Walking in the Sierra de Gredos

From $1917 per person

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***** Based on 32 customer reviews
Walking in the Sierra de Gredos 125 32
Avila city walls
Walk up to Seven Springs
Walker on Laguna Grande walk
Sierra de Gredos from Avila city walls
Laguna Grande
Sierra de Gredos mountains
Laguna Grande Walk
Avila town
  • Fabulous walks in undiscovered Spain, mountain vistas, ancient Roman roads, riverside tracks and authentic villages
  • Paradise for bird lovers; woodpeckers, red kites, griffon vultures and buzzards
  • Excellent gastronomic cuisine and superb Spanish wines
  • Possible day trips to historic Avila, Toledo and Salamanca; extra nights in Madrid are also recommended
  • Extensive and totally flexible walking

At a glance...

  • 7 nights, single centre
  • Departs Selected Sundays from 26 Oct '14 to 21 Aug '16
  • Gourmet breakfast, 5 a la carte picnic lunches and all evening meals
  • Managed locally by hotelier
  • Sustainability rating: 78%
  • Route notes and maps provided

Excellent for...

  • Holidays with gastronomic meals.
  • Holidays with wine-tasting opportunities.
  • Varied routes for nature lovers and botanists.
  • Destinations with bird watching opportunities.
  • Discover stunning historic sites en-route.
  • Great vegetarian meal options.
  • Holidays to enhance your wellbeing.
  • Perfect for couples.
  • Explore the high peaks.
  • Beautiful lakes and rivers.

Walking in the Sierra de Gredos

Just west of Madrid, the Sierra de Gredos is Spain's secret heartland; a vibrantly contrasting montage of mountainous peaks, thundering waterfalls, verdant plains, fragrant fruit orchards and glacial lagoons.

This region offers a wealth of varied walking routes from your base in the northern half of the Sierra in the tiny village of Hoyos del Espino, nestled on the edge of the Gredos Regional Park and against a breathtaking backdrop of jagged granite peaks. Choose from gentle meadow strolls through the flower-filled river valleys, or comfortable higher level hikes (the park is at 1800m), where you're likely to meet wild goats and spot huge griffon vultures soaring overhead. In order for you to really get to know the entire region, we have included complimentary car hire as well as detailed route notes for optional day walks in the southern half of the Sierra; a contrasting cluster of tiny Mediterranean-like villages tucked away among terraces of olives, figs and vines. The beautiful historic cities of Avila, Toledo and Salamanca are also easy day trips.

You'll eat well on this holiday, our luxurious rural retreat, the stylish Hotel El Milano Real offers outstanding gastronomic menus and a la carte picnics on all walking days. In the evenings, expect mouth-watering temptations such as venison with wild berries or beef carpaccio with foie gras shavings and mustard vinaigrette. With an extensive bodega of more than 500 Spanish wines your hosts, Teresa and Paco will introduce you to some of those available; we've included wine on the first evening to give you a taste of what's on offer! There are fabulous views from the hotel itself and the excellent Aguas de Gredos spa centre is just next door, great for aching muscles and offers a 15% discount to Headwater customers.

Read more about this holiday on the travel blog.


Not quite what you're looking for - then why not take a look at some of our similar holidays?

Prefer to speak to someone?

Call us on: 1-800-567-6286 or email us: info@breakaway-adventures.com.
We are open 9:00-5:30 Mon-Fri, 9:00-12:00 Sat.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Hoyos del Espino

You arrive at Madrid airport where you pick up your hire car. It's then a 1 hour 50 minute drive to El Milano Real, your luxurious base for the next 7 nights, tucked away in the northern foothills of the Sierra de Gredos. Your host, Teresa, will welcome you with a glass of champagne as she discusses your week's walking options with you before dinner.

Day 2 - The Seven Springs Walk 14km/9mi/4hr

A pine carpeted track takes you first to the peaceful River Tormes then, ascending gently past wild strawberries and pink crocus, you enjoy incredible 360o views of the jagged Gredos mountains. Ibex goats cluster in the luscious pastures peppered with springs and fountains. Returning to the village, time for a drink in one of the friendly local bars before a gourmet dinner in the spectacular dining room.

