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Guidebook to 36 walks in Andalucia. The Sierra Nevada regions of Aracena, Grazalema, Los Alcornocales and Gaucin, La Axarquia, the Alpujarras and Cazorla each have 6 day walks. Most of the walking routes are circular and range from 5 to 21km, are graded for difficulty, and many are suitable for all walkers.
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|Buy your choice of routes or chapters to read online, on your mobile device or to download as a PDF to print or read.||Browse Routes|
PDF checklists for ticking off any flowers and birds that you spot while walking in Andalucia are now available to download by following this link:
The ascent/descent stats for this walk should read 45m of ascent, 140m of descent.
|Six natural parks|
|Plants and wildlife|
|Andalucía over the years|
|When to go|
|Eating out in southern Spain|
|What to take|
|Using this guide|
|Walk 1 Aracena eastern circuit|
|Walk 2 Aracena western circuit|
|Walk 3 Alájar eastern circuit|
|Walk 4 Alájar western circuit|
|Walk 5 Almonaster circuit|
|Walk 6 Galaroza circuit|
|Walk 7 Estación de Benaoján to Estación de Jimera de Líbar|
|Walk 8 Montejaque circuit|
|Walk 9 Grazalema southern circuit|
|Walk 10 Grazalema to Benaocáz|
|Walk 11 Grazalema northern circuit|
|Walk 12 Zahara de La Sierra circuit|
|3 Los Alcornocales|
|Walk 13 Jimena de la Frontera southern circuit|
|Walk 14 Jimena de la Frontera northern circuit|
|Walk 15 La Sauceda to Pico del Aljibe and back|
|Walk 16 Casares circuit|
|Walk 17 Gaucín circuit|
|Walk 18 Benarrabá circuit|
|4 La Axarquía|
|Walk 19 Maro to Frigiliana|
|Walk 20 Frigiliana to El Fuerte and back|
|Walk 21 Cómpeta eastern circuit|
|Walk 22 Cómpeta northern circuit|
|Walk 23 Canillas de Albaida circuit|
|Walk 24 Sayalonga circuit|
|5 Las Alpujarras|
|Walk 25 Pampaneira circuit|
|Walk 26 Capileira circuit|
|Walk 27 La Cebadilla circuit|
|Walk 28 Bubión circuit|
|Walk 29 Ferreirola northern circuit|
|Walk 30 Ferreirola eastern circuit|
|Walk 31 Cazorla southern circuit|
|Walk 32 Cazorla southwestern circuit|
|Walk 33 Cazorla southeastern circuit|
|Walk 34 La Iruela circuit|
|Walk 35 Río Borosa gorge walk|
|Walk 36 Puente de Las Herrerias circuit|
|Appendix A Route summary table|
|Appendix B Useful contacts|
|Appendix C Accommodation|
|Appendix D Glossary|
|Appendix E Further reading|
Few people are aware that Spain, after Switzerland, is the most mountainous country in Europe, or that the walking here can be as good as anywhere on the Continent. Perhaps it’s because people have long associated the Iberian Peninsula – especially Andalucía – with sun and sea. Yet the coastal belt represents only a tiny part of the rich fabric of Andalucía.
Travel a few kilometres inland and the mighty belt of the Subbaetic mountains, running from east to west across most of Andalucía, rises majestically up towards azure-blue skies. This vast range includes mainland Spain’s highest peak, Mulhacén, which might have snow on its upper reaches for nine months of the year. And within this chain of mountains there are no fewer than 20 natural parks, offering some of the finest mountain trails in southern Europe.
The aim of this guidebook is twofold: it is not only to introduce you to the best mountain trails within the most beautiful of the natural parks, but also to lead you to their most attractive villages and small towns. To this end, all the walks described here, with just a couple of exceptions, are circular routes starting and finishing in villages that are not only worth visiting but where good accommodation and food are also available.
The very good news is that over the last decade or so there’s been a subtle revolution taking place in the hills of southern Spain. Paths have been cleared, routes waymarked, and groups of walkers – mostly from northern Europe – are extending the season of many rural hotels. What began with EEC grants from Brussels, and initiatives such as the creation of the GR7 footpath, is now beginning to take root and several new GRs have been created.
It was gratifying when walking the 36 routes in this book to come across several new walking guides, in Spanish, to the different parks and a number of newly waymarked trails. Spain badly needs this type of sustainable tourism, and all the signs indicate that this sector will continue to grow in future years.
If you’re looking for purpose-built trails of the sort you’d find, say, in the national parks of the USA, then the walking in Andalucía will probably not be for you. Many of the routes follow old drovers’ paths that have seen scant use since the coming of the roads; they can be rough or loose underfoot, and where waymarking exists it can sometimes be confusing. But that’s the whole point of this guide – and all of the routes described here are well within the capabilities of anyone who walks on a regular basis.