Hiking & Yoga Retreat - Discover the beautiful Axarquía hiking area in Andalusia

7-Days Hiking and Yoga Holiday in Spain from € 925

Spain but without the mass tourism.
Be surprised and inspired by the varied and beautiful hiking trails.
A hiking holiday that gives you the opportunity to discover the beautiful Axarquía area in Andalusia.

You will walk on the highest mountain of Málaga, walk along and through rivers and gorges and see thousand-year-old olive trees and special flora and fauna.
But there is more! During this week we will inspire you with a few energizing and relaxing yoga and meditation sessions, you can join our cooking workshop and we go on a kayak trip across an amazing lake or at the sea.
All this in combination with delicious healthy food and drinks and staying in a magical place.

retreat februari 2018


Below you can find possible hikes we will do. Depending on weather conditions we choose the most interesting routes per period of the year.

La Ruta de Los Olivos Milenarios

La Ruta de Los Olivos Milenarios; this is a route along the thousand-year-old olive trees. Olive trees are inextricably linked to the Axarquía area. The biggest source of income in this region from agriculture is the olives, for which the worldwide rewarded olive oil Aceite Verdial has been made for centuries. This route is about 9 km, takes 3 hours and leads among others along the oldest olive tree of Spain, ‘El Chato’, which is estimated at 1500 years. Along the way you get info about the ancient industry of olive oil production.

Route La Maroma

La Maroma, “the rope”, the name of the highest mountain in Málaga (2067m). Here you can do fantastic walks. This botanical trail starts in a beautiful forest halfway up the mountain where you will have a beautiful view over the Sierra de Tejada and the Mediterranean Sea. During the hike you will look out over a large part of Axarquía, with its white villages and you get to know the impressive flora and fauna.

Route Río Chillar

Río Chillar, a river near Nerja, where an amazing route runs along the river, through the nature park. You will see many flowers and plants. And when the weather permits it, you can cool down in the waterfalls and water pools that you encounter along the way. The rock walls you will walk along are impressive. This walk takes about 3 hours. With the possibility to visit the beautiful beach of Nerja.

Route El Torcal

El Torcal, one of the most extraordinary natural areas in Europe, created more than 150 million years ago, 30 km north of Málaga. The limestone rocks have been given a special shape due to tectonic forces and erosion. During the 2.5 hours of walking (4.5 km) you could easily encounter different kinds of animals, including eagles, vultures, foxes, rabbits, mountain goats, badgers, weasels or lizards. The flora consists of no less than 664 different plant species including about 30 species of orchids as well as 12 species of moss and all kinds of white, pink and yellow flowers that form a beautiful decoration on the bare stone. Following the possibility of visiting the medieval city of Antequera.

Route Alhama de Granada

Alhama de Granada is a very picturesque village situated on top of a gorge, “Los Tajos”, between Málaga and Granada. People call it little Ronda. It has a rich history that dates back to the Roman times but which you can also see through the Moorish castle and hot springs. You will walk a 16 km hike that will last about 3.5 hours. Along the way, walking along the river, you see abandoned mills and impressive poplars and fig trees. With the opportunity to visit the ‘hidden gem’ Alhama de Granada or the nearby hot springs.

A photo impression of the hikes

7-day hiking and yoga holiday in Andalusia

Enjoy this wonderful area in the heart of Andalusia.

A 7-day hiking and yoga trip in the area of ​​Sierra de Tejeda National Park, Almijara y Alhama: an impressive mountain range that forms a natural border between the provinces of Málaga and Granada. You will see olive, almond, orange and medlar trees and an abundance of wild plants during walks. During the hiking days you visit several beautiful villages.
Everyone knows the Costa del Sol, the Spanish coast between Gibraltar and Almería, with (bath) places like Torremolinos and Marbella.

