Walking in Andalucia

By Guy Hunter-Watts

Guidebook to 36 walks in Andalucia. The Alpujarra region of the Sierra Nevada, Aracena, Grazalema, Los Alcornocales and Gaucin, La Axarquia, 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.



Andalucía's Natural Parks enjoy generally mild winter, spring and autumn weather so walking can be enjoyable at any time from mid September through to mid June. Even in mid summer walks can still be comfortably undertaken in the higher Natural Parks of Cazorla and La Alpujarra.


The six areas covered by the guide are in and around the villages of Aracena, Grazalema, Jimena de la Frontera, Cazorla, Bubión and Cómpeta, all of which lie within protected Nature Reserves.


Walks are graded into four groups: easy, easy/medium, medium and medium/difficult. Most walks involve some steep ascents and descents but the routes have been chosen so that all are within the capabilities of anybody in good health who walks on a regular basis. The guide contains a mixture of half-day and full day walks.
Must See

Must See

Walking in six of southern Spain's most beautiful Natural Parks, all of which share a slice of the magnificent range of the Cordillera Bética. Includes the author's recommendations for the best places to stay in or around southern Spain's most beautiful mountain villages, many of which date back to the Moorish period.
14 Jan 2016
8 May 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.5cm
  • Overview
  • Contents

    Six natural parks
    Plants and wildlife
    Andalucía over the years
    Getting there
    When to go
    Eating out in southern Spain
    What to take
    Staying safe
    Using this guide
    1 Aracena
    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
    2 Grazalema
    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
    6 Cazorla
    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

  • Updates
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    April 2019

    Walk 7, page 71
    The river crossing described in line 3 of the walk description has been washed away by flash flooding. In order to cross to the River Guadiaro’s east side from the railway station, head up hill, passing left of the shop Electrica Serranía de Ronda, to meet the road leading to Ronda, the MA-7401. Turn right, cross the bridge over the Guadiaro, then on its far side hop over a crash barrier and follow a narrow path down to reach a track running along the river’s east bank. This leads you to the far side of the damaged bridge where you pick up route notes at the point ‘Sendero Río Guadiaro, 7.3km’.

    Due to the storm damage the railway line is also temporarily out of action. A bus service is now operating between the two train stations, departing between 15 and 60 minutes after the scheduled train departure time. A transfer by taxi can also sometimes be organised at Bar Alioli in Estación de Jimera.

    Feb 2019

    Walk 11- page 93, 5th paragraph

    There's a little wire and post gate, normally not attached but when it is, it's opened with a loop of wire about 2m beyond the metal gate which is now kept locked.

    Walk 18 Benarrabá Circuit

    Page 134. 30min timing should read 45min therefore ignore the Casa Los Limones timings of (55mins)

    page 137. Following torrential rains then flooding in October 2018 the point where you cross the River Almarchal has been affected. You now have to walk closer to the farm in order to get to the river then carefully cross using a stick for balance. On the other side of the river you now need to climb over a huge tree that has fallen across the path.

    Page 137. Paragraph 4. The salmon-coloured house is now painted cream.

    Jan 2019

    Walk 14 page 116: Two of the concrete stepping stones over the river have washed out but river crossing still doable.

    Walk 23 page 164 : Bridges have now been added for the crossings described along the Cájula river.

    page 167 3rd paragraph: The sign for Sendero is no longer there but the path is easy to spot, deeply descending to the right.

    Walk 30 page 206:

    In the paragraph starting “Here head straight on, climbing slightly for 30 meters” amend to “Here head straight on, ignoring the track cutting down to the left, climbing slightly
    for 30 meters”.

    May 2018

    Walk 23...page 167... line 13..." Presently there is no sign pointing up left for Sendero so .... climbing gently now , for some 900m (it's worth pacing this out) just as the track begins to bear round to the left - cut right down a narrow path .

    Oct 2017

    Mapping error - page 220

    Height of Puerto del Tejo is incorrect should read 1566m instead of 1766 m.

    Walk 7

    The ascent/descent stats for this walk should read 45m of ascent, 140m of descent.

    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:


  • Reviews

    "Now, I’m not one to give glowing reviews if they are unwarranted. In this case that’s not a concern because these guides are really well presented and well written.

    From what we’ve seen so far – your guides look to be the “bibles” of hikers. They look great, read great, they’re a great size, and contain loads of extra stuff that would benefit anyone. Even my other half was impressed and he’s seriously tough to please."

    Spain Buddy

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Guy Hunter-Watts

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.

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