The Valleys & High Slopes of Las Alpujarras

Andalucia – the Sierra Nevada’s southern slopes
A challenging and rewarding journey through the fertile valleys and dramatic gorges of southern Spain, against the backdrop of the dramatic Sierra Nevada. This holiday offers a combination of self-guided walking on highly praised routes, included luggage transfers and welcoming hotels.
The Valleys & High Slopes of Las Alpujarras. 10 nights
The Valleys & High Slopes of Las Alpujarras. 10 nights

Holiday information


A walking holiday in Las Alpujarras

Framed to the north by the mighty peaks of the Sierra Nevada, mainland Spain’s highest mountains, the fertile valleys and dramatic gorges of the Alpujarras are a world apart from the Mediterranean coast thirty kilometres to the south. Seemingly untouched by the passage of time, this ancient province was the last stronghold of the Moors, whose intricate irrigation and terracing systems still shape the land to this day. Complemented by the distinct character of the region (which extends to the architecture and even the chimneys), the variety of the scenery is astonishing (so much so that you never know what lies around the next bend), ranging from steep-sided gorges to orange groves, and from bubbling streams to Mediterranean landscapes dotted with cacti.
To walk in these timeless landscapes is a joy, and our much-praised route, which follows parts of the trans-European long-distance GR7 path from Athens to Tarifa, reveals many dramatic landscapes including the cavernous Poqueira Gorge, which reaches deep into the mountains. The views of the Sierra Nevada are inspirational and are particularly startling in spring, when the snow-capped peaks contrast with the colourful wild flowers and tree blossom. You stay in whitewashed villages at traditional inns and, in this sunny, little-known corner of Andalucia, visitors receive a warm and genuine welcome.


The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
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    °C 11 12 15 17 22 27 32 32 28 21 15 11
    mm 53 55 47 52 37 26 10 7 20 51 64 61
  • Arrival in Capileira
    Night 1: at Hotel Finca Los Llanos (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Choice of walks from Capileira: 10km or 16.5km

    Poqueira Valley: 16.5km, 6.5hrs, ascent/descent 925m
    This challenging introductory walk takes you into the remote, upper reaches of the Poqueira Valley, where wonderful views await. Here, the steep slopes of the gorges are shaped into terraces, honeycombed with the water-conduits painstakingly constructed by the Moors – the water still flows quietly in the acequias (water channels) but the terraces, once busy with farmers cultivating wheat, fruit, nuts and vegetables, bear silent witness to a vanished way of life.

    Poqueira Gorge: 10km, 4hrs, ascent/descent 725m
    Exploring the lower end of the deeply cut Poqueira Gorge, this shorter option follows ancient mule trails as they crisscross the river on pretty stone bridges and climb up the western ridges with views over the badlands of the south and the Trevélez River Valley.
    Around Capileira
    Poqueira Valley: 16.5km
    Poqueira Gorge: 10km
  • Capileira to Mecina Fondales: 13km, 4hrs, ascent 270m/descent 700m
    Today your route once again explores the cool depths of the gorge – this time the middle section of the valley with its little stone bridges and abandoned farms – then ascends the opposite slope, which is more Mediterranean in character, for marvellous views of the gorge and of the peaks of the Sierra Nevada. You cross a pine-clad ridge into the neighbouring Trevélez Valley, passing through typical Alpujarran hamlets to reach the village of Mecina Fondales and the Hotel Mecina Fondales.
    The Trevélez Valley
    Capileira to Mecina Fondales: 13km
  • Circular walk from Mecina Fondales: 12.5km, 4.5hrs; ascent/descent 620m
    Our suggested circular walk takes in a cluster of tiny villages of the Taha, a lush, bowl-shaped valley dotted with springs below Mecina Fondales. The route crosses ancient terraces, passing old threshing floors and abandoned water mills, before descending to the banks of the River Trevélez. From here, you scale the southern slopes via an extraordinary stone ‘staircase’ which may well date back to Roman times, then make your way along a track on the ridge and descend by an equally impossible-looking ‘stairway’. You must have a good head for heights for this route.
    In the Taha
    Circular walk from Mecina Fondales: 12.5km
  • Mecina Fondales to Trevélez: 15.5km, 6hrs; ascent 890m/descent 335m
    Today’s walk takes you above Mecina Fondales and through the pretty village of Pórtugos, from where you skirt the entire length of the deep Trevélez Gorge along a beautiful high, wooded path. Your destination is the Hotel la Fragua in Trevélez, Spain’s highest village, located on the slopes of Mulhacén (at 3,482 metres this is mainland Spain’s highest mountain) and famed for its air-cured ham.
    The high wooded path on the route from Mecina Fondales to Trevélez
    Mecina Fondales to Trevélez: 15.5km
  • Trevélez to Bérchules: 17.5km, 6hrs; ascent 620m/descent 885m
    From Trevélez, another high, panoramic path takes you across a wild, barren and wide-open landscape to the shoulder of the ridge that towers over the eastern side of the Trevélez Gorge. Your route then rises and falls across undulating farmland before ascending through Alcútar village to reach the Hotel los Bérchules.
    Bérchules, from the distance
    Trevélez to Bérchules: 17.5km
  • Choice of walks from Bérchules: 11km to 15.5km