We prefer a more authentic stay, more inland, where you can relax after a beautiful hike and enjoy a delicious drink and a good book with a beautiful view.
Much less known than the tourist attractions of the Costa del Sol is the inland of this region, where small mountain ranges (Sierras) and beautiful valleys alternate. The climate is usually very pleasant in spring and autumn; often you can even sit outside during the day at the end of December.
We do offer a program with hiking and other activities such as: yoga, meditation, cooking, going to the beach, kayaking on the lake, and last but not least, enough free time to relax.

All activities are free of obligation, so when there is a need for more free time there is always room for it.
Among other things, we offer a few yoga sessions in which we show how you can positively influence your life with yoga and meditation. In addition, there is a cooking workshop where our Chef shows you how to prepare the most delicious meals with varied, local, healthy and mostly seasonal products. Why yoga and a cooking workshop? What we believe is that a combination of healthy nutrition and exercise ensures that the body stays healthy and in balance. As a bonus we offer a beautiful kayak or bike trip at Lake Viñuela with a beautiful view of the white villages and the impressive mountains with the ‘highlight’ of the Maroma mountain.

Read the experiences of other participants

What a great concept!

Lovely people,

What an experience …. the beautiful walks, the delicious food, the amazing yoga sessions, all so well organised!

I found the program well balanced: a good mix of activities, rest, time for yourself etc.

I have been able to recharge my battery. I have an unforgettable experience.

The environment is beautiful, the people friendly.

I definitely want to come back here. It was an inspiring week, with magical moments made possible by fantastic people and a really nice group.

I will take that positivity home. Thanks for everything! Hope to sere you all soon again,

Ellen Konings

Thanks  4 all!

I really enjoyed it! The walks with the amazing views never got boring. I have seen parts of Malaga that I would never have discovered by myself.

The yoga with Ilse was wonderful and relaxing.  Great to see how Jeroen and Michiel work together. Keep going guys! Titziana the chef is amazing!

No more words needed!

You all earn a lot of positive karma points 🙂

It was an amazing week.

Greetings Renee Leenen (November 2018)

The best decision ever!

Dear all,

My sincere thanks for this amazing week.

It has brought me a lot. The combination of hiking and yoga was perfect for me. The group immediately felt familiar and the rest of the entourage was in my heart in no time.

I can say taht tye decision to come to you is one of the best decisions in my life. It was exactly what I needed. Super thanks and continue like this. We will meet again!

x Danielle

Wonderful variety of activities

Dear Jeroen & Ilse,

What a great week it was: beautiful variety in activities, a beautiful location, but especially your hospitality and positivity I will never forget.

Thanks for that!

Kiss from Edith

Edith Krab / via gastenboek

I can highly recommend this trip

Dear Jeroen, Ilse, Alejandro, Fali and Laura,

Thanks for the unforgettable experience!

Eveery thing was fantastic from the first contact up to and including the departure!

With great thanks! I say it on.

With warm regards,


Erna van Venrooij / via Facebook

You have given me so much!

Dear Jeroen & Ilse,

What was I looking forward to a week in the sun and walking in a beautiful environment.

How much more have you given me in this week with your attention and the absolutely amazing yoga classes.

Thanks for that!

Keep enjoying each other and your cheerful girls,

Love Mariette

Marriete / via gastenboek

Thank you very much!

I was up to a week on myself, but not entirely alone.

I found it wonderful to hand over the organization. I felt so much joy in the mountains, and the rest that the yoga gave me.

How relaxed I return!

It was really well organized and planned  &  I liked the flexibility and freedom whitin the program.  And the food was really amazing !!!!

Greetings Branda

(guestbook November 2018)

I will be back!

The website made me so enthusiastic, I was looking forward to my Viva La Vida week.

It completely exceeded all my expectations!

What a program, and the loving care from Jeroen, Hannah and your great chef Alejandro.

And  this very nice, warm and loving Yoga sessions from Ilse and Hannah. I go home full of energy and full of warm feelings.

Thank you! Love, Ingrid Havinga (via the guest book 30 Sep 2018)


What a beautiful week with lots of variety. Beautiful walks, beautiful view.

I have had a really great week, the food is another  experience that really surprised me!

Everything was great.

Thank you so much!

