Walking in the Lecrín Valley, Granada, Spain
Albuñuelas to Fuente Alejandro
Do you like walking? If so, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this walk. We did it for the first time at the beginning of May, a wonderful time of the year to enjoy these routes. There’s a plan of the route in the house, not very well explained but we didn’t get lost! The great thing is that you can always see the village from the path.
Drive to Albuñuelas making for the Barrio Alto which is at the end of the main street. You can park the car in a car park on the left hand side, halfway between the Barrio Bajo (Lower Neighbourhood) and the Barrio Alto (Upper Neighbourhood). From here walk up to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, along Avenida Constitución. Almost at the end of the avenue, turn left into Calle Granada and sharp right by the fountain. Then first right and straight past the Placeta de Palmilla taking a left into Calle Olivo and on to the Plaza de la Virgen.
Turn right here onto Camino del Río and down to the Molino de los Ubeda, a mill you will see straight in front of you on the other side of the River Santo. Turn left onto a narrow path and cross the river, following the path up past some huge fallen rocks, known as Peñon del Garbanzo. Turn right up the rough steps along Camino del Castillo which then turns left, leaving a copy of the plan to your right on another path which you can also follow for a shorter route. The steps take you out on to a flat area with amazing views over the valley and Sierra Nevada.
Follow the path right up through the olive groves, enjoying the wild flowers along the way. From here on follow the path which turns into a forest track, always keeping Albuñuelas and the river bed to your right. It seems at times that you are getting further and further away but have no fear, you will get back to your car!
The path takes you through very varied countryside, green rolling hills and stark rocky outcrops. The views over to the other side of the gorge are amazing. At one point you come to the most beautiful ravine, Tajo de las Ventas, covered in trees and bushes, so green and lush. This is what makes the longer route worthwhile.
The track slowly wends its way down to the river bed where you can see the Fuente Alejandro in a small wood of poplars whispering in the breeze, just where the path loops round to the right to take you up onto a wide track leading back to the village. Along this stretch, on your left and above you, you’ll be able to see a series of caves, las Cuevas del Llano.
Continue down this track until you come to a group of old farm buildings, on your left there’s small cortijo. Just past this, take the steep lane down to your right, it should lead you back to the Calle Olivo. This way has the advantage of taking you back to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and the bar there for a badly needed cool beer! We missed this turning and went further on to the next steep lane to the right which took us down into the village much nearer to the car. But, be warned, when I say steep, I mean steep!
Always remember to take a hat and plenty of water, as well as a stick if you are used to using one. Don’t forget your camera and mobile telephone. Bear in mind that you won’t always have phone coverage but often it’s enough for emergency calls. When we went on this route we met up with several other walkers and cyclists.
Post and photos by Susan at Casa Tagomago