Andalucian Trails - Walking in Spain

Guided walks in the Alpujarras of Andalucia, Spain




From $1,060 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Centre based walking from a beautifully restored rustic villa
  • Great value with all meals included and guided walks
  • Fantastic food in our villa`s award-winning restaurant
  • Optional visits to Granada and the Moorish Palace of Alhambra

Nestled at the eastern end of the Sierra Nevada, the traditional whitewashed village of Mairena is the perfect base from which to explore this delightful corner of Spain on our centre based, guided, walking holiday. Our welcoming and tastefully appointed 'casa rural' accommodation, with its organic fruit farm and much praised restaurant, has been rated by the Lonely Planet as the best place to stay in the Alpujarra. We have 5 days of leisurely hiking in the company of a local guide, with easy options in the delightful Laroles and Laujar valleys, where we will be walking through olive and almond groves. There are also tougher offerings, such as the ascent of El Morron (2756m), on one of the main ridges of the Sierra El Morron Nevada. A free day allows us to relax in the village or take a trip to the famous Alhambra palace, a gem of Moorish architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is the perfect holiday for anyone into good food, spectacular mountain scenery and relaxing walking.

Is this holiday for you?

This excellent week in the heart of Las Alpujarras on the southern flanks of the Sierra Nevada, explores the deep, sheltered valleys and gorges which run down towards the Mediterranean, in a series of easy guided day walks. Centre-based at a beautifully restored and well appointed traditional villa serving excellent food and wine, this holiday should appeal to anyone looking for a relaxing and comfortable week walking and enjoying the rural life of the Alpujarras.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group accommodation in Mairena. A single timed transfer from Malaga Airport is provided.
  • Day walk in the Laroles Valley.
  • Day walk from Yegen Village to Mairena
  • Walk the Laujar Valley circuit.
  • Free day. Optional visit to Granada and the Alhambra.
  • Acent of El Morron (2756m) and Chullo.
  • Day walk through olive groves and orchards.
  • Departure day. A single timed transfer to Malaga Airport is provided.
Sat 30 Apr - Sat 07 May Code SNV /01/16/ Adult$1,060 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Andalucian Trails - Walking in Spain
  • The departure reference for this tour is SNV /01/16/
  • This tour begins on Sat 30 Apr and departs on Sat 07 May
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
Sat 28 May - Sat 04 Jun Code SNV /02/16/ Adult$1,060 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Andalucian Trails - Walking in Spain
  • The departure reference for this tour is SNV /02/16/
  • This tour begins on Sat 28 May and departs on Sat 04 Jun
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis and recommend that you book your flights to Malaga Airport. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements and transfers' section of the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK there are a number of low cost airlines offering flights to Malaga. These include Easyjet who have flights from London, Manchester, Liverpool & Glasgow, Jet 2 who have flights from Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Blackpool and Glasgow and Thomson Airways who have flights from London, Manchester, Glasgow and East Midlands. Other airports may be available. Click on the 'Flight information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group accommodation in Mairena. A single timed transfer from Malaga Airport is provided.

    Meet at the group accommodation in Mairena. A single timed transfer from Malaga Airport is provided. The transfer takes around 2 - 3 hrs. After settling in we will have an evening meal in the beautifully appointed in-house restaurant.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Day walk in the Laroles Valley.

    This is a good introductory circular walk from Mairena showing us the surrounding area and giving us a taste of the week to come. We start by walking eastwards in the direction of the village of Jubar with its ancient church, perhaps one of the oldest in the area and the site of an old mosque. There is an interesting history here with the legacy of the Moors and the Civil War. We continue from here walking up and along an old waterway through chestnut trees and then down the other side of the valley to the village of Laroles. The bar El Paso in Laroles with its attractive terrace makes a good stopping point for a refreshment before heading back to Mairena. The return path follows the GR7 out of Larloes, crosses over the river and then climbs steeply to join the track which leads to Jubar and back to Las Chimeneas. There is an alternative to shorten the walk if we wish by following the trail Camino de Don Duran. This walk is a leisurely 5 hours round trip. We return to our accommodation for a glass of wine on the terrace before enjoying a delicious meal from local home grown organic produce.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 hrs walking

  • Day walk from Yegen Village to Mairena

    After breakfast and enjoying the sunshine of the early morning we have a short transfer (20mins) takes up the valley to the village of Yegen. Yegen is slightly bigger than Mairena with it’s own small supermarket and bakery where we have time to purchase a freshly baked delicacy before we start our walk. From here we start our walk back to Mairena and it is primarily all downhill. We can also visit the Gerald Brenan museum, an English writer who lived here in WW1 and had visitors like Virginia Wolf and Lytton Strachey come to stay. Leaving Yegen we first come to the natural springs of Cuesta Vinas where we can revitalise ourselves in the iron rich waters. We then have a small ascent to the village of Valor. This is one of the larger villages in the Alpujarras with some shops and restaurants. There is a small shop selling Alpujarran produce just next to the Restaurant El Puente as we emerge onto the main road but it’s opening hours are rather erratic! However, if it’s open they sell Valor goats cheese and local figs, which are delicious if we are in need of a little energy boost. Continuing on we pass through the picturesque hamlet of Nechite with a little bar that may or may not be open for a quick beer before walking along the old camino real back into Mairena. This is another leisurely 5 hours walk, with plenty of time to notice how the local people live in this rural corner of Spain and with beautiful views of sun soaked hills and terraces.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 hrs walking

  • Walk the Laujar Valley circuit.

    After breakfast watching the sun warm the hills we have a short transfer (40 mins) eastwards to the wine growing region of Laujar. We start our walk ascending into hidden and unexpectedly green valley through pine trees. Out of the pines we can enjoy our picnic lunch sitting between the orange and olive groves of the gently farmed lands and terraces. We return by way of a spectacular waterway set high up in the cliff side with wonderful panoramic views. At one point the path and waterways goes through a set of tunnels (a torch is helpful!), which is very dramatic and atmospheric. We then meet with our vehicle and return to Mairena. This walk is approx 3 hours. Depending on what time we set off or how long we spend enjoying our lunch we have some free time in the afternoon. We can enjoy a refreshment on the patio and maybe cool off in the dip pool, or have a little siesta, walk through the village or just relax with a book. Dinner is served in the restaurant.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 hrs walking

  • Free day. Optional visit to Granada and the Alhambra.

    Today we have a free day. You can relax at the house, take a local walk or visit nearby Granada with the Moorish gem of the Alhambra (optional at extra cost). The Alhambra is a ‘must see’ in the area with its red fortress towers amidst splendid, majestic cypress and elm tress, with the back drop of the Sierra Nevada mountains. If you wish to visit the Alhambra please ensure that you book your tickets online in advance as there is a limited number per day available. We also have the option of visiting a local weaver at her workshop and seeing how this done. There is also wine tasting available at a local bodega (wine cellar). However we spend the day, we return to Mairena for another delicious dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Acent of El Morron (2756m) and Chullo.

    The peaks of Morron (peak west of Puerto de la Ragua) and El Chullo (peak east of Puerto de la Ragua) offer breathtaking high mountain walking. Hopefully we will have some fine weather so that we can enjoy this week during our week here. The day starts with a 30 mins transfer up hill along tarmaced roads to the cross-country ski station of La Ragua (2000m). From here both peaks are visible and providing there is no cloud the path are easy to follow. This is one of the main ridges of the Sierra Nevada and from here the summit (Morron del Mediodia, 2756m) is reached in 3-4 hours. From the summit there are incredible views of Mulhacen (at 3482m it is the highest mountain in continental Spain) to the west and on a clear day, across the Mediterranean and all the way to the Rif Mountains in Morocco! Another 2-3 hours descent brings us back to the transfer where we take the short journey back to Mairena.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 hrs walking

  • Day walk through olive groves and orchards.

    After breakfast this morning we start with a walk around the organic farm or ‘finca’ just 10 minutes walk from Mairena in an area called Alfaguara, which means ‘an abundance of water’ in Arabic. Emma and David who own Las Chimeneas have had this five hectare patch for the last few years and have dedicated much time to making it a productive area. A delightful stream running through the centre, two large balsas or irrigation tanks as well as a spring allows Emma and David to tend over 100 olive tress, numerous almonds, cherry, medlar, apple, pear, persimmon, orange and apricot trees. Grape vines grown wild and continuously produce bumper crops. In January the olives are picked, in March the oranges and in Autumn we can pick almonds, figs, grapes and walnuts straight from the tree to supplement our picnics. Working with the locals all the irrigation, ploughing and pruning are done in the age old traditional ways of the villagers. Along the way we see Adolfo’s traditional olive mill where we can see how the oil is made and taste the very special and different Mairena olive oil. The finca has is recognised by the Soil Association as being organic so all produce is natural, seasonal and delicious! Also there is an extraordinary variety of flowers, bug and bird life. There are plenty of hammocks in shady corners here to rest with book and watch the sleepy world go around. There are plenty of walks to take from here as well, from short 2 hrs walks down to the market town of Ugijar to see the market or up along the walk of the ‘Piedras Pintadas’ or painted stones, named as the local village children way-mark the path this way to preserve the ancient by-way. In this area mules/donkeys out-number people by 2:1 and we are sure to see some farmers in their fields with them. We return to our accommodation for a last night and enjoy our dinner knowing much of its origin.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 2 - 3 hrs walking

  • Departure day. A single timed transfer to Malaga Airport is provided.

    After an early breakfast we transfer to Malaga airport where KE group package services end.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A locally based professional English speaking walking guide
  • Single timed group return transfer Malaga Airport to Mairena
  • All transfers within the itinerary
  • 7 nights accommodation in beautifully restored villa
  • Meals as per the Meal Plan
  • Travel Insurance
  • Airport transfers (other than the single timed group transfers)
  • Visa (if required)
  • Tips for staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc
The restaurant at Las Chimeneas has won many accolades. We think the food on this holiday is outstanding and we think you will agree. Breakfast is a combination of orange juice, yoghurts, fresh fruit, freshly baked local and / or home made bread and jam with produce from their own organic farm. Dinners will include traditional Alpujarran cuisine and also dishes from North Africa. Vegetarians and special diets can catered for. Some of the best wines from the heart of the wine producing area of the Alpujarra and Laujar is served with the evening meal.
All meals included. Next to Casa Las Chimeneas stands the newly restored Restaurant Las Chimeneas, where breakfast and evening meals are served. The dining room is a truly wonderful place to enjoy a cool beer after a long day's walking and the terrace provides uninterrupted views over the surrounding mountain ranges and on to the Meditteranean in the distance. Breakfast is a combination of orange juice, yoghurts, fresh fruit , freshly baked local and / or home made bread and jam with produce from the organic farm. Depending on the season you can expect to enjoy fresh oranges, cherries, plums, apples, figs and grapes. Dinner, cooked by the ever smiling local cook who has recipes handed down over generations of the delicious Alpujarran food. Each night there will be a choice of 3 starters, 3 main courses, 3 dessert and vegetarian and gluten free options are available. For the walks a picnic or packed lunch will be provided.
The group will rendezvous at Malaga Airport on day 1 of the land only itinerary. A single timed transfer to Mairena is provided. This transfer is timed to meet the late afternoon arrival of the easyjet flight from London Gatwick. Return transfers are arranged for the flight leaving Malaga at around midday.

Anyone may use these transfers but it is your responsibility to check the timings of this flight prior to departure as schedules can change. It is also possible to meet the group at the accommodation or please contact the office for a quote for private transfers. There is no convenient public transport from Malaga, although there is a service to Granada, from where we can arrange a transfer. We can provide directions if you are coming by car.

Clients booking a Land Only Package should let us know if airport transfers are not required and MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights.

Further details of the group's accommodation along with emergency contact numbers are provided with your booking confirmation.
On this holiday we will spend 7 nights at Las Chimeneas, our comfortable base in the rural village of Mairena. Las Chimeneas is a traditional house in this typical whitewashed Alpujarras village. Beautifully restored by its owners David and Emma Illsley, the accommodation here is in ensuite rooms either in the main house or in separate self-contained apartments. Many of the bedrooms have there own private balcony or terrace as well. There is an ample communal lounge area with an open wood fire and a terrace with a small dip pool and sensational views out across the valley. Las Chimeneas has an excellent restaurant where the group will take their evening meals. The house is also equipped with wi-fi.
All accommodation is based on twin share. If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. It is not possible to arrange single rooms for this holiday.

Additional nights are available pre and post the holiday. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

Your hosts, and owners of the accommodation in Mairena will introduce you to the area, the accommodation and help you will arranging any optional activities or day trips you wish to make during your stay. They will also be on hand all week to answer any questions or help you. On the walks you will be accompanied by an experienced locally-based English-speaking walking guide.
We estimate that €150 - 200 should be sufficient to cover all personal expenses including tips for your guide. Cash can be withdrawn from ATMs in Malaga Airport and Mairena, and credit cards can also be used to pay for most goods and services. If you wish to visit the Alhambra in Granada you should pre-book your tickets online. Only a certain number of visitors are allowed per day. A day visit is current €13, this is subject to change without notice. Please see the following website for details and latest prices:
Tipping is the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your leader and local team. Tipping is entirely voluntary and should be dependent on good service.
We ask you to restrict your luggage to a single main bag and a small daypack. There is no weight restriction as such other than that imposed by your international carrier but you will find travelling easier with lighter luggage. We recognise that for some of our holidays and for some of our travellers, the KE Trek Bag (see below) may not provide the best solution when packing for your trip. A bag with fitted wheels or a holdall with more than one compartment and more than one access zip can, in some circumstances, be more appropriate. We have no problem if you choose to use an alternative bag.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude on one optional walking day (when ascending El Morron). On this day you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres. Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, or choosing to do this walk, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at altitude on our website which can be viewed via the link below. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking/walking boots
  • Trainers / sandals / evening footwear
  • Socks
  • Trekking trousers / pants
  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
  • Underwear
  • Baselayer shirts
  • T-shirts and/or casual shirts
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Lightweight windproof/waterproof jacket
  • Lightweight thermal gloves
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Eyewear - sunglasses
  • Daypack c. 30 litres
  • Headtorch / headlamp with spare bulb and batteries
  • Sun protection (including for lips)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre / 2 pint (x2)
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Small padlock (to lock your KE bag)
  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment. Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are also a good idea.

The following items are optional:

  • Gaiters
  • Shorts
  • Towel (for swimming)
  • Swimwear
  • Trekking poles
  • Spare laces
  • Insect repellant – (DEET)
  • Camera, media, batteries


  • When selecting your main baggage a trek bag, large holdall or even a wheeled suitcase would be appropriate for this style of holiday.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

This is a leisurely-paced walking holiday with many of the walks optional. It might still be a good idea to spend some time before departure getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. While half-day or full day walks is the best preparation, any regular exercise (running, cycling or swimming) is also beneficial.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

Situated at an average altitude of 1000 – 1200m, the villages and farms of the Alpujarra enjoy a milder climate than lower elevations. Typical daytime temperatures in May/June and October are in the range of 20 – 25ºC and humidity is very low making for very comfortable walking conditions. In the summer months you can expect temperatures to increase by at least 5ºC. The Alpujarra has at least 320 days of sunshine per year and very little rainfall.
Andalucia travel guide (Lonely Planet) Andalucia. (Rough Guides) Walking in the Sierra Nevada. Andy Walmsley. (Cicerone) Walking in Andalucia – Guy Hunter-Watts Walk! The Alpujarras – Charles Davis
Alpujarras Tour & Trail Map. Discovery Walking Guides. 1:40,000

The map covers the southern approaches to the peaks, with Mulhacen, Veleta and Alcazaba at the top of the map, extending from Lanjarn eastwards to Mecina de Bombarm. Contours at 20m intervals and pleasant altitude colouring provide a very clear picture of the topography. An overprint highlights walking routes recommended in the publishers Walk! The Alpujarras guide, with separate colouring for the long-distance GR trails. Symbols indicate various places of interest, landmarks and facilities including campsites, bar and restaurants, viewpoints, petrol stations, etc. The map has a 1km UTM grid.

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