From flamenco flamboyance to tranquil mountain trails, exploring Andalusia and Seville on this walking tour means embracing the moment.

Rooting for acorns under the cork oaks outside Linares, the region’s famous black pigs look downright blissful. Watching them from the trailside on your walking tour of Seville and Andalusia, you feel just as contented. Walking through the Sierra de Aracena’s pastoral mountainscapes has slowed you down to a simpler pace. And taught you a thing or two about Andalusian culture. Life here in Spain’s spiritual heartland is all about embracing the moment—whether it’s the flamboyant dancing, clapping, singing, and strumming of a Sevilla flamenco trio or the languid lifestyle of Aracena’s stone villages. As you walk into Linares, locals still chat by the communal wash trough and linger over wine and tapas by the town’s tiny ex-bullring. Time to join them for a glass of fino, and a plate of that famous Iberian ham.

Highlights

  • Stroll through the cork-oak forests of Aracena and Cortelazor, in rural regions completely overlooked by the tourist crowds of Andalusia’s major cities.
  • Visit a family-run finca that specializes in rearing native Ibérico pigs, and chat with the owner to learn how Spain’s renowned jamón ibérico is made.
  • Make time for flamenco and tapas in the one-of-a-kind city of Seville, whose Moorish influences and cobblestone streets delight.
  • Stay at a traditional finca farmhouse that has been beautifully renovated, and whose owner welcomes you with authentic family-style meals served in the kitchen.
On all Self-Guided Adventures you can count on...
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A local representative available 24/7.
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Detailed maps & route notes featuring turn-by-turn directions and places of interest.
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Delicious meals—many are included.
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Scheduled taxi transfers to bring you to and from each day’s walks.
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Gracious accommodations that are a clean, comfortable home away from home.
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Experts to handle all the details, including moving your luggage between hotels while you’re out exploring.
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Access to a Self-Guided Flight Concierge—ask our knowledgeable team to find flights that sync with your planned trip.

Itinerary

Sun, Mar 21 to Mon, Mar 22 - 2021

Show Itinerary:

Upon arrival in Seville, you check into your boutique hotel, located in the historical center. One of Europe’s most authentic urban cores, Seville contains three UNESCO World Heritage sites—the Alcázar palace complex, the Cathedral, and the General Archive of the Indies. For dinner, you can venture out nearby to some of the country’s best tapas bars.

Accommodation: Hotel Amadeus & La Musica, Seville
Included Meals: None

Today you depart Seville and drive north to the Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Natural Park, a protected range of hills stretching in an arc north of Seville. In this bucolic landscape, oak and cork forest alternate with valleys, ancient villages, and Moorish forts and castles. In the village of Corteconcepción, you join your local Representative for an interpretive visit to a small, family-run finca. This farm specializes in rearing Ibérico pigs—the famous black pigs that are the source of the most exclusive hams in the world. You tour the extensive grounds, learning about the flora and the fascinating dehesa ecosystem along with its associated farming process. Afterward, you enjoy a tasting of the finca’s mouth-watering hams. Following your visit, you transfer to your home for two nights in the region’s capital, Aracena, a town of 8,000 inhabitants. The ruins of a 12th-century Moorish fortress stand over Aracena, which was, in large part, destroyed by Napoleon’s army in 1812. The entire town center has been declared “of Cultural Interest” for its many historical buildings and monuments, lovely squares, museums, and churches. Following an orientation meeting, your local Representative guides you on a short exploration of Aracena before stopping for a tapas lunch. If you wish, there is time to visit the stunning cave system of the Gruta de las Maravillas (at your own expense) before strolling out to explore the many plazas of Aracena. Here, you’ll find ample cafés and restaurants to choose from for an evening drink and dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Convento, Aracena
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch (and Ibérico Ham Tasting)

7.7 miles, easy to moderate, 800-ft. elevation gain and loss

This introductory walk takes you out to the pretty village of Corteconcepción, passing farms, gurgling streams, olive groves, and hillsides where you can see the famous Ibérico pigs roaming freely. There is plenty of time for a casual lunch in the village before walking back to Aracena this afternoon, following a different path, giving you a new appreciation for this diverse landscape. This evening, enjoy dinner in town featuring an avant-garde tasting menu created by celebrated chef, Javier Fuster (based on availability).

Accommodation: Hotel Convento, Aracena
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

7.7 miles, easy to moderate, 1,000-ft. elevation gain and 1,050-ft. elevation loss

You depart Aracena this morning and are provided with a packed lunch before venturing out into the countryside of chestnut groves and small farms. The last part of your walk is on ancient cobbled pathways—part of the medieval network of paths across Spain known as the Caminos Reales or “royal roads.” Your destination, surrounded by cork and chestnut forests, is Cortelazor. This charming village of just 300 inhabitants dates back to Roman times. You may wish to enjoy a drink at one of the bars in the main square, all serving tapas-style food, as you watch a bit of local life—as throughout Andalusia, the residents are friendly and welcoming. In the center of Cortelazor, you’ll also find a shop, a 16th-century church, and a small crafts museum. For dinner in this authentic pueblo, you walk with your host to one of the village bars for a simple but tasty meal.

