Travel Advice for the GR7 in Granada Province, Andalucia
When to Go
Spring is surely the best time for hiking the GR7 in Andalucia, that is April and May. It can rain in these months but it's not too hot in the day and not too cold for camping out at night.
The spring flowers, forced to cram all their flowering into a short space of time, due to the dry summer, put on a fantastic display at this time and unless they have been sprayed with chemicals the olive groves will be full of vetches and poppies, the hillsides rock roses and wild rocket.
The migratory birds will also be making their presence felt. The scops owl and the golden oriole for example will be giving their distinctive calls, that are so much the sound of spring in Andalucia.
Most of the main villages on the route have some kind of hostal, pension or hotel. Wild camping is also a good option on the GR7, simply because it gives the flexibility to stop where you want to as well as being cheaper. The days of cheap pensiones in Spain have gone. Expect to pay between 40 to 80 euros per night.
Getting to the route and getting around between the villages is straightforward in Andalucia. Granada province is lucky to have a very good public bus service run by the Alsa bus company. Even the smallest villages have a least one bus a day. The buses are cheap and comfortable.
Relevant bus times have been given in the guides, though do bear in mind that apart from journeys starting from Granada bus station itself, buses rarely leave or arrive on time.
More bus timetable information is available at the Granada bus station or look at the Alsa website.
It is possible to jump between various sections of the route by bus. From Lanjaron, for example, you can get a bus east to Soportujar, Pampaneira, Bubion, Pitres, Trevelez, Juviles in one direction and another bus to Cadiar.
From anywhere on the western section of the route however, you will need to go into Granada and change in order to get to Lanjarón and beyond. The exception being Nigüelas where, if you get a bus to Durcal, (or walk - its only 3 km), you can catch a bus to either Granada or Lanjarón.
Baggage Transfer / Transport Service
We can move your bags for you while you enjoy the walk. We also can drop you off and pick you up from the start and end of your walk.
Supplies and what to take
The GR7 passes through numerous villages nearly all of which have some kind of shop, café/bar and drinking water. As a result you will not have to carry days and days of heavy kit, food and water supplies. The following are some suggestions for what to take with you on the GR7. It will of course depend on whether you are camping or staying in hostels, but the essential thing is to keep it light.
- A 2 litre bottle of water that can be filled up again and again en route is ideal.
- Comfortable strong boots are essential to meet the demands of the rocky terrain you will be walking on.
- Sun hat and high-protection sun cream.
- Warm clothing - It can get cold at night at higher altitudes.
- Waterproofs - Don't get caught out thinking it never rains in southern Spain.
- Money - It's not necessary to carry lots of cash as there are cash machines en route.
- Spanish phrase book - useful if you know no Spanish.
- Small hikers first aid kit.
- Travel insurance - make sure it covers hiking in moderate terrain.
- Compass - Some of the directions in the guides are given as compass points.
Maps and where to get them
It is not essential to buy any maps for the GR7 in Granada province. Using this guide, coupled with the new signposting work of 2007, should be enough. Spanish maps are woefully inadequate compared to those of other European countries and there is no map that shows the whole GR7 through Granada in any detail.
However, these are the maps that are commonly available:
- The Editorial Penibetica map of the Parque Nacional de la Sierra Nevada. Go to www.penibetica.com
- Discovery Walking Guides map of Las Alpujarras. Go to www.walking.demon.co.uk
Maps can be found in the tourist information office in Lanjaron, the information centre in Pampaneira and some bookshops in the Sierra Nevada area. Also the Libreria (bookshop) Babel in Granada sells maps or the Libreria Picasso in Malaga.
Other Map sources in UK include:
- Stanfords, 12-13 Long Acre, London WC2E 9LP,
Tel: 0207 836 1321
- The Map Shop, Upton upon Severn
Telephone: 0800 085 40 80 (UK only) / +44 1684 593146 (International)
Other sources of Information
The following publications have information about the GR7: