Andalucia Spain Walking Tour

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Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
8 days
From: $ 2,698 $ 337 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • Follow Roman roads or old mule path
  • Visit Picos de Aroche Natural Park
  • Discover the pretty village of Corteconcepcion
  • Explore Cortelazor
  • Sample several varieties of olive oil 

Short Description

Southern Spain is a true walking destination on our Andalucia Spain Walking Tour. With extensive trail networks winding through the bucolic Sierra de Aracena—a European-designated sustainable park, connecting simply beautiful historical villages of whitewashed ancient homes gathered around town squares, Renaissance churches, and perched ancient Moorish castles.

A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Trip Type Self-guided / Independent Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Seville
End City Seville

Trip Includes

  • Breakfast daily, three lunches (Days 4, 5 & 7), and three dinners (Days 4, 6 & 7); beverages not included
  • Goat cheese tasting
  • Tasting of jamon and charcuterie and visit at authentic producer of Ibérico ham
  • Olive oil tasting
  • All accommodations while on tour
  • Local pre-paid cell phone
  • Local transfers as noted in the itinerary
  • Luggage transfers between the hotels
  • Detailed route notes and maps
  • 24-hour emergency service

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Seville

Upon arrival in Seville, you check into your boutique hotel, located near the historical center. One of Europe’s most authentic urban cores, Seville contains three UNESCO World Heritage sites—the Alcázar palace complex, the Cathedral, and the General Archive of the Indies. For dinner, you can venture out nearby to some of the country’s best tapas bars.

Day 2: Transfer to Aracena

Transfer to Aracena.

Town exploration and cheese tasting Today you depart Seville and drive north to the Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Natural Park, a protected range of hills stretching in an arc north of Seville and containing bucolic landscapes of oak and cork forest alternating with valleys, ancient villages, and Moorish forts and castles. Your destination and home for two nights is the region’s capital, Aracena, a town of 8,000 inhabitants, over which stand the ruins of a 12th-century Moorish fortress, which was in large part destroyed by Napoleon’s army in 1812. The entire town center has been declared “of Cultural Interest” for its many historical buildings and monuments, lovely squares, museums, and churches. Your local Representative, Ángel, guides you on a short exploration of the town before meeting an artisan cheese-maker’s shop for a tasting. If you wish, there is time to visit the stunning cave system of the Gruta de las Maravillas before dinner on your own.

Day 3: Corteconcepcion loop

Corteconcepcion loop; 9.6 miles, easy to moderate, 820-ft. elevation gain and loss. Tasting and visit at authentic producer of Ibérico ham.

This introductory walk takes you out to the pretty village of Corteconcepcion, passing farms, gurgling streams, olive groves and hillsides where you can see the famous Ibérico pigs roaming freely. In the village of Corteconcepcion you meet up with Ángel again for an interpretive visit of a small, family run finca. This farm specializes in rearing Ibérico pigs—the famous black pigs that produce the most exclusive hams in the world. You tour the extensive grounds, learning about the flora and the fascinating dehesa ecosystem and its associated farming process. Afterward, you enjoy a tasting of their mouth-watering hams. There is plenty of time for a casual lunch in the village before walking back to Aracena this afternoon, following a different path, giving you a new appreciation for this diverse landscape. Later you can stroll out and explore the many plazas of Aracena, with ample cafés and restaurants to choose from for an evening drink and dinner.

Day 4: Aracena to Cortelazor

Aracena to Cortelazor; 7 miles, easy to moderate, 985-ft. elevation gain, 1,050- ft. elevation loss.

You depart Aracena this morning and stop in the village to pick up picnic supplies, before venturing out into the countryside of chestnut groves and small farms. The last part of your walk is on ancient cobbled pathways—part of the medieval network of paths across Spain known as the Caminos Reales or “royal roads”. Your destination is Cortelazor, a charming village of just 300 inhabitants dating back to Roman times and surrounded by cork and chestnut forests. You may wish to enjoy a drink at one of the three bars in the main square, all serving local tapas-style food, as you watch a bit of local life. As throughout Andalucia, the locals are friendly and welcoming, and in the center you also find a shop, a 16th-century church, and a small crafts museum.

