Medina Sonia is a small village set atop a hill called “Cerro del Castillo” in the Province of Cadiz. It is perched precariously at the top of a ravine from where the Rio Al ham carves through otherwise rolling countryside.
Its main tourist attractions are the quaint streets, the ruins of the Medieval castle and the Birthplace of Bias Infant. Besides walking along the narrow, cobbled streets with their Moorish design, Caesars has a 2 km (1.2 mile) coastline, a beautiful natural environment and the Arab Castle at the top of the hill where the views are spectacular.
At the foot of the Sierra del Javelin at the northern end of the Azalea Natural Park, this picturesque pueblo Blanco overlooks the fabulous, azure-blue waters of the vast Embassy below. High above the village, perched on its rocky outcrop, the remains of its Moorish castle stand guard over the whole valley.
The town was originally an important Moorish outpost, overlooking and guarding the vast green valley below. It has been made quite famous for the breathtaking scenery and is popular for nature enthusiasts, walkers and cyclists.
The surrounding natural park named Sierra de Grazalema is a vast protected area of rugged limestone mountains, which are famous for being the rainiest place in Spain. For over a century, Unique has been world-renowned for its leather industry supplying the likes of Loewe, Louis Vuitton and Gucci.
There are traces of the first prehistoric settlers and of the Romans at the Sierra de Aznar Archaeological Site. Walking along the incredibly narrow, steep streets and under ancient archways, the visitor enters the old quarter, declared a Historical Site.
Monumental treasures in this part of the town include the Los Tuques Castle (15th Century), the Matter Gateway (11th-14thCenturies) and the remains of the walled town, with its palaces and manor houses, the Santa María Basilica, the San Pedro Church, as well as numerous churches, chapels and convents. Demand Santa, a week pertaining to family values, surging crowds and relentless religious ceremonies for most Spaniards in Andalusia, provides the rest of us with the perfect opportunity to hit the road and let the good times roll.
It’s the perfect time to travel, no doubt about it, and where better to go than a glorious, tranquil and sun-drenched beach town on the south coast? Deep in the Marque Natural del Amontillado, Canon de Meca has several stunning beaches, backed by rocky overhangs and sweet-smelling pine trees.
As recently as a decade ago this sleepy beach town was barely known, but nowadays it lures tourists and people from all over the country, and its fair share of scraggly-bearded surfer dudes too. There are lots of great restaurants serving delicious and reasonably priced food, and a wide selection of busy bars which stay open until late at night.
Tourists flock in droves daily to see the nearby caves, but after an hour or two of sightseeing it’s often just back onto the bus to Era. It’s the perfect location if you’d like to escape the crowds by day but still be a short distance away each time you want to enjoy an evening out.
Interesting fact: Much of Cab ode Data has been used in Hollywood blockbuster films in the past, such as Consul beach, a secluded seaside with a large, distinctive, half-submerged chunk of volcanic rock in its shallow waters. It was here that the plane chase in Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade was filmed, during which Sean Connery manages to scare away a flock of seagulls by wafting air at them with his umbrella from at least 50ft away, causing a Nazi pilot in pursuit to nosedive into the cliff.
With its curious mishmash of Moorish majesty and Roman relics, rustic Spanish charm and indelibly beautiful back country, where mountains tower above gushing rivers and canyons carve through the ground, it’s hardly surprising that Andalusia remains one of the most visited regions in Iberia. Threading its way beautifully along a dusty sandstone ridge above the verdant riparian lands of the Guadalupe Valley, the town of Marcos de la Frontera is something like Andalusia’s answer to Greece’s Santorini.
Its houses and church spires glimmer bright white beneath the sun, while the organic brown tones of the city’s Castillo are what crown the hilltop. Marcos was an 11th-century Moorish stronghold captured by the Christians in 1250 and formed one of the focal points of defense along the medieval frontier lines between the caliphates and crusaders (hence the suffix, ‘DE la Frontera’).
Set amidst a sea of olive plantations, swaying barley fields and clusters of pretty poplars and pines, beneath the rising ridges of the Sierra Nevada (tipped with drifts of snow throughout the winter), Alabama de Granada is a town primed for the postcard shot. The center is perched on the edge of a sheer gorge, which adds a dash of natural drama to the sleepy cobblestone squares and folksy tapas joints touting tortillas and Fine wines.
