Sierra Nevada - Spain
The most southerly European mountain range Sierra Nevada, is a rich land with lots of biological and landscape wealth in the form of 150 samples. Between Granada which is the province of Andalusia and Almeria we can see the highest peaks on the mainland.The old Moorish remains can be admire in the south of Las Alpujarras. Here we can find also great facilities of Lanjaron Spa and the highest towns in the whole Spain. For those who loves snow sports there is a lot of ski resorts also, for example Pradollano ski resort. In Pradollano ski resort we can enjoy in more than 65 kilometres of skiable inclines, there are also skating rinks and heated swimming-pools.
The area is extremely massif and vast, it contains fifteen peaks which are all over 3.000 meters high. The highest summits on the mainland are Veleta (3.392 m), and Mulhacen (3.482 m). Here the area is so high that snow is almost perpetual here, very beautiful are also many brooks, rivers and mountain streams that make the valleys and mounatin gorges green. The composition of the soil decisively above 2.000 meters influences a lot different plant formations in the region.
Comparable to the ground, there are juniper or thyme bushes, juniper, pine groves, Savin junipers and padded brushwood. Weather conditions on 3.000 meters are adverse but those curcumstances give rise to a special high forming pastures and mountain flora. Here we can see a lot of species that occupy ledges and cracks in inhabited bottoms of the glacial cirques. Also very beautiful are many golden eagles that are supreme here, they are usually in a company with other smaller birds like larks and patridges. Other Nature Reserve where we can get greater insight into these spots, here we can also find some great views are Bubion, Trevelez, Capileira and Pampaneira.
There are many ways to get up Mulhacen, but you must remember, there are not allowed any cars and private vehicles in because the whole ara is a protected National Park. Twenty years ago you could drive your own car up to the top of nearby Veleta, and down the other side, although the higher roads were unsurfaced, and it wasn’t exactly encouraged. Now you can catch the bus which drive from the three villages of Poqueira Valley Pampaneira, Bubión and Capileira. All three villages are also perfect origin for hiking and walking through Sierra Nevada. We arrived the first of three villages nestled against the steep slopes of the Pampaneira valley. The first village gave the valley its name, and was the tourist hot spot. Shops selling cured ham, ice creams and crafts lined the road and there was a greater sense of movement than I'd find in the villages above. Bubión was indeed quieter and I cannot remember much of it. Above, a few hundred metres higher was Capileira, with his white buildings.
Most of people do it like a one-day excursion, usually they took a bus to Alto del Chorrilo (2600 m), and the rest of the trip they are walking. But you can also drove your car right to the entrance to the National Park and then you can walk from here to the top of the mountain. This trip gaves you several more hours of walking. From the top of Mulhacen the views are truly amazeing and different in every direction. In the north we can see shallow glacial cuque with V-shaped valley which are looking towards Granada.
Refugio Poqueirais a large mountain refuge similar to an Alpine hut. It is deep within the National Park, at 2.500 metres situated 1000m directly below Mulhacen peak and provides up to 90 beds for walkers, climbers and skiers. The views from the top are truly breathtaking, and different in each direction. The North Face is a sheer cliff, which funnels into a shallow glacial cirque, with a steep-sided V-shaped valley heading off to the north-west towards Granada and its Vega. This cliff curves round to the west, where it gives way to a long narrow ridge leading to the Veleta peak; to the east there is a succession of rounded peaks separated by the major Alpujarra valleys, and to the south a much gentler incline leads back down to the Upper Poqueira Valley - this is the route we had come up by.
Coming down from the top of Mulhacen to the barrier and park place was long way. Downhill from the top of Mulhacen is exhausting. Four hours of walking on the broken path and road is a difficult burden for a leg and specific for the knees.Despite the effort the view to the surrounding area and valley inspires us .Finally we reach the parking area in front of the barrier to the national park. We had only one in our mind, as soon as possible drive to the valley, to the coast and beaches of Costa tropical and dip our feet in warm water of mediteranian sea.
Flora of Sierra Nevada