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Treasures of Aracena

The Aracena Sierra's chestnut woods
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Extend your stay
Why not add on a couple of nights to explore either Seville or Málaga, if flying via either of these cities? Both are fascinating, historic places in their own right and each have surprises in store for the visitor, from monumental architecture to hidden treasures and secret corners.
  About Aracena >Declared a Natural Park in 1989, the Aracena Sierra forms part of the western reaches of the Sierra Morena, Spain’s longest mountain range. Its allure lies not just in its gently rolling landscapes, but also in its timelessness. There are only 40,000 inhabitants scattered over its 3,000 square kilometres, and the villages – and their ways of life – have changed little over the centuries. Ruined castles hint at more turbulent times – the border with Portugal is not far away – while mosques built by the Moors and cobbled Roman roads transport you even further back in time. You can still see mules ploughing allotments, hear the ringing of goat bells in the woods, and see men leading donkeys laden with shiny chestnuts. Sleek black Iberian pigs roam the oak forests, their diet of acorns making for delicious air-cured ham which is famous throughout Spain. Indeed, the regional gastronomy is excellent, featuring succulent gurumelo mushrooms, distinctive shellfish and caracoles (snails).
 
This Holiday in a nutshell
  • single-centre, self-guided walking holiday
  • leisurely walking amid picturesque, timeless scenery
  • authentic villages rich in architectural treasures
  • private visit to ham-curing secadero
  • guided introductory walk with local expert
  • excellent regional gastronomy

Andalucia’s Aracena Sierra is a land of glorious woodland and far-reaching views, of soft, rounded hills and crystal-clear streams. Tucked away close to the Portuguese border, it is dotted with small, authentic villages whose inhabitants live in harmony with the land and, as you walk along inviting paths through gentle cork oak and chestnut clad hills, you get a glimpse of Spanish rural life – men leading donkeys laden with vegetables and shiny chestnuts, and farmers tending the black-footed, free-range pigs which feast at leisure on acorns and provide the region’s prized air-cured ham.

We grew very fond of sleepy Alájar with its narrow streets, shuttered Baroque church and, rising high above on a cliff-face, the shrine of the Peña de Arias Montana glistening whitely.
     
The Independent

The rolling hills of Aracena lend themselves to leisurely discovery on foot and, to introduce you to this captivating area, we include a guided walk with a knowledgeable local expert who will bring the region to life, before you strike off on your own, using our detailed notes. We offer a wide range of walks, some from the doorstep and others from nearby villages which make use of your hire car.

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Spain
 Average Temperatures & Rainfall
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mm 78 68 61 54 34 17 1 5 21 61 89 90

The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.