Spain: Granada to Seville

Guided Walking Tour, Spain: Granada to SevilleGuided Walking Tour, Spain: Granada to Seville

Spain

Granada to Seville

overview

Experience the spirit of southern Spain on this journey through royal cities, white­washed towns, and glorious mountain landscapes. Follow shepherds’ roads past Andalucian farmhous­es to the historic town of Antequera. A tour of the legendary Alhambra—a complex of ancient palaces—sets the stage for more excitement to come. Walk from the mountain village of Grazalema, sparkling in the Andalucian sun and surrounded by Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Dramatic ridgelines of the Sierra de las Cumbres confront you on the way to Ronda, a cliff town overlooking a river gorge where your hotel perches on the very edge! Local treasures are preserved in the Old Quarter’s churches, palaces, and Moorish ruins. From there, Seville beckons, with its rambling, narrow streets and historic neighborhoods. Pleasure awaits you at every turn: in the tapas bars, flowered balconies, and ancient landmarks like the 10th-century Alcazar royal palace, whose Islamic and Neoclassical details express the region’s rich cultural influences.

2014 Downloadable Itinerary

2015 Downloadable Itinerary

Activity Level
Moderate to challenging;
6-10 miles daily
with 3 days of
easy city walking
Meet
Granada, Spain
Depart
Seville, Spain
Reading List
Recommended
pre-trip reading
Guided Walking 
7 days, 6 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Two expert, local guides (for groups of 8 or more), with you 24/7
  • All meals except for one lunch and dinner dinner; local wine or beer included with dinners
  • All accommodations while on tour
  • Transportation from the meeting to the departure point
  • Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the Country Walkers staff
per person double occupancy
Single supplement + $650
 

Solo surcharge + $0
 

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

 

REQUEST RESERVATION
Number of Travelers
Total in your party
Price From
per person double occupancy

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

REQUEST RESERVATION

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Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
La Joya
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2
La Joya
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3
Grazalema
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4
Grazalema
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5
Ronda
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6
Seville
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7
Sevilla
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Day 1

La Joya

Alhambra guided visit; 3-4 hours, easy. Transfer to La Joya-Antequera

This morning you enter the extraordinary world of the Alhambra—a magnificent ensemble of palaces and fortresses that once housed the Moorish rulers of Granada. The tour of the Alhambra is led by a local expert guide and provides a detailed overview of this overwhelmingly beautiful site. The visit comprises all of the most fascinating monuments, including the Nasrid Palaces, the Alcazaba (or fortress), as well as the exquisite Palacio del Generalife gardens. The sultan’s summer palace—known as the Generalife or “the architect’s gardens” if literally translated from Arabic—is the oldest example of Moorish gardens in Spain. Even if you explored the site on your own prior to the tour, you discover intriguing new facets of each of the ancient buildings and gardens, all the while relishing spectacular views over the rest of the city.

Lunch at a local restaurant may include a refreshing starter of shrimp gazpacho paired with the region’s white wine. By midafternoon, you depart Granada for the two-hour transfer to the small village of La Joya and your home for two nights―a charming boutique hotel peacefully located on the outskirts of the village. From its rural hillside setting, there are splendid views over the Guadalhorce Valley and the Málaga countryside with the Mediterranean coast in the distance. There is time to unpack and settle in before gathering again for a welcome aperitif of jerez (sherry) or vino dulce de Málaga (sweet wine from Málaga) on the hotel’s outdoor terrace. An exquisite dinner of Mediterranean specialties follows in your hotel’s warm wood-beamed restaurant.

Hotel Fuente del Sol

La Joya-Antequera, Spain

Beautifully situated in tranquil surroundings, our exclusive rural hotel boasts splendid views of the coastal mountains toward Málaga, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a spa, and exceptional dining.

Day 2

La Joya

Hotel Fuente del Sol to Antequera; 8.5 miles, moderate, 1,200-ft. elevation gain, 2,000-ft. elevation loss. Torcal de Antequera; 1.5 miles, easy

Following a hearty buffet breakfast, you depart the hotel on foot for the town of Antequera, home to numerous churches, chapels, and Neolithic and Bronze Age dolmens (burial chambers built with huge slabs of rock), as well as a profusion of Roman, Islamic, and Spanish architectural gems. Your route passes isolated cortijos (traditional Andalucian farmhouses) as it skirts the Cerro del Águila (Eagle Hill). At the Cortijo del Robledillo (Oak Tree Farm), you continue along a cordel, a drover’s road used by shepherds travelling with their flocks of sheep and goats since time immemorial. A steady, yet gradual ascent ensues, leading to the pass at Escaleruela. Rewarded with spectacular views over the distinctive limestone massif landscape of the Torcal, you begin a steep descent towards the foot of the pass. Reaching Antequera, your guides unpack a well-deserved picnic lunch―an assortment of local delicacies such as chorizo, Iberico ham, and pâté may be served alongside regional cheeses and fresh-baked bread.

