While the Sierra Nevada mountain range is famed for its beautiful ski resort and slopes, there are many more interesting sights to see and things to do in the area. Several beautiful white villages nestle on the surrounding hillsides, making for photo opportunities and pleasure while exploring the narrow winding streets. There are also natural parks to explore, mountains to climb, spas to enjoy and even an observatory, perched on a mountain top offering guided tours.
Enjoy the traditionally cured hams of the region while gazing at the amazing views with a glass of the best Spanish wine. Close to the exciting city of Granada and the beautiful Alhambra, the area is perfect all year round and offers both winter and summer activities. The following are just a few of the enjoyable things to do and places to see while visiting the Sierra Nevada.
1. The village of Capileira in Las Alpujarras
The village of Capileira is the highest of three white villages, located in the Barranco de Poqueira, and also the second highest village in the whole of Spain. The winding and steep streets are lined with quaint and beautiful homes, as well as the 18th-century village church and the interesting Museo Etnológico Pedro Antonio Alarcón, with its exhibits of the village’s handicrafts. Visit the Eras de Aldeire for the most amazing views across the Poqueira gorge and surroundings, all the way to the famed Veleta peak, well known for its ski resort.
The village of Capileira in Las Alpujarras
Address: Capileira, Las Alpujarras, Sierra Nevada, Granada, Spain
Website: Capileira (in Spanish)
2. Sierra Nevada Observatory
Enjoy a guided visit to the Sierra Nevada Observatory, located high up in the Sierra Nevada mountain range at Loma de Dílar. The observatory is maintained and operated by the Astrophysical Institute of Andalusia and has a main building with two optical telescopes and other buildings for astronomical and non-astronomical purposes.
Sierra Nevada Observatory
Address: Loma de Dílar, Sierra Nevada, Granada Province, Spain
Website: Sierra Nevada Observatory
3. Los Cahorros In Monachil
For a fascinating hike, the Los Cahorros gorge is located a short distance from the tiny village of Monachil. While previously only known in rock climbing circles, the addition of hanging bridges has made this area popular for visitors to the area. Besides the hanging bridges, there is a pleasant walk alongside the Monachil River with gorgeous views, rock pools for swimming, waterfalls, and tunnels to explore.
Address: Monachil, Granada Province, Spain
Website: Los Cahorros (in Spanish)
4. Music and art at La Chistera Monachil
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Staying in Monachil, those who enjoy both music and art will love La Chistera Monachil. The concert hall offers various musical events relating to the culture and art of the region, including jam sessions, jazz, flamenco dancing, art shows, concerts, and workshops. On offer are various delicious teas, along with tasty tapas, homemade pies, pizzas and sweet pastries. In winter, the olive stove keeps visitors warm, while in summer, visitors can enjoy a terrace overlooking the river.
La Chistera Monachil
Address: Plaza Baja, 3, 18193 Monachil, Granada, Spain
Website: La Chistera Monachil
5. Camino Real de las Hoyas nature trail
Camino Real de las Hoyas is a nature path which leads through ancient oaks over a bridge dating from Roman times. The route offers beautiful landscapes of the Sierra Nevada, along with many types of vegetation and local species of animals to be seen, including the wild boar and ibex.
Camino Real de las Hoyas
Address: Las Alpujarras, Granada, Spain
6. Mirador Ahi De Cara
This beautiful viewpoint is located on the mountain of the same name, offering views of the western zone of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Included in the panoramic view are the Canales Reservoir and the Genil River Valley, with the ski mountain of Veleta, together with Mulhacén and Alcazaba.
Mirador Ahi De Cara
Address: Guejar-Sierra, Granada, Spain
Website: Mirador Ahi De Cara
7. Jardin Botanico Hoya de Pedraza
Located in the central massif of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, this beautiful botanical garden hosts the flora and vegetation of the area and Las Alpujarras. Among the plants are various rare and endemic species, currently threatened and protected by legislation. There are four sections to the garden, the silvicultural section, the vegetation of Calcícola, the vegetation of Riberas and the garden of endangered species.
Jardin Botanico Hoya de Pedraza
Address: Ctra. Sierra Nevada Km. 27, Monachil, Granada, Spain
8. Trevélez village and its famed ham
Trevélez is a charming white village, located in the beautiful river valley of the same name and is famous for its cured ham (jamón Serrano). Trevélez is the highest village in Spain offering clear mountain air, perfect for curing the ham. In the local bars, it is possible to see the hams hanging from the ceiling. In the lower section of the village, many handicraft shops, souvenir shops, restaurants, and bars can be found, while the upper areas of the village offer the traditional white homes and winding streets.
Address: Trevélez, Granada, Spain
Website: Trevélez (in Spanish)
9. Sierra Nevada ski resort
Andalusia is famed for its hot and sunny weather, making the Sierra Nevada mountain range the only ski location in the province, close to Granada and the Alhambra. The ski resort is Pradollano, a popular spot with its restaurants, shops, bars, and nightlife, located close to the ski lifts up Veleta Mountain to the slopes. In winter, the area is famed for its skiing and snowboarding, while in summer it is a popular area for enjoying nature and stunning views across the countryside.
Sierra Nevada ski resort
Address: Pradollano, Granada, Spain
Website: Sierra Nevada Ski Resort
10. Peña Escrita Natural Park
Located in the Almuñécar area of Granada province, Peña Escrita is a natural park high up on the Sierra Almijara and is a wildlife area with beautiful views and excellent hiking facilities. The highest accessible point in the area, Peña Escrita is home to deer, mountain goats, wolves and other animals endemic to the area. There are also various animals in pens to visit, including – rather unusually – several ostriches. Visitors can choose from a variety of clearly marked walking paths and riding stables offer the opportunity to ride through the park. There is also a restaurant and bar for a meal or drink during your visit.
Peña Escrita Natural Park
Address: 18690 Almuñécar, Granada, Spain
11. Dare to hike Summit Velata
Some of Sierra Nevada’s best attractions are fronted by its nature and outdoors. Avid adventure seekers and travelers alike are up for a treat when in Sierra Nevada, with several mountains to hike and trek like Nevada’s beautiful Summit Velata. This summit is part of every avid hiker’s bucket list with its gorgeous yet challenging terrain. Summit Velata’s highest peak at 2,079 meters (6,821 feet) featuring a steep and rocky final ascent. For those who travel to outdoor destinations, Summit Velata in Sierra Nevada is one not to miss out on. Those who wish to step it up can also attempt to book tours with biking, skiing, and snowboarding for a more thrilling adventure in their winter vacation Spain.
Summit Veleta, Sierra Nevada
Address: Veleta, 18160, Granada, Spain
Opening hours: 24 hours, Sundays to Mondays
Enjoy exploring the Sierra Nevada
With so much to offer during both the summer and winter months, the Sierra Nevada mountain range is the ideal location for nature, skiing, exploring and so much more.
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