fbpx
Menu
  • Spain & Morocco: Granada to Fes Walking
Overview

Entwined histories. A rich fusion of cultures. Two distinct worlds.

For centuries, southern Spain and Morocco — separated by the 9-mile Strait of Gibraltar — have shared a sometimes-fraught history, but have maintained distinct identities and a rich cultural heritage that has left them forever intertwined.

Southern Spain is known for its sleepy rural villages and bloody bull fighting arenas, delicate orange blossom groves and thrumming guitar strains. It is a historic and cultural melting pot, evidenced in its Roman ruins, fortified Moorish hill towns, and converted medieval mosques.

Morocco is equally dynamic, and provides an intoxicating mix of ancient and modern, from brightly-colored medinas and imposing imperial cities to French colonial resort towns and luxurious design hotels. Morocco casts a spell with its bustling souks, sun-baked desert vistas, colorful zellij mosaics, and North African-spiced tagine stews — prepare to be enchanted.

Our 11-day journey blends world-renowned sites and lesser-known cultural gems, punctuated by invigorating day hikes through unique landscapes of the two countries. We walk through fruit orchards, past karst massifs, along shepherd’s paths, and on cobbled streets. This adventure leads us to a better understanding of the intricate threads that connect these tightly woven, ancient lands.

What Our Guests Have To Say About This Tour

Write a Review

Name
Email
Review Title
Rating
Review Content
Itinerary &
Accommodations

Itinerary & Accommodations

Day 1

Arrival in Granada

  • Activity Overview: City walking
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Activity Length: 4 hours, about 3.5 miles

Bienvenido a España! Our adventure begins in the Andalusian city of Granada, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This morning, we meet our guide and begin with a brief orientation about our time together over the coming days.

We set off on an introductory walk along the River Darro, which winds gently through the heart of Granada. The river was named by the Romans, who once panned for gold along its banks. Our path leads us to the Alhambra, a 14th-century complex of royal palaces and gardens built by the last Muslim emirs in Spain. The complex was first described by Moorish poets as "a pearl set in emeralds" for its beautiful, luminescent architecture and mountainous, woodland setting. Today the Alhambra is one of Spain's most renowned attractions and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Upon arrival, we tour the palaces — including the breathtaking grounds of the Palacio de Generalife — with a specialist guide. Afterward, we enjoy lunch at a restaurant overlooking the city of Granada before making the one-hour journey west, where we settle in to our countryside hotel in Antequera.

Accommodations
Hotel la Fuente del Sol

Hotel la Fuente del Sol
Antequera, Spain

Designed in the style of an Andalusian cortijo, this quaint hillside hotel in the Torcal de Antequera countryside overlooks rolling farmland and the distant, white villages of the Mediterranean. Brightly-appointed guestrooms feature exposed beams and radiant heating.

Day 2

Torcal de Antequera

  • Activity Overview: Hiking
  • Activity Level: Moderate, elevation gain of 1,200’ and loss of 2,300’
  • Activity Length: 5 hours, 7-8 miles

This morning after breakfast, we make a short transfer to the Torcal, an extraordinary limestone massif that forms part of a nearby nature reserve. Located in the Sierra del Torcal Mountain Range, the whimsical rock formations were part of a Jurassic Age marine corridor that once extended from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. When the waters retreated, they left behind an unusual mountain range of flat-lying limestone and caves with visible fossil deposits.

We explore the park's exhibition and do some fossil hunting of our own along a high platform in the Torcal. Our hike today leads from the park back to our hotel, winding through portions of cultivated farmland and along hillsides grazed by goats. This rocky expanse is home to a unique array of flora and fauna, including the ocellated lizard, Griffon vulture, and rare Spanish ibex, along with wild rose trees and more than thirty varieties of orchid.

This evening, we enjoy a dinner of regional and Mediterranean specialties at our hotel.

Accommodations
Hotel la Fuente del Sol

Hotel la Fuente del Sol
Antequera, Spain

Designed in the style of an Andalusian cortijo, this quaint hillside hotel in the Torcal de Antequera countryside overlooks rolling farmland and the distant, white villages of the Mediterranean. Brightly-appointed guestrooms feature exposed beams and radiant heating.

Day 3

Antequera to Grazalema

  • Activity Overview: City walking
  • Activity Level: Easy, elevation gain and loss of 450’
  • Activity Length: 3 hours, 3 miles

Our day begins with an exploration of Antequera, located in the heart of Andalucía. This small, hilltop settlement was called Anticaria by its original Roman settlers and gradually grew in regional importance from the second millennium BCE.

