A cultural connection of walkers to landscapes and local life.
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8 Days - 7 Nights
Connect with culture, history, community and yourself.
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per person, double occupancy
$1000 USD Deposit Due With Registration
Andalucia is the best-known of all Spain’s provinces, and conjures up images which for many represent Spain itself: whitewashed villages, flamenco dancers, elegant horses and hams dangling from ceilings. On the Costa del Sol these things might be laid on for the tourists, but in the Sierra de Aracena, they are simply a part of life. It’s a place where remarkably few tourists tread, a place where you will find Andalucia at its colourful, and delicious best.
The walking on this trip is of a medium grade, some days are fairly long though elevation gains are rarely particularly dramatic or steep. The landscapes of rolling hills, sometimes thickly forested with chestnuts, other times covered with the thinner vegetation of the dehesa, cork and Holm oaks scattered across meadows grazed by free-range Iberico pigs. Relax at the end of each day with a glass of wine and plate of olives in the square of a whitewashed village and watch the world go by.
White-washed villages, chestnut forests and ibérico pigs roaming free among cork oaks. Enjoy the peace of rural Spain and a slower pace of life on this self guided walk through the lovely but little visited Sierra de Aracena. High quality small hotels, forested mountains and simply delicious food are waiting for you.
We provide you with the maps, gps 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 day to go over everything - they are also on hand in case of need throughout your trip.
Western Andalucia Highlights
We offer a unique opportunity to explore the villages of Western Andalucia on foot. This gives you an up close look at life there and the chance to interact with the locals more genuinely.
A MORE FULL EXPERIENCE
The chance to hike and explore during the day and evening in different locations allows you to really get to know a place. That's why we book your accommodations throughout the countryside, and transfer your luggage for you.
BETTER WALKS, BETTER LIFE
Combine walking and traveling in a rich historical and cultural landscape. Active exploration makes the adventure uniquely yours.
Level of Activity
This is a walking holiday with reasonably strenuous hikes over several consecutive days. Daily distances range from 11-19km (7-12 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 is generally benign. The walking is relaxed as you enjoy the long, warm days of Andalucia.
You should, of course, be "walking fit' to the get the most out of this trip. Your local host is only ever a phone call away, if any day's walk becomes too much.
As an inn to inn walking adventure, your luggage will be taken for you to each day's final destination.
Level of Comfort
The inns and hotels we use on this trip are small, charming and locally owned. For the first two nights and the last, you stay in a 4-star hotel in a converted convent in the heart of Aracena.
In Cortelazor, stay in a village house which has been converted to an inn and is furnished with the most wonderfully eclectic art deco furniture and fittings. Expect homely, informal welcome. Your next stay is in a lovely converted watermill on the edge of a busting village.
The last hotel is a small, comfortable but fairly simple hotel in the heart of the village of Alájar run by an Anglo-Spanish couple. Charming hosts, delicious food, and a swimming pool are a unique combination in the area.
July and August tend to be too hot for comfortable walking, and December and January too rainy. Apart from those months, this holiday is enjoyable year round.
Level of Culture
The Aracena hills are a genuinely untouched corner of Andalucia. It's an area so little known that you see a way of life long forgotten elsewhere. You can expect total peace and quiet in small rural villages with older residents, in particular, sitting out in the evening watching the world go by-- aided by the seemingly endless sweeping of doorsteps. 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 Andalucia, and contains some of the best examples of Mediterranean and chestnut forests. Although cork production is gradually dying out as screw caps gain popularity, the tell-tale stripped bark of cork oaks can still be seen.
Seville is a remarkable city, colorfully beautiful and always lively. Flamenco dresses, fans, horses, lace shawls, castanets, bulls... it's all here. Seville is a place where traditions are maintained with passion.
Please note that the details of this itinerary are subject to change. Many of the planned activities are organized according to availability, events or seasonal dates, appropriate weather conditions or the discretion of our guides. We make every effort to provide the experience described in the itinerary with the understanding that some things may change.
Where We Sleep
Quaint village luxury. The accommodations on this Spanish walking tour were carefully selected by Jo Ann Taylor and are in the style she has created and the Walking Connection has become known for. The lodges. With luxurious amenities and unique local flavor, you will rest comfortably night after night. Your luggage will be transferred between locations and be waiting for you upon arrival.
Finca la Fronda
Relax after a day of walking at the outdoor pool, terrace or garden, with panoramic mountain views. Or kick back in your bright, spacious room.
The Finca is set in the Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche Nature Reserveon 1.2 miles from the village of Alájar.
In the heart of Seville, there is Hotel Amadeus. Based on the theme of classical music, where magic, comfort, hospitality and culture combine.
On the central patio, you will find all types of musical instruments to be played. Take in the splendid sight of the Cathedral and Giralda in Seville from the terrace.
People Love Traveling
with Walking Connection
"I now know I can do anything!"
- Connie G.
"Its the places you go and the people I meet, that's why I have traveled with you for the last 30 years."
- Larry D., Arizona
"“This truly was the trip of a lifetime as we were educated about the history of these fabulous mountains, their flora, fauna, people, and treasurers. Thank you so for creating the smooth sailing of this experience!"
- Denise and Frank D.
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