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Hidden Gems
Cycling in Sierra de Grazalema, walking in sierra de grazalema, Cycling the Sierra de Grazalema The Natural Adventure Company 14

Walking in Sierra de Grazalema

Overview

The amazing landscapes and fresh mountain air of the Grazalema Natural Park make for some rewarding walking in Spain’s deep south. The Sierra de Grazalema is an undiscovered green oasis, a mountainous area adorned by picturesque white-washed villages such as Grazalema or Montejaque. It is a land of jagged limestone peaks, deep gorges and lush green mountain pastures. The end of the walking tour will take you to the lovely town of Ronda with its unique beauty and intriguing mix of Moorish and European monuments, overlooking the stunning El Tajo Gorge.

  • A mountainous area surrounded by charming white-washed villages, “pueblos blancos”
  • Bizarre limestone formations
  • The beautiful town of Ronda
  • Andalusia – famous for its ancient ruins, amazing beaches and excellent food

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Grazalema

Today you travel to the “Pueblos Blancos” (“the white villages”) and arrive in the lovely white-washed village of Grazalema, perched at 830 m above sea level on a crag at the base of the Grazalema mountains. Here you’ll spend the next two nights. Enjoy an evening stroll in one of the best-preserved villages of the “pueblos blancos route” and admire the whitewashed houses.

Day 2: Grazalema Circular Walk | 4-9 km

On the first day of walking, you have a choice between two short circular routes. Both walks afford beautiful views and a striking combination of red earth tones adorned by green vegetation and Mediterranean scents. In the afternoon, take some time to explore the small shops in the village and enjoy some outdoor terrace refreshment.

  • Walking for the day: 9 km, 4-5 hours, ↑500 m ↓500 m or shorter option: 4 km, 1.5 hours, ↑150 m ↓150 m
  • Overnight in Grazalema (Hospedería Casa de las Piedras or similar)

Day 3: From Grazalema to Benaocaz | 12-16 km

Today you again have a choice of two different walks. Both take you through striking limestone landscapes and holm and cork oak groves, passing traditional ranches called “cortijos”. One option (Grazalema-Benaocaz) involves an ascent to the pass at Puerto Boyar and one section where route-finding can be more difficult, especially in foggy weather. The other option (Grazalema-Villaluenga) is longer in distance, but easier walking on nearly flat terrain (then taxi transfer from Villaluenga to Benaocaz). At the end of the day, you settle into your next accommodation situated in an authentic Andalusian white-washed village with its Moorish past and origins dating back to Roman times.

  • Walking for the day Grazalema – Benaocaz: 12 km, 5-6 hours, ↑500 m ↓550 m or easier option Grazalema – Villaluenga: 16 km, 5 hours, ↑350 m ↓325 m
  • Overnight in Benaocaz (Posada El Parral or similar)

Day 4: Benaocaz Circular Walk | 5-7 km

In the morning, you will do a short circular walk along a historic footpath to reach a popular nesting site for vultures, a fantastic viewpoint, which provides sweeping panoramas. In the afternoon, follow the old Roman Road down to the lively town of Ubrique, where you can have your dinner before returning to Benaocaz either on foot or by taking a taxi.

  • Walking for the day: 5-7 km, 2-3 hours, ↑200 m ↓200 m
  • Overnight in Benaocaz (Posada El Parral or similar)

Day 5: From Benaocaz to Montejaque | 17.5 km

After a short transfer to the starting point in Villaluenga del Rosario, situated below a steep rocky outcropping, you walk down to Llanos del Republicano – a valley with a deep limestone cave where the river disappears underground. Strolling between the Sierra de Libar and Sierra del Palo, you pass grey-white limestone hills and impressive karst formations on the way to Montejaque, a lovely town and the last “Pueblo Blanco” on your trip. The views and sculpture formations definitely make this longer walk well worth it.

  • Walking for the day: 17.5 km, 5.5-6.5 hours, ↑525 m ↓975 m
  • Overnight in Montejaque (Posada del Fresno or similar)

Day 6: Montejaque Circular Walks | 8-13 km

Again there are two options for today: The first is a beautiful circular route from Montejaque via El Hacho Peak, following wide gravel tracks through Río Campobuche valley and dirt paths through woodlands and olive orchards. The second walk takes you to “La Cueva de la Pileta”,  with its prehistoric cave paintings. To get there, you first have to walk down to Benaoján (which is only possible on surfaced roads, including 800 m on the main road), but then you have a beautiful section through quiet Mediterranean woodland, followed by a steep ascent on goat trails up to the cave. There is no circular route possible here, so you either have to retrace your steps, order a taxi at the Cave or walk back to Benaoján Estación for a Spanish lunch at Restaurant Molino del Santo. If you’re returning on foot, remember that the walk up to Montejaque is steep, and it might be very hot in the afternoon sun.

  • Walking for the day Montejaque – El Hacho Peak: 8 km, 3-3.,5 hours, ↑325 m ↓325 m or Montejaque – La Cueva de la Pileta: max 13 km, 3-5 hours, ↑325 m ↓625 m
  • Overnight in Montejaque (Posada del Fresno or similar)

Day 7: From Montejaque to Ronda | 12 km

A hike through tranquil rural landscapes, which starts out with a section on an ancient cobbled path. Next, you walk among fields and small family farms to reach the charming historic town of Ronda. 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 well worth a visit.

  • Walking for the day: 12 km, 4.5 hours, ↑440 m ↓420 m
  • Overnight in Ronda (Hotel Polo or similar)

Day 8: Departure

Your trip comes to an end today after breakfast.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in nice hotels and charming guesthouses, in double or twin private en-suite rooms. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour. 

Click to view default hotels

Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

All breakfasts are included in the programme. When no restaurant location is available on route lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops or you can pre-order a packed lunch at your hotel. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your accommodation or restaurants in the village near your hotel.

Difficulty & terrain

This walking holiday requires a normal fitness level; it is suited to regular walkers used to hiking in some rugged terrain. Moderate day walks of 3-5 hours a day on hilly areas, sometimes using stony paths (read more about difficulty grades). The routes on this trip are generally well marked, but marking can be poor in places, and you will need to follow the route notes and maps provided by us. We strongly advise you to follow the trails and never shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

You can start on any day of the week, from the beginning of January till the middle of June and from the beginning of September till the end of December. It is recommended to avoid November (rainy period) and from the middle of June until August’s end as it is too hot for walking. NB! Supplements will apply during Easter, Fair and 101 km race in Ronda (dates to be announced).

The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Malaga Airport (AGP).

By train or bus
  • Arrival in Grazalema: From Málaga airport, you can take a taxi, train or shuttle bus to Málaga city centre. Then travel from Málaga to Ronda by bus. Travel time is about 3 hrs. Transfer from Ronda bus station to your first accommodation is included in your package.
  • Departure from Ronda: Take a bus from Ronda back to Málaga. Travel time is about 3 hrs. From Málaga city centre you can reach the airport by bus, train or taxi.
  • For more information, visit Avanza BusDAMAS use the Omio planner above.

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 nights in charming hotels and country inns in private en-suite rooms
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Detailed digital holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps. Please note that the info pack is emailed to you prior to departure, and no printed documents are mailed or provided on-site
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel when changing hotels (1 piece up to 20 kg per person) – Days 3, 5 and 7
  • Transfers according to the programme: Day 1 – from Ronda bus station to Grazalema and on Day 5 in the morning to the start of the route
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Supplements during Easter, Fair and 101 km race in Ronda (dates to be announced)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request
  • Airport transfers
  • Supplements during Easter, Fair and 101 km race in Ronda (dates to be announced) will be manually added.

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