Walking routes close to Ronda

Walking Holidays

Walking Holidays in the Sierra de Grazalema and Serrania de Ronda

This is one of the finest regions in Spain to plan a walking holiday. Few other regions can offer you the variety that you can experience within a week, or even a few days, walking.

Of course you can just come, plan it for yourself and use these route notes to plan your itineraries. But if you want something a little more organised here are a few ideas.

 

A Taste of the Sierras

A three night, two and a half day walking break centred at Hotel Molino Cuatro Paradas. It comprises one full day and one half day guided walking, plus one day self-guided walking, but with all required transport and walking notes included. All meals ( 3 breakfasts, 3 dinners and 2  packed lunches) are included, as well as 3 nights accomodation at Hotel Molino Cuatro Paradas.

In general the guided walks will be relatively easy (Grade 2 or 2/3) and you can choose the level of difficulty for the self-guided day. The break can start on any day of the week.

This introductory package is available for just 250 euros per person (based on double occupancy (or 295 euros single occupancy). It can be booked by contacting us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Walking Weeks

We are organising some fixed walking weeks - 7 days point-to-point walking. These are self-guided but we provide all route notes and move your bags from point to point. Those definitely planned  for spring 2019 are

 

White Villages and Serrania de Ronda -  7 days commencing 27 April, 18 May 2019, 14 September 2019 and 5 October 2019

. See below for the outline itinerary.

 

Sierra de Grazalema - 7 days commencing 4 May, 25 May 2019, 21 September and 19 October2019 .   See below for the outline itinerary.

 

NEW! GR141: Walk Andalucia's new long distance footpath before the crowds arrive! A route of 120km over six days  that takes you through the valleys of the rivers Guadiaro and Genal and some of the prettiest White Villages of the Serrania de Ronda. Weeks beginning 11 may,  1 June , 28 September and 12 October 2019 .

 

The price for the walking week is 595 euros per person, which includes all accomodation, breakfasts, dinners and lunch packages (based on double occupancy. A single supplement of 100 euros applies). For further details  please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The holidays can  usually also be organised at alternative dates for a supplement of 50 euros per person (mínimum 2persons).

 

Group Holidays

If you are a group of four or more and you would like an organised holiday with a walking leader, we will tailor it to meet your requirements. All holidays will be based at Hotel Molino Cuatro Paradas and we will provide a group leader, transportation and all other logistics. If you are interested in this drop us an email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with likely dates and some idea of the area and level of walking that you desire. We will get back to you with some suggested ideas. The price is generally 795 euros per person for a full weeks trekking  including all accomodation and meals, though this may vary depending on the chosen itinerary and discounts apply to larger groups. Shorter (3-4 day) itineraries are also available.

 

GPS Assisted

You should be able to plan a do-it-yourself walking holiday using the notes on this website. But for extra confidence in following a route, if you are staying at Hotel Molino Cuatro Paradas  or have booked one of our walking holidays we will always lend you a GPS with the chosen route defined on it.

 



PDF Print E-mail

Serrania de Ronda and White Villages


Inland from the over-development of the Costa del Sol and between the limestone massifs of the Natural parks of the Sierra de las Nieves and the Sierra de Grazalema lies an area of outstanding natural beauty and rightly famous for its  ´pueblos blancos´ - or white villages – villages of Moorish origins which occupy  spectacular positions perched above the deep  valleys of the Genal and Guadiaro rivers.

These villages are connected by a network of ancient pathways which crisscross the river valleys and  make the region a walkers paradise.  Although the paths are generally in good condition and easier to follow than many in Spain, this is not to be classified as gentle walking – the mountains ridges which separate the river valleys are barely lower than those  in the surrounding natural parks, while the river valleys are deep and the white villages are perched high above the valleys. A days walk connecting a few of the villages will often involve ascents/descents in excess of 1000m.

