All posts by michael newcomb

Walking in the Moroccan Rif Mountains – Guided & Self Guided Options

Bouhachem2Just 14km separate Europe from Africa at its closest point through the Straits of Gibraltar.  We organise guided and self guided walking itineraries to some of the protected areas in the Rif Mountains of Northern Morocco  using the delightful Berber village of Chefchaouen as our base.

Located at 600m above sea level Chefchaouen overlooks the verdant oak forests of Bouhachem,  refuge to some of the regions last wild barbary macaques. The village also backs on to the Talassemtane National Park, a wild and rugged region of the Rif which offers some of Morocco’s best hiking and  where most of our one and two day hikes are done

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These itineraries are easily combined with hiking opportunities on the Spanish side of the Straits and offer a fantastic diversity of cultures and habitats for short one and two week itineraries.

The journey time across the straights only takes 40 minutes but we also venture out by boat to witness the incredible whale and bird migrations that are taking place though out the year.

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All our journeys, guided and self guided are tailored according to our clients accommodation and travel preferences. Enquire for further details, prices and availability.

National Parks & Protected Areas of South Western Spain 8nights/7days

This tour will appeal to the walker, nature lover and birdwatcher and concentrates on the diverse habitats  of South Western Spain using  the delightful white villages of Gaucin in Malaga  and Castano del Robledo in Huelva as a base to explore these fabulous protected habitats.

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From our base in Gaucin we will explore the rugged karst landscapes of Grazalema and Sierra Las Nieves Natural Parks as well as the extensive oak forests of Los Alcornocales Natural Park,  one of the most biodiverse forests in Europe.

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Gaucin will also be our base to visit the El Estrecho Natural Park, Spains most recent protected space which we will explore both on land and by boat giving our groups the best chance to witness the annual bird and whale migrations which make the area famous.

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After exploring these areas we will head on to the Doñana National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the most important wetlands in Western Europe and a magnet for the regions impressive birdlife.

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The Tour will finish exploring the habitats of the Sierra Morrena and the Sierra de Aracena Natural Park, home to the worlds most endangered feline, the Iberian Lynx.

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Clients will return via Seville international Airport.  The tour includes 7 nights accommodation in  comfortable 3  or 4star  hotels/guest house depending on preferrence, all airport transfers from/to Malaga and Seville airports respectively, tour leader and all surface transport during the tour.

The Roman Road from Castellar, day 2

Prices are based on a couple or friends sharing ask for single room supplement prices . Minimum group size 2 max 6.

Please contact info@sierrawalks.com for prices, further info and availability

Ruta del Los Bandoleros – 6 day hike from the Ronda Mountains to the Mediterranean Sea from £734

This 6 day/7night trail begins in Ronda and takes in some of Southern Spains wildest and most dramatic landscapes – untill recent times  the redoubt of smugglers and bandits who used the folds of the rugged sierras as refuge giving this hike its name,  Ruta de Los Bandoleros.

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The route is available both as a self guided or as a fully guided week long hike.  The self guided option ( £734p/p)  benefits from a support vehicle to forward excess luggage onward to the next hotel and on call should assistance be needed. A comprehensive  dossier is also included, full of info, hiking maps, GPS co ordinates and Satellite imagary to make navigating the sierras complex topography quite literally a walk in the park.

Gaucin, Serrenia de Ronda

For those that choose the guided option ( £974 p/p), the Ruta de los Banderleros is guided by Michael himself,  leaving walkers free to enjoy the scenery without the responsibility of navigating and free to learn about the unique ecology, history and the the local stories of this facinating area.

Enjoying the views, day 1

We overnight in a different village each night so while the walking will be through some of Andalucia’s wildest corners our accommodation will be in delightful boutique and historic hotels ( 3 & 4 star ) including the 13 century Moorish Castle of Castellar de la Frontera. This also gives us a chance to sample the regions fabulous gastronomy – well earned after a days walking in the Spanish Sierras!

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This hike visits some of Andalucia’s most treasured historical and ecological attractions including one of Europe’s most biodiverse protected areas, Los Alcornocales Natural Park and archeological sites of Neolithic, Roman, Visigothic and Moorish origin. Walking distances vary between 15-25km a day depending on the terrain amounting to an average of 7 hours/day walking time designed for the moderately fit in mind. There is a support vehicle on hand all times to forward luggage on to next hotel and to provide assistance if needed.

West of Castellar, day 3

Contact info@sierrawalks.com for further info and availability. Group size ( 2-6 ),  prices are based on a couple or friends sharing a room, single room supplement an additional €340. Price includes airport transfers to/from Malaga,  7  nights accommodation in 3 & 4 star hotels, support vehicle and driver. Self Guided option includes a comprehensive dossier with info, maps, GPS points etc. Guided option includes the additional benefit of a local guide ( Michael ) for all 6 days walking.