So crowding on the coast is easing off but you are still gasping for a bit of space with no noise and nobody around. Well in that case how about Cerro de Huenes?
Sierra Nevada National Park encompasses 85,000 hectares (210,039.57 acres or a little over 328 sq/km) and offers much more than snow and winter sports, especially in its mid-range peaks and valleys, which is where you will find the hiking route Cerro Huenes.
Now, some of you will have been in its proximity perhaps without realising it, if you have eaten at one of the most popular country eating houses in Cumbres Verdes (Zubia), known as El Hervidero, which is where you start your walk.
You will enjoy the fantastic views along the 12km walk which takes between four to five hours. The route ascends around 500 metres over its length, which means its a medium-difficulty hike. As most of the walk is through pine forests, there’s plenty of shade, which is perfect for a summer time excursion. You’ll need footwear suitable for gravel-surface woodland tracks and light clothing. As always, water, a light, waterproof jacket and a torch in a small backpack are advisable – you might not need them but you will be very glad to have them if you do.
Along The Route:How to get there:
Drive to La Zubia and then Cumbres Verdes – it’s a long straight hill road, which will take you to the said eatery, the Fuente del Hervidero (Casa Macareno). If you intend to eat there, make a reservation before hand as it is a favourite for people who live in the city of Granada and is invariably packed.
From there continue your drive along a forest track which will take you to the start-off point where you will find a parking area (Canal de la Espartera). As this is a circular route, you’ll end up where you parked, so no problem.
The views are of the Valle de Río Dílar as well as some mountain peaks, such as El Caballo, El Trevente and El Tamboril, for example. The route is called La Cortijuela which runs next to a barranco for about a kilometre. At this point it leaves the main track and descends to cross via a small bridge over the Arroyo de Huenes and arriving at the barranco de las Majadillas.
From there you will skirt the Cerro Tamboril along a footpath lined with lavander, marjoram and sage, normally (it depend on the season, of course).
One of the interesting constructions along the way is the forestery bunkhouse at Fuente Fría, which is a good resting place and to soak in our surroundings. Another construction is the Puente de Los Siete Ojos (Seven-Arch Bridge) just before you get back to the parking area.
(News/Excursion: Cerro Huenes, Sierra Nevada)