The Sierra Nevada massif towers above Granada, which has mainline rail links to Barcelona and onward to Paris and the rest of Europe.
We stayed at Apartamentos Todosierranevada in the ski resort of Pradollano, around 30km from central Granada, and are grateful for the friendly, helpful welcome of our host, Rafa.
Our stay fell between the summer walking and mountain biking season and the ‘main event’ of winter skiing. Although most of the shops and restaurants were closed, there was enough open for self-catering and the occasional meal out. May and October are said to be among the best months for hiking and biking. At around 2,390m above sea level, evenings are cool but the sun is powerful and makes daytime temperatures pleasant.
Road, gravel and mountain biking are all fantastic in this cyclists’ paradise. Hire bikes, like Chanté’s machine, are available from Granada with suitably large cassettes to tackle the grand tour level climbs into the Sierra. We used Bicicletas la Estación near the centre. Bicimarket in the La Zubia quarter, close to Monachil, were friendly and helpful with repairs to broken spokes at short notice. Cyclica, in Monachil itself, is a friendly indy bike shop.
There’s a fantastic selection of walking routes around this part of the Sierra Nevada, from strolls through the scrub and woodland of the Monachil River gorge, near-vertical hikes toward the peaks and the Laguna de las Yeguas lake, and scrambles along the ravines of the Hoya del San Juan, a quiet Alpine valley where Veleta’s skiing paraphernalia disappears from sight.
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