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From: 365 €
Duration: 8 days
The Sierra de Grazalema is an "undiscovered" oasis of green, a mountainous area adorned by picturesque white-washed villages such as Grazalema, Montejaque and the lovely town of Ronda. Here, you'll have the pleasure of walking through a landscape of marvellous limestone sculptures marked by deep gorges, where vultures nest among the cliff tops. At lunchtime, stop off to replenish your energy with a round of tapas and vino enjoyed on an outdoor terrace. Then continue on through unspoilt countryside, surrounded by landscapes painted in earth tones, punctuated by brilliant white buildings against the soft grey-green of cork oak woods and Spanish silver firs. In the midst of this exquisite natural setting, you'll find charming "pueblos blancos" with exotic names like Zahara de la Sierra or Benaocaz, which recall centuries of fluctuating borders between Arab and Christian kingdoms. At the end of the week, you reach the lovely town of Ronda, one of the prettiest in Andalusia, with its intriguing mix of Moorish and European monuments.
Today you travel to the "Pueblos Blancos" and arrive in the lovely white-washed village of Grazalema (situated at 830m), where you'll spend the next 2 nights in a traditional village hostel with restaurant and nice cool patio.
Challenge: Travel to Grazalema
On the first day of walking, you have a choice between 2 short circular routes. Both walks afford beautiful views and a striking combination of red earth tones adorned by green vegetation. In the afternoon, time to explore small shops in the village and enjoy some refreshment on an outdoor terrace.
Challenge: 1.5 to 3hrs walking time, min ascent 200m / max 450m.
Today's route takes you through classic limestone landscapes among nearby cortijos, traditional farmhouse complexes found across the countryside. You'll traverse lovely green oak woods and characteristic Mediterranean vegetation on your way to Benaocaz, an authentic "white village" which conserves historical remains dating back to Roman times. The village sits perched on a hill, with lovely views all around.
Challenge: 4hrs walking time, 12km, ascent 400m / descent 450m.
In the morning, you do a short circular walk along a historic footpath to reach a popular nesting site for vultures, fantastic vista point which provides sweeping views. In the afternoon, follow the old Roman Road down to the lively town of Ubrique and option of having dinner there.
Challenge: 2.5hrs, 7km, 200m ascent/descent and 2hrs, 6km, 400m ascent/descent.
Today you walk by way of tiny Villaluenga del Rosario to reach Llanos del Republicano, a valley where the river disappears into a deeply carved limestone sink. Amidst the greyish-white limestone cliffs of the Sierra, you wander through striking limestone sculptures to reach a tiny jewel of a village, Montejaque, last of the "Pueblos Blancos" on your route. Today's walk is long, but not too difficult.
Challenge: 7.5hrs, 25km, ascent 650m / descent 750m
Choose between 2 splendid walking routes, both of which take you right through the heart of one of the prettiest of all the "white villages", Benaoján. The route through Guadiaro River Valley starts off with a stroll to the train station, then you ride to Jimera de Libar (10min) to begin your hike. The route to Cueva de la Pileta takes you to a nearby cave with surprising formations.
Challenge: 5.5 or 4hrs, 15 or 13km, 450 or 600m in ascent / descent.
A rural hike which starts out with a section on an ancient cobbled path. Next you walk among fields and small family farms to reach Ronda, where a spectacular bridge spans the deep gorge and literally divides the town in two. The historical Moorish quarter is well worth a visit.
Challenge: 5hrs, 14.5km, ascent 300m / descent 275m.
Your program comes to an end today after breakfast. Departure from Ronda.