Andalucía Foodie Walk

Great food, relaxed walking | View photos »

Roman pathways, delicious fresh local produce and deeply traditional Andalucían villages come together on this relaxed pace self-guided walk in southern Spain’s Aracena hills.

8 day trip described, guide price £1,035pp i

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Map of the area

"Absolutely cracking"

"Absolutely cracking"

We had an absolutely cracking time from start to finish… We really enjoyed the food and had no hesitation in cracking on with olive oil, honey and home made pates and jams... The walking was challenging but not in a daunting way and we met wonderful people who know exactly how to do hospitality in a way you feel like you are with friends. Jean & Mark P

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Sample itinerary

Arrive in Aracena

You are collected from Seville today for the 1½ hour drive to your first hotel. Your hosts will be there to greet you and talk you through the week ahead. Your hotel is a very low impact building of just six rooms set on the edge of one of the prettiest villages in the Aracena hills, Alájar. Enjoy a drink on the terrace to take in the lovely views before your home-cooked meal which showcases local ingredients.

Circular walk

You have the choice of two circular walks today – both leave direct from the hotel. The more gentle, 15km option takes you south along a river gorge, passing various ruined flour mills and a beautiful viewpoint. Leaving the hills behind, you start to cross the meadows of the dehesa which are particularly beautiful in spring. This brings you out into a wide valley with some of the oldest cork oaks in the area.

Walk through villages

Pack your bags today and leave them in reception, they will be brought on to your next hotel for you. After breakfast your hosts will drive you to the lovely village of Almonaster la Real from where you start your 15km walk. Start by exploring the ancient village dominated by the 9th century hilltop mosque, one of Spain’s few surviving rural mosques and a reminder of the importance of the Arabs in the history, culture, language and cuisine of Spain.

Explore the farm

Today is a relaxing day during which you take a tour around the grounds of the farm to learn about the flowers and the ecosystem of the dehesa surrounding you. Lunch is with Armando and Lola, the owners of the farm. Enjoy a feast of their hams, chorizo and a variety of cheeses. Wash it all down with some local wine. This really is exceptional food and to eat it in the kitchen with the producer is a treat for any foodie.

Meadows and views

Your luggage is sent on ahead of you as you say goodbye to the farm and start your 16km walk towards the village of La Nava, famous for its peaches in summer. Climb steadily before dropping down to the pretty village of Galaroza to join a lovely trail as far as Castano del Robledo, the highest village in the sierra. Enjoy splendid views as you make your way to your small lodge just outside the village.

Choose your pace

You choose your pace today. You might like to head into the surrounding hills for a walk in the high sierra above the house. Alternatively, the lodge on which you are staying is a great place to explore in search of plants and species which are effectively left to their own devices. Explore to find the source of the Venera stream and the water system originally used by the Arabs.

Complete your circuit

After a relaxed morning walk the relatively easy and short route back to Alájar. Stop off at La Pena de Arias Montana– a craggy cliff with superb panoramic views and a 16th century chapel. Alájar, Arabic for rock, is so named because of the rough terrain of the area dominated by the rocky crag of Peña Arias. Continue to Alájar and the hotel where you started the week to celebrate the completion of your walk. Dinner tonight is at leisure.

Travel home

Return to Seville at a time to suit you today.

About this trip


Roman pathways, delicious fresh local produce and deeply traditional Andalucían villages come together on this relaxed pace self-guided walk in southern Spain’s Aracena hills.

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How adventurous?

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1 2 3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5

Physical adventure

Whilst this is a walking holiday, it is taken at a very relaxed pace with walks only every other day - unless you want to be more active in which case you can walk on almost every day. On those days that you are walking, distances are around 16km (10 miles). Although the Aracena Hills give the impression of being rolling and gentle, there are in fact some steep ascents and descents.

Having said this, altitudes are low, conditions underfoot are excellent and the weather generally benign which means that the walking is relaxed as you enjoy the long, warm days of Andalucía. You should, of course, be 'walking fit' to get the most from this trip though your local host is only ever a phone call away if you feel the need to bail out on a given day's walk. Another option is to be driven to a start point somewhere closer to the next inn, should you prefer rather shorter walks.

