Vereda de la Estrella route, a fascinating trail in Sierra Nevada

The Vereda de la Estrella route is a must for all nature and hiking lovers. With a privileged setting, walking its trails is a fantastic way to enjoy this natural space beyond the typical skiing trip in Sierra Nevada. That’s why this route is one of the favourites when it comes to southern Spain.

What is the Vereda de la Estrella route?

Mulhacén peak

A breathtaking route with the Mulhacén peak always in the background. | Shutterstock

This is a nature trail that runs through the Sierra Nevada National Park. It is located in the valley of the river Genil and its name comes from the mines that once populated the area. The route was built in 1890 to facilitate the exploitation of the mines in the Sierra Nevada. Where there is now a simple path, there used to be a long railway line connecting the workings with Granada. This allowed all the extracted material to be transported more easily and at a lower cost, as well as the workers.

Nowadays, and without any remains of the old rails, the route through the thicket of the Sierra Nevada invites both locals and tourists to discover a spectacular setting. Located at medium altitude, one encounters fauna and flora that fascinates the senses.

To access the Vereda de la Estrella route, it is necessary to go to Güejar Sierra. This is a small village at an altitude of about a thousand metres. It is recognisable by its typical Andalusian white houses, which form a beautiful landscape surrounded by the green forests and fields. In this village you can find accommodation to sleep in Sierra Nevada, so that you can wake up with the marvellous views of Mulhacén, the highest peak of the peninsula.

Planning the Vereda de la Estrella route

Güejar Sierra vereda

Güejar Sierra, the perfect village in Granada to start this excursion. | Shutterstock

But before embarking on the adventure and equipping your backpacks, it is important to know the characteristics of the Vereda de la Estrella route. There are two possible routes, although they are of similar difficulty. The distance is around 20 kilometres on both routes.

The linear route of the Vereda de la Estrella is a little gentler in its ascent and descent, and is more suitable for families. Its itinerary takes us to a centenary chestnut tree called El Abuelo, to then reach the viewpoint called Viso de las Nortes, which offers spectacular views of the Alcazaba and Mulhacén peaks. The route then continues until it reaches a beautiful bridge over the Guarnón River. Crossing it will take you to the Camino del Real, which leads to the entrance to the Mina de la Justicia. At this point, the only thing left to do is to turn around and return to the start.

On the other hand, the circular route of the Vereda de la Estrella begins in the same way as the linear route until it reaches the confluence with the river Vadillo. There you take a detour that takes walkers to the Peña Partida refuge. With this alternative, you can ascend the well-known “cuesta de los presidiarios”, admire the views from the cucaracha refuge and finally continue on to reconnect with the linear route.

Emblematic milestones of the Vereda de la Estrella

Sierra Nevada National Park

It is impossible not to stop and appreciate the natural beauty of the Sierra Nevada National Park. | Shutterstock

On both the linear and circular routes it is possible to reach some places that will not only help you find your way around, but also have a history behind them that makes them very interesting.

El Abuelo centenary chestnut tree

Recognisable from a distance, this chestnut tree stands out for being almost suspended by its roots, offering a magnificent shade where you can shelter and rest if you walk along the Vereda de la Estrella in summer. It is a great reference point to know that you are on the right track on this exciting itinerary.

Peña Partida Hut

Inaugurated in 1988, it is located at an altitude of 2,400 metres. It has a capacity for six people and from its location you can enjoy unequalled views of the whole of the Sierra Nevada National Park. You can ask for the keys in the offices if you are bivouacking.

Cuesta de los presidiarios

One of the steepest points on the Vereda de la Estrella. The Cuesta de los Presidiarios is not suitable for all types of hikers, especially those who decide to climb it. It is only possible to find it on the circular route, making it a magnificent challenge for those looking for a little more adrenaline.

Viewpoint Viso de las Nortes

A perfect spot to rest and appreciate the marvellous panoramic view of the Sierra Nevada. You can perfectly contemplate the different peaks in the distance, making it the best reason to follow the Vereda de las Estrellas route.

Abandoned mines

During the walk along this hiking route in the Sierra Nevada it is possible to reach the entrances to different abandoned mines. Some of them are the Mina de la Probadora, the Mina de la Justicia and the Mina de la Estrella, the latter being the one that gives its name to the route.

Tips to enjoy the Vereda de la Estrella to the fullest

Mulhacén and Alcazaba peaks from Vereda de la Estrella

The Mulhacén and Alcazaba peaks always watch out for hikers on the Vereda de la Estrella. | Shutterstock

Although it is a fairly manageable route for all types of public, it is always important to be cautious and cautious. After all, it is a route of almost 20 kilometres in the heart of the Sierra Nevada. The best time to go is in spring or autumn. Both the weather and the temperature will make it a pleasant walk. In addition, the flora in these seasons will make it a beautiful route. In the background you can see the highest peaks covered with the first snows of autumn.

If you are walking it for the first time, the linear route is the best option as it is much easier. Once you are familiar with it, the circular route offers more incredible views and a greater challenge. Trekking poles will be your best ally. In short, the Vereda de la Estrella route not only offers you a journey through the history of the Sierra Nevada, but it is also a magnificent option for exercising surrounded by nature.

About the author