Hiking Trails – Enjoy the Snow in Andalucia
Tourism in the sun and on the beach has placed Andalucia on the international map, but Andalucia has many unfamiliar faces, one of which is snow. Yes, it does snow in Andalucia despite having one of the best climates in the world!
The variety of natural spaces makes it possible to enjoy beautiful views when the Andalucian peaks are covered with a white blanket of snow during the winter. Would you like to know where to enjoy these magnificent landscapes?
We recommend these ten hiking trails to enjoy the snow in Andalucia during the winter, such as Sierra de las Nieves and Sierra Nevada:
1. Sierra de las Nieves circular path: Cortijo Huarte-Puerto de las Camaretas
El Cortijo Huarte is the starting point of our route, just above the recreational area of Los Sauces, near Yunquera, where we can leave the car and start the 17 km-long medium-difficulty trek. We will start by entering in the Spanish fir grove at Cubero, a forest of evergreens from the Cenozoic Era which marks the passing of time. The snow makes this a unique place.
Another attraction that this route offers is the ascent to the Puerto del Hornillo since, as we move on, we find caves where water, frozen by the low temperatures, forms ice floes at the entrance. This is an ideal place to rest before continuing pm to the last stretch towards the Puerto de las Camaretas and then begin the descent to the starting point.
2. Sierra Gorda de Loja circular path: Charco del negro-Pico Cabras
We start from Los Abades Service Area on the road from Loja, where we can leave the car or take it to the crossroads where we find the lake Charco del Negro, which originated from a glacier, the borders frozen by the cold and the snow. If we approach, we can look more closely at the Iberian ribbed newt which can reach up to 30 cm in length and which lives in the lagoon. This is a nice area to walk around with your family or continue on with the route.
We continue moving upwards, leaving aside the wind turbines until we reach Pico Cabras, at a height of 1642 m. From there we find a path that leads directly to an open space in which the formation of karst and sinkholes, typical rock formations in Sierra Gorda, are explained to us. A few metres down is the path which will lead us back to our starting point after about 12km.
3. Grazalema Forest path
This trail is the most representative of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park as we will be walking through the best preserved Spanish fir forest in the world, covering the entire north side of the Sierra del Pinar.
We start this path in an old quarry next to the road between Grazalema and Zahara de la Sierra, 1 km after passing the Puerto del Boyar. We follow the path up the side of the Pico San Cristobal to reach the Puerto de las Cumbres. The road becomes a narrow path that goes into a thick Spanish fir tree grove with snowy trees over 30 meters high that share the area with the odd maple.
The way back is through meadows and oak trees which will accompany us along the descent. A total of 12 km along a path of moderate difficulty which will not fail to move any nature lover.
It is important to note that this part of the Sierra de Grazalema is a protected area and before you visit, you must ask permission in the Forest Visitor Centre by calling 956 709 733. Access with pets is also not allowed.
4. Sierra Grazalema circular path: Llanos del Endrinal-Puerto del Boyar
We started the route from the Tajo Rodillo campsite in the area of Grazalema, and go up the Cañada de Mahon to the port of Endrinal, where you see the Pico Simancón, forming a mountain chain with the Pico del Reloj. The 7 km-long circular path can be walked in about 3 hours, but instead we can simply descend to the Llano del Endrinal and enjoy the snow with kids for the whole day.
If we want to complete the route, we need to climb up to the Puerto de las Presillas where we need to take care with the Pozo de Nieves, one of the best-preserved artificial snowfields which were formerly used to store and preserve the ice. From this point, we join the path down from the Puerto del Boyar.
On the way down, we pass the source of the Guadalete River, which joins us in our journey back down the path of Charcones.
5. Sierra de Grazalema circular path: Pico del Simancón
This is an 11 km-long circular of medium difficulty through the Sierra del Endrinal, located in Grazalema, with an ascent to Pico Simancón. We leave the car in the car park opposite the Tajo Roller campsite in the village of Grazalema, walking south on a trail that leads up to the Llanos del Endrinal. As you go up the Cerro del Simancón, the forest disappears to reveal the limestone.
