Los Cahorros – Hiking in Sierra Nevada, Spain
Los Cahorros is a hiking trail in the lower hills of the Sierra Nevada, Spain. It’s located in Monachil, a small municipality just 8 Kilometers from Granada’ center. Los Cahorros gorge is a well known destination for climbers for many years but in recent years it has become famous for this adventure yet family trail. It’s perfect for people looking for a indiana jones like adventures.
Los Cahorros is a circular trail, that means you start and finish in same place (near the restaurant). The trail is roughly 8 km long and the altitude difference is 400 m, with a maximum of more than 1100 m of altitude.
We can divide the trail in two parts: the first 2 km through the Los Cahorros gorge and the remaining 6 km where you have to walk up and down the hill to return to the restaurant. The famous hanging bridges, the waterfalls swimming spots and the rocks you have to crawl under are all in the first part. The second part stars at the end of the gorge and consists of a return via a high limestone rock track.
It is considered family hike and we saw many kids doing it apparently without problems. However you should bear in mind that you will need to scramble under overhanging rocks and cross a 15 meters high and 55 meters long hanging bridge. There are also metal handles set into the rocks to help you past some of the most difficult parts.
Check here full information about the trail in a printable PDF.
Our experience & Tips
We love doing hikes in our holidays and when heard about Los Cahorros we had to include it in our itinerary. Beautiful views, a cascading river that creates rock pools for swimming, narrow caves and tunnels that you have to crawl through or hang off the rock face, walking along the gorge and, of course, the famous hanging bridges made our day memorable and fun! On the down side we found the trail unbalanced because almost all the interest points are in the first 2 km and the reaming 6 km are just about walking under the sun without much to do/see. Yet, we had a great time and recommend it to families and adventurous people alike.
We did the whole trail as planned but truth be made, barely anyone else did it. People disappeared completely when we got out of the gorge, crossed the river one last time and started the climb. Truth be made, after that the landscape becomes less and less interesting. Many people tend not make the complete circle, but return when they get to the end of the Gorge.
We went in August and it was a very hot day (Summer in Andalusia…what else?) which made the second part of the trail less pleasant. If it’s possible go in milder temperatures and always take a lot of water!
The trail is becoming more and more popular and can be a bit crowded in weekends and holidays. Try to avoid them. We went on high season on weekday and there were many people but not enough to make it less pleasant.
How to get to Los Cahorros
By car: From Granada take the Monachil exit from the A-395 southern ring road (Ronda Sur). Take the exit for Monachil and follow this road for roughly 6 km until you reach the village of Monachil. There, cross the bridge and continue to the “scenic road” (carretera de la purche) to Sierra Nevada. You will soon find restaurant El Puntarron. Park there, or turn right and continue into the dirt road about 1 km until you find “Merendero Los Cahorros“, where you can park.
By bus: Service 183 goes to Monachil approx. once an hour Monday – Friday. On Saturdays, the service is mornings only, with the last bus back at 13:40. There is no service on Sundays. After Monachil just walk into the restaurants areas described above. Find timetables here.
TIP: We actually got there by taking “carretera de la Purche” from Sierra Nevada road (A-395). It has a sign saying “scenic road”, don’t miss it! It is really beautiful drive and goes directly to Los Cahorros and then Monachil.