I had long heard from other ramblers about the Alpujarras being a wonderfully scenic area that provides good mountain walking, and I am happy to confirm just how true that is.
We stayed in the pretty little hillside village of Capileira that sits in the upper reaches of a steep valley that is dominated by the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountain range, where, each day offered very good, and true to grade, walking. All of the villages in the area were literally pretty as a picture and riddled with a maze of steep, twisting and narrow lanes in which all the houses were whitewashed and often decorated with potted plants.
Although we were only a small group each day offered two levels of walks. Both were ably led by Jane and Al Sarjeant whose excellent reputation goes before them.
I kept to the higher level walks but even so these passed through some wonderful valley scenery that was well adorned by an abundance of wildflowers, and of course fantastic vistas as we went higher and the views opened up. On one day the upper grade walk provided a real highlight as we hiked to the top of mainland Spain’s highest mountain, Mulhacén, and its 3,478.6m (11,413ft) summit gave superb and uninterrupted views. One of the pictures shows two of the group at the summit point, and another shows my other companions standing jubilantly by the summit.
In the course of the week we also covered many other lesser but also attractive summits and each one gave wonderful views, as well as helping us to build up healthy appetites to enjoy our daily picnics.
Another really enjoyable feature of this holiday is that Al and Jane arranged for the group to dine out each night in local restaurants, and we tried quite a few that were all within the village and only a short stroll from our hotel. All were excellent and this made for very pleasant evenings, and from what I’d heard is a vast improvement on the food that used to be taken in the hotel itself. So well done Ramblers’ for taking on customers’ feedback!
So in all, I’d strongly recommend this trip to anyone who enjoys good mountain walking combined with relaxing in pleasant surroundings. Each day was a real treat, and the company excellent.