The Grazalema Sierra

Andalucia – a flower-filled paradise for walkers
 

Holiday Highlights

Wonderful walking | Amid the amazing landscapes and fresh mountain air of the Grazalema Natural Park.
Griffon vultures | Soaring overhead and, memorably, at their nesting site in a remote canyon.
Grazalema | One of the region’s prettiest white towns, framed by mountains and with sloping cobbled streets.
Ghosts of the past | Moorish water cisterns, stone-hewn troughs, intricate threshing floors.
The Grazalema Sierra. 7 nights
The Grazalema Sierra. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in the Grazalema Sierra

The pretty ‘white town’ of Grazalema is the base for this self-guided, single-centre walking holiday, with hire car included so you can explore other pueblos blancos. The wide range of walks offers the chance to see rare wildlife and an array of colourful flora in the Grazalema Natural Park.
The amazing landscapes and fresh mountain air of the Grazalema Natural Park make for wonderful, rewarding walking in Spain’s deep south. Africa is close in every sense, from the scent of orange trees to the Moorish influence on the whitewashed buildings. If the scenery is magnificent, equally outstanding is the wildlife – the craggy limestone peaks shelter surprisingly green valleys and gullies, which in turn are home to an astonishing array of flowers and birds.

Of the region’s famed pueblos blancos (‘white towns’), Grazalema is one of the prettiest, framed by mountains and with sloping cobbled streets, and makes a perfect base for a week of walking and discovery. This is an area we know very well – Inntravel has offered holidays here for many years – and we offer an exceptionally wide range of detailed and informative walking routes. Fantastic at any time of year, they are particularly special in April and May, when flowers line the paths.
 
Gallery

 

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.

    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
    Knowing this area as we do, we are able to provide you with a wide selection of walking routes in the Grazalema Natural Park. Some lead direct from Grazalema (sometimes requiring a bus or taxi back – pay locally), while others are accessed using your hire car.

    Please note that access to the protected areas within the 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. Permits can be requested online (we will provide more information in your holiday pack). 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, 3.5hrs; ascent/descent 430m
    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: 9km, 3.5hrs; ascent/descent 210m
    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.

    Smugglers' trail: 7.5km, 2.5hrs; ascent 120m/descent 160m
    This is a pretty and easy walk along the river Guadiaro, following an old drovers’ trail, also used by smugglers in days gone by, on the contraband route up from Gibraltar to Ronda. After lunch in Jimera, you could walk back or take the train.
    Wander through rural woodland
    Llanos de Ravel: 10km
    El Bosque to Benamahoma: 9km
    Smugglers' trail: 7.5km
  • Choice of routes: 4.5km to 14km

    Grazalema to Benaocaz: 11km, 4.5hrs ; ascent 515m/descent 540m
    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 return by taxi.

    Circular walk via Dornajo: 12km, 4.5hrs; ascent/descent 640m
    This route also leads from Grazalema to the ruined farmhouse, but the return leg takes a different path: down through a valley that lies below the peak of the Peñon Grande.

    Circular route above Zahara via Bocaleones: 14km, 5.5hrs; ascent/descent 630m
    From the village of Zahara, you cross open farmland, then walk up through a stream valley to a pass. From here, forest tracks and paths lead through another valley, with views of nearby gorges, one of which is home to a colony of griffon vultures.  

    The Two Valleys: 13km, 5hrs; ascent/descent 620m  
    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*: 4.5km, 4hrs; ascent/descent 440m
    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.)
    The Garganta Verde
    Grazalema to Benaocaz: 11km
    Circular walk via Dornajo: 12km
    Circular route above Zahara via Bocaleones: 14km
    The Two Valleys: 13km
    The Green Gorge: 4.5km
  • Choice of routes: 9.5km to 16km

    Linear route through the Pinsapo forest*: 14.5km, 5.5hrs; ascent 610m/descent 1030m
    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.)

    Montejaque circuit: 16km, 6.5hrs; ascent/descent 570m
    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: 9.5km, 4.5hrs; ascent/descent 810m
    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.
    On the circular route around Montejaque
    Linear route through the Pinsapo forest: 14.5km
    Montejaque circuit: 16km
    Simancón: 9.5km
  • Ronda, Arcos de la Frontera, Jerez & more
    The walking may be excellent, but don’t neglect the many fascinating towns and villages. The magnificent and astonishingly sited white town of Ronda is unmissable, as is the smaller but equally dramatic Arcos de la Frontera set in splendid isolation on a sandstone cliff. There are many other atmospheric white towns within easy driving distance, including Zahara de la Sierra with its hill-top castle, and Setenil, whose houses shelter beneath an overhanging rock ledge. Jerez de la Frontera, an elegant town famed for its sherry, is another worthwhile excursion, while fantastic, flamboyant Seville is also less than a 90-minute drive away. We provide route notes for three different driving tours which reveal the best of the region.
    Explore Ronda
 

Accommodation

Grazalema is a charming town and makes a great base for your holiday. 
La Mejorana
  • guesthouse

Bedrooms

 

Options to extend or shorten your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 7 nights: 01 February 2024 - 31 May 2024, 01 September 2024 - 30 November 2024, 01 February 2025 - 31 May 2025 & 01 September 2025 - 30 November 2025

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

    Starting Price Single room
    1 Feb - 10 Mar 2024 £640 £185
    11 Mar - 24 May 2024 £720 £185
    1 - 30 Sep 2024 £720 £185
    1 Oct - 23 Nov 2024 £655 £185
    1 Feb - 10 Mar 2025 £665 £195
    11 Mar - 24 May 2025 £715 £195
    1 - 30 Sep 2025 £755 £195
    1 Oct - 23 Nov 2025 £685 £195
    3rd & 4th person discount -£90 to -£95
    Single traveller supplement £90 to £95

    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: 7 days' category B car hire (eg Seat Ibiza or similar with air conditioning and manual transmission)

    Driving time to/from the hotel: Jerez 1h30, Málaga 2h, Seville 2h

    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 an additional day's car hire
    La Mejorana, Grazalema (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Feb - 31 May 2024 £71 £103
    01 Sep - 30 Nov 2024 £71 £103
    01 Feb - 31 May 2025 £74 £107
    01 Sep - 30 Nov 2025 £74 £107
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Jerez, Málaga or Seville
    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,  we recommend flying via Málaga or Madrid.  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 jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Bournemouth - Malaga Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Malaga easyJet,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Bristol - Seville Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Cardiff - Malaga TUI,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Malaga jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Nottingham East Midlands - Seville Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Malaga jet2,  Ryanair 
    Edinburgh - Seville easyJet,  Ryanair 
    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 - Jerez TUI,  Vueling 
    Gatwick - Malaga British Airways,  easyJet,  TUI,  Vueling 
    Gatwick - Seville British Airways,  easyJet,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Jerez (via Madrid) Iberia 
    Heathrow - Malaga British Airways 
    Heathrow - Seville 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 - Jerez Ryanair 
    Stansted - Malaga British Airways,  easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair 
    Stansted - Seville Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Malaga easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Manchester - Seville Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Malaga easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Málaga or Madrid.  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
  • 7 nights
  • 2 dinners (2024 only)
    3 picnics
    7 breakfasts
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation
  • 7 days' category B 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 >

 

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 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 >
  • Absolutely! We are experts in tailored rail travel. Making use of sleeper trains or stopovers in cities along the route, we can get you from London to virtually anywhere in mainland Europe. We can even make arrangements to Mallorca, Sicily and Norway with a combination of ferries and rail. Please contact us to discuss your plans.
  • 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 www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein.
  • 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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