Spain : Andalucia

Hidden Valleys of Cordoba Walk

Trip code: W07ZU 4.8 (51 reviews)

Self-guided walking

7 nights,
single centre

Level: 2
Moderate

20.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

SUMMARY

  • The essence of 'real' Spain: tiny white villages, forgotten farming hamlets, traditional, family-run hotel with plunge pool
  • Fantastic walking country: spectacular gorges, craggy peaks, cascading waterfalls, wonderful valley views
  • Golden eagles, griffon vultures, red peonies, vibrant wild orchids
  • Chance to explore Cordoba and Granada

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All buffet breakfasts and 1 evening meal is included
  • Briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Headwater navigation app
  • Walking transfers

TRIP DESCRIPTION

Midway between Cordoba and Granada, in the heart of Andalucia, the tiny white village of Zuheros sits high on the northern border of the Sierra Subbetica - a beautiful range of hills and National Park. The area is a dramatic limestone massif, weathered over millennia into a series of valleys and peaks, making it fantastic walking country.

The walks are all in or around the National Park on farm tracks, country paths and along the 'Via Verde', a panoramic disused railway line, once used to transport the olive harvest. Views open out to river valleys, tumbling waterfalls and olive groves against the backdrop of mountain sierras and hillsides sprinkled with red peonies and orchids. Routes take you to the tiny villages of Zagrilla Alta and Luque with their quince orchards and castle, and the stunning cave above Zuheros where Roman and Bronze age remains have been discovered.

Staying in such a small village guarantees genuine Spanish hospitality. The whitewashed Hotel Zuhayra, with its popular bar and patio restaurant, is a stone's throw from the Moorish castle and town square. There is a small pool for a refreshing dip after a day's walking. Your host, English speaking Antonio, will be on hand with advice on how to organise your week. He will help arrange your (included) taxi transfers where necessary for some of the walks, and tell you all about Zuheros' museums and other villages in the area. And for 'days off' or extra nights, the classic cities of Cordoba and Granada are less than an hour away by taxi.

To read more about this holiday, click here

Terrain

This holiday has walking on farm tracks, narrow paths and over green countryside. There are great views but no dizzy heights. Walking boots are essential. As some of the walking paths are poorly defined, we also provide GPS files (.gpx) for this holiday.

Read more about this holiday in Silver Travel Advisor.

READ MORE

DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive in Zuheros

Arrive at your hotel in Zuheros.

You stay at Hotel Zuhayra.

hotel details



Hotel Zuhayra, Zuheros

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Bank
Mastercard
Pool
WiFi


The typically Andaluz Hotel Zuhayra is the perfect base from which to explore the Sierra Subbetica and the surrounding villages.

The homely country atmosphere is immediately apparent in the beamed wooden bar.

The clean white washed rooms are all ensuite and have tiled floors, wooden furniture and shuttered windows giving views over tiled rooftops to olive groves in the valley beyond.

Day 2: Cerro de Bramadero (13km/8.1mi or 15km/9.3mi)

A path climbs gently through almond trees above Zuheros before descending into the spectacular gorge of the Rio Bailon, then with golden eagles soaring above, you reach Cerro de Bramadero hilltop where you can relax under holm oaks enjoying wonderful valley views. You return past walnut trees and ancient wells on the way to the verdant river gorge that leads back into Zuheros.

elevation

Day 3: Virgen de la Sierra (18km/11.2mi or 20km/12.4mi)

We take you to the 14th century whitewashed hilltop chapel of Virgen de la Sierra - at 1216m it deserves its nickname 'The Balcony of Andalucia!'. You descend to valleys sprinkled with white narcissi, yellow daffodils and red peonies. Then after lunch by a sparkling waterfall hidden in the valley side, the trail returns under limestone cliffs and past huge holm oaks to Zuheros in time for a cold drink in the village square.

elevation

Day 4: Free day

You could have a relaxing day in Zuheros, visiting the Archaeological museum and Museum of Arts and Local Customs or head further afield taking a taxi to Cordoba (Antonio will happily arrange) and spend the day exploring the fabulous Cathedral, palace and Mezquita, sparkling like jewels in the Moorish crown.

