Trekking the GR7 in Andalucia
From Tarifa to Puebla de Don Fadrique
Guidebook to the Andalucian section of the GR7 long-distance hiking trail in Spain, from Tarifa to Puebla de Don Fadrique. Includes a northern route via Cordoba Province and southern route via Granada Province. The whole 1225km trail takes 34-42 days to complete but can be split into shorter sections.
SeasonsAs a general rule the best time to walk in Andalucía is from March through to mid June and from September to late October. In July and August temperatures regularly reach the high thirties and make walking far more of a challenge. Wildflowers are at their best in late April/early May.
Centres(Common route) Tarifa, Los Barrios, Ronda, El Chorro, Antequera; (Northern variant) Rute, Priego de Córdoba, Alcalá La Real, Jódar, Quesada, Cazorla, Santiago de la Espada, Puebla de Don Fadrique; (Southern variant) Alhama de Granada, Lanjarón, Charches, Zújar, Cúllar, Orce, Huéscar, Puebla de Don Fadrique
DifficultyA fairly challenging route requiring good fitness as there are some long stages, some involving 1000m of ascent. However, there is no technical difficulty and walking is on footpaths, country tracks and, occasionally, minor roads.
Must SeeStriking mountains and gorges, attractive villages, forests, olive groves, cultivated terraces, semi-desert landscapes; (Common route) pretty Tarifa, Alcornocales Natural Park, hilltop 'white villages', Grazalema Natural Park, Moorish Ronda, the spectacular gorge at El Chorro; (Northern variant) Subbetica Natural Park, Sierra de Mágina Natural Park, Sierra de Cazorla Natural Park; (Southern variant) Sierra de Almijara, Álhama Natural Park, Lecrín Valley, Sierra Nevada - home to mainland Spain's highest peaks and some magnificent scenery, Sierra de Baza Natural Park
The GR7 is one of Europe's longest GR long-distance routes, stretching from Tarifa, the southernmost town of continental Europe, through Spain, Andorra and France to Alsace. This guide presents the Andalucian section of the route, which offers well over 700km of fantastic walking through the diverse landscapes of one of Spain's most evocative regions. The route splits at the small village of Villanueva de Cauche, and the guide describes both the northern and southern variants. Although walking is on good footpaths, country tracks and, occasionally, minor roads, some of the stages are long and can involve considerable ascent, meaning that a good level of fitness is required. The full Andalucian GR7 takes well over a month to walk; however, the guide also includes suggestions for highlight sections that can be walked in a week or fortnight.
In addition to clear route description, mapping and elevation profiles, the guide provides background information on local history, plants and wildlife, and advice for planning your trip, such as when to go, what to take and where to stay.
The route showcases Andalucia's rich history and culture and varied landscapes, which include pine forests, semi-arid desert, snow-capped peaks, fertile plains, lush valleys, olive groves, cultivated terraces and hills of cork woodland. Historic towns and traditional whitewashed villages offer overnight accommodation and a chance to sample local cuisine.
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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 author profile
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