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Hiking trail

Trevélez to Bérchules

Hiking trail · Trevélez
Responsible for this content
Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Climbing away from Trevélez
    / Climbing away from Trevélez
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / A Disused Era (Threshing-Floor)
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Winding Path through Woodland
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Unobstructed and Far-Reaching Views
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Contouring Path
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Church in Juviles
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Approaching Bérchules
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
m 2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km

Enjoy another village to village hike from Trevélez to Bérchules, as you traverse pine forests, mountain pastures and the undulating Sierra Nevada mountains.

moderate
16.5 km
5:30 h
677 m
838 m

You’ll want eyes in the back of your head this morning, for only as you climb away from Trevélez can you can finally begin to appreciate the outstanding location of this village. Dwarfed by a backdrop of Spain’s highest mountains and tamed by terraced fields, the white village appears to tumble down the steep slopes like an icy avalanche.

First, you’ll emerge from the Rio Trevélez valley and then you’ll burst from the shady pine forests onto a section of open moorland to enjoy glorious and unobstructed views over jagged rows of mountains. On a clear day, you can even glimpse the distant Atlas Mountains of Morocco.

In addition to nature, this walk also passes a few of the traditional whitewashed villages you have no doubt fallen in love with. Juviles, Alcútar and Bérchules are each a maze of narrow streets centred around an ancient 16th-century church, and they continue to follow the typical sleepy rhythms of life in the Alpujarras.

Author’s recommendation

Between Alcútar and Bérchules lies the Las Carmelas fountain; legend has it that any unmarried person who drinks from here will soon find love. Why not have a sip?

outdooractive.com User
Author
Josiah Skeats
Updated: December 12, 2019

Difficulty
moderate
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
1765 m
Lowest point
1138 m

Safety information

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

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

You must cross over a cattle grid. Place your feet carefully and bear in mind the metal may be slippery 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

Bérchules

The village name, Bérchules, stems from the Arabic word for orchard, Berchul. It isn’t too hard to see where this name came from as the surrounding area is composed largely of fruit trees. Bérchules sits near the confluence of several mountain streams which ensures water is abundant. There are numerous fountains throughout the village; drinking from the Las Carmelas fountain will supposedly help single people find love!

 

Juviles

Juviles is another village which boasts an ancient history. The ruins of an eighth-century castle, El Fuerte, are a slight detour away, but it's impossible to miss the impressive 16th century Church of San Sebastian in the village centre.

 

Food and Drink

You will pass Juviles after 10 kilometres which has a café/restaurant where you can enjoy food or drink. There is also a Tienda (village shop) where you can stock up on supplies.

Just before reaching Bérchules you will pass through Alcútar, which also has a few options for food and drink.

Start

Plaza Iglesia and Iglesia Church, Trevélez (1479 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
37.000483, -3.265100
UTM
30S 476412 4094958

Destination

Church of San Juan Bautista, Bérchules

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km – Start in Plaza Iglesia, facing the church and with the bank behind you. BEAR RIGHT to pass to the right of the church and head downhill past the ‘No Entry’ sign. At the fountain after 60 metres (not the one in the plaza), BEAR LEFT to continue downhill, following the sign for Camino del Horcajo.

0.13km – As the path forks by metal railings, BEAR LEFT to head downhill to join the paved tarmac road. After 30 metres, TURN LEFT to walk beside the tarmac road and cross the bridge over the river.

0.60km – Having crossed over the bridge and passed a gravel layby on your right, TURN LEFT onto the rocky footpath. There is a red and white blaze of paint on the back of the signpost and you will immediately pass an information board for Sendero Sulayr.

1.00km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to cross the bridge over a small irrigation ditch and then BEAR RIGHT following the red and white markings. Ignore all side paths.

2.50km – The path continues through an overgrown tunnel of brambles and bushes for approximately 20 metres. You can choose to stoop and pass through the tunnel or bear left and scramble up the terraced field and around it.

2.60km – After crossing a wooden bridge over a small stream, immediately BEAR LEFT following the red and white markings.

4.10km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON as the narrow footpath leads onto a wide forestry track. After 400 metres, as you reach a junction with another forestry track, BEAR RIGHT. Ignore the GR7 wooden post on your left. Remain on this road for 800 metres, ignoring all side paths.

4.90km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON following the sign to Juviles and ignoring the left turn. After 300 metres ignore a second left turn even though there is a path with a GR7 wooden post.

