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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights hotel
Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1000USD

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Overview

Trip Code: RSG

Trip highlights


  • Exploring an oasis of green in the south of Spain
  • Walking in a mountainous area surrounded by picturesque white-washed villages
  • Discovering the marvellous limestone formations, marked by spectacular gorges
  • Spending time in Ronda, with its intriguing mix of Moorish and European monuments

Deep in Andalucia is an "undiscovered" oasis of green where the classic Spanish mountain scenery of picturesque whitewashed villages nestled into the local hillsides will not fail to impress. The Sierra de Grazalema is a charming region for walkers. Discover a landscape of marvellous limestone sculptures, marked by deep gorges where vultures nest among the cliff tops. At lunchtime, take time out to replenish your energy with a round of tapas enjoyed on an outdoor terrace, then continue walking through an unspoilt countryside painted in earth tones, punctuated by brilliant white buildings against the soft grey-green of olive orchards, cork oak woods and Spanish silver firs. In the midst of these exquisite natural surroundings, you'll encounter 'pueblos blancos' with exotic Moorish names like Benaocaz and Jimera del Ibar, which recall centuries of disputed borders between Arab and Christian kingdoms. At the end of the week, you reach the town of Ronda, one of the prettiest in Andalucia, with its intriguing mix of Moorish and European monuments.

Trip Grading

introductory to moderate

More info about grading system

Make your way to the bus or train station in Ronda, where you will be transferred by taxi to Grazalema. Welcome to the "Pueblos Blancos" ("white towns")! Check in at your hotel and enjoy exploring the lovely white-washed village, situated at 830m in a mountain cleft below the impressive Peñon Grande peak. The oldest part of the village was built during the Muslim era, with the upper parts dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. You'll spend 3 nights in Grazalema, where our usual accommodation is a traditional village hotel with restaurant.

Meals:  Nil

You start the week with a choice of walks. routes afford lovely views of the rugged limestone mountains, dotted with 'cortijos' - traditional farmhouse complexes found across the countryside. Lovely woods of evergreen oaks and typical Mediterranean vegetation surround you on your way to Benaocaz - an untouched 'Pueblo Blanco' which dates back to Roman times. The village sits perched on a hill, with sweeping views all around. Or you can walk to Villaluenga del Rosario via the Campobuche River valley. This route is longer (15,6km), but the walking is easier and the terrain more suitable in foggy weather. In the late afternoon a transfer will take you back to Grazalema. Walking distance: 11.7km/7.5mi, ascent 500m/1640ft, descent 550m/1804ft

Meals:  B

Today you have a choice of circular routes in the area around Grazalema, with lovely views and a striking combination of red earth tones and green vegetation. One is a varied walk through limestone landscapes, Mediterranean woodlands and open areas used for farming, in Grazalema Natural Park to the pass Puerto de Presillas. The other (4km) is a short ascent to a view point situated just north of Grazalema, at an elevation of 983m, along footpaths and goat trails., with lovely views of Grazalema and the 'snowy hilltop' of Olvera to the northeast. They are short enough to do both in one day. Later enjoy exploring the small village shops and a refreshing drink on an outdoor terrace. Overnight Grazalema. Walking distance: 4.8 or 8.5km/3 or 5.3mi, ascent/descent 285m/935ft or 500m/1640ft

Meals:  B

This morning starts with a short taxi transfer (20 minutes) to the village of Villaluenga del Rosario, one of the highest Pueblos Blancos towns. You can explore the 16th century church of San Miguel, the cemetery of El Salvador, and the unique stone built bullring before setting off on your walk. From Villaluenga the trail descends into the bucolic valley of Llanos del Republicano, where the river disappears mysteriously into a limestone sink. Continue uphill along sculpted cliffs in the Sierras de Libar and el Palo to reach the lovely village of Montejaque. After a refreshing drink, you have the option of taking a taxi (own expense) or continuing on foot to Benaoján and your hotel. Walking distance: 17.6km/10.8mi, ascent 525m/1722ft, descent 975m/3198ft

Meals:  B

Today you'll have a picturesque nature walk through peaceful surroundings. You take a morning train (ticket purchased locally, not included) to Jimera de Libar then walk back to Benaoján. Ambling parallel to the railway tracks and river, you are likely to see fish in the stream, and in spring the mountains and valleys have an abundance of wildflowers, butterflies and other small insects. Be on the look out for goats and black pigs that frequent the area and glance across the railway every now and then, where you might spot some Ibex. Overnight Benaojan. Walking distance: 9.3km/5.8mi, ascent 235m/771ft, descent 275m/902ft

Meals:  B

The walk today takes you through a quiet Mediterranean woodland, followed by a steep ascent on goat trails up to the Cueva de la Pileta with its prehistoric paintings. A visit to the cave must be pre-booked. On your way back you can either take a detour to have lunch in Montejaque or continue directly to your hotel for lunch and to relax in the gardens or enjoy a dip in the pool. Overnight Benaojan. Walking distance: 6.5km/4mi or 12.8km/7.9mi, ascent/descent 325m/1066ft or 625m/2050ft

Meals:  B

Transfer to Montejaque to start today's walk, a rural hike starting with a section on an ancient cobbled path then among fields and small family farms. Reach mountaintop Ronda, where a spectacular bridge spans the deep gorge and literally divides the town in two. The historical Moorish quarter is well worth a visit. There is an upgrade option to stay in a parador hotel (supplement applies and must be requested at time of booking). Walking distance: 11.5km/7.1mi, ascent 440m/1443ft, descent 420m/1377ft

Meals:  B

Trip concludes after breakfast. An additional night in Ronda is recommended.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts - these are usually continental style consisting of bread, cheeses, meats, yoghurt, juice, tea and coffee
  • 7 nights accommodation in charming rural hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Luggage transfers on days 4 and 7
  • Private transfer on days 1, 2, 4 and 7
  • Detailed information pack including route notes & maps per room booked, navigational smartphone app access. GPS Tracks available on request
  • Emergency hotline

  • Lunches, dinners and drinks
  • Travel to and from Ronda
  • Transfers not indicated as included
  • Entrance fees - eg Cueva de la Pileta, EUR10 pp
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance

Grading

introductory to moderate  

INTRODUCTORY TO MODERATE – GRADE 2 This is a self guided walk with average daily stages of 1.5 to 6 hours (4-17.5km with ascents of up to 550m). The trip is graded introductory to moderate as it is mainly on wide unsurfaced tracks, footpaths or animal trails, with the occasional section on surfaced tracks or tarmac roads. Although sometimes the ascents are several kilometres long, they are gradual and technically easy. The use of walking sticks is recommended. A reasonable level of fitness is required. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure.


Departure dates

Daily from 20 Mar to 3 Dec (except 14 Jun to 31 Aug)

Notes

M
Mid Season
H
High Season
DN1
High season is from 25 Apr to 13 Jun and 1 to 22 Sep. Mid season is from 27 Mar to 23 Apr and 23 Sep to 28 Oct. A supplement applies to mid and high season departures. The trip does not operate from 14 Jun to 31 Aug due to the heat.
DN2
Option to stay in a parador hotel on the last evening - supplement applies, rate on request.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1000USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$260
  • Single Traveller SurchargeUSD$380
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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