Spain Walking Tour - 'Serrania de Ronda'
Self-Guided Walking Tour in Spain
Andalucian White Villages & Natural Parks Walking Tour
Enjoy a self-guided Andalucian walking adventure, walking through beautiful and unspoilt mountain landscapes. Beginning in Ronda, you will head out into the mountains, visiting some of western Andalucia’s most charming “pueblos Blancos”, each with a different character and unique feel.
You will walk through 2 Andalucian provinces – Malaga and Cadiz - and enjoy a full range of mountain, valley, river and forest landscapes. This walking tour will give you a delightful picture of rural Andalucia.
This is an area of spectacular mountain scenery with a stunning range of plants and trees. Through the seasons these create an ever-changing tableau of colours and shapes, from hundreds of delicate wild flowers in spring to a burning carpet of chestnut trees in late autumn. Stunning views, relaxed Andalucian life and delicious local produce offer something special on every day of this week-long self-guided walking tour.
♦ Ronda - Puente Nuevo bridge, 120m gorge, bullring
♦ Genal Valley - Cartajima, Alpandeire, Atajate and the blue “smurf village” of Juzcar
♦ Jimera de Libar
♦ Montejaque - zig-zag path and abandoned Hundidero Dam
♦ Grazalema - grand townhouses, gateway to the Natural Park
♦ Serrania de Ronda mountains - striking rock formations
♦ Genal Valley - limestone mountains and rock formations, chestnut trees
♦ Guadiaro River valley - Mr Henderson's Way
♦ Cueva del Gato - waterfall and pool
♦ Grazalema Natural Park - mountains, holm oak and cork oak forest, Iberian pigs
START: Ronda FINISH: Ronda
Duration * 8 nights 7 walking days Distance 99 km total 14 km daily avg - max 16km - min 11km Grading Moderate - Challenging route includes some hills each day (225m - 680m per day) and some narrow and loose rocky paths. The short rope-assisted climb up to Los Riscos requires good overall fitness. Route is almost entirely away from roads, using a mix of drovers' trails, farm tracks and pathways. Some days will be remote throughout. Availability ** All year round. Choose the dates which suit you. Start on any day of the week. Price *** €795 per person based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room (en-suite)
* Tour duration can be extended by adding rest days along the tour; let us know your preferences when you enquire.
** Check out the local annual weather conditions here. N.B. Supplements may apply during Easter week due to inflated accommodation prices.
*** Solo traveller and single occupancy prices are available upon request.
Arrival in Ronda
Check in to your hotel and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautiful clifftop town of Ronda. The briefing will take place on your first evening.
Andalucia Walking Tour Day 1 - Ronda to Cartajima
Heading south of Ronda you climb steadily up into the craggy limestone mountains of the Serrania de Ronda - make sure you turn round to look back where you have walked, for fabulous views of Ronda. You cross a flat karst plain, created where the limestone has been eroded into tunnels and caves beneath the surface and then collapsed in on itself. Then pass below a sheer cliff edge below the peak of "Cancho de Almola", a great picnic stop, surrounded by intriguing rock formations which reveal the ancient geological twists and folds which created this mountainous ridge. The high point of this hike is at 1,234m before your steady descent, past an old threshing circle and down into the village of Cartajima. The village is set just above the chestnut-tree-filled Genal valley; around May-time the trees are covered in bloom and in late autumn the trees turn a stunning russet shade. Overnight in boutique village Hotel Castaños, a walkers' favourite. Note: Bring a picnic lunch on this day as you pass no villages until you reach Cartajima.
Andalucia Walking Tour Day 2 - Catrajima to Alpandeire
The first stop is the blue village of Juzcar. This was originally painted blue for the launch of the first Smurf movie. Whilst the village is no longer allowed to promote its "Smurfs", its unique blue colour still makes it a distinctive sight amidst the mountains. From Juzcar it's a steep climb (some rope-assisted sections) up to the strange limestone towers of Los Riscos. Here, many centuries of winter wind and rain have worn the rocks into extraordinary natural sculptures (a smaller version of El Torcal near Antequera for those that know it), interspersed with threshing circles. Continue through the mountains to finish with a descent to Alpandeire where you will spend the night at La Casa Grande, a comfortable, traditional-style county hotel with an excellent restaurant. Note: Bring a picnic lunch on this day as you pass no villages after Juzcar until you reach Alpandeire.
Andalucia Walking Tour Day 3 - Alpandeire to Jimera de Libar
A welcome descent into the Genal valley and then an uphill section through remote and rugged hills to the tiny village of Atajate; less than 200 residents and the smallest in Malaga province. Its location, on the top of a ridge between the Genal valley on one side and the Guadiaro valley on the other, provides great views. The village offers a couple of nice local restaurants for lunch before you head down through olive groves into the Guadiaro valley and the pretty village of Jimera de Libar, where you will stay overnight.
