Dates - Year round
Locations - Granada, Lanjaron or Capileira
Altitudes - 500m to 3500m
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.
The Sierra Nevada National Park provides one of the best arenas for trail running, not only in Spain, but throughout Europe. Here are the top five reasons why trail running here should not be missed.
We have a selection of sample itineraries (see below) and holiday packages available to give you a sense of what the area has to offer, but these can be easily adapted to suit your particular interests and training needs.
Single days trips allow you to explore the area and experience the spectacular views and terrain the Sierra Nevada and wider Granada province has to offer. Our experienced guide can help describe the landscape, putting the region in context and giving you a greater understanding of this area of Spain.
Multi-day trips provide the opportunity to explore some of the picturesque Spanish mountain villages of the Alpujarras and Sierra Nevada, and experience the local culture. Relax after a days running in a local bar with a drink and tapas, and stock up on pan de higos (fig bread) – a local, portable energy source par excellence – to fuel the next day.
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.
If you are a complete beginner and interested in trying trail running for the first time, we can help give you the confidence to start exploring the hills on your own, with advice on footwear and other equipment, route planning, and tips on hydration and nutrition.
The duration of your holiday can range from one day to one week, depending on your personal goals, and are led by Matt Dowse. You can also opt for “Dynamic Rest” days between training days and climb some mountains at a more leisurely pace with a Spanish Highs walking guide to help stretch your legs and avoid injury and/or seizing of leg muscles.
To give you an example of what we can offer, we have prepared the following sample itineraries. They can be adapted to fit your training needs, experience and fitness level however you wish, for example with more or fewer miles on each day, more days of running, days off or dynamic rest days. Alternatively you can book single days, to give you a taste of trailing running in Andalucia, or keep on top of your training whilst on holiday. Contact us to discuss options.
One of the most beautiful cities in Andalucia (if not Spain) Granada is a city of spectacular Moorish buildings, passionate flamenco and appetising tapas all set within the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Our Granada package begins with a running tour of the city, before heading out to the surrounding countryside and hills.
Less than an hour from Granada lies the town of Lanjaron. Known as the gateway to the Alpujarras (‘La puerta de las Alpujarras’) and famed for its pure spring water, clean air and natural environment, the town is ideal suited to scenic trail runs. Numerous bars, restaurants and shops provide ample opportunity for experiencing local food and relaxing apres-run.
Capileira is the highest of the three white villages of the Poqueira gorge and at 1,450m (higher than Ben Nevis – 1,345m) is the perfect base for high altitude runs and trails into the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada. The town itself is beautiful and charming, and affords inspiring views down the Poqueira valley. The variety of trails from the village make this the ideal spot for a longer stay or trail running holidays.
We know how it can be; running has a way of drawing you in. You start off with a 5k’s, which turn into 10k’s and half marathons. You enter a marathon, just to see if it’s possible, and then before you know it you’re looking into entering ultra races that your friends describe as ‘crazy’ or working out which races to do to can get enough UTMB qualification point. At Spanish Highs, we understand the need to strive towards new challenges. If you are preparing for ultra, mountain, or multi-stage race, or just want to do something to put yourself to the test, the Sierra Nevada provides the perfect location. Below are some of the opportunities we have here!
The Sierra Nevada is designated as both a Biosphere Reserve, and a National Park (the largest in Spain) by means of its unique natural features. A rare mix of geology, geography, altitude and climate has furnished it with an extraordinarily rich biodiversity, with one of the highest levels of species endemism in Europe. Spanish Ibex (Capra pyrenaica) are a common site on high altitude runs, whilst raptors such as golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) and griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) soaring overhead makes for a very impressive site.
Running in such a landscape is a privilege, and we are committed to helping protect the area. All visitors to the Park must comply with good behavioural practices, for example by ensuring that all litter is taken with you, especially gel wrappers.
Matt is a experienced runner and passionate outdoor enthusiast. He has been running marathons and ultra races for over 10 years, finishing 100 and 50 mile trail races along with numerous trail marathons and shorter distance races. Before moving to Spain he worked as a Ranger with the South Downs National Park Authority and has a keen interest in and high level of knowledge for wildlife identification, conservation and countryside management. His marathon PB remains at an extremely frustrating 3:00.19.
Definition of "Group" - if you are booking a trip for 2 persons the 2 person rate applies, 3 persons - 3 person rate etc (not dependent on eventual total group size!).
Over 4 persons - Group discounts apply. Enquire via email or contact form
Spanish Highs Tours Ltd
Company Number 09960909 Registered in England & Wales
Head Office: 41 Axholme Drive, Epworth, DN91EL, North Lincolnshire, UK. Registered Office: 20-22 Wenlock Road, London, N1 7GU, England
© 2018 Spanish Highs, Sierra Nevada
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