Unmentioned in any of the guide books for Southern Spain, the town of Competa is a hidden gem. Ideally situated, there's a network of paths, passing olive groves and orchards.
See what's planned
- Enjoy hill walking in the Sierra Almijara and Sierra Tejeda with fantastic views over the valleys.
- Admire the traditional Andalucian Pueblos Blancos dotted throughout the landscape.
- Explore the charming town of Competa with its magnificent 16th century church and shaded plazas.
- Discover Moorish architecture.
- Walk to the hillside town of Frigiliana with valley and distant sea views.
- Visit the charming villages, giving us a glimpse of a more traditional part of Andalucia.
Picture white villages perched on imposing hillsides reflecting the warm rays of the sun against a backdrop of the Sierra Almijara. Discover orchard valleys, olives groves and rural life as you make your way through the labyrinth of cobbled streets on your way up into the high country for panoramic views with Ramblers Walking Holidays.
The Andalucian town of Cómpeta is barely mentioned in any of the guidebooks on southern Spain, and the benefits are clear to see. One of the famous white villages, located in the Axarquia region, and steeped in Moorish history, Cómpeta remains an active farming town producing almonds, olives, avocados and even its own wine. It has a charming, thriving old town with two chapels, the one of San Sebastian and the other of San Anton, both from the 18th century. However, its magnificent 16th century Church of Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion dominates the town with its belfry towering over the Plaza Almijara, the main square and focal point of Competa.
There’s a good network of footpaths in the region enabling us to mix short and long walks into the hills, stopping at charming villages, giving us a glimpse of a more traditional part of Andalucia. Once in the high country, we have frequent wonderful panoramic views and occasional glimpses of the Mediterranean in the distance
Local transport allows us to wander further afield; you may like to take the bus on the free day into Malaga to explore and shop in this bustling and pleasant city.
- Return flights from Gatwick to Malaga (British Airways, Easyjet or Charter)
- Airport transfers by road
- Half board en suite accommodation
- All local transport costs
What's not included?
- Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
- Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
- Discretionary tips
- Optional excursions
- Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)
This is a Grade 5 holiday which includes walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent. The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground. Some walks will involve as much as 800m of ascent and descent and daily mileage between 8-10 miles. The walks are characterised by excellent views and airy lunch spots whilst there are plenty of opportunities to sample local food and drink. Our accommodation is located at approx. 600m above sea level and the maximum altitude reached on our walks is 1211m.
Our bottom line is happy travellers, and to that end we trust our tour leaders to use the itinerary below as a basis for providing you with a great holiday. We expect our leaders to make adjustments to the itinerary if the weather, group ability or other local conditions make that necessary. There are normally more options available to our leaders than those listed below and one or more of these options may well be chosen. All distances, heights & timings are approximate.
Hotel Balcon de Competa
Arrive at Malaga Airport and transfer by road to (1.5 hours) to the village of Competa and our hotel, the Hotel Balcon de Competa, where we stay for 7 nights' accommodation. If flight times allow, there will be a short introductory village walk before dinner.
Day 2 to 7
Day 2 to 7
Hotel Balcon de Competa
Located in the Axarquia region of Andalucía, Competa is approx. seven hundred metres above sea level and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, countryside and Mediterranean, and is best known to many for its locally produced wine. The white-washed village is fascinating to explore with its labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets that date back to Moorish times. Our walks programme for the week takes us into valleys, with walks alongside streams, to hill tops offering panoramic views over the countryside side and to the mountains beyond as well as to Andalucian white-washed villages. This area has a strong Moorish influence as can be seen in the houses, cobbled streets and village fountains.
An example of the walks we plan to include in our programme (dependent on weather conditions and the ability of the group) are as follows:
Frigiliana: A gentle walk along the valley of the river Torrox, with wonderful scenery and views down to the coast. We visit the “lost village” of Acebuchal, and there is time to explore the whitewashed inland village of Frigiliana before returning to Competa.
We return to Malaga Airport for the our flight to the UK.
Walks & Excursions
The walks from Competa are mostly on tracks and good paths with typical walking times of between four and six hours. Our routes take us across cultivated land, into valleys and on to higher ridges for sweeping views of the Sierras and the coast. We proceed at a steady pace with time to visit picturesque villages on the way.