Day 3 - La Laguna Grande 13km/8mi/4.5hr

This magnificent walk takes you up to the impressive Laguna Grande set between the majestic Morezon and Almanzor peaks - the latter being the highest in the Gredos at 2,592m. The wild and dramatic glacial bowl is a fantastic picnic spot - look out for sure footed ibex silhouetted against the skyline. Above, red kites and huge griffon vultures soar on the thermals.

Day 4 - Navarredonda 9km/6mi/2.5hr or 16km/10mi/4.5hr

A great day for enjoying the diverse landscapes of the Northern Gredos. Wend your way across the broom-covered hillsides with long distance views to tiny white villages nestled in the vines. There are shady pine woods, and flower-filled meadows where black Avila cattle graze as you pass to reach idyllic picnic spots by the river.

Day 5 - Optional visits to Avila or Salamanca

We've left today free for independent exploring, however we strongly recommend the 50 minute drive to the historic Spanish city of Avila. Set against a backdrop of the Gredos Mountains, this walled city - many sections of the walls are still intact - dates back to C11, and its 88 towers and 9 gates are the most complete in Spain. Alternatively, Salamanca, arguably the country's most graceful city with its dual Gothic and Romanesque cathedrals, is just 90 minutes away.

Day 6 - The Morezon 13km/8mi/3.5hr or 14km/9mi/4.5hr

If the air is clear today, you'll feel you can see forever! It's not unusual to have 70km views south all the way across the plain to the Toledo Mountains - especially if you climb to the top of the Morezon (2392m). A real 'on top of the world' experience shared only with wild goats!

Day 7 - Waterfalls and Meadows 14km/9mi/3.5hr or 16km/11mi/4hr

If you choose to stay close to home, today's relaxed walks explore the valley of the River Tormes. You'll amble past stunning waterfalls, looking out for dippers, and then through the shady forests and alpine meadows reminiscent of Switzerland. Alternatively we provide a selection of walks in the more Mediterranean southern Gredos, just a 45 minute drive away.

Day 8 - Leave Hoyos del Espino

Drive back to Madrid to drop off your car, perhaps choosing to spend some extra nights in this fabulous city.

Where you stay

This single-centre holiday is based at the following hotel. If you'd like to extend your stay here, or upgrade your room, just let us know at the time of booking.

Hotel El Milano Real, Hoyos del Espino   (5 Acorn)

Hotel El Milano Real, Hoyos del Espino

The Hotel El Milano Real is a beautiful 21-room hotel situated in the tiny village of Hoyos del Espino in the north of the Sierra de Gredos national park.

Each of the rooms at the hotel is individually styled, and all have en-suite facilities, satellite television, direct dial telephones, minibar and hairdryers. Headwater guests are allocated the standard rooms, which are beautifully decorated. It is possible to upgrade to a suite for a supplement.

There is a wellness spa next door to the hotel and Headwater guests receive a 15% discount.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar



Extra nights and stop over hotels

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.

Hotel Petit Palace Londres, Madrid   (3 Star)

Petit Palace Londres - Madrid

The Hotel Petit Palace Londres enjoys an excellent position just off the bustling Puerta del Sol Square, which is considered one of the central spots in Old Madrid. The hotel itself lies just off the pedestrian area to the north where the famous Corte Ingles department store is located. You are ideally situated for exploring all of Madrid's famous sights.

The hotel has a charming turn of century façade and many of the rooms have wrought iron balconies from which you can sit and watch the world go by.

The 75 rooms are furnished in a modern style with laminate flooring and crisp white décor. All are double glazed and air-conditioned and are equipped with mini bar, satellite television and direct dial telephone. The bathrooms are well appointed and many have hydro massage showers.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Travel options

Starting point for this holiday

Tour only prices exclude flights, but include Group B air-conditioned hire car which you collect from, and return to, Madrid airport. Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email info@breakaway-adventures.com to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Mrs White on 25/10/2014

*****
This was our first walking holiday since we were teenagers and our first holiday without children. It was an excellent introduction. Good quality accommodation, a beautiful area and well guided walks. Sometimes the notes were a little unclear and we deliberately avoided a couple of walks that other travellers had said were difficult to follow but we only lost our way on one of the walks and think this was because there had been substantial recent tree felling and logging that obliterated the tracks. Our host Theresa was excellent and took her responsibilities very seriously in ensuring we were safe and happy. We also had the pleasure of meeting other headwater guests and spent some meals and walks together which was an added bonus. In summary, a well organised and enjoyable holiday.

Reviewed by Mrs Cole on 22/10/2014

*****
I did find the notes back to the airport from the Gredos mountains very difficult, as it said 'reverse your original notes from Madrid Airport'. I thought this very lazy as we were taking many motorways and A roads and they were not clear to start with. There was plenty of space on the page and it felt as though we were being ignored at this stage.

Reviewed by Mr Curwen on 18/10/2014

*****
The Gredos is a wonderful location for walking holidays and Milano Real provides and excellent base. This holiday offers lots of walking options from dramatic high level mountain views to idyllic river valleys resounding with tinkling cow bells and trickling streams. We had a fascinating day in Salamanca when we fancied a change from walking and the journey through the mountains added to our enjoyment of the day. Last but by no means least, Teresa and Paco were superb hosts and nothing seemed to be too much trouble to make sure we enjoyed our stay. We will definitely be back.

Reviewed by Mr Lewis on 17/10/2014

*****
The combination of a fine hotel location, dramatic countryside and superb food made this a unique holiday which brought us new and welcome experiences. We chose walks that ranged from beautiful countryside rambles to testing mountain ascents. In view of the excellent local advice, it is easy to tailor the nature and difficulty of the walks to your own abilities and inclinations. In addition, the gastronomy was first class.

Reviewed by Mr Wood on 18/09/2014

*****
Lovely location, great hotel, wonderful support from hotel staff in our 'hour-of-need, varied walks and opportunity to visit an historical Spanish city.

Reviewed by Dr Worthy on 02/09/2014

*****
El Milano Real walking holiday was the perfect combination of fantastic walks, outstandingly delicious food and a warm welcome. The service and level of advice was great. A beautiful place with some stunning walking in the mountains.

Reviewed by Mr Fairweather on 28/05/2014

***#.
The Hotel El Milano Real was an excellent base for a walking holiday as several walks could be done directly from the hotel. The food was usually good, sometimes excellent but occasionally disappointing: the wines were generally very good and also very reasonably priced. The weather during the week was unseasonably cold, which spoiled our enjoyment of the highest climbing - we were unable even to attempt Morezon - but the superb walk to the Mirador was completed in very pleasant conditions and we were glad it wasn't too hot. The area is rich in flora and fauna, and May is a good time of year for observing it.

Reviewed by Mr Daines on 28/05/2014

*****
A great holiday in an off the beaten track location.

Reviewed by Mrs Wilson on 13/04/2014

*****
I can't fill in the travel section because we were air/self drive. There are some comments I would like to make 1 The map situation was dire.You say in the walking notes that the map you provide is the 'Sierra de Gredos 1:25000. You gave us a map which was an area to the South West of where we were in Hoyos de Espina. We should have been given the correct map and it is 1: 50000 not the above. As you point out the other map (Parque Regional de La Sierra de Gredos) which is 1:25000 only covers the Plataforma area. 2 The spa was not open until the Friday of our stay and that should have been made clear in the notes/brochure. Otherwise we loved it, the hotel was lovely and food delicious (also v good wine list) and will probably book again next year

Reviewed by Mis Bursey on 02/04/2014

*****
Only the weather let us down.... The hotel was delightful and the staff really helpful; the food was execllent and certainly pleantiful with the breakfasts well deserving of the description 'amazing'. Snow and rain prevented our walking as we had hoped and there is little else to do in the immediate vicinity but lots of beautiful places to see if you are prepared to drive (and the roads are surprisingly good).

Reviewed by Mr Hunter on 08/11/2013

*****
Visit the Sierra de Gredos. It is a beautiful and unspoilt part of Spain

Reviewed by Mrs Mace on 10/10/2013

***#.
Great friendly hotel with excellent food - Theresa was full of local knowledge particularly on the weather (which wasn't brilliant when we were there in early October) where she was spot on. Good walking (particularly the higher walks) and the instructions for the walks excellent. We would recommend this holiday. One small criticism a map from the airport to the hotel would have been useful as the instructions were not very clear or take your own sat nav.

Reviewed by Mis Norton on 10/10/2013

*****
We thoroughly enjoyed our week in the Sierra de Gredos, which is a beautiful, uncommercialised region that is excellent for walking. Teresa was a mine of information, not just on the walks but also on the weather in different parts of the region and even on what wine to have with dinner! The hotel staff were friendly and attentive. The food was wonderful and there was plenty of it! Overall, a great holiday.

Reviewed by Mr Hogarth on 29/09/2013

*****
Excellent for walking with a good variety of walks at various lengths and levels of challenge. Hotel location and village very good. Food excellent and a vegetarian well catered for.

Reviewed by Mrs Barnish on 26/09/2013

*****
This was a fabulous holiday in an area that was totally unknown to us. The landscape was stunning, the walks varied and the location ideal for visits to the cities of Avila, Salamanca, Segovia , Madrid and Toledo - all on empty, excellently- maintained roads. The hotel was exceptional with amazing food and service. We would thoroughly recommend this holiday for all the experiences it offers but would suggest booking a minimum of 10 days to ensure you able to fit everything in!!

Reviewed by Mr Woods on 25/09/2013

*****
An excellent holiday. All the travel arrangements involving air travel and car hire were excellent. The Hotel El Milano Real was excellent and the food superb. Teresa was an excellent host. Scenery excellent. The waymarks on some of the walks need updating and an indication of the distances between waymarks would be helpful. Also distances on the route from Madrid to Hoyos del Espino would be helpful.

Reviewed by Mrs Ife on 25/09/2013

*****
We have just enjoyed our second wonderful holiday at the Milano Real. The walks here are very varied, with scenery that ranges from green and leafy woods and meadows to impressive wild and barren terrain. The hotel is very friendly and welcoming and the food is superb, from the imaginative and unusual breakfasts, to the a la carte 3-course picnics to the tempting and varied evening menu, eaten while watching amazing sunsets. We strongly recommend this holiday!

Reviewed by Mr Wiblin on 21/09/2013

*****
The owners of the hotel really went the extra mile to makes us welcome. Their service was excellent and the quality of the food was superb, dealing with one of our party with a wheat intolerance with ease.

Reviewed by Mr Brady on 12/09/2013

*****
The Sierra de Gredos region of Spain is an outstandingly beautiful area of mountains, valleys and rural villages. It's an easy 2-hour drive from Madrid and the hotel El Milano Real in the village of Hoya del Espino can barely be faulted. In particular, the range and quality of the food on offer is of the highest order. Also, the views from the hotel of the Gredos range are breathtaking. The walking is varied from fairly demanding, to reach the higher areas with magnificent views, to idyllically rural along lovely river valleys.

Reviewed by Mr Horne on 11/08/2013

*****
The Sierra De Gredos is a fantastic destination in July/August and the Hotel El Milano Real in Hoyos Del Espino is a perfect place to base the holiday. The weather on the north side was perfect for walking, blue skies all week - high 20's near the hotel and low 20's in the mountains. The food and service in the hotel was excellent and everyone was very friendly. This was our first Headwater holiday and I hope that the other destinations can live up to this one.

Reviewed by Mrs Jones on 03/08/2013

*****
We particularly like Headwater holidays as they take you to unexplored regions of countries which are unspoilt by tourism and overcrowding. We extended our holiday and stayed in Segovia for a few days which we loved and we had the opportunity to go to Salamanca for a day.

Reviewed by Mr Glen on 30/04/2013

*****
The Sierra de Gredos holiday was very enjoyable. The hotel's normal clientele are weekend visitors from Madrid; a bit like the Lake District for the Midlands. The food (breakfast, packed lunches and dinner) was excellent, though quite different from British food. The walking was very good, but we were glad we had come in April as there is very little shade.

Reviewed by Mr Barber on 13/04/2013

*****
The Sierra de Gredos has something for everyone who enjoys exploring the outdoors - from river banks to pine forests; from open heaths and alpine terrain. To have these in such a small area makes for a wonderfully varied break. Combined with a comfortable and relaxing stay in the Hotel El Milano Real, we wondered why it took us so long to try this Headwater break!

Reviewed by Mrs McNicoll on 10/11/2012

*****
This is a lovely one-centre holiday at a great hotel with lots of variety of scenery and terrain. The high routes may not be suitable for people with vertigo but there are lots of lower options that can be walked instead and Teresa is extremely good and can help with suggestions.

Reviewed by Mrs Brown on 30/10/2012

*****
This was one of our best holidays with Headwater. Teresa and the staff at the Hotel Milano Real were very welcoming and informative about the area. The food was fabulous and the local wines excellent. There were sufficient and varied routes to keep us walking for the six days.

Reviewed by Mrs Horner on 06/10/2012

***#.
Teresa, the hotelier and Headwater representative, gave us superb advice on each walk and on additional activities to help us really enjoy the region and what it has to offer.

Reviewed by Ms Hammond on 24/09/2012

*****
We loved all the walks we did on this holiday. There was a good variety of walks to choose from in terms of length, relative difficulty and the different environments of the area. The mountain walks in particular were fantastic. The El Milano Real hotel and its staff were also fabulous. We also really enjoyed all the local food, and tried almost everything on the menu and it was all superb, in presentation and taste. The 'tasting breakfast' deserves a special mention for being both unusual and outstanding.

Reviewed by Mr Howard on 07/07/2012

*****
We had a wonderful holiday. A very unique experience, quite different to the other Headwater holidays we have taken, mainly because of the location.El Milano Real was superb, and we felt we were really well looked after. We did not cover all the recommended walks, so we would be happy to go back and repeat the experience.

Reviewed by Mrs Dentith on 21/10/2011

*****
Very enjoyable

Reviewed by Mr Kerr on 06/10/2011

*****
Gredos is a great location for easily accessible high level walking.

Reviewed by Ms Ife on 24/09/2011

*****
This was an excellent and unforgettable holiday. The hotel was superb: the food was excellent, the rooms very comfortable, the setting tranquil and Teresa Dorn and all her staff were very friendly and welcoming. And the weather was gloriously hot and sunny all week long! The Gredos was a revelation to us.

Departure dates & prices

March 2015 departuresTour only 
Mar 22$1974
Mar 29$2278
April 2015 departuresTour only 
Apr 5$2278
Apr 12$1974
Apr 19$1974
Apr 26$1974
May 2015 departuresTour only 
May 3$1989
May 10$1989
May 17$1989
May 24$2278
May 31$2048
June 2015 departuresTour only 
Jun 7$2048
Jun 14$2048
Jun 21$2048
Jun 28$2354
July 2015 departuresTour only 
Jul 5$2354
Jul 12$2354
Jul 19$2354
Jul 26$2354
August 2015 departuresTour only 
Aug 2$2354
Aug 9$2354
Aug 16$2354
Aug 23$2354
Aug 30$2179
September 2015 departuresTour only 
Sep 6$2179
Sep 13$2179
Sep 20$2179
Sep 27$2179
October 2015 departuresTour only 
Oct 4$1936
Oct 11$1936
Oct 18$2048
Oct 25$2048
November 2015 departuresTour only 
Nov 1$1936
March 2016 departuresTour only 
Mar 20$1917
Mar 27$2107
April 2016 departuresTour only 
Apr 3$2107
Apr 10$1917
Apr 17$1917
Apr 24$1917
May 2016 departuresTour only 
May 1$1932
May 8$1932
May 15$1932
May 22$2278
May 29$2278
June 2016 departuresTour only 
Jun 5$1991
Jun 12$1991
Jun 19$1991
Jun 26$1991
July 2016 departuresTour only 
Jul 3$1991
Jul 10$2278
Jul 17$2278
Jul 24$2278
Jul 31$2278
August 2016 departuresTour only 
Aug 7$2278
Aug 14$2278
Aug 21$2278

Holiday details

Holiday type

Self-guided walking, single centre. Managed locally by hotelier.

Departures

Selected Sundays from 26 Oct '14 to 21 Aug '16, for 8 days (7 nights). This holiday is totally flexible with regards arrival/departure day and can be lengthened or shortened as necessary - please call for details.

Meals

Gourmet breakfast, 5 a la carte picnic lunches and all evening meals.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Tour only prices exclude flights, but include Group B air-conditioned hire car which you collect from, and return to, Madrid airport.

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