Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Breathe in fresh Andalucian mountain air and walk along remote trails with stunning panoramas
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Highlights

  • Explore the highlights of Andalucia on foot, from beautiful Ronda to exotic Granada
  • Discover the sparkling white villages (Pueblos Blancos) of the Sierra de Grazalema
  • Walk to Trevelez, the highest village in Spain, at the foot of the mighty Mulhacen
  • Follow ancient trails in Las Alpujarras, which cling to the slopes of the Sierra Nevada
  • Enjoy a plate of tapas and glass of ‘vino’ in plazas shaded by scented orange trees

Explore the best of enchanting Andalucia, and experience the very essence of Spain on this “grand tour” starting in Ronda and finishing in Granada.

Discover glistening white-washed villages, exquisite Moorish monuments including the famous Alhambra, and walk on trails through the craggy mountains of the Sierra de Grazalema, and the laid-back villages of Las Alpujarras on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada. Stay overnight in charming boutique hotels in idyllic locations surrounded by mountains. As you walk, pause for a rest and enjoy a picnic of local specialities including the famous ‘jamon serrano’.

With a perfect combination of time spent in the quiet mountains and days exploring the vibrant cities of Ronda and Granada, this is Andalucia at its best.

 

Day 1: Arrive in Ronda

Arrive in the intriguing town of Ronda, sitting on the edge of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park and 2.5hrs by bus from Malaga Airport. Although very popular, Ronda retains much of its historic charm. The 200m chasm of the El Tajo gorge divides the town in two 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.


Overnight: Ronda


Day 2: Free day in Ronda, transfer to Zahara de la Sierra

A great option for today is to enjoy a walk down into the impressive Tajo Gorge for a different perspective of the Puente Nuevo bridge and the town above. Of course, an equally tempting option may be to enjoy the day at leisure, exploring more of the beautiful city of Ronda. Other highlights include the famous Plaza de Toros bullring and the Banos Arabes Arab Baths, the best preserved in Ronda.


An early evening transfer will bring you from Ronda to the white village of Zahara de la Sierra. Perched on a craggy outcrop overlooking the shimmering turquoise waters of the Embalse de Zahara reservoir, this is one of the prettiest “pueblos blancos” in the Sierra de Grazalema.


Overnight: Zahara de la Sierra


Day 3: Choice of walks from Zahara de la Sierra

You have a choice of two walks today. The first is an exhilarating hike to the bottom of the 400 metre deep Garganta Verde (green throat) canyon. Just 5km in total, this is a short walk with fantastic rewards. As the trail descends steeply to the bottom of the canyon, keep your eye out for a glimpse of griffon vultures, which the gorge is home to. Arrive at the base of the canyon, and feel very small, as you look up the towering vertical walls. Discover expansive caves in the valley walls before returning the same way you came.


The second option for today is a lovely loop walk through open farmland around Zahara de la Sierra, and up to the Brena Pass for amazing views over the Garganta Seca and Garganta Verde.

It is important to note that the Garganta Verde walk requires a permit which is subject to availability and the walk is also closed between June and the middle of October due to the risk of forest fires. In both of the above cases, the walk to the Brena Pass is a great alternative.


Garganta Verde Walk: 5km, +357m Ascent / -357m Descent.


Brena Pass Loop Walk: 15km, +490m Ascent / -490m Descent.


Overnight: Zahara de la Sierra


Day 4: Walk to Grazalema

Leaving Zahara de la Sierra, walk towards the shores of Embalse de Zahara before continuing into the hills of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. Walk through groves of pine trees and ancient cobbled pathways to the lush Gaidovar valley where the mild temperatures have created a rare microclimate.


Drop down into the white village of Grazalema, in its spectacular location surrounded by jagged limestone mountains. Enjoy an evening stroll in one of the best preserved villages of the “pueblos blancos route” and admire the whitewashed houses covered in bright cascading geraniums.


Walk: 20km, +795m Ascent / -416m Descent


Overnight: Grazalema


Day 5: Walk to Ronda

A short transfer takes you from Grazalema to Benaojan (25min) and your walk heads along an ancient cobbled path before passing through fields and small family farms to reach Ronda. Enjoy one more evening taking in the sights and sounds of this lovely town.


Walk: 14km, +395m Ascent / -215m Descent


Overnight: Ronda


Day 6: Train from Ronda to Granada

Take the train from Ronda to Granada today (2.5hrs) at a time of your choosing (although we recommend an early one to give you plenty of time to see Granada). With its rich Moorish heritage—an intriguing mix of ancient alleyways and modern avenues—Granada is a fascinating city to explore.


Stroll around the city and soak up the distinctively Andalucian atmosphere before enjoying dinner in one of the many fantastic restaurants.


