Hiking from the mountains to Tarifa on the Route of the Almoravids & Almohads

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The Route of the Almoravids

The Route of the Almoravids and Almohads is one of the Routes of El Legado Andalusí,and certified as a Major Cultural Route of the Council of Europe. You set out from the ancient town of Ronda, heading for Grazalema, one of the famous “white villages”. After discovering silver and pink mountains with their perennial pastures, you continue down through the Guadiario River valley to Algeciras and the Mediterranean, and on to its meeting with the Atlantic Ocean.

Grazalema Nature Park and goat cheese

Hiking through the Grazalema Mountains you come to another beautiful white village, Villaluenga del Rosario, the highest in the province of Cadiz. Autochthonous species of sheep and goats (“payoyas”) graze on evergreen meadows set between limestone valleys, fairy-tale gall-oak forests and rocky gorges, producing delicious, highly-prized cheeses.

White Villages and the Vultures Canyon

You continue walking on the GR-7 towards the village Montejaque and from there you take the ancient Campo de Gibraltar Cattle Trail, following the course of the Guadiaro River to Jimera de Líbar, another jewel of a village. Then you head to the Natural Monument Cañon de las Buitreras (Canyon of the Vultures): majestic and intimidating at the same time.

By train to the Straight of Gibraltar Nature Park

From El Colmenar you take the train to get Algeciras, a beautiful ride crossing a dense cork forest, while the river converts the valley into a canyon and opening out again to come to the town Algeciras. Your last walk runs through the Estrecho (Straight of Gibraltar) Nature Reserve, heading down towards the sea and then on, following the coastline. Your curiosity will be awakened by the rocky beaches and old military installations to be found in the area, while you awaken the curiosity of the many dark-coloured calves that graze on these coastal hillsides.

Tarifa: Staring out to Africa

Seduced by the wild landscape of this coast between two seas, daydreaming as you stare out to Africa, you arrive finally in Tarifa.

This tour combines moderate walks through unspoiled mountain countryside and valleys with beautiful white villages and a fantastic train ride. The small and charming inns give you a warm welcome after a day of hiking.

Logo El Legado Andalusí

Ronda, arrival

Ronda, arrival

Whether you come by bus, train or car, you should try to get to this fabulous town as early as possible. Have a stroll, see the oldest bullfight ring of Spain, and the famous "Puente Nuevo" (New Bridge) and take some good wines and tapas.

Grazalema, circular route

Grazalema, circular route

A taxi will bring you after breakfast to the mountain village of Grazalema. This circular route takes you to the heart of the nearby Sierra del Endrinal. The remains of shepherds’ refuges (huts and corrals) tell you about the importance that stockbreeding has had (and still has) in this region, an activity that stands out in the cheese made of the milk obtained from the local payoya sheep breed. You will slowly climb to the Puerto de las Presillas (1250 meters altitude) and continue to the the Boyar viewpoint where you will be able to enjoy marvelous views of the mountains and see the ionic Salto del Cabrero. Later you can have a stroll through the charming village of Grazalema. It is interesting to see its typical streets, the viewpoints, the Roman fountain... and the little shops where they sell the typical goat cheese. Buy already your picnic for tomorrow!  

Grazalema-Villaluenga del Rosario (13 km)

Grazalema-Villaluenga del Rosario (13 km)

This route takes you right into to the heart of the Nature Park Grazalema. You will first climb through the Sierra de Edrinal to reach an altitude of 1200m and pass very close to the highest peaks Reloj (1545m) and Simancón (1566m). This height gives you the most beautiful views until the Sea and the Rock of Gibraltar! You also may see some big birds with wide wings and a short, square tail circulating high. Without any doubt it is a griffon vulture that takes advantage of the cornice and the cracks that the cliffs of these mountains offer for nesting. At the end of the route you have a steep downhill to the beautiful white village Villaluenga del Rosario, the highest village of the province Cádiz. Ascent & Descent: 500m  

Villaluenga del Rosario-Montejaque (19 km)

Villaluenga del Rosario-Montejaque (19 km)

Today is a long walking day. We continue walking through impressive limestone rock formations, including the Sima del Republicano. In this beautiful landscape of Holm oaks, you may even see the Iberian pig, a race you only find in Spain, looking for acorns under the holm oaks! Where they slowly fatten to later make the best Spanish Ham (Jamon Iberico). Later you get to the Líbar plains, hiking gently over this deserted landscape to the white village Montejaque. (6 hours, 230m ascent, 400m descent)

Montejaque - Jimera de Líbar - Cañada del Real Tesoro (11 or 23 km)

Montejaque – Jimera de Líbar – Cañada del Real Tesoro (11 or 23 km)

You first walk to the Station of Benaoján, where you pick up the route following the "Cañada Real de Campo de Gibraltar" (an old cattle track), alongside the Guadiaro river and the Bobadilla-Algeciras railway line. Once at the station of Jimera de Líbar you can choose to take the train or continue hiking another 11 km through meadows, woodland and farmlands to the next village Cañada del Real Tesoro, where Breda and her husband will welcome you with a home-made dinner.

Cañada del Real Tesoro - El Colmenar (14 km, 500 m ascends)

Cañada del Real Tesoro – El Colmenar (14 km, 500 m ascends)

You will follow the course of the river Guadiaro along the left river bank. After some meadows roamed by retinta cows and Iberian pigs you head to the Pass Puerto de la Fresneda. Heading down to the river we get to the narrow Cañón de las Buitreras (canyon of las Buitreras), a protected area and Natural Monument! This place is simply spectacular: it is both majestic and intimidating. At the bottom of the canyon, the waters of the Guadiaro run as if they crossed an open cave. On the other side, there is a small tunnel we must go through to get to the foot of a steep mountainside. A hard ascent awaits, but it is highly worthwhile. A natural balcony just after the top will offer a great panoramic view. Heading down towards the river again you will at the Charco del Moro (Pool of the Moor): a long pool of cold water embedded in between to walls, good for a refreshing bath! Then continue to the small village El Colmenar where you will stay for the night.

El Colmenar-Algeciras (train), hike to Tarifa (17 km)

El Colmenar-Algeciras (train), hike to Tarifa (17 km)

Today you make the last stage of this unforgettable journey by train to Algeciras; a taxi will be waiting here to drive you to the Estrecho Natural Park. From there, we head down towards the sea and then on following the coastline, along rocky beaches and old military installations with Africa in the distance. In the afternoon we can enjoy the ambiance of Tarifa, as your inn is just located in the heart of the historical centre.

Tarifa, end

Tarifa, end

Today we can visit the famous ruins of Bolonia and eat some fresh fish alongside the sea before heading back to Algeciras to take the train back home. Why not also enjoy the beautiful beaches of the province and stay another night in Tarifa?

Accommodation with breakfast


7 nights

Information on the trip




2 días

Organised taxi to come to the start point of the route or to be picked up at the end of the route.

Telephone helpline


8 days

Luggage transport


Services not included

Extra night (charming Hotel in Ronda)

Not Included


1 night

Extra night before starting the tour, in double room with breakfast

Questions about the travel

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