Ctra. A4130, km 26, Alcútar, Bérchules (GRANADA)


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El Cercado is located in the center of La Alpujarra, and is in an ideal location to visit from Lanjarón and is the only spa in the area until Guadix. The surrounding cave houses, the tropical coast (only 40 km from us), the ski resorts in the Sierra Nevada and Puerto de la Ragua(120 km) make El Cercado a perfect location from which to base your vacation. For people who love hiking, Bérchules is the perfect place to explore. Hike under chestnut trees and between aqueducts, wander on centuries old trails that will take you to the most authentic parts of La Alpujarra, between these trails we would like to highlight: the path to the river, the aqueducts of Bérchules, and the path to Vereica Mass that connects to the Gr-7. For birdwatchers, the location of El Cercado is the perfect place to study the ornithology of the Sierra Nevada.

El Cercado is located in the Alpujarra region of Granada, in the town of Alcútar, next to Bérchules. Situated at the foot of the Sierra Nevada National Park and only 40 km from the Mediterranean Sea.

un entorno único


The Alpujarra is one of the most unique regions in Andalusia. The beauty of its incredible landscapes has captivated countless artists and writers for centuries: Pedro Antonio de Alarcón, Federico García Lorca, Julio Caro Baroja, Virginia Woolf, Gerald Brenan… Serving as inspiration for a great number of travel books.


El Cercado is about an hour and a half away from Granada by car and 4 hours away by bus. In Granada, you can visit countless monuments ranging from the world famous Alhambra, and the gardens of Generalife, the Cathedral (interesting as it is a mixture of gothic and renaissance styles), the Cartuja, the Madraza and so much more.

We also suggest you to visit the Albaicin, which has conserved its Arabicorigin very well and from which you can watch the sunset and have the absolute best view of San Nicolás which was made famous by Bill Clinton who said he had never seen a more beautiful view.

You can also visit the Alcaiceria, an old bazar in Granada, or the Sacromonte known for its numerous caves and flamenco dance floors, you can enjoy tapas in Chana or simply wander and enjoy Granada’s nightlife.

As a recognized hotel establishment we can reserve tickets to the Alhambra directly for our guests.


El Cercado is immersed in the heart of the Sierra Nevada natural park and this region contains the largest amount of biodiversity on the continent. The Sierra Nevada covers a significant amount of the provinces of Granada and Almeriaand contains 169,239 hectares of reservation area in the natural park that includes 60 townships of the rural counties of El Marquesado of Zenete, Valley of Lecrin, Sierra Nevada Poniente, the watershed of the Nacimiento river and, finally, the Alpujarra, which is as much a part of Granada as Almeria. The peak of Mulhacen at 3,481m is the highest summit in the Iberian Peninsula and furthermore, has 20 peaks that are higher than 3,000m between el Veleta and the Alcazaba of Mulhacen.

Varied and rich are, without a doubt, the best adjectives to use to describe the flora of the Sierra Nevada, with more than 2,000 plant species, of the 8,000 plant species in Spain, the Sierra Nevada represents a quarter of the all the plants in Spain.
However, the single best characteristic of the massive amount of fauna, is the shelter that it provides to over 66 endemic local and rare species, such as the rare and beautifulestrella de lasnieves (snow flower plant).
In the surrounding area of the Sierra Nevada, the chestnut, walnut, and ash trees are the dominant vegetation, and are joined by with the typical Mediterranean agriculture of almonds, grape vines, and olives.
In the sun there areoak forests, some are well conserved, such as the one of Bayércal.
Beautiful oak trees grow in the high humidity zones of the Sierra Nevada, with ravines, irrigation ditches, and springs, whose water encourages the large amount of vibrancy and life.
Riverside forests are common in the zone, bordering the water that runs through the swales. Poplar groves, willow trees, alder groves, and ash trees form the ecological community, and are generally accompanied by a thorny bank of brambles, rose bushes, and barberry bushes.
At the highest altitudes there are rock piles joined with the humid grasslands of the high mountain. These areas shelter the majority of the endemic species. Violet flower of Sierra Nevada, which lives in rocky places, has well adapted to the continuous movement of the slabs. Chamomile can be seen on stony and rockycrounds, and the flower of “estrella de lasnieves” (star of snow)is covering the Borreguiles.
In nearest towns and villages, the natural vegetation has been substituted for agriculture (grains, vineyards, and almond groves) and fruit groves (cherries, apples, and walnuts).


The Sierra Nevada has a large number of endemic invertebrates as well, 15 of which are butterflies such as the Parnasiusapollonevadensis, 37 endemic beetles such as the Iberocardiumloquinii and 90 rare aquatic insect species. The birds have a very important place in the food ecological community as well and are well represented. On the high mountain snowy pastures that make up the Crioro-Mediteranean climate, you can find the Alpine Accentor (Prunellacollaris), the Northern Wheatear (Oenantheoenanther), the Eurasian Skylark (Alaudaarvensis), the Tawny Pipit (AnthusCampestris) and the Common Redstart (Phoenicurusochrurus). Between the high rocks you can also observe the Common Rock Thrush (Monticolasaxatilis), that gets its name from the red coloration of the male chest that contrasts with its bluish black head.

