The subtle play of colours on the mountains at sunset and sunrise, beautiful starry skies and almost complete solitude: camping in the Sierra Nevada can be an unforgettable experience. It is also essential if you want to reach some of the more remote parts of the National Park. Wild camping is allowed in the mountains, and there are also lots of well-equipped campsites in the surrounding towns and villages.
In principle, wild camping is allowed in the Sierra Nevada National Park and Natural Park. However, there are some important restrictions:
- You can only set up your tent one hour before sunset, and must take it down by one hour after sunrise. You are not allowed to stay two nights in the same place.
- You are not allowed to camp at altitudes below 1,600 metres.
- From 1 July to 15 October, when there is the greatest risk of forest fires, you are only allowed to camp above the tree line. In practice, this is usually at an altitude of around 2,000 metres.
- You are not allowed to camp within 500 metres of a staffed refugio, road or track open to vehicles.
- You are not allowed to camp within 1km of an asphalted road
- You are not allowed to camp within 50 metres of a mountain tarn, mountain pasture area (borreguil) or river course.
- Don’t camp on private property without written permission from the owner.
- Don’t camp in the area of the ski station without written permission from Cetursa, the company that operates the ski station.
- You must notify the National Park office of your intention to camp by post, fax or e-mail (click here for contact details), including the following information:
- name of person responsible for the group and their DNI or passport number
- number of people in the group
- number of tents
- location(s) where you intend to stay
- Special rules apply to groups with more than two tents or over 14 people. Contact the National Park office for more details.
The many modern campsites in the towns and villages surrounding the Sierra Nevada provide accommodation at affordable prices. In addition to sites for tents and camper vans, most also rent out cabins or apartments. For two adults with a car and tent, expect to pay around 17-30 Euros per night in high season, or 15-25 Euros in low season. All of the following campsites are open all year round, and have at least a swimming pool, bar, cafeteria and laundry facilities.