Andalucia walking & self drive holiday, Spain

“A beautifully thought out two week, tailor made holiday itinerary for those who want to drive through Andalucia but have plenty of serious hiking along the way too. ”

Highlights

Seville | Expert local guide | Local markets | Andalucia walking trails | Aracena Hills| Granada | Alhambra | Cordoba | Guided walks | Sierra Nevada foothills | GR7 waymarked way to Laroles | Ugijar | Cabo de Gata Natural Park | Volcanic caldera hike | Rodalquivir Botanical Gardens | Los Genoveses | Almeria

Description of Andalucia walking & self drive holiday, Spain

Lovely Seville – remote Aracena – Moorish Granada - dramatic Alpujarras – Cabo de Gata – great cities - high mountains – white villages - sandy beaches - delicious food – boutique hotels - private guiding - flexible itinerary

- Explore the diversity of Andalucia as you travel from west to east across the region

- Explore colourful Seville, with its elegant cathedral and winding streets bursting with authentic tapas corners

- Walk in the high hills and whitewashed villages of the Aracena Natural Park

- Wander through beautiful and historic Granada, discovering its Arabic legacy and the stunning Alhambra Palace

- Hike amongst the olive and almond trees in the tranquil eastern mountains of the Alpujarra

- Relax and walk along the dramatic coastal paths of the Cabo de Gata Natural Park

- Enjoy the freedom of self drive, with the advantage of two days' private guiding

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:Fly to southern Spain today, preferably direct to Seville. Seville is no place to have a car, so take a taxi to your charming hotel in the heart of the historic centre.
Day 2:Explore Seville. Stretch your legs today as you discover the layers in history in this attractive city. The enormous cathedral offers splendid views from the 'giralda' tower; the Alcazar and the Barrio Santa Cruz are within a short stroll. (b)
Day 3:To the hills. Pick up your hire car this morning and set off on the fairly short drive to the Aracena hills. Settle into your charming posada, where your hosts give you a warm welcome. Enjoy a drink on the terrace as the sun goes down, before a home-cooked meal showcasing local ingredients. (b,d)
Day 4:Guided sierra walk. After a typical breakfast of bread, fruit, olive oil and honey, set off directly from the hotel with one of your hosts. One lovely option takes you along a river gorge and through the cork oak meadows, where the famous pigs of the area are fed. Relax back at your hotel with a dip in the pool this afternoon. (b)
Day 5:Visit the Doñana National Park. Travel south towards Vejer, stopping en route in the wonderfully atmospheric village of El Rocío en route to visit the bird-rich wetlands of the Doñana National Park. (b)
Day 6:Explore the coast of Cadiz. Take a whale tour in Tarifa or see the Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia.
Day 7:Stop off in the wonderful city of Ronda on your way to the heart of Andalucia, the Sierra Subbetica.
Day 8:Walk through olive groves around your hotel. There are many walks to choose from.
Day 9:Cordoba. Perhaps visit this wonderful city, under an hour drive from your hotel.
Day 10:Pack up and make your way to Granada today. You can take a guided walking tour of the Albaicín neighbourhood of Granada this afternoon.
Day 11:Visit the Alhambra. Explore the gorgeous patios, gardens and fountains of the Alhambra Palace, one of the most iconic Moorish buildings in Spain.
Day 12:Drive down to the coast at Cabo de Gata and stay in a tiny village near the cape. (b)
Day 13:Explore Cabo de Gata. Have a wonder around the beautiful coastal scenery today at your own pace.
Day 14:Walk along the coast. Hike to the top of an extinct volcano for wonderful views along the coast, or relax on one of the lovely beaches such as Los Genoveses. (b)
Day 15:Travel home. Drive to the nearby airport of Alemeria. Drop off your hire car before your flight home.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Andalucia walking & self drive holiday, Spain

Environment

On this holiday your hotels are owned and run to the direct benefit of both their local communities and environments. In Mairena the hotel sources its food locally from small, independent producers. By staying in local hotels of this nature, and eating in local restaurants, you will be contributing to the purchase of local produce, and thereby helping to maintain the agricultural output which so defines the area.

We have selected the hotels, particularly in the Alpujarra and Cabo de Gata, based in no small part on their sustainable credentials. The majority of the energy for the hotel in Mairena is produced by solar power, while the water is mainly sourced from the property’s own well. In Cabo de Gata your hotel again has a very low impact on the environment. It also runs largely on solar power. Waste water is recycled and used for the toilets as well as for any watering of the garden that is required in this arid area. Given the potential for water shortage in these parts, the hotel does not have a swimming pool. The buildings have been constructed using only sustainable materials, for example they have used cork for insulation purposes. Low energy lighting is used throughout and can also be controlled centrally to ensure sustainable usage.

Community

We are passionate about helping our clients see a slice of the ‘real’ Spain, and this holiday has very much been designed with that in mind. We are extremely mindful that in visiting and enjoying authentic areas, our clients should both understand any issues facing their hosts and contribute positively to the destination with their visit.

The large majority of this holiday (other than the two nights in Granada) is spent amongst small rural communities, who have had to contend with emigration to the cities, unemployment and falling produce prices. When our owner was researching this trip, he was intrigued to find that the excellent local olive oil is still produced with a traditional press – one of only two remaining in Andalucia - which produces the oil in the same way used since Roman times. However, this pays so little that many of the farmers take payment in oil rather than wages. Visitors to the village help to sustain interest in such traditional practices and give them a chance to survive.

Mairena is the sort of place where everybody knows everybody else, and we make sure our clients are well informed and received during their stay. The local guides we employ on this holiday ensure that our clients get the best experience from their local knowledge, and consequently support local businesses. Similarly, in Cabo de Gata, we provide clients with detailed information on locally owned restaurants.

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