Day 5: Monte Abrevia (16km/9.9mi)

You may meet olivareros (olive farmers), with their mules this morning, diligently tending their olive trees on the hills above Zuheros, as you make the gradual ascent to Monte Abrevia (1129m), for lunch. Here you'll enjoy the best views of the week. A thyme scented descent affords perfect views of Zuheros as you approach the village along the Via Verde.

elevation

Day 6: Zagrilla Alta (17km/10.6mi)

Look out for protected griffon vultures soaring high above you today as you pass through remote Spanish cortijos (farms) in beech and oak shrouded valleys and enjoy stunning views east towards Sierra de la Pandera - the next range of hills. Before long the olive orchards of Zagrilla Alta are visible below, and when you arrive you can enjoy a cold drink by the natural spring in the village before we meet you and take you back to Zuheros.

elevation

Day 7: Luque (18km/11.2mi or 20km/12.4mi)

This morning sees you striding out east along the 'Via Verde' passing whitewashed farms and olive groves. A short climb brings you to Luque with its imposing castle and elegant square - a good lunch stop. Then up into the Sierra Subbeticas National Park - stunning views - before winding down through wild herbs as you descend towards Zuheros.

elevation

Day 8: Leave Zuheros

Extending your holiday

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra hotel nights we recommend: Hotel Comfort Dauro II, Granada; Hotel Becquer, Seville.

hotel details

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Hotel Comfort Dauro II, Granada

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Bank
Mastercard
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon


This modern 3 star hotel is situated in an ideal position, just 200 metres from the Cathedral and a 2-minute walk from the Plaza Mariana Pineda, the location of the municipal tourist office.

The hotel itself offers 53 modern and well-equipped rooms with a few traditional touches.

Room upgrades: Superior.

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Hotel Becquer, Seville

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Bank
Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon


The 4 star Hotel Becquer is a lovely hotel, with lots of original features, and is just a 10-minute walk from the historic old quarter and cathedral. There is a large airy lounge with plenty of seating, a breakfast room and attached tapas bar.

The rooftop pool is open from 1st June to 31st October.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE DATE

Show prices including flights?  

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£799
£1139
 
 

These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £153.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £153.

This holiday could also be done with the use of a hire car. Though not essential for the walking days a car is useful for day trips to Cordoba or Granada, although taxis can be organised to visit these cities.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Flights from Gatwick to Malaga with British Airways
  • Other flights, including regional departures
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Business/club/first class fares
  • Half Board and picnic lunches
TRAVEL DETAILS

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

Air prices include our standard flights/transfers
British Airways Gatwick to Malaga, then transfer to hotel 90 minutes. Transfer to airport 90 minutes then British Airways Malaga to Gatwick

Business/club/first class seats are available on request.

Alternative Air Travel
Alternative flights, onward rail to your holiday area, and connecting private transfers can be arranged from most UK airports. If you would like to use one of the many 'low cost' airlines, we can book these on your behalf. We can also book UK shuttles to connect with your onward flight, please call for details and prices.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we're open until 10pm today) or email sales@headwater.com

Should you require overnight airport accommodation, airport parking or even a uniformed chauffeur to take your car from your departure terminal and park it for you, we can arrange this for you through Holiday Extras. You can book airport parking, airport hotels and executive lounges through their website or contact us for further details. Early booking is recommended to obtain the best availability and prices.

REVIEWS

Headwater have kept me informed leading up to the holiday - the hotel, the village and the routes which Headwater selected were just right for me.

George Bell, 18 May 2024

 

We felt well looked after. Holy Week processions inGranada/Malaga could have been a problem (getting out of the cities in our car) but thankfully we were able to plan and managed to avoid them.



