The Alhambra, Ronda, and the Whitewashed Villages of Southern Spain

Overview

Southern Spain holds two impossibly romantic cities: Granada, with its extraordinary Alhambra Palace, and passionate Sevilla, home of flamenco. Linking these cultural capitals, we’ve created a hiking journey that brings you back in time through the tranquil pueblos blancos, the whitewashed villages of Andalucia, with their fascinating Iberian, Roman, and Moorish heritage. The rose-festooned hamlets of the Alpujarra foothills, Grazalema, with its balconies overflowing with flowers, and mountain-perched Ronda—they’re all on this wonderful adventure. Along the way, you’ll sample delectable Andalucian cuisine, from jamón ibérico and gazpacho to local sherries.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Granada / Las Alpujarras / Poqueira Gorge

Explore the Moorish fortress palace of the Alhambra, an unforgettable city unto itself, then head to Las Alpujarras to hike between flat-roofed Moorish-style villages set amid terraced almond, orange, and olive groves. Water works its magic everywhere in these villages—the sounds of bubbling springs and fountains fill the air. Our hike through the Poqueira Gorge brings you past ancient chestnut trees and isolated cortijos (farmhouses) with their herds of sheep and goats, with marvelous views of snowy Mt. Mulhacen as a backdrop.

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Days 3-4
Ronda

After a hike through La Taha de Pitres, seven linked villages that offer a wonderful glimpse of hidden Spain, you’ll hike right into dramatic Ronda, with the sun illuminating the Roman bridge and the Parador de Ronda, our hotel set right over the river gorge. Our explorations include the arched colonnades of Spain’s very first bullring and a visit to a ganaderia (bull ranch) that belongs to a professional matador. While we’re in Ronda, you can try some typical local Rondeño cuisine, such as rabo de toro (oxtail stew).

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Days 5-6
Sierra de Grazalema

Sierra de Grazalema National Park shelters majestic cork oak and fir trees along with a dozen of Spain’s traditional villages. One special hike brings you from the whitewashed village of Benaojan, hidden among high peaks, through the canyon of the Río Guadiaro to the hamlet of Jimera de Libar.

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Days 7-8
Sevilla

In elegant Sevilla, city of artists, poets, jasmine-scented gardens, and the sublime Alcazar, a World Heritage palace complex dating back to Moorish times, you’ll follow narrow streets to enjoy tapas and a festive flamenco performance in the labyrinthine Barrio de Santa Cruz. Depart on Day 8.

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Highlights

Highlights

Explore the courtyards and fountains of the Alhambra in Granada, attend a flamenco performance in Sevilla
Hike the mountain villages of the Alpujarras and the Sierra de Grazalema, among Spain’s most renowned pueblos blancos
Savor southern Spain’s cuisine, including delicious tapas and gazpacho Andaluz
Visit a saladero (a place where local jamon is cured)

Details

Length: 8 days
Cost From: $4295  
Arrive: Granada, Spain
Depart: Sevilla, Spain
Lodging: 7 nights hotels and inns
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

5 hiking days on moderate to strenuous trails, 4-5 hours a day, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day's hike)

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