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White Towns & Rugged Mountains

Andalucia – limestone ridges & wild panoramas
 
Combine a discovery of the atmospheric city of Ronda with rewarding walking in the Grazalema Natural Park on this self-guided holiday, with luggage transported. Savour far-reaching views of dramatic limestone peaks, encounter a wide variety of flora and fauna and stay in authentic and welcoming hotels.
White Towns & Rugged Mountains. 7 nights
White Towns & Rugged Mountains. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in Andalucia

Andalucia, Spain’s dazzling deep south, is one of Europe’s most enchanting regions. Brilliant white towns and villages (pueblos blancos) punctuate a landscape of rugged mountains dotted with ancient oak forests. The striking limestone mountains and surprisingly green valleys of the Grazalema Natural Park are ideal for exploration on foot, with inviting trails that snake up through hidden pastures and over craggy ridges that offer incredible views of dramatic landscapes as well as the opportunity to spot Bonelli’s eagles and griffon vultures gliding through the skies.
This is Andalucia at its wildest and most remote – a place where you are unlikely to meet another soul on many of your days. With plenty of ascents and descents each day, the carefully researched routes are challenging but thoroughly rewarding – there is a real sense of achievement as you reach mountain passes to discover breathtaking views usually stretching for miles over ridge after ridge, dotted with white houses glinting in the sun. Fittingly, you finish in dramatic Ronda, the most famous pueblo blanco of them all.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • An introduction
    Knowing this area as we do, we are able to provide you with a wide selection of walking routes. 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 mid-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. We provide the permits, which will be waiting at your first hotel, but if, for whatever reason, permits are unavailable we provide notes for other, equally enjoyable, routes. A permit is required for the walks marked with an asterix (*).
  • Arrival in Zahara de la Sierra

    Night 1: at Hotel Al Lago (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Choice of walks from Zahara: 10km to 14.5km

    Garganta Verde*: 10km, 5.5hrs
    This is a fabulous route through the Garganta Verde (‘Green Gorge’), a dramatic limestone cleft which explodes with spring flowers and is home to over 200 pairs of Griffon vultures. After a short taxi transfer, you descend through the gorge, often by means of steps, passing typical Mediterranean vegetation of mastic and turpentine bushes, mixed with carob trees. From a viewing platform you may see the vultures' nesting sites, plus choughs, crag-martins and Alpine swifts, before reaching a huge cave, the hermitage, overhung with wild fig-trees and ferns. (*Permit required.)

    Llanos de Ravel*: 13km, 4hrs
    Also beginning with a short transfer, this lovely, undemanding walk leads you down into a beautiful, wooded bowl of a valley – its name, Ravel, comes from the Arabic for lute, due to its shape. You may wish to linger in this idyllic spot, relaxing, exploring or viewing (from the outside) the Park nursery, where many young Pinsapo trees are grown from seed. After visiting the valley, you return to the road by the same track, to then take an ancient pathway back to the village of Zahara. (*Permit required.)

    Above Zahara: 14.5km, 5hrs
    Enjoy a circular route that begins with a descent to the Bocaleones stream. After crossing open farmland, you follow the valley of the Parralejo stream up to the Breña Pass. From here, a mixture of broad forestry tracks and narrow paths lead you down into another valley, at which stage great views open out over the gorges of Garganta Seca and Garganta Verde. Return to Zahara via the castle.
    Explore the Garganta Verde
  • Zahara de la Sierra to Grazalema: 17km, 5.5hrs
    A long, steady walk along old drovers' trails which takes you down to the shores of Zahara’s reservoir, to then ascend the rounded slopes of Mount Prieto, which separates the two villages. Your path then descends once more, this time into the green valley of Gaidovar, where for centuries water mills produced olive oil, flour and woollen blankets, before climbing up to a pass where your destination, the pretty village of Grazalema, hidden until now, comes into view. You stay at La Mejorana for two nights.
    Grazalema
  • Choice of walks from Grazalema: 10km to 16km

    Linear route through the Pinsapo forest*: 16km, 6hrs
    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.)

    Grazalema to Benaocaz: 12km, 4.5hrs
    This is one of the classic walks from Grazalema – a beautiful route which 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.

    Climbing Simancón: 10km, 4.5hrs
    This route gives you the chance to bag a 1,564-metre peak without a great amount of effort and be rewarded with inspirational 360-degree views. You may also be lucky enough to see ibex as you walk.

    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 mountains surrounding Grazalema
  • Grazalema to Benaoján: 20km, 7hrs
    Today's walk winds through some of the most interesting and beautiful pastoral scenery in the Park, with the limestone mountains providing a continual backdrop. You start through cork-oak woods on an old drovers’ trail out of Grazalema, which soon gives way to a narrow muleteers’ path heading over two limestone ridges to then descend, partly on a lovely old cobbled path, to the railway station hamlet below Benaoján, called La Estación, and the highly acclaimed Molino del Santo, where you spend the next two nights.
  • Choice of walks from Benaoján: 3.5km or 20km

    Montejaque circuit: 20km, 7hrs
    Today the main walking option is a beautiful circuit which begins with a taxi transfer (included) to the nearby village of Montejaque, which you passed yesterday. The route passes through spectacular scenery, from limestone ridges and stone stairways to ‘rock gardens', wonderful green valleys and olive groves, and is one of our favourite walks. It's quite long, but well worth it!

    Pileta Caves: 3.5km, 1hr, each way
    Alternatively, spend a more leisurely day visiting the caves at Pileta (pay locally), where you follow a series of underground caverns, passageways and steps to see fascinating limestone formations in the form of stalagmites and stalactites, as well as Palaeolithic and Neolithic wall paintings. To return, you can either take a taxi (pay locally), or walk the relatively short distance back.
    The Montejaque circuit is one of our favourite routes
  • Benaoján to Ronda: 14km, 5hrs
    If you choose to walk to Ronda (there is also the option to travel by train; pay locally), the pretty route leads you between ridges and valleys, passing a chapel and several isolated farmhouses before descending through a wood of holm oaks and along a wooded gully to enter Ronda through the lower town walls. Here, you spend your final night at the Hotel San Gabriel.
    Make your way to Ronda on foot or by train
 

Accommodation

You stay in authentic pueblos blancos (white towns and villages) at welcoming hotels.
Occasionally, due to availability, we may offer an alternative hotel, as shown below. Whichever hotels you stay in, we recommend extra nights in both Grazalema and Benaoján to enjoy further walking, and in Ronda to see more of the city.
 

Extend 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.
Currency converter

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  • 7 nights: 01 April 2020 - 15 June 2020 & 07 September 2020 - 31 October 2020

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

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 25 Apr 2020 £945 £335
    26 Apr - 8 Jun 2020 £970 £355
    7 - 19 Sep 2020 £990 £335
    20 Sep - 14 Oct 2020 £970 £355
    15 - 24 Oct 2020 £945 £335
    3rd & 4th person discount -£60
    Single traveller supplement £60

    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.

    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.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel al Lago, Zahara de la Sierra
    Deluxe suite: 01 Apr - 15 Jun 2020 £15
    Deluxe suite: 07 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £15
    Larger: 01 Apr - 15 Jun 2020 £6
    Larger: 07 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £6
    Molino del Santo, Benaoján
    Junior suite with terrace: 01 Apr - 15 Jun 2020 £40
    Junior suite with terrace: 07 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £40
    Superior with terrace: 01 Apr - 15 Jun 2020 £25
    Superior with terrace: 07 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £25
    Hotel San Gabriel, Ronda
    Junior suite: 01 Apr - 15 Jun 2020 £40
    Junior suite: 07 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £40
    Superior: 01 Apr - 15 Jun 2020 £12
    Superior: 07 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £12

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

    La Mejorana, Grazalema (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 15 Jun 2020 £46 £68
    07 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £46 £68
    Molino del Santo, Benaoján (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Apr 2020 £110 £160
    01 May - 15 Jun 2020 £120 £172
    07 Sep - 23 Sep 2020 £120 £172
    24 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £110 £160
    Hotel San Gabriel, Ronda (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 07 Apr 2020 £50 £100
    08 Apr - 11 Apr 2020 £75 £150
    12 Apr - 07 May 2020 £50 £100
    08 May - 09 May 2020 £75 £150
    10 May - 15 Jun 2020 £60 £120
    07 Sep - 13 Sep 2020 £80 £160
    14 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £60 £120
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Seville, Málaga

    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 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 - Malaga British Airways,  easyJet,  Norwegian,  TUI 
    Gatwick - Seville British Airways,  easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    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,  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 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. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service (£60 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.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Seville

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi Seville airport to hotel (1h30) £70 flexible
    bus Seville to Algodonales (1h45, pay locally), taxi Algodonales to hotel (0h15) £10 1500
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    bus Ronda to Seville (2h) pay locally 1200 (1545 Sat-Sun)
    direct taxi hotel to Seville airport (1h30) £70 flexible

    Connecting travel options - flying via Malaga

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi Malaga airport to hotel (2h) £76 flexible
    bus Malaga to Ronda (2h, pay locally), taxi Ronda to hotel (0h45) £26 1800 (1600 Sat)
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    direct taxi hotel to Malaga airport (1h30) £60 flexible
    bus Ronda to Malaga (1h45) pay locally 1215 (1245 Sat-Sun)
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 6 dinners
    3 picnics
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
 
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.
  • 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 : 11/21/2019 11:03:40 AM