Sierra Nevada Mountains - Granada, Spain
The Sierra Nevada region in Spain has a mountain range that runs right into the ocean and is home to terrain perfect for trail running. Much of the range is in a national park that makes the trails accessible. However, I can only say the trail running LOOKS incredible since on this trip I did three days of biking in the mountains and didn’t have a chance to get run in. Previous to this trip, my biking experience was limited to triathlons and long distance biking with friends in relatively flat locations in Berlin, Amsterdam and Ohio. I also did not understand what the mountain stages in the Tour de France must be like, but now I know.
We spent three days on these epic climbs for about 15,000 ft (4500m) of elevation gain. We made climbs to the towns of Veleta and Cáñar and also a path known as La cabra. We also had to carry up extra gear for the ride down since at the 8,200 ft (2500m) point of Veleta there was snow and temperatures near freezing. It was almost tough to control the bike on the way down because of my body‘s violent shivering. The Sierra Nevada’s will go into my bucket list of places for an ultrarunning adventure.
When already in Europe there are relatively inexpensive flights with good timing that can be found to the Malaga, Spain airport since it is served by low cost carriers EasyJet and Ryanair. A rental car is useful since only one of the rides was directly from the town of Almuñécar. However, one of my friends used the bus service and said it was quite convenient.
Where to Stay
We choose to stay in the town of Almuñécar since the town had an ocean view, but if I were going solo, I might have chosen to be closer to the trails in the mountains.