    Río Grande – higher route: 15.5km, 6hrs; ascent/descent 800m
    This first option is a scenic and rewarding walk, initially rising steeply up the east side of the valley, then following pretty paths in and out of woodland. You pass over the Río Grande at the head of the valley before returning via an ancient silk-mill, a lovely spot for a picnic.

    Río Grande – lower route: 11km, 4hrs; ascent/descent 400m
    An easier way to explore the valley of the Río Grande and reach the ancient silk-mill.

    Bérchules to Yegen: 13.5km, 5hrs; ascent 630m/descent 830m
    This third option links the town of Mecina Bombarón with the pretty, but practically abandoned hamlets of Golco and Montenegro. En route, you climb high above the Río Grande, passing through an attractive river valley as well as pink and grey lunar landscapes. Return to Bérchules by taxi (pay locally).
    Around Bérchules
    Río Grande – higher route: 15.5km
    Río Grande – lower route: 11km
    Bérchules to Yegen: 13.5km
  • Bérchules to Mairena: 10.5km, 3hrs; ascent 460m/descent 500m
    Today, you are transferred to a choice of two villages: Yegen, which you could take time to explore before setting off on your walk; or Valor if you prefer a shorter walk of just 6km. The walk to Mairena takes you through terraces and along an ancient path, with views towards the peak of San Juan in the distance, and ends with a steady ascent to reach your final base, Casa las Chimeneas in Mairena.
    On the approach to Mairena
    Bérchules to Mairena, shorter option: 10.5km
  • Choice of walks from Mairena: 3km to 15km
    The opportunities for walking in these hills are almost endless. We provide route notes and maps for several walks for you to choose from, from short local strolls to full-day walks in the mountains... Of course, you may decide to simply relax at the hotel and enjoy the amazing views!

    A stroll in the Mairena Valley: 3km, 1hr; ascent/descent 150m
    This is a great introductory circuit around the terraced slopes south of the village that leads to the hotel's finca. It’s a walk that David and Emma often accompany you on, showing you the tended gardens of the villagers and passing the rocky outcrop known as the Peñón de Alfaguara, from where there are spectacular views of the landscape and of the village.

    Down to Ugíjar: 6km, 1.5hrs; ascent 25m/descent 515m
    A great way to visit the market town of Ugíjar, perhaps in time to explore the local market and linger over a leisurely lunch. The way weaves down along the river valley, through some of the oldest olive groves in the area, passing alongside the steeply eroded, coloured marls and clays and into the well-watered almond terraces that fill the pretty valley just before Ugíjar. Return by taxi (pay locally).

    Circuit via Júbar: 6km, 2.5hrs; ascent/descent 360m
    After a short but fairly steep ascent, you descend to the small village of Júbar, following one of the many water irrigation channels on the lower slopes of the Alpujarras. You return to Mairena along a pretty path.

