New for 2020

14-Night Las Alpujarras & Andalucia Guided Walking Holiday

Pampaneira and Capileria Villages in the Alpujarras Spain
Duration: 14 nights
Type: European Multi-Centre
Walking Grade: 2 & 4

Two fantastic holiday destinations in one holiday! Discover Las Alpujarras: Discover the magnificent valleys of the southern Sierra Nevada and enjoy snow-capped mountain views walking through the Poqueira Valley. Further afield, visit the Serrano ham haven of Trevelez. Around nearby Pitres and Busquistar we walk on the GR7 to further our exploration of Iberia's last Moorish enclave.  Discover Andalucia: Uncover the beautiful landscapes and delicious food of Andalucía on our new multi-centre holiday. Enjoy guided walks in natural parks and historic cities, sample the region’s renowned gastronomy and learn more about its fascinating heritage and wildlife. Andalucía is, to many, the very essence of Spain and this holiday uncovers the region’s many rural and urban charms as we explore on foot.

Holiday Highlights

Las Alpujarras

  • Enjoy walks through green landscapes dotted with pueblo blancos (white villages)
  • Stay in a family-run, village finca, built in a traditional Alpujarran style
  • Visit a local Bodega with opportunity to sample their cheeses, hams and wines

Andalucia 

  • Explore Seville and Córdoba with expert local guides
  • Enjoy dinner in an Andalusian home
  • Walk the Guardiaro Valley and travel by train to Ronda

What’s included

  • A full programme of guided walks with 2 options every walking day
  • All transport to and from the walks
  • The services of experienced HF Holidays' leaders
  • "With flight" holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers
  • 14 nights accommodation in en-suite rooms
  • Transport between the two destinations
  • Half Board - continental breakfast and evening meal

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

Welcome to Finca los Llanos. Unpack and settle in.


Our walks today will take us to the ridge to the southeast of Capileira. Both walks start on the quiet road climbing out of the village that gives magnificent views over the valley.

Option 1 - Pena del Angel and Bubion

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Total ascent: 800 ft (240m)

In summary: Our walk will head east from the village to a mirador, with fine views over the Poqueira Valley. We then branch off on a good track to walk the length of the ridge to the south and east of Capileira, passing close by the rock formation of the Pena Del Angel. At the southern end of the promontory there is a spectacular view over the valleys below. We will then follow the GR7 down to the village of Bubion, situated below Capileira. Here there may be a stop for lunch or a drink before ascending through fields back to Capileira.

Highlight: A great introduction to the weeks walking with spectacular views of the valleys below.

 

Option 2 - Rio Bermeja and Bubion

Distance: 9 miles (14½km)

Total ascent: 1,700ft (510m)

In summary: Having set out with the easier party, we head off to ascend higher above the ridge, initially following the GR 142 long distance path. A good track with extensive views takes us to the spectacular gorge and waterfalls of the Rio Bermejo. We then descend steeply towards Pitres, before taking a level track westwards. Crossing the Barranco de Sangre, the site of an infamous battle between Moors and Christians, we ascend to the ridge traversed by the easier party, and follow their route on the GR 7 down to to Bubion and then on a field path to Capileira.

Highlight: Experience the spectacular gorge and waterfalls of the Rio Bermejo.

 


Both walks start with a drive to the western side of the Alpujarras. We have a view of Lanjaron, famous for its spring water and spectacularly sited castle.

Option 1 - Above Soportujar

 

In summary: Walk in the hills above Soportujar with sweeping views down the valley.

 

Option 2 - Above Soportujar extended

 

In summary: Today we walk in the hills above Soportujar with extensive views down the valley.

 


Today both groups will use hired transport to visit Trevelez, claimed to be the highest village in the Iberian Peninsula. It is one of the main centres for the production of air dried Serano ham.

