Calling adventurers: La Alpujarra in southern Spain is just what you’re looking for

SOUTH of Granada, a whole world of adventure awaits you in the mountains.

From 400m to 3,479m – this being the top of mainland Spain’s highest peak Mulhacen – the active among us are spoiled for choice.

La Alpujarra has an extensive network of routes for hiking, mountain biking and electric bicycles, ideal for traversing beautiful pine forests, oak, and chestnut groves – some at an altitude of 1,500 metres.

Cycling on the trails above the high villages of Capileira and Trevelez, the highest in the region, is breathtaking.

There are also companies that specialise in horse routes high on the mountainside, including Caballo Blanco in Lanjaron and Dallas Love’s Sierra Trails in Capileira.

Activeoutdoor Riders Approach Capileira
There are also companies that specialise in horse routes high on the mountainside. Photo: Jo Chipchase

Various companies have set up to offer a range of adventures around the region.

One of the best, Adventure Alpujarra, organises everything from gentle morning hikes to mountaineering with crampons and ice axes in the winter months.

“We offer mountain skiing, canyoning, rappelling, rock climbing, snowshoeing and ascents of Mulhacen and Veleta too,” explains technical director Jose Antonio Barea Gonzalez. 

Talama Bikes
Cycling on the trails above the high villages is breathtaking. Photo: Jo Chipchase

“We can take you to remote paths, hidden rivers and find you natural pools for swimming.

“You can explore the architecture, gastronomy, and customs while hiking through the terrain,” he adds. “There’s also horseback riding along footpaths that nestle on the mountain slopes. Or explore in a 4×4 off-road vehicle, or a quad, to reach remote places where others rarely go?

“Our experienced guides can cater for everyone from complete novices to seasoned mountaineers.”

Other activities organised by Adventure Alpujarra include paintball, archery, rifle shooting and orienteering.

Adventura Alpujarra Winter Sports
“Our experienced guides can cater for everyone”. Photo: Jo Chipchase

For those who like the water, why not visit the group’s nautical centre at the beautiful Beznar reservoir. 

During summer, you can sail optimists or catamarans, as well as windsurf or go paddle surfing, kayaking or just pootle about on pedal boats to explore the reservoir. You can book a ‘nautical day’ for families or groups of friends. The centre also hosts nautical camps for all ages.

“It’s important to remember that we’re in a protected natural area and these activities must be done with companies registered by the Junta,” adds Jose Antonio. “Our company guarantees the right permits and security measures.”

Zipping the Wire Fantastic 

For something really exciting, head down to the La Talama outdoors centre at Bayarcal, at the Eastern end of the Alpujarra.

Located near the stunning Puerta de Ragua, this is a magical place for an active day out, and guests are welcomed for longer stays.

The centre combines the local gastronomy at Restaurant Talama with the adventure and ecotourism activities of B Natural Sport

BNatural’s English-speaking staff will help you enjoy the Great Zipline of Andalucia (620m of adrenaline), flying over the Sierra Nevada!

Activeoutdoor Talama Photo Jochip
Photo: Jo Chipchase

If the zip line doesn’t take your fancy, there are plenty of other activities, including canyoning, climbing, electric bike routes, hiking, bird watching, star watching, yoga, spiritual retreats, forest baths, mindfulness, slackline, archery – as well celebrating special events, such as birthdays.

Children have their own activities – including a junior zip line, climbing and archery and a great summer camp.

Activeoutdoor Beznar Lake Nautical Centre Area
Photo: Jo Chipchase

Described as ‘personalised’ tourism, where you design your adventure, it combines sports, health, nature, and education. There are also language immersion and language swap courses on offer.

The icing on the cake is the Talama Restaurant, where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner, serving homemade dishes based on organic fruit and vegetables, picked from the garden. The menu includes vegan and vegetarian options, local wines, and an assortment of Alpujarra sausages and special desserts.

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