Katharine Swarbrick, 16 Mar 2024

 

This was our first Headwater holiday. It was fantastic from beginning to end. Everything ran smoothly. We had a wonderful time

Christopher Hilton, 9 Sep 2023

 

We greatly enjoyed the holiday and our apartment was lovely. We found the walks physically hard. Walks were problematic if one relied solely on the paper walk guides. We had battery problems when using the navigation app.

Ms Whitlum, 5 May 2023

 

The hotel looked after us well. We went half board - the evening meals were generally good. The area was very scenic and the wild flowers were lovely. The ascent/decent from to the village was quite severe especially after a long walk! On the first day the walk took us through an area with poor GPS signal where the paths were also indistinct and in places over grown.

However the biggest challenge was the heat - in mid-May we were expecting low to mid 20s but instead central Spain suffered a heat wave up to 37C making walking after 11am not sensible. As a result we spent our last 2 days in and around the hotel. As a small local hotel it was an ideal base for walking but by its very nature its facilities were limited for the days when it was too hot to go outside! This is by no way a criticism of the hotel or the holiday but the severe heat somewhat spoilt our last few days.

Mr Brearley, 14 May 2022

 

Holiday was made easy, flexible with alternative walking available due to the weather.

Ms Roberts, 19 Mar 2022

 

An enjoyable holiday based at a good local hotel with excellent food. The walking is quite rugged, although not strenuous and there is sufficient variety for a week. In fact, being based in one location allows you to get to know the topography well and appreciate the local way of life to some degree. We hired a car which meant we could visit other villages after our walk each day.

Mr MCMILLAN, 30 Oct 2021

 

One reason we choose this holiday was because all meals were included in the cost of the holiday. This was exactly what we wanted. I see that future holidays in this area/hotel don't include a picnic lunch (essential as there are no shops on the walking routes) and only one evening meal. So I can't recommend on the basis of what we experienced. The food at the hotel was really good. The walks were as described on the itinerary and were enjoyable. In October the temperature was just right for walking. I'm glad we chose this month.

Mrs Drage, 12 Oct 2019

 

A charming hotel with lovely staff in quiet part of Andalucia

Dr O'Grady, 28 Sep 2019

 

Excellent and well organised.

Mr Broad, 31 Aug 2019

 

Good location to enjoy this beautiful natural park.

Mrs White, 6 Apr 2019

 

The Hotel Zuhayra is brilliantly situated to explore both the white town of Zuheros and the mountains that provide the backdrop. The walk via Luque was excellent and we also enjoyed the easy choice of the Via Verde, walking on a disused railway line (a great option for cyclists too with well over 100km of level routes available). We were amazed that it was a Rural 2-star Hotel and wondered how much better it could have been had it been 3 or 4-star. As such it was excellent value for money [the food was at times, a bit disappointing and the choice was occasionally limited or there was no choice].

Mr Pearson, 13 Oct 2018

 

A great holiday - excellent planning and support and a wonderful location which combined beautiful countryside, a rustic rural Spanish locale and very enjoyable walking.

Mrs Chicken, 13 Oct 2018

 

Lovely hotel with super friendly and helpful staff, especially Antonio the manager. Good food and the picnics are very good - a very large sandwich, 2 pieces of fruit, juice and water. You wont go hungry! The walks are great and we did them in the order that was recommended in the walking notes. If you want a day off from walking a day trip to Cordoba is well worth it. All the logistics went according to plan and we had an excellent holiday.

Miss Saunders, 22 Sep 2018

 

Beautiful situation, friendly staff and great food, with access to some lovely walks - similar to walking in the Lake District so bear in mind the effect of the heat!

Mr Lambert, 11 Sep 2018

 

Zuheros is a lovely, very quiet village in the Andalucian hills. The villagers offer a friendly "Buena Día" when you pass them in the street. The hotel Zuhayra offers friendly and helpful service.

