The coast, villages and countryside of the Eastern Algarve and then explore the treasures of this most westerly corner of Europe.
Fully explore the hills and trails behind Andalucia’s famous coastline by combining two great centres in a two week holiday!
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 13650
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain.
Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well.
Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.
Full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent.
These walks are in more remote areas such as Andorra or northern Portugal.
Similar to Grade 5, but with most of the walks at the upper level of ascent/descent, time and distance.
The village of Grazalema, nestling in a valley at 823m, is surrounded by beautiful and protected wooded mountains and rolling sierras, and is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque in Andalucia. Traditional whitewashed houses, narrow, steep cobblestone streets and picturesque vistas greet the visitor. The village lies within a natural park, the Sierra de Grazalema, which offers a wealth of walking trails, to rugged limestone peaks, through verdant mountain pastures filled with flowers in the spring and between delightful mountain villages such as Benaocaz and Benamahoma.
The extraordinary microclimate of the Grazalema region makes the Sierra region one of the most ecologically important in Spain. Mountains rise to over 1500m providing some beautiful scenery and highlights include the Sierra del Pinar, with its rare Pinsapo pines and spectacular views; ‘Goatherd’s Leap’, where you can often see many birds of prey and the varied and dramatic mountainous scenery as we cross the Sierra del Endrinal. The variety of terrain and scenery in such a small area is quite remarkable and is ideal for offering a two leader, two grade walking programme.
Grazalema provides a wonderful mix of walks in excellent countryside with returning to a traditional Spanish village each evening. Ronda, which sits atop the dramatic Tajo gorge, is close by and well worth a visit, not only for walking but also for the history, architecture and views.
Up in the hills, behind Spain's Andalucia coastline, you’ll find the dramatic Sierra de las Nieves, a natural park that covers 50m². The Park is home to an unusually rich variety of indigenous flora, including fir, ash and oak as well as the Pinsapares, and offers wonderful springtime flowers.
From the Moorish village of Tollox, on the edge of the Park, the trails take us along mountain paths to small villages, into valleys, through orchards and offering some spectacular views. This area suits itself perfectly to 2L2G walking.
Tolox is known for its thermal spa waters as well as its traditional welcome, where you’ll be able to experience a more rural lifestyle
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, 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.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
We arrive into Malaga airport and transfer by coach into the Andalucian countryside to the small village of Grazalema. Located in the Sierra de Grazalema, the village is a perfect base for exploring a green region of southern Spain. We stay at the Hotel Villa de Grazalema for seven nights' accommodation. Depending on our arrival time today, we may have an orientation walk of the village before dinner.
Transfer Time = 1h 30m
The extraordinary microclimate of the Grazalema region makes the Sierra region one of the most ecologically important in Spain. Mountains rise to over 1500m providing some beautiful scenery and highlights include the Sierra del Pinar, with its rare Pinsapo pines and spectacular views; ‘Goatherd’s Leap’, where you can often see many birds of prey and the varied and dramatic mountainous scenery as we cross the Sierra del Endrinal. The variety of terrain and scenery in such a small area is quite remarkable and is ideal for offering a two leader, two grade walking programme. Each day, there will be a grade 4 and a grade 6 walk on offer, quite often following the same route, but with added transport for the grade 4 walk, making this within grade.
Following are the walks we plan to offer during the week.
GRAZALEMA TO ZAHARA A long, pleasant and fairly easy cross country walk from Grazalema to the hilltop village of Zahara with its spectacular Moorish castle. Grade 6 walk all the way from the hotel with a 400m ascent and total length of 16 kilometres. Grade 4 will take taxis from hotel to start at the Fuente de Aguafria and reduces the ascent to 250m and the total length to 13.5 kilometres, while still offering some of the finest walking on the route. Both groups return together by coach from Zahara
GRAZALEMA TO BENAMAHOMA Grade 6 walkers follow the famous route of the Pinsapos across the restricted area of Natural Park, climbing steeply from Grazalema to the pass at Puerto de las Cumbres and then descending by a long easy track to Benamahoma. Approx. 15 kilometres, with 500 metres ascent and 800 metres descent. Grade 4 take taxis to shorten the initial steep ascent taking 250m of ascent and 2kms off the walk. Both groups return by coach from Benamahoma.
GRAZALEMA TO MONTEJAQUE A wonderful cross country walk through wild and dramatic scenery in the Sierra de Zurraque. Straightforward terrain underfoot offering remote walking. Grade 6 walks all the way from Grazalema, 16 kilometres, 350m ascent, 400m descent. Grade 4 by taxi to Puerto de los Alamillos on the A-372 taking 250m and 2.5kms off the walk. Both groups return by coach from Montejaque.
