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The 3 Peaks Challenge in Spain

Tackle 3 back-to-back summits on this tough traverse in the Sierra Nevada, including mainland Spain’s highest peak

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Trip Ref #10333

The 3 Peaks Challenge in Spain

Tackle 3 back-to-back summits on this tough traverse in the Sierra Nevada, including mainland Spain’s highest peak

DURATION
5 nights
LOCATION
Sierra Nevada
ANNUAL LEAVE
5 days off work
SEASON
June-Oct
GROUP SIZE
Up to 14 people
MEETING POINT
Malaga Airport
ACCOMMODATION
Classic

Lodge · Hotel

OVERALL RATING

4.9

Based on 32 reviews
DIFFICULTY
Challenging

You’ll need to be fit and capable of hiking for up to 9 hours a day, up paths of moderate difficulty, with some steep sections

Scramble to the top of Mt Mulhacén (3482m), Pico del Caballo (3011m) and Mt Veleta (3395m), through Andalucia’s secret mountain range

Bed down in a high-altitude mountain lodge, your Sierra Nevada basecamp

Get lost while tapas-hunting and soaking up the musical heritage of the ancient Moorish city of Granada

Day 1

To the mountains

Get picked up at Malaga Airport (or train station) and be whisked off into the Sierra Nevada mountain range. You will climb up to the small village of Pradollano where you'll bed down in a nearby mountain lodge at an altitude of 2500 metres. Time to enjoy the sunset this evening whilst getting to know your fellow travellers.

Day 2

Pico del Caballo

Hiking

7hrs · 20km · 700m up · 700m down

The adventure begins! From the Mountain Lodge you'll take a short shuttle bus up to 2900 metres, from where the trek to the first 3000m peak of the trip, El Caballo, begins. Along the route you'll pass the oldest and highest mountain refuge in Sierra Nevada, Refugio de Elorrieta, located on a spectacular ridge with stunning views to the Mediterranean coastline.

Day 3

Mulhacén

Hiking

9hrs · 21km · 1400m up · 1100m down

Today you will climb Mulhacen peak, the king of the Sierra Nevada! The highest mountain peak of the Iberian Peninsula at 3482 metres is famed for its craggy appearance and its variety of endemic plants and butterflies. Taking again the shuttle service, today's route will be somewhat more demanding than yesterday's but you'll arrive with a good acclimatisation base. The trek crosses beautiful turquoise glacial lagoons until reaching the final uphill section. Once at the top the reward is views of Granada, the Mediterranean and on a clear day you can even make out the coast of North Africa.

Day 4

Veleta

Hiking

6hrs · 15km · 1000m up · 1000m down

Today's summit, Pico Veleta, is the second-highest peak in the Sierra Nevada and the third highest in Spain. The walk begins direct from the lodge and passes several glacial lagoons and snowmelt waterfalls. Return to the lodge in the afternoon for a well-deserved last dinner together in the mountains.

Day 5

To Granada

Hiking

1-2hrs · 4km · 60m up · 60m down

With the three highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada behind you, head down from the mountains and stop for a short (approx 4km) walk at the hanging bridges of Cahorros de Monachil. You’ll then head back to Granada - an ancient Moorish city is steeped in history, its old town squares are the perfect spot to while away an evening sampling traditional tapas and listening to music floating amongst the rooftops.

Day 6

Back to Malaga

You’ll have time to explore the many winding streets of Granada before a transfer back to Malaga airport for your journey home.

Included

Guides

Expert, English-speaking, qualified mountain guides

Accommodation

4 nights in a mountain lodge, 1 night in a hotel

Meals

All meals apart from dinner in Granada

Transfers

Transfers from and to the airport

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Some meals as described

Visas where required

Day 1

Lodge · Mixed dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 4

Lodge · Mixed dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Expect traditional Andalucian food throughout. While staying at the lodge you'll grab breakfast before heading off each day - there will be a wide range of homemade bread, cheeses, honey, cakes and cereals and muesli to fuel you up for the morning. A packed lunch of sandwiches, fruit and nuts is provided for the daytime and a delicious mountain meal including soup, pasta, a protein and vegetable-based dish, bread, cheeses and desserts.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Mountain Lodge

You will spend 4 nights in the Albergue Universitario Sierra Nevada situated in the outskirts of Pradollano. This mountain lodge sits at 2500m and is used in the winter for ski touring and in the summer for hikers. Rooms are mixed dorms with bunk beds, blankets and pillows are provided and there are shared bathrooms with hot showers. There is a restaurant and a comfortable lounge for socialising.

Granada

In Granada, you'll stay in a centrally located 3-star hotel in twin-share rooms. You will stay in the Hotel Anacapri or an alternative of similar quality.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. This is only available for the night in Granada and not at the lodge. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Malaga Airport

14:00 at the airport on Day 1

Ends

Malaga Airport

13:00 at the airport on Day 6

Transfers

The host will provide 1 group transfer pick-up in Malaga on Day 1. This is scheduled for 13:00 at Malaga Train Station, and then 14:00 at Malaga Airport hours in order to coincide with as many flight options as possible at the time of writing. Your host will reconfirm the exact pick-up time with you prior to travel.

At the end of the trip, your host will provide 1 x group transfer from Granada back to Malaga Airport, to arrive at Malaga Airport at approx 13:00 hrs. It is recommended to book flights that depart after 16:00 if planning on joining this group transfer.

Travel options

There are direct flights to Malaga from major airports across the UK and Europe.

To make your own way from Granada to Malaga, there are frequent bus or train connections (the journey usually takes between approx 1.5 - 2 hours).

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What do I need to bring?

