Spanish Highs Mountain Guides
Providing a wide range of activity holidays including walking, hiking, trekking, scrambling, mountaineering, snowshoeing & skiing in the Alpujarras, Sierra Nevada (highest mountains in western europe outside the Alps!) and other varied destinations in the remote sierras of Andalucia Province, southern Spain. Also regular expeditions to the Southern Patagonian Icecap.
Spain's Hidden Secret!It is a very special place and there is tremendous scope here for those who prefer their mountains wild and dramatic! On clear days it is possible to view the coasts of North Africa some 200km away across the Mediterranean sea. It is a relatively small range of mountains (90km long by 35km wide) sat in the Granada province of Andalucía, Spain.
- 27 - 3000m+ peaks
- Snow from Dec to May
- 300+ days of sun!
- Experience you can trust!
Experience you can trust!Expertly guided, low impact activity holidays for individuals and groups, staying in small local hotels, guarded and unguarded mountain refuges and wild camps. We do our best to protect this breath-taking, unspoiled but fragile wilderness. Guests benefit from the knowledge and experience we have gained from over 20 years of guiding here in the Sierra Nevada. Local guides using local people with local knowledge.
Where is Spain's Sierra Nevada located?
The Sierra Nevada is located near Granada in Southern Spain. It is not only one of Europe’s most southerly mountain ranges, but also contains the highest peaks in western Europe outside of the Alps. What it lacks in size it makes up for in altitude with over 25 peaks above 3000m. These include the highest point in western Europe outside the Alps, Mulhacén at 3482m.
Kenton Cool, Everest Mountaineer, 2021
"Thanks guys…for everything"
"Great day today. Thanks for your help."
"You guys have been magical on organising this trip"
"Big shout out to Richard from the logistical team I used down here, Spanish Highs. The Sierra Nevada, how beautiful is that, it has a stark beauty to it. A lot of the guides that I work alongside in Europe have talked about the Sierra Nevada, looks really wild and remote, and it is. Good weather this time of year, generally, it's just had it's first dusting of snow and it ticked all the boxes, relatively easy to get to, covid friendly, and I will certainly be coming back, for sure. It's a really interesting, none aggressive, in terms of the hills are quite rolling but there's some fantastic ridge lines, scrambling with abseils and easy grade climbing, great food, great coffee and great climate. Yeah definitely be going back, it's a beautiful place."
PODCAST Cool Conversations with Kenton Cool. Episode 60 Coolaboration - Let My 'Listeners' Go Surfing
Total flexibilityWe offer trips on demand of any duration and any start date. The area provides great opportunities for all, from the high and wild mountains in winter, to the more gentle spanish walking found in the hills of the Alpujarras. The Sierra Nevada is very accessible and makes a good destination for last minute, weekend or short breaks as it is close to major airports and fast motorway networks. There is something to interest everybody!
Information & Knowledge BaseInformation on prices, self guided support, accommodation options, mountain weather and conditions, route maps, mountain databases, huts and refuges, altitude sickness, avalanche dangers, equipment lists, gear rental and general FAQs can be found in our Information Knowledge Base
Adventures & Activities
What do you want to experience next?
Walking & Hiking
A combination of day hikes and tours around the beautiful white villages and hill scenery of the historic Alpujarras.
In the summer months head for the cool air and beauty provided by the lakes and mountains of the high Sierra Nevada
If you are in Granada then the Cumbres Verdes and Sierra de Huetor range give superb walking routes close to the city
Europe's only desert badlands! Hikes visit lofty summits, deep barren valleys and famous movie locations. Stunning scenery!
Only here for a short visit? Join our classic year-round selection of Day Walks and Hikes in the Alpujarras or Sierra Nevada. Leave the rat race behind and enjoy our week long "Alpujarras Escape", for the very best hiking holiday in the Alpujarras. Or why not join writer Chris Stewart and ourselves "Walking over Lemons". Quiet, remote walking and hiking with just the right amount of luxury thrown in for good measure.
Sample the all inclusive delights of our Group Walking Holidays. Specially formatted to allow columnsibility to choose each days activities, whether they be a gentle guided walk, a harder guided hike or an excursion to visit some of Andalucias greatest historical and natural sights.