Mrs Tallis, 1 Sep 2018

 

The two weekest points were 1) - The arrangements with B.A. Both the Outgoing and Return journeys failed to allocate adjacent seats and the initial lack of a Boarding or Check-In document for the Return journey did cause us some concern. and 2) Details for the suggested walks for 5 days were quite difficult to follow.



Mr Herklots, 26 May 2018

 

Wonderful tranquil location and excellent helpful staff at the hotel. Walking notes provided are very out of date however and we would recommend using the hotel walking notes instead which are very detailed.

Mrs Dakeyne, 19 May 2018

 

Quiet location, offering a variety of challenging walks. Abundance of wild flowers and birds (in April). Excellent hotel, very welcoming and brilliant choice of good local food. Friendly and helpful staff, especially the taxi service.

Mr Harrison, 21 Apr 2018

 

Far from the madding crowds in clean air

Mr Cameron, 14 Apr 2018

 

The Sierras Subbeticas was a lovely verdant limestone area to explore in depth using the excellent Hotel Zuhayra as a base. By the end of the week we had criss crossed it in various ways but without unduly repeating any area.

Mrs Gathercole, 14 Apr 2018

 

We were made very welcome and comfortable by the hotel staff, taxi drivers and locals. The walking was very pleasant, despite the unseasonally high temperatures, with wonderful mountain views and plenty of wildlife interest. I would not advise some of the more remote walks to people who are not experienced hill walkers with good navigational skills. Owing to the lack of large scale, high quality mapping for Spain there were a couple of places where we were unable to find waymarks and strayed off the intended route (and hence needed to resort to GPS for assistance). A number of earlier guests made comments about this in the hotel log. Despite that we had a wonderful holiday and we hope to return in a later Spring season to enjoy the mountain flowers.

Dr Banyard, 7 Oct 2017

 

This was our third visit to Zuheros. The hotel is an excellent base for a walking holiday and the walks are challenging enough to feel that something has been achieved.

Mrs Roderick, 16 Sep 2017

 

We enjoyed a wonderful week's walking which exceeded our expectations. The landscapes, birds and flowers were exceptional and we particularly enjoyed hearing the nightingales singing in the gorge. We were very lucky to be able to see some of the Easter celebrations too. The hotel was very welcoming and offered excellent service and delicious food.

Mrs Hiam, 15 Apr 2017

 

Beautiful walking in unspoilt limestone scenery. Fantastic bird walching opportunities. Comfortable hotel with hearty picnics and interesting evening meals. Antonio ensures that all aspects of a Headwater holiday are arranged with great efficiency.

Mr Hewitt, 1 Apr 2017

 

This was the first week of the season and it was cold for three days. The hotel bedroom had heating but the bathroom did not. The communal areas of the hotel were cold. Obviously accommodation in this area is designed to keep heat out. If the weather is not good there are limited opportunities here. especially as the local museum was shut for refurbishment for the whole season. The hotel staff were very helpful and friendly. We found the walks quite challenging, the directions were mostly good but on one occasion (the end of the Ermita walk) the alternative route back to the hotel was impossible to find. The path was completely invisible and we had to walk back along the road. The scenery, birdlife and wild flowers were wonderful. We hired bikes from the hotel one day and cycled along the Via Verde (disused railway track) which was easy cycling with interesting views. Another day we took the bus to Cordoba which was cheap, reliable and well worth while. We enjoyed this holiday but felt that overall both the hotel and the village were not places to be If the sun isn't shining.

Mr Parr, 25 Mar 2017

 

A fantastic location with plenty of variety in the walks. If you want a break from walking there are opportunities to visit to local towns/villages, or to relax at the hotel. Be prepared to deal with high temperatures, even in September!

Mrs Duguid, 10 Sep 2016

 

We were very pleased with the walking routes and overall package, plus interesting days out in Cordoba and Malaga. The hotel in Zuheros was slightly 'simpler' than we'd normally choose but they worked so hard to provide excellent service; taxi was great too. A well planned holiday in an area we would not have discovered apart from through your brochure - we rate Headwater highly.

