Aracena Hills walking holiday in Andalucia, Spain

“A tailor made walking holiday itinerary for a week, through Andalucia’s Aracena Hills. No car needed. Just pack your boots and head for Seville. The rest is a walk in the park. ”

Highlights

Seville | Sierra de Aracena | Six days of Andalucia walking | Special tasting menu meals | Cork oak forests | River valleys | Locally owned guesthouses | Bag transfers while you walk |

Description of Aracena Hills walking holiday in Andalucia, Spain

Sierra de Aracena - whitewashed villages - ancient pathways - olive groves - river valleys - chestnut and cork oak forests - self-guided walks - welcome meeting - friendly hosts - delicious food - local produce - small characterful inns.

Walk a route exclusive to us, through a little-known corner of Andalucía, following quiet paths from village to village through forests and hills. Enjoy well-paced days, with maps and walking notes provided, and relax as your bags are delivered ahead for you each day. Stay in comfortable village inns and hotels with tasty fresh food and a warm Andalucían welcome.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrive in Seville and transfer by road to the hills of the Sierra de Aracena. On arrival you meet your hosts, who give you an introduction to the region and talk you through the walks over a glass of sherry or wine.
Day 2:Walk a circular route today to get youf first look at the area. The path takes you through evergreen oak and chestnut forests and along a pretty river valley to a hillside village. Walk 11.5km, 4hrs, up 250m, down 250m. (B)
Day 3:Walk over the high sierra. Leaving your bags to catch their taxi, set off walking up into the high sierra and your next inn. The views over the natural park are enough to detain you en route. On arrival at your hotel you will find your bags waiting for you. Walk 12.5km, 4hrs, up 300m, down 320m. (B,D)
Day 4:Today's highly varied walking takes you up and down one valley before following a path through woodland and by the river to your third inn, set in an old water mill. Stop for a picnic en route and then enjoy a special tasting menu at a local restaurant this evening. Walk 15km, 5hrs, up 550m, down 500m. (B,L,D)
Day 5:Walk perhaps the prettiest route of the week, taking you through whitewashed villages with cobbled streets, through chestnut forests and over the ridge to the south side of the sierra. A delicious dinner is included tonight, prepared using local ingredients. Walk 19km, 5hrs, up 500m, down. (B,D)
Day 6:A circular walk from the hotel takes you along quiet ancient paths to a sleepy village with the most renowned restaurant of the region. Enjoy a memorable tasting menu and perhaps take a relaxing dip in the hammam spa. Walk 10.5km, 4hrs, up 400m, down 400m. (B,L)
Day 7:Complete your circuit. Walk through your last villages to return to Aracena. There's time to relax by the pool in the morning or kick back and celebrate on arrival as you reach the end of your walk. Walk 10.5km, 4hrs, up 400m, down 400m. (B)
Day 8:You have a transfer back to Seville today so you can linger in Aracena or head to the city early, before flying home. Alternatively extend your stay in Seville, head to the beach or explore more of Andalucía with us. (B)

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Departure information

This self-guided inn to inn departs any day to suit you between March to June and September to November, expect Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
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Responsible tourism

Aracena Hills walking holiday in Andalucia, Spain

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

A genuinely untouched corner of Andalucia, an area so little known that you see a way of life long forgotten elsewhere. Total peace and quiet in rural villages.

The route is exclusive to us. Our guides meet you, drive you to the hills and run through your holiday with you. They are there to support you in case of need at any time during your stay. You will learn about the area, the people and the environment with your guides. The walking trails which you will follow help to protect the traditional dehesa landscape, characterised by cork and holm oaks scattered across meadows grazed by free-range Ibérico pigs.

Community

You get to see and interact with the local community as you are staying in the smallest of villages, which see few visitors, local or from overseas. All hotels and restaurants are locally owned, so your holiday makes a direct difference to all of our partners.

3 Reviews of Aracena Hills walking holiday in Andalucia, Spain

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Reviewed on 01 Jun 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


This is the definition of an uncrowded walking holiday through peaceful fields, tracks, and ancient villages. The cork oaks, olives, and chestnut trees are unique to this area and were even more sensual in person than in the photos that inspired my trip. Ancient cobbled paths and churches or castles from the 12th and 13th centuries were culturally fascinating. And the people are most friendly and good hearted--one of my favorite hiking trips ever. I would love to return in the fall to see the harvests and foliage changes.

Also, Lucy and Angel at the accommodation (our local hosts and contact) were absolutely a blast, great cooks, very welcoming and helpful. They have created a lovely restful place there where I could see spending a month!!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Bring a compass, and get better hiking notes than those provided. Travelers checks are useless, and ATMs are everywhere, even in the tiny whitewashed villages! A little spanish goes a long way here and is needed in the small towns.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Benefitted local people, yes. Minimized impact yes, although having the bags delivered to each hotel seems a lot of petrol wasted when the same person drives out from the base hotel each day to deliver them. Why not have a local means of transport from each hotel to the next?

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent, but a bit frustrating in always trying to decipher the walking notes even with the better map provided by our fantastic local host, Lucy. The route is varied and the hiking distances are very achievable with several hours to spare before dinner each night.

Reviewed on 19 May 2006 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Best bit was the fantastic range and quantity of wild flowers and attractive, varied scenery.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Aim to walk most of the daily hike in the morning, before it is too hot, then spend a few hours over a long lunch in the shade.

3. Do you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?
Yes, the walking certainly did, as I spent a long time in a very small area, minimising travel impacts. The small hotels also were all locally run and created employment in relatively rural areas.

4. Any other comments?


Some stories to tell the grand children, I would not hesitate to recommend it, and indeed already have.

Reviewed on 07 Jan 2005 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Visiting/trekking in the gorge between Grazalema and Zahara where the Griffin Vultures nest.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Really try to make 100% sure of the total routes between locations if you are travelling from one area to another by car. Instructions seem to written by those who are familiar with the area and sometimes do not take account of strangers' unfamiliarity with the area. They make assumptions that can lead you astray.

3. Any areas for improvement?


Mainly '2' above. Also some walk instructions could be clearer, particularly at the start. I found that tourist staff at Grazalema were unable to speak English and their maps were not particularly descriptive and were of the wrong scale.

Read the operator's response here:

"Feedback relates to a slightly different holiday (Andalucia Self-Drive) and is therefore not strictly relevant to our Aracena walking holiday. However, with regards comments made, driving directions and walking notes are updated, on average, twice a year to take account of client feedback and changes in signage/road or path layout, etc. Staff in the Grazalema park office are supposed to speak English although it appears that on this particular day no English speaking staff were on duty. We will obviously keep our eye on the situation."

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