Enjoy another village to village hike from Trevélez to Bérchules, as you traverse pine forests, mountain pastures and the undulating Sierra Nevada mountains.
You’ll want eyes in the back of your head this morning, for only as you climb away from Trevélez can you can finally begin to appreciate the outstanding location of this village. Dwarfed by a backdrop of Spain’s highest mountains and tamed by terraced fields, the white village appears to tumble down the steep slopes like an icy avalanche.
First, you’ll emerge from the Rio Trevélez valley and then you’ll burst from the shady pine forests onto a section of open moorland to enjoy glorious and unobstructed views over jagged rows of mountains. On a clear day, you can even glimpse the distant Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
In addition to nature, this walk also passes a few of the traditional whitewashed villages you have no doubt fallen in love with. Juviles, Alcútar and Bérchules are each a maze of narrow streets centred around an ancient 16th-century church, and they continue to follow the typical sleepy rhythms of life in the Alpujarras.
Between Alcútar and Bérchules lies the Las Carmelas fountain; legend has it that any unmarried person who drinks from here will soon find love. Why not have a sip?
There are some exposed and unfenced edges throughout the walk; be careful and remain on the path.
Much of the paths are around rocky steps; be careful as these may be slippery, especially when wet.
You must cross over a cattle grid. Place your feet carefully and bear in mind the metal may be slippery when wet.
Sturdy hiking boots and a waterproof/wind-break layer are required. Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of the steep ascents and descents.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.
Make sure you bring enough water. It is recommended to drink 0.75 litres per 1 hour of hiking in hot weather.
Be sure to bring plenty of sun-cream and a healthy respect for the sun.
Points of Interest
The village name, Bérchules, stems from the Arabic word for orchard, Berchul. It isn’t too hard to see where this name came from as the surrounding area is composed largely of fruit trees. Bérchules sits near the confluence of several mountain streams which ensures water is abundant. There are numerous fountains throughout the village; drinking from the Las Carmelas fountain will supposedly help single people find love!
Juviles is another village which boasts an ancient history. The ruins of an eighth-century castle, El Fuerte, are a slight detour away, but it's impossible to miss the impressive 16th century Church of San Sebastian in the village centre.
Food and Drink
You will pass Juviles after 10 kilometres which has a café/restaurant where you can enjoy food or drink. There is also a Tienda (village shop) where you can stock up on supplies.
Just before reaching Bérchules you will pass through Alcútar, which also has a few options for food and drink.