One week half board 550€ per person - includes all route notes and maps, a visit to the Mairena olive mill and our own organic farm with a talk about local farming methods. We also include a visit to the ancient church of Jubar with a talk about local history and the legacy of the Moors as well as help with and organization of a range of other activities. Pick up from either Almeria or Granada can be organised for a supplement of 50€ per person
In this package we offer you a menu of possible walks and day trips from which you can choose from each day. This gives you the option to make use of our detailed knowledge of the area and to choose exactly what you would like to do on a daily basis depending on the weather and your energies.
A sample list of the kind of walks and activities that are available is as follows:
- Full day's hike to peak of Morron el Mediodia (2730 m) high in the Sierra Nevada.
- Visit to local village of Yegen, home of writer and Hispanophile Gerald Brenan.
- Cookery demonstrations Learn to make local Spanish dishes such as tortilla, patatas a la pobre or paella. Depending on the time of year sometimes this is organised at our own organic farm where our cooks Sole and Conchi demonstrate a range of dishes cooking in the traditional way over an open fire. More formal cookery weeks are also an option. Please contact us for more details
- Visit to the award winning bodega Buenavista with engaging talk from the owners about how they set about reopening the family vineyard followed by wine tasting
- 15 km mountain bike descent on forest trails back to house from mountain pass of Puerto de la Ragua.
- Visit to historic city of Granada and guided tour of Alhambra.
- Various half day's strolls through almond terraces and pick up from the neighbouring villages.
- Full day's horse ride with experienced riders along the ancient Camino Real.
A range of activities are also available for families such as village treasure hunts, fruit and vegetable picking and watering at our organic farm, milking the goats and craft mornings.
Pick up from either Almeria or Granada can be organised for a supplement of 50€ per person each way
Casa Las Chimeneas Walks
Sample Round walks from Mairena
The following four walks follow the GR7 marked with red and white waymarks - the ancient Camino Real which links the villages. Route notes in both directions east to west and west to east are available.
Laroles valley walk (5 hours)
This is a good introductory round walk from Mairena as it is easy to follow and well waymarked, and is known as the Camino de los Castanas milenarios - the thousand -year-old chestnuts. It first takes you east to the village of Jubar with its ancient church, perhaps one of the oldest in the area. You then walk up and along an old waterway through chestnut trees and back down the other side of the valley to the village of Laroles. The route back follows the GR7 out of Larloes, crosses the river and then climbs steeply to join the track which leads to Jubar and back to Las Chimenas.
Jubar waterway walk (2 hours)
This is a pleasant late afternoon walk which takes you up the road from Las Chimeneas towards Jubar, up a steep earth track and then back along a waterway bordered by the typical Spanish oaks trees before coming back in a circle. A good way to stretch the legs after a plane or a car journey!
Mairena to Ugijar (1.5 hours - 2 hours)
This down hill walk takes you through the olive and almond groves in front of Las Chimneas and to the local market town of Ugijar. It is a good option to combine with a visit to the eastern administrative centre of the Alpujara with its bars, restaurants, museum and twice monthly street market. (5th and 20th of every month). Best to either arrange a lift back or to be feeling fit for the non-stop uphill coming home!
Walk of the "Piedras Pintadas" (2 hours)
(Or painted stones - so named as it was waymarked by local village children in order to preserve an ancient footpath) - This walk gives you a taste of the essence of the Alpujarran landscape, going from the village of Mairena steeply up through almond terraces. It then follows a rough old track into the high sierra, which only a few years ago was still busy with dozens of donkeys being taken to tend the fields of wheat. You then follow the forest track down to the waterway above Jubar.
Walks Following the GR7
Posada de los Arrieros to Mairena (6 hours)
Via Bayarcal and Laroles. - For this walk you are driven up towards the Puerto de la Ragua, to an elevation of approx. 1800metres, and begin at the Posada de los Arrieros, the Inn of the Muleteers . You need to be reasonably nimble -footed to enjoy this walk, as several stretches of the well -marked footpath are covered with loose stone. In addition, you are likely to come across semi wild cattle; these are not aggressive beasts, but people who are nervous around cattle should avoid this walk. There is also a reasonably good chance of spotting wild boar and Ibex, the Spanish mountain goat, though these two latter are skittish and will flee as soon as they are aware of your approach.
