Ventas de Zafarraya to Alhama de Granada

Back in Spain and the memories of two months walking through the country in March and April come flooding back. Little things which had disappeared into the back of my mind pop up like old friends - the way everyone leaves tapas rubbish on the floor in the bars, the never ending television, and totally weird eating times.

Actually the weird eating times bit us slightly when we got to Ventas de Zafarraya (taxi pre-booked from Malaga airport). Arrived at the little bar/hotel Aqui Te Quiero Ver at about 5.30pm only to discover they had just finished doing food for the day and there was nowhere to eat in the village in the evening. They didn't do breakfast either. We stocked up with food from the local shop, so not the end of the world.

More annoying was the discovery that I had mistaken a white plastic object in my draw at home for an adapter when it wasn't. Real crisis - without an adapter had nothing to recharge my iPhone so no GPS, no blogging and no books - down in the dumps and fed up with walking before the walk had even started.

Getting going in the morning was quite tough as well. Doesn't get light until 8 am, no coffee, the cloud was low and it was quite chilly. Conserving the remaining battery on the phone for emergencies we were dependent on the Cicerone guide for instructions and to be honest the instructions are a bit dodgy around here.

The initial bit of the walk underneath the Morron de la Cuna is dramatic but the trail was unmarked and it wasn't we had gone well past the village of Espino that we saw the first red and white E4 / GR7 sign. Seemed to confirm that the guide was wrong.

Just along from Ventas de Zafarraya

We followed a dusty unmetalled road through dry hilly land growing fields of vegetables: beef tomatoes, runner beans, red peppers. The track took us past vegetable packing warehouses where huge lorries filled up and took the produce around Europe. Apart from that, the track was quite dull. It was described in the Cicerone guide as an old cattle drove road but I think that is romanticism getting the better of common sense - ain't no cattle round here guv.

We found a roadside restaurant at Arroya de la Madre and had a sandwich. By now it was hot outside. The scenery improved as we headed cross country again but there were now a lot of sight-seers driving up and down the so called drove road kicking up dust, making Christine very cross. Eventually we hit a reservoir and walked to the other side where we checked into El Ventorro, a famous 17th century 'venta' and merchants buildings turned into a nice hotel with some of the rooms built into the caves in the rock behind. We treated ourselves to cafe con leche, first caffeine of the day, and our nagging headaches immediately lifted.

Dropped our bags in the room and struggled to decide whether to walk down the valley to visit Alhama de Granada or stay in the hotel and try out its own special moorish baths. No swimming costumes so down to Alhama and what a treat, the highlight of the day, beautiful gorge with the town perched high on the cliff at the end of it. It's the hill top towns that make walking in Spain so special. A leisurely tour around the town and then a walk back to the Hotel for a nice late dinner.

Alhama de Granada

The church in Alhama de Granada

Gorge to the south of Alhama de Granada

Great day, the only evening the hotel does evening meals is Saturday and tonight is Saturday and, better still, the guy behind the bar found us an English adaptor. Someone is smiling on us.


  1. Hi John and Christine. Nice to hear from you again and indeed the adaptor working also. Counting the days for meeting you in Lanjarón to show you the marvels of Las Alpujarras. Enjoy the good weather for some rain showers will appear next week, not much to worry about, just to adjust the hot temperatures.

  2. also short greetings ... I remember Alhama de Granada, the last part through the gorge was marvellous ... i spent night in the cave before the town on big "hill" of straw .. nice, very nice memory :-)
    enjoy all the walking ...