An Indiana Jones-style hike only minutes from Granada

 Only 4 people are allowed on this bridge at a time. If you are scared of heights (like me) you will be grateful for that rule as the bridge does move considerably when you walk across it. 

Only 4 people are allowed on this bridge at a time. If you are scared of heights (like me) you will be grateful for that rule as the bridge does move considerably when you walk across it. 

When you think of Granada what comes to mind?  The Alhambra. The marvelous Arabic-turned-Christian palace that attracts more visitors to Spain than any other monument—and rightly so.  And yet, Granada is much more than just the Alhambra; there are fascinating neighbourhoods such as Albacín, Sacramonte, the old centre and the Jewish section, numerous narrow winding streets, views from the lookouts of the Alhambra with the backdrop of the Sierra range, the famous tapa bars and flamenco dancing in caves.

Even though it seems Granada could keep you occupied for days or weeks don't miss the opportunity to see some of the surrounding towns and countryside while visiting the area.

Getting back to nature near Granada

 The hike along the Monachil River is through lush folliage with waterfalls and hanging bridges. 

The hike along the Monachil River is through lush folliage with waterfalls and hanging bridges. 

The Sierra Nevada is beckons nature lovers, but even before you get into the mountains themselves there are a plethora of other places to visit.

Just 8 kilometres from Granada is a town, Monachil, which is perched on the side of a canyon in the Sierra Nevada National Park.

The town of Monachil takes no time to wander through as it isn't very large. The variety of hikes along the canyon two kilometres from the town are spectacular.  As the Sierra Nevada is nearby, and the aforementioned wonders of Granada, these hikes are relatively unknown to tourists.

The Cahorros route along the Monachil River

  The Cahorros trail will take you along a narrow trail next to the river.

 The Cahorros trail will take you along a narrow trail next to the river.

Along the Monachil river gorge is a rock climber’s paradise, but even if you don’t have climbing equipment (or inclination) the route called Cahorros is a fantastic place to go.

It is a marvellous hike to take kids on. Ours had more fun here than if we spent a day at an amusement park.

 There is just a narrow ledge between the wall face and the river, but it is comfortable to walk along.

There is just a narrow ledge between the wall face and the river, but it is comfortable to walk along.

The hike is well marked. There is a public parking in the town that it almost at the beginning of the route. You will come to a large sign, which indicates this route in two directions: Cahorros por Portachuelos and Cahorros por Sendero del Rio. It is a circular route, but the most scenic part is by the river (Sendero del Rio) which is the right fork at the sign.

The hike starts off easy with a small path through lush foliage along the river bank. Later on though, you start hitting hanging bridges, and seeing waterfalls.

 At points along the wall you will be grateful for the iron handholds that help you around some of the tighter spots.

At points along the wall you will be grateful for the iron handholds that help you around some of the tighter spots.

Once you get into the gorge you get some real Indiana Jones-style hiking. At some points you may have to crawl to get through spots, or sit down and do a bum shuffle. It all may sound daunting, but it is actually easier for the kids than the adults as they can scoot through the tight spots much easier. Also, in a few places, it seems like the rocks are overhanging the river and you may not immediately think there is a way around, but look closely as there are metal handholds nailed into the rock to make navigating safe and easy.

Pack a lunch, camera and take your time.  There is so much to take in that you won’t want to rush.

 

Information and map of the Cahorros route

Web for Monachil: www.monachil.es

If you want information in English about hotels and restaurants, go to the tourist page, scroll down the left-hand side until you see turismo, click and you will see that you have the option of getting a PDF in English. 

Web for Andalucia: www.andalucia.org

Map of routes along the Monachil river: Map of routes

Restaurants in Monachil:

La Cuchara:  lacucharadecarmela.com  

La Cantina de Diego:   restaurantelacantinadediego 

Taberna la Guardilla (FB): @tabernalaguardilla

Ruta del Veleta: www.rutadelveleta

Monte Vélez: www.montevelez.com