Overnight: Granada


Day 7: Free day to Granada

Today is yours to explore Granada at your own pace, but we highly recommend a visit to the Alhambra, a magnificent Moorish palace, adorned with mosaics and intricate carvings. Adjacent to the Alhambra is the General life, a series of beautiful gardens featuring some great examples of Arab art.


Please note that entrances are not included to the Alhambra or Generalife gardens and we highly recommend booking tickets in advance to ensure you are not disappointed.


Overnight: Granada


Day 8: Transfer to Capileira, walk to Ferreirola

A transfer will pick you up this morning and take you into the heart of the Alpujarra region, on the southern flank of the Sierra Nevada mountains. From the village of Capileira, walk along winding paths through ancient oak forests, pine plantations and terraced fields to the area known as Taha de Pitres, an ancient network of irrigation channels set up during Moorish times.


Finish in the tiny village of Ferreirola, deep in the heart of a beautiful green valley, and with no passing traffic. A truly idyllic spot to spend the next couple of nights!


Walk: 15km, +415m Ascent / -861m Descent


Overnight: Ferreirola


Day 9: Walk to Trevelez

Prepare for a steep climb today, but one filled with rewards, as you leave Ferreirola and ascend along the Trevelez river valley, stopping every so often to catch your breath and admire sweeping views of the snow-dusted Sierra Nevada.


Upon arrival in Trevelez, the highest village in Spain, sit back, relax, and take in the wonderful views. Perhaps you may like to sample some of the delicious dried ham, jamon serrano, Trevelez is known for, accompanied by a glass of wine, as you sit on the terrace of your charming mountain hotel.


Walk: 17km, +930m Ascent / -479m Descent


Overnight: Trevelez


Day 10: Walk to Berchules

Another spectacular day of walking from one charming mountain village to another. Set off through shady woodlands, following narrow footpaths to high elevations. Your efforts are rewarded with panoramic views over the mountains, and if the weather is clear, you can even see all the way to Africa!


Sitting at 1350m, Berchules is a lovely little village to spend the night, where you can wander the sleepy narrow streets and enjoy the views.


Walk: 15km, +625m Ascent / -870m Descent


Overnight: Berchules


Day 11: Onward Travel

Check out after breakfast, and make your way back to Granada or Malaga Airport for onward travel.

Accommodation

6 Nights accommodation in small rural hotels in the Alpujarras, and 4 nights in 3 or 4* hotels in Granada and Ronda are included in your tour.


The accommodation we normally use is detailed below. We may sometimes have to use alternative hotels subject to availability but if this is the case we will always let you know when confirming your booking.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

Single rooms are available and a single supplement is payable. This trip is available to solo walkers but we recommend that you are an experienced walker who is comfortable with navigation, has walked in rougher, mountainous terrain before and is comfortable with steep ascents/descents and some steep drop-offs.


Meals

10 Breakfasts are included and usually consist of breads, fruits, cheeses and meats. Dinners are included on 2 nights—the night in Trevelez and the night in Berchules. Lunches, (and dinners on the days not mentioned above) are not included but you will find suggestions in your route notes of local places to eat. The food is a real highlight in Andalucia and you will feast on hearty local specialities such as the serrano gazpachos’ (gazpacho served with tasty chunks of Iberico ham), and the mouth-watering payoyo goats cheese in the Grazalema and Plato Alpujarreno (tasty dish made with sausage, potatoes and eggs), and Trucha con Jamon (trout with ham) in the Alpujarras.




 

 

 




Aire de Ronda - Ronda

A charming small hotel located in the historic quarter of the city, with elegant, modern rooms larger than most rooms in Ronda. The owner Marivi is a fountain of local knowledge who will welcome you warmly to this beautiful city.


 

 

 



 

 

 




Al Lago - Zahara de la Sierra

A gorgeous family run boutique hotel which sits overlooking the turquoise waters of the reservoir below. Relax in this “home away from home” and enjoy delicious meals in their popular restaurant serving rustic Andalusian cuisine with a twist.


 

 

 




 

 

 




Le Mejorana - Grazalema

Close to the centre of the pretty village of Grazalema is a delightful rural hotel with beautifully decorated rooms and traditional architecture. In the evening enjoy relaxing in their cosy living room or lush gardens with views of the Sierra.


 

 

 




 

 

 




Hotel El Ladron D'Aqua - Granada

A beautiful 16th century noble house which has been tastefully refurbished into a small hotel. With a great location on a charming pedestrian street below the Alhambra, it is the perfect base from which to explore Granada.


 

 

 




 

 

 




Sierra Y Mar - Ferreirola

As Alasdair Sawday says in his “Special Places to Stay’ guide, “take the blue door to paradise” at the delightful little guesthouse, Sierra Y Mar, in the unspoiled village of Ferreirola. Several charming and rustic little houses are joined together by gorgeous gardens and terraces where you can relax after a day’s walking.<


 

 

 





 

 

 




Hotel la Fragua - Trevelez

The La Fragua hotel in its wonderful hilltop location in the middle of Trevelez is a simple rural hotel where you can relax in a lovely pool and enjoy the views over the surrounding mountains. Enjoy meals in their restaurant serving delicious traditional Alpujarran cuisine.


