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Ambles in the Alpujarras

from £1385
Immerse yourself in this hidden region of rural Andalucia, sampling the food, learning how to cook and walking through olive groves and vineyards.
  • Product Code 13950
  • Holiday Type Sightseeing And Walking Holidays, Experiential Holidays
  • Grade Grade 3
  • Holiday Duration 7 Nights

Guided Walking Holidays - Ambles in Alpujarras

When the Moors were expelled from Granada, they retreated to the Alpujarras, the southern foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Immerse yourself in this hidden region of rural Andalucia, sampling the food, learning how to cook and walking through olive groves and vineyards with Ramblers Walking Holidays. Peppers and corn dry in the sun against white-washed walls – this is simply another way of living.

We fly to Malaga and transfer to Mairena, a small rural village on the sunny southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada. On our first full day we’ll walk to Jubar to visit its church and learn how the area has been influenced by the Moors and the Civil War. We’ll then walk to Laroles Valley for some wonderful views. We have a morning touring the Finca at Mairena and an optional yoga class before we forage for ingredients for our outdoor paella cookery demonstration with local cooks, Sole and Conchi (who also cook your delicious food each evening!).

We have a day visiting Almeria where we’ll visit the fish market and food hall, the Alcazaba and a traditional tapas bar – there may also be time to sample some Moroccan cakes. Another day we walk to the market town of Ugijar for a tapas lunch followed by a walk to an award winning bodega for a wine tour.  One evening we will visit the Mairena olive mill and have a presentation on local olive production and farming.

Our final day will be a visit to Yegen, former home of writer and Hispanist Gerald Brennan, author of ‘South from Grenada’. We’ll walk above Yegen, spend time in the village itself and see where the Sierra ham is dried, gaining an insight into the production of this local delicacy.

Holiday Highlights

  • Alpujarran cuisine
  • Walking in Laroles Valley for views across the Sierra Nevada.
  • Enjoying traditional tapas in Almeria.
  • Enjoying local produce on various artisan visits.
  • Authentic Alpujarran accommodation in a pueblo blanco
  • Visiting Gerald Brenan's Spain
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Return flights Gatwick to Malaga (British Airways)
      Airport transfers.
      En suite accommodation with breakfast and dinners at the hotel.
      All meals with heart breakfasts, picnic or tapas lunches and superb dinners
      All local transport costs.
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised program, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

This departure: Grade 3

  1. Day 1

    Arriving at Malaga airport, we make the transfer by private coach to the village of Mairena, located in the Sierra Nevada. Depending on the arrival time we may have an orientation walk round the village, with a climb to a look out point to see ancient threshing circles. We'll have some pre-dinner drinks and a talk about the week ahead.

  2. Day 2

    On the first day we walk along the way marked route GR7 for half an hour up to the neighbouring village of Jubar. This tiny traditional hamlet boasts the oldest church in the area which dates back to the 12th Century and was both a mosque and synagogue before it became a church.

    While we enjoy the view our host will tell us a little about the history of the Alpujarras and its Moorish heritage before going in to see the ancient murals inside. The walk then continues for a couple of hours walking up the Laroles valley, along a waterway under the ancient chestnuts and down into Laroles itself. After a picnic en-route we end our walk with refreshments at a local bar before returning to Mairena. Approx 11.5kms, 4-4.5 hours,

  3. Day 3

    Today starts with a walk across the terraces down to the Las Chimeneas farm. Here, amongst the almond and olive trees is a shelter and yoga Shala which makes a great base from which to explore the several hectares of land picking seasonal produce and with luck, the foraging of the makings of our salad for lunch.

    For those who would like to participate, there will be an hour's introduction to yoga at the Shala. Lunch is a traditional paella cooked outside with the Las Chimeneas chefs. After a suitable pause to digest, we finish the day with a leisurely stroll back to the village. Approx. 5kms, 2 hours from Mairena to the Shala

  4. Day 4

    Today's trip is down to the little known but fascinating city of Almeria. The 90 minute drive takes us through the wine and orange growing area of the Alpuarras to arrive mid morning with time to explore the city's amazing food, the fish market and to enjoy coffee and traditional churros.

    We lunch at an authentic tapas bar in the old town and walk up to the Alcazaba, which offers panoramic views over the port and the Mediterranean sea. We finish the day with mint tea and cakes at one of the city's many Moroccan tea shops before heading back to Mairena and the mountains.

  5. Day 5

    Nestled in the valley approx. 400 metres below Mairena is the market town of Ugijar. It is a pleasant downhill walk through the almond and olive groves and through the amazing sandstone rock formations and cliff faces. We have time to explore the small but insightful local museum before enjoying a light lunch of tapas. In the afternoon we visit the award winning bodega of Buenavista Veleta wine for a tour and wine tasting. Approx. 6kms, 1.5-2 hours

  6. Day 6

    Heading out west from Mairena, once again on the long distance trail GR7, we come to the old silk producing village of Valor. Here we will visit Lola and her traditional village house where she still works on her ancient family looms to produce brightly coloured carpets. As well as an explanation of the silk industry and demonstrations you can also try your hand at spinning and weaving. After a picnic lunch under the old Moorish bridge next to the stream we continue with our walk and before dinner we will pop in to say hello to Adolfo at Mairena's local olive mill with a talk about olive production, olive oil and farming. Approx. 7.5kms, 3.5 hours, Ascent 500m/ Descent 622m

  7. Day 7

    On our last day we drive 20 minutes to the village of Yegen, home of the British writer Gerald Brenan for much of the century after the first world war. On the fringe of the Bloomsbury set, Brenan was visited by both Virginia Woolf and Lytton Strachey as he describes in this book South of Granada, an exceptionally good introduction to life and traditions in the Alpujarras.

    We are able to see his house before walking La Ruta de Gerald Brenan, which is a dramatic two hour loop beneath the village. We finish the day with a visit to a Sierra ham drying centre with shop before heading back for our final evening. Approx. 3.5kms, 2 hours, Ascent/descent 300m

  8. Day 8

    Transfer to Malaga airport for our return flight

Travel Details

  • Arrival transfer by road (c2hrs 30mins).
  • Flights: Gatwick-Malaga, British Airways.
  • We can offer regional flight options and often there will be up to two transfer vehicles (which may include coaches, minibuses or taxis) from the airport to the hotel and vice versa which will minimise any waiting time at the overseas airport.

Trip Map

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Las Chimeneas, Mairena

We stay at the delightful Las Chimeneas in Mairena which has been lovingly restored by its British owners. The collection of buildings exudes rustic charm and quirky characteristics, with rooms offered in the main house or in one of the three adjoining houses. Wonderful views  can be see from all buildings across the hills to the sea in the distance. Excellent breakfasts and dinners made with local produce are taken here. Lunches are also included in the holiday cost., and maybe a scrumptious picnic made by the hotel, a freshly made paellea or tapas in a traditional restaurant.


Casa las Chimeneas is an extremely spacious house which has been restored in the local style and is furnished with authentic antiques throughout. All rooms have a small balcony or patio and are en suite. They are decorated in a traditional style and offer great comfort. There are plenty of nooks and crannies to sit and relax with a book, a small plunge pool and a terrace with views.

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