Option 1 - GR7 From the Highest Village in Spain

Distance: 7 miles (11km) 

Total ascent: 1,400ft (420m)

In summary: We will ascend through the extensive village of Trevelez, which comprises of three separate barrios, bajo, medio and alto. We then pick up the GR7/E4 footpath along a terrace on a broad gravel road high above the valley. Looking back, we can see the village with high hills beyond, whilst to the side is the deep Trevelez River valley. We continue contouring round the hillside before turning south east, and descending to the village of Busquistar. There should be time to explore the village and enjoy a welcome drink before meeting our transport back to Capileira.

Highlight: Visit the highest village in the Iberian Peninsula.

 

Option 2 - Following the GR7 from the Highest Village in Spain to Pitres

Distance: 10 miles (16km) 

Total ascent: 1,900ft (570m) 

In summary: This will follow the same route as the easier walk as far as Busquistar. From here our route then continues further down the Trevelez Valley, crossing several barrancos and walking through the little hamlet of Albeitar before ascending to finish in the main square of the larger village of Pitres. Here there will be a chance for a drink in one of the bars before our transport collects us for the short journey back to the hotel.

Highlight: The village of Trevelez known for it's production of Serano ham.

 


Each week there is a free day when no guided walks are offered. This is an ideal opportunity to relax around the hotel, swim in the pool, walk independently or visit local places of interest. Possible options for your free day include:

Visiting Sierra Nevada where you can have a drink in a refuge or even ascend Mulhacen, the highest mountain on mainland Spain. Visit the nearby village of Bubion and try pony trekking or a craft day, learning how to make an Alpujarran rug.


Today a short ride by hired bus takes us to 'la Taha', an area of seven villages that once offered allegiance to the Nasrid Kings of Granada. Even today they are characterised by their distinctive Berber architecture. We start both walks at Fondales, the lowest of the seven villages in the Trevelez Valley. Our walks take us along the Sierra de Mecina that marks the southern border of the main Alpujarras region. Both walks have  spectacular winding mule tracks or 'Panjuila' that take us into the Trevelez Gorge.

Option 1 - The Sierra de Mecina by the Camino Real

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Total ascent: 1,800ft (540m)

In summary: We start from the tiny village of Fondales and descend to cross the Trevelez River, near an old mill. From here we pick up an old mule trail, the Camino Real, that follows the river before ascending steadily to reach a broader track high above the valley. This track contours through woodland on the north slope of the Sierra de Mecina. A spectacular steep, but well engineered mule track or 'Panjuila' then winds down to cross the Trevelez Gorge, before ascending more gently to the white village of Ferrierola. After tasting the remarkable sparkling waters of La Fuenta Gaseosa, we take the winding road to our finishing point in the tiny village of Mecina.

Highlight: Views over the Trevelez Gorge.

 

Option 2 - Sierra de Mecina and the Trevelez Gorge

Distance: 9 miles (14½km)

Total ascent: 2,300ft (690m)

In summary: Our route follows the easier walk but on reaching the track along the Sierra de Mecina there is an optional extension to visit an old cisterna/ice house and spectacular viewpoint over Orgiva. After contouring along the Sierra  de Mecina we continue for a short distance along a quiet road before descending an old iron ore quarry on a spectacular winding path into the Trevelez Gorge. On the north side of the valley we pass the outskirts of Busquistar. We pick up the GR142 path to Ferrierola we will have the opportunity to sample the Fuenta Gaseosa. Refreshed by the naturally sparkling mineral water we then follow the winding road to our finishing point in Mecina.

Highlight: Visit the spectacular viewpoint over Orgiva.

 


Today both groups will start and finish from our hotel. Our aim is to explore the delights of the Poqueira Valley.

Option 1 - The Capileira Gorge to La Cebadilla and Puente Abuchite

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent: 1,200ft (360m)

In summary: Our walk will ascend the east side of the Poquiera Valley as far as the deserted village of La Cebadilla, built in the 1950's for the construction of the hydroelectric power station. Here the river is in a deep rocky gorge. The path from Capileira provides a magnificent panorama of the valley and also closely follows an 'acequia'. These are the vital water channels that supply the villages and farmland with the water from the melting snows of the Sierra Nevada. After crossing the river, the route then passes through ancient farmland and terraces and descends on the western side of the valley as far as the bridge at Abu Buchite. A good, but steep track then leads back to the village of Capileira.

