The Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park covers approximately 40,000 hectares of land and sits between the provinces of Granada and Malaga. It’s characterised by its rugged and arid landscapes.
Bar a few river walks, including the Rio Chillar, Rio Verde and Río Cacin, the best times of year to hike in this area are Spring and Autumn. It gets seriously hot in the summer. Hot and very dry. Always bring lots of water.
One of the most majestic and accessible peaks is El Cielo’s at 1508m.
You’d be hard pressed to find better views on a clear day than those on offer from El Cielo’s summit.
Here’s a photosphere from the top that I took on an earlier hike.
Hiking up El Cielo is now popular. There are several ways to get up there. The route below is the most common and probably the easiest.
The Andalusian trail running cup kicked off this weekend with its first event of the year, the La Capitana Trail in Rincon de la Victoria.
Now in its fifth year, the race has attracted an increasing number of participants.
The 21km route is technical and difficult, with over 2,000m in accumulated height difference.
The Escalera Arabe – the Arabic staircase
A hike up the Arabic staircase is a classic route and the most popular walk in the Desfiladero de Los Gaitanes Natural Park. If doing one hike in the area, this should be it.
The exact origins of the staircase are unknown. The general consensus is that they were built in the 15C by Mozarabs as part of their trading routes.
This is the view from the top of the Arabic staircase.
Most of the routes up the Arabic staircase are linear. You go up and come back down the same way you came.
This is one of my favourite hikes in the natural park that sits just behind the world famous, Camino del Rey, the Paraje Natural Desfiladero de los Gaitanes.
This walk covers all the main peaks and the park’s most emblematic areas.
This is a circular route that crosses the Sierra de Huma. It starts just outside of the village of El Chorro, you then walk up the Escalera Arabe (the Arabic staircase), across to the Tajo del Estudiante, up to the Pico de la Huma, the area’s highest peak at 1,191m and back down via the Valle de Abdalajis and onto El Chorro.