GRAZALEMA TO BENOACAZ VIA ENDRINAL For Grade 6 walkers, this is a challenging traverse on tough mountain terrain linking Grazalema to the charming village of Benoacaz. 13 kilometres and 550 metres ascent and descent. The grade 4 walk is an alternative, less commiting circular path, in the same area offering the beautiful meadows of llanos de Endrinal and returning to Grazalema in the afternoon. Still a little rocky underfoot but relatively short at 10kms and 400m of ascent.
GRAZALEMA TO VILLALENGUA DEL ROSARIO Grade 6 crosses the dramatic Sierra del Endrinal by a challenging route through holm oak forest and bare limestone pavements. Rough walking underfoot but the marvellous scenery makes the effort worthwhile. 15 kilometres, 550 metres ascent and descent. Grade 4 walkers reach Villalengua by an attractive, lower and more pastoral route through the meadows of Pagalalana east of the Endrinal. 13 kilometres, 250 metres ascent and descent. Both groups return by bus or coach.
Leaving Grazalema today, we make the transfer to Tolox, situated on the eastern side of the Sierra de las Nieves, where we stay at the Hotel Balneario for 7 nights' accommodation.
The village of Tolox is located on the edge of the Sierra de las Nieves Nature Park at the foor of the Sierra Blanca, or White Mountain. From here, we offer grade 4 and grade 6 walks each day.
LA REJÍA & LA VIRGEN WATERFALLS
Grade 6 walk starts from our hotel with a steep ascent into the Sierra de la Nieves natural park via footpaths through pine forests to the mountains overlooking the Rio de los Caballos valley with some spectacular views. We then walk to Malaga’s tallest waterfall, La Rejía. Then descend to the Rio de los Caballos and walk to La Virgen waterfall and it’s beautiful natural water pool for an optional swim. We then descend following the river down to Tolox passing eucalyptus forests, and some sections of peridotite rock, extremely rare and essential for holding the sulphur waters of Tolox’s historical spa. 15km and 500m ascent/descent. Grade 4 will take a shorter route, preferring wider tracks, where possible, to La Rejia and follow the Rio de los Caballos back to Tolox.
SIERRA & PINSAPOS
Today 4x4 transport will take us to Puerto Saucillo, 6km west of the village of Yunquera and at a height of over 1200m, and we’ll walk in the heart of the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park. Grade 6 walk will start with an ascent through the world’s largest Pinsapo fir forests to go over the tree line and head for some of the highest areas of the park, at just over 1700m, famous for the karst topography, with many of Spain's largest caves and sinkholes. We will have some spectacular views and come across centuries-old specimens of ’spooky’ Quejigos (Valencian Oak). We then descend to see the breath-taking La Caina limestone cliff and finish walking through the Pinsapo forest to reach Puerto Caucon for our transport back to Tolox. 17km 750m ascent 800m descent. Grade 4 will explore the Pinsapo forest through a wonderful network of ancient mule paths and head to the spectacular views from La Caina cliffs avoiding the higher paths.
JOROX & RIO GRANDE
Grade 6 walk starts at the beautiful quiet hamlet of Jorox walking though orange and avocado terraces and along the ‘Acequia del Moro’ irrigation canal with great views of the Jorox and Rio Grande valleys. We descend to the Rio Grande river and see some beautiful natural water pools before returning to Tolox over the hills covered with olive and almond groves. 17km 550m ascent end 750m descent. Grade 4 walk will start from the lovely village of Yunquera with its many natural springs down to the Rio Grande valley and over the hills to Tolox to cover the same area on wider tracks. 10km 170m ascent 500m descent.
LA CRUZ & PILONCILLO
Grade 6 walk starts with a stroll through Tolox’s charming moorish streets and then a steep climb to La Cruz shrine for beautiful views of the village. We go through olive groves and pine forests and on some beautiful mule tracks to the Piloncillo for great views of the Horcajos river valley and will come across the ruins of some lime kilns. As we descend towards the river we will walk along more ancient mule tracks past some dramatic limestone cliffs and huge centuries old carob trees, fig trees and finish with a walk along the Acequia del Hijar irrigation canal. Where we might be able to pick our own oranges and avocados. 14km 650M ascent/descent. Grade 4 walk will follow a similar route avoiding higher parts of the ridge and taking wider tracks for certain sections.