The region is dominated by the  valleys of the Genal and Guadiaro rivers. The Genal is notable for its changing moods – the upper regions are circled by bare but rounded mountain tops, which give way to area of chestnut plantations – spectacular when in their autumnal colours – and, further downstream, deeply wooded with cork and holm oaks. The Guadiaro is more open, with arable lands in the river valley floors but bounded on the western sides by the severe and rocky peaks of the Sierra de Libar.  Common to both are the white villages, each with their own history and traditions,  located in dramatic and strategically important positions and offering lodging and needed refreshment to the walker.

At the head of the whole region lies the town of Ronda. Generally regarded as the ´´capital´´ of the Serrania – it  is on most tourists lists as a must-visit, for its spectacular setting spanning a deep gorge, for its Roman and Moorish history and for its rich bull-fighting traditions (the bullring is  considered the oldest in Spain).


Outline Itinerary

Day 1.

Arrive in Ronda, in time for an afternoon exploring the town, and the gorge.

Day 2

We leave Ronda through the old town to head south and up over the Cerro de Canalizo and over the ridge which separates Ronda from the upper Genal valley, rising up to a level of over 1200m. We drop down to the village of Cartajima, the highest in the Serrania de Ronda,  on the way enjoying the splendid views down the Genal valley in front of us and  across to the Sierra de las Nieves to our left.. We pass through the village and continue to the south, crossing the arroyo blanco (white stream) before climbing over a small ridge and dropping down to the village of Juzcar.  (14 kms, 600m ascent).

Day 3

We have a choice of routes from Juzcar to Jubrique. The first takes us through the village of Farajan, down to cross the Rio Genal and then climbs gently but steadily up to the Puerto del Colmenar  and then drops gently down to Jubrique (17 kms, 600m ascent) .The second option is a higher level route, crossing the Rio Genal at Vega Larga  and then climbing to go around the base of Monte Jardon, ascending to over 1000m in the process.. We end the day in Jubrique, a very pretty village built on a steep hillside overlooking the river Monardilla (a tributary of the Genal) (21 km, 1000m ascent)

Day 4

We drop down from Jubrique to cross the river Monardilla and then climb and skirt around a ridge to the village of Genalgaucil. This is regarded by many as the prettiest white village of all and has become something of an artists colony – with sculptures on every street corner. It is worth spending a while exploring the village before continuing on to Benarraba, crossing the river Genal again in the process.  From Benarraba we drop down to cross the Infiernillo stream before gently ascending up to the village of Algotocin (13 kms, 900m ascent).

Day 5

We follow a small path down from Algotocin to cross the Benajumaz stream and pick up a broad track  and then path through the oak trees to Benalauria, another very pretty village with splendid views back across the Genal valley. We climb up from Benalauria  across a pass at over 1000m , just below the Peñon de Benadalid, and then descend steadily down to the Guadiaro river valley at Estacion Cortes – a satellite village situated alongside the railway line and river  some 2 km below the main township of Cortes de la Frontera.  (12 kms, 750m ascent)

Day 6

A longish but easy day following the Guadiaro valley upstream, past the village of Jimera de Libar to reach Estacion Benaojan (another satellite village below the main village of Benaojan.). (19 km, 200m ascent).

Day 7

A choice of circular routes -  for those that are pining to ascend a summit, we will climb to the summit of Ventana (1300m)  and return via the pretty white village of Montejaque and visit the Cueva del Gato – a spectacular cave exit where the river Guadares exits after being underground for some 6 km. (17 km, 1000m ascent) or we will do a circuit to visit both the Cueva del Gato and Hundidero caves (the start of the same cave system. (15km, 500m ascent).

 

 

 
PDF Print E-mail

Sierra de Grazalema

Rugged limestone mountains, spectacular gorges, pretty white mountain villages, and a network of old drovers and smugglers paths make the Sierra de Grazalema and the Serrania de Ronda one of the finest walking regions in Spain. Yet, step beyond those few routes that have been mapped and waymarked and you will have the mountains and hidden valleys all to yourself – many days you will not see another soul.

