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Hiking trail

Capileira to Ferreirola

Hiking trail · Capileira
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • View to Capileira as you Begin the Climb
    / View to Capileira as you Begin the Climb
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Stepped Agricultural Land
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Beautiful, Narrow Lanes into Pitres
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Pitres Plaza and Church
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Colourful Lanes of Mecinilla
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Descending to Ferreirola
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Dinner on the Streets in Mecina
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
m 2200 2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 10 8 6 4 2 km

Climb away from Capileira and into the National Park to enjoy a section of untouched nature and brilliant views, before descending through charming, car-less villages and countryside tamed with terraced fields and remarkable irrigation projects.

moderate
11.1 km
4:00 h
492 m
924 m

The climb starts straight out of Capileira as you drag your way up steep slopes and away from Poqueira Gorge. Before you round the hill and leave the gorge behind you are gifted wonderful views back to the three precarious villages of Pampaneira, Bubión and Capileira, all climaxing in the spectacle from ‘Mirador (viewpoint) Tajos del Ángel’, which overlooks all three at once, as well as a wide swathe of the Sierra Nevada mountains and even the Mediterranean Sea.

Continue through the National Park following a brown ribbon of the trail which cuts through dense bush and shrub and provides a lofty sensation as you peek down on the villages of the Trevelez Valley, and the impressive mountain backdrop which dwarfs them. You will be sleeping in one of these villages tonight!

After beginning your descent, you’ll hear it before you see it - water! Clever irrigation projects funnel natural water from the mountains and dissipate it between the various farms and households, which allows these villages to survive and thrive.

Author’s recommendation

The village plaza is the place for locals to congregate, so why not stop for a drink in the plaza in Pitres. The nearby church, like many churches in the region, was previously a mosque during the Moorish period.

outdooractive.com User
Author
Josiah Skeats
Updated: March 03, 2020

Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
1789 m
Lowest point
931 m

Safety information

There are some exposed and unfenced edges throughout the walk; be careful and remain on the path.

There are several stretches where you must walk on the road as there is no pavement. Walk on the left side facing the oncoming traffic unless there is a sharp left bend, in which case you should cross to the outside edge to allow drivers the maximum time to see you.

Some of the paths are around rocky steps; be careful as these may be slippery, especially when wet.

Equipment

Sturdy hiking boots and a waterproof/wind-break layer are required. Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of the steep ascents and descents.

Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.

Make sure you bring enough water. It is recommended to drink 0.75 litres per 1 hour of hiking in hot weather.

Be sure to bring plenty of sun-cream and a healthy respect for the sun.

Tips, hints and links

Points of Interest

Threshing Floor ‘Era’

Many villages have a communal threshing floor to separate their grain. You will normally find these flat, wide areas just outside the village in an area exposed to the wind. Today you will pass one just before reaching Mecina. There is another slightly to the north of Capileira, which you can visit before beginning the hike.

 

Casa Museo Pedro Antonio de Alarcón

Pedro Antonio de Alarcón chronicled his travels through this region in his 1872 book, La Alpujarra. The museum provides details of his life and exhibits relics from the Poqueira Gorge region. The museum is just south of the church, where the hike begins.

 

Food and Drink

After leaving Capileira your first opportunity to buy food or drink comes in Pitres after 8 kilometres. There are a variety of cafes and restaurants centred around the plaza and church.

Mecina, after 9 kilometres, also has a few cafes and restaurants.

Start

Church of Saint Mary, Capileira (1436 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
36.961374, -3.359772
UTM
30S 467972 4090648

Destination

Water Fountain and Church, Ferreirola

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km – Start in Plaza Panteon Vieje, with your back to the church bell-tower. BEAR LEFT uphill along the cobbled road, then as the road forks around a second plaza, BEAR RIGHT to continue heading uphill. After 30 metres, TURN RIGHT to walk along Calle Doctor Castilla, passing the outdoor seating for cafes and restaurants on your right.

0.16km – As you reach a T-junction with the main road through Capileira, TURN LEFT to walk uphill. Remain on this road for 1.3 kilometres ignoring all side roads.

1.50km – Shortly after passing under a set of overhead lines, and with a large pylon on your left, TURN LEFT onto the rocky footpath signposted to Trevelez.

2.00km – As you reach a paved road, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to resume the rocky footpath on the far side. A wooden post with red and white markings also guides you.

2.10km – TURN RIGHT to walk uphill along the gravel road, ignoring the footpath on the far side.