Jannie de Ruijter, Sassenheim (guestbook October 2018)

Is this hiking and yoga retreat something for you?

Our hiking holiday is meant for men and women, young and old, both walkers that are not so experienced as people who already have experience with hiking. The routes all vary in difficulty but they are easy to do for people with a normal condition.
This hiking and yoga holiday is for everyone who is looking for a combination of beautiful hikes, yoga, interesting workshops and time to relax in a beautiful natural setting.
We deliberately choose to work with small groups; during our hiking holiday there are a maximum of 12 participants. Jeroen will host the week and will accompany you as a guide to tell you more about the area and it’s culture.


Viva La Vida

Who created Viva La Vida? We are a Dutch family who decided 6 years ago, to go on an adventure in the beautiful Andalusia. We first planned to go for a year, but we enjoyed it so much that we decided to stay here for a longer period.

We, Jeroen and Ilse-Marie, and our two daughters Elise-Sophie and Ana Rosa, have found a pretty old cortijo in an incredibly beautiful area.

We are very enthusiastic about the area and like to share it with other people. We organize yoga retreats, courses and yoga & hiking holidays all year round at the most beautiful places in Andalusia. We really enjoy to create a special program for you. We try to give our retreats and courses something extra. We bring you to beautiful places and organise special activities, hikes and workshops.

Jeroen Ruijters Viva La Vida Wandel En Yoga Vakanties

Jeroen Ruijters – Host, Guide and Lifecoach in training

Hello! I am Jeroen Ruijters, your host and contact person for everything around the Viva la Vida Hiking and yoga holidays. I have been living in Spain for almost 6 years now, together with my partner Ilse-Marie and our 2 daughters Elise-Sophie (10 years old) and Ana Rosa(6 years old). We particularly preferred Spain to discover a different lifestyle.

So far, we have been able to experience many beautiful experiences here together with our family and friends. I am an active person by nature, sport has always been a passion for me. I studied; Sports, Economy and Communication, where you are trained to organize sports events and activities.

Currently I am further developing in the field of Life Coaching. During the hiking weeks I would like to let you experience how beautiful and pure nature is in this area. During the holidays we create a balance between active exercising, learning about Andalusian culture, healthy and tasty food, stimulating the mind and of course the necessary relaxation. I sincerely hope to welcome you to one of our Viva la Vida Hiking and yoga weeks!

Ilse-Marie Sobering – Yoga and Meditation Teacher

I have a great passion for yoga, meditation, mindfulness and healthy nutrition. Yoga & meditation have influenced my life very positively.
I live a lot more in the moment, I can handle stress better and I enjoy a lot more the small things in life. I have also realized what is important to me and how I can make a positive contribution in my own way.
Yoga and meditation became more and more important in my life and I became more and more immersed in it.
I have followed various courses and training courses and I teach yoga, meditation and coaching courses to beginners, advanced students, seniors and children in three languages. Teaching gives me a lot of energy and I think it’s great to see what positive effect it has on the people.
During the years I have developed my own style, a mix of Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, (Vinyasa) Flow, Restorative and Kundalini Yoga. My classes consist of meditation and relaxation exercises, breathing techniques, sun salutations, vinyasa flow variations and asanas. During the retreat I’ll give a few relaxing yoga and meditation sessions.

Alejandro Perez – Chef & Inspirator

Alejandro is a fantastic chef and he will spoil us this week with the most delicious healthy dishes.
He specializes in vegan and vegetarian cuisine and will also give us an inspiring workshop.
Alejandro uses everything organic whenever possible and he gets all the vegetables and fruit from local farmers.

Details about the trip

You can find more about the content of the program, the location, the surroundings and the activities below.

