The GR7-E4 Trail has a 10,450 km route, from Cyprus to Tarifa. It is the first continental path with a vocation to unite not only Europe, but also Africa, via Morocco. Belonging to the European network of footpaths, it is overlaps to the network of trails existing in the European countries and is the sum of the trails of Great Route (GR) of different countries. It constitutes a proposal of itineraries made based on the same regulation that regulates this signaling, being this competition of the "European Rambler's Association". The long-distance trails are marked by characteristic brands consisting of a white stripe on another red and that dream of painting on logs of trees, stones, walls or on specific supports. There are several variants of these brands to indicate continuity, change of direction or wrong direction. In France they are called "Grande Randonnée", in Germany "Fernwanderwege", in the Netherlands "Grande Routenpaden" or "Lange-Afstandwandelpaden" and in POrtugal "Grande Rota". In Spain the network is maintained by the Federation of climbing and Mountain sports. The GR-7 is the first path of great route marked in Spain. Its signposting began in the year 1974 due to a request of "the National Committee of Sentiers de Grande Randonnée" of France with the Spanish Federation of Mountaineering, Soilicitando the continuation of the French GR-7 until the Strait of Gibraltar. The Commission was made by the Catalan federation, being in Cantaluña the entrance of this European path. In Andalusia the path of the great route GR-y, European trail E-4, has its beginning or end in the municipality of Tarifa (Cádiz), communicating towns in this province, Malaga, Granada, Almería, Córdoba and Jaén, with approximately 1,250 km of signposted trails. Its layout runs through the Sierra de Ojén, the Natural Park of the Alcornocales and the Natural Park of Grazalema. It penetrates in the province of Malaga by the plains of Libar and Montejaque, visiting places as interesting as the Serranía de Ronda, the Chorro and the Sierra of the valley of Abdalajís until reaching Antequera. In Villanueva de Cauche, it is divided into two main branches, one in the direction of Zafarraya to enter the province of Granada and another towards the province of Córdoba. In the province of Granada, goes through Alhama de Granada, the Valley of Lecrín and arrives, finally, to the Alpujarra Granada (Puerto de La Ragua-Bayárcal) and a small stretch of Almeria's Alpujarra, all of it with exceptional attractiveness with villages that have a Popular architecture, handicrafts, gastronomy… Native. Part of the tour is in the mountainous massif of Sierra Nevada, one of the natural spaces with greater diversity of Andalusia declared National Park in 1,999
LENGTH: 108.4 km
DURATION WITHOUT STOPS: 34-35 hr
TRAM 1: PORT OF THE RAGUA – LAROLES (14.3 km / 5 hr)
The GR7 enters La Alpujarra Granadina by the Port of the Ragua, at 2000 meters of altitude, and then descend to Bayárcal (in the Alpujarra Almeriense) and end in the village of Laroles, at just over 1000 meters of altitude. Puerto de la Ragua borders the provinces of Granada and Almería and is located in the center of the Sierra Nevada massif. The Recreational Station of Puerto de la Ragua is an extremely attractive place for the p.r.a. of sports considered low impact and adventure such as cross-country skiing, hiking, sledding, orientation… or just for observation and enjoyment of nature.
SECTION 2: LAROLES – VÁLOR (13 km / 4 hr 30 min)
The second section of the GR7 leaves Laroles to cross its river and continue to Júbar and Mairena (belonging to these three nuclei to the municipality of Nevada) to continue towards Nechite and finish its route in the village of Válor. The trail starts from the upper neighborhood of Laroles, at 1,043 meters of altitude, from where you can see the flat roofs covered by the one of the houses of the village, on which is the tower of the Church, unique in La Alpujarra by its shape. The landscape that you see along the trail goes from being high mountain in the Port of the Ragua to transforming, as soon as we begin to descend, into a Mediterranean landscape crowned with almond and fruit trees on the slopes and willows in the ravines.
SECTION 3: VÁLOR – MECINA BOMBARON (11.3 km / 3 hr 45 min)
The stretch that starts in Válor goes quietly to Yegen, crosses the Mecina River and after a steep climb passes through El Golco until reaching Mecina Bombarón. Válor oozes history throughout its municipality: homeland of the Alpujarreño hero Aben Humeya, descendant of the Umayyad caliphs, was proclaimed King of the Alpujarraal the Moorish uprising against Christians in the reign of Philip II, back in 1568. The historic path that goes from Válor to Yegen along the Camino Real that linked Almería with Granada, crosses the spectacular Tablet Bridge. In the village of Yegen lived the English Hispanicist Gerald Brenan, author of "South of Granada", one of the best known books on La Alpujarra.
