These basic mountain cabins, which are dotted around the Sierra Nevada, provide shelter against the elements, and in most cases wooden bunks to sleep on. You will need your own sleeping bag and mat.
Some refugios are staffed, in which case there is a charge for staying the night, and it’s advisable to book in advance to secure your place. These cabins also offer meals and sell refreshments, and the standard of accommodation is slightly better. However, the majority of the cabins are unstaffed and free of charge; you just turn up, and hopefully find an available bunk. Even if you do not intend to use the refugios, it is useful to know where they are, in case of emergencies.
If you’re looking for slightly more confort, the Albergue Universitario in the upper part of the ski station also offers accommodation in rooms for between 2 and 9 people.
Map of refugios in the Sierra Nevada
Click on a marker to see the name of the refugio. Scroll down for more details about the individual refugios.
Click here to download gpx and kml files with the locations of the refugios.
Refugio del Poquiera
Location: above Capileira in the Poquiera valley; altitude of 2500 metres
Capacity: 87 people
Price: 15 Euros pppn
Tel.: +34 958 343 349/Mobile: +34 659 554 224
Comments: an alternative to the micro-bus from Capileira if you want to climb Mulhacén. It is very difficult to reach Mulhacén as a day trip from Capileira, so it is worth staying here either on your way up or down. Great views down towards the Alpujarras
Refugio de Postero Alto
Location: above Jerez del Marquesado; altitude of 1880 metres
Capacity: 68 people
Price: 15 Euros pppn
Comments: useful if you want to reach the high peaks of the eastern Sierra Nevada from the north. The refugio has just reopened after extensive refurbishment. It is open on weekends and public holidays throughout the year, and daily from 15 June to 15 September. Offers weekend packages including accommodation and transport by 4×4 vehicle that make it easy for hikers to walk sections 16 and 17 of the Sulayr long-distance walking route while based at the refugio. Also offers courses on mountaineering in winter, ski touring and ice climbing.
Puerto de la Ragua
Location: Puerto de la Ragua, Carretera de La Cahorra – Cerín, km 11.6 (A-337, accessed either from the A-92 Guadix-Almeria motorway or from the Alpujarras)
Capacity: 16 people
Comments: useful for accessing the north-eastern side of the Sierra Nevada.
Note: appears to be closed as of late summer/autumn 2012
Location: Peñones de San Francisco in the upper part of the ski station, at an altitude of 2,550 m.
Price: bed & breakfast 22 Euros pppn; half board 30 Euros pppn (summer), 40-45 Euros pppn (winter)
Tel: +34 958 480122
Comments: Well located for accessing the high peaks of Veleta and Mulhacén from the northern side. Must be booked in advance.
Unstaffed refugios (free of charge)
Refugio-Vivac de la Caldera
Location: close to Mulhacén; altitude of 3100 metres
Capacity: 14 people
Comments: another option if you are climbing Mulhacén. In high season there is a risk that all of the bunks get taken early. Spectacular, if somewhat eerie, location in the high mountains beside a crater lake. In winter it may be totally covered by snow
Refugio-Vivac de la Carihuela
Location: not far below the peak of Veleta; altitude of 3200 metres
Capacity: 14 people
Comments: useful if you intend to climb both Veleta and Mulhacén. Views down to the Alpujarras and the Mediterranean beyond. In winter it may be totally covered by snow
Refugio-Vivac El Calvario (also known as La Cucaracha)
Location: between Güéjar Sierra and the high mountains; altitude of 1770 metres
Capacity: 20-30 people
Comments: not the most charming of forest locations, but you’ll probably need to stay here if you want to reach the high mountains from Güéjar and don’t want to camp
Refugio-Vivac Peñon de la Polarda
Location: on the slopes of Polarda, a mountain in Almería province; altitude of 2150 metres
Capacity: 12 people
Comments: on the Sulayr circuit (GR 240)
Refugio Vivac “El Doctor”
Location: close to the border between the provinces of Granada and Almería; altitude of 2000 metres
Capacity: 15 people
Comments: close enough to the Sulayr circuit to be worth considering as an accommodation option
Refugio-Vivac Piedra Negra
Location: below La Cumbre, a mountain in Almería province; altitude of 2100 metres
Capacity: 10 people
Comments: just off the Sulayr circuit
There are a number of other refugios that are in a poor or ruinous state of repair, or that require you to obtain a key from the National Park authorities in order to get in. We have chosen not to include those here – if they are refurbished, or if other relevant changes take place, we will add them to our list.