Headwater - Hidden Valleys of Cordoba Walk

8 days
from
£1,039
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Trip code: 
W07ZU
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
8

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.

Highlights

  • 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
  • Fully inclusive, even wine with dinner
  • Chance to explore Cordoba and Granada

Key information

  • 7 nights single-centre accommodation
  • All buffet breakfast, 6 picnic lunches and all evening meals with wine
  • Management by local hotelier
  • Route directions and maps
  • Walking transfers

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All buffet breakfast, 6 picnic lunches and all evening meals with wine
  • Management by local hotelier
  • Route directions and maps
  • Walking transfers

What's not included

  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplements
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

5

Days of Walking & Trekking
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.

Day by day breakdown
Day 213.0km/8.0miles
Day 318.0km/12.0miles
Day 516.0km/10.0miles
Day 617.0km/11.0miles
Day 718.0km/12.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

Zuheros
to
Zuheros
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Zuheros

    Arrive at your hotel in Zuheros. (Staying at Hotel Zuhayra, Half board)

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Cerro de Bramadero

    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. (Staying at Hotel Zuhayra, Half board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Virgen de la Sierra

    We take you to the C14 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. (Staying at Hotel Zuhayra, Half board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • 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. (Staying at Hotel Zuhayra, Half board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Monte Abrevia

    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. (Staying at Hotel Zuhayra, Half board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Zagrilla Alta

    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. (Staying st Hotel Zuhayra, Half board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Luque

    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 National Park - stunning views - before winding down through wild herbs as you descend towards Zuheros. (Staying at Hotel Zuhayra, Half board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Leave Zuheros

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Spain

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Spain

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

Andalucía’s base their cuisine on traditional fresh fayre. Onions, tomatoes and peppers feature liberally, simply cooked in olive oil and served as a starter seasoned with local herbs and accompanied by good fresh bread. Dinner often consists of Fish (pescado) or meat (carne) served grilled or deep-fried in olive oil. A good alternative for vegetarians is ensalada de garbanzos y tomate - a delicious salad of chickpea and tomatoes. Local specialities depend on the region: in the mountains, you’ll be offered delicious hams and game, down by the coast seafood will be more prominent.

The town of Jerez is the home of sherry production and most villages also produce good cheap country wine known as Mosto, some of the better ones being Aljarafe and Los Palacios (Seville province), Costa Albondon (Granada province) and Villavicosia (Córdoba province).
Sangria is a wine and fruit punch, it makes a refreshing drink.

Weather

Spring generally enjoys pleasant daytime temperatures (12-23ºC) and a little cooler in the evenings. There is the chance of some rain, which then offers views of beautiful spring flowers. Summer months are hot and dry with daytime temperatures of around 21-35ºC, dropping to between 17 and 25ºC at night. Autumn brings cooler weather although it is still fairly dry. The possibility of rain is more likely in winter months but temperatures stay mild in the daytime, becoming cooler after sunset.

Is this trip for you?

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/moderate)
Average daily distance on move on days: 16.4km ( 10.4 miles). Please note that these are the average distances for the shorter walks , however on three of the days there is the option to extend the walk.
No. of days Walking: 5
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 paths are poorly defined, we also pprovide GPS files (.gpx) for this holiday.

Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can walk at your own pace.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. 

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotel

Staying in such a small village guarantees genuine Spanish hospitality. The whitewashed 2-star 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.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 020 8772 3936