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White-washed villages, chestnut forests and ibérico pigs roaming free amongst cork oaks. Enjoy the peace of rural Spain and a slower pace of life on this self-guided walking holiday through the lovely but little-visited Sierra de Aracena, with welcome briefing, walking notes, GPS device and luggage transfers.
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Your driver collects you from Seville at a time to suit you, either from the airport, train station or your hotel. The drive to the pretty town of Aracena takes approximately 1½ hours. From your hotel, head out on a short walking tour of Aracena, from its Moorish castle to the town's famous cave system, Gruta de las Maravillas, which you might like to visit.
Set off walking directly from your hotel, following an easy route through evergreen oak and chestnut forests along a pretty river valley. As with many of the routes in this area, paths are generally lined with either stone walls or wire fences, it keeps the wild boar away from the chestnuts and stops them interfering with the valuable iberian pig stocks. You also pass orchards and olive groves as you walk alongside the river.
Walking with just a daypack, set off from Aracena towards the pretty village of Cortelazor. For the first part of your day, the walk follows a pleasantly undulating track through pretty chestnut woods before it leads you up onto a ridge with wide views across the natural park. The last stretch of your walk is a particularly pretty cobbled trail leading into the charming small village of Cortelazor.
Leave Cortelazor for a beautifully varied, at times somewhat challenging, day of walking. The first section of the day is on a little used trail down to the river and steeply back up again to the higher hills across the valley. From Valdelarco an old cobbled path leads you through woodland alongside a stream to your charming hotel just outside the village of Fuenteheridos.
Today ́s walk, may be the highlight of the week in terms of walking. It is a beautiful traverse through the Sierra de Aracena passing through some of the prettiest villages of the area. In the afternoon the picturesque path takes you along streams, through chestnut forests and over the ridge to the south side of the Sierra. You might like to take a detour to the top of the Peña Arias Montano, for fantastic views all the way to Portugal.
Walk to nearby Alájar then cross country to Linares, one of the most picturesque villages in the area. It's also home to a rather lovely little restaurant which showcases local vegetable garden produce alongside the best of the acorn-fed jamon. To celebrate the end of your walk, we include a special tasting menu lunch here today at this extremely welcoming spot.
End your walking week today as you complete the circuit back to Aracena, where you started. It's only a short day today, so you could enjoy a morning by the pool before setting off later in the day, or set off early in order to have lunch in Aracena. There are some great places to eat here, and you'll have our local information and tips on our favourites.
It is up to you whether you prefer to head to Seville early in the day or linger in the Aracena hills before heading back to the city. The transfer to Seville is included, back to the airport or train station for your journey home, though equally you could extend your trip with a couple of days in this beautiful city. Note that flights/international travel are not included in this holiday.
This private walking holiday has you in your boots each day, covering distances from 11-19km (7-12 miles). Based on average walking speeds, you’d be walking between three to five hours a day. So there’s ample time for you to go at your own pace, stopping to take in the views, have a rest or enjoy a scenic picnic.
We rate this as a moderate Inn to Inn. That’s not to say it’s a walk in the park; although the Aracena Hills give the impression of being rolling and gentle, there are in fact some steep ascents and descents. But altitudes are low, conditions underfoot excellent and the weather generally benign. As with all our Inn to Inns, you don't have to worry about your luggage, this is taken ahead of you, leaving you to walk with a day pack.
To cover more of Andalucía and mix in day walks with time in cities and on the coast, our self-drive Andalucía Uncovered trip might be of interest.
As an Inn to Inn trip, the itinerary is fixed from point to point; we can’t deviate from it too far without spoiling it. However, if you’d like to add in an extra night, take out the rest day or spend more time in Seville after your trip, we can certainly build this in to a personalised itinerary. Of course the best way to see if we can tailor a trip to suit you is to ask. We'd be only too pleased to talk.
Departs on a date to suit you from March to June and September to November. However, please note the holiday cannot start on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Please note: services on this trip are always private. Because this walk is through remote areas and is exclusive to Pura Aventura, we feel that overlapping departures risk detracting from your experience. We limit departures to a maximum of one per day.
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. In July and August, temperatures are really too hot to make walking in Andalucia pleasant. In December and January rains come and can be very heavy so it's best to avoid these.
The price is per person based on two sharing and includes:
First-class accommodation with breakfast
Some dinners and a special 5-course tasting menu
Luggage transfers between hotels
Detailed walking notes and GPS device
Welcome briefing with Pura Aventura guide and phone support throughout
Private transfers to and from Seville airport
Andalucía Holiday Guide with personal recommendations
Pura’s expertise, local contacts, support and advice throughout
International flights are quoted separately for this holiday. Best routing is into and out of Seville (SVQ).
The inns and hotels we use on this trip are small, charming and locally-owned and all high quality - mainly of a four-star standard. They each have their own story to tell; for example the B&B in the hills above Alájar is owned by direct descendants of William Wordsworth. They even leave extracts of his poetry on your pillows each day.
For more details, please get in touch to request a detailed PDF itinerary.
You will stay in small villages which receive far fewer visitors than the more established and better-known places. You will therefore be making an important contribution simply by passing through and interacting with the local community. We work directly with all the hotels along this route, ensuring the maximum financial benefit to them. The maintenance of the walking trails also helps to protect the traditional dehesa landscape of this corner of Andalucía, characterised by cork and Holm oaks scattered across meadows grazed by free-range Ibérico pigs.
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