Walking, History and Culture - in Andalucia, Spain

Andalucia, Southern Spain.

11 nights, plus an optional 5 nights in Nerja, beside the glittering Mediterranean.

2025 dates: May 3rd – 19th (including the 5 night Nerja option). 

Sierras of Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park – and La Axarquía.

We have designed this exciting two week + holiday to give you not only time to walk and hike the fabulous hills and mountains and white Moorish villages of the region, but also to really experience Andalucia off the beaten track by visiting some local artisans and seeing how their interesting lives are conducted.

The area is well known for its whitewashed Moorish villages, which often cling to the hillsides; however not so many visitors penetrate the deep interior of La Axarquía and connect with an ancient way of life, as we surely will. At the end of the 11 days, you’ll optionally spend 5 extra nights in the beautiful old seaside town of Nerja, where you might relax after some 11 days spent hiking and experiencing local culture in the hills. Most of our past guests have taken this option and been glad that they did. Usually, booking an Airbnb is the cheapest option. From Nerja, we will take a day trip to see the famous Moorish Palace of “The Alhambra” in Granada, as well as some coastal hiking and exploring the white and Charming Moorish villages nearby and the famous caves of Nerja.

Until a few decades ago, the Axarquía region of Andalucía was little known. Then, northern European expatriates discovered a few of the pretty hilltop villages and and started buying up some of the run-down ‘Fincas’ and farmhouses in the area. One such Englishman (Cornish in fact!) is my friend Edward and he has restored a beautiful hamlet of Casitas near the town of Periana. Our tour will be based there for the first 7 nights – with its fine restaurant and swimming pool.

Today, rural tourism comprises a large part of the local economy. However, the area is still breathtakingly beautiful and has not been spoiled by the interest and influx of foreigners.

The main attractions are the area’s dramatic hill and mountain scenery, its unspoiled white washed villages and the strong sweet wine that is made from sun dried grapes. Because of the region’s sub-tropical climate, this is also a region where some of the more tropical fruits, such as mango and kiwi are grown. Olive oil production is also very important in the whole region. Average shade temperatures in May are often above 20C (68F) and the sunshine is beautifully warm.

Our tour will be comprehensive and will include not only wonderful day hikes, but also some very interesting themed rural visits, where we will spend a few hours with interesting local people such as beekeepers, wine producers, Iberian ham curers, goat keepers, muleteers, etc. With them, we will learn a little about the old ways of life in this region and how the Muslims brought many innovative cultural and technical ideas with them when they settled here so many years ago, back in the 8th century. We’ll also learn about their ultimate fate (the re-conquest) some 700 years later and about the Spanish Civil War and how it deeply impacted the people of this remote mountain region.

As per usual, I have again chosen to work with a local guide on this holiday and over the past few years I have become good very friends with Javier Sanchez (first photo) who will be our companion throughout. Like myself, Javier is passionate about discovering the hidden meaning of a landscape and its people and he will share with you what he has shared with me over four visits to the region since we first met. I believe that it’s so important to involve local people when exploring any area and with Javier, you will not be disappointed, as he has worked tirelessly over many years to uncover the DNA of the region and what makes its people tick. I have spent many weeks with him over the past few years, exploring and generally allowing him to share with me what is so special in this region. His passion is much like mine in Cornwall!

Like most of our holidays, this will be a fully inclusive tour and apart from the odd coffee and beer, etc – you will not need to put your hand into your pocket that much. All accommodations, meals and activities will be included (apart from visits to The Mezquita in Cordoba and The Alhambra in Granada and any optional days in Nerja) and we will enjoy picnic lunches on some hiking days and restaurant lunches on other days. Transport during the tour will be provided and collection and drop off at Malaga airport will be included on the whole. The cost of this 11 night fully inclusive tour (with wine) was £2,700 in 2024 with no single room supplement payable (for a change!). Next year, prices might rise a little.

If the 5 night Nerja option is added, this will be an additional cost to be paid for at the time, directly. I can however make the necessary reservations. Those who did take this opportunity this year found the extra days spent in Nerja very pleasant and an excellent way to wind down before going home.

After several cancellations due to the pandemic and having completed our first tour there in May 2023 and another this past May, I can assure you that this is finally a truly wonderful experience. Please request our fully detailed brochure.

Hasta la Vista, Martin.

All participants of our International holidays will be required to sign a Liability Release form upon arrival at the destination.

Images of Andalucia 

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