Walking in Spain - White Villages of Andalucia

Spain - Trip code SJ Walking and Trekking
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152Kg of CO²e
Average carbon footprint per person
Carbon Footprint
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Why book this trip?

Explore the picture-postcard landscape of Andalucia from the attractive village of Canillas de Albaida, staying in a 16th century converted convent. Walk along an ancient trails linking white-washed Moorish villages, vineyards, olive groves and limestone peaks.

  • Caminito del Rey - Walk this spectacular pathway through El Chorro Gorge
  • Competa - Picturesque white-washed mountain village famous for it's locally made wine
  • Cerro Verde - Panoramic views from the 1346m summit
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 7

    Lunch: 1

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader


  • Transport



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    7 nights comfortable hotel

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    Walking grade:


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    Group Size:

    10 - 16


Day 1 - Join trip at Malaga Airport; transfer to Canillas de Albaida

Our trip begins at Malaga Airport, the latest your flight can arrive is 3.30pm. We will provide the option of two transfer times from Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport (AGP) to our hotel in Canillas de Albaida. The main transfer will be at 4pm and another can be provided for guests arriving on earlier flights (times will vary, usually 1pm).

It is an hour's drive to our base for the week, Canillas de Albaida, a picturesque village of white washed houses lying on the edge of the Sierra Tejeda Natural Park. Moorish in origin (Albaida comes from the Arabic for white), its history dates back to the 13th century and the village today is an engaging collection of steep narrow streets that meander up the hillside and lead down to a traditional square. The shrine of Santa Ana dominates the village from its lofty promontory overlooking the surrounding landscapes of pine and oak trees. These vistas are home to eagles, mountain goats and wild boar and the terraced fields that circle the village are traditional reminders of the Moorish farmers who once worked these fertile lands. This rich mix of cultural styles is also reflected in the food of the region, where Moroccan and Spanish influences make for some delicious local delicacies, including fennel broth and almond and garlic soup.

Our comfortable base for the week is the family ran Posada La Plaza located in the heart of Canillas de Albaida. The en-suite rooms are a blend of Moorish architecture, local craftsmanship and traditional decoration, which gives each room a very unique, individual and authentic Spanish character. There is use of a shared outdoor pool and restaurant which is renowned locally for its quality food and service, offering Mediterranean and regional food with Arabic influences.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: None

Day 2 - Walk to historic town of Competa, famous for it's wine

Our first day starts with a tour of the local village, your tour leader will point out to you some places of interest and also talk about the history of the village. After this we will start our walk to Cómpeta which is considered by some as the 'pearl of the Axarquia'. Offering some stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the Mediterranean, this lovely village is famous for its locally made wine and presents us with a picturesque setting of labyrinthine streets and whitewashed houses cluttered around the minaret of a 13th century tower. Built in the Baroque-Mudejar style, this dominating edifice towers above the village streets. In the surrounding countryside the Tejeda and Almijara ranges cover over 20,000 hectares, much of it protected and presenting us with a rich mix of scrubland, forest and terraced farming, making for some superb walking.

After approximately four hours of walking we then reach the main plaza in Cómpeta. Here you will have an hour to relax, maybe over a tapas lunch in one of the many bars and restaurants in the village. After our break there is the option to walk to Bodegas Almijara to tour the winery and taste some of the local Muscatel wines (optional). After our visit we head back to Canillas for dinner and, doubtless, a well-earned glass of something refreshing.

Today's 11 kilometre walk is expected to take around five-and-a-half hours with 250 metres of ascent and descent.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 3 - Hike Camino de Marquis. Optional cookery demonstration

Taking a taxi this morning we head first for Puerto Collado. From here we follow a track that passes by the Casa de la Mina refuge before joining a steep windy track that takes us towards Gavalan passing the fire watchhut on route. Stopping for a picnic lunch , we then continue through the afternoon, back towards Canillas, skirting the top of Competa town on our way down.

Today's 14 kilometre walk is expected to take around five-and-a-half hours with 600 metres of ascent and descent.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 4 - Walk to Moorish village of Salares

Descending out of Canillas on an old Roman path, we pass a Roman bridge and we continue along the banks of the Cajula stream, passing a landscape of avocado and citrus groves. Continuing uphill passing a few ruined farm houses we then follow a mule track up to the summit of Fogarate a hilltop lookout that lies in the shadow of the lofty peak of La Maroma.