In July and August, temperatures are really too hot to make the walk pleasant. In December and January rains come and can be very heavy so it's best to avoid these months too. Apart from this, the holiday is enjoyable year round. Temperatures in early spring and late autumn will be cool - likely to be somewhere over 10° during the day. From April through June and September to October the temperatures will be more likely in the 20°s

Every other day you walk on to your next inn, on these days your luggage is taken ahead, leaving you to walk unencumbered but for your picnic lunch.

There are three inns featured on this trip, all very environmentally sound though you wouldn't know this staying in them. For the first two nights and the last, you stay in what is actually a very comfortable small hotel on the edge of a particularly pretty village, Alajar. Solar power, groundwater heating and cork insulation are all hidden, what you notice are the very comfortable rooms, delicious food and the pool. You are looked after by absolutely charming hosts. The second place you stay is a small cottage on a farm, delicious food is cooked for you and served in your own front room. The third destination is also a whole house, it's less nicely done than the other two but is surrounded by the most beautiful gardens and has great views of the surrounding countryside. The food here is extravagantly generous and tasty.

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Cultural adventure

As with our other holidays which touch on the Aracena hills, there is a very strong cultural aspect to your stay in this largely unknown corner of Andalucía. You will see a rural way of life long forgotten in other developed countries. In some of the villages you can still see women come out to wash clothes in the fountain together.

The Aracena and Picos de Aroche Natural Park is one of the best preserved mountain areas in Andalucía. Not only does the area contain some of the best examples of Mediterranean and chestnut forests. Although cork production is gradually dying out as screw caps gain popularity, you will still see the tell-tale stripped bark of cork oaks as you travel around the hills.

Farming is strong in the area thanks to the traditional use of the forest. The evergreen oaks of the lower areas have traditionally been cleared to use the land for cattle (fighting bulls or the famous “pata negra” pigs), but leaving a low density forest that provides the food for the animals. The area is famous for its cured ham made from free-range pigs fed only on acorns.

In fact, your second destination is a pig 'farm'. Farm probably conjures up the wrong image, this is the only organic Iberico pig finca in Andalucía. The pata negra pigs roam freely across great tracts of dehesa (native woodland) grazing freely on roots, grass and acorns. Your opinion of pig farming will never be the same again. You spend a day with Armando and Lola on their farm, helping out as you like. Lunch is served in the kitchen as you carve the finest ham, drink delicious, simple, wine and eat fresh produce from the vegetable garden. It's a very simple day, Armando and Lola never quite understand why we would find it interesting, and yet, this often counts as people's highlight of their holiday - this includes vegetarians on their honeymoon!

For foodies, apart from the high standard of food served to you on this trip, you can also learn a great deal from your host in Alajar, Angél, about olive oils - he has an enormous collection and loves to run informal tasting sessions. In the village is a very good butcher if you are looking to bring home chorizos, hams and other embutidos.

Naturally, we provide you with the maps and walking notes for the route as well as detailed local information to help you make the most of your time here. In addition, you sit down with your hosts on the first evening to go over everything - they are also on hand in case of need throughout your trip.

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Best time to go i

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


There is a detailed itinerary for this trip, please get in touch and we can email that to you.

In order to confirm your holiday, we need to discuss dates with you as well as any additional arrangements you might like before checking in with all of the inns to make sure they have space. The holiday price includes accommodation, most meals, transfers, walking notes, maps and local information. It also includes private transfers from Seville though bus is also an option which reduces the price by £XXXX per person.

As a form of inn to inn walk, this route is set and really can’t be altered. There are ways of shortening the trip slightly without impacting the overall quality of the experience if that is helpful. We can extend your holiday at either the start or end very easily, time exploring Seville is very well worth considering or to continue the foodie theme you might like to consider visiting the sherry bodegas of Jerez.

The holiday starts and ends in Seville (airport code: SVQ). Air connections to the city are good, as are rial connections to Madrid and road connections to Malaga.

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Next steps...

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The described itinerary is just a taster of what this trip could involve. We would work with you to tailor your personal trip.

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