    A circuit above Mairena: 10km, 4hrs; ascent/descent 520m
    David and Emma call this the ‘On Top of the World Walk’ as it climbs up high on the northern slopes above the village, passing both ruined and renovated cortijos (stone-built farmsteads) with their threshing floors and albercas (water cisterns). You traverse the hillsides to pass through a chestnut grove and then wind down towards the village of Laroles on the other side of a valley, and the village of Júbar.

    The old silk village of Válor: 12km, 4hrs; ascent/descent 595m
    This delightful out-and-back walk amply compensates for the fairly steep ascents and descents as it leads via terraced slopes to the old silk-weaving village of Válor.
    Follow our route to Ugíjar
    A stroll in the Mairena Valley: 3km
    Down to Ugíjar: 6km
    Circuit via Júbar: 6km
    A circuit above Mairena: 10km
    The old silk village of Válor: 12km


You stay in whitewashed villages at traditional inns where you will find a warm and genuine welcome.

Extend your stay



We are currently unable to take bookings for this holiday for 2024. There are, however, many other holidays to choose from, so why not browse our site some more?
Prices & travel options
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  • 10 nights: 01 April 2023 - 30 June 2023 & 01 September 2023 - 31 October 2023

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 Apr - 20 Jun 2023 £1260 £290
    1 Sep - 21 Oct 2023 £1315 £290
    3rd & 4th person discount -£65
    Single traveller supplement £65

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Hotel los Bérchules, Bérchules (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2023 £88 £110
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2023 £88 £110
    Casa las Chimeneas, Mairena (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2023 £116 £160
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2023 £116 £160
    Granada or Málaga
    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail travel from London

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend Málaga. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Malaga Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Belfast Intl. - Malaga Aer Lingus,  easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Malaga jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Bournemouth - Malaga Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Malaga easyJet,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Cardiff - Malaga TUI,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Malaga jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Malaga jet2,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Malaga easyJet,  jet2,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow Prestwick - Malaga Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Malaga jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Malaga easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Granada British Airways 
    London City - Malaga British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Granada British Airways,  Vueling 
    Gatwick - Granada (via Barcelona) Vueling 
    Gatwick - Malaga British Airways,  easyJet,  TUI,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Granada (via Madrid) Iberia 
    Heathrow - Malaga British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Malaga easyJet,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    London Southend - Malaga easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Malaga British Airways,  easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Malaga easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Malaga easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend Málaga. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Malaga

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi Málaga airport to hotel (2h30) £122 flexible
    hire car Málaga airport to hotel (2h30) £174 flexible
    coach Málaga to Granada (2h), coach Granada to Capileira (2h30) £32 1200
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Málaga airport (3h) £140 1300
    taxi hotel to Capileira (1h), Capileira to Málaga airport by hire car (2h45) included in outward price flexible
    taxi hotel to Guadix (1h30), coach Guadix to Málaga (3h30) £64 1430 (1545 Sun)

    Connecting travel options - flying via Granada

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    coach Granada to Capileira (2h25) £12 1400
    direct taxi Granada airport to hotel (1h30) £78 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Guadix (1h30), coach Guadix to Granada (1h) £48 1200
    direct taxi hotel to Granada airport (2h) £78 flexible
What is included
  • 10 nights
  • 6 dinners
    5 picnics
    10 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >



If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from A to B, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). More information on flights >
  • Absolutely! We are experts in tailored rail travel. Making use of sleeper trains or stopovers in cities along the route, we can get you from London to virtually anywhere in mainland Europe. We can even make arrangements to Mallorca, Sicily and Norway with a combination of ferries and rail. Please contact us to discuss your plans.
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Spain, but not a visa (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • (Castilian) Spanish is one of several official languages; Catalan, Basque and Gallego have equal status in Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia, respectively. The currency is the Euro. Spanish time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.

    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
  • You are the best judge of your child’s/children’s capabilities. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved. Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.
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