Day 5: Cortelazor loop

Cortelazor loop; 8.7 miles, moderate with challenging sections, 1,640-ft. elevation gain and loss.

Today, a loop walk takes you out through some of the prettiest and most remote parts of the hills. As well as the cultivated woodlands of the dehesa, the mixed forest and pastureland typical of southern Spain and Portugal, you walk through forests and along fertile river valleys between small villages. Along the way, you stop for a picnic lunch in the shade of a chestnut tree looking out over the forested mountains. The Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche nature park has been recognized by the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism. With more than 600 miles of trails, this park in the foothills of the broader Sierra Morena contains archaeological traces pre-dating the Romans. The area is also teeming with bird life, including birds of prey such as an important population of black vultures, and golden, short-toed, and Bonelli’s eagles. Almost every village church is topped with a stork’s nest, and the endangered black stork is found here. Wandering past streams, sightings of heron and egrets are also common. For dinner in this authentic pueblo, you walk with your host to one of the village bars for a simple but tasty meal—a true taste of the local life.

Overnight: Cortelazor

Day 6: Cortelazor to Alájar

Cortelazor to Alájar; 7.8 miles, easy to moderate, 1,310-ft. elevation gain, 985-ft. elevation loss.

Today’s walk takes you first through oak forests to the pretty village of Fuenteheridos. Passing through dehesa, you see farmers working both the land and the trees—producing honey, picking mushrooms and gathering chestnuts, while also harvesting cork and bringing the animals to graze on acorns. In Fuenteheridosyou can rest in the picturesque square and have lunch at one of the many bars and restaurants. From here your path takes you uphill to cross the Sierra through one of the most bountiful chestnut forests of the region. Once at the top, views extend south over the village of Alájar—today’s destination—and surrounding mountains, and on a clear day, all the way to sea. A narrow wooded path leads you all the way to the doorstep of your lovely hotel set high in the hills above the village. You can relax with a drink on the terrace or enjoy a dip in the pool before dinner in the warm dining room.

Day 7: Olive oil tasting. Alájar loop

Olive oil tasting. Alájar loop; 6.8 miles, moderate, 1,310-ft. elevation gain and loss.

This morning starts with a delicious breakfast before you set off down the hill and into the village of Alájar to meet Ángel at his home—a charming posada that he and his wife Lucy have meticulously restored over several years. Both are avid cooks, and one of their passions is olive oil, and you discover their extensive collection as you sample several varieties. As you continue walking, you notice the design of cobbled “door mats” in front of the traditional whitewashed houses, unique to this village. The route then continues through the semi-abandoned hamlet of Los Madroneros and into the beautiful forested countryside leading to Linares de la Sierra. In the village, you may encounter locals still gathering at the communal lavanderia to wash their clothes. In contrast, it is also the location of one of the best modern restaurants in the region, making it a perfect stop for lunch (based upon availability). This afternoon, you walk uphill for a short distance before emerging into the beautiful grounds surrounding your hotel, or decide to celebrate the week’s accomplishments with a visit to the local hammam and take a taxi back instead (at your own expense).

Day 8: Departure

Departure

After breakfast at your inn, you depart by private transfer from Alájar to Seville (1½ hours).

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Price Per Day: $ 337 per day
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Andalucia Spain Walking Tour

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Wonderful!

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Value5.0
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Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Wonderful and accommodating hosts, and first class, fantastic trips. The Walking Connection with Gene and Jo Ann truly make traveling everything it is meant to be. I’ve been on two trips with them and am looking to book my next amazing adventure!
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Independent

Accomodations

Sevilla

In the historic heart of Seville, with outstanding views of the Giralda bell tower and the city’s cathedral, this four-star hotel occupies a beautifully restored 18th century palace centered around a typical Andalucian inner courtyard with a plush and inviting seating area. Spacious individually decorated guestrooms have classical and wrought iron furnishings with terracotta floors and stylish tiled bathrooms. A rooftop terrace offers fine Sevillean cuisine alfresco with arguably one of the city’s most romantic views. An outdoor terrace and tapas bar, elegant interior restaurant, and library lounge also make up the hotel.