Mr Godsall, 28 May 2016

 

We had a wonderful weeks walking, the hotel was in a lovely hill top village. The walking was good in wonderful scenery with beautiful wild flowers and birdsong.Antonio and his staff looked after us really well and we also enjoyed our day trip to Córdoba. This was our twelfth trip with yourselves and one of the best.

Mr Shortman, 21 May 2016

 

We thought Zuheros and the HotelZuhayra were both charming and beguiling - extraordinarily peaceful and calming - we were very sorry to leave and it took us some time to grow accustomed to the comparative mayhem of Granada . The taxi arrangements in Zuheros were quite remarkably efficient hts off to Maria and her brother - we would return to Zuheros tomorrow if we could = perhaps a progressive walk around these white villages might the na idea

Mr Dodds, 14 May 2016

 

I could not fault the hotel staff, who were all very friendly and extremely helpful. The walks were beautiful and April proved a lovely time of year with all the spring flowers.

Ms Bartlett, 9 Apr 2016

 

A most enjoyable holiday - the organisation and transfers worked well and the hotel was a 'gem', friendly and relaxing and with helpful staff. The walking notes were easy to follow although care was needed on some paths where stony. Overall splendid walks in beautiful scenery with many spring flowers.

Mrs Moysey, 4 Apr 2016

 

Outstanding walking area. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Mr Johnston, 2 Apr 2016

 

Very enjoyable. Felt like we had seen and experienced the real Spain, not touristy and commercial. We speak no Spanish and very few people spoke English but we got by and all the meals were wonderful, trying different things. The walks were very good some more challenging than others. We did go wrong but never too badly. Not sure if the mistakes were due to vague directions or just misinterpretation of instructions (we easily go wrong in England!!)

Mrs Fairclough, 4 Oct 2015

 

Excellent in every respect

Mrs Ashcroft, 26 Sep 2015

 

The team at the hotel couldn't do enough to help. A decent range of walks nothing too strenuous but just right in the unseasonably high temperatures.

Cordoba was a stunning place to visit so would strongly recommend this on the free day. We enjoyed having the extra days in Granada as a counterfoil to the tranquility of Zuheros.

Mrs Donnison, 26 Sep 2015

 

A delightful area, away from the usual tourist spots. An attractive, friendly hotel and village. Varied walks with lovely long-distance views. Care needed on the stony tracks and paths after a prolonged period of dry weather.

Mrs Griffiths, 24 Sep 2015

 

From the first contact with Headwater until we left our Hotel the service was excellent. The Hotel was small, comfortable and the staff very friendly. The walking notes were fantastic, and the walks took in some most wonderful scenery. Cannot fault the holiday at all. Thank you.

Mr Taylor, 19 Sep 2015

 

Lovely village and some good walking. The vultures were impressive. Maybe more attractive in spring when the flowers are out. All the trvel arrangements worked flawlessly. The food at the hotel was very variable and a little disappointing at times. The walking was all in quite a small area and there was some repetition of sections. But overall it was a very enjoyable trip. Staying in a single location is definitely more relaxing than moving on every day. The bat cave in Zuheros was an amazing place, and a visit to Granada was definitely worthwhile. We were lucky too that our visit coincided with the cheese festival in the village

Mrs Hickling, 16 Sep 2015

 

Well-chosen walks in a scenic area with classic limestone features. Can be rocky and stony underfoot in places, but all walks within Grade 2 definition. Arrangements at Hotel Zuhayra are excellent; Antonio was always helpful and the staff went out of their way to provide good, friendly service.

Mr Jamieson, 12 Sep 2015

 

Excellent holiday; very interesting area of Spain to visit. The walks were varied with spectacular scenery. The hotel was well located and there was often something going on in the town square in the evening. Hotel staff friendly and helpful and the food was very good. I know the Spanish eat late but the 8.30pm evening meal was the only downside particularly when we wanted to have an early breakfast so we could start walking before it got too hot. Since Headwater clients have their own menu maybe an earlier sitting could be considered.

