Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Andalucia: The Sierra de Grazelema Walking Holiday
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Highlights

  • Walking through bright green fields covered in a carpet of spring wild flowers
  • Enjoying tapas and a chilled glass of vino on a sheltered terrace
  • Wandering the cobbled streets of the Moorish pueblos blancos
  • Fabulous walks through the limestone sculptures of Grazalema Natural Park
  • Charming small inns and hotels, hand picked for their food and character

Walk the quiet trails of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park between the white villages of Andalucía. Marvel at this “undiscovered” oasis of green, a mountainous area sprinkled with picturesque white-washed villages such as Grazalema, Montejaque and the lovely city of Ronda.

On your inn to inn walking holiday in Andalucía you will have the pleasure of walking through a green landscape of marvellous limestone sculptures riddled by deep gorges, where vultures nest among the cliff tops. Walking through the marvellous landscapes of the Sierra de Grazalema gives you time to enjoy the pleasures that this area of Andalucía has to offer.

As you walk through the flowers, forests and fields of the Grazalema you will find yourself stumbling on quiet picture perfect villages, where you can enjoy a relaxed round of tapas and glass of chilled vino at lunchtime on a shaded outdoor terrace. If you can tear yourself away, your route leads on through unspoilt countryside painted in earth tones. The soft grey-green of olive orchards, cork oak woods and Spanish silver firs are punctuated by brilliant white buildings.

Your walk takes you through the captivating pueblos blancos (white villages) of Andalucía with exotic Moorish names like Benaocaz and Montejaque. Names which point to centuries of fluctuating borders between Arab and Christian kingdoms. Your walking tour through Andalucía ends in the city of Ronda, one of the prettiest in Andalusia, with its intriguing mix of Moorish and European monuments.

Your walking holiday in Andalucía includes seven nights accommodation in charming small hotels and inns hidden away on the narrow streets of the pueblos blancos. Detailed route notes and maps for six rewarding days of walking, baggage transfer and some local transfers are also included in the price of your holiday as well as 24 hour emergency support.

DAY 1: Arrive Sierra de Grazalema


Malaga is the closest airport for Ronda. Take a train/bus to Malaga and then bus to Ronda (1h45) where a taxi will transfer you to Grazalema.



Today you travel to the “Pueblos Blancos” and arrive in the beautifully situated white-washed village of Grazalema (830 m), where you will spend the first 2 nights. Grazalema is the perfect base for exploring the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, a vast rugged area of limestone mountains. The steep, cobbled streets of Grazalema are lined by whitewashed houses with windows covered by wrought-iron rejas and plant pots spilling over with colourful flowers.


Overnight: Casa de las Piedras, Grazalema


The simple family run Casa de las Piedras is located in the heart of the village. The inn boasts a restaurant specialising in local dishes with a menu that changes daily, a large comfortable lounge with fireplace and comfortable rooms that lead off the central courtyard.


DAY 2:
Circular walk from Grazalema

On the first day of walking in the Sierra de Grazalema, you have a choice between two short circular routes. Both walks afford lovely views of the rugged limestone mountains, red earth, lush green vegetation and the wild flowers are particularly delightful in the spring and early summer.
Enjoy a relaxing afternoon exploring the small shops in the village and perhaps a relaxed drink on an outdoor terrace.


Walk 1: 4km, 1h30, 200m ascent/descent


Walk 2: 9km, 4h30, 500m ascent/descent


Overnight: Casa de las Piedras, Grazalema


DAY 3:
Grazalema to Benaocaz

Today’s walk through the Sierra de Grazalema takes you on stony paths through classic limestone landscapes of the park. You will walk through lovely green oak woods and characteristic Mediterranean vegetation, passing a number of cortijos, traditional farmhouse complexes, on your way to Benaocaz. The easier of the two walks today ends in Villaluenga, from where you take a taxi to Benaocaz.


Benaocaz is an untouched “white village” with a history dating back to Roman times and beyond. An interesting museum and several beautiful churches make this a delightful stop. The village sits perched on a hill, with sweeping views in all directions.


Walk 1: 12km, 5-5h30, 500m ascent, 550m descent


Walk 2: 16km, 5hrs, 350m ascent, 325m descent


Overnight:Posada el Parral, Benaocaz


A beautiful posada with an attached restaurant offering a warm welcome.


