This post is a long time coming but I blame life for getting in the way. This Spring, I went on an amazing two week vacation (or holiday if you’re British) to the Andalusia region of Spain. While there, my now husband and I stayed in three locations Cadiz, Tarifa and Yator. Beautiful places with each offering their own vibe, one of the most challenging but beautiful day trip we did on our adventure was hike from Portugos to Pitres.
While in the Andalusia region, we wanted to explore the smaller cities nearby and experience nature. We settled on driving down to Portugos to start a walk that would cross through about three or four villages. It didn’t sound too arduous so I was up for the challenge. I also had the promise of jamon serrano and a dinner out in one of the villages to motivate me as I wanted to earn my meal, haha.
Walking out of Portugos, we guided ourselves with a book of walks we had in our airbnb. It had detailed instructions to generally help us stick to the path and get to where we wanted to be without getting lost or finding ourselves hanging off a cliff by accident. About 20 minutes into the walk however, we started to get off path and went along this hilltop that had amazing views (pictured above) but honestly scared me. An old mill had once been in the spot we were trying to go to in order to look at the ruins and get a better view but the hill was super steep. I was nervous because all I had on were little Nike running shoes, not slope gear.
I must say that once we made it to the top, it was pretty and the surface was flat enough to roam about but the journey there and back down was heart racing.
We eventually found ourselves back on the path, before we took the detour to the mill, and began walk down a large spiraling cliffside that tourists can also use as a guided horse exploration trail. At the bottom of that trail, we began to enter a new town and were greeted by the scent of farm animals. We’ve now been walking (or hiking) for about an hour and a half.
The sun begins to get even hotter so we make it our mission to find a place to sit down for a bit and eat our packed lunch we brought with us. What did we bring? An olive oil, tomato, cheese and jamon sandwich that we made at our Airbnb. It was so tasty and definitely great fuel after walking so long. We sat on the edge of a hill top that overlooked green fields and a few wildflowers. It was a nice place to take break and just bask in the beauty around us that was relatively tourist free (as we typically go on walks that last more than 2 hours, I find it’s good way to see a place that won’t be overrun with a bunch of tourists because it’s my idea tourists don’t like hikes that long). I complain about my feet and how I’m thirsty than I thought but it really is an amazing journey.
Around every corner so far we’ve found ruins or old building pointed out to us by our walking guide. Each bit is fascinating and the tranquility of it all, it’s so refreshing to someone who has only known city life.
Three hours of walking and lots of greenery later, we find ourselves in Ferreirola. We’re about three fourths done with our walk but we still have at least an hour and a half more of walking before we complete our loop. I’m tired and beginning to lose a bit of the nature spirit so we wander through the town of Ferreirola. It’s our time to find some shade and take it easy when it comes to climbing up slippery paths and steep hills.
The town is very village like. It’s soooo tiny. I mean, you’d probably walk the whole village in under 20 minutes at a leisurely stroll. We decided to do just that, taking in the architecture, the atmosphere and making a stop at the ever popular fuente to refill our bottles with fresh water from the earth. I make my husband (then boyfriend) take photos of me but I’m not pleased with many of them, haha.
After our “break,” I tell my husband we need to kick it into high gear. I’m tired of walking and want to complete this as soon as possible. We push on and head out of Ferreirola to Pitres. But one last photo before we go because I can’t help myself.
The sun starts to feel hotter than ever but we push until we get to Pitres however, we find that we have to climb this larger than life steep hill for what feels like an hour in order to make it through the center of town and do the last leg which is a leisurely walk on the streets back to Portugos.
As we embark on this climb I think “Why did I agree to do this?” I’m fed up and sweaty and want to complete this thing but I stop to take a look at where I am realize what it is that I’m doing. Not most people get to go hiking, let alone do it in Southern Spain. I took a deep breath and pushed forward, knowing that I would feel accomplished after completing a journey as long as this.
Five hours later, we completed the walk! We made it back to our starting city and were overjoyed. It was such a wonderful walk despite it being longer than anticipated (I thought three hours at most). I wouldn’t change anything about that day for the world (well, maybe my outfit) but it was a lot of fun. Besides, I was treated to jamon serrano after our journey and that was a great way to unwind!
Have you been hiking in Andalusia? What do you think of doing something like this for five hours? Were we crazy? Let me know!