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Moorish Trails

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days 08 US$ 920 US$ 874
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highlights
  • Canillas De Albaida - Stay in a 16th Century converted convent in this traditional Moorish village
  • Rural Landscapes - Walking through a rich profusion of natural diversity, Moorish villages and the unspoilt wilderness in the heart of Andalucia
  • Competa - Picturesque white-washed mountain village famous for its locally made wine and stunning views
  • Cerro Verde - Panoramic views from the 1346m summit
The Moorish Trails tour starts and ends in Malaga Airport. The Moorish Trails is a Walking Tour that takes 8 days taking you from Malaga Airport, Spain and through other destinations in Europe.

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
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Joining the tour at Malaga airport we transfer to Canillas de Albaida by minibus, a journey of about one hour, where there should be some time to freshen up and relax before a briefing this evening about the coming days ahead. Our base for the next few days is a picturesque village of white washed houses lying on the edge of the Sierra Tejeda Natural Park, in the shadow of the Atalaya and Verde Mountains. 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.

NOTE: Our main transfer from Malaga Airport to Canillas de Albaida will be at 16.00. Another transfer can be provided for guests arriving on earlier flights (times will vary, usually early afternoon).
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
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 we follow an old mule track to Bodegas Almijara where we will have the opportunity 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.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
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. After a day of walking you may wish to watch a cookery demonstration and learn how to make paella.

Today's 14 kilometre walk is expected to take around five-and-a-half hours with 600 metres of ascent and descent.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
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.
Meals
  • Breakfast & Lunch
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Today has been designated as a rest day.

There is the possibility of taking an optional trip to Granada today. Granada is one of the most famous cities in the region, a superb mix of Moorish elegance and Renaissance grandeur that includes the Albaicin, the old Moorish quarter whose white walls and narrow streets give the city it's distinctive Arabic feel. The highlights of a visit are the sumptuous Alhambra palace, built in the 13th century and considered the finest example of Moorish architecture outside the Arab world and the beautiful landscaped gardens.

If you do wish to visit the Alhambra we recommend purchasing a ticket in advance as only limited tickets for the Palace are made available for sale on arrival each day. Please see the budgeting section below for further information.

For those who would prefer something a little more scenic, the Mediterranean coast and town of Nerja is not far away, presenting an ideal destination for a gentle exploration of Spain's beautiful southern coastline.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
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.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
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.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Our tour ends today at Malaga Airport at 09:00. Passengers on later flights can be transferred to the aiport later, please note that this transfer may be unescorted.
Meals
  • Breakfast
what’s included
Meals
  • 7 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Accommodation
  • 7 nights standard hotel
Transport
  • Minibus, Taxi
Guide
  • Explore Tour Leader, Driver(s)
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to/from Malaga Airport are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Moorish Trails tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Duration 8 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 17 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Malaga Airport, Spain/ Malaga Airport, Spain
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Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Moorish Trails
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Payment

A deposit of 87 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 59 days before departure. For any departures within 25 July 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Moorish Trails tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Moorish Trails tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Moorish Trails tour. You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 59 days of departure.
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