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New Year in the Aracena Sierra

Aracena, southern Spain's secret sierra
Enjoy easy, self-guided walks through timeless scenery, and explore authentic villages with architectural treasures, on this single-centre walking break, with car hire included. Stay in a delightful village and savour a New Year’s Eve dinnerof delicious regional gastronomy.
New Year in the Aracena Sierra. 4 nights
New Year in the Aracena Sierra. 4 nights

Holiday information


A New Year break in the Aracena Sierra

In the Aracena Sierra north-west of Seville, an inviting network of shady paths lead you from one pretty village to the next, passing through cork-oak and chestnut woods where sleek black pigs forage for acorns. The natural pace of life is languid and the siesta sacred, while the cuisine is rich and wholesome, featuring the prized local jamón and other regional produce such as wild mushrooms and chestnuts.
This is certainly a corner of Spain that is worth taking your time to explore – seemingly every village hides an architectural treasure – and a New Year break here, amid such timeless landscapes, will leave you refreshed and invigorated for the year ahead. You enjoy four nights in the sleepy village of Alájar at the friendly Posada de San Marcos, a charming rural hotel with just six cosy rooms, where the relaxed, low-key celebrations focus on a gastronomic meal of traditional local dishes.


We plan to relaunch our selection of New Year breaks later this year, in time for December 2022, so check back here in the summer.

Walking & more

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights. There’s no fixed itinerary, so take your pick of our suggested walking routes as the mood takes you.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 13 14 17 19 23 29 33 33 28 22 16 14
    mm 68 62 50 56 42 19 4 5 24 72 81 93
  • Choice of routes: 7.5km to 12.5km
    The region’s gently rolling hills are a paradise for walkers, with no shortage of easy paths through chestnut forests, cork-oak woods, farmland and peaceful river valleys. As you walk, you will get glimpses of Spanish rural life – men leading donkeys laden with vegetables and shiny chestnuts, shepherds herding goats, and farmers tending the black-footed, free-range pigs which feast at leisure on acorns.

    La Peña de Arias Montano: 10km, 4hrs; longer option: 11.5km, 5hrs; ascent/descent 410m
    Starting and finishing in Alájar, this route ascends to the cliff-top shrine of Peña de Arias Montano, which commands a grand bird’s-eye view of Alájar and the sierra beyond. There is an optional extension along an ancient muleteers' path to another higher viewpoint, offering further wonderful views.

    Los Madroñeros circuit: 7.5km, 3hrs; ascent/descent 260m
    This is another pretty walk direct from Alájar, and is shorter than the first, exploring the cultivated area to the south-east of the town, the banks of the River Antezuela and the previously abandoned hamlet of Los Madroñeros.

    Linares de la Sierra circuit: 10km, 4hrs; ascent/descent 425m
    Heading eastwards, you make your way to picturesque Linares de la Sierra, then loop back on a more northerly path to Alájar.

    Alájar to Aracena: 12km, 5hrs; ascent 450m/descent 350m
    This linear walk leads through beautiful scenery and the delightful village of Linares de la Sierra to Aracena, which you can explore before returning to Alájar by bus (pay locally).

    Aracena circuit: 12.5km, 4.5hrs; ascent/descent 300m
    Starting and ending in Aracena, just a short drive away, this easy route leads via the village of Corteconcepción, an ideal spot for lunch.
    La Peña de Arias Montano: 10km-11.5km
    The view over Alájar from La Peña
    Los Madroñeros circuit: 7.5km
    Linares de la Sierra circuit: 10km
    Alájar to Aracena: 12km
    Aracena circuit: 12.5km
  • Caves & timeless villages
    In addition to being fantastic walking country, this area has much more to offer, in terms of its gastronomy, natural wonders and rich architectural heritage.

