Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays

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Escape to Las Alpujarras on single-centre self-guided walking holiday


  • Hiking, cycling and a choice of activities, based at Casa Rural Las Chimeneas
  • Fabulous walking between Moorish Villages of Andalucia
  • Enjoying a gourmet picnic lunch in the shade of an almond grove
  • Authentic, friendly and stylish accommodation with sweeping views
  • Locally sourced food and wine lovingly prepared. Discovering the “Old Spain” and its traditions
  • The flexibility to 'go as you please' with the freedom of the open road (and your rental car)!

Recharge your batteries on this week-long stay at the authentic and stylish 800-year old Casa Rural Las Chimeneas in Andalucia - the perfect base to unwind and explore the secluded green valleys and tranquil villages of Las Alpujarras in Southern Spain. Explore on foot or two wheels; a number of tempting hikes and mountain bike rides are available to suit all abilities. Meander through olive groves, citrus plantations and explore Moorish villages where you are more likely to meet a donkey than car. Many activities are available locally; including cooking classes, olive pressing, cheese and soap making, or visiting local wineries and furniture makers.

Perched on the edge of the Sierra Nevada in an oasis of green, you'll stay in the tiny village of Mairena - which seems caught in a charming time warp. Oozing simple yet stylish comfort, the house is sympathetically decorated and just the place to kick back, soak up the spectacular views, and enjoy great locally-sourced food and drink for which the restaurant is so well known.

Recommended highlights to explore further afield in your rental car include: Granada and the Moorish palace and gardens of the Alhambra; the unspoilt coastline and landscapes of the Cabo de Gata - Nijar National Park with its half-moon bays, ruined castles and prolific fauna and flora.

This week-long stay is based in the heart of the Alpujarras mountains. You'll stay at Las Chimeneas, an 800-year old house in the tiny village of Mairena, Andalucia. Each day you can choose from a menu of activities including walking, mountain biking, cooking classes, soap making, and olive pressing or just simply relaxing.


Las Alpujarras is a region of mountain villages which cling to the southern flanks of the Sierra Nevada, Spain’s highest mountains. Deep sheltered valleys are lined with terraces and fed by melt water, making this an oasis of green above the barren plain which stretches to the distant Mediterranean.

A network of dirt tracks, ancient footpaths and quiet roads link the mountain villages. Walking and cycling these quiet trails through wild flower meadows, olive groves and citrus orchards is a delight. You can start many of the walks directly from your accommodation at Las Chimeneas!

You can choose from a selection of over fifteen suggested self-guided walks each day. These range from easy strolls of a couple of hours to energetic all day adventures. Detailed route notes and maps are provided and most of the routes are well way marked. As keen walkers, the owners of Las Chimeneas, David and Emma, are always on hand to offer advice and suggestions.

For the more adventurous, guided walks in the high Sierra Nevada can also be arranged.


Although the walking is great there is so much more on offer at Las Chimeneas; something families and non-walkers will particularly appreciate.

Local Cooking Classes - Learn to make local Spanish dishes such as tortilla, patatas a la pobre or paella.

Cheese & Soap Making - learn to make cheese and soap the traditional way. First visit the goats to source the raw materials and then head back to Las Chimeneas for a hands-on demonstration.

Mountain Biking - enjoy a 15 km mountain bike descent on forest trails back to the house from the mountain pass of Puerto de la Ragua.

Horse Riding - enjoy a full day of riding and a picnic in the mountains.

Furniture Making - Enjoy a day in the workshop and learn about local crafts with tuition/guidance from the local English speaking furniture maker.

Painting - Indulge your artistic side with brush in hand, as you sit among the olive and almond trees with an experienced local painter.

Activities for Kids - A range of activities are also available for families such as village treasure hunts, fruit and vegetable picking and watering at Las Chimeneas' organic farm, milking the goats and craft mornings.


A rental car is included in the cost of your holiday so that you have the freedom to explore the area. Highlights are as follows:

Granada & The Alhambra - The Moorish Palace, Fortress and Gardens of The Alhambra in Granada.

Cabo de Gata - Nijar National Park - Perfect half-moon bays, ruined castles and prolific fauna and flora make this one of the last unspoilt stretches of Spain’s Mediterranean Coast.

Las Alpujarras Villages - After the fall of Granada in 1492 the Moors fled to this remote and inaccessible area. For 150 years they maintained their Muslim culture and the villages of Las Alpujarras has retained their Berber architecture or terraced grey white boxes shape houses with flat roofs. Spending a day exploring these quiet hamlets is a delight.

Accommodation - Casa Rural Las Chimeneas

Las Chimeneas has become THE place for walkers to stay in Las Alpujarras. Located on the outskirts of the tiny village of Mairena, Casa Rural Las Chimeneas is an extremely spacious house which has been restored in the local style and is furnished with authentic antiques throughout. Your tour is based at Las Chimeneas, meaning you can settle in and relax for the duration of your holiday.

There are en-suite bathroom facilities for each of the large bedrooms, which have their own private balcony or terrace. With only ten rooms the house has a lovely relaxed atmosphere and owners David and Emma go out of their way to make you feel welcome. 

David & Emma

There is an ample living/dining room with open wood fire and a terrace with breathtaking views from which you can enjoy an evening barbecue or a dip in the pool. In addition to the rooms in main house three studios are available which are ideal for families.



Next to Casa Las Chimeneas stands the beautifully restored Restaurant Las Chimeneas, where breakfast and evening meals are served. The dining room is a truly wonderful place to enjoy an intimate meal in the winter months or a cool beer after a long day's walking. Olive logs burn in the cast-iron stove through the winter, and the terrace provides uninterrupted views over the surrounding mountain ranges and on to the Mediterranean in the distance.

Delicious locally-sourced food at Las Chimeneas

Breakfast is a combination of orange juice, yoghurts, fresh fruit, freshly baked bread and local jam with produce from Las Chimeneas' own organic farm. Depending on the season you can expect to enjoy fresh oranges, cherries, plums, apples, figs and grapes picked from the orchard. Breakfast is also a time for planning as David or Emma are on hand to discuss possible routes or the day's activities. Linger over a pot of coffee as you savour the possibilities for the day.

The evening meal is served in the small dining room where the very best of Alpujarran food is cooked by the ever-smiling chef Soledad. Soledad prepares delicious recipes handed down over the generations by Alpujarran families as well as the flavours of North Africa in a delightful fusion of Andalucian and Moroccan food.

Restaurant Las Chimeneas

Each day you will be packed off with a delicious picnic hamper stuffed full of local treats.

Additional Nights

There is so much to do that you may well choose to extend your stay. Just let us know at the time of booking.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.

Bedroom at Las Chimeneas


This week-long Las Alpujarras Escape is available between March and November. Because you will be located at altitude, walking is even an option during the summer.

Grade & Navigation

This single-centre holiday is graded from easy to moderate and is suitable for all abilities as you can choose from a range of self-guided walks, cycles, or alternative activities (including cooking classes, olive pressing and soap making). Maps and route notes are provided for all the recommended walks and most are well way-marked.


Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack. This will be sent to you after booking.

Climate & Weather

Because Mairena is high up in the Alpujarras mountains, it is suitable for walking from April to late November. The best times for walking are April to May and September to November when days are cooler.

Getting to Mairena

Malaga is the closest airport (3hr drive) which has direct flights from the UK. Granada is closer (2hr) but currently has no direct UK flights.

Rental Car

You will both collect and drop off your rental car at Malaga Airport. This is included in the price of your holiday and the car will be appropriate for your party size (group A for two people). Upgrades available at a supplement. Extras such as child seats and sat-nav are payable locally.

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend taking out travel insurance to cover cancellation or curtailment of your holiday.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.

General Information

Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to Mairena

Malaga is the closest airport (3hr drive) which has direct flights from the UK. Granada is closer (2hr) but currently has no direct UK flights.

Rental Car (included)

You will collect/drop off your rental car at Malaga Airport. This is included in the price of your holiday and the car will be appropriate for your party size (group A for two people). Upgrades available at a supplement. Extras such as child seats and sat-nav are payable locally.


  • 7 nights accommodation at Casa Rural Las Chimeneas
  • 7 breakfasts, dinners and picnic lunches
  • Walking route notes and maps for suggested walks
  • Group A car hire
  • A whole host of local activities at your fingertips
  • A detailed information pack with detailed driving instructions


  • Travel to/from Malaga or arrival airport
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal clothing & equipment


  • Car hire upgrade
  • Single room supplement
  • Additional nights and/or stay in Granada

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.

How fit do I need to be?

You can pick and choose as much or as little walking (or cycling!) as you wish. The walking can be steep as you are in the mountains but there are easier short walks available and plenty of other activities to choose from.

Which is the best airport to fly to?

Malaga is the easiest airport to fly into, which is served by low cost, charter and scheduled airlines. It is a three hour drive from Malaga to Mairena (detailed driving directions will be provided to you) and you will pick up your hire car at Malaga airport.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this holiday is extremely popular, especially in Spring and Autumn.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack, warm clothing in the early/late part of the year and hats etc during the summer. We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack.  

When is the best time of year?

The best months for walking are April through June and September and October.

