Explore the lavish and varied scenery of Alájar and its surrounding villages.
This self-guided walking tour will give you a snapshot of traditional Southern Spain, exploring the rural villages that make up its landscape.
Accommodation in the Sierra de Aracena
Your first two nights and final night will be spent in the small village of Alajar where the accommodation is eco-friendly with a special mention from Euoparc Brussels and recognized by Trip Advisor Green Leader Platinum level.
We take pride in the knowledge that we are creating the lowest possible carbon footprint for what we provide – large terraced rooms in a reclaimed inn dating from the mid 1800’s. We have re-used many of the materials that originally came with the building and introduced elements such as ground source energy which helps to preserve the resources of this area.
Free wifi is available throughout the house.
Breakfasts consist of a traditionally Southern Spain set up. Bread and a selection of olive oils are common morning foods in this area along with a great coffee. In addition to this, we also provide a variety of other toppings such as homemade pates and jams – recipes of which have been handed down through family, fresh fruit, cereals and a wide selection of hot drinks.
Other accommodation consists of centrally located hotels / guesthouses in 2 other villages along the route where you will spend 2 nights in each. All rooms are well appointed with ensuite facilities, TVs and free wifi.
Walking in the Sierra de Aracena
The rolling hills and white villages of Sierra De Aracena offer wonderful walking opportunities. The character of the villages has changed little over the centuries, their history reflected in their architecture and the landscape surrounding them. The routes in this area include a variety of terrain. One day you could be walking through sandy paths and on others cobbled tracks laid by the Romans may make up the majority of a route.
Many of the walks are dotted with traditional Spanish homes as well as abandoned watermills and ancient hill forts left by the Moors. You will see villagers working their small allotments, hear the ringing of goat bells among the oaks and chestnuts, and the bubbling of the many streams and springs which abound in these hills.
We have worked out numerous circular walks that start and finish from the hotels and have produced our own walking route notes along with a map which provides ample support for you to enjoy the walking without the fear of getting lost! The tracks are also available with google my tracks. The routes vary between 12 to 16km.
Spain’s Secret Sierra walking holiday itinerary
The walking routes vary between 12 to 16km
Day 1 – Met at Sevilla airport you are brought upto Alájar where you will meet your hosts Lucy and Angel who have designed this walking route and will run through the week with you describing the walks and the possible dining opportunities in each village. Stretch your legs around the village before dinner (included)
Day 2 – Enjoy a guided walk with Ángel to introduce you to the area and get to know first hand the flora, fauna, history and the socio-economics. In the afternoon there is a choice of circular walks straight from the hotel door.
Day 3 – First day on the move. One of the prettiest routes on the tour you will be following the country path, once cobbled, to the almost abandoned Madroñeros a tiny hamlet which throws you back in time.
On to Linares de La Sierra another fine example of a sierra village almost stopped in time with the narrow cobbled streets and the intricate stone “door mats” outside the front door. The second half of the walk to Aracena is mainly on well used tracks but one section along a pretty narrow path before a climb up to the outskirts of Aracena and through the town.
Day 4 – An easy to moderate mornings walk taking in a good example of the area with tracks meandering through small holdings and then the pretty countryside until Corteconcepción following white arrow waymarks. A good place to stop for a breather is up at the church with memorable views across to the reservoir.
The return journey begins on a lovely ancient cobbled path which converts into a wide vehicle track for a couple of kilometres which makes walking easy, however there is a last steep stretch before dropping down to Aracena on a footpath skirting allotments and magnificent views of the town of Aracena and the fortified church.
You can spend the rest of the day visiting Aracena and the caves. Why not visit an award winning family run Iberian ham producer in Corteconcepción before returning to Aracena we are happy to arrange a visit. (42.50€ per person including a generous tasting with wine – reservation required, visits start at 11am and last for approx. 3 hours)
Day 5 – A great day’s walk taking you through thoroughly varied countryside. The route mainly follows the GR43.1 with red and white way marks but originally these were the paths that everybody used to connect village to village. You begin through well kept chestnut plantations which changes into cork oak woods and olive groves.
There are even vineyards before you reach Los Marines, which hosts a wine festival in August. You walk through 2 villages, Los Marines and Fuenteheridos which both have bars in for refreshments, before reaching your destination Galaroza
Day 6 – Today’s walk provides a very varied scenery, passing through small holdings, cork oak forest, mixed woodland and the small town of Valedelarco. The barranco Navahermoso is a glorious river walk where there is plenty of bird life to enjoy.
Valdelarco has a couple of bars for refreshments for a lunch break before heading back to Galaroza through a change of landscape of rocky paths through cork oak groves.
Day 7 – Back to Alájar and San Marcos today you walk to the highest village of the Sierra, Castaño del Robledo which boasts two large churches. One was never consecrated and is now called “el monumento” and is used as a civic centre. Here you have the option to do a slightly shorter (11km) walk or the longer version (14.50km).
The first stage of the walk takes you up the valley to Castaño del Robledo along the way marked Rivera de Jabugo, an area of special interest due to the flora and fauna found along the walk.
The shorter option brings you to Alájar vía La Peña de Arias Montano, with wonderful views south as you descend.
The longer option takes you to the outskirts of Santa Ana before heading east to Alájar. It’s one of our favourites, along the valley amongst ancient cork and holm oaks, well worth the extra few kilometres!
Day 8 – After breakfast we will transfer you to Aracena where you will board a comfortable air-conditioned coach to Sevilla. As there are 2 buses per day you can choose to arrive in Sevilla at 09.05 or 17.35 (Sundays and public holidays 12.05 or 19.35). A private taxi transfer is also available, please ask for quote.
Dates and Availability
The holiday may be booked to start on any day of the week subject to availability. Confirmation of holiday usually takes up to 48 hours. The holiday is suitable for individuals, couples or small groups (up to 12 people). Discounts are available for groups.
Should you prefer to stay in one place for the week you can stay at La Posada de San Marcos – an option available all year round. We don’t recommend walking from hotel to hotel in July and August but San Marcos offers great R&R with short morning walks before the sun is high.
Please contact the holiday provider, through the contact form below, for more information.