DAY 4:
Circular walk from Benaocaz

Benaocaz is a great base for walking and has a number of excellent local walks. We recommend that in the morning you should follow the old Roman footpath down to the lively town of Ubrique.  You can have lunch and take a taxi back to Benaocaz or walk all the way back.


In the afternoon you can then enjoy a short circular walk along a historic footpath to a viewpoint. Here Griffon vultures can normally be seen as this is a regular nesting site. 


Walk 1: 5km, 2hrs, 10m ascent/ 465m descent


Walk 2: 7km, 3hrs, 200m ascent/descent


Overnight: Posada el Parral, Benaocaz


DAY 5:
Benaocaz to Montejaque


Take a short transfer to the village of Villaluenga del Rosario. From here you descend into to Llanos del Republicano, a valley where the river disappears into a deeply carved limestone sink. Amidst greyish-white limestone cliffs of the Sierra de Libar and Sierra del Palo, you follow a trail through striking limestone sculptures to reach a tiny jewel of a village, Montejaque, another of the Pueblos Blancos on your route. Today’s walk is long, but not too difficult.


Walk: 18km, 5h30-6hrs, 475m ascent, 640m descent


Overnight: La Posada del Fresno, Montejaque


This authentic posada is located in the heart of Montejaque, with a lovely quaint restaurant and charming rooms with a typically Andalucian decor.


DAY 6:
Circular walks from Montejaque


Choose between 2 splendid walking routes.


The first is a beautiful circular route via El Hacho Peak, following wide gravel tracks through the Rio Campobuche valley, and rural paths through woodlands and olive groves.


The second walk takes you to 'La Cueva de la Pileta' with its prehistoric cave paintings; to get there you first have to walk to Benaojan on surfaced roads, including 800m on a main road, then ascend up to the cave on steep goat trails. It is possible to order a taxi at the cave back to Montejaque (payable locally).


Walk 1: 8km, 3-3h30, 220m ascent/descent


Walk 2: 6-13km, 2h30-5hrs, 325m-550m ascent / 325m-550m descent


Overnight: Hotel Montejaque, Montejaque


DAY 7:
Montejaque to Ronda

Today you can look forward to a simply delightful day of walking. Your walk starts out along an ancient cobbled path before passing through fields and small family farms to reach Ronda.
Although very popular Ronda retains much of its historic charm. The 100m chasm of the El Tajo gorge divides the town and the 18th century Puente Nuevo 'new' bridge offers some of the best views. The historical Moorish quarter is especially interesting, although you are sure to discover many more delights as you wander the streets.



The annual Feria Goyesca, held at the beginning of September, celebrates Ronda’s place as the birth of modern bull fighting.


Walk: 12km, 5hrs, 440m ascent, 420m descent


Overnight: Hotel Polo, Ronda


Located in the old centre of town, on a lovely square the three star Hotel Polo is the ideal base for exploring Ronda.


DAY 8:
Onward Travel

Your walking trip comes to an end today after breakfast. Departure from Ronda.

Accommodation

Seven nights in carefully selected small family run hotels and guest houses that offer comfortable accommodation, the warmest of welcomes and hearty local food. More details and links to the accommodation are detailed on the itinerary page of our website.


Alternative accommodation

During high season, you might be booked into a different accommodation which is not listed in the description, and the start or end of some of your walking routes may be slightly altered. Any alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.


Single Rooms

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


Solo Walkers

This holiday is not available for solo walkers for safety reasons.


Meals

7 Continental breakfasts are included. Dinner is not included but available at your hotel or nearby restaurants. Lunch is not included. Packed lunches are available from your accommodation or you can pick up lunch in the village or stop along the trail. Your route notes have details for each day.


Baggage Transfer

Your bags (max 20kg) will be transferred each time you move accommodation.

Availability and Time of Year

This walk is available to start any day of the week year round from January through to December, excluding July and August when the temperatures get too high for comfortable walking. As in all mountain areas the weather can change quickly and experience some rain.


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. This holiday is not available for solo walkers for safety reasons.


Baggage Transfer

Daily door to door baggage transfer is included in the price of your trip. We ask you to keep your baggage to a maximum of 1 bag per person (maximum weight 20kg).


