We’re in the Seirra Nevada area so go through some websites looking for hikes. We find a range of options both in the mountains and the foothills so choose the Beas Granada to Granada hike. It promised views of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, including the snow-capped Veleta, and also the chance to follow old shepherd’s routes.
To start the hike we wanted to catch a bus to Beas de Granada. To catch the bus you go to Avenue Capitan Moreno and take the 300 bus to Beas de Granada. There’s a bus stop not far from the intersection with Avenue Del Hospicio. We wait at the bus stop for the 8:30am bus. At 8:45am we see a number 300 bus arrive and think it’s ours. Apparently it’s not. The bus came and went while we were waiting. Be aware – the number 300 bus does not stop at the bus stop but in the far bay of the bus zone way down near Avenue Del Hospicio. And it doesn’t have a clear sign: just a small board on the dash. Not to be undone, we take a taxi instead (the next bus isn’t until 10:30am) for about 35 euros.
Beas de Granada is a cute town wedged between the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. It looks agricultural with its small plaza alto (high square) from which the walk begins.
We follow the route instructions and topographic map that we downloaded from the internet. Almost immediately we find ourselves walking on farm tracks among the almond blossoms and olive trees.
I would almost be so bold as to suggest that almond blossoms could compete with cherry blossoms in the most beautiful flower stakes.
We pass agricultural scenes of small tractors, farmers pruning olive trees and bon fires burning off the cut branches.
It feels so good to be out of the city and in the fresh air. The grass is billowing gently under the breeze, the sun is shining on our shoulders and the gravel is crunching beneath our feet.
We climb steadily upwards. My fitness has improved a lot over the past couple of months and I find the ascent easy. And of course there’s the reward of climbing: the views. Unfortunately, it’s too hazy today to get any real views of the Sierra Nevada. The Veleta (the highest mountain in Spain) is only visible because the sun is shimmering off it’s snowy summit. But the views around to the foothills more than make up for the lack of high altitude scenery.
The trail is a mix of farm tracks, herding paths and gravel roads. Normally I prefer to walk on single track trails but here this mix of terrain feels appropriate. After all, rural Spain is centuries (or even millenia) old so there is a lot of history in these trails.
We follow the trail along the ridges between Beas de Granada and Granada, always with 360 degree views of the farms and mountains. It’s so pleasant out here under the Andalusian skies. It makes me want to return to Spain to walk some more of these rural trails. Previously, when I thought of hiking in Spain I thought the only option was the Camino de Santiago de Compastella. But now I see there are so many wonderful options to hike more remote and less trod paths … paths I would love to come back to one day … like the GR7 that runs through this area.
It’s almost lunch time when we come to a big old wall. I wonder what stories it would tell.
Nearby there are a couple of picnic tables so I can ponder this thought while we eat our lunch. Mountain bikers ride past us on the trails as we eat. It’s funny how we barely notice them while we walk but now there seem to be plenty of them out on the trails. There are some walkers too, including a man who looks like he’s walking home from work. That would be a nice commute.
Not far from Granada we come to an exercise park that overlooks the city. Naturally, we make time to have a laugh here. Mum tries out some new functions she’s discovered on her camera and I pretend to do exercises.
Before long we’re walking through the olive fields that lead to the Alahmbra.
Where ancient trees and new create a gorgeous structural atmosphere to the world after the relaxed beauty of the hills. It’s good preparation for the streets of Granada that we will soon be navigating on our way back to the hotel.
It would be so easy to spend weeks wandering from town to town here in Spain with the narrow cobble stoned streets, white washed buildings, plentiful food and gorgeous landscapes. Perhaps one day I will … it depends though on how side tracked I get exploring the rest of what life and the world have to offer. For now, I am totally satisfied with the days’ hike. It was about 16km (10 miles), which is perfect for a relaxed walk.