6.10km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON at the gravel crossroads, heading into the wonderful panorama of mountains ahead. After 100 metres, TURN RIGHT sharply and then follow the path as it bends left to undulate over the rolling hills. Remain on this path for 2.5 kilometres.

8.70km – As you emerge onto a gravel road opposite an iron cross, BEAR LEFT then BEAR RIGHT onto the gravel road that heads downhill. There are lots of vague footpaths but it is easier to stick to the gravel road.

9.10km – As the gravel road forks, BEAR LEFT to head towards the two white huts. After 50 metres the path will pass over a cattle grid and to the left of the reservoir. Place your feet carefully on the cattle grid and bear in mind it may be slippery when wet.

9.30km – As you reach two conjoined trees in the middle of the path, TURN RIGHT sharply to head downhill with the fence on your left. BEAR LEFT onto the footpath after 50 metres, ignoring the tracks through the gate.

9.60km – At the hut and antenna, BEAR LEFT. After 15 metres, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON along the paved path.

9.90km – TURN LEFT as you emerge onto the main road opposite the church.

10.20km – After passing the school on your right, TURN RIGHT. After 100 metres, as you reach the Tienda (village store) TURN LEFT. Follow the signs to Fuerte and Fuente Agria at both junctions.

10.50km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON as the road forks to cross the stream and head through the ‘No Through Road’ sign.

10.90km – TURN LEFT from the gravel road and onto the rocky track. There is a sign to Alcútar and Sendero del Mar al Cielo, but you will have to look over your shoulder to see it. Ignore the path bearing right signposted to Fuerte.

10.95km – Immediately after stepping over the irrigation ditch, BEAR RIGHT to continue along the narrow path following the green and white blazes of paint. Ignore the left turn headed uphill.

11.10km – After passing a section of footpath bordered by large cacti, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, ignoring the downhill rocky path on your right. After 200 metres, BEAR LEFT to continue beside the drywall, following the sign to Alcútar.

11.90km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, climbing with the (probably dry) stream on your right. After 50 metres, BEAR RIGHT to follow the footpath as it crosses over the stream. There are regular cairns (piles of rocks) to guide you.

12.20km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON along the footpath, passing under the overhead lines with wooden telegraph poles, and towards the road. Ignore the right turn.

12.40km – After emerging onto the road, TURN RIGHT sharply to pass back under the overhead lines. You will see the path immediately forks; BEAR LEFT onto the higher path. The nearby rock has a green and white blaze of paint on. Note that the wooden signpost to Alcútar does not point in the correct direction of the path. This path becomes vague and difficult to follow. Follow the occasional cairns and green and white markings, and check the map regularly.

13.10km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to cross over the gravel road and find the footpath on the far side. There are small cairns to guide you.

13.50km – TURN LEFT as you emerge onto a gravel road.

13.80km – As you reach the corner of a gravel road with a hut on your right, BEAR LEFT to head uphill. You will pass the entrance for a guesthouse. At the junction with another gravel road after 200 metres, TURN RIGHT to immediately pass under the overhead lines.

14.20km – At the staggered crossroads with buildings on either side, TURN LEFT to pass through the sign ‘Camino sin Salida Con Vehiculos’. Ahead you will be able to see the picturesque village of Alcútar.

14.50km – BEAR LEFT onto the rocky footpath after passing the reservoir.

14.80km – As the footpath forks, BEAR RIGHT to head downhill, ignoring the footpath that continues beside the fence on your left. After 100 metres CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, ignoring the sharp right turn.

15.30km – BEAR LEFT onto the paved path headed uphill.

15.35km – Beside house number 13 on your right, TURN LEFT to continue winding uphill.

15.40km – As you emerge onto the wider road with parked cars, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, walking towards the church and plaza.

15.50km – At the junction with the tarmac road, having passed the church and plaza, BEAR LEFT, following the sign to Trevélez and Juviles.

16.00km – As the road makes a sharp, serpentine bend, BEAR RIGHT following the sign to Berchules. Remain on this road for 500 metres to finish in the centre of Berchules at the church and plaza. If you are staying in Hotel Berchules, you do not need to go into Berchules. Remain on the road as it bends left, and then finish after 100 metres.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
16.5 km
Duration
5:30h
Ascent
677 m
Descent
838 m

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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