As you gradually climb up from Dílar through the pine forest you catch tantalising glimpses of the plain and valleys below, but nothing that prepares you for the stunning, panoramic views that await you when you emerge above the tree line at Cerro de Montellano.
Level The walk uses good quality forest roads and paths, and is generally easy to follow, but there are a few points where you need to take care over the directions. It is not a very physically demanding route, but it is a steady uphill walk to reach the Ermita Vieja.
When to go Suitable throughout the year, but bear in mind that the upper part of the route could occasionally be above the snow line in winter. Tree cover provides welcome shade in summer over a large section of the route.
Water Fresh spring water is available from a fountain a little way past Ermita Vieja.
Location: NW Sierra Nevada, Dílar The walk starts from the Aula de la Naturaleza beside the River Dílar, which is accessed from the village of Dilar.
By Car: From Granada, take the E-902/A-44 towards Motril. Take exit 139 and go alongside the motorway, past a service station, then turn left at the roundabout (signed Otura, Alhendín). Follow signs for Otura and then Dílar. After entering Dílar, turn right following the one-way system. Follow signs for Río Dílar/ Aula de la Naturaleza/ Area Recreativa. One turn is not marked: when you get to a junction with a stop sign, turn right up the hill. About 2km after you leave Dílar, cross the river and immediately turn right (signposted). After a further 2km you’ll see a sign for the Aula de la Naturaleza. Turn right into the car park.
By bus: There is no bus service to the Aula de la Naturaleza where this walk starts. We recommend that you do the alternative version of this walk, which starts from the centre of Dilar: Dilar – Ermita Vieja, Version B.