 

Aracena

A four-star hotel located just below the Aracena castle occupies a carefully restored 17th-century convent, retaining historic elements combined with modern amenities. Guest rooms are contemporary with exposed wood and stone, crisp fabrics and neutral tones. An on-site spa offers whirlpool and swimming pools and a selection of treatments, while an outdoor saltwater pool is surrounded by terraced grounds and chaise lounges. The on-site restaurant features traditional and updated versions of the region’s distinct cuisine and fresh products.

 

Cortelazor

Occupying a large traditional home in the small village of Cortelazor, this charming guesthouse has been beautifully renovated with late 19th-century reclaimed and restored furnishings and décor, much from England, from late- Victorian stained glass to ceramic stoves. Spacious guest rooms have been individually decorated, each in a unique style accommodating the building’s original architecture, featuring late-Victorian, William Morris, or Art Deco pieces, natural wood and colorful tile, and comfortable and eclectic furniture. Your host, Lola, makes this private residence feel like a home away from home as soon as you arrive—with her warm welcome and the authentic family-style meals servedin the large kitchen. An honesty bar is available in one of the two cozy commonareas, or you may choose to relax at one of the local bars on the village square, just a few steps away.

 

Alájar

In the heart of the Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Natural Park, this luxury rural hotel—environmentally constructed within the existing landscape with aged tiles and brick—has just seven guestrooms surrounding a typical Andalucian patio with orange trees and a goldfish pool. In addition to private terraces, spacious guestrooms have king beds, terracotta tile floors, classic furnishings with muted pastel colors, seating area, and desk. The posada, the traditional farm building, also includes two fireside sitting rooms, two covered terraces, and an outdoor swimming pool. In keeping with the rural character of the inn, guestrooms are not equipped with televisions or telephones. Please note that this family-owned hotel has a friendly dog on the property.

Cancellation Policy:

Should you have to cancel your tour the following terms will apply: Due to the exclusive and small group nature of this adventure, all cancellation requests will incur a $300 per person administrative fee.

For cancellations from 91 -120 Days prior to the trip: deposit is forfeited.

For cancellations from 61 -90 days prior to the trip 40% penalty of the total trip cost.

For Cancellations and no shows 60 days before trip, no refunds.            

No refunds will be made for any unused portion of the tour.

All cancellations must be made in writing and delivered to The Walking Connection via e-mail and/or United States Post Office. Your cancellation date is the date your notice is received and confirmed by The Walking Connection, not the postmark date.

Should this trip be cancelled by The Walking Connection: 100% Refund.

Additional Information:

Activity Level:
This tour is one of our Self-Guided Walking Adventures, rated easy to moderate, with an average of 6 to 9 miles per day. There are daily ascents and descents, with elevation gains and losses up to 1,640 feet. The walks are on a variety of terrain, from cobbled streets to ancient Roman stone roads, old mule paths, packed-earth or gravel single tracks, and country roads. Footing in places includes loose stones and may require attention. Immersed in the scenery of the Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche nature park—a combination of hills and valley, some forested, some covered with open pasture interspersed with cork and oak trees—you walk between ancient villages of whitewashed houses presided over by Moorish castles and forts, mosques, and Renaissance churches. You encounter friendly Andalucians who keep local culture and festivals vibrant. Exuberant Seville, with its three UNESCO World Heritage sites, is the tour starting and ending point.


Itinerary:

Please note that the details of this itinerary are subject to change. Many of the planned activities are organized according to availability, events or seasonal dates, appropriate weather conditions, schedules of hosts, or the discretion of our guides. We make every effort to provide the experience described in the itinerary with the understanding that some things may change.

 

Departures:
This tour is available Tuesday through Saturday, on request, from March 20 through June 30, and September 1 through November 10, 2015.
The trip begins in Seville, Spain and trip ends in Seville, Spain.

Trip ID#:

AudSpaWal

Trip Excludes

  • International / Domestic airfare
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Personal expenses

Meals Included:

Breakfast Daily, 3 Lunches (Days 4, 5 & 7), and 3 Dinners (Days 4, 6 & 7)

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