Highlight: Panoramic views of the valley.

 

Option 2 - Four Bridges over the Poqueira

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Total ascent: 1,800ft (540m)

In summary: We will set off in the opposite direction to the easier walk, descending close to Bubion village before reaching Puente Molino. Our path crosses the river here for the first time and ascends on the western side of the valley before crossing the river again at Chiscar bridge. The path then ascends and edges its way around a narrow gorge of the river, before descending again to Abu Buchite bridge. Crossing the river for a third time we follow the route used by the easier party in the reverse direction. The fourth river bridge crossing is at La Cebadilla, the hydroelectricity plant built to supply the valley with electricity in the 1950's. Returning to Capileira, we follow an 'acequia' and enjoy the fabulous views of the valley and whitewashed villages as we descend to our hotel.

Highlight: The traditional Iron ore industry in the Alpujarras.

 


You will be transferred from the Hotel Finca Los Llanos to the Hotel Fuerte Grazalema via Malaga airport.

Unpack and settle in.


We travel by coach to the nearby village of Benamahoma. From here we begin our first walk of the day along the Río Majaceite and through a landscape of waterfalls and typical riverside vegetation to the town of El Bosque.

Here, we’ll visit two local food producers: a flour mill which makes bread in the traditional manner, and a producer of artisanal cheeses, for which the Grazalema region is well known. We’ll enjoy lunch here, sampling these local delights. Distance: 3 miles (5 km) with negligible ascent.

This afternoon, we continue walking and follow a more challenging circular loop trail through the valley, called Llanos del Endrinal. There is then some time to enjoy a stroll around the pretty town of Grazalema before we return to the hotel. Distance: 1½ miles (2½km) with 750 feet (230m) of ascent.


Today we’ll enjoy a full day excursion to Seville. Enroute, there’ll be a stop in the mountain town of Zahara de la Sierra.

Our guided walk in Seville will trace the connections between Spain and its former colonies in the Americas via the 1929 Iberoamerican Expo, and the legacy of its singular architecture. We’ll conclude our morning exploration at the Hotel Alfonso XIII, where you can buy a drink if you wish, before enjoying free time for lunch.

In the afternoon, we’ll experience Seville from upon high. We’ll walk through the commercial centre of the city with a local guide, who’ll then show us the city as seen from atop two of its landmark buildings: the Giralda spire of the 14th-century cathedral and the walkways of the avant-garde 21st-century Metropol Parasol building, known locally as ‘Las Setas’ (‘the mushrooms’).

We’ll round off out visit to this stunning city with a tapas dinner before we return to our hotel.


We depart for Ronda and the Guardiaro River valley. Our first walk traces a section of the long-distance path GR-249 between the stations of Benaoján and Jimera de Líbar, from where we’ll take the train to Ronda along one of Spain’s most scenic railway lines. Distance: 5 miles (8km) with negligible ascent.

We’ll explore the enchanting town of Ronda, passing its most distinctive monuments, such as the 18th-century bull ring and ‘New Bridge’. Enjoy free time to explore further and have lunch before we reconvene for our afternoon walk.

Descending from the Old Town, we walk to the Guadalevín River valley and on through farmlands and vineyards to the winery, Bodegas Descalzos Viejos.

Here we’ll learn the fascinating story behind the business from the owner and taste a selection of the wines. We return from here to the hotel, where any remaining time today is at leisure before dinner. Distance: 2 miles (3km) with 320 feet (100m) of descent.


As we travel from Grazalema to Priego de Córdoba, we’ll stop at a unique and special place: the salt lagoon of Fuente de Piedra.

Here, guided by a botanist, we’ll learn more about the large breeding colony of flamingos – a species of bird more commonly associated with Africa than mainland Europe. In this lovely landscape, there’ll be time for you to enjoy your picnic lunch.

