs you'll pass today. The route passes by authentic cortijos and you will no doubt encounter cowboys' working the farms. Trevelez is famous for the quality of its air-cured hams, a specialty throughout the Alpujarras and particularly associated with this village because of the cold climate due to its altitude. [14 km; 650 m asc/des, 6 hours]
Trevelez to Busquistar
The walk to Busquitar has a good variety of landscapes with open areas and shady oak forests providing welcome relief from the sun. There is a 500 m net descent on this day. Enjoy! You'll stay at a quaint inn, Casa Sonia and enjoy dinner tonight here. [13 km; 600 m asc, 1000 m des, 5 hours including rests.]
Busquistar to Capileira
This walk is relatively short, and there is plenty of time to explore villages en-route. Each village you pass boasts Moorish architecture and is well-preserved. Perhaps most impressive is the Barranco del Poqueira with views of the Taha and of the Sierra Nevada. Capileira is a splendid village with a weekly market (Tuesdays) two bakeries (one wood-fired), two vil-lage supermarkets, art gallery with works by local artists. Local wine and cheese sellers, and good restaurant choices. [11 km, 600 m asc, 400 m des, 4 hrs] Taking the additional diversions can add 1 to 3 hrs.
As you walk around Capileira you will encounter fig and cherry trees, almonds and chestnut. Watch for kestrels, hawks and even golden eagles. There are over 20 varieties of butterflies. We provide two loop options on this day, giving the potential for one longer figure 8 walk with lunch in the village of Bubion. Loop 1 concentrates on the area above the villages, with outstanding views of the Sierra Nevada ridge. [11 km; 550 m asc, 650 m des, 3 1/2 hrs.] Loop 2 crosses and re-crosses the steep river gorge with views of the three villages of the valley. [7km, 3 hrs]
DAY 8: Departure
There are buses that depart Capileira for Grenada at 7:00 am (arr 9:25) and at 16:45 (arr 19:45).