After taking in the fabulous views we continue along an easy dirt track that skirts the valley and takes us up towards a ruined inn, before we follow the valley along an irrigation canal to the old Moorish village of Salares. By 720AD the Moors controlled much of the Iberian Peninsula and their faith, art and architecture spread through much of southern Spain. This new part of the Islamic empire became known as al-Andalus and was at first ruled by the caliphate of Damascus, the powerful Umayyad caliphs. Over time these lands split into smaller Muslim enclaves, making them more vulnerable to the emerging Christian kingdoms to the north, which eventually culminated in the Christian re-conquest of the south in the 10th and 11th centuries. Much of this region has retained its Moorish character though and many of the villages still display the distinctive styling of Mudejar architecture, a form developed specifically by the Muslims in these Christian areas and often presenting a rich fusion of Islamic and Gothic styles. The church of Santa Ana in Salares is a perfect example of this hybrid of styles, built on the site of an old mosque, but retaining the minaret as a church tower. After a wander through the steep, winding streets of this picturesque village and and the option of lunch in Theo's simple but special bar we will return to Canillas by taxi.

Today's eight kilometre walk is expected to take around four hours with 250 metres of ascent and descent. Anyone wishing to make the return journey by foot may do so, this will add an extra couple of hours and another six kilometres to your day with an ascent of 350 metres.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 5 - Free day; optional trip to Nerja on the coast

Today has been designated as a rest day. There is the possibility of taking an optional trip to the Mediterranean coas. The town and caves of Nerja are 45 minutes drive away, presenting an ideal destination for a gentle exploration of Spain's beautiful southern coastline.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 6 - Ascend Cerro Verde (1,346m); enjoy the panoramic views

Another taxi this morning takes us to La Fabrica la Luz, from where we begin our walk up the valley via the chestnut and cork woods of El Chaparral Farm. These remote and beautiful landscapes contain a rich wealth of fauna and flora, many of which are endemic to the sierras, particularly its raptors and mountain birds. Amongst these landscapes of boxwood and olive groves, yew and Mediterranean woodland, with luck we can get occasional glimpses of golden and Bonnelli's eagles, peregrine falcons and golden orioles. These landscapes are also renowned for large numbers of indigenous mountain goats that only a century ago were on the verge of extinction. Climbing up through these idyllic rural settings we head towards the summit of Cerro Verde (1,346m), a peak similar in height to Ben Nevis, where we enjoy a picnic lunch on the summit, overlooking the panoramas and enjoying the fresh Andalucian air as we look out across the limestone landscapes.

After lunch we move south towards Cerro Atalaya, a dramatically craggy peak that is a popular nesting site for birds and where, if we are lucky, we may spot some Bonelli eagles. Descending from the coll via a wide firebreak we are treated to views of the coast and, on a clear day, as far as Gibraltar. Our descent this afternoon brings us full circle back to La Fabrica, where we rendezvous with taxis once more for the return journey back to Canillas.

Today's 12 kilometre walk is expected to take around five-and-a-half hours with 750 metres of ascent and descent. If you wish to walk back to Canillas this is an additional three kilometres.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 7 - Caminito del Rey Walk

Today we take a trip trip to Ardales (Malaga), to walk the famous 'Caminito del Rey' or Kings Path. This route is a walkway pinned along the steep walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro, near Ardales. Construction of the path began in 1901 and took 4 years to complete. King Alfonso XIII crossed the walkway in 1921 for the inauguration of the dam, Conde del Guadalhorce and this is how it got its name. The walkway has been re-constructed and reopened to high safety standards in 2015, the path is 1m (3 feet) in width and rises over 100m (330ft) above the river below offering spectacular views along the route.

Today's eight kilometre walk is expected to take around three-and-a-half hours.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 8 - Drive to Malaga Airport where the trip ends

Departing Canillas de Albaida this morning we drive to Malaga Airport where the trip ends.

We will travel as a group, leaving our hotel at around 8am for the one hour drive to Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport (AGP). The earliest your flight can depart is 11am.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Climate and country information



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



2 Pin Round


Roman Catholic


Castilian Spanish, Catalan, Galician, Basque

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.

Alhambra Palace Visit (possible on free day, must book in advance) - Only limited tickets are made available for sale on arrival each day, however this will likely involve long queues. We recommend purchasing a ticket in advance either via the website, www.alhambra-tickets.es or by telephone (+34 934923750). Tickets go on sale 3 months prior to the visit. At the time of booking your ticket to the Alhambra, a time will be allocated for entry to Nasrid Palace and you are able to indicate a preferred time. In addition, entry to Nasrid Palace is strictly monitored and you will not be able to enter outside the allocated time. We therefore recommend booking tickets for entry after 11.00 to allow time to get to Granada. For further details please visit www.alhambra.org/eng.

