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Treasures of Aracena

The Aracena Sierra's chestnut woods
 
The allure of the Aracena Sierra is in its timeless scenery, authentic villages rich in architectural treasures, and rich gastronomy. This single-centre, self-guided walking holiday with car hire lets you enjoy it all, plus an introductory walk with a local expert, and a visit to a ham-curing secadero.
Treasures of Aracena. 7 nights
Treasures of Aracena. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday 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, 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.
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. Some wander over ridges that offer extensive views towards Portugal.
 
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.
    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
  • Spend a day with a local expert
    Towards the start of your holiday, we include a privately guided, full-day walk with a local expert who will introduce you to the flora and fauna of the region as you walk through the surrounding meadows and woodland. Having gained a good oversight of the sierra from this excursion, you can spend the rest of the holiday exploring independently, following our detailed route notes for self-guided walking.
  • Choice of routes: 7.5km to 12km
    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).
    La Peña de Arias Montano
  • Choice of routes: 11km to 12.5km

    Galaroza circuit: 11km, 4hrs; ascent/descent 375m
    This circular route from the market town of Galaroza passes through a rural landscape and chestnut groves as it follows a stream valley all the way to Castaño del Robledo, a small village with two enormous churches. The return route provides some fine views as you pass through more chestnut groves and farmland.

    Almonaster circuit: 12.5km, 5.5hrs; ascent/descent 485m
    Almonaster is an intriguing village with some fine viewpoints on the slopes above. Our very pretty route leads along ancient paths and drovers' trails through delightful and varied countryside.

    Aracena circuit: 12.5km, 4.5hrs; ascent/descent 300m
    Starting and ending in Aracena, this easy route leads via the village of Corteconcepción, an ideal spot for lunch.
    The route around Almonaster
  • Tour & ham-tasting
    Nothing epitomises the region more than the local delicious air-cured ham, and we include a trip to an authentic secadero (where the hams are cured) in the village so that you can learn all about how the celebrated jamón is still produced using traditional methods. Back at the hotel, you can try your hand at carving the characteristic wafer-thin slices, savouring this local delicacy for yourself with a glass of sherry before dinner for that classic 'taste of the Aracena Sierra'.
  • 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.)
 

Accommodation

We include three dinners at your hotel. 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

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.
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  • 7 nights: 01 June - 20 December 2019 & 02 January - 30 June 2020

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

    Starting Price Single room
    1 May - 30 June £695 £180
    1 July - 31 October £720 £190
    1 - 30 November £695 £180
    1 - 13 December £680 £190
    2 January - 19 March £670 £180
    20 March - 23 June £685 £185
    3rd & 4th person discount -£95 to -£110
    Single traveller supplement £95 to £135

    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 VW Polo (255, 255, 255) or similar with manual transmission)

    Driving time to/from the hotel: Seville 1h45, 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

    Posada de San Marcos (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 May - 30 Jun 2019 £65 £91
    01 Jul - 23 Aug 2019 £72 £100
    24 Aug - 20 Dec 2019 £68 £96
    02 Jan - 30 Jun 2020 £65 £90
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Seville, Faro

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to 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,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Faro Flybe,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Bournemouth - Faro Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Faro easyJet,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Bristol - Seville easyJet,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Cardiff - Faro Flybe,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Doncaster Sheffield - Faro Flybe,  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
    Exeter - Faro Flybe 
    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,  Norwegian,  TUI 
    Gatwick - Faro (via Lisbon) TAP Air Portugal 
    Gatwick - Seville British Airways,  easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Faro British Airways,  TAP Air Portugal 
    Heathrow - Faro (via Lisbon) TAP Air Portugal 
    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 - Seville Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Faro easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Manchester - Seville Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Faro easyJet,  jet2,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Newquay - Faro Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Norwich - Faro Flybe 
    Outward route Airline
    Southampton - Faro Flybe 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to 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. 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
  • 3 dinners
    7 breakfasts
  • route notes and maps
  • 7 days’ category B car hire
  • full-day privately guided walk
  • visit to secadero and ham-tasting
 
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 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 >
  • 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 Abi to discuss your plans.
  • 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 >
  • 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.
  • 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.
Last fetch time is : 7/16/2019 5:10:29 AM