Year round ascents of the highest peak in western Europe outside the Alps
The 3000m peaks in one 5 day trek or the highest 3 in 3 days? Your choice!
Quiet & remote
Get away from it all! With 27+ 3000m peaks you can trek for days in solitude.
Picos de Europa
A week long trek staying in refuges or day trips from hotels.
We have many day and multi-day treks in the Sierra Nevada. The most popular is to climb Mulhacen, highest mountain in Spain in either one or two day trips. An increasingly popular summer option is to sleep on the summit and enjoy the Sunsets and Sunrises. We also regularly complete the classic trek, "Los Tres Miles”, 3000m peak ridges. This involves 3 or 4 nights wild camping by mountain lakes and covers all the major summits of the range in a tough 4/5 day trek.
As well as summer mountain ascents, we have various multi-day Crossings of the Sierra Nevada of between 1 and 3 nights duration. This takes you into some really wild and quiet mountain country. The incredible "Trek the remote North" covers all the quiet northern 3000m+ mountains and is perfect for lovers of mountain solitude.
Want something different? The Los Tres Picos, Sierra Nevada Trekking Challenge is here! A diffcult 3 day trek climbing the 3 highest mountains in the range, either raising money for good causes or if you just fancy a challenge?
Andalucia province has a wealth of untapped scrambling potential. We can show you some of the best scrambles in the area.
Low Mountain Scrambling
<2500m Year round except July and August
In Sierra de Huetor north of Granada superb routes on excellent rock exist and many of the routes have been developed by ourselves over the years.
High Mountain Scrambling
2500m+ June, July, August, September, October
The high mountains of the Sierra Nevada provide a wealth of exciting routes including the 5 from the latest Cicerone Guidebook. Some of the best ridge and butresses scrambling outside the Alps!
- Grade 1 No specialist mountaineering skills. Technically easy. Done without a rope
- Grade 2 More serious. Need simple technical skills & rope
- Grade 3 Simple pitches of easy rock climbing. More technical ropework & protection required
- 3(S) serious 3s. Some sections of mod/diff rock climbing
Sun, snow & reliable conditions. We provide Winter Skills & Alpine Courses or Mountain Ascents
We have access to a wide range of via ferratas in Andalucia for all grades - beginner to advanced
Granada Province offers some great Rock Climbing giving routes of all grades. We also offer Ropework Courses for those new to the sport.
Expeditions to the Southern Patagonian Icefield. Encircles the stupendous Mount Fitzroy and Cerro Torre massifs.
With reliable, snowsure conditions from December until March inclusive we run Winter skills mountaineering courses, Alpine Introduction courses and winter ascents of the main Peaks of the Sierra Nevada. During the hot summer months we have High Altitude Rock Climbing in the Sierra Nevada.
Sierra Nevada Snowshoeing Tours
Day tours in forests and mountainsides. Guided day or multi day Snowshoeing Tours. With access to the high mountain bowls of the Sierra Nevada and the forested Alpujarras on our doorstep.
During the winter months snow is in abundance; and with great trails offering wonderful scenery, snowshoers will find this a wonderful destination. Moreover, snowshoers of every level of skill and experience will find plenty of trails to meet their desires and needs. If you've never tried it….you should! Its good fun and very easy to learn.
If you've never tried it, you should! Its good fun and very easy to learn. We take you to some gentle locations for your first steps. After a brief learning curve we can progress to longer and harder tours.
Sierra Nevada Backcountry Ski Touring
For beginners and Intermediates. The ultimate way to travel in the mountains! With good snowsure conditions from January to May, the Sierra Nevada is one of Europe's best areas to learn the basics of travelling through the high mountains on skis. It is backcountry skiing at its finest! We run both beginners courses and also trips for the more experienced.
We run holidays aimed at the complete beginner to the sport. Suitable for those with some previous on piste experience who are also strong mountain walkers.
We can provide skies, skins and poles as part of the holiday cost. We also run trips for those who have tried ski mountaineering before but who wish to expand their skills and experience.
Trail, Ulta Trail & Fastpacking
Trail, Ultra Trail & Fastpacking in the Sierra Nevada, Granada
The Sierra Nevada National Park provides one of the best arenas for Trail Running and Fastpacking, not only in Spain, but throughout Europe.
