Andalusia 2 - Exploring Moorish Spain
Fully escorted by Charles Whitlock, Walkaway Treks
NOTE: REVISED DATES - Limited Space
For those travelling with Charles to Morocco April 8 to 18, the Andalusia tour includes transfers and two pre-tour nights in Malaga. Please see notes on back-to-back pricing for these tours.
Andalusia is the second largest autonomous region of hills, rivers and farmland bordering Spain’s southern coast. Under Moorish rule from the 8th-15th centuries, its architecture, including such landmarks as the Alcázar castle in Seville, the capital city, as well as Córdoba’s Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral and Granada’s Alhambra palace, showcase the beauty of this influence. We invite you to experience Andalusia on foot as we explore some of the most spectacular areas of Southern Spain. Once again, Walkaway Treks explores Andalusia; one of the most popular tours we have done in the last 5 years, with new and old sites to compliment this fascinating region.
Toronto departure on April 19 – Over-night connecting flights to Malaga
Wednesday: 20th April 2022: MALAGA / COSTA DEL SOL or NERJA (D)
Arrival at Malaga Airport - meet Charles and our local tour manager and depart to Malaga city centre for a walking tour to discover this charming and popular Spanish destination. During our tour we will learn of the main events in Malaga’s history and learn about the founders: the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Visigoths, the Arabs and the Christians. During our tour we will visit Plaza de la Constitución (the most emblematic square in Malaga) and the Calle Larios, one of the most elegant and expensive commercial streets in Spain, as we stroll along the Alcazaba militar palace-fortress once used as the central office of the city Muslim government. Next to this, the Roman Theatre, built on the 1st century and the Plaza del Obispo where we will be amazed by the well-known “La Manquita”, the name affectionately referred to the Cathedral of Malaga by its people. San Agustín Street where the international Picasso Museum is located and the most popular winery in Malaga, El Pimpi. We will also stop at the Plaza de la Merced (Picasso used to visit frequently) close to the house where he was born. Here we will admire the obelisk, a Monument to General Torrijos. Transfer to our hotel.
Accommodation, time to rest until dinner at our hotel and overnight.
Thursday: 21st April 2022: MALAGA / COSTA DEL SOL OR NERJA – CAPILEIRA (B / L / D)
Breakfast. Departure to Nerja. Located in the historic region of La Axarquía this bright town on the Málaga coast has beautiful beaches, coves and cliffs and has been populated since prehistoric times, as the cave paintings found in the famous caves of Nerja, known as the “prehistoric cathedral”, reveal. Today we enjoy the Nerja river walk (easy-medium difficulty). We will always be surrounded by water, trees and local flora as we enjoy the relaxing sounds of the birds in the area.
- Distance: If we wish to complete the Nerja river walk (Río Chillar), all the way to “Vado de Los Patos” we will walk for about 8km.
- Speed: The rhythm of the walk is slow. 80% of the walk is on the actual Chillar river which means there will be water. Normally this water will cover your ankles, but it has been known to reach people’s knees before. Walk with caution!
- Footwear: Choose comfortable sporty footwear that can get wet, and that will protect your ankle. Keep in mind that you are going to walk on wet and slippery stones. We do not recommend using flip-flops or sandals!! We also do not recommend using mountain shoes because when they get wet they become very heavy
- Sunscreen and a hat: Highly recommended
The natural park, it is about a 1.5 km walk from the car park.
On arrival we will see a massive esplanade and a small river. The river is now our guide; the channel is quite small to begin with and we will walk beside it. After a 4km walk, we will reach one of the nicest parts of the walk (Los Cahorros). The river passes through 3 fissures in the mountain, quite an amazing sight! As we go through these, one can touch the walls as the cracks are just over a meter wide. As we look up, we see that the height of these fissures are over 20m. Then as we cross the second of these we see a small pool (half a meter deep depending on the rain). This is an ideal place to stop and relax for a while before we continue the walk. We are at the perfect spot to decide to continue on to the big pool, Vado de Los Patos (about 4km away), or to turn back. Should we decide to continue walking the Nerja river we soon discover that the walk is suddenly a bit more complicated, but the scenery just keeps getting better. Soon we arrive at a very large rock, close to the end, and only about 100m from here to the waterfall and the pool. Packed lunch.
We then continue to Capileira. Located in the Poqueira ravine, between the Mediterranean coast and Sierra Nevada, Capileira has the typical appearance of the towns of the region of Alpujarra, Granada, with houses that have been adapted to the rugged terrain and the local climate, situated on narrow streets where the visitor can see the vestiges of the town's Moorish past. These cubic houses are generally two storey with a flat roof. In the city centre we find the Pedro Antonio de Alarcón Ethnological Museum, which exhibits the popular customs of the region of Alpujarra, and the church of Santa María la Mayor, from the 18th century.