We continue our journey to our second hotel. This evening, we’ll take a gentle guided stroll through the attractive and historic quarter of nearby Priego de Córdoba, ‘La Villa’, before we enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.


We travel to the town of Cabra, where we’ll enjoy a short stroll through its streets and see the sword used by ‘El Cid’ in the battle of Cabra in 1079 between the Islamic states of Granada and Seville. We continue to the Natural Park of Sierra Subbética: here we’ll walk from below a hermitage, which sits on a knoll overlooking the surrounding countryside, through varying landscapes to the captivating white village of Zuheros, stopping along the way to enjoy our picnic lunch. This walk is of medium difficulty, although our route is mostly a gradual descent. Distance: 7½ miles (12km) with negligible ascent.

There’s some time in Zuheros to enjoy a drink before we return to the hotel, where you’ll have time to relax and enjoy the hotel’s facilities before dinner in the hotel this evening.


Today we’ll discover the history and character of the city of Córdoba on a walk through the historic centre with a local guide. From the palace of the Viana noble family to the San Basilio district, admire the floral patios – an essential element of city life, and the focus of an annual Festival of Patios – as we explore the charm of this ancient city.

After time for lunch, our exploration of the city continues with an insight into the rich history of the Muslims and Jews who lived here in the medieval period, with guided visits to the Great Mosque and a small, intimate Synagogue – both monuments which evoke the city’s fascinating and varied heritage.

We conclude our day with an insight into the region’s ‘liquid gold’: extra virgin olive oil. In the world’s largest area of olive production, we’ll learn more from a resident of Zuheros, Antonio Zafra, on his one-hectare small holding, where he grows 12 different olive varieties. Dinner this evening in a local’s home makes use of the oil and olives from Antonio’s trees, and is a wonderful and fun way to bring our Andalusian experience to a close.


After breakfast we’ll transfer by coach to Málaga International Airport for our return flight.


Las Alpujarras Itinerary Map

Hotel Finca Los Llanos - Las Alpujarras

The 3-star Finca Los Llanos run by sisters Gloria and Pilar provide a warm welcome to our guests and their team will be on hand to make your stay special. The hotel was originally built by their father and overlooks the whitewashed buildings of the beautiful village of Capileira and mountains beyond.  Rooms are simply and traditionally decorated, tiled floors and wooden furniture in keeping with the village and the region.  The outdoor pool is perfect for cooling off after a day's walking.  

Hotel Fuerte Grazalema, Andalucía

Our first four nights are spent at the 4-star Hotel Fuerte Grazalema, located a short drive from the village of Grazalema. Nestled in the heart of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, enjoy the stunning views from the pleasant outside areas and pool. Traditional, local cuisine is served in the on-site restaurant. There are 77 spacious en-suite rooms featuring private balconies, air-conditioning, satellite TV and Wi-Fi.

Hotel Huerta de las Palomas, Andalucía

The final three nights of our time in Andalucía are spent at the 4-star Hotel de las Palomas. With 34 rooms set around a central courtyard and all enjoying views over the beautiful surroundings, you’ll be sure to enjoy a pleasant stay in this rural environment, a few kilometres outside the delightful town of Priego de Córdoba. Rooms feature a full bathroom, air-conditioning, TV and Wi-Fi. At the end of your day, relax in the outdoor pool or Jacuzzi.

What to Bring

Essential Equipment

To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment needs to be suitable for the conditions. Safety and comfort are our priorities, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.

  • Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents.
  • Walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares).
  • Fabrics (lightweight and fast drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended.
  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers.
  • Warm hat and gloves. 
  • Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks.
  • Rucksack with a waterproof liner.
  • Thermos flask for hot drink.
  • Water bottle (at least 2 litre).
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar.
  • Small torch.
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed).
  • Sun hat and sunglasses
  • Sun cream.

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Camera.
  • Gaiters.

Guest Reviews

Duration:
14 nights
Type:
European Multi-Centre
Walking Grade:
2

14 nights from 0pp

New for 2020

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