Sierra nevada natural Park
The park has an area of 86,208 hectares and includes 44 towns in the provinces of Granada and Almería. The highest peak is the 3,481 m Mulhacén, also the highest peak in the peninsula. The park has been classified as a National Hunting Reserve since 1996, as well as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. More than 65 plants are native to the area. The Alpujarra region is found on the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Excursions through the park can be enjoyed on foot, horseback, mountain bike or with a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Access from Granada is by the road to the Sierra Nevada ski resort and goes up to the Veleta peak. A dirt trail descends to Capileira on the Alpujarreña slope.
Ski Courses and Lifts
Sierra Nevada´s ski courses have been designed by European and American specialists, guaranteeing superb conditions for the skier. With a total of 61 kilometres spread over 39 runs, plus 6 sensational off-course trails, Sierra Nevada offers the visitor a wide choice of activities.
Sierra Nevada has a vertical drop of 1,300 meters, and snow areas for all types of skiers, from beginners to experts. The highlights of its courses were those used in the World Alpine Ski Championships held in February 1996, which more adventurous skiers will be able to enjoy this season.
Also, with the new chairlift to replace the Montebajo lift, overall skier carrying capacity is increased to 31,965 passengers per hour, made possible by a total of 19 lifts: 2 gondolas, 12 chairlifts (four of which are detachable), and 5 ski lifts. Four of these provide direct access to the ski area, the Al-Andalus and Borreguiles gondolas, and the Genil and Jara chairlifts.
Ski lifts are open to the public from 09.00hrs. - 16.30hrs. daily, however, weather conditions may affect lift schedules. Lifts are also open Friday and Saturday evenings for floodlit night time skiing.
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The region of mountain villages known as Las Alpujarras clings to the southern flanks of the Sierra Nevada, cloven by deep, sheltered valleys and gorges which run down towards the Mediterranean. The Alpujarra, as it is popularly known, in the singular, is famous throughout Spain because of its unique mini-ecology. Its terraced farmlands are constantly watered by the melting snow from above, constituting a high-altitude oasis of greenery which stands in dramatic contrast to the arid foothills below. This is ideal hiking terrain for adventurous travellers, provided you take along a tent and well-padded sleeping bags - the average altitude is 4,000 feet above sea level.
The Alpujarra, as much a part of Granada as Almeria, is full of beautiful towns. The towns that make up the Barranco del Poqueira -Capileira, Pampaneira and Bubión are probably the most popular and most visited areas of the Alpujarra. Mentioned below are just some of the most important regions in the Alpujarra of Granada which is almost 50km from the city of Granada and 35km from the coast. The most important towns are Lanjaron, Orgiva, Portugos, La tahá, Pitres, Capilerilla, Atalbéitar, Ferreirola, Mecinas, busquístar, Trevélez, Ugíjar, Juviles, Bérchules, Cádiar, Mecina-Bombarón, Yegen, Valor, Torvizcón.
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