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Natural Parks of Southern Spain

from £1425
Fully explore the hills and trails behind Andalucia’s famous coastline by combining two great centres in a two week holiday!
  • Product Code 13650
  • Holiday Type Holidays With Two Grades Of Walking, New Holidays
  • Grade

    Grades 1, 2 & 3 - Leisurely grades

    Grades 4, 5 & 6 - Moderate grades

    Grades 7, 8 & 9 - Challenging grades

    Moderate, Grade 4, Grade 6
  • Holiday Duration 14 Nights

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 waymarked 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

This is holiday is a combination of our one week holiday Sierra de Grazalema and our one week holiday Sierra de las Nieves

Holiday Highlights

  • Take the opportunity to fully explore the hills and trails behind Andalucia’s famous coastline by combining two great centres.
  • See many birds of prey and the varied and dramatic mountainous scenery as we cross the Sierra del Endrinal.
  • Visit Ronda, atop the dramatic Tajo gorge, for the history, architecture and views.
  • Enjoy the traditional welcome of two Andalucian villages nestled within the rolling sierra parks.
  • Visit the famous spa "Fuente Amargosa" in Tolox.
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 from Gatwick to Malaga (British Airways, Easyjet or Charter)
      Airport transfers
      Half board en suite accommodation with some dinners at local restaurants
      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 4 and 6

  1. Day 1

    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.

  2. Day 2 to 7

    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.

  3. Day 8

    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.

  4. Day 9 to 14

    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.

     

  5. Day 15

    We depart Tolox today and transfer to Malaga airport for our return flight to the UK

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Gatwick to Malaga (British Airways, Easyjet or Charter)
  • Arrival transfers by road c.1hr30mins
  • We can offer regional flight options but due to the location and travelling time to our resort we operate just one transfer coach between the airport and our hotel to coincide with our main group. This may mean that there is a wait at the overseas airport in one or both directions.
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights this may be Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Most low-cost carriers also have extra legroom seats.

Trip Map

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Our Accommodation on this holiday

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday. If you are on a multi-centre holiday, these are highlights of the places where we stay. Please refer to your Holiday Information sheet (which can be found under View Departures & Book), for your departure date and for all your accommodation details.

Hotel Balneario de Tolox

The three-star Hotel Balneario in the village of Tolox, 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. Breakfasts are taken at the hotel, in the restaurant, with dinners at local restaurants.


Villa de Grazalema

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.


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