The Andalucian Coast to Coast Walk
From the Mediterranean to the Atlantic through the Baetic Mountains
Guidebook to the Andalucian Coast to Coast Walk, a 416km, 21-day route from Maro on the Mediterranean coast to Bolonia, on the Atlantic. The route, which passes through 7 Natural Parks, links some of Andalucía's most beautiful villages and passes historical sites of both Roman and Moorish origins, including Ronda and Tarifa.
SeasonsAndalucía's mild winter climate means that this is a region that is suited to year-round walking, apart from July and August when temperatures are generally too hot for comfortable hiking.
CentresFrigiliana, Cómpeta, Alcaucín, Riogordo, Villanueva de la Concepción, El Chorro, Carratraca, El Burgo, Ronda, Montejaque, Cortes de la Frontera, Jimena de la Frontera, Castillo de Castellar, Los Barrios, Tarifa
DifficultyThe route is within the capabilities of anyone who is reasonably fit and walks on a regular basis. Stages vary in length from 14km to 27km, so all can be comfortably covered in a day: most are graded Medium-Medium Difficult, with just a couple graded Difficult due to length.
Must SeeSome of Andalucía's most beautiful mountain villages, including Ronda, Frigiliana, Tarifa and El Burgo; Arab and Roman paths; high mountains; ocean views; great food and accommodation; six Natural parks; fascinating historical sites of Roman and Moorish origin
Devised with the aim of linking the two great seas that cradle Andalucía, the Andalucian Coast to Coast Walk crosses the heart of southern Spain, from the small Mediterranean village of Maro to Bolonia beach on the Atlantic seaboard, a day's walk from the bustling port of Tarifa. A village-to-village walk, the 416km trail follows the Penibetic mountain range across the provinces of Málaga, Granada and Cádiz, passing through six beautiful Natural Parks and visiting some of the region's most picturesque and characterful towns and villages.
This guide presents the waymarked route in 21 day stages, each with clear route description and mapping and notes on the villages and other local points of interest. You'll find all the practical information needed to plan and execute a successful trip, with advice on when to go, transport, accommodation and food. Useful contacts and a Spanish-English glossary can be found in the appendices.
Boasting magnificent mountain scenery, charming villages and a rich and fascinating history, it is little surprise that Andalucía has long been popular with visitors. The Andalucian Coast to Coast Walk showcases the vibrant culture and enchanting landscapes for which the region is famed: it takes in mountain views and dramatic gorges, flower-strewn valleys and cultivated fruit groves, with highlights including Moorish Ronda, Roman ruins at Bolonia and the traditional 'pueblos blancos' (white villages).
The Andalucían Coast to Coast Walk: an overview
Plants and wildlife
Andalucía: the historical context
When to go
Eating out in southern Spain
What to take
Using this guide
Day 1 Maro to Frigiliana
Day 2 Frigiliana to Cómpeta
Day 3 Cómpeta to Sedella
Day 4 Sedella to Alcaucín
Day 5 Alcaucín to Ventas de Zafarraya
Day 6 Ventas de Zafarraya to Riogordo
Day 7 Riogordo to Villanueva de Cauche
Day 8 Villanueva de Cauche to Villanueva de la Concepción
Day 9 Villanueva de la Concepción to Valle de Abdalajís
Day 10 Valle de Abdalajís to Carratraca via El Chorro
Day 11 Carratraca to El Burgo
Day 12 El Burgo to Ronda
Day 13 Ronda to Montejaque
Day 14 Montejaque to Cortes de la Frontera
Day 15 Cortes de la Frontera to El Colmenar
Day 16 El Colmenar to Jimena de la Frontera
Day 17 Jimena de la Frontera to Castillo de Castellar
Day 18 Castillo de Castellar to Los Barrios
Day 19 Los Barrios to El Pelayo
Day 20 El Pelayo to Tarifa
Day 21 Tarifa to Bolonia
Appendix A Useful contacts
Appendix B Glossary
Appendix C Further reading
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Day 13 Ronda to Montejaque Page 134, final line.
The steep path described is temporarily closed for repair following storm damage.To reach the bottom point of this path the best way is to continue through the old town to the square by the cathedral and town hall, La Plaza del Ayuntamiento.Cut diagonally across the square then drop down a flight of steps. Turn right and follow the road, Calle Cuesta Las Imagenes, down hill, passing a small park beneath a high stone wall. At its far end leave the road to the right and drop down a flight of steps, then turn right and descend to reach the bottom of the blocked path.
Day 14 Montejaque to Cortes Page 145, paragraph 2.
The gate described just beyond the pond has been intermittently shut by the farmer who doesn't like walkers, even though the path is a public right of way.
If you find that gate is shut you can turn right here then follow the farm's boundary wall/fence, keeping the open expanse of meadow immediately to your left, for approximately 2kms - -you'll see the farm over to your left as you follow it along - to reach the gate at the southern end of the valley which is at: 36°39'40.57"N, 5°20'3.68"W.
Day 15 Cortes to Comenar Page 153, paragraph 4.
If you have initial trouble picking up the path beyond la Casa del Conde bear in mind that the Puente de los Alemanes is 275m southwest of the farmhouse.
Day 18 Castillo de Castellar to Los Barrios
A new road is being built beyond Castellar. It's easier, though not so pretty, to follow the cycle path south from bridge described on page 179, paragraph 2. This is the route that the GR7 follows down the valley.
Page 81, final paragraph line 1
The waymarking at the junction has disappeared.
Page 68 - change 'Refreshments: none en route.' to: Refreshments in Pilas de Algaida towards end of the walk.
Page 79 - there are now 6 sets of galvanised metal gates.
Page 80 - the MA-157 has been re-numbered. It is now the MA-4102
Page 85 - no accent on Nazareño ie should be Nazareno
Page 89 - where it is written 'you pass to the right of a pile of painted white rocks.' one reader's feedback suggests that this should be left. I think it's possible to pass to either side so it would be best to put simply 'you pass a pile of painted white rocks'
Page 46 Line 2: The Santo Cristo restaurant is now closed so change the second line to::
'Ignoring GR249 waymarking off to the left continue along the road for 170m then cut left up a steep footpath ...'
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Guy Hunter-Watts has lived and worked in Andalucía since the 1980s. After studying at the universities of Santiago and Salamanca he taught English in South America before moving to the Ronda mountains where he has been leading guided walks for almost 30 years. His work as a walking guide and freelance journalist has taken him to many corners of the planet including India, Namibia, Tanzania, Latin America and Mongolia.View Articles and Books by Guy Hunter-Watts