We explore the old part of town and its major attractions, including the Dolmens of Viera and Menga and the Tholos of El Romeral. These structures are considered masterpieces of megalithic architecture and are some of earliest ceremonial monuments in all of Western Europe. We stop to admire Antequera's seemingly innumerable collection of intricate Gothic churches, as well as the alcazaba, or fortress, which Christians reclaimed from the Moors in the early 15th century.

After lunch, we transfer to the whitewashed mountain town of Grazalema, less than two hours west, where we check in to our ideally-located hotel for the next two nights. This evening, you are free to explore the village before dinner at a nearby restaurant that specializes in regional game dishes, including venison, wild boar, and partridge.

Accommodations
Hotel Puerta de la Villa

Hotel Puerta de la Villa
Grazalema, Spain

Occupying a converted manor house in historic, downtown Grazalema, this family-run property offers views of the surrounding mountains and is ideally-situated within walking distance of the town hall, parish church, and village square.

Day 4

Grazalema

  • Activity Overview: Hiking
  • Activity Level: Moderate, elevation gain and loss of 1,800’
  • Activity Length: 4-5 hours, about 6 miles

Today, we stretch our legs in the mountainous, rugged terrain of southern Andalucía. Our route begins on the cobbled roads of Grazalema, where we follow a backstreet lined with quaint, whitewashed houses. Arriving at the top of the village, we can see Peñon Grande, the 4,320' peak that towers above town.

Winding along country paths and through tracks of Mediterranean woodland, we gain elevation, while enjoying views over the surrounding farmland and the twin peaks of Reloj and Simancon. Continuing on to Presillas Pass, the path begins to wend downhill, following the Guadalete River. This river once marked the frontier boundary between Christian and Moorish Iberia, a designation that earned it the nickname, 'Río de los Muertos' or, River of the Dead.

We descend over the scenic Boyar Pass, eventually returning to Grazalema. This evening is free to enjoy dinner at on your own at one of the charming local restaurants in town.

Accommodations
Hotel Puerta de la Villa

Hotel Puerta de la Villa
Grazalema, Spain

Occupying a converted manor house in historic, downtown Grazalema, this family-run property offers views of the surrounding mountains and is ideally-situated within walking distance of the town hall, parish church, and village square.

Day 5

Grazalema to Ronda

  • Activity Overview: Hiking
  • Activity Level: Easy to moderate, elevation gain of 550’ and loss of 825’
  • Activity Length: 4-5 hours, 7-8 miles

This morning we set off for another day on the trails in the Guadalete Valley. In the early 700s, this region was the site of a famous battle between the Christian Visigoths of Spain and the Arab and Berber forces of the Muslim Umayyad Caliphate. Spain's King Roderic and a host of Visigoth nobles were killed in the battle, paving the way for the Umayyad conquest of Spain.

We depart from Grazalema, descending along a medieval causeway into the Guadalete Valley. From here, we detour uphill toward a pass that descends through cork forest along the banks of the Campobuche River. After a break and a picnic lunch on the trail, we transfer east to the ancient, picturesque town of Ronda.

Surrounded by Spanish fir trees and perched along the nearly 330-foot-tall El Tajo Canyon, Ronda offers one of the most breathtaking vantages in all of Andalucía. Prominent figures including Orson Welles and Ernest Hemingway frequently visited the area and were inspired by the town's beauty and longstanding bullfighting tradition. This evening, we check in to our hotel situated on the edge of the Guadalevin River Gorge and enjoy dinner together at a cliffside restaurant.

Accommodations
Parador de Ronda

Parador de Ronda
Ronda, Spain

This stunning, cliff-side property is located in a former Town Hall building next to the famous Puente Nuevo Bridge in the heart of Ronda. The hotel’s spacious guestrooms are tastefully decorated, with views of the nearby Tagus River or the surrounding ravine.

Day 6

Ronda to Morocco

  • Activity Overview: Walking
  • Activity Level: Easy, elevation gain and loss of 250’
  • Activity Length: 3 hours, 2 miles

We continue our exploration of Ronda today with a guided walk of the town's charming Casco Antiguo, or Old Quarter. Beginning at our hotel, we cross the 18th-century Puente Nuevo Bridge, which spans the El Tajo Canyon.