A long-time favorite of day-trippers out of the sun-kissed beach resorts that cluster around Malaga and Marbella, Midas offers a hit of traditional pueblos Blanco (white towns) charm without the need to delve too deeply into the heart of the Andalusian back country. A dash of dazzling white across the verdant ridges of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, Gain has been the source of inspiration for poets, painters and artists since it was first discovered by mainstream travelers sometime in the middle of the 19th century.
That bucolic character still oozes indelibly today, between the sleepy squares and hidden restaurants, through the sylvan swaths of cork plantations and chestnut trees, in every detail of the vistas that roll out on all sides, from the wild Cordillera Sabbatical in the north to the outline of Gibraltar far in the south. Cascading elegantly down the southern edges of the Sierras de Tejeda some 30 miles east of Malaga, Era juts its way out above the scintillating shore waters of the Mediterranean Sea in a blast of shimmering, perfect white.
Touched by the shaping hands of Roman, Moor, Christian and modern-day seaside tourism, the town now juxtaposes crumbling aqueducts with chic condominiums and Mudéjar architecture with the bubbling mix of coffee shops, seafood restaurants and sunbathing spots that coalesces on the Balcony of Europe promenade. Small, sleepy and compact, the center is a bucolic conglomeration of rough brick pueblo cottages and lonely, leaning church spires, encompassed by alluring groves of chestnut trees and oaks and the occasional Mediterranean pine.
All around, hiking trails wind their way further into the hills, the snowy tips of the Sierra Nevada loom and the creak of farmers’ wagons mingles with the occasional click of footsteps moving between the adobe homes. The town itself is a postcard-perfect image of a traditional whitewashed Andalusian settlement, finished off with dashes of terracotta red, crisscrossed by swaying washing lines and dotted with the occasional sun-kissed plaza where al fresco tapas joints spill out onto the corners in a medley of super-fresh olives and regional broths.
It’s hailed as one of the most breathtaking pueblos Blanco in the region, boasting a dramatic perch on the side of a mountain amidst the rugged foothills of the Sierra del Jamal, awash with winding cobblestone streets and dotted with enchanting sites like the pretty, painted Santa Maria DE la Mesa Church and the whitewashed Torre del Below, oozing at every corner with Andalucian-come-Moorish charm, a remnant of the Muslim rulers who dominated these lands until the early 13th century. Nestled in its very own mountain enclave at the heart of its eponymous natural park, the little town of Azalea is one of the few urban spots to grace the wild interior of the Sierra del Ending.
Famed for its natural setting and startlingly white veneer, this one is encompassed by swaths of impossibly green Spanish firs and oodles of untouched meadows which bloom into kaleidoscopic life with the coming of spring. The true essence of Spain is here, along the intricate cobbled lanes of a blindingly whitewashed village, in a majestic cathedral that soars into the blue, inside a buzzing neighborhood tapas bar where a bunch of proud, red-blooded locals watch a football game.
Whether it’s a masterpiece of Islamic architecture, a breathtaking nature scene, or a ravishing coastal town overflowing with old-world charm, there’s no better way to capture the romance and drama of Southern Spain than by visiting these beautiful places in Andalusia. Nestled in the foothills of the Sierras de Tejeda, just above Era, its distinctively Mudéjar historic center is all cobblestone steps, steep sinuous lanes, and carefully preserved whitewashed houses draped with geraniums and bougainvillea.
Built on the site of an ancient Roman temple and with a Renaissance Christian cathedral at its heart, it is a symbol of harmony and coexistence between different cultures, religions, and civilizations that have left their mark on the South of Spain. Locally known as Cisco Antigua, this whitewashed warren of shops, restaurants, and small flower-filled balconies is a blissfully atmospheric place to while away the afternoon chatting over a tornado or just people watching in the central Plaza de los Navajos (Orange Square).
Spanning 280 square kilometers of arid ridges, dry river beds, and bizarre rock formations, the protected national park feels more American Wild West than Andalusia. One of the best day trips from Málaga, along Spain’s bubbly Costa del Sol, Era is a pretty seaside town with fairy tale caves, glittering sandy coves, and some of the best sea views in the whole of Europe.
Walking or biking along its well-marked trails is an exhilarating experience as the scenery changes dramatically, from deep, luxuriant river valleys to peaceful mountain meadows, magnificent waterfalls, and crumbling hilltop castles. Located in the province of Jaén, the park is also a UNESCO biosphere reserve, encompassing some of the richest and most exceptional flora in the Mediterranean, including the nation’s largest continuous area of pine forest.