Mrs Macleod, 12 Sep 2015

 

A really excellent week - well organised and planned, allowing us to concentrate on the splendid walks. I hadn't been on an organised walking holiday before, but I will certainly try some more of these trips in future, since they allow you to get to places that you might not try on your own.

Mr Christy, 12 Sep 2015

 

My fourth Headwater walking holiday but the first based in one place. Loved the small, friendly hotel, and the flexibility to chose our walks according to mood, weather and stamina. Also the chance to take day trips to Cordoba and Granada.

Ms Thornton, 7 Apr 2015

 

Excellent holiday with good and varied walks and lots of interesting limestone scenery. Hotel was a welcoming base with friendly helpful staff and lovely food.

Mrs Barber, 21 Mar 2015

 

Very pleasant. And we enjoyed our visits to Granada and Cordoba,the latter easily done by public transport

Mrs Maingay, 18 Oct 2014

 

All aspects of booking and organisation went without hitch.

Taxi arrangements and driver were again excellent!

Mr Cumming, 17 Oct 2014

 

This was our second visit to Zuheros. The Hotel Zuhayra is the perfect base for a walking holiday. All the staff are friendly and helpful and the evening meals provide a wide range of well-cooked local food. The walks are challenging enough to feel that something has been achieved at the end of the day.

Mrs Roderick, 15 Sep 2014

 

Hidden Valleys of Cordoba: a week at the charming Hotel Zuhayra in the pretty white mountain village of Zuheros in mid-May was all that six 70 somethings could wish for. Headwater certainly have a hit on their hands here. Very attentive, helpful staff, good regional food and wine, excellent, if strenuous in parts, walking and wonderful scenery. We added on two nights in Granada at the comfortable, centrally situated Hotel Dauro II from where it was an easy coach ride back to Malaga airport. Headwater's arrangements for our travel and stay were excellent.

Mrs Clifton, 17 May 2014

 

Exhilarating walks in magnificent mountainous landscape with dramatic views; hotel a 'home from home' in authentic village Spain looked after by genuinely kind and courteous staff; vegetarian food was outstanding here with a careful choice offered for each evening (a first on the continent!). Local driver was punctual, good driver and always cheerful. Local people were a really significant part of making this holiday so enjoyable. There was sufficient of historical and architectural interest locally, from neolithic caves to nineteenth century railway history, to interest us without needing to go elsewhere.

Dr O'Brien, 7 Sep 2013

 

An 'independent' Headwater Holiday can be adjusted to suit individual capacity, especially as one grows older! We wanted to go to this particular area but no longer operate at two boot level. So we used the notes, Antonio's advice and good public transport services to visit Cordoba and Granada, to tweak the holiday, enjoy the Subbetica National Park fully as well as two historic cities.

Mr Robson, 27 Apr 2013

 

We were forewarned from your office that the Spanish weather was unusually wet and our flight was 1 hour late due to adverse weather in the UK but Antonio waited at the hotel until after we arrived with up to date information and advice about the walks. I myself was 'indisposed' for three days so Antonio gave my husband a choice of alternative walks which avoided all the streams and rivers that had become too dangerous to cross. The packed lunches provided were excellent and the staff were very helpful and considerate and nothing was a problem to them. The taxi was prompt and very carefully driven by Maria. Altogether, considering the weather etc

the hotel and staff were excellent and

and the food was superb with choices which always included at least 1 vegetarian option for my husband.

A holiday which was thoroughly enjoyed.

and can be recommended without qualms.

Chris Douglas



Mrs Douglas, 9 Mar 2013

 


Self-guided walking

7 nights,
single centre

Level: 2
Moderate

20.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

7 nights from £699

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: 01606 720199

 

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