Sierra, Sand, Seville: Southern Spain

Beaches on two different coasts, two vibrant Spanish cities, two picturesque towns set in spectacular landscapes: a 14-day tour that illustrates the fascinating diversity of Andalusia.

This trip will be customized according to your wishes.

From Málaga to Nerja

Rental car pick-up

Rental car pick-up

Rental car pick-up
Broker: Sunny Cars GmbH
Company: Helle Hollis
Vehicle: Opel Corsa or similar (EDMR)
Loca­tion: Malaga Airport (Shuttle Service)

From Malaga to Nerja

71 km | 51 minutes


Moorish tradi­tions in El Andaluz
The south­ernmost province of Spain was under Islamic rule for the longest time. El-Andaluz" reached world histor­ical importance under the Emirates of Córdoba and Granada. For centuries Jews, Chris­tians and Muslims lived peacefully together. Science and medicine reached their first heyday long before the Italian Renais­sance. The reign of the Moors and the age of toler­ance in Spain were ended by the Reconquista in Granada in 1492. However, the influ­ence of Muslims can still be felt everywhere today: the best known are the Alhambra in Granada, the Mezquita of Córdoba and the Giralda in Seville. But also the folk dance Flamenco has its roots in the Moorish culture.


Center of the Costa del Sol
Malaga is the economic center of Andalusia. Every year over seven million tourists land at the airport and flock to the hotels on the Costa del Sol. Basking in over 320 days of sunshine per year, the coast from Malaga to Este­pona is the largest single tourist area in Europe. Never­the­less, the city where Picasso spent the first 15 years of his life still has its attrac­tions: the quaint streets around the harbor and in the old town are pleasant places to take a stroll and forget the bland suburbs that one has to pass through on the way into or out of the city.


Where time seems to stand still
This white village in the border region between Axar­quía and Montes de Málaga enjoys an attrac­tive loca­tion on a hill over­looking two small rivers. Its narrow alleys are lined with white­washed build­ings where time seems to stand still. In the middle of town stands the Santa Ana church with its red pillars. The Torre de Salazar tower and the dolmen at the Cerro de la Corona are further points of interest. The typical local dish is call chanfaina, which is a kind of stew that is cele­brated every year by a festival.

Costa del Sol

Whitewashed mountain villages behind Europe's most famous bathing coast

The Spanish coast of the Mediterranean Sea from Tarifa to east of Malaga is known as the Costa del Sol. Although the region enjoys 320 days of sunshine per year, it was not devel­oped as a tourist destina­tion until the 1950s, when a construc­tion boom set in which left the coast dotted with high­rise hotels and apart­ment build­ings.

The hastily created tourist destina­tions were linked by a high-speed motorway. Fortunately, some of the worst excesses were elim­inated in the 1990s. Even so, the back country offers a welcome change from the heavily popu­lated coastal areas: the cheerful tranquillity of old Andalusia can still be found among the white mountain villages surrounded by pine forests and olive groves.

A hotel near Nerja

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

Nerja is a very popular destina­tion on the Costa del Sol. Trav­ellers wishing to avoid the crowds will appre­ciate this hotel situ­ated high up on the cliffs away from the discos and commo­tion of the town.

The former holiday resi­dence of a British doctor affords incred­ible sea views from its lofty perch. The various parts of the newly reno­vated hotel are connected by stairways (no elevators are avai­l­able) leading to modern, comfort­able rooms. The terraced gardens stretching down to the sea are a partic­ular delight. Breakfast is served on the veranda over­looking the sea. A number of good restau­rants are a 10-minute walk away.

