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
4 days off work
Up to 14 people
Hotel · Mountain hut
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
See the photos our community shared
All our reviews are verified
— Tracy, October 2021
Fabulous trip, first MBA one we've done together, love the way time is maximised, no moment wasted. Excellent local mountain guide! Highlight was summitting Mulhacen but more generally the group was a pleasure to meet as well. Being an experienced trekker I thought it was border-line moderate/challenging rather than challenging - not technical and minimal scrambling. We'll be joining more MBA trips in future
— Liz, October 2021
Fantastic trip with excellent guides Victoria and Jaime who looked after us very well. Fun group of fellow travellers and we felt a great sense of achievement at the end of each day’s hike. Lovely hotels on the first and last night and the refuge in the mountains was a fun experience for me.
— Chris, September 2021
What a trip! The experience of being in the Sierra Nevada range is one I’ll never forget The guides were superb and great fun The trek was challenging but so rewarding Hitting that 3rd peak felt such an accomplishment And Granada is a stunning place to end
— Grace, September 2021
This was a fantastic trip! The guides were exceptional, very professional and most importantly, great fun. The scenery was spectacular and summiting the 3 peaks felt a rewarding challenge every day, I would highly recommend it!
— James, September 2021
This was an excellent, and well organised trip. The guides (Victoria and Jaime) were very knowledgeable, friendly, and knew the mountain range really well. The mountain views are stunning, and each day ends with drinks and food on the terrace of the mountain refuge.
— Neil, September 2021
My first hiking trip couldn’t have been better. Incredible scenery, insightful & passionate guides and a real sense of achievement from completing this challenge in Sierra Nevada.
— Philip, September 2021
The Sierra Nevada mountains are stunning. The guides Victoria and Jaime were fantastic. The hiking was challenging but great fun. Would strongly recommend this trip.
— Virginie, September 2021
The hosts were great and knowledgeable which made the trip very interesting. The places, accommodation and overall organisation were better than expected. There was plenty of everything and loads of little nuggets like the local pool in the mountain, special view points and places to eat/drink. Really loved the all experience. Jaime and Victoria were fantastic considering the diversity of aptitude in the group. Thank you for everything.
Expert, English-speaking, qualified mountain guides
3 nights in a mountain refuge, 2 nights in small, local hotels
All meals apart from dinner in Granada
Transfers from and to the airport
Flights to and from the meeting point
Some meals as described
Malaga Airport or Malaga Bus Station
12 noon at the airport or 13:00 at the bus station on Day 1
Malaga Bus Station or Malaga Airport
16:30 at the bus station or 17:00 at the airport on Day 6
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 will travel from Granada to Malaga and your host advises that you book any flight departing after 19:00 on Day 6. If you decide to stay on in Granada at the end of your trip, you can get a direct bus back to Malaga which takes approximately 1 hour 45 minutes.
There are daily flights to Malaga from major airports across the UK and Europe.
For those who wish to avoid flying, Malaga 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.
Hotel · Twin share
Day 2 – Day 4
Mountain hut · Mixed dorm
Hotel · Twin share
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?
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.
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.
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).
To the mountains
Welcome to España! Your adventure starts in Malaga 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 white-washed ancient 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.
Hop and step up to Poqueira Refuge
5-6hrs · 11km · 1295m up · 250m down
Today is all about acclimatising to being in the mountains as you slowly make your way up to the refuge, your start point for the 3 peak challenge. Leaving Capileira, you’ll set off on a continuous ascent up a zig-zagging path deep in the mountains. You’ll cross several rivers, pass through mountain pastures where cattle are grazing and pause for your picnic lunch at a viewpoint. The last 2km is a steep climb to the refuge which sits at 2500m and is the perfect spot to rest and get used to the altitude.
The mighty Mulhacén (3482m), the roof of the Iberian Peninsula
8hrs · 12km · 1000m up · 1000m down
Up bright and early to tackle your first (and highest!) peak today, 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. You’ll approach the summit via a circular route into the Rio Mulhacen Valley, stopping for a celebratory lunch at the top (if the wind allows) before slowly descending via the western slope, passing wetlands and the Laguna de Caldera.
La Alcazaba (3369m)
9-10hrs · 21km · 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 7 lakes are surrounded by vast mountain meadows and will likely still be frozen in early June. You’ll follow the trail all the way to the top of 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. Back to the refuge to refuel with a substantial 4-course meal.
The final peak, Mt Veleta (3395m)
8hrs · 21km · 1100m up · 850m down
Another early start as you 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. You’ll descend the moonscape valley through what are popular ski slopes in the winter, all the way to the Hoya de la Mora where you’ll hop in the van to Granada. This ancient Moorish city is steeped in history, the old town squares are the perfect spot to while away an evening sampling traditional tapas and listening to music floating amongst the rooftops.
Back to Malaga
You’ll have the day to explore the many winding streets of Granada before a 3pm transfer back to Malaga for your journey home.
15% Off Outdoor Gear
What do I need to bring?
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
Lightweight waterproof and windproof jacket
Breathable wicking layers
Fleece jacket or similar
Buff or neckscarf
Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts for hiking
Underwear & socks
Swimwear for hotel
Something to sleep in
Hiking boots (worn-in)
Lightweight sandals/flipflops for refuge
Sleeping bag 2-3 season Pillowcase
Universal travel plug adapter
Power bank or solar charger
Passports (and visas)
Travel Insurance documents
Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry paper out to dispose of)
Quick-dry towel Alcohol hand-gel
Headtorch or torch
2 x reusable water bottle (x1 litre) Water purification tablets/treatment system
Energy bars and snacks
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.
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.
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