Accommodation at our hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Friday: 22nd April 2022: CAPILEIRA ( B / L / D)
Breakfast. Today we have planned a walk to Mulhácen Mountain. Mulhacén is the highest mountain in mainland Spain, towering 3,479 metres above sea level, so it’s not surprising that it offers amazing views. If the weather is clear, we can see down to the Mediterranean Sea. The landscape is mainly rocky and barren, but many of the plants that do grow here are unique. We are also very likely to see ibex during our walk. (This trek will be subjected to the weather conditions). Mulhacén is relatively easy to climb in summer, we will take a bus service up to app. 2,700 metres. The descent is steep and can be slippery, so we recommend wearing hiking boots. The route is easy to follow and is marked by cairns. This route is only possible in summer and early autumn. The mountains are snow-capped in winter, and most years the snow does not melt until June or even July. There can be patches of snow even in midsummer. Even in summer it can be cold at the top (particularly in cloudy and windy conditions) so take warm clothing. TAKE PLENTY OF WATER AND SUN PROTECTION. We should also be prepared for the weather to change very quickly especially the possibility of thunderstorms.
If the weather conditions poor for the climb to Mulhacen, we have another route in the area. There are plenty of nice routes, but we want to attempt the Mulhacen climb.
After the trek, return to our hotel.
Dinner and overnight.
Saturday: 23rd April 2022: CAPILEIRA – MONACHIL – GRANADA (B / L)
Breakfast. Early morning departure for Monachil, located few kilometres from Granada, and the Sierra Nevada. The village has many areas of great natural value and stunning landscapes. The village of Monachil itself has important historic and artistic heritage including its 15th century parish church, Casa de los Señores de Aragón house (17th and 18th centuries), the Encarnación church and Casa del Molino house. Our walk today (easy) is in the lush Monachil valley, a beautiful area for walking. This walk is suitable for all but bear in mind that there are sections where we need to scramble under overhanging rock along the side of the gorge. There are metal handles set into the rock to help us past. You may opt to avoid much of the climb by going back through the gorge rather than taking the circular route. This walk starts in the village of Monachil, following the river up through the gorge, then returning by a higher route, from which we get a good view of the entire valley. The route leads into the spectacular gorge of Los Cahorros where we cross hanging bridges, walk alongside centuries old irrigation channels (acequias), crawl through caves and edge round narrow ledges, clinging to the rock face. Around 9km, with estimate duration around 3hrs.
Los Cahorros is a mid-mountain limestone area, made up of formations that are younger than the higher peaks and are subject to more erosion. The biologist Dori Domínguez explains that due to the scarcity of soil, human intervention and the altitude here, a number of shrubs, such as willows, poplars, rushes and esparto fields, thrive alongside the riverbed in the V-shaped valley of the Río Monachil. This unique vegetation in turn gives rise to the rich wildlife; birds, amphibians and mammals, including wild boar and Spanish ibex. After the walk we continue to Granada.
Accommodation at our hotel. Late afternoon we walk the city centre in beautiful Granada.
Sunday: 24th April 2022: GRANADA – CORDOBA – SEVILLE (B / D)
Breakfast. Morning departure for Cordoba and time for a city centre walk round the old quarter where we will discover a beautiful network of alleyways, squares and white-washed courtyards surrounding the Great Mosque-Cathedral, which reflects the importance of Cordoba in the Middle Ages, and is the symbol of the city. We then continue to Seville. Late this afternoon, we enjoy a city centre walk to discover the innumerable monuments that Seville’s rich history has including the awesome cathedral (the third largest in the world), the Giralda tower, the wonderful palace of the Reales Alcázares, the magical Barrio of Santa Cruz with its narrow streets, the Maestranza bullfighting ring and the perfume of orange blossoms on every corner.
Dinner and overnight here.
Monday: 25th April 2022: SEVILLE – CADIZ – LA BARROSA area (B / D)
Breakfast. Leisurely morning departure to Cadiz. Founded 3,000 years ago by the Phoenicians, Cádiz is the oldest city in Western Europe. The different people who settled here left an important cultural imprint; whose influence still remains in the character of the city's people. This peninsula, on the Andalusian Atlantic coast, has been able to preserve an important historical legacy. Walk in the old city of Cadiz a walking of more than 10 km or a circular walk surrounding the old city in its external border following the design of its defence is about 7 km.
We will then continue to La Barrosa area for dinner and our overnight stay.
