Adventures / Summit Fever

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

Adventures / Summit Fever

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

Granada Airport

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel · Mountain hut

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), La Alcazaba (3369m) and Mt Veleta (3395m), through Andalucia’s secret mountain range

Bed down in a remote, high-altitude mountain hut, with views of moonscape valleys and the Mediterranean coast

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

What's it like?

    See the photos our community shared

    All our reviews are verified

    We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

    Katy, September 2022

    This trip was awesome! Having never been on a trip like this before, and travelling on my own, I was a bit nervous before arriving, but our group got on so well right from the start. Out guide Jaime really looked after us, making sure that no-one was struggling with the pace during the hikes but also making sure that those at the front of the group still had a challenge! He was clearly passionate about nature and the outdoors and was always pointing out interesting plants and animals while we were walking. We were really spoilt when it came to food all week, with 4 courses for dinner at the refuge! The restaurants we went to were all great and the evening in Granada at a restaurant overlooking the city was a perfect ending to an amazing few days in the Sierra Nevada. Take me back please!!

    Jemima, September 2022

    Thank you so much to Much Better Adventures and Jaime our local guide for an epic 4 days hiking in Sierra Nevada! The hiking was the right level - challenging but doable. Jaime was really supportive on any difficult parts which made such a difference. He set a great tone for the trip and we’re so appreciative of that - it made it an amazing holiday. The scenery was beautiful and we were surprised how often we had the mountains to ourselves. The food at the refuge and other hotels was excellent and we had a lot of fun with the rest of our group. We’re already at looking for our next MBA trip in 2023! From Jemima and Tash

    John, September 2022

    Had a brilliant time up in the mountains,tough hikes,beautiful scenery, plenty of good food,a nice group with a bit of craic,and a brilliant guide in Jaime,fun times.

    Jack, September 2022

    Thank you MBA for a fantastic trip! Jaime is a very capable and personable guide and looked after the group well. There were only five of us plus Jaime, so it was quite a relaxed atmosphere, and we enjoyed having a drink and playing cards together at the refuge. The scenery was fantastic, especially lower down as the mountain summits are quite stark, and I enjoyed seeing the mountain goats and little birds such as redstarts and wheatears. The walks up the mountains were demanding, with about 1,000 m of ascent each day, but not technical, and there was only one vertigo-inducing part on La Veleta where we needed to hold onto a chain, and Jaime was able to help me with that part. The only complaint I had was having to take a full bag up to the refuge- with the extra weight, I found it harder than climbing the summits. The options for vegetarians and vegans were also limited, but I find that's often the case in Spain. Overall, it's a great trip. If you're thinking of doing it, my recommendations are- pack as light as possible, take suncream and lip balm, and stay on an extra night or two in Granada.

    Louise, September 2022

    This is a great and highly recommended trip for anyone that likes a do-able challenge. The hiking was tough at times, but anyone with a good level of fitness should be able to do it. I think the categorisation of 'challenging' is about right. The landscape and scenery were absolutely stunning, and the weather was clear blue skies every day. Loved the time spent in the refuge, and the guys there prepared a different meal for me as I'm vegetarian. Jaime, our guide was a really good guy. A great mixture of relaxed, yet responsible, knowledgeable and intelligent but also liked to have the craic. Lots of laughs...😀 Always felt on his wavelength and never felt like we were just another bunch passing through. The vegan / vegetarian options are very limited outside of the refuge - but this is more of a present time cultural thing. I think the trip offers great value for money and the hotels we stayed in were of a really good standard. Not sure if I would have preferred to go straight from the mountains back home to keep the chilled vibe... That said, Granada was really nice too - as was the last meal in a beautiful restaurant overlooking the city. Had a great bunch of travelling companions with whom I felt very relaxed and comfortable. These trips always remind me how people across different cultures, times and language are essentially all the same. Even the smallest nuances of worldview, humour, insecurities, hopes and fears etc, we all share... Loved it.

    Natalie, August 2022

    Fantastic trip, Jaime was a great guide, giving us lots of local knowledge and ensuring we gained the most from the experience. A beautiful part of the world I would not have otherwise visited and the opportunity to climb the tallest mountain in Spain!

    Ashley, August 2022

    Superb trip! Jaime was a great guide, very friendly and a wealth of local knowledge.

    Phillip, July 2022

    Great trip, would recommend. Jaime the guide was fab, knowledgeable and organised. I'll definitely use MBA again.

    Kiddings, July 2022

    I personally enjoyed the company of my guide & my newly made friends we had fun playing cards in the downtime & motivated each other in the hard times. Summits are well worth it & the accommodation was good. I’m a bit picky with food but always enjoyed the breakfast. Theres also some food you can buy at the refugee if needed 🍕. MBA is a company I always enjoy travelling with & the people I meet are great.

    Monty Davies, July 2022

    A great few days, our guide Jaime was excellent, and the summits provided spectacular views. The pace was enjoyable with plenty of time to relax in the evenings, and there were some great detours to little rivers and traverses to keep things interesting! Would definitely recommend this trip, the final night in Grenada was a nice touch to give the legs a break before heading back to Malaga.