Granada is a two hour drive from Canillas de Albaida, taxis can be arranged from the hotel and the cost of the return journey is €160 (taking 4 people). Please note that if only one or two people wish to visit Granada the per person cost will be higher than if the whole group go.

Competa - Wine tasting €8

Transport to Nerja €18 (priced per taxi min 4 people)


Bring light and comfortable clothing that can be layered according to the temperature. It can become cool, especially at night, so bring warmer layers. Tops made from wicking materials which keep you drier, a warmer fleece is recommended as a mid layer, and walking trousers are preferable to trousers of heavier material such as jeans.

-Breathable wind and waterproof jacket
-Long sleeved tops
-Long trousers
-Shorts (if you prefer to walk in them)
-Swimwear and towel
-Midlayer Fleece/pullover
-Socks (liner and thicker pair)


We recommend you bring walking boots with ankle support, make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. Also trainers or sandals for relaxing and general wear. We suggest that on international flights you either carry your walking boots in your hand luggage or wear them - should your luggage be lost or delayed, your own boots are the one thing that will be irreplaceable..



Luggage: On tour

Bring one main piece of luggage and a 20-30 litre day sack is recommended. You will need to carry what you need for the day which may include a raincoat, jumper, camera, sun-cream, water and picnic lunch. On hot days you will carry fewer clothes but more drinking water.


-Sun cream
-Small Torch (with spare batteries and bulb)
-Walking poles (if you usually use them)
-Personal toiletries
-Personal first aid kit - On each walk a first aid kit is carried but you should have your own blister kit, supply of plasters, aspirin and other essentials.
-Insect repellent
-Small waterproof dry bag (for items such as your mobile phone)
-Reusable water bottle (minimum 1 litre) - Get 15% discount on a Water-to-Go bottle www.explore.co.uk/about-us/responsible-travel/water-to-go-discount-with-explore
-Lunch bag/Tupperware (for packed lunches)


Explore leader
Tipping isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our leaders all receive a fair wage. You may however, want to recognise a leader that has done a great job or really added to your trip by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It is a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we would recommend £15 to £20 per person per week as a guideline.

Local crew
Although voluntary, tipping is a recognised 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. Accordingly, you should allow approximately £20 of local c urrency for tipping. In order to make things easier for you, the Explore Leader may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the trip.


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.

Lunch price
£8.00 - 12.00
Dinner price
£16.00 - 20.00
Beer price
£1.50 - 3.50 (depending on the region/area in Spain)
Water price
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
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

Minibus, Taxi

Accommodation notes

Posada La Plaza in Canillas de Albaida is a family run hotel, located in the centre of a small community that provides a wonderful opportunity to experience village life. The building itself dates back to the 16th Century. It was used as a convent and a family home before being converted into a small hotel in 2004.

The rooms are a blend of Moorish architecture, local craftsmanship and traditional decoration, which gives each room a very unique, individual and authentic Spanish character. All rooms are en-suite, fully air conditioned with free Wi-Fi and a balcony. Please note that the bedrooms vary in size.

The hotel has a small indoor bar with tea and coffee making facilities, and also a roof terrace with salt water swimming pool (additional charge, 20€ per person/week) and sun loungers. There is a small Spa with hot tub and sauna available to guests at an additional charge.

The hotel owner, Gustavo Romero, his family and staff also suggest you come and try their restaurant, which is renowned locally for its quality food and service, with Mediterranean and regional food with Arabic influences. Please note any bills at the hotel can be run on a tab and paid by credit or debit card.

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety 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 citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.

Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.

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.

Price Guarantee

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 and Passport 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 be able to apply 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.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.

Booking conditions

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

Minimum age restrictions

For our group tours, the minimum age is 16. The minimum age on Family trips varies between 7 and 11 - please check the 'Family information' section of the trip page for more information. 


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 receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

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, Polar, 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


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. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. 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.



Nothing compulsory but Tetanus is usually recommended as a precaution. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Walking and Trekking information
Walking grade
Trek details
Walks on 5 days for between 4 to 5.5 hours. The optional ascent of El Lucero (1,769m) is graded as challenging. Follow mule tracks, Roman roads, mountain trails and boardwalks along the Caminito del Rey.
Award Winning Explore Leaders
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Price Guarantee Promise
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Airport Transfers
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Print Trip Notes

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