BAGS
Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack for left luggage to be left in Capileira and transferred to Granada Daypack (30-40 litres)
Waterproof liner for kitbag or rucksack/drybags

CLOTHES
Lightweight waterproof and windproof jacket
Breathable wicking layers
Fleece jacket or similar
Buff or neckscarf
Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts for hiking
T-shirts
Underwear & socks
Swimwear for hotel
Sunglasses
Sunhat
Gloves
Something to sleep in
Hiking boots (worn-in)
Lightweight sandals/flipflops for refuge

SLEEPING
Pillowcase

OTHER
Universal travel plug adapter
Power bank or solar charger
Passports (and visas)
Travel Insurance documents
Suncream
Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
Quick-dry towel Alcohol hand-gel
Face mask
Headtorch or torch
2 x reusable water bottle (x1 litre) Water purification tablets/treatment system
Cash for the refuges: We suggest EUR30-40 for drinks and snacks

OPTIONAL
Earplugs
Energy bars and snacks
Trekking poles

*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Per Person

Walking Poles hire

Payable Before Departure

Walking Poles hire

Walking Poles hire

Payable Before Departure

Walking Poles hire

Single Room in Granada (post trip)

Payable Before Departure

Single Room in Granada (post trip)

Per Night

Twin/Double Room in Granada (post trip)

Payable Before Departure

Twin/Double Room in Granada (post trip)

Per Night

- Simon(October 2023)

The Sierra Nevada range is worth packing your boots for an exciting and insightful journey to the top of Spain. Our guide, Jaime, was excellent; friendly, helpful and attentive. Our group was great and easily gelled. The final day in Granada to celebrate was a terrific way to end the trip. Good experience, definitely worth the journey to southern Spain!

- Emma(October 2023)

Highly recommend this trip - the guide was amazing and had everything sorted to perfection. Never had such a great trip, amazing walks and lots of fun and laughter.

- Anna(October 2023)

Challenging trip but that's exactly what I wanted! Jamie was a very knowledgeable and fun guide and the whole group had a fab time. Everything was organised very well and I didn't have to worry about anything. Transfers, packed lunches and 3-course dinners were definitely a bonus! :) Oh and hot showers! As not always available in mountain huts ;)

- Emily(October 2023)

Brilliant MBA trip. Guide Jamie was fantastic, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Challenging walks but doable. Mountain lodge was comfortable, sitting in a group having a drink was a nice end to the day. Lovely last day to explore Granada too.

- Philippa(September 2023)

This trip was a brilliant action-packed few days, extremely well organised and well led by Jaime who was fun, energetic, kind and very knowledgeable. It was a big challenge for me and was hard work, especially at altitude and sometimes freezing temperatures, but the views at the top and sense of achievement was well worth it! It was great to also wander around Granada at the end. I thoroughly recommend it!

- Philippa(September 2023)

This trip was a brilliant action-packed few days, extremely well organised and well led by Jaime who was fun, energetic, kind and very knowledgeable. It was a big challenge for me and was hard work, especially at altitude and sometimes freezing temperatures, but the views at the top and sense of achievement was well worth it! It was great to also wander around Granada at the end. I thoroughly recommend it!

- Becky(September 2023)

This was a fantastic trip. Jamie's local knowledge and hospitality was beyond what you would expect of a guide. The walks were of good length and taking in some beautiful scenery. Couldn't recommend this trip enough!

- Philip(September 2023)

A really excellent trip with so much packed into only five nights!

The Sierra Nevada was a fascinating and different place to hike and it was great to reach the summit of Mulhacen, the highest peak in mainland Spain. The group all got on really well and our guide was fantastic.

Granada was a great place to unwind and explore after the mountains too!

- Héloïse(July 2023)

What a trip! Between lunar landscape and magic lagoon every hike was special and different. And thanks to the guide, Jaime, you'll never stop learning about those beautiful mountains, their flora and their fauna. It was a challenging experience but in the best way!

- Christina(July 2023)

An epic adventure in the Sierra Nevada with a fantastic group of people, mind blowing views, dizzying highs, beautiful flora and fauna. So many highlights but the stand out one had to be our guide Jamie. Absolute legend of a guy with amazing knowledge of the local area. Jamie went above and beyond to make this an unforgettable experience. Muchas gracias Jamie, vamos que no vamo! Dave

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 116kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2023 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This trek requires a good level of fitness and some previous experience hiking in mountains is useful. You must be capable of hiking all day (8-10 hours) up paths of moderate difficulty with steep sections. The walking is relatively straightforward, but the long climbs will make the going quite tiring. The views along the way make the journey more than worthwhile. 'High altitude' is usually considered anything over 2400m, so you are likely to feel some of the effects of altitude on this trek as each mountain climbed is over 3000m. The guides will set a steady pace to ensure a safe ascent and to give your lungs a chance to get used to the altitude.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Although the refuge has the option to buy bottled water, we advise against it to reduce the use of plastic in the mountains. You can choose to be provided with cold water that needs treating. There is a wide range of products available these days which are more effective than traditional purification tablets - some trekkers like to use UV handheld devices such as a Steripen but other options are available.

June to October generally provides stable mountain hiking conditions with sunny and warm days and usually under clear blue skies. Temperatures will likely sit at approx. 20°C while hiking but can be considerably lower in the mornings and evenings, even as low as 0°C at night. Rain is rare but the odd short afternoon storm is possible and it can feel very exposed and windy at times.

Your main bag will be collected from the hotel in Capileira on Day 2 and transported to your hotel in Granada for you to be reunited with on Day 5. Your host asks that this luggage is in a small soft packable duffel/rucksack or similar rather than a large suitcase. You will set off on the trek with a rucksack carrying just your essentials for your time in the mountains - likely a spare change of clothes, something warmer for the evenings as well as toiletries and a spare pair of light shoes to use at the refuge.

For current advice about travelling in Spain, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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