With its wild flowers, fruit trees heavy with apricots, almonds, cherries, apples and pomegranates, a cascading river and lavender, thyme and rosemary, the lush Monachil valley is a beautiful area for walking. Kids will love the hanging bridges and the dramatic gorge, and this walk is particularly recommended when the flowers are out in spring and when the leaves turn gold in autumn.
Level This walk is suitable for most people, but bear in mind that there are sections where you need to scramble under overhanging rock along the side of the gorge. There are metal handles set into the rock to help you past. If you prefer, you can avoid much of the climbing by going back through the gorge rather than taking the circular route. It isn’t a difficult route to follow, but it is not consistently signposted, so pay attention to the directions given in the information sheet.
When to go All year, but particularly scenic in autumn, when the leaves are starting to change colour, and spring, when the meadows just above the gorge are covered in flowers.
Water It is most convenient to carry the water you need with you, although you can fill up at a drinking fountain by the hydro-power station.
Location: NW Sierra Nevada, Monachil The walk starts in the village of Monachil, following the river up through the gorge, then returning by a higher route, from which you get a good view of the whole valley.
By car: From Granada, take the Vergeles/La Zubia/Cájar/Monachil exit from the A-395 southern ring road (Ronda Sur). At the roundabout, take the exit for Monachil and Cájar. Follow this road for roughly 6 km, past a roundabout and two sets of traffic lights, until you reach the village of Monachil. As you enter the village, cross the bridge and park.
By bus: Service 183 goes to Monachil approx. once an hour Monday – Friday. On Saturdays, the service is mornings only, with the last bus back at 13:40, and there is no service on Sundays. Services 181 and 182 go more frequently to Barrio Monachil, but this is some way short (approx. 2km) of Monachil village. Click here for more info and links to current timetables.