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Mountains of the South, Andalucian Cottages

Andalucia – white towns & rugged mountains
 
Stay in a traditional village from where, with the freedom of a hire car (included), you can enjoy a variety of activities, including walking (route notes provided), cycling and kayaking, as well as visiting the region’s famous white towns.
Mountains of the South, Andalucian Cottages. 7 nights
Mountains of the South, Andalucian Cottages. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A family activity holiday in Andalucia

These cottages are the ideal base for an active holiday. There is rewarding walking amid dramatic mountain scenery, a host of other activities such as mountain biking and kayaking, the surrounding area is a natural paradise full of birds and flowers, and, if you tire of all these, you can visit the region’s famous pueblos blancos (white towns and villages) – this fascinating corner of south-west Andalucia truly has something for everyone.
The small pueblo blanco of Montejaque (pronounced ‘montay-hackay’) sits on the side of a mountain in the Libar Sierra and is a typical white town of the area, with whitewashed houses and weathered terracotta roofs. Unspoiled, and with walking direct from the village, it is an ideal choice for an active family, and when you stay here you will feel part of a real Spanish village.
 
 

Fun-filled days

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice and there’s no fixed itinerary, so take your pick of our suggested walking routes and other activities as the mood takes you. There is so much to see and do here that a week’s holiday can be very varied, combining culture and activity.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

    Spring flowers start to appear in February, although the best time is mid-April to mid-May. In March, the flowering gorse bushes provide a yellow carpet on the slopes.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 11 11 14 16 20 24 29 29 25 19 14 11
    mm 111 102 83 76 52 33 13 13 32 79 128 124
  • An introduction
    The walking possibilities in this corner of Spain are endless. We provide route notes for a wide variety of walks of easy (grade 1 or 1-2) to moderate difficulty (grade 2 or 2-3).
    Within the dramatic limestone landscapes of the Grazalema Natural Park can be found over a thousand species of flower, as well as stands of an ancient species of fir, the pinsapo, a relict of the Tertiary Age found only in Andalucia and Morocco. Some of the trees are 300 years old, and the areas in which they are found are protected (see below). The Park also boasts one of Europe’s largest colonies of griffon vultures. Bonelli’s, booted and short-toed eagles join them in the blue skies, as do hoopoes, bee-eaters, rock buntings and blue rock thrushes. On the ground, look out for mongooses, genets and mountain goats.

    Please note that access to the protected areas within the Grazalema Natural Park is strictly controlled by entry permits of which a limited number are released each day in order to protect the unique bio-reserves. These areas are usually closed between June and October and, in addition, the Natural Park authorities may also very occasionally close them at short notice during particularly dry weather to prevent the risk of fire. You can either visit the Park Office in El Bosque to book tickets or arrange for them to be faxed to the Tourist Office in Grazalema. A permit is required for the walks marked with an asterix (*).
  • Choice of routes: 7.5km to 10km
    Llanos de Ravel* (Valley of the Lute): 10km, 3hrs
    An easy descent on a panoramic wide track through the mountains brings you to a bowl-shaped valley which makes a delightful picnic spot. Loop through woodland, passing several pinsapos (an ancient species of fir found only here and in Morocco), before returning to the valley and heading back along the track to your car. (*Permit required.)

    There-and-back riverside route from El Bosque to Benamahoma: 10km, 4hrs
    Pleasant riverside paths lead between the villages of El Bosque and Benamahoma, revealing picturesque mountain river scenery and a great variety of trees, birds and flowers.

    Cork Woods Circuit: 7.5km, 2.5hrs
    This is a gentle, half-day circular walk from Grazalema that explores an area of cork oak woods, streams and green open valleys, grazed by the sheep and goats that give these villages their famous cheeses.
  • Choice of routes: 5km to 15km
    Grazalema to Benaocaz: 12km, 4.5hrs
    This beautiful walk leads over the Sierra del Endrinal (‘Blackthorn Mountains’) into a secret valley encircled by a sheer rock wall in which a ruined farmhouse is surrounded by poplars and tiny streams. It then drops down through green valleys between limestone ridges to the white village of Benaocaz. You can return by bus.

    Linear route through the Pinsapo forest*: 14km, 5.5hrs
    Ascend to the ridge above Grazalema for far-reaching views north across overlapping ranges. Your route skirts the side of the ridge and descends into the Pinsapar, a mysterious forest of rare Spanish firs (Abies pinsapo). You descend some 800 metres, passing through changing vegetation of mastic and mixed oaks to arrive at the pretty village of Benamahoma. Return to Grazalema by taxi. (*Permit required.)