SIERRA BLANCA - OJÉN
The 'white mountains' get their name from the marble that is abundant in these parts. 4x4s will take us to the bJuanar country hotel, the start point for todays walk. Grade 6 will start crossing the peculiar plateau of Juanar with its olive groves and beautiful forests. We then climb to the ridges at around 1100m that dramatically drop all the way to the Mediterranean coast giving us spectacular views all the way to Gibraltar and the North African coast. We then descend back to the plateau and take a path with a long descent along the dry stream all the way to the charming village of Ojén via the botanical gardens. 14km 600m ascent 900m descent. Grade 4 will take a similar route and finish at the Juanar hotel avoiding the final, and somewhat challenging descent to Ojén. Transport back to Tolox by 4x4s.
We depart Tolox today and transfer to Malaga airport for our return flight to the UK
Departure dates for your selected tour
9th May 2021 - 23rd May 2021 (14 Nights)
10th Oct 2021 - 24th Oct 2021 (14 Nights)
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
The Villa de Grazalema is a short walk from the centre of the village, which is surrounded by Sierra del Endrinal Mountains. Traditional regional cuisine is offered in the hotel restaurant and there is a cafe/bar with a terrace overlooking the village.
Rooms are all en suite with air conditioning, and balcony or terrace offering mountain views. There is also an outdoor swimming pool at the hotel.
The three-star Hotel Balneario sits on the edge of the village of Tolox, in southern Spain, offers air conditioned rooms, a large garden and a swimming pool with terrace. The hotel is is a restored 19th-century building and offers a traditional feel with modern comforts.
The rooms have an elegant decor and are full equipped with en suite bathrooms, hairdryer, in room safe, a TV, wi-fi and minibar. Rooms have a balcony and views over the garden or surrounding mountains.
This Grade 4 moderate holiday includes full day walks at a moderate pace over hilly and mountainous terrain and some walks may include an element of sightseeing as well. Our full day's walks will probably include around 5 hours of walking. You will be on a wide range of surfaces, from rocky, sometimes steep, mountain footpaths to wide vehicle tracks. Expect ascents and descents of up to about 600m.
This Grade 6 moderate holiday includes full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent with walks in some remote areas. Walking is mainly on footpaths, with occasional sections of vehicle tracks on some walks. There are several, more adventurous sections, of steep and rough ground on narrow mountain paths. Walks will last around 6 hours and sometimes involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent.
Two Grades, Two Leaders, Two Walks
On ‘2x Walks, 2x Leaders, 2x Grades’ departures, where we provide two tour leaders and offer a choice of easier or harder walks each day, we hope to be able to accommodate your choice of walk. However, safety considerations do govern the sizes of groups in each walking grade; the minimum number of participants for a guided walk at a given grade and the maximum group size will be as indicated for the walk grade.
On most departures we are able to accommodate most clients' first choice of walk most of the time, however some flexibility and co-operation may be required. In unusual circumstances where a disproportionately high number of clients wish to walk at one grade, for safety reasons, we may not be able to provide you with your choice of walk each day. Although we will endeavour to accommodate as many clients’ choices as possible, it may be necessary for you to switch between higher and lower grade walks during the holiday. Any decision regarding group sizes and the participants in the day’s walking programme rests with our tour leader(s).
For safety reasons the minimum number of participants on a walk will be 4 plus the leader.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
The currency in Spain is the euro. Both of our centres on this holiday, Grazalema & Tolox have bank and ATM facilities.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
We fly from the London Gatwick to Malaga airport and return, on Spain's southern coast, with British Airways. On some dates Manchester & Birmingham flights may be available. Please contact us for details.
The transfer time from Malaga to Grazalema village is approximately 1.5 hours, Grazalema to Tolox is approximately 1.5 hours and Tolox to Malaga airport is about 1 hour
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.
Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Regional Flights (R2). We offer regional flight options on this holiday but due to the location and travelling time to our resort we operate just one transfer vehicle between the airport and hotel. This may mean that there is a wait at the overseas airport in one or both directions.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Brexit Passport Advice
You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.
If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance.
UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.
The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
Breakfast and dinners are included in the holiday charge. Breakfasts will be taken at our hotels. Dinners in Grazalema will be taken at a mix of our hotel and local restaurants and in Tolox we will eat all dinners at local restaurants. Lunches are not included.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Electricity in Spain
Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
The Map Shop
Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for Spain
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Spain. You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
From January 1st, 2021 UK travellers can continue to use their European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC) – which can last up to five years, until its expiry date, to gain access to medical assistance during your holiday. However, you will no longer be covered in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Travellers without a valid EHIC can apply for a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replaces the EHIC once it has been phased out. Please note however that the EHIC/GHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk/ehic
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
Visas and Passports
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