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Southern Spain - Walks and Wine
9 days
Spain - Trip code SWW

Southern Spain - Walks and Wine

Combining easy walking with local wine tasting this journey from east to west of southern Spain passes through some of the area's most famous regions. As we travel though rural Andalucia and on to the cities of Jerez and Sanlucar de Barrameda we see a progression from small scale local wine production to internationally successful bodegas (wine houses). The walking is also varied including the hills of the Sierra de Grazalema, the UNESCO protected wetlands of Donana National Park, and the 'Old Town' and city beachfront of Cadiz.

Trip highlights

  • Local wines - Sample wines at simple rural bodegas and sophisticated international winehouses
  • Rural hill walks - Through Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama National Park, and the Sierra de Grazalema
  • Ronda - Explore this fascinating historic town built on two sides of a ravine
  • Donana National Park - Visit park's visitor centre and walk through nearby wetland, home to local and migratory birds
  • Sanlucar de Barrrameda - Discover this authentic town situated on a pretty beach and estuary
Accommodation grade:
Standard
Our standard, mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service, often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en suite facilities.
Walking grade:
Easy To Moderate
This grade is ideal if you want to enjoy both easy and moderate level walks on the same tour. You’ll be walking mainly on good paths and at low altitude, with occasional more demanding ascents or descents.
Group Size:
10 - 16
Maximum group size ranges from between 6 to 20 people, depending on the type of trip, the transport and accommodation used and activities included. We rarely have groups that are smaller than five or six people and the average is 12 people plus an Explore leader.

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Join trip in Malaga

Our trip starts in Malaga, a pleasant historic city best known as one of the gateways to the Costa del Sol. If you arrive early there is plenty to explore - The Old Town is a walk or short taxi ride away (one and a half kilometres). The habour is on the edge of the Old Town while the beach is another half a kilometre further.

Accommodation: Hotel Zenit(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: None
Day 2 - Explore Malaga's Old Town. Travel to 'white town' of Competa

Today we start with a walk through Malaga's Old Town including the opportunity to visit the Alcazaba de Malaga, an 11th century palatial fort thought to be the best preserved in Spain. We then drive northwest for approximately an hour to the hills of the Axarquia region. Here we visit Bodegas Bentomiz for an introduction to the local wines and a wine tasting. There is also the opportunity to take lunch (not included). While our luggage is taken to our hotel we then start our first walk - a gentle ramble to the small 'white town' of Competa on the edge of the Sierra de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama National Park, our base for the next two nights. Today's walk covers seven kilometres and takes approximately two hours over gently undulating terrain through vineyards and rolling hills. Ascents and descents total approximately +/- 200m. Depending on time there may also be the option to make an additional walk to the nearby village Canillas de Albaida and back to Competa. This is a seven kilometre walk and takes approximately two and a half hours over similar terrain. The ascents and descents total approximately +/- 150m.

Accommodation: Hotel Balcon de Competa(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 3 - Walk in national park. Wine tasting at local bodega

After breakfast we start a circular walk out into the national park. We walk through woods of pine trees, oaks and maples, and take in views of the nearby mountains and the distant Mediterranean coast. (There is the opportunity to buy a picnic lunch in Competa before we start the walk). On our way back to Competa we visit Bodegas Almijara for another tasting of local wine. Our walk today covers ten kilometres and takes approximately three and a half hours. Total ascent and decent +/- 300m.

Accommodation: Hotel Balcon de Competa(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 4 - Walk through canyon from Ronda to bodega in old monastery

This morning we start with a two and a half hour drive to the historic town of Ronda. Ronda has a dramatic setting on an escarpment, with a famous bridge joining the two sides of the town across a deep ravine. After an optional lunch we walk through the Ronda's fascinating Old Town with its Moorish and classic Spanish architecture, down to the Tajo Canyon and an interesting wine house, Bodegas Descalzos Viejos - situated in an old Monastery. Here we taste some of the local wine that has put Ronda on to Spain's wine map. Today we walk for approximately nine kilometres over three hours. There is some ascent and descent through the canyon (+300m / - 300m).

Accommodation: Hotel Polo(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 5 - Walk in Sierra de Grazalema. Visit Arcos de la Frontera

Today we walk from the hotel through Guadalevin Valley to the 'pueblo blanco' of Benaojan in the foothills of the Sierra de Grazalema. From here we take a short drive to Cueva del Gato cave where there is the opportunity to swim in a natural pool. We then start our journey to Sanlucar de Barrameda (approximately two hours), stopping at the historic town of Arcos de la Frontera en route. We have dinner on arrival (not included). The estuary town of Sanlucar de Barrameda is our base for the next three nights. Today's walk covers twelve kilometres through gently undulating hills and takes approximately four and a half hours . The total ascent and descent are appproximately +280m / -450m.