STEP 4: MECINE PUMP – CODAGE (10.3 km / 3 hr 20 min)
The GR7 departs from Mecina Bombarón to reach Cadiz, after passing through Bérchules and Alcútar, having nates crossed the Rio Grande de Bérchules, which would later be called Guadalfeo. Mecina Bombarón was the homeland of Aben Aboo, quine for a year and a half reinstated La Alpujarra after his cousin Abén Humeya. It was his property part of Montenegro through which he passed very close to the previous path. Mecina is a mosaic of neighborhoods, orchards and trees. Seven of its former eight neighbourhoods are preserved, some of Berber origin. The path crosses Los Bérchules, which some say translates by "vergeles", and between verges you reach Narila, which in Al-Andalus' time was the permanent residence of the chief judge, "to the cadi". Of the Eastern Alpujarra. At the end of the day you reach Cádiar, one of the capitals of La Alpujarra.
TRAMO 5: CODE – TREVELEZ (19.6 km / 7 hr)
In Cádiar it descends to the southernmost point of the alpujarreño section of the GR7 trail (about 800 mtr above sea level) and then climbs to Lobras, Timar, Juviles to the highest point of the GR7, in Trevélez (about 1500 mtr above sea level). According to the accitano and precursor of the trips to the rural area Pedro Antonio de Alarcón, "The aspect of Cadiz is of the most picturesque, noble and main that can happen. More than an agricultural and livestock town, which is nothing else, it seems what it was 300 years ago: a residence of princes, a mansion of pleasures, a Aranjuez in Versailles, a Capua. We found some houses so majestic, others built in situation so on purpose to enjoy the charms of the Valley and the Sierra (…) that Cadar remained the Cadar of my fantasy, and all the historical characters who pulfitted in my memory had loose hostel." After Lobras, formerly famous for the delicacy of its fabrics, we arrive at its annex Timar and its mines. We continue to climb to get to Juviles and we will finally reach Trevélez.
TRAMO 6: TREVELEZ – BUSQUISTAR (11.6 km / 4 hr)
The GR7 departs from Trevélez from the Bairro Alto, to reach Busquistar after crossing the Barranco de la Bina and the Alisos. Trevélez is the highest municipality in Spain, a fact that has caused the hams cured in this area to be renamed for centuries. The trail runs from Trevélez, amid stains of melojo oak, holm oaks… which in autumn offer one of the most colorful and impressive valleys in Andalusia, until reaching, after a long descent to Busquístar.
TRAMO 7: BUSQUISTAR – BUBOn (8 kms / 2hr 40min)
From Busquistar we leave in the direction of Pórtugos, to head to the municipality of La Taha – passing through Altabeitar, Pitres and Capilerilla – and finally to Bubión, already in the Barranco del Poqueira. In Buscaquistar there are still important remains of mining in the Conjuro, in addition to the remains of The Mosque. La Taha retains the name of the ancient Nasrid territorial divisions. In the early days of The Muslim Colonization, the villages were established around castles, called "hisn", which acted as organizational centers and defenders of a certain territorial area, called "Yaz". The Nasrid administration creates the new configuration in taha. Each taha grouped an indeterminate number of farms and were based on the territory's own physical structure. Each of them had its capital, usually in the nucleus that had consolidated around or near the original "hisn".
TRAMO 8: BUBION – SOPORSJAR (7.5 km / 2hr 30min)
We leave La Taha to enter the Poqueira Valley, the best known today. Section 8 of the GR7 starts from Bubión down towards Pampaneira, crosses the Poqueira River at less than 900 mtr altitude, and after a short climb, it goes on ward towards Soportújar. Bubión is the smallest village in Poqueira, where underground gallerys have been discovered that make it believe with some foundation that there were iron deposits and foundries of the Phoenician and Roman times, its first settlers. Together with the municipalities of Capileira and Pampaneira they form the Historical Complex of Barranco del Poqueira, protected by UNESCO. Soportújar carries, according to its etymology ("soportal") one of the architectural elements identifying La Alpujarra: the "tinaos".
TRAMO 9: SOPORTJAR – LANJARON (13 km / 4hr 15min)
The final stretch entirely alpujarreño of the GR7 departs from Soportújar, passes through Cáñar and descends to the lowest point of the Alpujarreño section, located in Lanjarón, just over 600 mtr above sea level. Lanjarón is considered to be the natural gateway of La Alpujarra from Granada. It is also the most important spa town in Andalusia for centuries, although it was known before for the mineral-medicinal properties of its waters and springs. Before leaving La Alpujarra on the GR7 towards Nigues, don't forget to visit its castle and the Hondillo Quarter.