The landscape is as varied as it is dramatic. The craggy karst limestone ridges provide a true mountain environment – ascending the peaks or walking the ridges is always a challenge, though one with rich rewards for the views – both of neighbouring ranges or down to the Mediterranean coast. Between the ridges are hidden valleys, surprisingly green and with spectacular wildflower displays in the months of spring., and wooded slopes – with cork and holm  oaks and the rare pinsapar firs being prominent. There are deep river valleys and spectacular gorges and, never far away, pretty white villages of Moorish origins, occupying strategic vantage points perched above the river valleys.

The region is home to colonies of griffon vultures and in certain areas you are virtually guaranteed a display  by dozens of preying birds, while the river valleys  attract a multitude of bird life – particularly during months of passage – this is the route of migratory birds to and from Africa across the Straits of Gibraltar.

The town of Ronda – generally regarded as the ´´capital´´ of the Serrania -   is on most tourists lists as a must-visit, for its spectacular setting spanning a deep gorge, for its Roman and Moorish history and for its rich bull-fighting traditions (the bullring is  considered the oldest in Spain).

Sierra de Grazalema : Outline Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival in Zahara de la Sierra. Depending on arrival time and availability of permits (the gorge is closed at certain times during the breeding season for the local vulture colonies)   we will transport you to and from the spectacular Garganta Verde (Green gorge). Here we do a short walk (3-4 hours there and back) into  some of the most dramatic scenery of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, where we  are sure to see  large numbers of griffon vultures circling above and around us.

Day 2

A choice of two routes which take us up to Grazalema, the focal point of the Natural Park of the same name. The easier option follows a track which skirts around the northern and eastern slopes of Monte Prieto before picking up an ancient pathway, cobbled in parts, up the Gaidovar valley and over  a  small ridge before dropping down into the township of Grazalema. The harder option is to ascend on footpaths over the ridge of Monte Prieto , providing us with spectacular views first over the Zahara lake and then towards the peaks of Reloj and Simancon behind Grazalema. (16 kms, 600-1000m of ascent, depending on route).

Day 3

We walk from Grazalema to Villaluenga del Rosario, the highest village in the park. Again we have two options, the easier being to follow the popular ´´endrinal´´ route around the eastern slopes of Reloj, the peak that dominates the skyline above Grazalema. The alternative is to ascend the twin peaks of Simancon (1569m) and Reloj (1535m) before descending to rejoin the lower route and passing through some delightful hidden valleys before dropping down to the village of Villaluenga del Rosario. (13-15kms, 600-900m ascent).

Day 4.

From Villaluega to Cortes de la Frontera, one of the larger white villages in the park. The easier route follows the path of the GR-7 long distance footpath over a pass into the Libar plains and then along a popular footpath through the Libar valley and down to Cortes de la Frontera. The harder option takes us through one of the remotest parts of the area, following little used smugglers paths around the peak of Salamadre (1303m) and Los Pinos (1397m).  (14 km, 500-700m ascent).

Day 5

The longest days walking – though on the easier option we can shorten it by catching a train for some (or most) of the route. The harder option takes us back into the hidden Libar valley, passing beneath the peaks of the Libar range before crossing a pass and dropping down to the village of Benaojan in the Guadiaro valley. Alternatively we can drop down to the Guadiaro river from Cortes de la Frontera and follow the river upstream to Benaojan. A small railway follows the river valley and we can shorten our route by hopping on the train for one of both of the sectors between  Cortes and Benaojan.  (21 kms, 200-700m ascent)

Day 6

We do a circular walk from Benaojan to the spectacular cave system of the Hundidero – Gato where the river Guadares passes underground for some 6 kms before emerging at the Cueva del Gato (cat cave) and merging with the river Guadiaro. We pass through the pretty white village of Montajaque and explore the entrance to the cave system  before crossing the Mures ridge and returning along the Guadiaro river, past the Cueva del Gato. (15 kms, 500m ascent).

Day 7

We walk to the famous town of Ronda, perched on a plateau with a spectacular gorge splitting the town in two. This is a half day walk, crossing two ridges before ascending beneath the famous bridge that spans the gorge and up to the old Moorish part of the town, allowing us to spend the remainder of the day exploring Ronda (11 kms, 500m ascent).