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Summary

Self guided walking holiday in Andalucia’s Grazelema National Park

No of Nights: 7

Stay: Guest Home / Hotel

Grade: Easy-Moderate

Information

Walk from two beautiful 'white villages' and experience the best of Andalucia's Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. Andalucia is a year-round destination for walking, although the best seasons to go are Spring and Autumn. Choose from a variety of different routes each day, from easy to moderately easy. A hire car is recommended for this holiday although it is possible to access the walks through a combination of buses, trains and taxis.

Enjoy

  • a choice of relaxed, scenic walks each day
  • two excellent hotels in outstanding locations, both with pools
  • charming authentic restaurants in Grazalema
  • spectacular mountain scenery, beautiful valleys and whitewashed  villages of the sierra,
  • unspoilt countryside with wild black pigs, goats and horses and abundant plant and wildlife, including eagles and vultures
  • day trip to Ronda with its awesome gorge
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Itinerary

Day One
Transfer from the airport to your hotel for 4 nights. Read through your walks pack and enjoy dining at one of our recommended restaurants close by.

Day Two
Rio El Bosque:
Drive through stunning mountain landscapes to reach today's walk between two picturesque whitewashed villages. Delight in the shade of the woodland canopy as you walk the banks of the river El Bosque.  One of the classic walks of the Sierra de Grazalema, the route features rock pools, waterfalls and footbridges. Discover a variety of flowers, shrubs and trees, and a great number of birds too, including, with luck, the nightingale.

After lunch at El Bosque visit the village or the botanical gardens. On your return to Grazalema, we recommend dining at one of the excellent local restaurants.  (Easy 4 miles/ 6.5 km or Moderate 6 miles/9.5 km)

Day Three
Peñón Grande or Zahara:
  Ascends easily from Grazalema, the most stunning mountain scenery imaginable, panorama after panorama unfolding before you. We recommend you picnic here, on top of the world. Spot today Spanish Ibex, booted eagle or griffon vultures. In season, enjoy an abundance of wild flowers and orchids. It's wonderful to experience being in the high sierras without having to worry about sheer drops, difficult gradients or getting lost!

The easy option explores beautiful Zahara, arguably the most stunning white hilltop village in Andalucia. Easy paths encircle the imposing castle where, from its heights you'll enjoy panoramic views over surrounding countryside.  Further explore Zahara before a scenic return to Grazalema and dinner at one of Grazalema’s most authentic restaurants.  (Easy 4 miles/ 6.5 km or Moderate 6 miles/9.5 km)

Day Four
Villaluengua del Rosario: 
Start today's easy walk from Villaluengua del Rosario, an enchanting whitewashed village tucked into the side of the mountain. The walk is flat and easy along broad smooth tracks leading to magnificent meadows which, in Spring, are carpeted with wild flowers. Here you may well spot eagles and vultures up in the lofty crags, while you enjoy your picnic lunch below!

Then there are ancient farmsteads, cork forests where you're likely to encounter wild black pigs. Back in the village relax with a drink before visiting the bullring, perhaps the cheese factory where you can watch the award-winning Payoyo cheese being madeIn the evening, dine at another of our recommended restaurants in Grazalema.   (Easy: 5 miles/8 km or Moderate: 6 miles/9.5 km)

Day Five
Puerto del Boyar and Grazalema: 
A walks from the goat farm where the views are stunning, and you’ll enjoy the feeling of being in the high sierras. Return on an easy flower-lined path to Grazalema for lunch at our favourite tapas bar. Our afternoon route takes you on a tour of Grazalema to discover its hidden corners, including a flour mill and blanket factory.

