After some time treading old ground along the Costa Del Sol coastline we were ready for some peace and quiet. The mountains were calling us and so inland we headed. Having spent almost a year of the last 3 years in Spain we’ve covered quite a lot of ground before and so it’s getting harder to find places we are yet to discover.
Just 10 minutes away from Granada though there is an amazing destination known as Los Cahorros de Monachil. This is one of the best walks we have ever done. It takes you up into the spectacular gorge of Los Cahorros where you cross hanging bridges, walk alongside centuries old irrigation channels, crawl through caves and edge round narrow ledges, clinging to the rock face. It is fabulous!
Los Cahorros is in the low Sierra Nevada mountains, not higher than a thousand meters above sea level, so it was safe to go to in winter season and we actually picked a glorious sunny day.
It is not a walk for the faint hearted though: the hanging bridges do bounce and swing around quite a bit as you cross them, but this just adds to the excitement. Then there were sections in the gorge where we had to crawl on our hands and knees for several metres to get through and the second half of the walk, where you climb out of the gorge and up to the top of the hill, is pretty strenuous walking on a loose gravel path. But it is all worth it, as the views and scenery are spectacular.
Despite some gaps between the slats which give them a rather unnerving, rickety appearance, the hanging bridges are perfectly safe. They are also fairly well enclosed at the sides so that it would be difficult for you to fall off them. Fortunately for us the route was relatively quiet and we could cross the bridges one person at a time. We also didn’t have to wait to cross, but I could imagine this would really slow you down if the walk was busy with people crossing and stopping to take photographs. The third and longest bridge can only take 4 people at a time, so at busier times you would no doubt have to queue.
The trail is circular, but as we found it’s not that well marked out so our advise is to visit the tourist office in Monachil first (in winter is doesn’t open until 2pm) and pick up a map, which will help you along the way. The walk can be quite challenging in places so a decent level of fitness is required. For us this even beats the Caminito Del Rey.
There are two possibilities for parking:
We parked at the start of the walk outside of the town, this was fine out of season, and we even stayed 2 nights, however there are signs prohibiting motorhomes so when busy it wouldn’t ‘be possible to park here: GPS 37.129922 –3.529766
The other option is to park in the village and you can walk alongside the river to pick up the trail, this route was quite muddy in winter. The car parking here though is huge so no problems with parking any size vehicle GPS 37.131498 –3.537601.
Next stop was the Sierra De Hueter national park just a stones throw from Granada. We arrived there on a Sunday morning and although it’s winter the sun was shining and the park quickly filled up with cars full of locals. The mountainous area has dramatic geological features characteristic of limestone areas, with narrow ravines, steep cliffs, springs, caves and waterfalls. There’s a huge choice of walking trails and a road runs through the park which makes an ideal cycling track. Alongside the parking area is a huge picnic zone which has dedicated BBQ area’s. After all the day trippers had left though we had the place to ourselves and it took an an eerie silence. A peek outside the door to look at the stars late at night sent me quickly scuttling back inside as several sets of eyes peered at me from the darkness. I was relieved the next morning to see that a small herd or cows were grazing amongst the trees.
Our parking spot GPS 37.306761 –3.463295 there is a water point here but we noticed that it’s not potable.