Today's stops include the main square of Ronda, the parish church of Santa María la Mayor, known for its Renaissance choir and range of architectural styles spanning 200 years, and the famed Arab Baths, which offer a rare glimpse at Moorish daily life during the 13th to 16th centuries. After our tour, we have time to stroll through town on our own and enjoy lunch at one of Ronda's restaurants at our leisure.

This afternoon, we gather at our hotel and transfer to the harbor, where we catch our boat to Morocco, disembarking in the city of Tangier. A two-hour drive south brings us to Chefchaouen, known for its iconic blue medina, where we have time to rest and relax from our day of travel.

Accommodations
Der Echchaouen

Der Echchaouen
Chefchaouen, Morocco

Located near Chefchaouen’s iconic blue medina, this comfortable boutique hotel boasts warmly-lit guestrooms decorated with local crafts, carved wooden headboards, and Moroccan style décor, as well as an outdoor pool.

Day 7

Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, Volubilis, Meknes

  • Activity Overview: Walking
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Activity Length: 2-3 hours, 2 miles

After breakfast and a 3-hour transfer south to Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, we begin the day with a guided walk of the town. Spread across the foothills of Mount Zerhoun, this holy city is the burial place of Moulay Idriss, the prophet Muhammad's great-grandson and the founder of Islam in Morocco. It recently opened to non-Muslim visitors.

We continue to nearby Volubilis, one of ancient Rome's remote outposts in Morocco and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, we see the impressive ruins and a beautiful collection of mosaics, which offer a rare depiction of Roman life from the 1st century through 285 CE.

Our journey continues in Meknes, one of the four imperial cities and historic capitals of Morocco. Founded in the 11th century, the city is known for its towering walls and great doors, erected in the Spanish-Moorish style by the warrior-king Sultan Moulay Ismaïl in the 17th century. Among the highlights this afternoon are the grand 18th-century gate of Bab Mansour and the Sultan's granaries and stable, once said to have held 12,000 horses.

This evening, we drive one hour south to the resort town of Ifrane, known for its alpine climate and considerable winter snows. We enjoy dinner and overnight at our luxurious, mountainside hotel.

Accommodations
Michlifen Resort

Michlifen Resort
Ifrane, Morocco

Recently opened in 2018, this five-star resort boasts four restaurants, a spa, and a sprawling outdoor pool. Designed in the style of an alpine chalet, the cozy guestrooms are decorated with paneled wood and rich fabrics.

Day 8

Zaouiat Moulay Abdessalam

  • Activity Overview: Hiking
  • Activity Level: Moderate, elevation up to 5,413'
  • Activity Length: 5 hours, 9-11 miles

The Atlas Mountains span Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, and separate the Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines from the Sahara Desert. Our morning begins with a transfer to the village of Zaouiat Moulay Abdessalam, where we depart from town and proceed along shepherds' paths, walking through forests of cork and cedar.

Today's hike commences with a gentle climb, eventually culminating with some impressive views of the surrounding mountainscape. We pass a series of cascading waterfalls and traditional hillside homes, then rest for a picnic lunch.

We return to the trail for another two hours of hiking, then make our way back to Ifrane and our hotel for the evening.

Accommodations
Michlifen Resort

Michlifen Resort
Ifrane, Morocco

Recently opened in 2018, this five-star resort boasts four restaurants, a spa, and a sprawling outdoor pool. Designed in the style of an alpine chalet, the cozy guestrooms are decorated with paneled wood and rich fabrics.

Day 9

Immouzer du Kandar, the Red Path, & Domaine de La Pommeraie

  • Activity Overview: Hiking
  • Activity Level: Easy to moderate
  • Activity Length: 3 hours, about 5 miles

Our destination this morning is the sleepy Berber town of Immouzer du Kandar, located between Ifrane and Fes. Known for its 20th-century French architecture, cool climate, and tumbling waterfalls, our walk today takes us through the picturesque landscape surrounding the town.

The trail is known as the "Sentier Rouge," or Red Path, and passes through verdant farmsteads cultivating lentils, carrots, and other vegetables. The area is famous for its apples and cherries, often sold by roadside vendors who offer everything from fruit and honey to local pottery and crafts.

Proceeding to the village of Ait Salah, we meet our driver and transfer to the Domaine de la Pommeraie farm nearby. Here, we are treated to a traditional Berber tagine lunch, named for the special triangular vessel in which poultry, fish, and other meats are slowly cooked together with vegetables, fruits, and spices. We also enjoy a tasting of the farm's goat cheese.

This afternoon, we continue to Fes for our final two nights.

Accommodations
Hotel Sahrai

Hotel Sahrai
Fes, Morocco

The creation of French designer and architect Christophe Pillet, this five-star hotel melds Moroccan tradition with contemporary style. Chic, understated guestrooms include glass-walled bathrooms, leather headboards, and high-end toiletries.

Day 10

Fes

  • Activity Overview: Walking
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Activity Length: 2-3 hours, 2 miles

Today we explore the old town of Fes and its sprawling medina, one of the world's most well-preserved medieval cities.

Our journey begins at the King's Palace, famous for its imposing brass doors, cedar wood carvings, and ornate zellij tilework. We continue to the Jewish and Arab quarters along the River of Fes, where it is possible to take in panoramic views of the medina. Sheltering some 70,000 inhabitants, Fes' medina remains the world's largest, car-free urban zone. Dense, dark, and full of narrow alleyways packed with people and donkey carts, the medina appears virtually unchanged from the way it likely looked hundreds of years ago.

Our tour continues at the University of al-Karaouine — also written as al-Quaraouiyine or al-Qarawiyyin — which is the oldest continuously-operated university in the world. First founded in 859 AD by a woman named Fatima al-Fihr, the university is home to a number of rare manuscripts and copies of the Qu'ran. We also visit the restored 14th-century Bouanania Madrasa theological college as well as the Nejjarine Fountain — a prime example of Moroccan riad architecture once used by visiting merchants and traders to store their wares.

We continue on to the Moulay Idriss Mausoleum and the famous tannery of Chouara, where cow, sheep, goat, and camel leathers are preserved, dyed, and turned into the handbags, jackets, and wallets to be sold at the surrounding souks. There is also time to visit and make souvenir purchases at some of the city's famous handicraft stalls.

This evening, we return to our hotel for a farewell dinner and celebrate our adventure in this majestic and unique corner of the world.

Accommodations
Hotel Sahrai

Hotel Sahrai
Fes, Morocco

The creation of French designer and architect Christophe Pillet, this five-star hotel melds Moroccan tradition with contemporary style. Chic, understated guestrooms include glass-walled bathrooms, leather headboards, and high-end toiletries.

Day 11

Departure

After breakfast, you'll be transferred to the Fes-Saïs International Airport in time for your departing flight home.

Please note that this is a typical itinerary, and actual activities may vary due to weather conditions, local events, and to allow serendipity to play a hand in your experience. Accommodations are as outlined in the itinerary, although we reserve the right to change these or the order visited should the need arise.

Back To Top
Dates &
Prices

Dates And Prices

2019
Trip Length

11 Days

Trip Dates

Apr 28-May 8, 2019

Oct 6-16, 2019

2019 Land Cost

$6,595 Per Person


Single Supplement

First two reserved: $235

Additional:$735

See single supplement policy below.

What's Included

  • Expert leadership
  • All accommodations
  • All meals from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 11 (except dinner on Day 4 and lunch on Day 6)
  • Wine and beer with included dinners
  • All transportation during the tour
  • Park fees
  • Activities as noted in the itinerary
Single Supplement Policy

Accommodations (hotels, tents, cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability. If you reserve at least 120 days prior to departure, you may be eligible for a reduced or free single supplement.* This is generally limited to the first one or two solo travelers to reserve, and the reduction is outlined in the pricing for each trip. Please note, free or reduced single supplements are not combinable with other offers or promotions.

If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate of the same gender. If you reserve at least 120 days ahead and a roommate is not available, you will only be charged a “forced” single supplement in the amount of 50% of the standard single supplement* (unless otherwise noted in the detailed itinerary). Single accommodations are limited so you are encouraged to reserve early!

*This may not apply to certain trips with unique accommodation arrangements. Please see specific trip information for more details.

What To
Expect

What To Expect

Physical Activity

Boundless Journeys' trips are designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Our Spain & Morocco: Grenada to Fes Walking journey is rated 2+, easy to moderate, on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the most strenuous). Southern Spain and Morocco contain a variety of terrains, from forested hills and rugged mountains, to bountiful farmlands and fertile river valleys, and even the occasional waterfall. Our hikes offer moderate elevations ranging from about 250 feet to about 1,800 feet and from 3 to 7 hours (with one day up to 11 miles), on everything from paved city streets and country paths to modestly challenging mountain trails.