Fabulous rural stay in southern Spain


The place suited my husband I who enjoy walking in rural settings but now of an age where need a comfortable place to stay. We were given plenty of walking options from easy to difficult.




Wonderful relaxation and very welcoming!


David and Emma are wonderful hosts. They gave us great advice, notes and maps for walks of varying lengths; and also showed us and the other guests some of the interesting places in and around Mairena. And they have a great team cooking dinner and offering local wines. A lovely area for walking, nature, and chilling out.

Simon and Diana



Outstanding holiday ... 18/10 🙂


David and Emma were fantastic hosts going the extra mile and then some to make you feel welcome and ensuring you enjoyed your stay. They even organised yoga, cookery classes and massages for the one day when the weather closed in making walking impossible. The evening meals were a highlight for us with very tasty local recipes cooked by Sole, Conche and Alistair and served with great humour and banter by Andrew. Thanks to you all!




Amazing Alpujarras


Stunning location , wonderful walks , quirky and comfortable accommodation and well run . The food is fabulous and cooking demonstrations really lovely . Really friendly and had a great time with all the other guests




Perfect Combination of Relaxation and Exercise


Friends have traveled repeatedly with Macs so we decided to try it. They hike from place to place, but we wanted to stay in the same place and venture out during the day. Also, we'd never been to Spain. We were surprised at the Garden of Eden feel of Las Alpujarras. Every night Soledad, and sometimes Andrew and others, made delicious meals from local produce. Vacations are always a great time to overindulge. However, because we hiked every day, we felt really hungry and deserving. Our hosts and fellow travelers were delightful. On occasion the hiking directions were difficult to follow and little spots to rest and have a cold drink were closed. We got the hang of it pretty rapidly.

Mme J

Santa Fe, NM


Las Alpujarras Excellent Escape!


David & Emma are wonderful hosts who work hard to ensure that the needs of all of their guests are met. The staff at Las Chimeneas are all friendly and efficient. We felt like we were welcomed as long lost relatives! The meals were excellent and the local wines enhanced our dinners. Mairena is a small village of about 250 people, nestled into the Sierra Nevada mountains. It seems to have changed very little from past centuries, but our accommodation had all the comforts and facilities of the 21st century. Our hikes were challenging, but very rewarding. I recommend that visitors make sure that they can manage fairly steep hills, in order to get the most of their visit. When driving to Mairena, be aware that it is a long drive from any city, and follows narrow, steep, and windy roads. But, it is well worth the drive!

Canada John

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada


A perfect escape!


The accommodation is typically "rustic" and full of character...and spotless. The food - specialising in local ingredients (and some excellent, not so local fish) - is wonderfully cooked by "Sole", and served by the current very friendly team of Jill, Andrew and Alastair. Dietary complications (one gluten free and one dairy free) were coped with perfectly. Our hosts, David and Emma, the owners of Las Chimeneas, could really not have been more obliging. If you want life...discos...then this is not the place for you. But for a real Alpurjurras experience, with fantastic walking, fabulous food, and fresh air that leaves you exhausted and exhilarated at the end of the day, then I really couldn't recommend it more highly!




Wonderful location


Las Chimneas is situated in a small town with access to many delightful trails. A car is quite useful for getting to distant trailheads. It wasn't clear how much extras were like wine and soft drinks, but they were reasonable. A price list would be useful to have in the rooms. Food was wonderful and varied. David and Emma area a wealth of information but were very busy when I was there so access was limited.

Susan the ecologist

seattle Washington USA




This is a gem of a rural family run hotel in southern Spain mtns. The walking is terrific and can be varied according to how much/far. It is very clear and organized in terms of directions---and other options--circus skills, winery, olive mill, weaving--are available. The view/scenery from Las Cimeanas is wonderful with a special mention of the early morning colors of sunrise on the hills and mtns. The host(s) and food are 5-star! Emma and David were on vacation but Andrew and Soledad are wonderful.




Indescribably beautiful


Las Chimeneas is a unique and beautiful inn in a tiny mountain village in the historical Las Alpujarras in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Spain. The air is so clear, the views from our terrace were mesmerizing, our room was comfortable and clean with antique furniture but yet a modern bathroom. David and Emma, the proprietors, were so welcoming and helpful. They recommended incredible hikes, and set up a private tours of a local olive mill, their finca and a local ancient church. They also contacted the proprietor of the Velete Winery. and he gave us a tour and a private wine tasting. The meals in their restaurant were so delicious, and they packed us a daily lunch of local fruits, nuts, cheeses and meats, with crusty breads and dried figs.


New York, USA


Las Alpujarras Escape

4.9 10


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