A more challenging walk takes you between the jagged peaks of the Sierra del Endrinal, journeying from one village to the next, as the people of the sierras have done for centuries. The views across this wild countryside are magnificent. Descend finally to Benaocaz for a cool tinto de verano before returning to Grazalema or visiting nearby Ubrique, home to Spain’s leather industry. Transfer to the Molino Santo Hotel, for a memorable dinner in their excellent restaurant.   (Easy: 3-4 miles/5-6.5 km or Moderate: 7 miles/10 km)

Day Six
Excursion to Ronda:
  Today visit Ronda, a spectacular city which clings to the edge of a precipice, high above the plain, with its magnificent, iconic bridge spanning the awesome gorge below. Ronda is surrounded by fertile expanses of rolling farmland and olive groves. Explore picturesque streets with intricate wrought-iron balconies ablaze with flowers overlooking ancient cobbled squares. Visit several sites, including the cathedral, museums and the famous bullring.

After a tapas lunch, the afternoon is yours to browse and explore further before returning to the peace and beauty of your hotel. Alternatively your hotelier has produced a new self-guided walk in the local area surrounding the hotel which he will make available for you if you prefer a country walk or if you have, perhaps, visited Ronda before. Dine this evening at the Molino.  (Easy 3 miles/5 km)

Day Seven
Benaoján and Jimera de Líbar:
  Designed to be relaxing, your last day is spent in and around Benaoján. Walk to Jimera de Líbar along a picturesque smugglers’ trail between villages that rise high above the Rio Guardiaro. Surrounded by mountains, this valley is exceptionally beautiful, and your route is lush with plant and wildlife.

After a drink in the bar at Jimera, take the train back to Benaoján for lunch at the Molino. In the afternoon you may choose to spend your last afternoon relaxing by the pool or, if you have energy to spare, you can take a short walk around the village for an hour or so. Spend your last evening savouring the delights of The Molino restaurant.   (Easy: 5 miles/8 km am with optional 1.5 miles /2.5 km pm)

Day Eight
Departure:

Depart Benaoján for transfer to the airport or your onward journey.

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Hotels

This is a two-centre self-guided walking holiday in Andalucia, giving you access to the best of the walks in the region.

Your first hotel, La Mejorana, is located in the heart of the beautiful 'white' village of Grazalema. It has just six bedrooms, all with mountain views. There's a lovely pool and terrace set in beautiful gardens. We recommend the village’s best restaurants for traditional, authentic dining, very close to the hotel.

Your last three nights are spent at the family-run Molino del Santo, in Benaoján, which nestles in an idyllic setting beside a stream. The Molino has its own excellent restaurant and Jamie Oliver recently named it his ‘restaurant of choice’.

Alternatively in Grazalema stay at the 4-star Fuerte Hotel, idyllically situated in the heart of the national park. The pool is excellent and the views extensive. A car is necessary since the hotel is situated a mile or so outside the village.

Another option in Grazalema is the Hotel Villa de Grazalema, again beautifully situated and just ten minutes walk from the village centre. The accommodation is more basic but quite adequate and clean. It has the advantage of offering self-catering accommodation.

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Grade of the walks

Although the Grazalema Natural Park is high mountain terrain, unlike many walking holidays in the area, none of the walks on this holiday involve steep ascents or descents. The walks are flexible, with options for shortening the walks on most days if required. Any normally healthy person will experience no problems on these walks and yet still be able to enjoy superb mountain scenery.

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Tour price and costs

Price per person: from £414 for 7 nights, depending on choice of accommodation, room type and season, based on 2 people sharing a twin/double. Please enquire for single occupancy or car-free rates

Price includes:

  • Personalised itinerary
  • High-quality accommodation with pool, breakfast included
  • Recommendations for lunch and dinner
  • Detailed route directions, written by the founders of the company, in easy-to-handle A5 format
  • Marked-up map and map case
  • Commentary notes on features of interest along the way
  • Details of places to visit
  • Self-guided tour of Ronda
  • Travel information
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Flights

The nearest airports to Grazalema are Malaga, Seville or Jerez. Grazalema can be reached by public transport but we recommend hiring a car for ease of travel. We are happy to advise on travel options and how to book.

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