Accommodation: La Flamenca Inn, Cortelazor
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

8.6 miles, moderate with challenging sections, 1,650-ft. elevation gain and loss

Today, a loop walk takes you out through some of the prettiest and most remote parts of the hills. The mixed forest and pastureland, as well as the cultivated woodlands of the dehesa, are typical of southern Spain and Portugal. You walk through forests and along fertile river valleys between small villages stopping along the way for a picnic lunch in the shade of a chestnut tree looking out over the forested mountains. The European Charter has recognized Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche nature park for Sustainable Tourism. Located in the foothills of the broader Sierra Morena, this park boasts more than 600 miles of trails as well as archaeological traces pre-dating the Romans. The area teems with birdlife, including birds of prey such as black vultures and golden, short-toed, and Bonelli’s eagles. Almost every village church is topped with a stork’s nest, and the endangered black stork is found here. Wandering past streams, sightings of heron and egrets are also common. This evening, enjoy dinner once again in the village.

Accommodation: La Flamenca Inn, Cortelazor
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

7.8 miles, easy to moderate, 1,300-ft. elevation gain and 1,000-ft. elevation loss

Today’s walk takes you first through oak forests to the pretty village of Fuenteheridos. Passing through dehesa, you see farmers working both the land and the trees—producing honey, picking mushrooms, and gathering chestnuts while also harvesting cork and bringing the animals to graze on acorns. In Fuenteheridos you can rest in the picturesque square and have a drink or snack at one of the many bars and restaurants. From here your path takes you uphill to cross the Sierra through one of the most bountiful chestnut forests of the region. Once at the top, views extend south over the village of Alájar—today’s destination—and surrounding mountains and, on a clear day, all the way to the sea. A narrow, wooded path leads you to the doorstep of your lovely hotel set high in the hills above the village. You can relax with a drink on the terrace or enjoy a dip in the pool before dinner in the welcoming dining room.

Accommodation: Finca La Fronda, Alájar
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

6.8 miles, moderate, 1,300-ft. elevation gain and loss

This morning starts with a delicious breakfast before you set off down the hill and into the village of Alájar. As you continue walking, look down to see the cobbled “doormats” in front of the traditional whitewashed houses, a feature unique to this village. The route then continues through the semi-abandoned hamlet of Los Madroñeros and into the beautiful forested countryside leading to Linares de la Sierra. In the village, you may encounter locals still gathering at the communal lavanderia to wash their clothes. In contrast, it is also the location of one of the best modern restaurants in the region, making it a perfect stop for lunch (based upon availability). This afternoon, you walk uphill for a short distance before emerging into the grounds surrounding your hotel, or perhaps you’ll decide to celebrate the week’s accomplishments with a visit to the local hammam and take a taxi back instead (not included).

Accommodation: Finca La Fronda, Alájar
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast at your inn, you depart by private transfer from Alájar to Seville (one and a half hours).

Included Meals: Breakfast

Accommodations

What's Included

Tour Only
Boutique accommodations Check
14 meals: 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 3 dinners Check
Detailed water- and tear-resistant Route Notes, maps, and use of a handheld GPS unit Check
Orientation meeting with a Country Walkers representative Check
Local representative available 24/7 Check
Scheduled taxi and luggage transfers (Please note: If unable to walk, it is possible to transfer with your luggage from one accommodation to the next; there may be an additional charge.) Check
Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary: Tasting and visit at authentic producer of Ibérico ham and guided exploration of Aracena Check
Travel assistance available 24/7 provided by Allianz Global Assistance Check
Access to Self-Guided Flight Concierge—Ask our knowledgeable team to find flights that sync perfectly with your planned trip. Check
Morocco: Marrakesh, Foothills of the High Atlas & Essaouira

Dates & Prices

2021 Dates Number of Travelers Pre Hotel Night Post Hotel Night
2-3 4+ Single Supplement
Solo Surcharge
2+ Single Supplement
2+ Single Supplement
Mar 21 - Mar 22 $3,148 $3,148 $748 $648 $173 $123 $173 $123
Mar 23 - Jun 30 $3,198 $3,198 $748 $648 $173 $123 $173 $123
Sep 1 - Oct 27 $3,198 $3,198 $748 $648 $173 $123 $173 $123
Oct 28 - Oct 31 $3,148 $3,148 $748 $648 $173 $123 $173 $123
This tour is available starting Sunday through Thursday, on request, from March 21 through June 30 and September 1 through October 31, 2021. Thursday and Sunday start dates work best for availability. Please note that the tour price includes one departure transfer from Alájar to Seville on Day 8 of the tour. If traveling in a group of two or more with separate departure times, additional charges will apply for multiple transfers. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy.
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