Route of the Pueblos Blancos
Guided walking holiday from Ronda to Grazalema
“We found the week a wonderful experience and were thrilled by the walks, the accomodation, food and company.”
Pueblos Blancos is synonymous with the brilliant white towns and villages around Ronda in the south of Spain. They have been a destination for discerning travellers for many years. The rolling country side of Serrania de Ronda and the majestic mountains of the Sierras de Grazalema are rich in plant and birdlife and offer great opportunities for walking.
Our 7 night ‘Route of the Pueblos Blancos’ holiday begins in Ronda with a one-night stay in the historic centre of this most famous of the Andalucia white towns and villages. The route ends in Grazalema with a four-night stay in this stunning white town. A perfect location for our rest day and base for our last two walks. On route you will stay for two nights in Montejaque, one of the smaller pueblos visited throughout the week. Each daily walk is about 12 km through hilly and sometimes dramatic scenery with superb views. Meals are provided at excellent local restaurants and bags are transported between locations. Airport transfers from Malaga are provided at specified times.
Itinerary & Walks
Day 1 – Arrival day
The Route of the Pueblos Blancos begins in Ronda which is about 90 minutes by road from Malaga and Seville airports. Cordoba and Granada are also accesible making it an ideal location for guests wishing to start or extend their holiday with a visit to one of the grand cities of Andalucia. We stay in Ronda for one night in a pleasant hotel in the centre of this historic, evocative and much visited town. In the evening, there is time to explore the old town followed by ‘welcome drinks’ and dinner at one of our favourite local restaurants.
Day 2 – Ronda to Montejaque
The walk starts in the centre of Ronda and takes in some of the historical sites of Ronda before leaving through the south gate of the town. It is easy walking and there are great views of the famous bridge and onwards towards the towering peaks of Sierras de Grazalema and the pueblos blancos of Benaojan and Montejaque where we stay for two nights. Our accommodation is either in a pretty hotel in the centre of the village with en-suite rooms and pool or in charming casitas close to the centre of the village. These well appointed cottages cluster around a swimming pool set in large gardens with stunning views. Walking time 4 – 5 Hours
Day 3 – Montejaque to Benaojan
This circular walk starts from Montejaque with a steady climb to the entrance of the wide and fertile Valle de Libar. The route descends slighty through this beautiful ‘hidden valley’ before a gentle ascent up to an ancient and remote pass though the Sierras de Benoajan. The views are spectacular. The descent to Benaojan is gentle with time for refreshments in the village before the final stretch back and up to Montejaque. Walking time 5 Hours
Day 4 – Montejaque to Grazalema
This linear walk starts from Montejaque with a steady climb through up to the pass of El Cabrizal.The route then decends gently and follows the river valley (Rio de Campobouches) towards Grazalema. There is the chance for some refreshments at the Puerto Alamillos before the descent and sharp climb up through the Moorish battlements of the town. Time for referesments before booking into our accommodation where we stay for four nights. The hotel is larger than the Spanish Steps ‘ norm’ but the staff are friendly and the outlook, gardens and swimming pool make it a ‘ must’. Walking time 5 Hours
Day 5 – Rest day in Grazalema
Grazalema is a lively pueblo blanco and popular destination for visitors. The steep, cobbled streets are immaculately kept and are lined by whitewashed houses with windows covered by wrought-iron grilles and plant pots spilling over with colourful flowers. The pool-side rooms in our hotel have fine southerly views overlooking the village and there is an excellent choice of restaurants and shops within easy walking distance. Not only an excellent place for a rest day, Grazalema is a perfect base for some casual strolls and starting point for our final two walks.
Day 6 – Grazalema to Benaocaz
The walk starts with a steady climb out of the village to the pass of Puerto del Boyer. The path then climbs up to the Puerto de las Presillas and takes a higher level more southerly route to Benaocaz. The path is remote and rocky underfoot but easy to follow and the views are great. The walk ends through the ancient Moorish area of this remote pueblo blanco. There are good opportunities for drinks and tapas in bars in the main Plaza. Return to Grazalema is by local bus. Walking time 4 – 5 Hours
Day 7 – Mountains, lakes and raptors
To the north of Grazalema there is a road that climbs up to the spectacular pass known as the Puerto de las Palomas. You do this by vehicle transfer before starting the walk around the Cerro Coros. This 1,329m peak has amazing panoramic views across to Zahara del Sierra to the north and towering sierras to the south. There are great vantage points for raptor watching and looking down on eagles ‘on the wing’ is likely to be one of the highlights of the week. (NB This walk starts at around 1,200m after a short road transfer.) Walking time 4 Hours.
Day 8 – Buen Viaje Transfers from Grazalema are provided to Ronda or back to Malaga airport at specified times. Ronda is located midway between Malaga, Seville and Cordoba. If you have the time available, you may wish to consder extending your walking holiday with a short visit to either of both of these magical cities. There are excellent coach and rail services connecting them with Ronda and also back to Malaga. We will be happy to give advice if required *Program may be changed to suit prevailing conditions or walking preferences of the group.
The first night is spent in the Hotel Hermanos Macias in Ronda, close to the famous bullring in the historical centre of the town. This traditional, family run establishment is very popular with Spanish travellers (including the bull fighters), has en-suite rooms, an excellent restaurant and an abundance of character. The next two nights are spent in Montejaque, either in the small ‘Palacio’ hotel in the village plaza or in the Casitas de la Sierra, a group of charming small houses clustered around a swimming pool in delightful gardens. The last four nights are spent in the Hotel Villa Turistica in Grazalema. All rooms are double en-suite with balconies and great views of the village and mountains beyond. The hotel is a five minute walk from the centre of the village, has extensive grounds and a swimming pool making it a great option for the extended stay which includes the rest day.
Travel & More information
The meeting point for the holiday is at our Ronda hotel but we also provide airport transfers from Malaga airport at a specified time (normally 2.00 pm). On departure, transfers are provided back to Ronda or Malaga arriving at the airport around 11.00 am. For those wishing to extend their holidays in Spain there are direct train and bus services from Ronda to Malaga, Seville and Cordoba.
Dates & Prices
- Sunday September 25 – October 2
- Sunday April 23 – 30
Cost £645* per person
*Single supplement £125
What we include
- Seven nights accommodation with en-suite rooms
- Main meal of the day including wine. (Except on the rest-day)
- Guided walks .
- Transfers to trail heads.
- Bag transfers between hotels.
- Airport transfers from and back to Malaga at specified times, or meet up in Ronda.
Reviews & Visitors Book
“I just want to thank you for the fabulous holiday Diana, Wendy, Alison and I had on the Route of the Pueblos Blancos. It was tremendous fun, the walks were stunning and Peter and Andy are the best guides anyone could want.. Just as you did 2 years ago, you made us feel like one big family and the companionship really added an extra dimension to the holiday. That was brought home to me when we met another walking group and saw some of them looking fed up and weary.You went out of your way to make sure we all had a great time.Hope to see you for another walk” Kathryn (Kent) April 2019
‘It was a wonderful holiday and exactly how we had remembered it would be from the first holiday we did with you in 2012. The walks were magnificent and just the right length (for me that is! ). It was so good to see you again after all of those years and to see that you are still striding with the best of them. Keep up the good work! With best wishes to Sue and Andy, and hoping to see you again in future” Nick & Margo (Halifax Nova Scotia) April 2019
“Thank you for another marvellous Spanish Steps holiday. We’re already looking forward to the Semana Santa week next year.”Hugh & Ishbel (Ayrshire) Oct 2019