After lunch, a short bus ride takes you into the heart of the Torcal de Antequera, a maze of surreal karstic rock outcrops dating from the Jurassic period. The area supports a variety of orchids, wild roses, mountain goats, and griffon vultures. After an easy walk around the Torcal (keep an eye out for fossils!), a 30-minute transfer returns you to your hotel to perhaps enjoy the swimming pool or spa facilities. Dinner, once again on site, may feature a traditional dish of grilled wild boar or roasted sea bass with vegetables freshly picked from the hotel’s garden.

Hotel Fuente del Sol

La Joya-Antequera, Spain

Beautifully situated in tranquil surroundings, our exclusive rural hotel boasts splendid views of the coastal mountains toward Málaga, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a spa, and exceptional dining.

Day 3

Grazalema

Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park; 2.5 miles, moderate, 830-ft. elevation gain and loss or 5 miles, moderate, 1,200-ft. elevation gain and loss

After breakfast, a transfer of approximately 3 hours brings you from La Joya to your next hotel in Grazalema, where you settle in while the guides buy the remaining items for today’s picnic lunch. You then set off through the village to undertake a renowned local walk—the classic circuit of the Peñon Grande, the towering massif that dominates the skyline to the west of Grazalema. Starting from the front door of your hotel and moving through the quiet, pretty back streets, you emerge at the high end of the village. You continue through stands of pine and oak trees and eventually reach a more open area, still gaining height, with beautiful views to the twin peaks of the Simancón and Reloj away to your left, as you skirt the east face of the Peñon Grande. The Llanos del Endrinal are a surprising and rare feature of the landscape here, a flat area, and were cultivated until well into the 20th century; local farmers planted legumes and cereals and protected their crops by building the stone enclosure around it. However, the area is no longer cultivated and the remaining stone wall now serves to keep grazing animals in rather than out.

You reach the high point of your walk at the Puerto de las Presillas (Presillas Pass) and from here descend to the Puerto del Boyar, before picking up and following the nascent Río Guadalete down and back to Grazalema where you have time to meander through the streets of this charming and well-maintained mountain village. One of the typical pueblos blancos (white towns) of Andalucia, Grazalema is characterized by its whitewashed walls and either red- or brown-tiled roofs. The town reached an economic height in the 17th century from a strong hand weaving and, eventually, drapery industry, producing the famous shawls of Grazalema.

Your hotel is located in the heart of this whitewashed village, and in the evening you walk a short distance to a local restaurant and enjoy rustic mountain cooking including various offers of game depending on the season.

Puerta de la Villa

Grazalema, Spain

Perfectly situated in the charming village of Grazalema, this hotel offers simple accommodations, a small plunge pool, and direct access to spectacular walks.

Day 4

Grazalema

Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park; 8.5 miles, moderate to challenging, 1,700-ft. elevation gain, 3,600-ft. elevation loss or 6.5 miles, moderate, 800-ft. elevation gain and loss

After a hearty breakfast and a short transfer, two equally spectacular walks are available in the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park today, depending on the time of year and recent weather. The first option, leading to the village of Benamahoma, begins just outside the town of Grazalema. Starting with an hour’s steep and steady climb to a dramatic ridge at 4,000 feet in the Sierra de las Cumbres, you then skirt the north face of the Sierra del Pinar (clad with the dark green Spanish fir—a rare relic from the last ice age, surviving in significant numbers only in pockets of southwest Andalucia and Morocco). Lunch is a picnic, offering an assortment of cheeses, sausages, and dried meats. Reenergized, you set off on the long descent to Benamahoma―an enchanting village whose streets are lined with orange trees, exuding the scent of their blossoms for much of the year.

The alternative route follows a trail to Benaocaz, a charming village situated inside the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, this park is one of Spain’s most ecologically important areas and home to the griffon vulture, deer, roebuck, and the imperial and royal eagles. The walk takes you through countryside with dramatic views and past the spectacular cleft known as the Salto del Cabrero (Goatherd’s Leap), 330 feet deep and 1,640 feet long.

Following either option, a short ride brings you back to Grazalema, where dinner is yours to enjoy on your own at one of the lively restaurants in the village square.

Puerta de la Villa

Grazalema, Spain

Perfectly situated in the charming village of Grazalema, this hotel offers simple accommodations, a small plunge pool, and direct access to spectacular walks.

Day 5

Ronda

Grazalema to Montejaque; 7 to 10 miles, easy to moderate, 500-ft. elevation gain, 680-ft. elevation loss. Transfer to Ronda

After breakfast, you set off on foot for a full day’s walk to the village of Montejaque. Following an initial descent, the trail then rises to the Puerto de los Alamillos (Poplar Pass). Once through the pass, you find yourself walking briefly through picture-perfect farmland unchanged over the centuries, before dropping again to follow the gentle meanders of the Gaduares River through open cork oak forest. En route, your guides lay out yet another delicious picnic lunch.

