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Active, self-guided cycling and walking holidays in unexplored Spain

Sustainable tourism watermarkBeautiful village in Segovia

Walking holidaysWalking short break in Segovia

Discover the beauty of the Guadarrama National Park, the enchanting city of Segovia and the majestic royal palace of San Ildefonso.

From 386 € per person

Difficulty level gauge

Difficulty:Easy-Moderate

Details ...

Duration:4 nights, 5 days

Dates:April to 31st October

Start:Any day of the week

Location on map of Spain

Predominantly flat route with a few small ascents each day.

Average daily distance / climb:7 miles (12 km) / 1393 ft (425 m).

Description

This short route is very varied; crossing stands of juniper and oak forest, delightful wooded river valleys and between honey coloured limestone outcrops. The whole journey is framed by the soft peaks of the Guadarrama mountain range.

  • The little known region of Segovia in central Spain is a wonderful setting for a walking tour only half an hour high speed train ride away from Spain´s capital city: Madrid.
  • A first day discovering the beautifully preserved monumental town of Segovia where you will be awed by the impressive roman aqueduct, one of the most beautiful cathedrals of Spain and medieval monuments at the turn of every corner.
  • After a private transfer to the nearby Royal Palace town of San Ildefonso (also known as La Granja) on the foothills of the Guadarrama Mountains Natural Park you enjoy a circular walk along the river Eresma upstream to take you to the mountain village of Valsain and then return through a beautiful mature oak woodland.
  • Another fantastic circular walk awaits you from San Ildefonso. The walk takes you to “El Chorro” waterfalls, a local beauty spot before returning along quiet trails in pine forest.
  • One last short transfer will take you to a wonderful walk along the “Cañada Real” (medieval drover´s trails) where you will come across a juniper forest, following ancestral tracks that have been used by shepherds for hundreds of years.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Segovia

Arrival at the ancient city of Segovia, situated in the heart of central Spain. Explore its many historic jewels like the towering Roman Aqueduct, a veritable marvel of ancient civil engineering which still provided water to the city only last century. Take time to enjoy a chilled glass of wine in the exquisite 'Plaza Mayor' while contemplating the magnificent cathedral, then take a stroll to the ornate Alcazar palace.

Day 2: Riverside walk to Valsain

Distance: 6-11 miles (10-17 km). Climb: 1280 ft (390 m).

A short transfer takes you to the historic town of San Ildefonso. Your route today is a circular walk along the banks of the river Eresma as its meanders through the tranquil pineforest. You'll pass through the typical mountain village of Valsain where the local woodcutters, cow herders and horsemen maintain ancient traditions with a modern twist!

Day 3: Circular walk to 'El Chorro' waterfall

Distance: 7 miles (11 km). Climb: 1522 ft (464 m).

Today you will come upon the refreshing pools of the 'El Chorro' waterfall as you pass through the oak and pine woodland on the slopes of Peñalara. You can combine your walk with a visit to the magnificent palace of San Ildefonso, surrounded by rustic gardens and ornate fountains, and the interesting glass-making exhibition and museum, well worth a visit.

Day 4: Walk along the foothills

Distance: 9 miles (15 km). Climb: 1378 ft (420 m).

Today's transfer takes you to Pradena to walk along ancient drover's tracks taking you through sweet-scented juniper forests to the traditional little mountain village of Gallegos.

Day 5: Departure

Return home or why not enjoy an extra night or two in Segovia or Madrid?

Travel

Frequent questions:

Which airport should I fly to?
Madrid International Airport.
How do I get to the Starting Point?
Catch an AVE (High Speed Train) from Madrid to Segovia (approx 25mins).
How do I get back?
Book our local transfer From Gallegos to Segovia (approx 35mins) and catch an AVE (High Speed Train) back into Madrid.

Useful links:

Hotels

One night in historic and very centrally located 3 star city hotel. One night in comfortable hotel at the historic gates of town and One night in high quality, small rural hotel.

Hotel in Segovia

Night 1: Segovia

Situated in the very heart of Segovia, next to the Main Square and the Cathedral. This 15th century building was turned into a Hotel & Spa in 2005 incorporating many arqueological remains to up-to-date comfort.

Bedroom in La Granja hotel

Nights 2 and 3: La Granja de San Ildefonso

Comfortable hotel at the historic gates of the town, a brief walk from the royal palace and gardens.

Gallegos hotel

Night 4: Gallegos

Small family-run rural hotel full of character. Excellent hospitable host. Small outdoor swimming pool in a rustic garden with views of the mountains.

Prices

Basic price:

Per person in double room386 €

This includes:

  • 4 nights' accommodation. 4 breakfasts.
  • Private transfers on days 2 and 4.
  • Luggage transfers between hotels.
  • Detailed maps with your trail clearly marked.
  • Itinerary description, full of recommendations for things to do and places to visit, advice and suggestions and information about your accommodation, etc.
  • Emergency support.
  • Activity insurance.