    Aracena & the Cave of Wonders
    The region’s main town boasts a Museum of Open-Air Sculpture (the works are displayed in several streets), a Knights Templar church, a ruined castle, a labyrinth of medieval streets and the intriguing Museo del Jamón y del Cerdo Ibérico – a museum devoted to the local ham industry. The town’s main attraction, however, is the Gruta de las Maravillas – the so-called ‘Cave of Wonders’ owing to its twelve caverns, subterranean lakes and extraordinary stalactites and stalagmites.

    Traditional villages
    Other villages worthy of a visit include well-preserved Linares de la Sierra (look out for the houses’ marble ‘doormats’ built into the pavements); Galaroza, an attractive hill-top village crowned by the ruins of a castle; Jabugo, centre of the local ham industry where you can buy some for picnics; picturesque Almonaster la Real, home to a bullring and Spain’s oldest mihrab in the 9th-century mosque; Cortagena, complete with a 16th-century castle and an Art Nouveau casino; and the medieval walled town of Aroche.
    Almonaster la Real
    Linares' marble 'doormats'
  • Discover this scintillating city
    Just a 90-minute drive or bus ride away is Seville, the city that encapsulates the essence of southern Spain. You can stroll along the narrow streets of the Barrio de Santa Cruz, the former Jewish quarter; ascend to the top of the Giralda, an ancient minaret; and visit the Alcázar palace, built by Pedro the Cruel in 1366. (Alternatively, you can add on a city break here, to give you more time to explore.)
    Seville's soaring Giralda
    Gaze over the city from Las Setas viewing platform
  • Mark the occasion with a celebratory meal
    The highlight of the break is, of course, New Year’s Eve, when we include a gastronomic celebratory meal in the hotel dining room. This is a quiet, relaxed affair, with the emphasis on traditional, regional dishes. Afterwards, relax before a warming fire with a nightcap or wander down to the village square to share your customary uvas de la suerte (12 ‘lucky grapes’ eaten with each chime of the bell at midnight) with the villagers.


We include dinner at the hotel on two nights (including New Year’s Eve). On other nights, we recommend that you dine in the town – Alájar boasts three wonderful restaurants where you can sample dishes incorporating local produce such as jamón (ham), chestnuts and mushrooms.
Posada de San Marcos
  • rural hotel



Extend your stay

What is included
  • 4 nights
  • 1 celebratory meal
    1 dinner
    4 breakfasts
  • route notes and maps
  • 4 days' category B car hire

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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.
  • If your holiday plans go awry because of Coronavirus, rest assured that we’ll do right by you. Since the start of the pandemic, our flexible booking policy and prompt issuing of refunds to customers who prefer not to defer their holiday have earned us high praise in the national press.
  • We sincerely hope that your holiday experience will be as enjoyable as it would have been before the pandemic – walking holidays are ideal in these times of social distancing, and we’re not operating holidays if the key highlights can no longer be delivered – but, naturally, there will be some changes to ensure your and other people’s safety, not least proving your vaccination status or taking a test in order to travel.
    Your holiday experience: what to expect >
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  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from A to B, 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 routes from the UK with a variety of airlines (but not, currently, with Ryanair). 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. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to 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 >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • 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.

    More information about the booking process >
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  • 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 take out a policy with our recommended provider (if you live outside the UK you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    We'll ask you for the details of your policy (insurer, policy number and medical emergency phone number) so that we can help out if the worst happens while you are on holiday. It's up to you, though, to check that your policy covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs; we don't check alternative policies.
  • 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 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 for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • (Castilian) Spanish is one of several official languages; Catalan, Basque and Gallego have equal status in Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia, respectively. The currency is the Euro. Spanish time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit

    At Inntravel we work in close partnership with our hoteliers, taxi drivers and other local suppliers to provide our self-guided holidays directly to you. We are entirely confident that you will continue to receive the usual warm welcome from them, regardless of what is happening in the European political sphere.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) 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.
  • You are the best judge of your child’s/children’s capabilities. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved. Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.
Last fetch time is : 7/3/2022 1:03:34 AM