 

 

 




 

 

 




Hotel Berchules - Berchules

A traditional family-run hotel, the Hotel Berchules is surrounded by the mountains and offers a warm welcome and traditional homecooked meals. Relax in the beautiful gardens or take a dip in the swimming pool, for exclusive use of hotel guests.


 

 

 

Availability

You can start this tour on any day of the week subject to availability between March to May, and then again from September to November. We do not offer this tour in July and August as it is too hot for enjoyable walking then.


Time of Year

Andalucia is enjoyable most of the year round and each season has it’s own highlights. The spring months of March and April are fantastic if you want to see bird migrations in full swing and a profusion of flowers in bloom. The temperatures start to heat up in May and June and the slopes are filled with colourful butterflies and bee-eater birds. In the autumn months the days start to cool down, chestnuts fall from the trees and the colours turn to more shades of brown and golden.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is available to solo walkers, although there is a supplement due to the fact that some of the costs are not shared. If you are travelling solo, we recommend that you are an experienced walker who is comfortable with navigation, has walked in rougher, mountainous terrain before and is comfortable with steep ascents/descents and some steep drop-offs. Single rooms are available on request and a supplement is payable.


Grade & Terrain

This walking tour is graded moderate overall, with a few days (days 4, 9 and 10) being graded more moderate-strenuous due to the levels of ascent/descent involved. Walks are between 3-8 hours on a mixture of unsurfaced tracks, footpaths and animal trails with the occasional section on surfaced tracks or small tarmac roads. Some of the terrain is quite rocky and you may encounter some loose rocks or muddy/slippery sections in wet weather. Ascents are between 350m and 930m with descents of up to 870m. During the summer months of June and September the walking may become more difficult due to the higher temperatures at that time of year and we recommend setting off early on those days.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The routes on this trip are generally way-marked but we will also provide detailed route notes and maps. You will also 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. You can simply download the GPX tracks to your phone for offline use and off you go!


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight stay. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.


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.


Accommodation Location

We will always try and accommodate you at the locations detailed in your itinerary. Occasionally, because of limited availability, there is the option to be accommodated at an alternative location. In the unlikely event that we have to accommodate you elsewhere we will advise you of this before confirming your booking.


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 or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to Ronda

By Air: Malaga Airport is the closest airport to Ronda, reachable by bus in approx.2h. Seville is also a good option, reachable by bus in approx. 2.5hrs.


By Train: Ronda is well connected by train to other Spanish cities including Granada (2h 30m) and Cordoba (1h 45min). Visit the Renfe website for more details.

We can also arrange airport transfers from/to Malaga and Seville Airports at an additional supplement. Please just ask us for details.



Getting from Berchules

By Air: We recommend flying out of Granada Airport which is again the closest and most convenient airport to Berchules. From Berchules, take the ALSA bus to Granada (3 times a day, 3hrs).


Malaga is another option but you would need to make your way via Granada by bus which takes a bit longer (approx. 5.5hrs).

Included

  • 6 Nights in small rural hotels
  • 4 Nights in a 3* or 4* hotels in Ronda and Granada
  • 10 Breakfasts
  • 2 Dinners
  • Luggage transfers as per itinerary
  • Transfer from Ronda to Zahara de la Sierra
  • Detailed route notes, maps and pre-departure information pack
  • GPX tracks and access to our smartphone app
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to Ronda/from Berchules
  • Train between Ronda and Granada
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks
  • Personal equipment

Extras

  • Additional nights before, during or after the tour
  • Single room supplement if required
  • Solo walker supplement if required

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the region is extremely popular and the accommodations do get booked up quickly. However, we will always try our very best to accommodate your plans.

How fit do I need to be?

This walking tour is graded moderate overall, with a few days (days 4, 9 and 10) being graded more moderate-strenuous due to the levels of ascent/descent involved. Walks are between 3-8 hours on a mixture of unsurfaced tracks, footpaths and animal trails with the occasional section on surfaced tracks or small tarmac roads. Some of the terrain is quite rocky and you may encounter some loose rocks or muddy/slippery sections in wet weather. Ascents are between 350m and 930m with descents of up to 870m. During the summer months of June and September the walking may become more difficult due to the higher temperatures at that time of year and we recommend setting off early on those days.

How do the Baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation - on some days you may take your bags with you in your included taxi transfer - please refer to your documentation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

What equipment do I need?

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

What happens if I can't walk a stage?

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

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Macs Adventure - US Office: 3200 Carbon Place Suite 102, Boulder, CO 80301

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