The Most Unique Experiences to Have in Spain's Sierra Nevada Natural Park

Spains Sierra Nevada natural park
Spain's Sierra Nevada natural park | © Chema / Flickr
Mark Nayler

Located less than an hour’s drive from the beautiful Andalusian city of Granada, Sierra Nevada is Spain’s biggest natural park. Read on for the most unique and unforgettable experiences to enjoy in this amazing area, from star-gazing to night skiing.

Loved by over 40s

Summitting Mulhacén

A visit to the Sierra Nevada gives you the opportunity to conquer mainland Spain’s highest mountain – the 3,478 metre Mulhacén. It’s doable in a day from Trevélez and Capileira in the Aplujarra or Hoya de la Mora on the peak’s other side – epic 10-hour hikes (to the top and back) that will leave you feeling utterly exhilarated.

Lunch on the top of Veleta

For a gentler and shorter trek, head to the top of Mount Veleta: at 3,396 metres, it’s the Sierra Nevada’s second highest peak and mainland Spain’s third. The summit is about a two-hour walk from Hoya de la Mora and is a breathtaking spot from which to survey the park’s rugged wildernesses – so pack a picnic.

In the clouds: the summit of the 3,478-metre Mulhacén

Night skiing

Europe’s most southerly ski resort is located on Veleta’s northern slopes. For a truly unforgettable experience, go night skiing on the three kilometres of floodlit piste that are open from 7 to 10pm. Before setting off, enjoy a free cup of soup in front of a giant bonfire that’s lit at Borreguiles, where the route starts.

Visiting the Alpujarra

A cluster of whitewashed villages scattered along the park’s southern edge, the Alpujarras are some of the most beautiful and unspoilt settlements in Europe. Don’t leave without visiting the three located close together in the gorgeous Poquiera valley: Capileira, Bubión and Pampaneira.

Trevélez, in the park’s beautiful Alpujarra region

Eating jamon in Trevélez

From Capileira, it’s about a 40-minute drive to lovely Trevélez, the highest of the Alpujarra villages at 1,476 metres. The dry climate and mountain air here are ideal for curing ham, which is why Trevélez is known for producing some of the best jamon in Spain. Be sure to try some.

Star gazing

Such is the Sierra Nevada’s altitude that the night skies are absolutely amazing. The must-attend event is the Night of Raining Stars, which usually occurs mid-August (this year it’s the 11th): enjoy a picnic and music performed by a string quartet as you watch this incredible natural phenomenon from a height of 2,700 metres.

A night sky in the Sierrra Nevada

Staying in a mountain refuge

For a real mountaineering experience, split your journey to the top of Mulhacén over two days and spend the night in a high-altitude refuge, where you’ll dine with fellow trekkers and sleep in a shared dorm. The fully staffed Refugio Poqueira, located at 2,500 metres, is the best. Booking in advance recommended.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.