Transfers

Transfers on day 1 from Ronda to Grazalema and on day 5 from Benaocaz to Villaluenga are included. Airport transfers are available as an optional extra.


Equipment

You will need standard walking gear such as good walking boots, warm and waterproof clothes in the cooler months and good sun protection in the summer and a day pack. A full equipment list is included in your info pack.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. 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, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Grade, Terrain & Fitness

This trip is graded moderate and includes walking routes from 4km to 18km. Daily ascent of up to 500m and descent of up to 625m. In summer, warm temperatures can make the routes seem more difficult and unsurfaced tracks can become slippery after rainfall.


The walks generally follow wide unsurfaced tracks and footpaths, with the occasional section on surfaced tracks or tarmac roads. You should have a good level of walking fitness to enjoy this holiday.


Navigation

You will have access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App enabling you to follow the route using your phone’s GPS so using this combined with the provided route notes and maps means you should have no problems finding your way


Maps

In addition to the maps we have provided with these route notes, you may wish to purchase your own original maps. The following are recommended:


  • General map: Michelin 1:400.000 Andalucia Costa del Sol
  • Walking maps: 1:50.000 Plano Topográfico del Macizo de Grazalema (Penthalon, Servicio Geográfico del Ejército) 1:50.000 Sierra de Grazalema (MOPU, lnstituto Geográfico Nacional)
  • On arrival you can also buy locally a good map (scale 1:40.000)

Transfers

Transfers on day 1 from Ronda to Grazalema and on day 5 from Benaocaz to Villaluenga are included. Airport transfers are available as an optional extra.


Equipment

You will need standard walking gear such as good walking boots, warm and waterproof clothes in the cooler months and good sun protection in the summer and a day pack. A full equipment list is included in your info pack.


Getting to/from Ronda

You need to get to Ronda where a taxi is booked to take you to Grazalema.


Malaga is the closest airport, which is served by numerous airlines from the UK and throughout Europe.


From Malaga you take a shuttle bus or train to Malaga Train station. Here you catch the bus to Ronda (1h45). Buses depart every 90 minutes until 8pm daily. Ronda Tourist Office produces a useful PDF of bus times but you should check with operator websites before travel.


 We can arrange private airport taxi transfers if required. Contact us for a quote.

Getting to/from Ronda

You need to get to Ronda where a taxi is booked to take you to Grazalema.


Malaga is the closest airport, which is served by numerous airlines from the UK and throughout Europe. 


 From Malaga you take a shuttle bus or train to Malaga Train station. Here you catch the bus to Ronda (1h45). Buses depart every 90 minutes until 8PM daily. Ronda Tourist Office produces a useful PDF of bus times but you should check with operator websites before travel.


 We can arrange private airport taxi transfers if required. Contact us for a quote.

Included

  • 7 Nights accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis in small inns and hotels
  • Luggage transfer on days 3, 5 and 7
  • Transfers on days 1 (Ronda-Grazalema) and 5 (Benaocaz-Villaluenga)
  • 24-hour telephone assistance, just a phone call away
  • Detailed route notes, maps and pre-departure information pack
  • GPX tracks and access to our smartphone app

Excluded

  • Lunches (provisions can be bought in many of the villages, pack lunches may be ordered at some of the accommodations)
  • Dinners
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Transport to/from Ronda
  • Travel Insurance
  • Any items or services not specifically mentioned in the program

Extras

  • Airport transfers
  • Extra nights
  • Single room supplement (if applicable)
  • Solo walker supplement (if applicable)

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 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. 

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. 

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded moderate and includes walking routes from 4km to 18km. Ascents are up to 500m and descents are up to 625m.  In summer, warm temperatures can make the routes seem more difficult. The walks generally follow wide unsurfaced tracks and footpaths, with the occasional section on surfaced tracks or tarmac roads. You should have a good level of walking fitness to enjoy this holiday.

Which is the best airport to fly to?

Malaga is the best airport although Granada is also an option.

When is the best time of year?

