Walking in Andalucia

8 days
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$1,675 AUD
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Trip code: 
TDS
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Centre-based
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–15

Walking through the olive groves and rugged hills of Andalucia

Outside the golden cultural triangle of Seville, Cordoba and Granada, the rural landscape of Andalucia is breathtaking, and what better way to appreciate its diversity than on foot. The walks take us through rugged hills, picturesque fields of sunflowers, olive groves, the limestone peaks of Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park and the stunning El Chorro Gorge & Caminito del Rey. In this corner of Europe the excesses of modern life do not seem to have taken root and our home for the week is the perfect example: a rustic, homely cortijo in the heart of the agricultural countryside. During the week, a whole day is reserved for exploring the magnificent city of Seville. For those looking for more of a challenge, our weeks graded level 4 feature longer walks on steeper terrain.

Highlights

  • Stay in a converted farmhouse with swimming pool
  • Discover the fascinating Moorish history of white villages
  • Experience the real and authentic Spain
  • Walk the stunning Caminito del Rey

Key information

  • 7 nights in a comfortable converted farmhouse with pool
  • 5 days centre-based walking
  • Group normally 4 to 15, plus UK leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 1256m, average 612m
  • Travel by minibus
  • More challenging walking available on selected departures

What's included

  •  All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches and 6 evening meals are included
  • All accommodation
  • Transfer for group flights
  • Caminito del Rey walk

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas & vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailormade trips:
+61 3 9998 9052
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Cortijo Rosario, Algamitas.

    Our trip starts at Cortijo Rosario, located in the heart of the authentic Andalucian countryside, approximately 100km from Malaga. Our converted farmhouse is just a short walk from Algamitas, a peaceful traditional village far from the hustle and bustle of the big towns or cities. This location is ideal as it gives the chance to experience the real Spain, whilst still offering very easy access to the best walking areas and Andalucian towns such as Olvera, Setenil and Seville which we'll visit during the week.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Gentle walk through rolling olive groves to neighbouring village of Villanueva de San Juan; optional tapas lunch to soak up the Andalucian atmosphere - Leisurely/Moderate departure (level 2)

    Today we take a guided walk on the trails and paths around the Cortijo and on to the neighbouring village of Villanueva. The countryside surrounding Algamitas is picture-perfect, covered with olive trees, beautiful farmland and rolling hills. During the walk our leader will give us a good overview of the rural lifestyle and traditions of this part of the world, which are largely based around the production of olive oil. An optional tapas lunch in the village gives us a chance to soak up the authentic Andalucian atmosphere. Once back at the Cortijo, we have some free time to relax by the pool or enjoy a drink in the lovely outdoor terrace. Dinner and overnight at the Cortijo.

    Walk Profile: Distance- 12km/7 miles, approx. 6 hours walking including stops.

    Penon Crag walk- Moderate/Challenging departure (level 4)

    A full day's walking from our base at the Cortijo Rosario to the impressive summit of Penon Crag which towers above the village of Algamitas. We take a circular route up to the campsite and then climb quite steeply in places over rocky terrain to the summit at 1121m. Return to the campsite and back to the Cortijo by a different route.

    Walk Profile: Distance- 16km/10 miles, total ascent around 650m, approx. 6 hours walking.

     

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Fantastic walk in the Sierra de Grazalema, Andalucia's first national park and UNESCO Biosphere reserve - Leisurely/Moderate departure (level 2)

    Our private bus will drive us high into the Grazalema Mountains over the Pass of the Doves. Designated a UNESCO Biosphere reserve in 1977, the Sierra de Grazalema was declared the first natural park in Andalucia in 1984 and is one of Spain's most ecologically outstanding areas. The park is famous for its spectacularly rugged limestone landscape of cliffs, gullies, caves and gorges. We walk up past this fantastic scenery and down into the white Village of Benaocaz.

    Walk Profile: Distance- 9km/ 5 miles, approx. 4-5 hours walking including stops.

    Summit of Terril- Moderate/Challenging departure (level 4)

    Today our walk takes us to the summit of Terril, which at 1129m is the highest point in Seville province. We take transport to the start of the walk ‐ about 10 minutes from the Cortijo Rosario. Our route climbs steeply up on to the long ridge of Terril.
    Here the gradient eases but the terrain is quite rocky and uneven in places. From the summit on a clear day you have a fantastic view over the rolling plains of Seville. We retrace our steps along the wide, rolling ridge before descending to the south and picking up a sandy track back to Algamitas.

    Walk Profile: Distance- 16km/ 10 miles, total ascent around 500m, approx. 6 hours walking.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Walk to the abandoned Caños Santos Monastery and enjoy stunning views; walk to Setenil, a unique 'Pueblo Blanco' with homes built into the side of a gorge - Leisurely/Moderate departure (level 2)

    Today we set out from the Cortijo Rosario, walking through Algamitas farmland to the abandoned monastery of Canos Santos, where we will have lunch. In the afternoon we follow the Ruta de los Molinos along the river that runs through the famous white village of Setenil de las Bodegas. Built under the overhanging ledge of a gorge, Setenil is not only famous for its peculiar architecture but also for its bars, restaurants and food shops which are ranked as the best in the region. Free time to discover Setenil and return to the Cortijo by private minibus. 

    Walk Profile: Distance- 16km/ 10 miles, approx. 5-6 hours walking including stops.

    Walk to the abandoned Caños Santos Monastery and enjoy stunning views; walk to Setenil, a unique 'Pueblo Blanco' with homes built into the side of a gorge - Moderate/Challenging departure (level 4)

    We set out from the Cortijo Rosario through Algamitas, passing through varied farmland before reaching our lunch spot close to the abandoned monastery of Canos Santos. In the afternoon we follow a network of old drovers' routes to the fascinating white village of Setenil with its little houses built under the overhanging ledge of a gorge. Return by private bus to the Cortijo Rosario.

    Walk Profile: Distance- 18km/ 11 miles, total ascent around 450m, 6.5 hours walking.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Introduction to the magnificent city of Seville with free time to explore; return to the Cortijo after dinner- Leisurely/Moderate (level 2) & Moderate/Challenging (level 4) departures

    In the morning we transfer by private minibus to the magnificent city of Seville. The day is free to sightsee at our own pace. Now the capital of Andalucia, Seville was one of the first conquests of the Moors. After the fall of the Cordoba Caliphate in the 11th Century, under whose direction it previously lay, it became the most powerful city in 'Al Andalus'. Near the city centre is the evocative 'Giralda', an architectural masterpiece dating back to the 12th Century. Close by is the magnificent 'Alcazar', a complex of palaces dating back from Roman times and later used by both Moorish and Christian rulers. It has fine examples of Moorish and 'Mudejar' architecture, rivalling Granada's 'Alhambra', and stunning sculpted gardens. After the Christian re-conquest Seville became famed as the gateway to the 'New World'; Christopher Columbus negotiated here with Queen Isabella to fund his epic voyage to the Americas, bringing her back untold riches and making Seville one of the wealthiest cities in Europe. After immersing ourselves in Seville’s history and culture during the day, we enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the city in the evening. We return to the Cortijo after dinner.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Visit El Chorro Gorge and walk the Caminito del Rey- Leisurely/Moderate departure (level 2)

    A short drive takes us to the El Chorro Gorge where we are dropped off at the Guadalhorce Dam and reservoir where we begin our walk. The walk will take us to the start of the amazing Caminito del Rey, which offers some of the most spectacular scenery in Spain. The Caminito del Rey is a narrow cliffside path hanging 100m above the waters of the river Guadalhorce. Originally built around 1905 and improved around 1921 it fell into disrepair and over the past decades, the path became known as ‘the most dangerous path in the world' or even the ‘walk of death'. The new Caminito del Rey was re-constructed and reopened to the public on 28 March 2015, with the route and design of the path keeping as closely as possible to the old one but now respecting high safety standards. Due to overwhlemingly positive feedback, as of 2017, this walk is an included activity and your leader will be walking this path with the group.

    After we finish the walk along the Caminito del Rey, there will be the chance to relax and have a little rest by the reservoir.

    Walk Profile: Distance- 8km/ 5 miles, aapprox. 3 hours walking.

    Circular walk from the white village of Montejaque, nestled in the heart of the Grazalema Natural Park- Moderate/Challenging departure (level 4)

    We drive from the Cortijo Rosario by private bus to the attractive white village of Montejaque, nestling in the heart of the Grazalema Natural Park where our circular walk begins. The walk takes us into hidden valleys with some of the most spectacular karst rock formations in the area. This is limestone country and the rocky path can be slippery when wet so good ankle support is recommended.

    Walk Profile: Distance- 17km/ 11 miles, total ascent around 550m, 6.5 hours of walking.

     

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    TDS: Walk a circuit around the impressive Peñon overlooking Algamitas- Leisurely/Moderate departure (level 2)

    Today we walk a circuit around the impressive Penon Crag that looms over the Cortijo Rosario. El Penon is the highest point in the province of Seville, 1130 m above sea level, offering dramatic views of the landscape around Algamitas and neighbouring villages, hills and farmland. On the way back from the Cortijo we stop for some drinks in a lovely panoramic terrace.

    Walk Profile: Distance- 11km/ 7 miles, approx. 5 hours walking including stops

    Visit El Chorro Gorge and walk the Caminito del Rey- Moderate/Challenging departure (Level 4)

    See day 6 of Leisurely/Moderate (level 2) itinerary description for further details.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Cortijo Rosario, Algamitas.

    End Cortijo Rosario, Algamitas.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Spain

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Spain

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches and 6 evening meals are included.

Breakfast: Continental buffet-style breakfast with local fruit and yoghurt.

Lunch: Packed lunches are provided for the day walks, usually filled with cheese/cold meats. On some days it is possible to enjoy some authentic Tapas in local villages.

Dinner: One of the included dinners will be taken in a restaurant in Algamitas, whilst all the others will be prepared by the lovely Maria, the 'Queen of the Kitchen' at Cortijo Rosario. Having worked at the Cortijo for over 20 years and looking after more than 6000 guests, Maria's cooking has always been appreciated for being authentic and delicious.

All food is freshly prepared from locally grown seasonal produce, and the meals come with complimentary wine as well as tea/coffee. A selection of soft and alcoholic drinks are available at the bar (payable locally).

Vegetarians are generally well catered for at the Cortijo Rosario. Please advise us on booking if you have any special dietary requirements.

Weather

Spring generally enjoys pleasant daytime temperatures (12-23ºC) and a little cooler in the evenings. There is the chance of some rain, which then offers views of beautiful spring flowers. Summer months are hot and dry with daytime temperatures of around 21-35ºC, dropping to between 17 and 25ºC at night. Autumn brings cooler weather although it is still fairly dry. The possibility of rain is more likely in winter months but temperatures stay mild in the daytime, becoming cooler after sunset.

Andalucia

Is this trip for you?

This trip is Activity Level 2 (leisurely/moderate) with 5 days of walking.

Walking is mostly on well-marked paths, yet this is a hilly area and some easy ascents should be expected. Walking hours stated in the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group. 

The majority of drives are short except for the journey to Seville, which is approximately 2hrs.

Whilst most departures have a physical rating of 2 (leisurely/moderate), we also offer three weeks with an Activity Level of 4 (moderate/challenging) which allow us to ascend the higher peaks and walk on more challenging terrain for longer hours. It is important to be assured of your fitness on these departures. 

The Activity Level 4 (moderate/challenging) weeks will depart:

2018: 10th March, 19th May & 29th September

2019: 9th March, 18th May & 28th September

Please note all activities are optional and a rest day may be taken at any point should you prefer to relax at the Cortijo.

Cortijo Rosario is renovated to a high standard whilst maintaining its traditional heritage, so the farmhouse should not be considered a luxury villa or hotel.

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailormade trips:
+61 3 9998 9052
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Cortijo Rosario

Our main base for the week is Cortijo Rosario, a beautifully converted farmhouse reserved exclusively for Exodus groups. Situated in the heart of the romantic Andalusian countryside, the Cortijo overlooks the small village of Algamitas and is within reach of Seville and the charming town of Ronda.

Together with its neighbouring sister village Villanueva, Algamitas is known as the 'forgotten village': modern development has more or less passed them by and life goes on as it has for generations. Little English is spoken in the villages, as the tourism boom on the coast has not affected the lives of these people, who are welcoming and keen to meet newcomers. The main income of the community is agriculture, with olives the main crop along with cereals, wheat and sunflowers. This rural location really offers a fascinating insight into the 'real' Andalucia.

 All rooms have en suite facilities and there is a bar, lounge, outdoor dining area as well as a lovely pool. There are also two friendly dogs owned by the manager of the Cortijo that like to lie on the patio in the sun. There is free, unlimited Wi-Fi available in the bar and sitting room areas.

Cortijo Rosario is renovated to a high standard whilst retaining its traditional heritage. As such, the farmhouse should not be considered a luxury villa or hotel. Towels are changed once during the week and rooms are serviced every other day.

There is one single room available, which can be guaranteed with a supplement from GBP 120 payable in advance on booking. We may be able to confirm another single room closer to departure, which will be from GBP 220 for a twin room as single occupancy. Please contact our sales team to check if this is available no more than two weeks before departure. Weather permitting, on every departure the catering team at the Cortijo will demonstrate how a true paella is made with the tips you normally don’t get from recipe books!

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailormade trips:
+61 3 9998 9052
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailormade trips:
+61 3 9998 9052
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed September 2017
    Amanda Jackson

    Walking in Andalucia

    A fantastic week of walking through various landscapes and looking out to some spectacular vistas. The cortijo is perfectly based; the staff just lovely and waking up each morning with the sun rising over the hills was really special. As a solo traveller I can easily recommend this trip, I was fortunate enough to enjoy the company of a great group of strangers that became friends through the week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking the Caminito del Rey and getting over the bridge in one piece!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alexis is a brilliant guide, very knowledgeable, well organised, considerate and has a great sense of humour. He made the whole group feel welcome from the start

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are vegetarian/vegan don’t worry about the food; the staff made some fabulous dishes for me throughout the week.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The cortijo is a great base, with two very friendly dogs; Chico and Churro. They really are very much part of the place and I sincerely hope they stay when the ownership of the place changes.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Colin Spence

    Walking in Andalucia

    Just returned from a wonderful trip to Southern Spain. Alexis our guide was truly wonderful and the whole group were treated like personal guests .The food at the farmhouse was superb our thanks to Maria and her staff. There was a really nice variety in the walks and the research that had obviously gone into this trip by Alexis and Exodus shone through. Having sole use of the farmhouse was a real bonus and the group got on really well. We do hope the two dogs have a secure future when the new owners take over we will always remember that smile! Our thanks to Alexis for making the week a truly special one Colin and Jill

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The rope walk through the Gorge!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Truly outstanding and a credit to the Company

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book early and you may get a room with a Balcony but they are all nice rooms
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Adrienne Harber

    TDS - Walking in Andalucía

    This trip was wonderful; I recommend it with two thumbs - or 10 fingers - up! It was a blend of 5 days of hiking and 1 day of playing tourist in Seville, a perfect mix of experiencing Andalusia for the first time. The hotel was lovely and relaxed, occupied only by our group; the food was delicious! (we had a paella lesson on the last night with Alexis translating the chef's instructions); the hiking was varied and featured beautiful vistas; all of us got along well - really, a 5-star vacation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The event that I will never forget involved Alexis' readiness to defend us hikers from a charging bull. While walking through an open area with cattle, one of the bulls feinted a charge. Alexis, who was closest to it, took off his pack and was ready to do battle if the bull continued his charge - I was impressed and felt that Alexis should add that skill to his resume! The bull must have been intimidated by Alexis because it stopped its aggression, and we continued walking by without further incident.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alexis was a large part of why the trip was so enjoyable. He spoke Spanish, English, and French fluently; knew history of the local area; had a fun and relaxed attitude; answered our innumerable questions without complaint; and came up with alternate plans when necessary. Please note the bull-fighting skill above as well!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be flexible. The first days of our stay were warm and good hiking weather, but the last 2 days had 30mph winds, necessitating a change in our last 2 scheduled hikes. While it was disappointing not to hike the Caminito del Rey in the gorge, it was closed not by our guide but by the park administration. Fortunately, Alexis came up with alternate plans for the last 2 hikes that introduced us to interesting areas that we all enjoyed. I respected the change in plans, as it demonstrated that Exodus Travel considered its clients' safety first and foremost.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Reserve room 3 if you can - it has a balcony and lovely view! The hotel atmosphere was totally relaxed; it was like our home. We helped ourselves to drinks and ice creams, writing down what we consumed on our bar tab that we paid at the end of our stay. The pool was a great way to cool off at the end of a hike, and the patio had great views.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Jane Hand

    Walking in Andalusia

    A weeks centre based walking, not too strenuous , a free day in Seville - a lovely city if you like cities, wonderful flowers, lots of surprises. A great break

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finding beautiful orchids, not having to cook or think about anything for a whole week!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tina was an excellent leader, full of information and surprises

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Worth taking binoculars for the bird life

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our bed was very hard and uncomfortable but it didn't spoil the trip because the evening wine was free and the bar was excellent!!
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Dave Thomas

    Walking in Andalucia

    It was a very enjoyable week: good walking through beautiful - sometimes spectacular – countryside. Sevilla is a fascinating city, and the flamenco was fabulous. The Cortijo makes a very good base: great cooking, beautiful views, and a very welcome pool after a hot day!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The wonderful day at the Caminito del Rey: a truly spectacular walk.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alexis was the perfect guide: very knowledgeable about the local environment, really well organised, and considerate. He's also a very funny, entertaining guy!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Maybe take some insect repellant – I escaped their attentions, but others weren't so lucky.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Sean Quigley

    Great Vacation

    My wife and I have traveled 6 times to Europe from the US and this was one of the most relaxing vacation we have ever taken. The tour was well planned and coordinated.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day trip to Seville and the Flamenco show scheduled with the assistance of the tour leader.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alexis was fantastic! He was very knowledgeable about the area and very informative. His customer services skills are the best. Alexis made the entire group feel welcome and facilitated interaction between all the group members.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack good hiking shoes or boots.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Lois Baldwin

    Walking in Andalucía

    This was a really wonderful trip. I enjoyed the diversity of walks/hikes from climbing mountains and walking in olive groves and farmer's fields to the interesting "boardwalk" in the El Chorro Gorge. The day in Seville was a great break in a week of more challenging physical demands. The farmhouse with it's swimming pool, fabulous views, excellent staff and friendly dogs was a wonderful place to be stationed for the week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I'm not sure there was just one inspirational moment - the hikes and views from Sierra de Grazalema, El Chorro Gorge and the Penon Crag were all spectacular and special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alexis was an energetic, enthusiastic, fun, and funny guide! He was very knowledgeable about the area, the trails and the cuisine. If he didn't know an answer, he said that he would find out - and he did. He had as much fun learning from us as we did from him. He is definitely an asset to Exodus Travels!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although the trip is advertised as "walks", they are really hikes, some of which are quite challenging because of the steepness of the inclines. The shower in our room was on a slant which made it somewhat nerve racking because of a fear of slipping and falling. A number of us, including me, also got bedbugs which was very distressing!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The staff at the farmhouse was delightful and helpful. Although the lunches needed to be improved (boring sandwiches), the dinner menu was excellent, particularly the paella.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Stella Abensur

    Glad I Went

    Everything about this trip went absolutely perfectly and we couldn't be more pleased with the accommodations, food, hiking, service and organization. If every Exodus tour is as good as this one then we longer will search for any other hiking vacation options.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The hiking routes used during this tour were appropriately labelled as number 2 but that didn't mean they weren't beautiful and a little challenging. Following mostly well established hiking trails, we covered everything from local roads to flat cross country trails to cross mountain trails. The scenery was stunning, the air was pure and the experience amazing. We enjoyed every second of it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Alexi, was everything you could ask for in a group leader. Experienced and highly qualified he was able to address any situation and made sure everyone was accommodated. Exodus take note: do not let this one get away!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My only advice for potential travellers is to go on this tour!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks to the local 'staff' who prepared all our food and helped us with any inquiry we made. Without them this tour would be likely be a bust. Many thanks to our drivers who safely transported us on what for me was some very challenging mountain roads. Even though we were in a small village, we still had a very good wifi! If you can get room number 3, take it, it's the only one with a terrace.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Alastair Bull

    TDS - Walking in Andalucia

    An exciting holiday with amazing views on the surrounding area and also on the different walks as well. Our group leader was nice, friendly and a pleasure to be with. The other guests I was with also very friendly and nice to be with as well. Would recommend to anyone as a sole traveller who enjoys leisurely walking as well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I would say the amazing views on the walk from visiting different villages to the El Chorro gorge and also spending time with the group leader and the other guests as well.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader (Alexis Gonstaw) - a very nice and friendly individual who was a pleasure to be on holiday with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring plenty of sunblock and also things like cream/tablets for bites and heat rashes. I would also bring a money travel bag to take so that you have a secure place to put your money. Any unessential items I would put in your main luggage
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Maria Ramos

    Walking, hiking, climbing, scrambling, enjoying!

    I'd like to set the tone by saying that everything about this holiday was perfect! This was my first ever walking holiday so I chose the leisurely to moderate category. In hindsight the description is probably accurate, but some of the treks took me by surprise as there were some truly steep and rocky hills to climb. Perhaps I wasn't quite enough prepared for those but managed to complete them all. Clearly the recommended pre-holiday fitness training is very important. The 'leisurely' bit comes in in the fact that we were able to have frequent breaks for shade and water in the temperatures of 35+. Each day was challenging in its own way and at the end of the day you felt a real sense of achievement. There were some breathtaking mountainous sceneries and clear pure air to chase out any London pollution!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The optional extra, el Caminito del Rey, was thrilling! The photos look incredibly frightening, but the whole route has been renovated and made completely safe. There is a plank pathway all the way and some steep steps with quite narrow treads, But there are places where you can sit and rest and admire the magnificent scenery. Vertigo sufferers would be advised to go with a friend as the depth of the gorge may feel overwhelming.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The lovely Alejandro was everyone's sweetheart! We were a small group of seven walkers and he instantly made friends with everyone and had a clever sense of humour. He was highly knowledgeable and took notice of each of our ability and set the pace accordingly. Very soon we developed into a close friendly group where we all cared for each other. Some were faster and fitter than others, but the schedule allowed for those variances. What especially impressed me was that when anyone asked a question, Alejandro would say, I'll show you or I'll tell you when we get to such and such point. And he always remembered to do it, without a fail.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Unless you are an experienced walker, do please take seriously the programme to build up your stamina and fitness in advance of the holiday. Walking on city streets or level ground is not enough preparation. You should find steep hilly grounds and stretch and strengthen every possible leg muscle you can think of. This will make your experience so much more enjoyable. Also, on this particular holiday, whilst the accommodation is lovely and homely and comes with spectacular views - and with delicious meals - it isn't luxury, so go with an open mind and be prepared to compromise.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just do it! You'll thank yourself in the end and you'll remember it for a very long time.

Dates & Prices

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