Sierra Nevada

Giant snow-covered mountains along Spain's south­ernmost edge
From November until May, the highest mountain range on the Iberian Peninsula is a magnif­i­cent sight with its glis­tening blanket of snow. Measured from east to west, the Sierra Nevada is 100 kilome­ters long and, like the alps, arose during the colli­sion of the Euro­pean and African conti­nental plates. Its highest peak is the Mulhacén, which reaches a height of 3,482 meters. Those trav­elling to the mountains from Granada are repeat­edly rewarded with stunning views along the way. Do not forget to stop in at the road­side informa­tion center with its café and splendid terrace. Hiking trails leading over the mountains begin where the road ends. The core section of the Sierra Nevada has been protected since 1999 by the estab­lish­ment of a national park here.


Seaside resort town on the Costa del Sol
Today, this town on the Costa del Sol is char­ac­ter­ized by tourism. The surrounding hotels and discos attest to this fact. Never­the­less, Nerja is rela­tively quiet compared to Malaga. The historic old town with its white­washed houses and narrow alleys is closed to cars. If you go on a walk through town, be sure to take a peek at the build­ings' inner court­yards, since many beau­tiful objects, imag­ina­tive gardens and exam­ples of fine crafts­man­ship are tucked away in them. There are also beau­tiful villages to discover in the surrounding area.

Balcón de Europa

Castle ruins with a pano­ramic view of the ocean
This obser­va­tion platform has been constructed on the foun­da­tions of a medieval castle. The Balcón de Europa hovers 60 meters over the ocean and can be reached by a walk along the prom­enade in Nerja. There is a swimming cove down below with old watchtowers and a restau­rant offering a pano­ramic view. The fortress upon which the Balcón de Europa was built was destroyed by an earth­quake in the 19th century. The current king back then, Alfonso XII held a moving speech at the ruins, which is why there is a monu­ment dedicated to him there.

Hike in the gorge of the Rio Chillar

Wading barefoot through a mountain stream
This hike starts at the edge of Nerja and will lead you into the gorge of the Rio Chillar. This is the most signif­icant river in the Sierra de Almijara and it has carved out a magnif­i­cent gorge that is shaded in summer. Here you can take off your shoes and wade in the river. However, it is better to use the trail during other seasons. (5:46 hrs, 17 km, eleva­tion change: 740 m)

Acanti­lados Maro Nature Park

Pano­ramic round tour at Cerro Caleta
The natural park stretches from Nerja to Cala de Cazaida. With twelve kilome­ters of coast­line and an area of nearly 500 acres, it includes the cliffs of the coast, smaller beaches and tiny bays, some of which are still largely untouched. Protected and rare plants can be discov­ered, including white rosemary. Those who want to explore the park can do a short, scenic hike at Cerro Caleta from the car park El Cabuelo at the N 340. (Round trip: 5 kilome­ters, 1:30 hour, up and down: 280 meters)

From Nerja to Albolote

121 km | 2:30 h
The most scenic route is the narrow mountain road that leads through the Sierra del Chaparral. The road snakes its way upwards to an alti­tude of 1,200 meters (40,000 feet). You will have an incred­ible view of the sea from the summit.


Islamic palace beneath the snow-covered Sierra

Granada is the most important city in southern Spain and lies at the edge of a river valley with the mighty snow-covered Sierra Nevada in the background.

The old town covers two hills. One hill is dominated by the Alhambra, a fairy-tale palace like some­thing out of “One Thou­sand and One Nights.” The northern hill is the loca­tion of Albayzín, the Moorish district with its white­washed houses, terraced gardens and its labyrinthine stairways. Granada played a key role in the history of Spain. The Iber­ians settled here as early as 500 BC, and the city was later overrun by the Vandals in 500 AD. The Moors captured it 200 years later and made it the capital of a Muslim kingdom. Science, technology, art and toler­ance enabled Granada to flourish for centuries. When the Chris­tians defeated the Caliphate of Cordoba in 1236, Granada was the last bastion of Islam in Europe. It fell in 1492 – the year America was discov­ered.

Accommodation: A Country Estate near Granada

3 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The country estate is located 20 km outside of Granada between the Sierra del Puzuelo and the Sierra Arana. It orig­inally housed a convent before being converted into a farm in the 19th century.

Today the nearly 10,000 acre estate is partic­u­larly suit­able for those who seek peace and tranquility. Large court­yards, terraces, olive groves, wheat and sunflower fields – the beauty of Andalucia off the beaten track of mass tourism is apparent wher­ever you look. The unique bedrooms are indi­vid­u­ally deco­rated. A swimming pool is avai­l­able from May to September. A 2- or 3-course meal can be ordered for dinner. It takes about 35 minutes to get to Granada, partly on dirt roads.


Arab castles and Chris­tian churches in the midst of endless olive groves
The town in the shadow of a massive castle is the seat of a bishop and the center of the world's greatest olive-growing region. The endless vistas of olive groves are partic­u­larly striking in the hilly districts to the south. The ancient Carthagi­nian village was conquered by the Romans in 207 AD, but remained an unim­portant outpost until strong growth began under Moorish rule in 712 AD. Jaén subsequently played an important role in the Reconquista: the troops under the command of the Castilian King mobi­l­ized there in prepa­ra­tion of the attack on Granada. The most important site in Jaén besides the castle is the 16th century Renais­sance cathedral.


Granada's Moorish quarter
Granada's oldest city district dates back to the late antique settle­ment of Ilíberis, which existed before the Moors came. Yet today, the magic of the Moorish era can still be felt here the strongest. The narrow alleys are lined with irreg­u­larly shaped, white­washed houses with large inner court­yards. You can often catch glimpses of the Alhambra on the adja­cent hill. The Carrera del Darro has bars and cafés, and this is where you can expe­r­i­ence the quarter's night life from dusk until late into the night. The Albaicín has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994.

Granada Cathedral

A symbol of Catholic resur­gence
After the Reconquista, which refers to the recon­quering of Catholic Spain, Granada was made into an arch­dio­cese in the year 1492. A magnif­i­cent cathedral was supposed to serve as a symbol of new beginn­ings, but from today's point of view, the Catedral Santa Maria de la Encar­nación actu­ally repre­sents a decline in Catholic influ­ence. Construc­tion began in 1523 after a 30-year delay. The building was initially intended to be a colossal Gothic construc­tion, but was later completed in the Renais­sance style. The church was conse­crated 30 years later even though it was a long way from comple­tion since it still lacked the towers that were part of the orig­inal design. The one tower that was built turned out smaller than intended. The south­eastern wing of the Cathedral houses the Capilla Real, the burial chapel of the Catholic kings. This is the final resting place of Ferd­inand and Isabella, whose graves are guarded by stone lions.

Hike through Los Cahorros de Monachil

Crossing rope bridges in a gorge near Granada
This trail starts east of the Alhambra and leads through a narrow gorge. The route is marked out as the “Cahorros Bajos.” When you reach Tajo del Lunes, you can head back via a different trail taking you over the uplands to Granada. (2:45 hrs, 8.61 km, eleva­tion change: 300 m)

A hike along the “Route of the Stars”

Following the Rio Genil upstream to Mediterranean forests
The Vereda de la Estrella runs from Güejar into the Sierra Nevada until it reaches the northern cliffs of the Mulhacén, where Mediterranean oaks and maples grow, as well as a giant chestnut tree known as “El Abuelo,” or “the grandfa­ther.” The trail starts at the bridge over the Rio Genil and follows the river upstream into the mountains near Alcazaba. There are two huts in oper­a­tion on the way back. (5:30 hrs, 21 km, eleva­tion change: 820 m)

From Albolote to Cordoba

170 km | 2:30 h

Alcala La Real

Mighty Moorish castle in the olive groves
From afar you can see the massive castle from the 13th century tower above the city. It was built by the Moorish Caliphs for protec­tion against the Chris­tians. From the tower of the castle chapel one has a wide view over the rolling hills, the city and the olive groves.


Moorish border castle with seven towers
The massive castle on a hill served to secure the Chris­tian-Muslim border in Andalusia. Orig­inally it was built by the Moors, but changed sides several times. Proud and inde­structible, it still towers over the olive groves and the city today. After the Reconquista, it was handed over to the Cala­trava Order. The polyg­onal struc­ture is secured with seven towers. Two towers flank the main portal with round arch and deco­ra­tive frame. Inside there is a high 16th century forti­fied tower, which the Counts of Alcaudete later made their resi­dence.


Jewish-Moorish heritage

Around 950 AD, Cordoba was the most important city of the Chris­tian Occi­dent and can only be compared with Byzantium and Baghdad.

Its mete­oric rise from a Vandal settle­ment began in 756, when the first Emir ascended the throne and made Córdoba the capital of the Caliphate. He introduced new irriga­tion methods and previ­ously unknown crops. Science and archi­tec­ture expe­r­i­enced a climax. At the turn of the first millennium there was street lighting for an esti­mated 300,000 inhab­i­tants. The Jewish commu­nity was a stronghold for Chris­tian-Muslim dialogue. After the conquest and recathol­iza­tion in 1236, Cordoba fell into oblivion – a stroke of luck to which the preser­va­tion of the Moorish building fabric is owed. With Granada and Sevilla, Cordoba belongs to the three big cities of Andalusia, but it is some­what quieter than its sisters. Major attrac­tions include the Juderia, the Jewish-Moorish district and the Mesquita, once one of the largest and most beau­tiful mosques in the world and now a Roman Catholic cathedral. Those wishing to escape the throngs of tourists should go just a few streets further into areas frequented by locals.

Accommodation: A boutique hotel in Cordoba

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

During the reno­va­tion of the old building, great care was taken to preserve the history and archi­tec­ture of the house.

The result is a charming hotel in the middle of the Jewish quarter of the city. The thermal baths of the caliph from the 10th century are just outside the door, as are the gardens of the Chris­tian monarchs. The furnishing of the rooms is Moorish with elab­o­rately worked patterns and bright fabrics. The facil­i­ties also include a large outdoor pool with a sun terrace and a fitness centre. A restau­rant is located a few steps from the hotel on the other side of the street.


Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba
Covering an area of over 23,000 square meters, the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba is one of the largest sacred build­ings on earth. Ever since the Reconquista, it has served as the city's cathedral. Its name, “Mezquita” is related to the English word for “mosque,” and points to the building's Muslim origins. The Mosque was built on the site of a former church. After taking more than 200 years to complete, it rivaled even the most beau­tiful mosques of its day in Mecca, Damascus, Cairo or Istanbul. Upon entering, visitors are overwhelmed by the sight of a forest of columns and arches together with a supernat­u­rally beau­tiful play of colors. The inner court­yard with its Almanzor fountain is also defi­nitely worth a look.

Gardens of the Alcázar

Secluded gardens behind the walls of the royal palace
The Alcázar de los Reyes Cris­tianos, or “the palace of the Chris­tian kings,” was orig­inally Moorish. It was allegedly a place of execu­tion for Chris­tian martyrs. After Córdoba had fallen, but Granada was still under Moorish control, the castle served as a resi­dence for Catholic kings. The gardens of the Alcázar, which were planted behind the walls in the 14th century, are espe­cially beau­tiful. In summer, the pools, fountains and flower beds are open to the public until midnight.


Historic city center of Córdoba
This former Jewish quarter in Córdoba is now the city's old town. It dates back to the 10th century when a large number of Jews moved into the tolerant caliphate and settled down near the Mezquita. This period of multi-reli­gious flour­ishing came to an end in 1492 when the Spanish Catholic kings took over. The Sephardic (Spanish) Jews were driven out along with the Moors. Today, Judería is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. White­washed houses with court­yards exuding the smell of flowers line the narrow alleyways. The Calleja de las Flores, where the resi­dents have adorned their houses with flowers, is espe­cially beau­tiful. The last surviving syna­gogue in Andalusia is also worth a visit.

Las Ermitas

Hermitage in the Sierra Cordoba
Hermits built settle­ments here in the heights of the Sierra Cordoba during the early Chris­tian period. Even today, it is still a place of mystical quietude, even though only a handful of monks from the Barefoot Carmelite order still live here. The obser­va­tion deck provides a lovely view of Cordoba. Those who are in good phys­ical shape can reach the hermitage by foot. The trail from El Brillante in northern Cordoba is three kilome­ters in length and is quite steep.

From Cordoba to Sevilla

139 km | 2:00 h
Known for its 11 unique church steeples, Spain's hottest city, Ecija, is often referred to as the “Frying Pan of Andalusia.” Further down the road in an area of fertile farm­land you will reach Carmona, one of Spain's quaintest towns.


Palaces in the frying pan of Andalusia
Écija, the city of towers, lies on the Genil River between the two Andalu­sian metropol­itan cities of Córdoba and Seville in a sun-drenched plain, also referred to – with little charm – as the frying pan of Andalusia. But it is also consid­ered one of the most important art centers in Andalusia, where the aristoc­racy competed in the 18th century. In the central square, the Paza de España, stand the most important build­ings: the Town Hall, the Roman Baths and the Church of San Francisco.


Historic town on the mountain
The city is strate­g­ically located on the Alcores, a mountain range in the central plain of Andalusia. From there you can see all the way to the Sierra Morena in the north and to the summit of San Cristobal in the south. Carmona is one of the oldest places in Andalusia and has been cont­in­u­ously inhabited since prehistoric times. Iber­ians, Catha­g­ians, Romans, Moors: all have left their traces in the city. Partic­u­larly striking is the citadel of Peter the Cruel, in which a Parador has found its place today. From Córdoba one enters the city through the Moorish city gate, which in turn is built on a Roman construc­tion.


Nightly life in the Barrio de Santa Cruz

The capital of Andalusia is one of the hottest cities in Europe. It is therefore not surprising that much of the city life takes place at night.

Don Juan's home­town is an espe­cially exciting place during the Semana Santa (Easter Holy Week) and Seville Fair festivals, which involve week-long, lively cele­bra­tions. Although Seville has less Moorish archi­tec­ture than either Cordoba or Granada, the townscape is consid­ered partic­u­larly “Andalu­sian.” Many major and minor sights can be seen along the route from the Real Alcázar, the Royal Palace, to the Barrio de Santa Cruz, a picturesque district with an abun­dance of small squares and court­yards deco­rated with flowers. Outside its histor­ical center Seville has many modern suburbs created by the recent economic boom: new neighbor­hoods have sprung up practically overnight, resulting in a traffic grid­lock that is not limited to the rush hours.

Accommodation: A villa in ancient Sevilla

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast | 1x Parking

The hotel near the cathedral in the vibrant Old Town repre­sents an oasis of tranquility where guests can relax on the rooftop terrace with a pool and lounge chairs, or on one of the cool patios or in the spacious bedrooms.

The service is excel­lent, as is the Breakfast with a choice of buffet or à la carte orders. The inte­rior is marked by fascinating contrasts: vivid colors, floral scents and a fountain in the court­yard reflect the urban surround­ings, while natural mate­r­ials like stone, clay and slate lend the estate a country touch. Bath robes and natural cosmetics are provided in the bath­rooms.

Casa de Pilatos

Most beau­tiful palace in Seville
This urban palace from the early 15th century became the prototyp­ical Andalu­sian aristo­cratic palace. Its elegance nearly exceeds that of the Alcazar and combines Gothic, Renais­sance and Mudéjar archi­tectural elements to create a symbiosis of Moorish and Chris­tian art. The “casa” owes its name to the fact that its owner allegedly saw the palace of Pontius Pilate while trav­elling in Pales­tine and recon­structed it in Seville. Today, the building houses a museum surrounding a unique court­yard. On display are paint­ings, furni­ture and antiques. The court­yard was used in 1999 for a scene in the movie “Mission: Impos­sible II,” where the flamenco dancer Sara Baras has a performance.

La Casa del Flamenco

An evening with flamenco in a tradi­tional court­yard
Flamenco stands for fascinating music full of passion, sorrow and eroticism. It is also known outside of Spain as a typical Andalu­sian dance, even though its origins date back to Moorish and Jewish tradi­tions. It was also later influ­enced by the gypsies. Seville, the undis­puted capital of Flamenco, has numerous music theaters where shows are held every evening. The largest ones are often very touristy. We recom­mend the Casa del Flamenco. The audi­ences are small in this 15th century court­yard, and everyone gets a front-row seat.

Seville Cathedral

Largest Gothic church in the world
This bishop's church in the arch­dio­cese of Seville is not only the largest Gothic church but in fact one of the biggest churches in the world. It was constructed in the period from 1401 to 1519 on the foun­da­tions of an Arab mosque. In addi­tion to its magnif­i­cent sepul­cher statues dating to the Middle Ages, the church also houses the tomb of Christo­pher Columbus, which was built in 1902. After he crossed the Atlantic several times, the true loca­tion of his bones remained uncertain. His four pallbearers repre­sent the kingdoms of Castile, León, Aragón and Navarra. The most dist­inc­tive part of the church is its bell tower, La Girlada. This symbol of Seville was orig­inally the minaret of the main mosque and still bears features of its Moorish archi­tec­ture despite being modi­fied by the Chris­tians.

A walk through Seville

From Alcázar to the Barrio Santa Cruz
This walk begins at the Alcázar and will take you to the city's major sights. It ends in the popular quarter of Santa Cruz, where you will find numerous bars, bodegas and restau­rants. (3 hrs, 7 km, eleva­tion change: 30 m)

From Sevilla to Vejer

173 km | 2:30 h
Along the way you will pass Cadiz. Built on a cliff jutting out of the sea, this is one of the oldest cities in Europe.

Arcos de la Frontera

Winding alleys in white old town
One of Andalucia's most dramat­ically posi­tioned white villages, Arcos balances atop a rocky lime­stone ridge, its white­washed houses and stone castle walls stopping abruptly as a sheer cliff face plunges down to the fertile valley of the river Guadalete below. Declared a national historic-artistic monu­ment in 1962 in recog­ni­tion of its excep­tional archi­tec­ture and impres­sive loca­tion, the old town is a tangled labyrinth of cobbled streets that lead up to a sand­stone castle, the Castillo de los Arcos. As you'd expect from such a spectac­ular vantage point, there are exhi­la­rating views over the town and the rolling plain below.

Jerez de la Frontera

Sherry, Flamenco, thor­oughbred horses
Most of the tourists who come to Jerez are inter­ested in sampling the famous wine known as vino de Jerez, or sherry, which can be tasted and purchased in the numerous “bodegas” (wine cellars and shops). The city just north of Cádiz is also known for horse-breeding and flamenco dancing. These combined attributes are cele­brated in a three-week autumn festival that takes place just after the grape harvest. Trav­elers merely looking for a pleasant place in Andalusia to take a stroll and enjoy a good meal will hit the mark here.


The seaport southwest of Jerez de la Frontera is located at the end of a narrow peninsula jutting out into the Bay of Cadiz. The fresh air blowing in from the sea provides for a pleasant climate in the hot summer months. Cadiz is believed to be the oldest city in Western Europe. Archae­ol­o­gists have found both Phoeni­cian and Carthagi­nian ruins under the city. Hidden behind huge, thick medieval walls, Cadiz presents a striking view when approached from the sea. It also known for its beaches, consid­ered the best in Spain.

Costa de la Luz

Spacious bathing beaches, small bays

Spain's Atlantic coast­line from the Portuguese border to Gibraltar is known as the Costa de la Luz. Although the region is almost always bathed in light (hence the name “Coast of Light”) it is almost never as hot there as inland because of the constant sea breeze.

Endless golden beaches are interrupted by small bays and steep cliffs. Despite its pleasant climate and attrac­tive landscape, the region is not as popular among tourists as the adjoining Costa del Sol to the east.

Accommodation: The House of the Caliph

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast | 1x Dinner Reservation (payable by the customer on the spot) per person | 1x Parking

The building is located on a baroque square among palm trees oppo­site a tower of the city wall. Some of its foun­da­tions date back to the 10th Century.

The new building of the 17th Century-style caliph house was inspired by the Moorish period, when Vejer was an important city of the Islamic empire. A large south facing sun terrace gives uninterrupted views over the Marismas Nature Park & the Sierras de Retin. Through corridors and inner court­yards you are lead to the rooms, which are all indi­vid­u­ally, comfort­ably and tastefully furnished. Air condi­tioning and coffee machine are a standard.


South­ernmost point of the Euro­pean main­land
The south­ernmost town on the Euro­pean main­land lies on the Strait of Gibraltar. Because of its strategic posi­tion between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, Europe and Africa, the place was often fought over and of histor­ical importance. Today it is above all a surfing paradise in the very east of the Costa de la Luz. On clear weather days you can see Africa only 13 kilome­ters away from Punta Marroqui in the south.

Vejer de la Frontera

White village near the Costa de la Luz
This is the most beau­tiful of the “white towns” and is located nine kilome­ters from the coast. Six centuries of Moorish rule have left their mark here. Gleaming white houses line the narrow cobble­stone alleys and stairways. The old town is surrounded by a town wall measuring two kilome­ters in length. Over­looking the town is the Castillo, a 10th-century Moorish castle that was later expanded by Chris­tians who admired its clever design.

Fundación NMAC Montenmedio Arte Contem­poráneo

Modern sculp­ture park
This sculp­ture park covers 75 acres and features a perma­nent exhibit of modern and contem­po­rary sculp­ture. Artistic events and tempo­rary exhibits are also frequently held here. A visit to the park can be combined with a walk through the nearby Parque Natural de la Breña y Marismas del Barbate nature reserve. The park is closed on Mondays.

Hike to Los Caños de Meca

Through the pines along the most beau­tiful coastal cliffs in Andalusia
The coastal cliffs between Barbate and Lox Caños are among the most beau­tiful sections of coast­line along the Gulf of Cadiz. At the top of the imposing sand­stone cliffs is a large pine forest. The trail will take you though a nature reserve, and if you like, you can head back via a route through the hinter­land. The hike will only take two hours if you choose to stay on the initial trail. (4:30 hrs, 17 km, eleva­tion change: 230 m)

From Vejer to Ronda

194 km | 3:00 h
The route passes by a number of typical Andalu­sian villages with their white-washed houses, narrow streets and blos­soming court­yards. One of the most scenic white towns in Andalusia happens to lie along the route: Arcos de la Frontera.

Sierra de Grazalema

Alpine hiking paradise
The steep Sierra de Grazalema massif rises up out of the surrounding hill country with numerous peaks reaching over a thou­sand meters in height. Since these mountains are the first major hurdle for the warm, moist Atlantic winds, they receive a great deal of rainfall. The green landscape here is remi­nis­cent of the Alps and even features pine forests. Moving water in the region has also carved out dramatic gorges, caves and grot­toes in the lime­stone.

Tour of Tanger

Immerse your­self in a colorful and sensuous world
One-day tours leaving from the port of Tarifa can be booked with an Arab guide for the Moroccan city of Tanger. In the historic city center, known as Medina, with its markets, handmade crafts and cafés, you will find your­self immersed in a colorful and sensuous world. After your ferry ride, you will receive a tour of the city followed by a visit to a bazaar and lunch in a typical restau­rant.

Mirador del Estrecho

Unusual view of Africa
This scenic over­look is located 300 meters above sea level at the Strait of Gibraltar. As its name indicates, this “over­look of the strait” offers an excep­tional view of Africa, since the African and Euro­pean conti­nents are only 15 kilome­ters apart here. On clear days, you can see as far as Ceuta to the east and Tangier to the west. A café and several perma­nently mounted binoc­u­lars make this an inviting place to spend some time.

The White Villages

Narrow alleys and white houses in the Pueblos Blancos

In the mountai­nous landscape between Ronda and Arcos de la Frontera there are a number of villages and small towns, most of which date back to Phoeni­cian or Roman settle­ments and were devel­oped by the Moors between the 8th and 15th century.

The White Villages are char­ac­ter­ized by narrow alleys and secluded squares lined with white­washed houses – very similar to Northern Africa. The churches have often been built in places where mosques once stood. The manor houses date back to the centuries after the Reconquista. Their Gothic, Renais­sance and Baroque archi­tec­ture is an inter­esting contrast to the older Moorish houses. The Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos connects 19 partic­u­larly inter­esting villages. It begins in Arcos de la Frontera.

Accommodation: A former olive mill

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The 18th century mill stands on a hill outside of Ronda among olive trees. The views of Ronda and the Sierra landscape are unbeat­able.

Every room in the small luxury hotel has a private garden or patio, and many have a cosy fireplace. Ronda is just a 10-minute drive away, although guests may be happy to relax in the swimming pool and other­wise keep doing nothing in accordance with the house motto. The restau­rant serves Mediterranean cuisine from a daily menu featuring feshly prepared dishes.


White village in breathtaking loca­tion
The first thing that strikes visitors to Ronda is its precar­ious posi­tion on the edge of a steep canyon. Such nota­bles as Rilke, Hemingway and Orson Welles were capti­vated by the city's amazing loca­tion. In “For Whom the Bell Tolls” Hemingway writes about rebels being thrown from the cliff by Repub­licans during the Spanish Civil War. The plunging canyon that splits the city in two is called El Tajo and is spanned by three stunning bridges. A stroll along the pano­ramic prom­enade on the edge of the canyon is a must. One of Spain's oldest cities, Ronda was under Moorish rule for over 700 years, a period that is reflected in the local archi­tec­ture. The city is also known as the birthplace of the modern method of bullfighting featuring a torero who is on foot instead of on horseback and who fears shame more than death or injury. The Plaza de Toros is the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain still in (infrequent) use.

Zahara de la Sierra

Pueblo blanco in the shadow of a rock castle
The small village at the foot of the Sierra Grazalema belongs to the lesser known white villages in Andalusia. It was founded in the 8th century by the Arabs and was prob­ably called “Zahara”, which means some­thing like “flower”, because of its beauty. The ruins of a Moorish rock castle from the 12th century still tower over the village of 1000 inhab­i­tants and offer a fantastic view over the surrounding country­side and the Zahara reser­voir.

Hiking through the Garganta Verde

A hike through a spectac­ular gorge
The Garganta Verde is a spectac­ular canyon in the Sierra de Grazalema. The 400 meter high cliffs are home to griffon vultures, which can always be seen circling over­head. A high­light in the landscape is the Cueva Ermita – a colossal arch in the wall of the gorge.

From Ronda to Málaga

Rental car drop-off

From Ronda to Malaga

105 km | 2:30 h
The most scenic route, which can be taken with little loss of time, is on the small mountain roads that cut across the Serrania di Ronda.

Rental car drop-off

Rental car drop-off
Loca­tion: Malaga Airport (Shuttle Service)

14 days
from € 1,789.00
per person based on two people sharing a double room
  • Accommodation in a double room
  • Meals (as listed above)

You can start this tour on any date.
Best Travel Time: March–June, September–November

The prices can vary depending on the season.
Your Consultant
Alina Frielingsdorf

Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-25

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