From the top, the entire Serranía de Ronda can be seen with the Sierra Nevada in the background, and on clear days, you can even see across to Morocco.
Going down, we enter a dense oak forest which we leave behind as we return to the Llanos del Endrinal.
6. Sierra Nevada: Climb to Veleta from La Hoya de la Mora
We will leave from the university hostel located in the Peñones de San Francisco. This area is known as la Hoya de la Mora, a good choice to spend the day with the kids where you can rent sleds and spend a day on the snow with them.
But if we want to reach the top of el Veleta, we take the road to the altar of the Virgen de las Nieves to start climbing and complete this medium difficulty route, with a length of 14.6 km.
We highly recommend the use of crampons to ensure you don’t fall and have a safe ascent where we can choose to follow the road or climb directly up one of the sides for a shorter but more intense way to reach the summit. The views are unique and unrepeatable, and much of the province of Jaén, the sierras and the coasts of Almería, the provinces of Córdoba and Málaga and even the Rock of Gibraltar and the Rif Mountains in the North Africa can be seen.
7. Sierra de las Nieves circular path: Caucón-Tajo de la Caína
If we want to enjoy the diversity of colours and landscapes the Sierra de las Nieves can offer in only a couple of hours, this is our route. A circular 4.2 km-long path which allows us to enjoy with the whole family the contrast between the white natural limestone mountains and igneous ochres which can be glimpsed below the snow.
To do this, we leave from the Luis Ceballos viewpoint, where the trail begins and which leads us directly to a spectacular fir forest which we cross through, looking for the natural balcony inside. From there, we can see the village of Yunkera, the Hoya de Málaga, the coast and the sea.
We continue climbing up to the Tajo de la Caina, an impressive rock formation with a 100-metre vertical drop, and return to the starting point through a sunny area reaching the starting point.
8. Sierra de las Nieves route: Caucón-Peñón de los enamorados
3 hours and 15 minutes is what it will take us to walk this path with a medium-high difficulty near the town of Yunkera, where we will enjoy the high mountain gall-oak groves, meaning we are shaded for much of the route.
We start the trail from the Luis Ceballos viewpoint, choosing the southern mountain area and crossing Aleppo pine and oaks areas until and we arrive and pass through the Spanish firs.
We continue climbing up to the Puerto de las Boas, a narrow passageway formed in limestone, and reach el Peñón de los Enamorados at an altitude of 880m, absolutely beautiful when it is snowy.
9. Sierra de las Nieves route: Puerto de Saucillo-Torrecilla
The Puerto de Saucillo viewpoint is our starting point on a route measuring 9.4 km which we only recommend for experienced walkers. However, it is essential if we want to see much of the province of Málaga framed between the Grande and Guadalhorce rivers. Immediately afterwards, we enter the Spanish fir forest which will join us along much of the route until, due to the altitude, we will only find bushes which are adapted to the altitude. We reach the port of Cuco and continue until the Tolox plateau where there are oak trees several centuries old and a pillar where we can cool off and get ready for the last part of the journey: the ascent to the Torrecilla. At 1919 metres, it is the highest peak in the Sierra de las Nieves and from its summit, we can see Sierra Nevada, the Mediterranean and the rest of the mountain range where we are.
10. El Torcal de Antequera circular path
El Torcal de Antequera covers a landscape of spectacular shapes, perfect to visit at any time of year but when snow covers the rocks, it is a unique spectacle.
We choose to take the yellow route, perfect for the whole family. We leave from the Visitor Centre and follow the signs to guide us through the characteristic formations of the park such as the Tornillo (Screw), the Champiñón (Mushroom) or the Cornisa del Diablo (Devil’s Ledge).
Along the path, we will also enjoy the contrast between the ammonite fossils (molluscs which became extinct 65.5 million years ago) and the animals that live there now, like mountain goats and vultures.
If you want a break to enjoy the snow-covered sights, what better option for staying in the natural park than the Fuerte Grazalema hotel along the Serrania de Ronda? If you decide to come to Sierra Nevada, Fuerte Calaceite Apartments in Torrox is found less than an hour away, allowing you to enjoy a day of snow and beach. This town has the best climate in Europe.