Things to DO

Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada (meaning "snowy range" in Spanish) is a mountain range in the region of Andalucia and it contains the highest point of continental Spain, Mulhacén at 3.478 metres above sea level. It is a popular tourist destination, as its high peaks make skiing possible in one of Europe's most southerly ski resorts, in an area along the Mediterranean Sea predominantly known for its warm temperatures and abundant sunshine.
Pico del Veleta is the second highest peak in the Sierra Nevada. Its height is given variously as 3.394 metres and the northern slopes are home to the Sierra Nevada Ski Station.
By far the main attraction for visitors to the station is the 105 km of alpine skiing runs. With abundant snow, it is possible to ski almost anywhere on the mountain, as the whole station is above the tree line.
Summer activities include walking, cycling, horse-riding, and mountain climbing in the area. One of the cable cars and one chairlift are kept open in July and August, making it relatively easy for hikers to reach the summit of Veleta.

Due to its isolated location in the far south of Europe, the flora and fauna of the Sierra Nevada are unique. During the last ice age, species moved south to escape the colder climate in the north, and as the climate grew warmer again, these species survived by taking refuge in the mountains.

Parts of the range have therefore been included in the Sierra Nevada National Park which was founded on 14 January 1999

The park's plants are outstanding, with the highest number of endemic plant species in Europe. An impressive 2.100 different species of vascular plant, a quarter of those recorded in the whole of Spain, have been registered here, over 120 of them endangered. Around 70 plant species are only found in the Sierra Nevada, mainly in the higher areas, while 175 species are native to the Iberian Peninsula.

The park's main draw for fauna is its rich birdlife, with over 60 species inhabiting the Sierra. Nesting birds of prey include Booted Eagles, Bonelli's Eagles, Peregrine Falcons and Griffon Vultures. On the higher slopes are Alpine Accentors, Black Redstarts and Rock Thrushes. In the woodland areas are Hoopoes, Short-toed Treecreepers and Golden Orioles.
The most commonly seen mammal by far is the Spanish Ibex, a type of mountain goat with distinctive curling horns.
The park is renowned for its outstanding variety of butterflies with 120 species recorded here, like the Apollo butterfly.
Other important invertebrate species are the 37 native species of beetle, including the rare endemic rhinoceros beetle and the flightless grasshopper Eumigus rubioi.
Reptiles and amphibians include Ladder Snakes, Southern Smooth Snakes, Ocellated Lizards and Natterkack Toads.

Located in the less well known area of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, between the provinces of Granada and Almería, Puerto de la Ragua is a mountain pass (2.041 m) between two very different regions that have maintained their customs, traditions and lifestyle over the centuries. Just 15 km to the south you will find all the Moorish charm of the Alpujarra region and to the the north, the stately majesty of the Marquesado del Zenete plateau.

Looming over the village of La Calahorra and the plateau of the Marquesado is one of Andalucia's most emblematic and unusual fortresses, the haunting Castillo de La Calahorra. One of the first Italian Renaissance castles outside Italy and the first in Andalucia displaying these architectural features, it was constructed between 1509 and 1512 on the site of a former Moorish fortification.

Page 1