Sierra Circuit Holiday – 7 nights
Our Sierra Circuit holiday starts and finishes in Alájar walking around the Sierra de Aracena natural park in an anticlockwise direction.
The character of the villages has changed little over the centuries, their history reflected in their architecture and the landscape surrounding them. You walk along Roman cobbled tracks, glimpsing abandoned watermills and ancient hill forts left by the Moors. You will see villagers working their on small allotments, hear the ringing of goat bells among the oaks and chestnuts, and the bubbling of the many streams and springs which abound in these hills. Many of these tracks are longside the ancient arabian water system “acequia” and were frequently used during the Spanish Civil War and after to smuggle goods into Spain from Portugal.
Herds of the black Iberian pig grazing among the groves of cork and holm (Quercus Suber and Ilex) oak are a common sight, where in autumn they feast on the falling acorns. The area is rich in visible bird life with an important population of black vultures. Other birds of prey are common and include the Golden, Short-toed and Bonelli’s eagles. You can see stork’s nests on almost every village church as well as the endangered black stork, and as you wander along the streams, sightings of heron and egrets are common.
Price for a 8 day/ 7 night tour: 499.50€ per person at La Posada de San Marcos based on 2 people sharing double/ twin ensuite facilities.
Prices included: Transfer from Seville, 7 nights B&B, meet and greet session to run through the week with you followed by dinner on first night, Guided walk with Ángel on first morning, full walking notes with corresponding maps and gps routes, luggage transfer to each hotel with the possibility of transfering with your luggage to your next destination if you feel like opting out for a day, advice and personal recommendations, emergency/ back up support. Average distance for the walks are 12 – 20 km.
Picnic lunches and evening meals can be booked at all the hotels with prior notice.
Discount available if you opt to use public transport.
Discount available for group of 3 or 4
Day 1: La Posada de San Marco Met at Sevilla airport you are brought upto Alájar where you will meet your hosts Lucy and Angel who have designed this walking route and will run through the week with you describing the walks and the possible dining opportunities in each village. Stretch your legs around the village before dinner (included)
Day 2: 8km La Posada de San Marcos Enjoy a guided walk with Ángel to introduce you to the area and get to know first hand the flora, fauna, history and the socio-economics. In the afternoon there is a choice of circular walks straight from the hotel door
Day 3: 13km Aracena First day on the move, one of the prettiest routes on the tour you will be following the country path, once cobbled, to the almost abandoned Madroñeros a tiny hamlet which throws you back in time. On to Linares de La Sierra another fine example of a sierra village almost stopped in time with the narrow cobbled streets and the intricate stone “door mats” outside the front door. The second half of the walk to Aracena is mainly on well used tracks but one section along a pretty narrow path before a climb up to the outskirts of Aracena and through the town.
Day 4: 13km Aracena An easy to moderate mornings walk taking in a good example of the area with tracks meandering through small holdings and then the pretty countryside until Corteconcepción following white arrow waymarks. A good place to stop for a breather is up at the church with memorable views across to the reservoir. The return journey begins on a lovely ancient cobbled path which converts into a wide vehicle track for a couple of kilometres which makes walking easy, however there is a last steep stretch before dropping down to Aracena on a footpath skirting allotments and magnificent views of the town of Aracena and the fortified church. You can spend the rest of the day visiting Aracena and the caves.
Alternatively, why not visit an award winning family run Iberian ham producer in Corteconcepción before returning to Aracena we are happy to arrange a visit. (42.50€ per person including a generous tasting with wine – reservation required, visits start at 11am and last for approx. 3 hours)
Day 5: 19km Galaroza A great day’s walk taking you through thoroughly varied countryside. The route mainly follows the GR43.1 with red and white way marks but originally these were the paths that everybody used to connect village to village. You begin through well kept chestnut plantations which changes into cork oak woods and olive groves. There are even vineyards before you reach Los Marines, which hosts a wine festival in August. You walk through 2 villages, Los Marines and Fuenteheridos which both have bars in for refreshments, before reaching your destination Galaroza
Day 6: 13.5km Galaroza Today’s walk provides a very varied scenery, passing through small holdings, cork oak forest, mixed woodland and the small town of Valedelarco. The barranco Navahermoso is a glorious river walk where there is plenty of bird life to enjoy.
Valdelarco has a couple of bars for refreshments for a lunch break before heading back to Galaroza through a change of landscape of rocky paths through cork oak groves.
Day 7: 16km La Posada de San Marcos Back to Alájar and San Marcos today you walk to the highest village of the Sierra, Castaño del Robledo which boasts two large churches. One was never consecrated and is now called “el monumento” and is used as a civic centre. Here you have the option to do a slightly shorter (12km) walk or the longer version (16km). The first stage of the walk takes you up the valley to Castaño del Robledo along the way marked Rivera de Jabugo, an area of special interest due to the flora and fauna found along the walk. The shorter option brings you to Alájar vía La Peña de Arias Montano, with wonderful views south as you descend. The longer option takes you to the outskirts of Santa Ana before heading east to Alájar. It’s one of our favourites, along the valley amongst ancient cork and holm oaks, well worth the extra few kilometres!
Day 8: After breakfast we will transfer you to Aracena where you will board a comfortable air-conditioned coach to Sevilla. As there are 2 buses per day you can choose to arrive in Sevilla at 09.05 or 17.35 (Sundays and public holidays 12.05 or 19.35).
A private taxi transfer is also available, please ask for quote.