Accommodation: Hotel Guadalquivir(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 6 - Visit to Jerez, including international sherry winehouse

This morning we take the public bus for approximately forty minutes to Jerez, famous for its fortified wine known in English as 'sherry'. We make an orientation walk around the Old Town and visit the 'Real Tesoro Y Valdespino', an international wine house, to sample their sherry. At midday there is the opportunity to see a local horse show at the Real Escuela. The rest of the day is free to explore Jerez further before returning to Sanlucar de Barrameda by bus.

Accommodation: Hotel Guadalquivir(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 7 - Donana National Park Visitors Centre. Wetland walk by estuary

After breakfast we visit the Donana National Park Visitors Centre - This area is an important wetland reserve and a major site for migrating birds as well as interesting local birds such as Spanish imperial eagles. It has three eco-systems: salt marshes, scrubland and coastal dunes. We also visit the local Bonanza Salines to learn about local salt production. We than take the local bus to Algaida Forest situated on the estuary, and take a walk through the wetlands hoping to see some of the local birdlife. Later in the evening, once back in Sanlucar de Barrameda, we visit La Gitana, Sanlucar's most traditional winery and bar, to sample the local fortified wine. Today we walk for approximately twelve kilometres over four hours, through wetlands and river marshes. The terrain is mainly flat.

Accommodation: Hotel Guadalquivir(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 8 - Brandy tasting. Walk along beachfront in Cadiz

Today we drive the short distance to Puerto Santa Maria to visit Bodega Gutirrez Colossia and try the famous brandy at this sophisticated wine house. We then drive to the coastal city of Cadiz. Cadiz is a bustling city with a stylish beach front and interesting Old Town which we walk around, with the option to stop for a good tapas lunch, before starting our journey north to Seville. If time allows, we make a short walk around Seville's old city centre before an optional dinner. Our walk today is approximately two kilometres and lasts an hour, around the Old Town and beachfront of Cadiz.

Accommodation: Hotel Abril(or similar)

Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 9 - Trip ends in Seville

Our trip ends after breakfast in Seville. However if you have some free time this is a wonderful city that is easy to explore.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Walking and Trekking information

Walking grade
Easy to moderate
Trek details
Walks on 6 days for between 1 and 4 hours, through a variety of terrains, including some hills. Ascents and descents are under +300 / - 300m except on day 3 when the ascent and descents are +670 / - 670m

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 8
Transport
  • Bus
  • Ferry
  • Public Bus
Trip staff
  • Explore Tour Leader
  • Driver(s)
  • Local Guide(s)
Accommodation
  • 7 nights standard hotel
  • 1 nights hotel

Trip information

Country information

Spain Holidays & Tours

Climate

Overall, spring, early summer and autumn are ideal times for a Spanish trip - though the weather varies enormously from region to region. The high central plains suffer from fierce extremes, stiflingly hot in summer, bitterly cold and swept by freezing winds in winter. The Atlantic coast, in contrast, has a tendency to damp and mist, and a relatively brief, humid summer. The Mediterranean south is warm virtually all year round. Spain's Islands the Canaries and Balaerics experience very mild winters and warm summers making them ideal year round destinations.

Time difference to GMT

+1

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Roman Catholic

Language

Castilian Spanish, Catalan, Galician, Basque

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

Malaga - Entrance Alcazar de Malaga 1.80€ pp Competa - Bodegas Bentomiz optional lunch (Menu Endologico) 23€ pp Sierra de Grazalema - Cueva del Gato 8€ pp Bodegas F. Schatz - Wine-tasting (6 wines) 25€ pp Horse Show El Puerto de Santa Maria: 21 € pp (+ 8 € pp to visit the museum)

Clothing

Lightweight cotton clothing is best from June to September, light rainwear may be needed at any time of year, but especially after mid-September, and a warm fleece/light jacket is recommended for cooler evenings and nights at the beginning and end of the season.

Footwear

Bring good walking/hiking boots with good ankle support for the walks and trainers and/or sandals for travelling and general wear.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.

Equipment

We also recommend taking a water bottle, insect repellent, and sun cream. You may find a walking pole useful.

Tipping

Explore leader
At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Explore Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
Local crew
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, the Explore Leaders may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour. Accordingly, we recommend approximately 15€ per person for tipping. 10% is recommended at meal times.
Country Information

Spain Holidays & Tours

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Dinner price
£12.00 - 16.00
Beer price
£1.50 - 2.50 (depending on the region/area in Spain)
Water price
£1.4
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Euros
Recommended Currency For Exchange
We recommend you take the majority of your spending money in Euros cash.
Where To Exchange
We recommend that you change any currency into Euros prior to arrival. Bureau de Change are generally only found in major cities and large airports.
ATM Availability
In cities and most major towns.
Credit Card Acceptance
Visa and Mastercard are generally accepted in larger restaurants and some shops.
Travellers Cheques
Not recommended.

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Ferry, Public Bus

Essential information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Essential Information

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa Information

Spain: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Spain Holidays & Tours

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory but Tetanus is usually recommended as a precaution. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider. Vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.

Dates, prices and booking

Date
Price from
Single room option

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