Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pradollano - Veleta - Mulhacen - Trevelez (one-way)

Another one-way route starting from Pradollano, Granadas ski resort in the sierra nevada. This route is perfect for all of who want to see it all, who bring enough time and energy, but rely completly on public transport. 
The trail takes you all the way to Trevelez on the other side of the mountains. You will climb Spains 2nd and 3rd highest mountains, the Veleta and Mulhacen, pass the beautiful valley of the Siete Lagunas to walk all the way down to the famous Pueblo of Trevelez, in a almost 26 KM high altitude walk with more then 2.4 KM altitude difference.

Stunning views, tamed mountain goats, crystal clear water, rocks over rocks is what you will get for the 2.4 KM and soar feet!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Climbing & more at the Embalse de Quentar (Granada)

Just a 30 minutes drive away from Granada Town, the Embalse de Quentar, a artificial water reservoir, is a very welcome afternoon trip in the hot Andalusian summer days. If you feel like swimming, rock climbing, fishing or walking the Quentar water reservoir could be your option. Rarely visited by locals and tourist you find always a tranquil spot to rest, though there is no path or whatsoever going around the water. In case you want to cross over to other places on the shore you have to either swim or bring a dingy which is fun enough.

The rocky slopes are perfect for climbing and the big cave is a climbers paradise as you can jump into water once you slip. Just bring you climbing shoes and water and you ready to go. there are no hooks or whatsoever - its freeclimbing in various degrees. Best time to visit is between July and September.

If you bring a dingy you can explorer the few sidearms of the lake with small sandy beaches and fresh water flowing into the lake. if you aim for fishing there is loads of fish waiting to be hauled in. In fact i find the non-endemic prominent grayling type fish a bit of a ecologic disaster for local species.

Summerbreak in Corsica (GR20)

During the hot summer in Andalucia there are always ways to escape the tremendous heat. The month of august is the worst of them all. +40 Degrees makes it nearly impossible to walk around, even in the high mountains.

The GR20 in corsica is such a welcome escape! Its rated unter the TOP 10 of the world most diverse and beautiful long distance trails in the world and is the only one in europe in that category. The 200 something KM across the Island can be done in everything between 7-16 Days i believe. I read somewhere the there are records under 48 hours which, after having walked more then 120 KM of the same, i find it very hard to believe! Usually people take between 12-15 days for the 15 Stages or so.

During peak seasons there are lot of people on the trail and so walking without tent is not advisable. I heard  you can also book in advance in some places but that seems to take the fun out of walking without knowing where to end up. The most funniest thing i found is that every single one of the refugees has propers menues, beer, wind, chocolate, whatever you can imaging for sale. Its extremely funny if you watch people walk a stage (in average 5-7 hours), arrive at 13:00 PM to start to have beers until the evening.

Corsicas interior, the mountains and the forests are amazing and you could well say that Corse is one of the most beautiful places in Europe. If you havent been you should go. For all information on the GR20 i found helpful please refer to this sites:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sierra Nevada (Pradollano) - La Zubia

This trip is one of the many choices when taking the bus up to the sierra nevada ski station (pradollano) from granada to walk back the same day. The ski resort is not the most beautiful sight during summer but it remains a perfect starting point for many trips. Dont be surprised to see a bunch of hikers up there in summer - its quite common for people around to tackle the peaks of Veleta and Mulhacen from there. i remember once counting almost 50 people going up. even more surprising, or as you wish, there is also a mini bus going up from the public bus stop at 2.400m all the way to the base of the Pico de Veleta at 3200m.

From Pradollano - La Zubia

This walk is basically one of the fastest ways to get back top Granada. The walk should take about 7-9 hours. There are many options if you feel like going into the Valle del Rio Monachil or the Trevenque. This one goes right through the middle of both. Another option is when you enter the Valle de Rio Dilar at its very beginning. In spring and summer you will see one of the biggest waterfalls in the whole Sierra Nevada. Even crossing over to the other side (Alpujarras) and going to Capileira or Orgiva is a good choice and doable in one Day. (The last bus leaves around 17 pm).

From Pradollano - La Zubia

In Summer there is only one bus from Granada and it leaves at 9 am every morning from the central bus station. The same bus stays up there until 17 pm (yes no joke) and goes back again. In summer and on weekends nowadays the main telecabina is open! So you can go up first from pradollano with the gondola and then change to chairlift or however you call these things. funnily the guy working there had no clue what it costs to go up - spain i tell you. india for beginners :)


Sierra Nevada (Pradollano) - La Zubia

EveryTrail - Find the best hikes in California and beyond

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rio Verde (one-way)

If you ever go during summer to the south of spain you think that hiking out in the campo is impossible due to the extensive heat. For the majority of places this could be said as true. The Valle of Rio Verde is an exception from the rule. Not only is the valley descending directly into the Mediterranean Sea but also carries all year around plenty of water. As the name Rio Verde suggests the water is really green! .. really really green due to the geological structures/rocks chalk, launa.