Andalucia Walking Tour Day 4 - Jimera de Libar to Montejaque
From Jimera village, head down to the River Guadiaro at the bottom of the valley. Then follow an undulating pathway above the river known as Mr Henderson's Way, opposite a railway track. Mr Henderson was the financier behind the railway constructed in the 1890s from Algeciras via Ronda to Bobadilla, giving access from the southernmost part of Andalucia up to Madrid and the rest of Europe. The Jimera to Benaojan section of the railway is one of the most picturesque, cutting through a steep river gorge. There are a few trains every day but not enough to spoil the tranquillity of the walk. There are a couple of lunch options in Benaojan station area or take a picnic to enjoy at the cool oasis of the Cueva del Gato - a cave opening with a year-round waterfall and crystal clear blue pool. Then climb above the cave and back into the mountains, entering the village of Montejaque, via the "zig-zag path". Overnight in village centre hotel.
Andalucia Walking Tour Day 5 - Montejaque to Grazalema
From Montejaque you head into the heart of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, a 52,000-hectare protected area of natural beauty. You will follow ancient routes which cut through the limestone peaks to access the small, remote mountain villages. You will pass through a beautiful and secluded "Hidden Valley", surrounded by holm oak forests which are home to Iberian pigs, wild ibex and deer. Continue on to Grazalema village, formerly one of the wealthiest of the white villages due to its weaving industry. Large porticoed houses around the square lend the village a sense of grandeur, whilst the annual bull run maintains an Andalucian historical tradition. Overnight in the village centre; lots of good restaurant options for dinner. Note: Bring a picnic lunch on this day as you pass no villages until you reach Grazalema.
Andalucia Walking Tour Day 6 - Grazalema to Montejaque
Return to Montejaque via a different route, following mountain streams along ancient trails beneath the shade of the cork oak forest which covers the hills between Montejaque and Grazalema. Overnight back in Montejaque. Note: Bring a picnic lunch on this day as you pass no villages until you reach Montejaque
Andalucia Walking Tour Day 7 - Montejaque to Ronda
15km + 536m
Walk to the foot of the abandoned (and dry) Hundidero dam. Stand beneath the dam's towering wall before climbing out of the valley and then dropping back down to the Guadiaro river. A walk through more open countryside, takes you back towards Ronda town, with a final section through the valley beneath Ronda's famous cliffs, gorge and bridge. What a way to finish the week! Note: Bring a picnic lunch on this day or enjoy a late tapas lunch in the old town, where the walk finishes.
Day 8 - Depart Ronda
Check out from your hotel and have a safe trip home or to your next destination.
We can provide transfers to your next destination or airports of Sevilla or Malaga. POA
We hope to see you again in the future.
INCLUDED IN OUR PRICES
8 nights' accommodation on a B&B basis
GPX route files or free access to GPS application
Annotated route maps
A briefing pack, incl, day-by-day route notes
Briefing meeting on arrival
We operate locally to Ronda so support is always close at hand if needed
See our suggested KIT LIST for walking holidays in Spain.
WILL I BE FIT ENOUGH?
Fitness is hard to judge but as a rule, you need to be capable of walking for a minimum of 4 hours in hilly and mountainous terrain. Some descents and ascents are steep and can be on loose or rocky surfaces. Our routes are designed to go into the remotest parts of the Serrania de Ronda, so you will often be well away from “civilisation” for the day. Whilst your main luggage is transferred for you, be prepared to carry appropriate provisions and equipment to see you through each day.
Just remember that in summer, higher temperatures (rising steadily from 2 pm) can make walking seem harder so we suggest starting soon after 9 am and aiming to finish before 2 pm without stopping for lunch.
WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?
Double or twin room with en suite facilities in all locations.
Ronda hotel is normally 4****. In most of the villages, you will stay in traditional, family-run Andalucian-style hotels close to the village centre, tapas bars and cafes.
All hotels are subject to availability. In summer we prioritise hotels with pools.
WHERE WILL I BE WALKING?
Our walking tour routes take you on a scenic journey away from it all as far as possible. You will walk on double tracks and small pathways which tend not to be groomed. This makes the walking a little rugged in places but these are routes etched into the hills since people began settling in the region. Daily distances vary according to the tour you select. We design all our routes so that you will have time after your walking to relax and enjoy each overnight location.
WILL MY LUGGAGE BE TRANSFERRED?
No need for trying to pack light and risk leaving important items behind. We transfer your main luggage for you so you just take a few items for each day – water, snacks, sunscreen.
HOW WILL I NAVIGATE THE TOUR?
We have 2 options available:
- Ride with a GPS application on your mobile phone. We give free access to the application which can be used in offline mode for each day's ride. The application shows maps and the route in great detail.
- Upload route files to your own GPS device. We will forward files for each day riding in the format needed for your device.
We also provide a large-scale, annotated map, designed specifically for your tour by Hike and Bike, giving you a perspective of where you are at all times.
- Route Map