This afternoon, a 30-minute transfer brings you to the day’s final destination, Ronda, another of Andalucia’s pueblos blancos and the most dramatically situated. Meaning “surrounded by mountains,” Ronda is ringed by the Serranía de Ronda mountain range and perched on cliffs overlooking the spectacular 350-foot-deep Guadalevin River Gorge, known as El Tajo.

Your parador hotel, housed in the former town hall, boasts a unique location at the edge of this gorge next to Ronda’s famous Puente Nuevo, or “new bridge,” a breathtaking setting that you will relish. There is time to settle in before strolling to dinner at a nearby restaurant for another Andalucian feast featuring magnificent views over the gorge.

Parador de Ronda

Ronda, Spain

Built in 1761, the Parador is ideally located in the center of the city next to the emblematic Puente Nuevo. The spacious rooms boast beautiful views and colorful interiors.

Day 6

Seville

Walking tour of Ronda; 2-3 hours, easy. Free afternoon in Ronda. Transfer to Seville

Following the previous days’ invigorating full-day hikes in the open countryside, the next part of the tour offers a more relaxed pace, highlighting the region’s historical and cultural gems. This morning, a guided walking tour takes you across the arched Puente Nuevo, built in the 18th century, which connects the old Moorish quarter of the city, La Ciudad, with the newer section, El Mercadillo. Entering the central Casco Antiguo (old quarter), packed with churches, palaces, and the remains of mosques and other reminders of Spain’s glorious Moorish past, you proceed to the main square and the city’s original mosque, now the ornate parish church of Santa Maria La Mayor. Following a visit to the Palacio Mondragon, a 14th-century palace with internal courtyards, fountains, a cliff-top garden, and the city museum, you proceed past two of the old town’s bridges―the Puente Viejo (Old Bridge) of 1616 and the Moorish Puente de San Miguel―before reaching the 13th- and 14th-century Arab baths just outside the old city walls. Looping back toward the Puente Nuevo, you conclude your tour at Ronda’s elegant Plaza de Toros, one of the oldest and most revered bullrings in Spain.

You then have free time for the rest of the morning, followed by lunch on your own. A two-hour transfer brings you to your elegant accommodation in a converted 18th-century palace in the heart of Seville. Your sojourn in Andalucia culminates with a final evening in this seductive city where the legendary Don Juan began conquering the hearts of women across Europe. A celebratory meal, perhaps a colorful Spanish seafood paella, served at a lively restaurant, is rounded off by an intimate flamenco performance.

Vincci La Rabida

Seville, Spain

Located in the old quarter of Seville, this beautifully restored 18th-century palace boasts outstanding views of the Giralda and Cathedral. A lovely property with spacious rooms and a solarium terrace to enjoy.

Day 7

Sevilla

Seville city tour; 3 miles easy. Departure from Seville

Located on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, Seville is one of the most important historical and cultural cities in Europe. Your exploration of this fascinating city begins after breakfast with a stroll through the narrow streets of the Barrio de Santa Cruz. This historic quarter with its beautiful houses, flowered balconies, richly decorated façades, and hidden patios is a treat to explore. Next you visit the Alcazar (royal palace)—founded in the 10th century by Abd Al Rahman III and converted most notably by Peter the Cruel for use as his palace. The fortress displays varied architectural styles from Islamic to Neoclassical and features multiple delightful gardens, fountains, and pavilions. The tour concludes in the hotel after the visit to the Alcazar and you are free to continue your exploration of this fascinating city or to depart at your leisure for your next destination.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

Guides

Nicholas Law

Nicholas brings a learned perspective and boundless enthusiasm to our programs in Spain. Nicholas is Oxford educated in natural sciences. He now devotes his time to walking round rural Spain sampling as much Spanish culture as he can. He makes his home in Barcelona.

Richard Guggenheimer

A licensed “Natural Heritage Guide,” Richard Guggenheimer has been leading cultural and walking tours throughout his adopted home of Spain for over 12 years. With a background in languages and music, Richard is also a language teacher and translator. Wide-ranging knowledge and interests, from photography to alternative medicine, make him an engaging guide and travel companion on the Granada to Seville tour.

Guest Comments

S. Rudnick, New York, April 2011

Our guide’s knowledge of local food and wine―to create luscious picnics and order amazing food―added to the beauty of the hikes. Each day was another culinary adventure as well as a spectacular walking one.

K. Schaller, Pennsylvania, April 2012

From my initial phone inquiry to this follow up survey: all really well done. No issues. I have been in the hospitality business for 25 years and I always critique all travel experiences from a different point of view than just a consumer—CW is a first rate operation in every way.

S. Colodny, Pennsylvania, April 2012

Exhilarating experience. Great walks and extremely educational.

J. McLaughlin, New York, September 2009

A great learning experience and adventure.

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