Supplements:

Single room supplementHelp button96 €

For those travelling with others, but wanting a room to themselves each night.

Solo traveller supplementHelp button134 €

For those travelling by themselves. Do not choose the "Single room supplement" as well in this case.

Extras:

Half board (dinners)75 €

Transfers:

Taxi Gallegos to Segovia (1-6 persons)Info button46 €

35 minutes. Price per taxi.

Taxi Gallegos to Madrid (1-6 persons)Info button150 €

1hr:30mins. Price per taxi

Other options:(Prices on request)

Extra night(s) in Madrid 

Extra night(s) in Segovia 

If interested, please contact us with your plans, requirements and queries,

or simply use the "Get a quote" section, which we would recommend.

Get a quote

Calculator

Basic price:

Per person in double room
386 €plusminus

Supplements:

Single room supplement
96 €plusminus
Solo traveller supplement
134 €plusminus

Extras:

Half board (dinners)
75 €plusminus

Transfers:

Taxi Gallegos to Segovia (1-6 persons)
46 €plusminus
Taxi Gallegos to Madrid (1-6 persons)
150 €plusminus
 
Total: *

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Other prices on request
 Extra night(s) in Madrid
 Extra night(s) in Segovia

Please use "Notes" below to specify when. Thanks!

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Reviews

A once in a lifetime experience we are sure.

We had a wonderful holiday! The organisation made everything so easy, special thanks to Sylvia and Vanessa for the transfers, their friendly help and interesting information.

All three hotels were very good, each one so different but special in their own way. We thoroughly enjoyed all of the places we stayed, we definitely saw different versions of Spain, away from the tourist hot spots, exactly what we wanted.

Our highlight as far as wildlife was a gryphon vulture sitting on a rock not many metres away from us, looking out over the plain on our last walk towards Gallegos. He’s not very clear but he was huge! Lesley is an avid bird watcher but it was a heart stopping moment for all of us when he took off from the edge. A once in a lifetime experience we are sure.

We did lose our way that day, we missed a left turn up into the foothills we think, and we came down into Matabuena much to the surprise of the locals at the bar, they helped us to find our way back to the main road to Gallegos and we rejoined the original path, we survived!

We did have time to walk around Segovia, we were amazed by the aqueduct and the town itself is beautiful, lots of interesting history and buildings. We had dinner outside a bar in one of the squares, tapas, rioja and music playing in the evening sun, a briiliant end to our first day.

La Granja was a surprise, we didn't expect a royal palace and we were lucky enough to see the fountains in full flow. The hotel La Roma was just right, the bar was a welcome sight when we returned from our walk to the waterfall at El Chorro. We also had lunch at the hotel bar on that day, very good.

As to food, the meal at the Posada at Gallegas was so good and it’s so friendly, sitting in the living room relaxing after a long walk was just what we needed, we were made very welcome.

So as you can tell, we did have a great time. We had fun trying out the little spanish that we know, we have laughed, ached and puzzled over maps and directions but all in all it was sometimes easy and also a challenge. As I said, exactly what we wanted, thank you.

Sue, Leslei and Susan, UK.

fantastic experience

Hi there ,

we began our holiday in Segovia for 2 days sightseeing in this amazing (world heritage) town. Hubby and I were then transported to Navafria , to complete a circular walk connecting rustic villages . This was a great challenge , we averaged 15 Km a day for three days.

We were then transported to Sepulveda for a couple of days to see the vultures and walked in the amazing Duraton Canyon.

It was a fantastic experience, made easy thanks to Jaime's organisation with amazing accommodation, good maps and directions, great eating (and drinking) places.

We were so lucky with the weather, a very dry period, not too hot but plenty of wild blackberries, almonds and walnuts to keep us going! The wildlife did not disappoint with lots of close up views of vultures,also booted eagles, kites, choughs, shrikes etc.

We managed una poco Espaniole but this has inspired us to learn more, would love to do another trip with "Away from the Crowds"!

Mel and Gus Spirit, Scotland.

We enjoyed all the hotels

We had a fantastic holiday. All the arrangements worked well and the staff we met were all lovely - and very helpful.

We enjoyed all the hotels - the accommodation and food were very good. Segovia, San Ildefonso and Gallegos all offered something different which made for a very interesting holiday.

There was a festival of the rosary in Gallegos on the evening we were there - so we were lucky to see the dancing and listen to the small band.

We would love to do another walk with you.

Ann Shearer, Scotland.

CO₂ footprint offsetting

This holiday produces a carbon footprint of 0,2028 tonnes of CO₂. This includes taxis, luggage transfers and accommodation for every traveller.

We will compensate the CO₂ footprint for each booking through tropical reforestation projects in collaboration with the CeroCO₂ platform.

Additionally, you can also offset your own flight emissions by visiting myclimate. See the link below.

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