Mairena to Yegen (3.5 - 4 hours)
This walk takes you from the village of Mairena along the old camino real to the village of Nechite. This is a picturesque hamlet with a bar that may or may not be open and no shops. From Nechite you continue to Valor which is one of the larger villages in the Alpujarras, with a choice of supermarkets and restaurants. There is also a small shop selling Alpujarran produce just next to the Restaurant El Puente as you emerge onto the main road, though once again the opening hours are rather erratic. The shop sells Valor goat cheese and local figs, delicious if you're in need of an energy boost. From Valor the route takes you down to the natural springs of Cuesta Vinas where you can revitalise yourself with the naturally iron rich waters. From Cuesta Vinas it is uphill to Yegen. Yegen does have a supermarket at the bottom of the village and its own bakery.
Yegen to Berchules (5-6 hours)
This route takes you below the main road to an old hermitage and down to the river where poplar trees are being cultivated for beams for the restoration of houses. It is a good bird spotting zone so don't forget to take your Las Chimeneas bird list! You walk through the tiny village of Golco which doesn't have any shops or restaurants and on to the village of Mecina Bombaron. .From Mecina Bombaron it quite a hard climb up to the pine forest where you can look out for ibex and eagles.
Berchules to Trevelez (6 hours)
This is quite a long walk and you gain more height than you may have done on other walks. Please note that you don't pass any villages en-route so you will need to make sure you have plenty of food and water. You climb out of Berchules and quickly reach the high sierra ,which in the not-too-distant past would have been cultivated with wheat. You cross the high ridge above Trevelez and take the steep path with dramatic views down into the spectacular gorge with views of Mulhacen above.
Walks Needing a Car or Pre-arranged Taxi Transfer
Laujar valley walk (3 hours)
For this walk you drive east to the wine growing region of Laujar (about 40 minutes) . You then walk up a hidden and unexpectedly green valley ,walking under the pine trees for the first part of the walk and then back along a spectacular waterway set high up on the cliff side with wonderful views. At one point the waterway goes through a set of caves which is very dramatic (a torch is helpful). Not for those unsure with heights!
Ruta de Gerald Brenan - Yegen (2 hours)
This is a very special round walk from Yegen which takes you down into a hidden valley full of interesting rock formations, lush terraces and tiny streams. It climbs down and then steeply up with plenty of tempting resting places but probably not suitable for a hot day with no wind! In cooler months there are lots of lovely places to take your time for a picnic, a read or an hour of sketching!
Junta de los Rios (Berchules) (2.5 hours)
This is a half day's walk today so there is plenty of time to relax as you follow this gentle track up the valley on what used to be the main route for cloth merchants making their way on horseback to Granada. The half way point is the ruins of an old Moorish silk factory and there is a pleasant flat area of grass where you might like to have a picnic. The suggested route back follows the waterway but at points you need to have a head for heights as in places the hillside drops quite steeply. If there is no water in the waterway you can walk in the acequia itself,but if this happens to be full at the time of the walk and you have a tendency to vertigo it is wiser to double back the way you came.
Peaks of Morron and Chullo (5 hours round walk)
(Option of a shorter 3 hour walk) - The peaks of Morron (peak west of Puerto de la Ragua) and El Chullo (peak east of Puerto de la Ragua) offer breathtaking high mountain walking and can really only be attempted when the weather and weather forecasts are good. Briefly, the day involves a half hour ascent by car along tarmacced roads until you arrive at the cross-country ski station of La Ragua. From here both peaks are visible and providing there is no cloud the tracks are easy to follow. If you follow the route to Morron there is a lower peak which makes a good turning point if you don't want to climb the full 3 hours up to Morron itself.
Cadiar to Berchules (5 hours)
This is a great day's walk with changing scenery and long distance views. At various times you walk along ridges, terraces and dried up river beds. You begin on the GR142 and later join the E4/GR7 but both footpaths are indicated by the red and white waymarks. At first you follow farm tracks on a ridge lined with wild flowers, then through vineyards, and down to the Rio Guadalfeo. You then go through the villages of Lobras, known locally as the 'Village of Flowers' and Tímar, where they produce jarapas (throws made from woven fabric). It's also a great place to take a picnic in the little square by the church while admiring the views.
The River Trevelez (5 hours)
This is a beautiful walk which takes you up above Trevelez walking along pastureland and high, remote farms with views down to the river below. Later you descend into the river valley itself and walk along the river which at certain times of year is quite dramatic with fast flowing water and pools. Even in summer there is likely to be stretches which are quite wet so don't forget to wear waterproof boots!