Sierra Nevada National Park

As Spain’s biggest national park, the Sierra Nevada isn’t lacking in anything and whether it’s canoeing, horseback riding or skiing you’re after, this park has it all. From white-knuckle adventures to a relaxed afternoon of bird watching, the Sierra Nevada National Park has something for everyone and its close proximity to the Mediterranean makes it all that more inviting.

The national park stretches across eastern parts of Granada and western parts of Almeria in South-eastern Spain and is home to more than 20 peaks reaching well over 3,000m above sea level; the highest of these being Mulhacén which stands at 3,479m and is the highest peak on the Iberian Peninsula. In total the park covers an area of 85,883ha and was only officially declared a national park as recently as 1998. Due to its location and size, the park is also opulent with culture arising from its rich history and religious past.

The Sierra Nevada is the second highest mountain range after the Alps and on a clear day you might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Africa from its peaks. Much of the landscape was formed by glaciers, producing its U-shaped valleys and glacial lakes which are dotted among its mountains. The highest lake in the park is located 3,146m above sea level and is called Laguna de Altera.The Fardes and Genil Rivers are also important factors of the park and are bound to cross your path at some point during your adventure.

Flora and Fauna

Due to its southerly location and diverse landscape making its flora and fauna paticularly notable, many of the animals and plants that flourish in this area are unique to the park and survive solely due to its protection. There are around 2,100 known species of plant of which 116 are classified as threatened with extinction and 60 which are completely unique to the park. The park is also home to 60 species of bird including the Golden Eagle, the Eurasian Eagle-Owl and the European Goldfinch. In terms of wildlife the Sierra Nevada is alive with activity of wild boar, martens, Spanish mountain goat, wildcats and badgers and is also home to the Spanish Ibex population.

What to do at Sierra Nevada

In terms of finding something to do at the Sierra Nevada National Park, you won’t have any trouble in finding something that suits you perfectly. Its varied landscape and climate allow flexibility and provide a wealth of activities and ways to discover the park.

  • Skiing:
    Skiing is one of the most popular things to do at the Sierra Nevada and many visitors come just to experience Europe’s southern-most ski resort. Located in Pradollano and equipped with the latest facilities the resort is perfect for beginners, professionals and everyone in-between! Where else could you ski in one of the most beautiful resorts in Europe during the morning and go for a swim in the Mediterranean during the afternoon?
    More information about skiing in Sierra Nevada National Park
  • Hiking:
    Hiking is also a particularly popular past-time for visitors to the national park as the main summits are relatively easy to reach. There are also hiking bases located at Capileira, Trevélez and Monachil and mountain cabins are dispersed all around the area, some of which are free to use.
    For more information visit:
  • Botanic Gardens:
    Located on the edge of the national park in Trevenque, the gardens are definitely worth a visit if you’re interested in learning more about the conservation of the flora in the park. The botanical gardens focus on preserving and investigating the species which are unique to the area.
  • Bird Watching:
    Of course due to the variety of bird species which populate the park the area is perfect for bird watching and there are many points from where it is best to do this. Visit for more information.

Other activities available within the park: Paragliding, Canoeing, Canyoning, Horseback riding, Rock climbing

Visitor Centres

  • El Dornajo Visitor Centre:
    The centre houses exhibitions and displays which provide information on wildlife and flora in the park as well as offering information about the various activities that are available to visitors. There is also a book shop as well as a shop selling local produce and a café. This visitor centre is located in the western area of the park.

  • Laujar de Andarax Visitor Centre: Located in the eastern part of the park, this centre also houses displays and information about the main aspects of the park such as flora, fauna and conservation.

    For a full list of visitor centres and information points located around the Sierra Nevada national park, as well as opening times and directions, visit: