November 15th-22nd - PLACES AVAILABLE - BOOK NOW!
On a clear, crisp day the rewards are high in the mountains. Walking along a narrow path surrounded by mature trees, you will be steadily gaining in height, take a moment to look back over the valleys and white villages, now scattered beneath. The vistas will have you stopping at every turn to breathe them in. Above is an array of rugged peaks and grazing on the slopes, camouflaged amongst the rocks and shrubs, are Spanish Ibex. The males are standing proud as the test begins to see which one will become head of the herd.
Some of the trees which edge the lower pastures; Pomegranate, Quince, Almond and Walnut, plus those which grow on the mountain slopes; Strawberry tree and Sloe have ripening fruit which will be used in the local cuisine.
The following Sample Itinerary shows a selection of the walks we offer. We are very flexible and can change the routes according to the time of year, level of fitness of our customers and weather conditions.
Telescope and binoculars are available for watching wildlife.
16:00 Airport Transfer
Arrive at Malaga Airport where we will meet you and transport you to the village. After settling in your accommodation we will arrange a short orientation tour of Grazalema.
20:00 Dinner at local restaurant
Day 2: Puerto de Boyar - Puerto de las Presillas - Llanos de Endrinal - Grazalema (Circular)
This is an excellent walk for a chance of spotting the Spanish Ibex - the wild mountain goats which roam the high peaks of the Sierra de Grazalema.
Time: 5-6 hours including wildlife stops and a picnic lunch.
Surface: A well-defined, rocky path and a comfortable forest path.
Day 3: Benaocaz Village - Salto de Cabrero - Grazalema Village (linear, village-to-village)
This village-to-village walk is a wonderful ramble through changing landscapes - forest paths, rocky outcrops, meadows and a gorge overlooked by the famous Salto de Cabrero crag - the Goatherd's Leap - named after the anonymous legendary goatherd who could jump from one side of the gorge to the other.
Time: 5 hours 30 minutes including wildlife stops and a picnic lunch break.
Surface: A rocky path for the first short section and then easy paths and a comfortable forest track.
Getting there: 20 minute drive to Benaocaz.
Day 4: Pinsapar - The Spanish Fir Forest (linear, return)
This is one of the most memorable walks of the Sierra de Grazalema, offering mountain views, abundant birdlife and a chance to see the ancient endemic Spanish Fir Trees - a protected species that exists only around Grazalema and Sierra de las Nieves (near Ronda).
Time : 5 hours 30 minutes including 1 hour for picnic and wildlife stops.
Getting there: 15 minute drive to the start of the walk.
Day 5: Rest Day
Day 6: The summit of Simancon (1560 metres).
The spectacular views are worth the steady climb which starts at about 950 metres. The climb is very gradual and the surface does not pose much of a challenge until the last 20 minutes of the walk when we must pick our way through the rocks to reach the very peak of Simancon. Your reward is 360o views.
Time: 6 hours, including a stop for a picnic lunch.
Day 7: Montejaque to Venta de los Alamillos (linear, one way)
This is a remote ramble through lost and lonely stunning landscapes. The walk starts at the Montejaque village square with its story-book feel and ends in a cork oak and Portuguese oak forest where the magnificent oak trees encourage nesting of woodpeckers, various owls and Hoopoes.
Time: 6 hours including a stop for a picnic lunch
Getting there: 30 minute drive to Montejaque main square
Return: 10-minute drive from Venta los Alamillos to Grazalema
Day 8: 8am return to Malaga airport
Our Guided walking and nature holidays run every month of the year. Click the month below that fits in with your preferences.
During the month of September the night time temperatures are lower, allowing plant life a reprieve and the chance of at least a few drops of moisture in the form of dew, if not a rain shower or perhaps a storm. Heavy rain tends to run off the baked ground too quickly whereas steady showers can be absorbed into the parched soil. Either way the wildlife appreciates this sign of the approaching cooler weather and autumn bulbs “spring” into life.
This is a golden month, as most annual flowers have finished their colourful phase, produced their seed heads and dried completely to a straw colour. Although if you look in the right places there are still flowers to be found; watercourses, irrigated areas, animal watering troughs, damp meadows and high mountains will offer the best selection. However, this is also a good month to see insects such as dragonflies, mantis and bushcrickets!
One of Spain's most stunning natural parks. A fabulous location to spend time be it resting, walking, bird watching or photography.
Grazalema is to be found in the north east part of Cadiz province (at a height of 800m) in the mountain range bearing the same name Sierra de Grazalema. In 1977 this area was declared a “Biosphere Reserve” by UNESCO due to the exceptional variety and wealth of its fauna and flora. In 1984 it was made the first Nature Park of Andalucia by the Junta de Andalucia.
Our nature walking holidays run from Saturday to Saturday. You arrive on a Saturday at Malaga airport with transport pickup at 4pm to Grazalema and leave at 8am for Malaga airport on the following Saturday. We run small groups with normally 8 guests at a time although sometimes we invite other people visiting or passing through the park area with our "join a group" service. Meeting like minded people and making new friendships through our shared love of the surrounding nature is an important part of Wildside Holidays - Grazalema.
There will be a marked difference between the first and second parts of this month as plants succumb to the heat and set their seeds. Areas that have held high moisture levels during the winter and spring will now come into their own with ribbons of bright pink Oleanders mapping the watercourses with Penny Royal and Apple Mint accompanying them. Climbing higher, aromatic herbs tucked into rock crevices in the mountains will be attracting bees and butterflies with their nectar rich blooms.
Summer time is when many insects reach the adult phase of their life. They may have spent months, even years as a larva, drab in colour and unable to move far, possibly living underwater or underground. Now, in this last stage of their lifecycle, they might be brightly coloured, able to fly or to emit sounds and so they become more obvious to us. Insects are a very important part of the food chain on which we depend.
We also rely heavily on insects for their ability to pollinate much of our food crops, and so they deserve at least a moment of our time. Here is a tiny selection of those that might gain your attention within the natural park area.
During late May and into June temperatures start to rise as springtime turns quickly to summer. Road side verges are full of flowering plants in all colours and cereal fields turn bright red with poppies and yellow with false fennel. As the weeks progress, spring blooms will be turning to seed and the golden browns of summer will begin to dominate the lower landscapes. However the later flowering of the higher altitude mountainous plants means that there is still plenty to discover in what is known as the ‘hedgehog zone’ describing plants with a dwarf and prickly form.
The common consensus in the European birdwatching communities is that May is the best time for looking at birds. While this could be true, June and July should not be discarded that quickly. There are two great advantages to that time of the year as far as birds are concerned. There are more birds as the adults of songbirds, for example, are said to be outnumbered by five to one by their offspring. Another advantage is that birds gather around water sources in the hottest part of the day for a bath and a drink.
Spring is in full swing during the month of May and the plants in flower are so numerous that it is difficult to choose which ones to mention here. You will see that the waysides and meadows hold a tremendous variety, pause to count how many species you can find in just one square metre! Note that there is a subtle difference between the flowering times in the sheltered valleys to that of the exposed higher pastures. Look below the featured plants here, to see a condensed list to whet your appetite! (Grouped by colour).