The Aracena Sierra

Andalucia – chestnut woods & hidden valleys
Enjoy walks through glorious woodlandfar-reaching views and the region’s delicious gastronomy on this single-centre, self-guided walking break featuring a charming rural hotel. Using your hire car, you can also explore timeless villages rich in architectural treasures.
The Aracena Sierra. 3 nights
The Aracena Sierra. 3 nights

Holiday information


A walking break in the Aracena Sierra

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, workaday villages whose inhabitants live in harmony with the land and, as you walk along inviting paths through mature woodland and picturesque valleys, you get a glimpse of Spanish rural life. The rolling hills lend themselves to leisurely discovery on foot. Indeed, this is a region not to be rushed, as exploration of the sierra’s timeless villages reveals hidden architectural gems, from ancient mosques to Baroque churches.
Staying in the delightful village of Alájar, which itself boasts a 16th-century chapel, you can make use of your hire car to walk and explore as the mood takes you, gaining an insight into this fascinating corner of Andalucia and sampling some of the many wonderful restaurants in this gastronome’s paradise.


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
    Explore timeless countryside
    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.
  • 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.)
    Explore the beautiful city of Seville


We include dinner at the hotel on your first night. 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), wild asparagus, caracoles (snails), chestnuts and mushrooms according to season.
Posada de San Marcos
  • rural hotel



Extend your stay

Prices & travel options
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  • 3 nights: 02 January 2024 - 21 December 2024 & 02 January 2025 - 20 December 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    2 Jan - 18 Mar 2024 £355 £105
    19 Mar - 30 Jun 2024 £370 £121
    1 Jul - 23 Aug 2024 £395 £135
    24 Aug - 30 Nov 2024 £370 £121
    1 - 18 Dec 2024 £355 £121
    2 Jan - 18 Mar 2025 £370 £109
    19 Mar - 30 Jun 2025 £385 £130
    1 Jul - 23 Aug 2025 £415 £145
    24 Aug - 30 Nov 2025 £385 £130
    1 - 17 Dec 2025 £370 £130
    3rd & 4th person discount -£39 to -£41
    Single traveller supplement £39 to £41

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Price includes: 3 days' category B car hire (eg VW Polo or similar with manual transmission)

    Driving time between airport and hotel: Seville 1h45, Jerez 2h15, Faro 2h30
    Supplement applies if travelling from Faro; please contact us for details

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Prices include additional day's car hire
    Posada de San Marcos, Alájar (B&B) Double room Single room
    02 Jan - 30 Jun 2024 £88 £123
    01 Jul - 23 Aug 2024 £101 £141
    24 Aug - 21 Dec 2024 £92 £132
    02 Jan - 30 Jun 2025 £92 £128
    01 Jul - 23 Aug 2025 £105 £147
    24 Aug - 20 Dec 2025 £96 £138
    Seville or Jerez

    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail travel from London

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly via an airport not listed. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Faro Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Belfast Intl. - Faro easyJet,  jet2,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Faro jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Bournemouth - Faro Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Faro easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Bristol - Seville Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Cardiff - Faro TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Faro jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Nottingham East Midlands - Seville Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Faro jet2,  Ryanair 
    Edinburgh - Seville easyJet,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Faro easyJet,  jet2,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow Prestwick - Faro Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Inverness - Seville (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Faro jet2,  Ryanair 
    Leeds Bradford - Seville (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Faro easyJet,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Faro British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Faro British Airways,  easyJet,  TUI 
    Gatwick - Faro (via Lisbon) TAP Air Portugal 
    Gatwick - Jerez TUI,  Vueling 
    Gatwick - Seville British Airways,  easyJet,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Faro British Airways,  TAP Air Portugal 
    Heathrow - Faro (via Lisbon) TAP Air Portugal 
    Heathrow - Jerez (via Madrid) Iberia 
    Heathrow - Seville British Airways 
    Heathrow - Seville (via Madrid) Iberia 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Faro easyJet,  TUI 
    Luton - Seville easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    London Southend - Faro easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Faro British Airways,  jet2,  Ryanair 
    Stansted - Jerez Ryanair 
    Stansted - Seville Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Faro easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Manchester - Seville Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Faro easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Newquay - Faro Ryanair 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly via an airport not listed. 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 for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. 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
  • 3 nights
  • 1 dinner
    3 breakfasts
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation
  • 3 days' category B car hire

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 >



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 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.
  • Yes, prior to going on holiday you will be able to download GPX tracks so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you use them – our detailed, step-by-step route notes remain the principal means of guiding you from A to B – but we provide them as a secondary means of navigation for additional reassurance when walking.
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. 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 >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • 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 incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), 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.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • 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 (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). 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
  • 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.
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