If you’re a keen rambler or just an occasional walker, you may have heard of the GR-7, a famous walking route that extends throughout Europe, passing through some of the most beautiful countryside our continent has to offer. You may not know, however, that part of the GR-7 goes through our own, very lovely Lecrin Valley.
The GR-7’s Andalusian’s South Branch, which runs through many of the villages of our Valle de Lecrin, is one of the reasons that this area is so popular with walkers who come from all over the world to walk its varied trails, experiencing the incredible views, beautiful Spanish villages and local gastronomy. Many of these intrepid visitors love the area so much, they move here and never leave!
What is the GR-7?
The E4 GR-7 Long Distance Trail (Sendero de Gran Recorrido), is the longest trail in Europe at 10,000km long. Starting on the Atlantic coast near the Strait of Gibraltar (Tarifa) the path passes through Spain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria to Greece and although originally ending in Greece, has now been extended to Larnaca in Cyprus on one end and to the Spanish autonomous city of Ceuta on the north coast of Africa at the other.
The GR-7 enters Andalusia through the Granada municipality of La Puebla de Don Fadrique and links towns in the provinces of Jaén, Córdoba, Granada, Almería, Málaga and Cádiz, with 1,280 kilometres of signed trail, running through ten natural parks. At La Puebla de Don Fadrique, before reaching the impressive views of the Sierra de la Sagra, the trail splits into two branches: Ramal Norte (Northern Branch) and Ramal Sur (Southern Branch).
The Ramal Sur, having travelled down from Murcia through Huescar, Galera, Orce and Baza, enters the Sierra Nevada National Park via the Puerto de la Ragua Recreation and Cross-Country Ski Station on the borders of Granada and Almería. It then runs through the Alpujarra, which as you may know are a series of mountain villages (including Bubion and Trevelez, the highest village in Spain), known for their beauty, architecture, local arts and crafts, hams and gastronomy.
Where does it go through the Lecrin Valley?
Passing through the spa town of Lanjaron, the Alpujarras give way to the Lecrín Valley, bordered by the Alpujarra Granadina to the east, the Costa Tropical to the south, and the Alhama Natural Park to the west.
The verdant Lecrin Valley is known for its Moorish architecture and historic villages, churches and mills; its abundant citrus, olive and almond groves, deep gorges, rivers (sometimes dry, sometimes flowing depending on the season), its network of acequias (aqueducts) bringing spring water from the mountains to feed the agriculture and the impressively stunning Lake Beznar, a dammed lake that now offers a multitude of water sports in its sparkling blue waters.
The GR-7 Ramal Sur trail, which can be walked, cycled (mountain bike) and ridden with horses, passes through the municipalities of Niguelas, Lecrin (via the villages of Mondujar, Murchas and Talara), El Valle (via Melegis, Restabal and Saleres) and on to Albuñuelas. This is a truly beautiful walking trail that takes in some of the best that the Lecrin Valley has to offer, passing through our stunning villages, well-kept orchards and making the most of the stunning scenery, and popular restaurants and bars.
On leaving the Lecrin Valley the GR-7 moves on towards Malaga, via the Alhama region, nestled between huge strips of rock that form true natural walls, at the foot of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park before reaching the Zafarraya Gap and the entrance to the Malaga Province and on to Tarifa, where the original trail ends (although you can continue on to Ceuta).
Walking is not only healthy and good for the body and mind, but it really is one of the best ways to truly take in our beautiful country.
Find out more about the GR-7 through Lecrin Valley/Granada via the following link: https://treksierranevada.com/tag/gr7https://treksierranevada.com/walks/start-point/lecrin-valley