Meeting Point

Granada, Spain

Departure Point

Fes, Morocco

Traveling To and From

Most Convenient Airport for Arrival:
Federico Garcia Lorca Granada Airport, Granada, Spain (airport code GRX)

Most Convenient Airport for Departure:

Fès-Saïs Airport, Fes, Morocco (airport code FEZ)

Weather

Andalucía, Spain has a coastal climate, meaning it remains warm and relatively dry throughout the year. The annual temperatures can range from average lows in the mid-30s to highs in the mid-90s (degrees Fahrenheit).

Morocco's climate is moderate and subtropical near its coasts, thanks to the cooling breezes of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Further inland, temperatures can be more extreme, but in the north of the country — from Tangier to Fes — the annual temperatures typically range from the low-40s in the wintertime to the mid-90s (Fahrenheit) in the summer months.

Chefchaouen

April

High: 62
Low: 46

May

High: 69
Low: 51

October

High: 70
Low: 53

Fes

April

High: 70
Low: 48

May

High: 77
Low: 54

October

High: 77
Low: 55

Granada

April

High: 66
Low: 44

May

High: 74
Low: 50

October

High: 71
Low: 49

When to Go

The shoulder seasons in southern Spain and Morocco — from March to May and mid-September to October — offer moderate temperatures and are typically considered the best time to visit. During summer high season, the crowds pack in and traffic jams are common (July-September), especially near the coasts. While occasional rains are not uncommon in the spring, congestion is low and temperatures make it the ideal season for hiking. It's also a popular time of year to experience colorful local festivals in Andalucía.

Cuisine

A history of foreign invaders — Romans, Christians, and Moors — have left their mark on both Andalusian and Moroccan cuisine, and the results are still evident today. Southern Spain's five coastal provinces have made fish and shellfish an important culinary staple, while an array of spices feature prominently in most Moroccan dishes.

In Andalucía, small plates are often serves tapas-style. Fresh, cold soups such as gazpacho are common, as is Iberian ham (jamón ibérico) — dry cured and made from a prized pig breed that grazes on acorns. Popular desserts in Southern Spain include deep fried pastry dolloped with honey and almond cookies topped with powdered sugar. This region is also well-known for its sherry (fortified wine), which has been produced here for centuries.

Moroccan cuisine benefits from a wide range of Mediterranean fruits, vegetables, and livestock. Couscous is a national staple, typically topped with meats, which are often cooked inside a tagine (a triangular, earthenware vessel) alongside vegetables. A series of hot and cold salads are usually served before the tagine. Pork and alcohol are rarely consumed at traditional meals due to religious restrictions. Morocco's most popular national beverage is mint tea, served in abundance around the country.

We will do our best to accommodate specific dietary restrictions. Please call our office with any questions or concerns about our ability to meet your needs.

Guides

Featured Guides

About Our Guides

With a Boundless Journeys guide, your experience is that of friend and local adventurer. We believe strongly in working with local guides, experts in the areas to which we travel, and they hold the keys to unlocking the hidden delights of your chosen destination. Although you will never know they are at work—the mark of a truly great leader—our guides make magical things happen and add a dimension to your trip that you could not experience on your own. Over the years we have forged bonds with some of the best guides in the world, and we typically work with a small team of guides in each region. You will be informed of the guide for your trip one month prior to your departure.

$6,595 / person* *airfare not included
11 Days
Reserve This Tour
  • Departure Dates: Apr 28-May 8, 2019
    Oct 6-16, 2019


Activity Level 2+ Easy to Moderate

Easy to moderate walking and hiking, 3-5 hours per day (3-8 miles with one longer day of up to 11 miles)

Read about our Activity Levels
  • Group Size: 4-16 Guests

Make it Your Own!

This trip can be your own adventure by taking over one of our scheduled dates, or we can request a fresh one.

Prefer a Custom Tour?

Questions?

Our dedicated team of travel experts are here to help.

1-800-941-8010

Travel + Leisure World's Best Award

Top 5 World's Best Tour Operators
Multi-year Recipient

National Geographic Traveler

50 Tours Of A Lifetime
Multi-year Recipient

National Geographic Adventure Magazine

Best Adventure Travel Company Winner

Spain & Morocco: Granada to Fes Walking Overall rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 0 based on 0 reviews
5 1