Tuesday: 26th April 2022: LA BARROSA area – BARBATE / BREÑA NP – LA BARROSA area (B / D)
Breakfast. Morning departure to the Barbate area. This small coastal town in the province of Cádiz is widely known for its tuna-fishing, the Almadraba, a tradition that dates back to Phoenician times. The Phoenicians, as fishermen still do today, employed fishing nets in a maze to capture migrating tunas passing through the straits of Gibraltar between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Barbate is surrounded by beautiful scenery of natural interest and preserves; the La Breña and Marismas del Barbate Natural Park, the second largest coastal reserve in Andalucía (however, the smallest of the 22 Andalucian natural reserves as a whole). The Marismas (a large inland lake) are located around the mouth of the river Barbate and consist of wetlands. The Breña is located to the west and above the city, consisting of sand dunes, pine forests and rocky cliffs. These cliffs are some of the tallest in Southern Europe with umbrella shaped pine trees planted to prevent the sandy ground from eroding. There are several trails in the area and we plan to make a wonderful circular walk where we sample the twin natural habitats that make the Parque Natural de la Breña such a special treat; the vast forest of stone pines as well as the spectacular cliffs which rise 100m above one of the best beaches in Andalucía. Our walk begins with a section of forest as we follow sandy paths and tracks towards San Ambrosio. After heading toward Barbate via a broad forestry track, we cut south through stone pines and angle down a sandy gully to reach the cliff path that leads back to Caños past the Torre del Tajo. The cliff path is the highlight of the walk. We’ve graded the walk as medium not so much for the distance covered but rather because of the additional effort required when walking on sandy paths.
Return to the La Barrosa area. Dinner and overnight.
Wednesday: 27th April 2022: LA BARROSA area – GRAZALEMA N.P – RONDA (B / L / D)
Breakfast. Early morning departure for Grazalema National Park. The Grazalema hiking trails are a great attraction for lovers of natural environments as the paths that run through the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, declared a Unesco Biosphere Reserve. Grazalema is one of the most popular places in Andalucia for walkers. It has over 20 signposted routes, but many walks in the park have restricted access to protect nesting birds and prevent fires in summer. We planned to enjoy one of the footpaths in the Grazalema Natural Park that requires permission to enter. This would be: El Torreon, El Pinsapar or Garganta Verde and we can apply for a permit one month in advance.
- Pinsapar: 6 hours, steep initial climb. There are great views and of course the Pinsapar forest is the highlight of this walk .
- Torreon: 5 hours, a steep incline to the summit. The highest peak within park at 1654m. Amazing views of the park and surrounds. Good chance of seeing wild mountain goats and raptors.
- Garganta Verde: 4 to 5 hours with a very steep descent. Approx 400m deep gorge with a vast, beautiful cave at the base
Accommodation at the hotel, dinner and overnight.
Thursday: 28th April 2022: RONDA – MALAGA Area (B / D)
Breakfast. Morning walking tour of the beautiful city of Ronda. This town in the Málaga region sits on either side of the Tajo del Ronda, a narrow gorge more than 150 metres deep. Its old town has been declared Property of Cultural Interest. Celts, Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs all inhabited these lands, which were reconquered by the Catholic Monarchs. The historic quarter, reminiscent of the Arab age and with a medieval layout, is scattered to the south of the Guadalevín, while more modern Ronda, the part which sprang up after the 16th century, unfolds to the north of the course of this river. Several bridges unite the two halves of one of the most interesting towns in the heart of the Ronda hills. Our walking tour can take longer or shorter according the interest of the group for this beautiful city where there are surprises around every corner and a walk packed full of interest, ranging from spectacular views across the Ronda Gorge to intimate scenes in the beautiful back streets… after Ronda’s walking tour we have planned one short and easy route from the city of Ronda OR another longer and moderate route, the peak of Torrecilla the highest mountain in Western Andalucia at 1,919 metres above sea level, from here we can see for miles in every direction; toward the Mediterranean Sea, Rock of Gibraltar, Sierra Nevada and the Serrania de Ronda; a challenging walk but amazing views.
Finally, we continue to Malaga area. Accommodation in Ronda or Malaga (depending on final flight arrangements) and our farewell dinner this evening.
Friday: 29th April 2022: MALAGA departure
Breakfast. Transfer to Malaga Airport
- Tour cost per person twin / double: $4,750 Canadian (includes projected air)
- Single Surcharge: $ 650 Canadian – very limited
- *LAND ONLY Cost
$3,550 Canadian per person / twin
Single Surcharge: $ 650 Canadian – VERY Limited
- Deposit required to secure your booking:
$950 Canadian per person
- Final Payment Due: February 17, 2022
COMBINING TWO TOURS
When travelling on both the Morocco and Andalusia tours, take the land only rates for the two tours and add the projected $1,200 air fare. A combined cost then based on per person double / twin would then be $7,320.
- From date of booking to February 16, 2022: Loss of deposit paid
- From final payment date to departure: 100% non-refundable
We strongly recommend adequate travel insurance and will provide details of insurance suggestions at the time of booking.
Price includes return air with all taxes and:
- Fully escorted by Charles Whitlock
- If selected, return air with our group departure including all taxes
- Nine nights accommodation
- Hotel taxes and service charges
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner as per the itinerary (as indicated B/L/D) 7 dinners and 1 farewell dinner, 4 packed lunches
- Land transportation in private motor coaches
- Local walking tour manager
- Entrance fees to national parks and preserves
NOTE: Admission to monuments is not included
- All gratuities for all features listed including tour manager, guides and drivers
Note On Air:
Final air arrangements can only be confirmed approximately 320-days in advance of departure at which time we will confirm the air arrangements and exact cost. We are projecting a return cost, including all taxes, of approximately CAD $1,200 per person If, at the time of contracting, we can get a lower fare or a more equitable itinerary, we will adjust and advise our travelers accordingly.
Single occupancy is extremely limited on this tour and on a request basis only. We also offer the opportunity of share single. In this case we will attempt to provide suitable share accommodation for single requests however this is not guaranteed.
SPECIAL NOTE / CANCELLATIONS:
From time of booking until final air is confirmed there is only an administrative cancellation penalty at $50 p.p. At the time final air is confirmed and accepted, full cancellation penalties will come into effect.
From Final Air Confirmation To 31-Days Prior:
In the event that we are able to find a replacement from waitlists or other requests received for the land tour between date of booking and 31-days prior to date of departure, a flat $50.00 p.p. administration charge will be accessed. Within 31-days prior, we regret that all payments become non-refundable with or without a replacement. We do not guarantee a replacement for any cancelled passenger.
Our Very Special Accommodation
Hotel Sol Don Pedro
A privileged location on the beachfront Bajondillo Promenade in Torremolinos (Malaga), surrounded by gardens. The fully equipped rooms, the majority with furnished balcony or terrace. Together with the Sol Don Marco and Sol Don Pablo hotels, it forms part of the stunning Sol Torremolinos Resort with 9 pools and 2 whirlpools.
Hotel Real de Poqueira*
This charming hotel located opposite the church has been converted from an historic house and renovated keeping some of the original details. Tiled floors and stonewalls combine a rustic style with a minimalist touch. The rooms are elegant and comfortable. The hotel’s café-restaurant offers a wide variety of homemade dishes of Granada and the Alpujarra, as well as international dishes.
*Or Hotel Finca Los Llanos
Gran Hotel Luna de Granada*
Located only within ten-minute distance from the historical centre, this four-star hotel has rooms fully equipped with TV, telephone, air conditioning and decorated with a modern style to enjoy your stays in Granada. The hotel offers other services like spa, gymnasium, massage stalls, heated swimming pool, solarium, paddle court and outdoor snack bar.
*Or Hotel Abades Nevada Palace
Hotel Exe Macarena*
Located in front of the Macarena basilica and the Parliament, Exe Sevilla Macarena 4* invites you to enjoy the beauty of Andalucia. Its rooms are set around a beautiful typical Sevillian patio and equipped with an elegant and sophisticated decoration, as well as all the necessary services for a luxurious stay in Seville. This 4* hotel offers a fantastic outdoor pool with solarium and many other services. Exe Sevilla Macarena 4* is the perfect place to enjoy the capital of Andalucia through an atmosphere full of elegance.
*Or Hotel Ribera de Triana
Hipotel Barrosa Park
The 4 star Hipotels Barrosa Park hotel is located in the Novo Sancti Petri area, overlooking the beach at Playa la Barrosa, one of the most impressive beaches in the province of Cádiz. Immerse yourself in nature in Chiclana de la Frontera, a world of sensations in a dreamy enclave with lots of indoor and outdoor gardens. The hotel also offers exclusive discounts for playing golf and a great variety of other activities.
Hotel El Tajo*
Hotel El Tajo & Spa *** is located in the heart of Ronda, a few meters from its main street and commercial, known as “Calle La Bola”, just 300 meters away you can find our famous bullring La Maestranza and our famous New Bridge , El Tajo, which gives name to our hotel. Our modern and family establishment provides the tranquility and comfort that our guests come looking for to visit Ronda, as well as our surroundings (white villages, Caminito del Rey). Enjoy our cozy Spa and solarium, where you can relax comfortably and enjoy a satisfactory stay. Helpful staff is available 24 hours to assist and make you feel at home! You can also enjoy our fully equipped gym.
*Or Hotel Polo
Meet Charles Whitlock
In 2003 Charles established Walkaway Treks to better serve his hiking adventures and to provide a variety of hiking services.
Charles Whitlock is the owner/operator
of Walkaway Treks.
- 30+ years outdoor leadership experience
- Certified Wilderness First Responder
- Certified hike leader with the Toronto Bruce
- Trail Club and the Grand Valley Trails Association
- Tour Manager for tours in the United Kingdom, France, Guernsey, Canada and the United States
- Advisor to the Grand Valley Trails Association
Contact Scott to reserve your spot!
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