You can also find groups of Red-Billed Chough that live in the high rocks and hollows. The golden eagle lives in the crags and pits of the Sierra Nevada.
As far as animals go, we must highlight the presence of mountain goats, the wild boar, the fox, and the Mediterranean pine vole. Within the reptilian family, we must point out the presence of the Iberian Wall Lizard that can climb to 3,100 m high. During the fall, the high mountain receives visits from the Ring Ouzel, European Goldfinch, and flocks of Common Kestrel, people have also sighted the black kite hawk and black vulture.
In junipers stand out Lataste’sviper and also Eagle Owl,Rock Thrush, Ring Ouzel, Linnet, Crested Lark, Kestrel, Field mouse and Weasel.
In higher junipers are also common Hispanic Goat, Eagle Owl, Booted Eagle, Coal Tit, Linnet, Black-eared Wheatear, Thekla Lark, Ortolan Bunting, Alpine Swift and among reptiles Lataste’s viper and Bedriaga’s skink can be found among others.

Among oak woods we can find Woodpigeon, Turtle Dove, Green Woodpecker, Goldcrest, Cuckoo, Jay, Goshawk and Sparrowhawk. Mammals are represented by the Wild Cat, Beech Marten, Genet, Wild Boar, Dormouse, Field mouse, Greater White-toothed Shrew, Greater Mouse-eared Bat and above all the Spanish ibex.
Among the reptiles can be found the Ladder snake, Largepsammodromus, the Iberian wall lizard, Common toad and the Natterjack toad. Among spring visitors we can find the Goldcrest, Warblers and Chaffinches.
The badger and the genet although common, are very difficult to see since they have nocturnal lifestyle.

In the villages of Sierra Nevada especially in the Alpujarra domestic animals are used for plowing the field, e.g. the donkey (endangered), the mule and horse are common, as well as chickens, pigeons, dogs, cats, goats, sheep etc.

un entorno único


Los Bérchules:

Los Bérchules, a municipalityin the Alpujarranregion of Granada, includes the towns of Alcútar and Bérchules, with an important extension of the Sierra Nevada National Park. In Bérchules, there is a band of centuries old chestnut trees, houses fit snuggly into the mountainside, built upon tiered fieldsfaced towards the Mediterranean sea, with porches in the typical alpujarran stylewith flowers and plants covering the old walls, windows, and balconies, offering a stark contrast between the white towns and the green orchards and forests.

The most importanthistorical event of La Alpujarraregion is the Moorish uprising against the empire of Felipe II. Already in the ultimate stages of war, when Moors were hiding in the caves and ravines, the last leader, Diego Lopez AbenAboo, challenged Felipe’s empire by saying, “We would rather stay in the Alpujarra with only the shirts on our backs, we value living and dying as Moors over all the rewards King Felipe has to offer.”.His lieutenants, in order to obtain forgivenessfrom the rest of the Moors, killed himin a huge cave close to the Junta de los Rios (the joining of the rivers), where he had stored food and goods for many years…
The name Bérchules comes from the Arabicword “berchul” which means Bergel, although “vergel” or “orchard”is more commonly used to describe the abundance of springs, the fertility of the earth, and the perfect climate, despite being situated at 1300 meters above sea level and being very close to year-round snow covered Sierra Nevada. Another theory about the origin of the name Bérchules is that it could be a derivation of BanyAsad, a family that probably settled in the area, Asad has ancestry connected to Al-Ándalus, Ibn alJatib. The other town in Los Bérchules, Alcútar, translates to “fountain of paradise”, and is also sometimes called Alcuncaor Alcuza. Other towns that have already disappeared from Los Bérchules were Purchenas and La Alfaguara.
The settlement is at least as old as the Moorish origin from the VIII century. During the Nazareth reign there was the most splendid and wealthy era producing and exportingthe silk (which competed with the finest oriental silk), orchard products, wine, nuts, and aromatic essences. All those products were sent to other regions in the Kingdom of Granada, crossing the Sulayra Mountains or across the sea to Venecia, Genova.

One of the best known celebrations of Los Bérchules is the celebration of Saint Marcos on April 25. There is a short pilgrimage between Bérchules and Alcútar. All the animals from the two towns participate also: cows, donkeys, mules, dogs, etc. “Roscos” (similar to donuts) are given to all of the participants including the people.
The festivities of Saint Pantaleón is celebrated each year on the 27th of July and during this holiday all of the people clean and bleach their houses. The most well known holiday, however, is New Year’s Eve in August. A common New Year´s Eve tradition in Andalucia is to eat 12 grapes with each chime of the bell at midnight. However, in Bérchules, this occurs on the first Saturday of August. This originates from 1994 when the inhabitants of Los Bérchules had to eat grapes on New Year’s Eve by candlelight because of the blackout and malfunction of the bell.

In Alcútar, there is a celebration for the patron Saint Christ of Mercy on the first fortnight of August.
During the festivals and the rest of the year, you can enjoy the best ham, “patatasa lopobre”(fried potatoes with onion and pepper), “migasalpujarreñas” (dish made of wheat flour and olive oil)andMoorish sweets such as the famous “buñuelos” donuts and “peñascosberchuleros” (local desert).


Out of the numerous fountains in Bérchules we would like to highlight the fountain of LaPlaza, la de la Iglesia(the fountain of the church), la de Las Carmelas, La Grande, la de La Salud (the fountain of health), la de García, and outside of the town, la de Fuente Agria (The Sour Fountain).Enjoy the carbonated ferruginous water with its esteemed curing qualities. The water travels through a track and a wooden bridge around the Río Grande de los Bérchules, in a leafy zone full of chestnuts and poplar trees, where there is a recreation zone with a pool where you can refresh yourself in midsummer.