This walking holiday is your gateway to a walkers paradise.
The Sierra is a natural heaven for walkers since it offers centuries old paths, trails and bridleways that criss-cross the region linking all the beautiful white walled Andalucian villages in the natural park. The area is home to some of the most attractive flora and fauna in Spain and each day provides an opportunity to see the diverse scenery and vegetation on display.
Accommodation in the Sierra Morena
This walking holiday is centred around three different accommodation points. Firstly at Molino Rio Alajar just outside the beautiful village of Alajar, then on to Valle de Arroyo a charming Bed & Breakfast in Los Marines and finally the Hotel Convento Aracena at Aracena.
At Molino Rio Alajar you will stay in one of six stone cottages in a valley by a stream in an unspoilt and still relatively unknown part of Spain, the Sierra de Aracena. Great care has been taken over the furnishing of all the houses, making them pleasing to the eye and comfortable in the rustic style.
There are various facilities available to the guests – tenniscourt, swimmingpool, outdoor chess, table football, table tennis, jeu de boules.
There’s also a large vegetable garden with delicious fresh vegetables to try and a herbgarden.
Walking in Sierra Morena
This walking holiday will lead you though the Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Natural Park. With its rolling hills and clusters of white villages, this area can be found at the western end of the Sierra Morena, the longest of Spain’s mountain ranges. With only 40,000 inhabitants scattered over its 3000 square kilometres, it makes for an ideal destination for walkers and nature lovers looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
The character of the villages has changed little over the centuries, their history reflected in their architecture and the landscape surrounding them. You pass along Roman cobbled tracks, glimpsing abandoned watermills and ancient hill forts left by the Moors. On your walks you can still see mules ploughing 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.
Whatever the season the Sierra has something to offer its visitors. Springtime brings an incredible profusion of colourful wildflowers: irises and orchids, peonies and gladioli. Summer is fiesta time, when the deserted village streets slumbering in the stifling heat suddenly spring to life as the gentle night breezes bring their welcome relief, and people spill out into the squares to sip ice cold beers. Colour returns to the countryside in autumn as the leaves of chestnuts and poplars, walnuts and figs, turn from green to gold, red, rust and brown. With the late autumn and winter rains the parched dusty earth takes a welcome drink, and within days the Sierra is lush and green again, enticing the visitor to venture out on a clear bright winter’s day.
Sierra Morena walking holiday itinerary
Day 1 – Arrival at Molino Rio Alajar
Here you will have a chance to orientate yourself and settle into your cottage. If you wish we can stock your fridge, so you can prepare your own dinner for an extra cost of 30 euros. Alternatively we also can pre-book a table in Restaurant Las Palomitas in Alajar which is only 1.5 km walking distance away. We can also cook a three course dinner for you that you can eat in your cottage 27,50 euro pp.
Day 2 – The Gorge Walk – 13 km
This fabulous walk (our favourite) takes in an extraordinary range of scenery within a relatively short walk capturing all the beauty of the Sierra; cork oak forests, olive and chestnut trees, a ravine, meadows with the famous indigenous black pigs, past farms with cows and maybe bulls and goats. Finally you follow a meandering river back to your cottage. In the course of the walk you will have the chance to see as many as 100 different species of birds.
Day 3 – The Linares walk – 13 km
This circular walk passes the deserted and largely abandoned hamlet of Los Madroneros now popular with cats. You walk to the picturesque white washed village of Linares de la Sierra with its stone mosaic doorsteps and winding streets.
Here you can have lunch at Los Arrieros (closed on Mondays) arguably the best restaurant in the Sierra de Aracena or alternatively have tapas at one of the three bars around the Plaza de los Toros. Your return route home is via the village of Alajar.
Day 4 – Walk to Los Marines – 13 km
After your breakfast it’s time to move to your next two nights accommodation in Los Marines. Since we will be taking your luggage to Valle de Arroyo you have the chance to walk all the way there. This walk passes the locally dubbed hippy village of El Calabacinos, beautifully situated on the hillside just above Alajar providing spectacular views to the south. This village has been populated since the 60s by those seeking an alternative, simpler lifestyle and they have chosen their spot well. A bit higher up on your route you can visit the Chapel of La Pena de Arias Montano. Again here you will have the chance of beautiful views into the far distance. The walk continues through chestnut trees, which attract many visitors in the autumn when they drop their nuts. This is also a favourite time for mushroom hunting. Continue on through the attractive village of Fuenteheridos famous for its fountain with twelve jets It also has a good selection of bars and restaurants. Your next stop is Valle de Arroyo in Los Marines where you will be welcomed by your new hosts Johan and Luc. In the evening you have the choice of either dining with your hosts (3 course dinner at 27.50 euros per head) or eating at a local restaurant.
Day 5 – Sendero Dos Pueblos – 16 km
After breakfast you can start the Two Village walk, named after the two villages you will be visiting; Los Marines and Cortelazor la Real. Valle de Arroyo is situated on the border of these two villages. You start your walk by heading towards Cortelazor la Real. The first part of your walk is along walled tracks where you pass a variety of vegetable gardens and cattle. After an attractive climb you reach a hillcrest providing great views over the Sierra. Continue on through eucalyptus forests to arrive in Cortelazor la Real, where you can stop for tapas. After lunch continue your walk to Los Marines and after a climb you will be rewarded again by nice views. From Los Marines you walk on home where a treat will be awaiting for you.
Day 6 – Sendero de Aracena – 10 km
A classic route through beautiful countryside linking the regioanal capital of Aracena with the pretty village of Los Marines. It is all easy strolling through chestnut groves,farms and small holdings on well made tracks and trails. On your arrival at Aracena you pass the main square before arriving at the Hotel-Convento of Aracena a beautiful restored convent transformed into a 4 star hotel. Your luggage will be awaiting you there. This day you also have time to visit the famous Caves of Wonders and climb the hill to arrive at the castle of the Templars. For your evening meal you can either eat at the hotel restaurant or venture into town to choose from the variety of places available.
Day 7 – Sendero de Corteconcepcion. A circular walk – 11 km
This walk combines many of the regions virtues without excessive extertion. The trail winds through a bucolic landscape, beautiful at any time of the year but stunning in spring with its sparkling wild flowers. Upon your arrival in Corteconcepcion you have the possibility to visit one of the best ham producers of the area of the family Eiriz. Here you can take part in a guided tour (english spoken). Your return to Aracena starts with a stiff climb and is quite different in nature. The climb is followed by a stroll through cattle country on a broad dirt track that runs along the high ground giving good views, before running down to Aracena.
Dates and Availability
This 3 center walking holiday is available from September 15th until May 31st.
You could also stay in only one accommodation – Molino Rio Alajar, for the whole week. This option is available all year round, subject to availability. Please note that July and August are too hot and are not suitable for walking.
Please contact the holiday provider, through the contact form below, for more information.