Based in the Granada province of Andalucia, Spanish Highs offer tailored Trail Running Itineraries and guided trips in the beautiful Sierra Nevada National Park; a landscape of stunning mountain terrain and rich biodiversity, steeped in history and culture.
Whether you are interested in fitting a days running into your holiday, want to give your marathon training a high-altitude boost, or are seeking a tough multi-day challenge in preparation for your next ultra, we have routes and itineraries to suit all levels of fitness and experience.
Longer high-altitude days offer intense fitness and conditioning training to boost strength and stamina. In addition to numerous routes that take you above 3000m, well maintained mountain refuges provide opportunities for multi-day high-altitude runs. If even this isn’t challenging enough for you then get in touch! We always have ideas for pushing your endurance to the limit, whether on a sea to summit run, or multi-peak round.
What Is Fastpacking? Fastpacking is covering long-distances on a trail by jogging, running or power hiking, with a light backpack on, usually over the course of more than one day. More simply, Fastpacking is “hiking the ups, jogging the flats and running the downs.
Year Round Mountain Guiding
Local guides, local people, local knowledge. Experience you can trust!
The Guiding Team
- Provide an enthusiastic and friendly team of Experienced, Professional Mountain Guiding and Leadership
- Are Accredited providers and instructors of First Aid Courses in Andalucia
- Are Fully insured, licensed and registered. Operating since 1992
- Adhere to a Responsible Travel and Environment policy
As Featured in:
- TV - BBC2 "Gimme a Break"
- Outdoor publications - Trail Magazine, Outdoor Adventure Guide, Berghaus Winter Catalogue 2014
- Magazines - Sunday Times Travel, Living Spain, BMI Baby
- Newspapers - Ideal.es
- Expeditions - Berghaus Ski Kamchatka 2013
Tripadvisor Traveller Rating
#1 of 14 things to do in Lanjaron
“Fantastic guide with lots of interesting historical facts and information about the landscape, flora and fauna. Excellent service from the company , very quick to respond . Highly recommended”
Fran B wrote a review Mar 2020
“We had a perfect day of hiking with our guide! It was all we could have possibly wanted - fine weather, gorgeous landscapes, detailed knowledge of flora and fauna, and excellent company. We even got to see wild goats and processionary caterpillars. We hope to return!"
Kathleen111454 wrote a review Feb 2020
"Had a great time exploring the Sierra Nevada mountains on snowshoes with my guide and two other travelers. Guide very attuned to our needs, fitness, and skill level, and our ability to deal with the wind and blowing snow. A great experience overall. I had many questions when making my reservation from abroad and the customer service was excellent."
Erin Y wrote a review Jan 2020
Spanish Reseller of "Firepot" Dehydrated Meals
We Sell The Amazing Range Of "Firepot" Dehydrated, Light And Nutritive Mountain Food Throughout Spain. Personally tested and recommended by Spanish Highs Guides
Inspiring the Adventure!
In our Blog we create new innovative mountain routes, ideas, areas and activities. We hope you will use these as an inspiration for your own adventures here!
Guest writer and guide, Leo Ruiz Platt describes one of his most memorable adventures here in the Sierra Nevada
Our plan was to spend 6 days in total trekking the long distance Sulayr GR240 from las Rozas near Abrucena in the east, heading west to the Refugio Postero Alto near Jerez de Marquesado.
Article written by Richard Hartley, founder of Spanish Highs, Sierra Nevada and author of the Cicerone Guidebook "Walking and Trekking in the Sierra Nevada"
Describes a superb 3 day quiet and unknown trek up the eastern side of Mulhacen mountain from the village of Trevelez in the Alpujarras
Walking and Trekking in the Sierra Nevada
- year round half to full day walks & multi-day treks
- 33 routes including mainland Spain's highest summit
- includes 8 gentler walks in the lower hills of the Cumbres Verdes near Granada
- includes white villages of Trevélez, Lanjarón and Capileira
- showcases the Sierra Nevada's most dramatic scenery
- includes 'Los Tres Picos', 'Los Tres Miles' Integral & overview of Sulayr GR240
- advice on transport, local bases, safety, tick-list of 3000m peaks & Spanish-English glossary