2.80km – The viewpoint (Mirador Tajos del Ángel) allows a wonderful view to the three villages along the Poqueira Gorge. From here, BEAR RIGHT as the road immediately forks. Remain on this gravel road for 2 kilometres, enjoying the shifting panorama on your right.

4.60km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON ignoring the uphill gravel road on your left.

4.90km – TURN RIGHT sharply from the gravel road and onto the rocky downhill footpath, following the sign to Pitres. Walk carefully as this footpath is loose and steep; walking poles will be an advantage here. The footpath is fractured though all paths soon rejoin.

6.00km – As you reach a gravel road, BEAR LEFT to cross the small bridge over an irrigation ditch. Once over the bridge, BEAR RIGHT to continue heading downhill.

6.60km – As the path forks around a wooden post with a yellow and white marking, BEAR RIGHT. After 50 metres, BEAR RIGHT as the path forks again beside a dead tree.

6.70km – After a short section beside an irrigation channel, BEAR LEFT as the path joins a rocky footpath to head downhill towards a reservoir and farmhouse. After 20 metres, TURN RIGHT at the gravel road. Continue along this road ignoring all side paths.

7.10km – TURN RIGHT as the road becomes paved, passing through the Capilerilla signpost.

7.40km – Just after passing a ‘No Through Road’ sign, and with a reservoir on your left, TURN LEFT, following the sign for Camino de Pitres. This road will immediately pass under a house and then become a footpath.

7.80km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON as the path becomes paved. Remain on this charming lane ignoring all side roads. You will pass the church on your left and then emerge into a wide plaza with a fountain in the middle.

8.00km – Upon reaching the wide plaza, TURN RIGHT to follow the road downhill. At the ‘Stop’ junction after 100 metres, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, heading down the slope on the far side of the road just to the right of a restaurant. This downhill slope is signposted to Camino de Mecina. Continue downhill ignoring vague side paths and following the wooden post for ‘Sendero Pitres-Ferreirola’.

9.00km – As the path forks around a rock with green paint, BEAR RIGHT to head downhill with an orchard on your right.

9.20km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON as the footpath becomes paved. The large, flat, cobbled area on your left was a communal area for the village to thresh their wheat. As the road becomes cobbled after 20 metres, TURN RIGHT. At a T-junction opposite house number 16, TURN RIGHT again, and continue heading downhill towards the main road.

9.30km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON at the crossroads. If you are staying tonight at Hotel Mecina de Fondales, it is immediately on your left. If you are continuing to Ferreirola, remain on this road for 300 metres.

9.60km – Shortly after passing the welcome sign for Mecinilla, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to pass the bus stop on your right and ignore the road which bends left.

9.70km – TURN LEFT opposite the fountain to head down a narrow lane. After 100 metres, just before the road bends right around a house, and after passing a small railing which protrudes into the lane, TURN LEFT. This path will pass under a house and become a footpath. Note that it appears you can’t get through here, but you can.

9.90km – As you reach a paved road TURN RIGHT then immediately TURN LEFT. This footpath heads downhill just to the right of the row of garages.

10.00km – As you emerge onto a paved road in Fondales with the chapel directly ahead, TURN LEFT. This road will pass through a No Entry sign. After 100 metres this road forks just after passing a fountain; BEAR LEFT, choosing the flatter path signposted ‘Camino de Ferreirola’.

10.20km – As you reach the edge of the village with allotments and orchards ahead, BEAR LEFT to pass under the terrace of a house, after which the path will become rocky and then fork; BEAR LEFT to cross a small bridge with wooden handrails. After 50 metres, TURN LEFT. At each junction, you are following the sign for ‘Sendero Pitres-Ferreirola’

10.80km – As the rocky path forks with a dry stone wall on your left, BEAR LEFT to head uphill. Ignore the right fork which heads steeply downhill towards the river. After 200 metres you will cross a small bridge with wooden handrails.

11.10km – As the path splits in front of a concrete wall, TURN RIGHT. A footpath sign guides you right for ‘Sendero Pitres-Ferreirola’. After 20 metres, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON as the road becomes paved, and ignore all side roads.

11.20km – At a large house on your right with wide metal gates and metal railings, TURN LEFT to head uphill. After 50 metres, finish at the fountain in the centre of Ferreirola with the church on your left.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
11.1 km
Duration
4:00h
Ascent
492 m
Descent
924 m

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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