Monachil – a gorge-ous hike in Andalucia, Spain

We have a big (our first!) multi-day hike in the Pyrenees planned for the end of June, so we bought a bunch of supplies, including new hiking shoes for everyone.  We needed to break them in, so we decided to head to Monachil, Spain, near Granada to a hike about which I had heard many favorable reviews.  This hike did not disappoint! It had a little bit of everything.  It took us about 4 hours to complete, and was about 7km/4.4miles.

There is a parking lot in Monachil (with signs to direct the way) where the hike begins.  Once we left the parking lot, we followed the river until we were able to climb down onto a path that runs next to it.

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The beginning of our hike followed the river, with just enough rocks to climb over and obstacles to avoid to make it fun.

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After about 1.3km, we arrived at our first hanging bridge.

IMG_2249.JPGIt took us uphill and along an aqueduct. At this point, the sky opened up and we began to see rocks jutting up from the gorge ahead of us, and even cascading waterfalls.IMG_2253 (2).JPG

We got to a second hanging bridge.IMG_2265 (2).JPG

The hike wasn’t terribly crowded, but it was a weekend in June, so we sure weren’t alone.  There were a few groups of teenagers hiking near us, including one big group who got ahead of us when we took a little snack break.  At this point, we got to the longest hanging bridge of the hike, and this one only allowed four people on it at a time.  So, we ended up waiting a little bit to take our turn.  It was only 10 minutes or so, and we were standing outside in a beautiful area, so it really wasn’t much of a hardship to wait!

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Finally our turn on the long hanging bridge

As soon as we passed the long hanging bridge, we got to the really fun part!  Here we followed the narrow path on the side of the gorge.

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In some places, it is an advantage to be short!

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The options here – scoot on your butt or army crawl. A goes with the scoot.

IMG_2353Finally, we emerged into a valley surrounded by rock walls. You know what that means, right? Time to stop for another snack!IMG_2341After a snack, we headed over another hanging bridge for the most difficult section of the hike, a steep uphill taking us over the valley and back in the direction of Monachil.IMG_2376And up, up, up we go!IMG_2389

 

 

 

 

IMG_2397The kids were fairly good sports, but eventually it just got too tough for the littlest legs, so C had to play super dad for a while.IMG_2418 (3)Finally, we reached the top of the hill and started climbing back down to Monachil, this time along a road dotted with small farms, where we saw chickens, dogs and horses along the way.IMG_2420.JPG

A little less than four hours after we arrived in Monachil, we made it back to the parking lot. We all enjoyed the hike and can’t wait to go back and do it again!

 

 

 

 

 

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