Back in the medieval days the river was used for transporting wood down to the settlements on the coast and they kept doing this until mid of last century leaving not many trees standing. You can still see the marks on the rocks from the centuries of transport. The pathis going all the way from the coast up over the Sierra de Guajar/Cazulas/Almijara to Granada and was used to bring sea fruits on mules to Granada in a daytrip.

Nowadays the Valle del Rio Verde is known to some people for canoying which is quite fun but also a little sad, because of damages to the delicate structure of the riverbed. There are really enough deep and big pools to jump in and the the largest one is about 5 meters deep and has at least an radius of 8 meters. The base for jumping another 10 meters up. What could you want more in summer.

If you are thinking that you can walk the valley down without getting wet - its almost impossible! You have to cross the river at least 2-3 times and there may be no bridge or whatever. The river can really swell up in spring and take everything with it.

This trip is the perfect crowded beach or city summer getaway. There a two options:

1) One-way
On this option you start from the top and walk all the way down and in the end up to the road to either hitchhike or have somebody pick you up (or with 2 cars). walking the road up again would take at least 3-4 hours. There is also a Bus coming up from Almunecar which goes twice a day. Check out the time at It should be doable as the Bus back to Granada leaves at around 5/6.

2) Round-way
There is actually only one round trip option which i tried before (without gps) and for that you will stay in the upper part of the rio verde and take a diversion in direction of the small embalse (see google map/earth). This option will carry you only half kilometer along the Rio itself though.


Rio Verde (one-way)

GPSies - Rio Verde (one-way)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fishing Lake Beznar

On the road to Motril from Granada situated in the Valle de Lecrin you find the Embalse de Beznar, a water reservoir which is feed by the Rio Dilar i think. Its quite big and deep and used as a main drinking water reserver in the area - i was told because you are not supposed to swim and you never see boats. I guess it makes sense. So fishing is the only option i suppose. I dont know about spanish law - fact is that locals go there to fish so i dont see any problems doing the same. Also the lake is packed with fish which are mostly a form of carp which grow to something like 40-50cm max. I never had any of them bigger then that. 

There a 2 Options. Going for carp which in late summer should be the best time - or going for perch which can be found also plenty. But same applies - the size is usually rather small. In any case its a worthwhile activity when going to the mountains or the beach since the lake is situated at the entry to the Alpujarras. Its  a little difficult to access the lake so the best thing is to park near the dam and walk around (But dont fall - its quite steep at some spots ;)

The Lake in Guajar Sierra, just to mention, is of a different kind. The fish are bigger and it has quite some big trout in there. Thats for a future story to come.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Camino de Estrellas - Loma de Papeles

This is one of the most spectacular hikes on the north side of the Sierra Nevada. The Camino de Estrella is well know for its stunning view of the Mount Mulhacen. People start from the bottom and walk the Vereda de la Estrella all the way up until the top. Back in the days this track was used for transporting ice from the mountains to the city. Also there used to be mines and people would take cows, sheep and goats for grazing up there in the summer. Nowadays on certain days quite a few people go up the first quarter of the camino to see the big mountains. Going up until the end where the path is getting difficult it takes almost 4-5 hours. Not many people go that far up and turn around halfway.

This hike is actually only following that camino for 1-2 hours and then heads up the northern side up until the Refugio de Pena Partida. Not too many people go this variation because there is basically only one other way to come back to the original starting point. That is walking all the way almost to the end of Guajar Sierra to walk up again to the starting point where the road ends. By the way there used to be also a train going up there i was told. Well there is not much to see of that but the old building at the end suggests beeing a train station. So not many people would go on that hike because its at least > 30 KM

Two things are to mention:

1) The Sauna

When leaving the Camino de Estrellas to go up to the Refugio del la Cucaracha you have to walk to a pine forest. The Ascend is > 400m i think and in summer it can get really hot. Also there will be no breeze in that patch of forest so with 40 Degrees and sun its is like a sauna of 60-70. Take water and take your time

2) Descending back to the bottom of the Valley del Rio Genil from the Loma de Papeles.

There is no public track going down. You have to pass through private property. So prepared for fences and dogs. Its doable pretend you are lost if somebody starts to make troubles.

Camino de Estrellas - Loma de Papeles

GPSies - Tracks of anda-en-lucia

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mensday 2011 - Celebrating manhood in Granada

Actually Fathersday is celebrated in only some europeas countries. I wouldn't know actually where this day is even coming from. In Germany for example men usually make a trip by foot, armed and loaded with beer. The one who falls behind first has to take care of all bills later. I dont know if this part of it or nor. The beer part - yes! 

This was my first time having something like this ... in Spain, were usually people dont go out to say "hey, its mensday, lets grab some beers and go make a round". people do that all the time here. not quite - they usually stay in town. Also the topic of the walk was manhood and obviously girls (they of course are not allowed to participate) - stuff you only tell your best friends.  

It was a nice adventure and going the round behind the Alhambra is always pure pleasure. Even more so with the right spirit and a couple of beers, manly talks and the wisdom that man cant live with girls but also can not live without girls.

Looking forward until next year