The area is brimming with characterful tapas bars, craft shops, and flamenco venues, and the orange trees lining its myriad of pretty squares spread a lovely sweet fragrance through the streets. Barrio de Santa Cruz is worth a visit for its intrinsic charm alone, but this seductive neighborhood is also home to some of the city’s most extraordinary monuments, including the Cathedral, the Archive of the Indies, and the spellbinding Alcázar.
History emanates from almost every corner of its characterful neighborhoods; brilliant museums shelter splendid marble Phoenician sarcophagi; and the idyllic sandy beaches fringing the shoreline invite hours of lounging and playing in the languorous Andalusian sun. Typical architectural features such as small water fountains and brightly colored ceramic decorations add to the spectacular fairytale-like atmosphere, and so does the sweet scent of orange and jasmine permeating the air, or the romantic rhythms of flamenco playing in the background.
Explore the driest, sunniest corner of Europe on this self-guided walking holiday, with luggage transported. Discover landscapes reminiscent of North Africa as you traverse panoramic clifftops, sandy coves and red hills, or relax on deserted beaches promising year-round bathing.
Easy-to-moderate walking with some ascents / descents, and occasional longer days. One of the Mediterranean's final unspoiled regions, the Cab ode Data Natural Park in the Andalusian province of Almería basks in the hot sun, its landscapes reminiscent more of North Africa than of Europe.
Here, bare, reddish hills descend to a spectacular coastline of cliffs, sand dunes, salt flats, wild bays, virgin beaches and white fishing villages that sparkle in the sunlight. This is the driest place in Europe, with 3,000 hours of sunshine each year, and is a region that is best ‘out of season’, when a wonderfully clear light bathes the deserted beaches, flamingos fly overhead, and cacti flower in the plentiful warm sunshine.
Our leisurely walks ascend and descend over cliffs, sandy coves and bare hills, introducing you to some of Spain's most striking landscapes. But this holiday is just as much about exploring the authentic fishing villages and making the most of the empty beaches and clear blue waters, the warmest of mainland Spain.
Extend your holiday and stay in Granada to visit the Alhambra You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only. As Europe's sunniest, driest corner, Almería enjoys around 300 days of sunshine a year.
Pirate Cove on the circular route around Las Negros A short, easy half-day walk leads along the coast past palm groves and the ruined castles at Playact to reach the village of Rodalquilar in time for lunch.
Rodalquilar stroll For a gentle day, head into the village of Rodalquilar where you can visit the delightful botanical gardens, and the now-defunct gold mines which sit above the village. Circular walk via Portico El Fragile: 14.5 km, 5.5hrs; ascent/descent 340 m You head through Arizona-like landscapes dotted with cactus-like Agave Americana's and towering aloe Vera plants, taking in Portico El Fragile, scene of the tragic real-life events that inspired Lorna's 'Blood Wedding'.
You have a relatively long day to reach the Hotel Dona Dakota in San José. The route stays close to the coast, passing some fine viewpoints; the picturesque Call DE Los Torso cove; and the 18th-century fort of San Felipe.
For the last part of the walk you follow a wide track that passes beneath El Fragile (493 meters), the highest peak in the Cab ode Data Natural Park. Circular walk from San José: 14 km, 5hrs; ascent/descent 275 m Trails wind inland through a quiet cultivated valley before turning back towards the coast.
You then walk back to San José via the beautiful beaches of Consul and Los Genovese. With its strange volcanic rock formations and massive, wind-rippled sand-dunes, the former was the setting of the film 'Lawrence of Arabia'.
You stay at three characterful hotels, two of which boast an outdoor pool open for much of the season. Set on a hillside outside the village, this hotel offers an outdoor pool and stylish accommodation in seven spacious apartments that comprise a bedroom, a living room with small kitchen, and a balcony with tables and chairs, affording superb views over the village of Las Negros and to the Mediterranean beyond.
Named after a sailing ship that once plied these waters, the Dona Dakota certainly has the feel of a ship beached on the shore, the light and airy rooms and wide-open terraces offering wonderful views along the coast to the Cab ode Data National Park and across the sea. Round off your holiday in Andalusia with a stay in Granada to visit the startlingly ornate Alhambra and the enigmatic Moorish quarter.
Discover a surprisingly relaxed side to the historic city of Málaga, the perfect complement to your holiday in rural Andalusia. Easy walks lead across landscapes reminiscent of North Africa.
We can only accept payment in GBP, but you can use this converter to find out how much the holiday equates to in your own currency. Fluctuations in exchange rates could result in significant variation by the time you come to pay.
To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us. We have many years' experience catering for customers who live outside the UK, and will be happy to make tailored arrangements to fit with your plans.
2) Book your own flights direct to an airport appropriate to your chosen holiday. You can either make your own way from the airport to the hotel, or we'll be happy to book onward connecting travel for you.
To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us. This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules.
Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you.
We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service (£60 for India and Nepal). If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.
7 nights 2 picnics 7 breakfasts luggage transported route notes and maps 2 transfers to local restaurants for dinner To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited.
And having a pot of hot coffee at breakfast outside Hotel Hardin de los Stenos was really nice. The Algerian landscape is outstanding and the climate perfect for walking over the winter months.
The coastal routes and inland walks are all supported with in depth information/history about the local area. Granada : An incredibly interesting City to visit steeped in Moorish history.
The Alhambra, over-looking the City and surrounded by distant mountains is an absolute gem and well worth a day's visit. The scenery in Almeria (Cab ode Data Natural Park) is spectacular and a fabulous location for a walking holiday.
Even though our trip was in December, there was a very good choice of restaurants and bars and felt traditionally Spanish. And having a pot of hot coffee at breakfast outside Hotel Hardin de los Stenos was really nice.
The Algerian landscape is outstanding and the climate perfect for walking over the winter months. The coastal routes and inland walks are all supported with in depth information/history about the local area.
Granada : An incredibly interesting City to visit steeped in Moorish history. The Alhambra, over-looking the City and surrounded by distant mountains is an absolute gem and well worth a day's visit.
The scenery in Almeria (Cab ode Data Natural Park) is spectacular and a fabulous location for a walking holiday. Even though our trip was in December, there was a very good choice of restaurants and bars and felt traditionally Spanish.
The view from our last hotel Dona Dakota was stunning and well worth having the room with the balcony. The walks were all different and showcased many of the beautiful aspects of the Cab ode Gato national park.
My daughter was a little daunted by the idea of walking nearly 18 kms, but we did it and saw many beautiful places along the way, the coast dominating our view all along. The accommodation and service were very mixed but I would highly recommend this memorable trip nonetheless.
All round it was an excellent holiday with interesting walk routes and a good standard of accommodation. The three hotels used gave an excellent variety to the walk and added interest to the holiday.
In our case we were late booking the holiday and had to travel via Malaga, adding long bus trips to the journey. This is such a stunning part of Spain, a real wilderness, a place to escape the rat race and relax surrounded by nothing but flowers, birds and endless views.
Add into this mix some fascinating history and of course, delicious local cuisine plus really lovely accommodation with friendly staff. I had not heard of the Cab ode Data Natural Park before booking this holiday, but I am very glad that I have visited this part of Spain and it made me wish to return.
There were many highlights including one morning when we spotted 5 hopes and a Shops Owl. We especially enjoyed Restaurant Aurora in Los Negros and Leech in Rodalquilar.
Each day's walking was different, and the final day from Cab ode Gato to San Jose, was stunning: rocky headlands, desert landscape right down to the sea, beautiful beaches. The Cab ode Data Natural Park is a fascinating area in which to walk.
In early March there was almost constant sunshine and the wild flowers were spectacular. The accommodation was, as ever, very good and although it was early March there were plenty of places to eat in both leis Negros and San Jose.
They have thoroughly researched an area and discovered the best routes and the most interesting locations so you can benefit. I really appreciated that I wasn’t just walking but also learning a bit about the history of the area while visiting particular locations like the old gold mine and cobble-stone quarry.
Almeria had all the winter sun I’d hoped for and the coastal walks and beaches were barren and beautiful but it was windy and I needed to take 3 layers every day on the walks: tee-shirt weather when the wind dropped but on the top of some cliffs I was glad of my fleece and PAC a mac. The scenery was spectacular and emblematic with the agave trees, palms and other desert plants.
For me, this was a fabulous holiday in a lovely part of Spain with unspoiled coastline. The Cab ode Data natural park provides a welcome relief from the surrounding area on that southern coastline in Spain.
We found the walking notes very well written and easy to follow, providing lots of interesting information relating to the area and some landmarks we passed. The only thing I would say is that, although we had glorious weather with blue skies and sunshine throughout, I would probably not recommend February as the best month to do this holiday.
The only heating there was in the form of air conditioning and sometimes on arrival the place felt slightly cold or damp. On the other hand, the places we stayed were often quite quirky and certainly added to the flavor of the holiday.
