Hiking holidays in Andalusia
The hiking trails in Andalusia are unlimited. Lace up your boots and explore the almost immeasurable hiking area of Andalusia, which is one of the most popular destinations in Europe.
Hiking all year round
The Rancho Los Lobos is the ideal starting point to go hiking all year round. In spring, when the vegetation explodes and the temperatures are quite mild, in autumn when the heat of summer has subsided again, or even in the winter months, Andalusia is exactly what hikers are looking for. But even in summer it is attractive to hike the landscape, as long as there’s still some water in the rivers a jump into the Rio Hozgarganta can be so nice.
In Andalusia, where nature is still fairly untouched, you can feel the honesty and simplicity of life. You’ll see goats, cows with their calves and even bull in the meadows and fields around our Rancho in the Los Alcornocales Natural Park.
Parque Natural Los Alcornocales
We are on the edge of the Los Alcornocales Natural Park, where you’ll find the largest cork oak forests in Spain. And around the gnarled cork oaks the earth is perfect for various species of mushrooms, which is why here in Jimena de la Frontera almost everyone goes mushroom picking. October to March/April is mushroom season.
The oaks are grown for their bark and the profession of cork oak peeler is very common in our white village Jimena de la Frontera. Once the tree is around 40 years old, the bark is peeled every 8 to 10 years, all by hand with the help of donkeys that transport the bark down to the valley.
In and around the park, great importance is attached to natural agriculture in order not to interfere too much with the cycle of the forest. This is also the reason why there are still very untouched areas in our surroundings.
The GR-7 and Rainer Maria Rilke
The GR-7 is part of the European Long Distance Trail E-4 and passes directly by Rancho Los Lobos. The idea of the long-distance hiking trails was introduced in 1969 with the intention of connecting the peoples of Europe. Meanwhile there are twelve of these trails with a total length of about 60.000 km throughout Europe.
The start of the GR-7, which is called Gran Recorrido (big round), is in Tarifa. More than 10.000 kilometers long it is the longest long distance hiking trail and more than 700 kilometers of it pass through Andalusia. You can see why it is something of a myth among hikers, as it is one of the most versatile and diversified hiking paths. It leads past white villages, the vulture canyon that is known for its biggest griffon vulture colony of Europe, the Cañón de las Buitreras and finally to Ronda, the Andalusian small city with an impressive suspension bridge. Ronda is not only a popular destination for tourists, it has already enchanted Rainer Maria Rilke and inspired him to write some poems:
No road is long with a friend by your side.
Nesting place of vultures and storks
The untouched nature of Andalusia is home to many birds and on the way to Rancho Los Lobos, coming from the sea, you’ll see storks perched in their nests atop electricity pylons during their breeding season, from March to June Ornithologists from all over the world get their money’s worth in southern Andalusia. Its proximity to Africa makes it a transit and wintering area for many bird species. Due to the pleasant climate and the many wetlands by the sea and in the nature parks, species such as osprey, flamingo, cranes and various types of vultures live here all year round. The highest diversity of species can be observed in August and September, when flocks of them take to the air along the Strait of Gibraltar, offering an unforgettable natural spectacle for ornithologists.
Hiking with grandfather Juan and his grandson
To explore the area with someone who knows it from childhood like the back of his hand is a real bonus for us.
Raised in Jimena de la Frontera, Juan, our Spanish ‘grandfather’ and personal guide has lived here for over 70 years. No one knows the trails like him. We have hiked the area alongside him – with his brisk pace and walking stick he will show you how beautiful it is around Rancho Los Lobos. If you prefer to be accompanied by a local rather than hiking on your own but need a translator, opt for a personalised tour with Juan and his grandson Yeray, who translates into English. During the rutting season, Juan will even show you the spots where you can hear the grunting of the deer at dusk.
Explore the wonderful Andalusia!
For our special holiday offers please contact us directly by e-mail or call us. We are looking forward to you!