Alpine Spring in the Sierra Nevada - includes two nights at the Refugio Poqueira (2500m) and ascent to the highest peak of the range, Mulhacen (3479m).
With the warmth of early summer in Andalucia luring us up into the fragrant air of the higher mountains, this itinerary takes us up to enjoy the heights of the Sierra Nevada peaks – second only to the Alps.
For other opportunities to get up to the peaks see AUTUMN IN THE HEIGHTS or email us to discuss a tailor made trip
June is absolutely the the best time of year for walking in the high Sierra Nevada with abundant wild flowers and wild-life. The fragile alpine gentian and fritillary carpet the short-cropped grass around the tarns and even higher on the rocky shale we come across tiny pansies and the rarer mulhacen poppy. This is also a great opportunity to observe the wild ibex which by the end of May have separated into large groups of males and smaller family groups of females with young - the Sierra Nevada National Park is home to the highest concentration of Spanish Ibex in Europe.
The beginning of this week provides time to acclimatise to the altitude - bear in mind that at the Refugio Poqueira we'll spend two nights sleeping at 2,500m - as well as becoming accustomed to the warmer weather. By Wednesday we'll have our legs in high mountain ratio ready for the ascent to the peak on Thursday! The walks are no longer than 16km/10 miles daily, but expect steep ascents and descents of up to 1000m on some days.
THE WEEK: the first few days will be spent exploring the Cañar and Soportujar ridges ranging as high as 2700m (with a shorter walk on the first day, Sunday). Our accommodation will be at family hotels in Orgiva and in the second highest village in Spain - Capileira. Wednesday morning brings free time here in Capileira, followed by picnic and an afternoon walk into the National Park to the Refugio Poqueira where we spend the night. The following day, in a full day's walk we ascend to the peak and return to the Refuge for Thursday night. On Friday we descend to Capileira for lunch, taking a vehicle transfer in the afternoon to Orgiva where we spend the last night.
What's included: accommodation, all food (except Friday supper), walks led by guides who live in the Sierra Nevada, transport from our meeting place in Orgiva and throughout the week.
The Refugio Poqueira is a large mountain refuge similar to an Alpine hut. Situated deep within the Sierra Nevada National Park, at an altitude of 2.500m, a thousand metres directly below the highest peak, Mulhacen, the Refugio provides up to 90 beds for walkers and mountaineers. The refuge staff caters for breakfast and hot evening meal (plentiful!), please let us know well in advance whether you require a strict vegetarian diet for these two days. All these meals and picnics are included in the price of the holiday.
The Refugio is manned all year round with a large dining-room (including a well-stocked bar), dormitory accommodation (hot showers are usually available). There's no need to carry sleeping bags as blankets are supplied, disposable sheets can be bought or you can bring your own sleeping bag sheet-liner (recommended). For more information contact us using the form below.
What people say:- Standing at the peak of the Mulhacen with the crag martins circling through the clouds is burned in my memory. The sense of achievement has stood me in good stead and made me more able for other more personal challenges M.U. - The top of the Sierra Nevada felt like the top of the world. We got there steadily, so it only dawned on me when we were actually at the top what a real achievement it was. And it really was. Our guides had walked me through both physical and mental aches and pains and maybe even sense of limitation. I went home elated and took on the world! S.B. - Challenging at times, but well thought out for maximum pleasure - paced very well for all of our group J.K. - A fabulous week with wonderful people E.M.
"I will recommend you to other walking groups with a heart and a half..." — Westport Walkers 2009