This walk can be enjoyed from mid-January to end of November, although please be aware that July & August can be extremely hot which makes the walking a lot more difficult. You will need to a lot of water, good sun protection and start out early to avoid the heat of the day.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

Making Memories

5

My fifth Mac's Adventure! I had the pleasure of introducing this type of holiday to friends, it was an amazing experience, enjoyed by all. Unfortunately, one member of our group wasn't able to participate due to a pre existing injury that decided to make an appearance at the last minute. Mac's to the rescue...assistance in organizing her transportation between villages was immediate and smooth. Thank you Mac's! Spectacular scenery, ever changing trails and comfortable, clean accommodations! We made great memories and look forward to our next adventure...all four of us!

Lesley

Canada

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Excellent trip through a beatiful area

5

Very well organized trip with well-selected hikes to some amazing rural towns. We got a great taste for the local culture and wouldn't change anything about the itinerary. This is our first self-guided tour of this type (and first trip to Europe!) and it was an excellent way to vacation and avoid the crowds of major cities.

Dan & Dani

SLC, Utah, USA

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Dreamtime walk through History

4

Stunning scenery, natural beauty, interesting layer of history, a challenging walk each day with the reward of good food, friendly locals, and a comfortable bed!

Emilie

Tacoma

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Great Hike

5

This was a well organized hike between the White Villages of Andalucia with the crown jewel at the finish, Ronda. Accomadations were authentic, people friendly, food great (tapas especially ) and the hikes challenging and rewarding.

J+P

Toronto

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Grazalema trek

4

This was termed "moderate degree of difficulty" we walk frequently, but this was a little harder than expected

Tez

West Australia

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This Grazalema adventure was a fun and scenic trip

5

We enjoyed the evenings in the cute, clean, white-painted towns with our nice centrally-situated hotels, narrow walking streets, local products shopping, good food, and interesting locals. The days were filled with moderate mostly rural hiking, some mildly steep challenging terrain, seeing lots of local farms including orchards of olives and cork bark trees, and plenty of pretty views of moderate green and/or rocky mountains. We enjoyed aggressively choosing to do most of both of the choices of loop hikes on each of the three stay-in-the-same-place days. Save some money and baggage space for good buys on leather goods in Ubrique and other interesting local crafts found in the towns. We went in early November, which we liked for the lack of crowds - and we lucked out with only one day of wet hiking (although strong rain storms had passed through the region in late October...)

Ken and Lynn

San Diego, California

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GREAT HOLIDAY UNIQUE EXPERIENCE

5

This was a great holiday and we all enjoyed it immensely. The small hotels were very traditional and the hospitality was excellent . hard to pick out a good one as all were great. we had mixed weather but managed to do a walk every day and had to travel with luggage one day due to electrical storm. the walking was as we expected a lot of up and down and you definitely need to use walking poles. I would recommend going a bit earlier in the season, the end of Oct is a bit late, but everything was open but quiet. Macs directions were detailed and worked well. overall I would recommend anyone to visit these small quaint white villages, it is like times past and not at all commercialised.

would be walker

ireland

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Brilliant Holiday

5

This is a really well planned tour. Having two days in each stopover with a combination of village to village and circular walks allows for exploring and relaxing. The walking itself is excellent, with the karst landscape providing a challenge and fantastic views. The flora and fauna were a highlight too, with the spring flowers providing a beautiful backdrop to every walk and the eagles and vultures soaring overhead. The accommodation was excellent, as was the food, with each village having a choice of restaurants with great local dishes to try. We were lucky to have ideal walking weather in early May and this is a great time for the wild flowers too. Highly recommended.

Julie K

Leeds

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A Completely Delightful Blind Date

5

This was our first adventure with Macs and we are already looking forward to another! Moderate walking with beautiful alpine and pastoral vistas leading to rural villages with interesting histories and delicious cheeses! Our walks included amazing birding, ancient cave paintings, vibrant wildflowers, incredibly varied landscapes, unexpected fiestas and the occasional good company of a fellow traveler. We loved the incredibly friendly people that hosted us in comfortable accommodations and recommended great places to eat and drink. (Don't miss Posada El Parral if your path takes you to Benaocaz!) Even our taxi driver to Grazalema, Daniel, gave us great suggestions for eating and drinking along with an entertaining and educational Spanish lesson. A thoroughly enjoyable vacation!

Cheryl & Bob

Massachusetts, USA

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Hidden Spain

5

MACS provided an interesting introduction to parts of Andalucía not previously visited. A great adventure.

JR

Sherborne

Andalucia: The Sierra de Grazalema

4.7 25

100.0

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