Via Ferrata and Rock Climbing

Moclin, with its dramatic castle, has two via ferrata.

If you want to get the adrenaline pumping, there are lots of exciting outdoors activities in the Sierra Nevada. Via ferrata and rock climbing are two of the most popular ones, and there are lots of great options in the area. We recommend going with a local guide – as well as being much safer, they can recommend a good itinerary, provide equipment and get you to and from the location where you’ll be climbing. Some locations are suitable for beginners, including families with children.

Via Ferrata

A via ferrata (Italian for “iron road”) is a climbing route with a combination of steel handholds, cables, chains, ladders and rungs fixed into the rock. If you wear a climbing harness you can attach yourself to the steel cable with a so-called via ferrata set. The set, which consists of an attachment loop, a lanyard (rope) and a couple of metal hooks called carabiners, will catch you if you lose your footing and fall. The rungs and ladders help you to get past the most difficult sections of the route, so you don’t need any climbing experience to try via ferrata.

There are lots of via ferrata routes around the Sierra Nevada, some of which you can do with a guide. Here are a selection:

  • Moclín: The village of Moclin, which is a 40-minute drive from Granada, has a couple of popular routes: Via Ferrata Pueblos de Moclín and Via Ferrata Fuente Vieja. There’s also a picturesque ruined castle perched on the cliffs above the village.
  • Quéntar: Less than half an hour from Granada, Quéntar also has two routes: La Colmena de Quéntar and Qaryat Al-Kantar (for children).
  • Motril: Along the old main road to the coast , around 10 km north of Motril, you’ll find the Via Ferrata Los Vados.
  • Alicún de las Torres: this is an easy route by a spa in the fascinating landscape of the Granada Geopark. There are also a couple of marked trails and a small canyon you can descend into.

Rock climbing

Most of the areas with via ferrata routes are also good for rock climbing. Some other popular spots are:

  • Monachil, Cahorros: One of our most popular self-guided hikes goes through the Cahorros gorge, where you often see rock climbers scaling the almost vertical rock face.
  • Cogollos Vega: This area has some challenging routes and is recommended in winter or spring. Due to the exposed location, it gets far too hot in summer. Cogollos Vega is to the north of Granada, just outside the Sierra de Huétor natural park.
  • Piñar: Here there are range of challenging routes for experienced rock climbers on the cliffs below an ancient castle, which is said to be of Roman origin. Around 35 minutes by car from Granada.