    The Two Valleys: 14.5km, 5hrs
    This is a lovely circular walk through a varied landscape. Instead of scenery of limestone mountains, you discover a lost world, where ruined farms, overgrown threshing floors and collapsed stone walls evidence a time when countryfolk once made their living from the land, traversing the very same paths that you do.

    The Green Gorge*: 5km, 5hrs
    To reach this walk, you drive over panoramic Dove Pass (1,300 metres) which affords fantastic views over the turquoise waters of the nearby lake. The walk itself descends some 300 metres through the dramatic Garganta Verde (‘Green Gorge’). Lined with Mediterranean bushes, the gorge is home to 200 pairs of griffon vultures, and it is well worth detouring to the vulture-viewing platform, from where you may also see choughs, crag martins and alpine swifts. Continue to the bottom of the gorge, where there is a cave overhung with wild fig trees and ferns, and retrace your steps back to your car. (*Permit required.)
  • Choice of routes: 10km to 17km
    Montejaque circuit: 17km, 6.5hrs
    Starting in Montejaque, this spectacular and very varied route leads through a lunar landscape then descends through natural ‘rock gardens’ connecting grassy plains. After passing an old farm with a threshing floor, you enter woodland and then a beautiful green valley. The walk finishes by crossing the olive-clad ridge hiding Montejaque.

    Simancón: 10km, 4.5hrs
    Enjoy a challenging climb to the summit of Simancón (1,564 metres), for inspirational 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains. You may be lucky enough to spot ibex as you walk.
  • Ronda & other pueblos blancos
    Andalucia is famed for its pueblos blancos, villages of whitewashed houses which bask in the sunshine. Probably the most famous of them all is Ronda, a town split in two by a spectacular gorge, El Tajo. Cross the bridge from which many priests were flung to their death into the gorge during the Civil War, visit Spain’s oldest bullring (now a museum) and stroll through the atmospheric streets.

    There are many other white towns and villages to explore, such as the astonishingly positioned Arcos de la Frontera, or Zahara de la Sierra and Jimena de la Frontera with their prominent Moorish castles towering over the village houses.

    For something different, visit the underground caves near Montejaque. As well as some magnificent rock formations, there are polychrome rock-paintings judged to be around 25,000 years old.
    Zahara de la Serra
  • Kayaking, mountain biking & more
    For something a little different, hire kayaks and take to the water on Zahara de la Sierra’s lake, or head into the hills on mountain bikes. A local company organises weekly full or half-day guided walks, rock-climbing lessons for all levels and multi-adventure sessions involving activities such as orienteering and archery.
 

Accommodation

Montejaque is a sleepy village of narrow, twisting streets and whitewashed houses set against a backdrop of rugged limestone peaks. It feels pleasantly authentic, with a handful of tapas bars and restaurants, all of which welcome families, creating a pleasant atmosphere for long lunches and late-evening dinners. Thursday is market day.
Andalucian Cottages
 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Spain, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • (Castilian) Spanish is one of several official languages; in Catalonia, for example, Catalan has equal status. The currency is the Euro. Spanish time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
 
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Málaga
    Latest flight arrival time/earliest flight departure time flexible
    ALTERNATIVE AIRPORT(S):
    Gibraltar, Seville
    Latest flight arrival time/earliest flight departure time flexible

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Málaga. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Malaga Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Belfast Intl. - Malaga Aer Lingus,  easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Malaga Flybe,  jet2,  Norwegian,  Ryanair,  TUI,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Bournemouth - Malaga Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Malaga easyJet,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Bristol - Seville easyJet,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Cardiff - Malaga TUI,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Doncaster Sheffield - Malaga Flybe,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Malaga jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Nottingham East Midlands - Seville Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Malaga jet2,  Norwegian,  Ryanair 
    Edinburgh - Seville easyJet,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Exeter - Malaga Flybe 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Malaga easyJet,  jet2,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow Prestwick - Malaga Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Inverness - Seville (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Malaga jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Leeds Bradford - Seville (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Malaga easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Malaga British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Gibraltar easyJet 
    Gatwick - Malaga British Airways,  easyJet,  Norwegian,  TUI 
    Gatwick - Seville British Airways,  easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Gibraltar British Airways 
    Heathrow - Malaga British Airways 
    Heathrow - Seville (via Madrid) Iberia 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Malaga easyJet,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Luton - Seville easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    London Southend - Malaga easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Malaga British Airways,  easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair 
    Stansted - Seville Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Malaga easyJet,  jet2,  Norwegian,  Ryanair,  Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Manchester - Seville Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Malaga easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Norwich - Malaga Flybe 
    Outward route Airline
    Southampton - Malaga Flybe 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Málaga. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

What is included
  • 7 nights
  • detailed documentation including walk notes
  • 7 days' category C car hire
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

Last fetch time is : 9/20/2019 9:26:24 PM