Spain - Andalucia
Andalucia, Southern Spain.
2020 dates: April 4-15 (11 nights), plus an additional (optional) 3 nights in Nerja. Detailed brochure available November 16th.
Sierras of Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park – and La Axarquía
We have designed this exciting two week holiday to give you not only time to walk and hike the fabulous hills and mountains and white Moorish villages of the region, but also to really experience Andalucia off the beaten track by visiting some local artisans and seeing how their interesting lives are conducted.
The area is well known for its whitewashed Moorish villages, which often cling to the hillsides; however not so many visitors penetrate the deep interior of La Axarquía and connect with an ancient way of life, as we surely will. At the end of the first 11 days of the trip, you’ll optionally spend a few extra nights in a nice coastal hotel in the beautiful old seaside town of Nerja, where you might relax after some 11 days spent hiking and experiencing local culture in the hills. From Nerja, we will take a day trip to see the famous Moorish Palace of “The Alhambra” in Granada.
Until a few decades ago, the Axarquía region of Andalucía was little known. Then, northern European expatriates discovered a few of the pretty hilltop villages and and started buying up some of the run-down ‘fincas’ and farmhouses in the area. One such Englishman (Cornish in fact!) is my friend Edward and he has restored a beautiful hamlet of Casitas near the town of Periana. Our tour will be based there for the first 7 nights – with its fine restaurant and swimming pool.
Today, rural tourism comprises a large part of the local economy. However, the area is still breathtakingly beautiful and has not been spoilt by the interest and influx of foreigners.
The main attractions are the area’s dramatic hill and mountain scenery, its unspoilt, white washed villages and the strong sweet wine that is made from sun dried grapes. Because of the region’s sub-tropical climate, this is also a region where some of the more tropical fruits, such as mango and kiwi are grown. Olive oil production is also very important in the whole region. Average shade temperatures in April are around 20C (68F) and the sunshine is warm.
Our tour will be comprehensive and will include not only wonderful day hikes, but also some very interesting themed rural visits, where we will spend a few hours with interesting local people such as beekeepers, wine producers, Iberian ham curers, goat keepers, muleteers, etc. With them, we will learn a little about the old ways of life in this region and how the Muslims brought many innovative cultural and technical ideas with them when they settled here so many years ago, back in the 8th century. We’ll also learn about their ultimate fate (the re-conquest) some 700 years later and about the Spanish Civil War and how it deeply impacted the people of this remote mountain region.
As per usual, we have chosen to work with a local guide on this holiday and over the past few years I have become good friends with Javier (first photo) who will be our companion throughout. Like myself, Javier is passionate about discovering the hidden meaning of a landscape and its people and he will share with you what he has shared with me over several visits to the region since we first met. I believe that it’s so important to involve local people when exploring any area and with Javier, you will not be disappointed, as he has worked tirelessly over many years to uncover the DNA of the region and what makes its people tick. I have spent several weeks with him over the past two years, exploring and generally allowing him to share with me what is so special in this region. His passion is much like mine in Cornwall!
Like most of our holidays, this will be a fully inclusive tour and apart from the odd coffee and beer, etc – you will not need to put your hand into your pocket that much. All accommodations, meals and activities will be included (apart from the 3 optional days in Nerja) and we will enjoy picnic lunches on hiking days and restaurant lunches on other days. Transport during the tour will be provided and collection and drop off at Malaga airport will be arranged with local taxi firms. The cost of this fully inclusive tour (with wine!) will be in the region of €2,500 per person, to be confirmed.
Having spent 3 weeks exploring the area with Javier last year and another 2 weeks with him recently, we have now decided on the exact programme, day by day. Please register your interest in this tour to receive the brochure when available (by November 16th).
If you can spare the time (1 month), this would be a wonderful “add on” to our Portugal coastal hiking trip with Giulio (Norway guide) which ends one week before this tour commences. In between, together we could visit Seville and Cadiz perhaps? After all, life is for living!
Hasta la Vista, Martin.
All participants of our International holidays will be required to sign a Liability Release form upon arrival at the destination.