The route follows the coastline through terrain covered in wild rosemary, lavender and thyme, offering sensory stimulation to both the eyes and nose. You can probably pretty much guarantee sunshine, whatever time of year you go, although temperatures vary depending on the wind factor as well as the month.
The walking notes provided by Inn travel were very easy to follow and offered lots of insight into facts about the area, pointing out places of interest along the way. The walks are varied, interesting and help illustrate the history of the area.
Holidaying in January here is ideal for comfortable walking during the day but evenings are very cool so warmer clothing is essential. The description of routes was excellent, and apart from a few small mistakes we made during the walks (possibly our own fault), the instructions were easy to follow and accurate.
However, since we have been on walking tours before, we took this possibility into account and the routes were good for our level. Tacoma was definitely on a lower grade (2*) than the others, there was a problem heating the rooms and the shower didn't drain well.
We enjoyed all the walks and would recommend the taxi to the Cab ode Data lighthouse while staying at Dona Dakota as that was a beautiful walk back to San Jose. The first part to the village of Islet del Moro was lovely but beyond, the area was quite barren and uninteresting and the terrain quite rough.
They were very welcoming at Hotel Tacoma in Las Negros with very good, fresh breakfast. Rodalquilar was somewhat disappointing for restaurants at this time of year with a mediocre standard by comparison to the other locations.
We loved the gardens at Hardin de los Stenos and the general atmosphere there, wonderful views from the terrace. Dona Dakota in San Jose is a lovely hotel with wonderful views from the balcony.
Before beginning the walk from Rodalquilar to San Jose, carefully check the weather forecast, as the final 4 km include narrow paths above the sea that are open to strong winds. In the upstairs IL Mauricio restaurant, and some pleasant bars too further into town towards the beach.
In the La Gondola restaurant beside the pharmacy at the end of Called Core. Eckhart at El Hardin de los Stenos kindly phoned Ricardo to arrange for him to take us to the Cab ode Data lighthouse (via Las Salinas) for our final walk which was well worth doing.
The 3 hotels were a varied and clever choice of boutique arrangements. It was enjoyable to walk in these strange, barren but rather beautiful places.
I especially enjoyed my stay at El Hardin de los Stenos which I thought was charming, unique and a lovely place to relax. A special mention must go to Curry at Hotel Tacoma who could not have been more friendly and helpful.
The routes offered a range of distance and terrain, within the parameters of the park and the pathways were well-maintained and easily accessed. It was quiet at each location, given that we travelled pre-Easter, but we found restaurants, etc, without problem and met some very friendly and helpful local people.
(Given that we do not speak Spanish their willingness to persevere with communication was much appreciated). Lovely (albeit at times very windy) weather and stunning coastline.
The scenery was wonderful, with fantastic spring flowers and the walking just the right side of being stretching but not too challenging (we're weekend walkers). I've never used a travel agency before, but we'll definitely be using Inn travel again, as all the tricky stuff is taken care of, and we could just enjoy the walking, the countryside and each other's company.
We loved Hardin de Los Stenos but be prepared to walk in pitch dark (no artificial lighting allowed outside private dwellings) in high winds 10-15 minutes with a small torch to get to restaurants. I brought 3 dresses and never wore any of them, it is cool in the evenings and winds were often high.
The 19.5 km walk in Rodaquillar valley is a must, it is utterly beautiful. I liked the variety from coastal paths, beaches, farmland, deserted forts, mines, cortices and normal.
The additional notes made interesting reading and helped give an understanding of the area. Highlights include seeing a herd a white goat clambering over the cliffs at Consul Beach, spending time at the atmospheric Portico El Fragile and seeing far more wild flowers, thyme and lavenders than I thought would be out in February.
If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inn travel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday.
The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.
We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you.
Making use of sleeper trains or stopovers in cities along the route, we can get you from London to virtually anywhere in mainland Europe. We can even make arrangements to Mallorca, Sicily and Norway with a combination of ferries and rail.
The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveler charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people). Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form.
At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full.
The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.
If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Spain, but not a visa. If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.
(Castilian) Spanish is one of several official languages; in Catalonia, for example, Catalan has equal status. At Inn travel we work in close partnership with our hoteliers, taxi drivers and other local suppliers to provide our self-guided holidays directly to you.
We are entirely confident that you will continue to receive the usual warm welcome from them, regardless of what is happening in the European political sphere. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved.
Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.