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.
Currency in Spain
The currency in Spain is the euro.
There is a bank and an ATM in Competa.
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.
Tour Leaders & Local Guides
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.
Your Travel Details
We travel from London Gatwick to Malaga with British Airways. Birmingham and Manchester to Malaga with Jet2 or Easyjet may be available on some dates -please ask for details. Details of your baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents sent to you approximately 10 days before departure.
Travel in Spain will be by road. The transfer time between airport and hotel is approximately 75 minutes.
Note: There is only one coach transfer on this holiday. The coach will wait for all parties to arrive before departing the airport for the hotel. Similarly on the return journey, the coach will transfer all parties together from the hotel to the airport. This may result in a wait at the airport for one or more of the parties, sometimes without a Ramblers Walking Holidays Tour Leader.
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.
Passports and Visas
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.
General travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel
and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.
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.
Continental breakfast and dinners are included and will be provided by the hotel. Dinners are three courses, and on one evening we have a food and wine pairing evening, with local Andalucian wines. Lunches are not included, and can be bought using the banks, supermarkets and bakery that are within 400 yards of the hotel.
Footwear & Kit List
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.
Footwear As Hand Luggage
We recommend that you either wear your walking boots or shoes or pack them and some waterproofs in your hand luggage as in the unlikely event that your hold luggage is delayed, you will still be able to participate in the holiday programme.
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:
- Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
- Lightweight quick-drying trousers
- Walking T-shirt/shirts
- Walking socks
- Fleece or jumper
- Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
- Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
- Swimwear (if appropriate)
- Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
- Day sack liner
- Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
- Basic first aid kit
- Walking poles (should you find them useful)
- Sit mat
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:
- Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
- Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
- Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
- Holiday money
- Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
- Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
- Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
- Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
- Your travel insurance details
- Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
- Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
- A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
- Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about
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
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.
Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information
Maps, Guidebooks & More
A useful map for this holiday is: Axarquia 1:40,000 Tour and Trail map
You may find the Spanish National Tourist Office website at www.spain.info/en_GB/ and the website for tourism in Andalucia, www.andalucia.org/en/ useful for planning your trip.
To learn more about rural life in the Andalucian hillside villages, Chris Stewart's books, Parrot in the Pepper Tree and Driving Over Lemons very good reads.
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
Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:
Find out more
UTC +02:00, UTC +01:00
2.5hrs from UK
Visas and Passports
No Visa Required
Avg. Rain: 59mm
Avg. Rain: 51mm
Avg. Rain: 47mm
Avg. Rain: 49mm
Avg. Rain: 42mm
Avg. Rain: 27mm
Avg. Rain: 14mm
Avg. Rain: 18mm
Avg. Rain: 37mm
Avg. Rain: 61mm
Avg. Rain: 69mm
Avg. Rain: 69mm
Staying Healthy On Holiday
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. We do not
insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately
insured for the nature of your holiday. 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.
See our brochure or website for further advice regarding holiday insurance.
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.
Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
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
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.
Staying In Touch
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.
We welcome all comments about our holidays and value ideas for the future. If you have provided us with an email address we will invite you to complete an online questionnaire or to add feedback to our page on the independent review site 'Feefo'.
Please note that this Holiday Information sheet may be periodically updated and reissued.
In most cases the revisions will be minor and the overall nature
of the holiday will remain unchanged. Should we make a major change
to your holiday arrangements between you booking your holiday and
your date of travel we will notify you to specifically draw your
attention to any significant change.
You may wish to review the latest version of this Holiday Information Sheet online prior to travel.
Please note that any advertised offers, benefits or initiatives may be discontinued at any time.
Ramblers Walking Holidays
Our office is open and our Sales & Reservations team are available to speak to you from:
- 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday
- 9.15am to Midday on Saturdays
- 9.15am to 3pm on Saturdays in January & February only
Please quote your Booking Reference number and Tour Code whenever contacting us.
We wish you an enjoyable holiday!
Our holiday walking grades
Full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent.
The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground.
Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding.
Discover more about our walking grades