Discovery weeks based in a single hotel, at Almagro (La Mancha), Berlanga (Soria, Castilla-León), Candás-Costa Verde (Asturias), Liérganes-Santander (Cantabria) and at Baños de la Encina (NE Andalusia)...

Baños de la Encina and Jaén
Discovery holiday in the frontier lands of the Sierra Morena, based in one of our favourite hotels - small international guided group

In an area of vital strategic importance from the Neolithic until recent times, the prosperous agricultural village of Baños de la Encina, known locally as Baños, still shelters under its castle, Burj al-Hamma. From here we explore Baeza and Jaén cities, the Despeñaperros and Sierra Mágina natural parks, and the vast historical legacy this area encompasses, with a particular emphasis on the Iberian, Moorish and modern eras.

ONE WEEK Activities: discovery of Jaén and its area, with a variety of visits; 4 days with walks of 2-4h, maximum denivellation +200m. Group 10 maximum.

EXCEPT 3 MEALS, in hotel, in rooms for two (private bathrooms) with panoramic views: 7 nights at Baños de la Encina.

DATES (Sunday-Sunday)
2018 available for group bookings at dates to be agreed.

PRICE on demand, depending on group size.

RENDEZVOUS Málaga, in the early afternoon - choose a flight arriving before 14.00.
DISPERSAL Málaga, in the late morning - choose a flight departing after 15.00.

Location of this programme:

SUNDAY: Transfer from Málaga to Baños de la Encina; visit to Burj al-Hamma, an enormous Moorish fortress, recently re-excavated.

MONDAY: We spend a relaxing day visiting Baños village and its surroundings on foot, including the Bronze Age sites of the Pizarrilla walk.

TUESDAY: If Bronze Age man searched for copper, the Iberians and Romans were more interested by silver and lead: a mining inheritance which lasted until the 1970s at El Centenillo and La Carolina – the latter an 18th century 'new settlement' intended to protect the Madrid-Andalusia camino real from highwaymen.

WEDNESDAY: Cástulo was the Iberian capital: silver was shipped from here by the Guadalquivir to Cádiz for export, and Hannibal married its princess, Himilce. The World Heritage Renaissance city of Baeza.

THURSDAY: Jaén: castle, cathedral, Moorish baths and some truly fascinating museums, particularly reflecting the Iberian civilization of the first millenium BC, centred in this area.

FRIDAY: The Sierra de Cazorla-Segura on foot and by 4WD. The biggest Natural Park in Spain (2140 km2) and one of Europe's largest: impressive gorges, high plateaux with vast sheep flocks, forested crags and the crystalline waters of the upper Guadalquivir... The great variety of flora and fauna includes the very dark 'red' squirrel, symbol of the Park, as well as ibex, mouflon, red and fallow deer.

SATURDAY: The Despeñaperros natural park: a walk on the Roman-Mediaeval way from Toledo to Andalusia at Miranda del Rey; in contrast, the modern route through the famous gorge. We also visit the centre built to commemorate the battle of Navas de Tolosa (1212), the 'beginning of the end' of Moorish Andalusia.

SUNDAY: Transfer to Málaga.

Discovery weeks: Almagro-La Mancha / Berlanga-Soria / Candás-Costa Verde / Liérganes-Santander
Two-centre discovery: Ruta del Oro / Ciudad Rodrigo & Arribes del Duero / Extremaduran Kaleidoscope
(Granada + Cordoba patios) / Xmas 2018 at Cordoba / New Year 18-19 at Trujillo
Walking holidays: Granada / Cordoba / West Andalusia / central Spain / La Rioja / northern Spain
historical journeys
/ festivals–Andalusia / Almagro Theatre Festival / Ciudad Rodrigo Theatre Festival
for families or friends
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