Australians can walk through the unspoilt mountains, lush river valleys and gleaming white-washed villages of Andalucia in southern Spain on a self-guided hike offered by On Foot Holidays – one of Europe’s leading self-guided walking tour operators – and save, thanks to an early bird discount.
The saving is valid for On Foot Holidays’ range of European walking tours if booked before June 30, 2015.
Featuring beautiful scenery, quaint Spanish towns and opportunities to spot ibex, eagles and griffon vultures, the Andalucia walk will include seven nights’ accommodation in traditional ‘hostales’, seven breakfasts, one evening meal, five picnic lunches and luggage transfers between hotels – meaning walkers simply carry a day pack.
The seven-night tour will begin at Zahara de la Sierra, where travellers will be able to explore the narrow streets and old castle of one of Andalucia’s iconic white-washed towns, perched high in the mountains. The first walking day will be easy but memorable as a narrow path leads travellers up to the stunning valley of the Parralejo stream, with its views into gorges inhabited by Europe’s largest colony of griffon vultures. The next day will see hikers take a hillside track into pine woods and the Gaidovar valley before finishing at the area’s most famous white village, Grazalema. A morning walk along a high ridge to an abandoned farmstead kicks off the next day, before walkers stop for lunch at one of Benaocaz’s terrace restaurants and then catch the afternoon bus back to Grazalema. The next day will feature a gentle walk into some of the most remote and scenic parts of Grazalema National Park, before ending at Montejaque, a tiny village perched on the rocky mountainside over the Guadiaro river valley.
The final walking day will include drovers’ paths and wooded river valleys as travellers journey to the city of Ronda, with its citadel and spectacular arched bridges. The last full day will allow travellers to explore the historic city at their leisure, before guests depart their hotel the following day.
Ideal months for the walk are February for the almond blossoms and April for the blooming spring flowers. September to November are also possibilities. The walk is of medium-hard difficulty with four to six hours spent walking each day, with extra rest days, upgrades and extensions also available.
Including a five per cent early bird discount for bookings made by June 30, 2015, the seven-night package costs from £632 (approximately A$1237 depending on exchange rates) per person, twin-share. A £125 single room supplement is also available. Prices vary from low to high seasons.
Based in the UK and specialising in the ‘art of slow travel’, On Foot Holidays offers walkers around the world 24 self-guided tours across unspoilt areas of Europe for independent travellers who prefer intimate encounters with destinations. Walkers can select their own departure dates and all routes are designed by locals and tested by staff from On Foot Holidays.