There are many walks and hikes available in the Lecrin Valley, Las Alpujarras and the higher Sierra Nevada peaks. From a 2 hour ramble to the 4 day Ruta Integral De Los Tres Mil (the complete traverse of all Sierras peaks over 3000m) there is something for all ages and ability levels. For more information and downloadable maps about some of the many walks or hikes go to Trek Sierra Nevada
Also worth a visit is “El Dornajo” Sierra Nevada National Park Visitors Centre which is the park’s main information centre. Here they provide hiking information, sell guidebooks and maps, rent horses and mountain bikes plus have an exhibition on the parks flora and fauna.
There is an abundance of wildlife in the Lecrin Valley, Las Alpujarras and Sierra Nevada including the observation of many different species of birds from Eagles and Vultures to Wheatears, Redstarks, European Goldfinch, Serin, Dartford Warbler, Red-legged Partridge, Common Quail and Swifts with their breath taking aerobatic displays.
The Lecrin Valley has excellent road cycling and mountain bike riding routes for all levels of ability. For some different routes and detailed maps see Lecrin Valley Cycling.
There are three golf courses within a 25 minute drive from Casita de la Vaca:
- Santa Clara Golf is the nearest course, only a 10 minute drive away. The course is an 18 hole TPC, with a golf academy, driving range, spa, gym and restaurant. It is located in Otura and has an impressive setting positioned at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
- Granada Club de Golf is at Las Gabias and a 20 minute drive away. An 18 hole course with a par 71, its facilities include a driving range, golf school, pitch and putt green and a bar/restaurant. Its location enjoys views of the Sierra Nevada and the city of the Alhambra.
- Located between Salobreña and Motril is Los Moriscos an 18 hole golf course with driving range, club house and restaurant. The course is situated on the beach and offers players unsurpassed views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Estacion De Esqui Sierra Nevada is in the resort of Solynieve and is a 50 minute drive from Casita de la Vaca. There are 51 marked downhill runs totalling 65kms: 4 graded black, 23 red, 20 blue and 4 green plus cross country routes and a dedicated snowboard area. As one of Europe’s highest and most snow sure resorts, the season is uncharacteristically long running from late November to early May. There are many places to rent gear and a dozen ski and snowboard schools – at the Escuela Oficial de Esqui a 6 hour weekend course costs 50 Euros. As the most southerly ski resort in Europe the sun can be intense so don’t forget the sun protection!
For more information about this resort, including video, click here.
The waters of the Costa Tropical are ideal for water sports enthusiasts offering superb marine life for snorkelers and scuba divers. Other popular water sports include sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking. There are many companies at Salobreña, Almuñécar and La Herradura that rent water sports equipment and small craft like canoes and kayaks. All are within a 30 minute drive from the Lecrin Valley.
A great place to fish is the nearby fresh water lake, Lake Beznar, only a 5 minute drive away. Watch the sunrise or sunset whilst fishing for wild carp, bass, perch, lake trout and barbel (although barbel is just hearsay at the moment!). Another good lake for fishing is Embalse de los Bermejales (45 minute drive) where you’ll find an abundance of barbell, black sea bass and some immense carp. Here there is a perimeter road around the lake which offers easy access to locate a suitable swim. Both lakes are very peaceful as no motorised water sports are allowed. Fishing licences for recreational freshwater fishing must be applied for at the local provincial office of the Ministry of the Environment (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente). Holders of an existing foreign licence may apply for a permit online at: www.telelicencia.com but this must be applied for prior to arrival. Sea fishing licences can also be obtained via the same link.
Note: Personal liability insurance is required to fish the waters of Andalucia.
Horseback is a great way of getting out there and seeing the countryside. There are many horse riding stables in and around the Lecrin Valley:
- Caballo Blanco is a 25 minute drive and is situated near Lanjarón in the Alpujarras. They offer riding lessons by the hour, a varied choice of rides from 1-8 hours and also multi-day trail rides high in the mountains.
- Palmali Riding is in the village of Albuñuelas at the head of the Lecrin Valley and a 20 minute drive away. They offer horse trekking in the local countryside around Albunuelas with amazing panoramic views of the Sierra Nevadas. All ages and abilities welcome with the treks being tailored to your needs.
- Los Alayos is just outside the quaint village of Dilar and at the foot of the Sierra Nevada National Park 20 minutes away. They offer horse riding for the beginner and the more advanced, guided tours include campout rides through the National Park plus various other seasonal treks.
The expressive and ancient tradition of flamenco is a must see for any visitor staying close to Granada and there are often shows in the gypsy quarter of Sacromonte. In the Albaicin, there is one genuine pena (club) with consistently good artists and an audience of aficionados. When the festivals are on, you can catch a performance in the atmospheric setting of the Generalife at the Alhambra. For more information click here. Closer to home, in the summer months, you can sometimes hear the pounding rhythm of flamenco music coming from the Molino in our local village Mondújar, well worth a look! Other flamenco nights can be seen around the various villages of the Lecrin Valley.
A 5 minute drive to the village of Marchena is where you can enjoy all the competition, the camaraderie, the strategy and the adrenaline of paintball. Click here for more information.
There are two great water parks nearby:
- Aquatropic is overlooking the Mediterranean at Playa de Velilla in Almuñécar and is a 25 minute drive. They have a variety of rides to thrill all who dare and also a playground where younger children can enjoy other activities.
- Aquaola is just outside of Granada at Cenes de la Vega about a 20 minute drive away and has a multitude of rides and other attractions.
Parque de las Ciencias is only a 20 minute drive away – just follow the signs once you get off the A44 at junction 132. This huge enterprise of 70,000m2 is a great day out for families with children and features interactive gizmos and gadgets, themed pavilions, special exhibitions, a walk-in tropical butterfly garden, an amazing planetarium plus lots more.
MINI HOLLYWOOD or OASYS PARQUE TERMATICO
Mini Hollywood is situated outside the small town of Tabernas, in the Almeria province and is a 1.5 hour drive away. Set in semi-desert landscape that resembles the deeply riven ‘badlands’ of the American West, this western style theme park is popular with both adults and children alike. Dozens of films were shot here including the classics, a Fistful of Dollars and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. You can experience daily shows such as the capture, escape and final shooting of Jesse James, wander into the “Tombstone Gulch” saloon for a drink and watch the cancan show or dress up as your favourite character from the westerns and get your own wanted poster made! There’s also a zoo with birds, monkeys, reptiles and big cats, a train ride around the park and in the hotter months, a swimming pool to cool off in.