    Included

    Guides

    Expert, English-speaking, qualified mountain guides

    Accommodation

    3 nights in a mountain refuge, 2 nights in small, local hotels

    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

    The Area

    map

    Logistics

    Starts

    Granada Airport or Granada Bus Station

    12 noon at the airport or 13:00 at the bus station on Day 1

    Ends

    Granada Bus Station or Granada Airport

    Anytime on Day 6

    Transfers

    You can choose to be collected at the airport or at the bus station on Day 1. Please arrive latest 11:30 at the airport to be ready for collection at 12:00. At the end of your trip, you can depart anytime on day 6. Your host will coordinate a central transfer time for all group members.

    Travel options

    There are daily flights to Granada from major airports across the UK and Europe.

    For those who wish to avoid flying, Granada train station is well connected with high-speed trains from Barcelona and Madrid via Paris from London. The journey will take an average of 23 hours and usually involve 3 changes.

    You can also travel to Malaga, there are frequenst bus and train connections that take between 1.5 and 2 hours approximately.

    Day 1

    Hotel · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 2 – Day 4

    Mountain hut · Mixed dorm

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 5

    Hotel · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 6

    Departure day

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    What is the food like?

    Expect traditional Andalucian food throughout. At the hotels, breakfasts will be continental style and dinner in Capileira will be 3 courses making the most of local produce. While staying at the refuge 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 4-course hearty mountain meal including soup, pasta, a protein and vegetable-based dish, bread, cheeses and desserts to end with - you will not go hungry!

    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?

    Capileira

    Your first night is spent in the charming mountainside village of Capileira. You will stay in a small, locally-owned 3-star hotel in twin-share rooms, either in the Hotel Finca Los Llanos or a hotel of a similar standard.

    The Refugio Poqueira

    You will spend 3 nights in the remote Refugio Poqueira. 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 is a shared bathroom. Cold showers are available for free but for a few extra Euros, you can enjoy a hot shower. There is a big shared communal area with a terracotta stove for warmth as well as a terrace, perfect for enjoying a glass of 'vino caliente' while watching the sunset.

    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 nights in Capileira and Granada and not at the refuge. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

    Day 1

    To the mountains

    Your adventure starts in Granada, where you’ll jump in the bus and be whisked off to the highest, largest and prettiest village in Las Alpujarras, Capileira. Sitting on the sunny southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada, this ancient white-washed village of 500 inhabitants is the perfect spot to meet your fellow travellers and hear all about the challenge ahead over a glass of local wine.

    Day 2

    Mulhacén

    Hiking

    5-6hrs · 10km · 900m up · 1000m down

    The adventure begins bright and early. From Capileira you’ll take a small bus up to 2700m to tackle your first (and highest!) peak, Mt Mulhacén (3482m). The tallest peak in all of mainland Spain is famed for its craggy appearance and its variety of endemic plants and butterflies. On the way back down from the summit you will arrive at your refuge, where you can rest after a hard day and enjoy a wonderful sunset.

    Day 3

    Alcazaba

    Hiking

    8hrs · 22km · 1300m up · 1300m down

    One down, two to go! Today follows the beautiful ‘7 Lagunas’ trail, as you hike a circular route passing through vast green pastures and to the waterfall of Laguna Hondera. Each of the seven lagoons are surrounded by vast meadows and will likely still be frozen in early June. You’ll follow the trail all the way to the top of your next peak, Alcazaba (3369m). Known locally as ‘The Lady’, this traverse will involve some scrambling on scree-like terrain (but nothing too tricky) and the views from the top are a welcome reward. Head back to the refuge to refuel for a substantial 4-course meal.

    Day 4

    Veleta

    Hiking

    9-10hrs · 18km · 1200m up · 1200m down

    Bid goodbye to the refuge and head towards the Mulhacén River, switching valleys as you hike to the Rio Seco valley on the way to the next mountain pass, the ‘Carihuela del Veleta’. A final stomp to the summit will see you rewarded with views of Granada, the Mediterranean and on a clear day, even the coast of North Africa. On the way back to the refuge you will discover hidden glacial lagoons.

    Day 5

    Capileira

    Hiking

    4-5hrs · 10km · 1200m down

    With the three highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada behind you, head into the Poqueira Valley. Cross several rivers, passing through mountain pastures where cattle are grazing and dense forests, until you reach picturesque Capileira again. Enjoy some well-deserved lunch and celebrate the completion of the challenge. 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 the day to explore the many winding streets of Granada before a 3pm transfer back to the airport for your journey home.

    15% Off Outdoor Gear

    In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

    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

    Optional Private Room Upgrade

    Payable Before Departure

    Optional Private Room Upgrade

    Per Person

    Single Room in Granada

    Payable Before Departure

    Single Room in Granada

    Per Night

    Twin/Double Room in Granada

    Payable Before Departure

    Twin/Double Room in Granada

    Per Night

    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 2022 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 50% 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 on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

    Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

    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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    Pay In Installments

    You can choose to pay for this trip in as many installments as you like, with no interest or fees.

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