This hiking & yoga holiday is including:

  • 5 days of varied walks (see below for an example of a day program).
  • Transport back and forth to the walking routes (by car or bus depending on the size of the group).
  • Every walk will be guided by Jeroen as a guide.
  • 6 nights in a single room or a shared room.
  • 2 times a yoga and meditation workshop
  • 1 cooking workshop.
  • 1 kayak session on the Lake Viñuela reservoir or at the sea.
  • 1 healthy welcome cocktail.
  • 6 times a rich breakfast buffet.
  • 4 lunch packages during the walking days to La Maroma – El Torcal – Alhama de Granada and the Ruta de los Olivos Milenarios. (walks are subject to change depending on weather conditions)
  • 5 times a dinner.
  • Visit to the beach (depending on the weather)

Daily schedule:

How does a day during the hiking and yoga retreat look like?
You get up in the morning and we start the day with an energizing yoga session. Afterwards, a breakfast buffet will be waiting for you. After breakfast you can take a rest and prepare your things to take with you during the walk that day. We leave by car or bus, depending on the size of the group, towards the starting point of the walking tour. During the walk you can have lunch. Upon arrival at the end of the walk we will be picked up again by car or bus and we will drive back to the location. On a number of hiking days, a stop will be made during the return trip to give you the opportunity to visit an interesting village, city or other highlight of the area. When you arrive at the location you will have time to rest, read a good book and enjoy the peace, space and nature of the surroundings and at night the dinner will be served. Included in the holiday are an inspiring cooking workshop by the chef Alejandro, and we make a kayak trip on Lake Viñuela or at the sea. To end the week in a great way, the last evening is a Spanish night!


  • Additional excursions in the area (extra hiking routes, visit museums, sports activities).
  • Massages can be booked.


  • Return transfer airport – location (we can arrange this for you, 30 euro per person single transfer when you travel together with the rest of the group – there will be 1 departure time agreed, 90 per person euro for a single transfer when you only take a transfer by taxi).
  • Flight to and from Málaga. The cheapest tickets can be found on www.skyscanner.nl for example.
  • A travel and / or cancellation insurance.
  • Expenses of a personal nature.

Important details

  • Take hiking shoes and easy-fitting (sports) clothing.
  • A lightweight hiking stick, backpack and drink bottle is recommended.
  • Check-in is possible from 2 pm, check-out by 11.30 am from the location.
  • You can book a flight at a good price with Transavia, Ryanair or Vueling
    If you want, we help you to book additional supplies. Other arrangements can also be booked with us.
  • You can book a flight that arrives on Tuesday morning or afternoon and arrange a transfer through us (30 euro per person single transfer when you travel together with the rest of the group – there will be 1 departure time agreed, 90 euro per person for a single transfer when you only take a transfer by taxi).
  • The swimming pool is (subject to change) open all year.

The locations and the environment


During our walking holidays we stay at beautiful locations near the village of Periana. Periana with more than 3000 inhabitants is one of the largest and famous villages of Andalusia. The beach at Torre del Mar on the Mediterranean Sea is a 30-minute drive away.
We have selected a few very special locations for these special walking and yoga vacations.
If you click on the date of the trip, there is more information about the location of the week in question.
All cortijos are located in the mountains and have a beautiful view. They all have a lovely swimming pool.
The rooms are decorated in authentic Andalusian style; cozy and fully equipped. The bathrooms are shared. The cortijos where we stay are in the countryside, about 50 minutes drive from Málaga airport.
During your day off there will be no dinner, then you have the opportunity to eat at one of the excellent rated and nearby restaurants Las Mayoralas, el Cañuelo, Cantueso, Venta el Charco, Venta Alfarnate or several restaurants on the beach. These restaurants are located within a 15/30 minute drive from the cortijo and serve regional dishes prepared with fresh, local products. In the picturesque white village of Periana, you will also find several restaurants. We are happy to help you with giving tips or ideas for things to do.

Do you have questions about our Viva La Vida Hiking and Yoga holidays?
Or are you interested but you can not make it on the indicated dates?
Are you interested in hiking with a group (friends, family or colleagues) in Andalusia?
We can also take care of that for you. We tailor programs completely.
Please contact me via the details below.
Phone / WhatsApp:
+34 633 776 048
Email: jeroen@vivalavidalifestyle.com
Or send us a message directly via the form below: