Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Walking in the Warm! - Spain

Walking in the Warm!
Walking in the warm has become a dream as the British winter is now taking hold. A wet summer followed by a wet autumn, now a wet cold winter has left me dreaming of some warmth and the chance to walk in some sunshine.

Walking holidays don’t need to be expensive, especially if southern Spain is your destination.  There are cheap flights from all U.K. airports to Malaga which can be the gateway to a wonderful walking holiday in AndalucĂ­a’s Alpujarra region. The Alpujarra is the area nestling into the southern slopes of Spain’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. The area has been mainly influenced by the Berber Arabs who colonised this area from the 8th Century and is characterised by pretty white villages linked by a network of paths, mule tracks and watercourses known as Acequia’s.

February warmth in The Alpujarra

Mountain House Holidays (operating from their mountain house high in the Alpujarra) have a vast local knowledge of the walking in the area and their walks are led by qualified International Mountain Leaders. There are walking holidays scheduled for February, April and May.

Walking in T shirts is not uncommon in winer!
The walking in the Alpujarra is classic hill walking so don’t expect flat easy paths, but is well within the capabilities of those used to walking at a basic level in British hills (South Downs, Peak District, etc.). 
A flavour of the area can be gleaned from Chris Stewarts superb book, “Driving over Lemons.”

Favourite walks included in the Itineraries usually include:

Walking beside an Acequia near Lanjaron
A circuit in the Poqueira Gorge, which takes in the delights of the prettiest three villages, Capileira, Bubion and Pampaneira. The walking here is a mixture of walking through ancient terraces as we ascend the valley before taking in the delights of the “whitewashed” villages with their narrow streets, public Lavado’s where old ladies can still be seen doing their washing and of course the odd bar!

A circuit in the Taha, a name given to the valley beneath Trevelez which is Spain’s highest village, famous for its dry cured ham. The walking here takes a line on an old mule track through improbable cliffs, past goat farms, ancient bridges, terraces and white washed villages.

A circuit above the spa town of Lanjaron. This walk follows ancient mule tracks through terraces, follows acequia’s and gives superb views down to the coast and on clear days across to the mountains of North Africa. 
Lanjaron is famous for it’s spa water and as a “resort” has many craft shops, and a range of bars and restaurants.

Alpujarran Street scene
Mountain House Holidays offer you a complete package, starting from when we meet you at Malaga Airport through until when we drop you back at the airport at the end of your holiday. You just arrange your flight and insurance, we organise your travel in Spain, your full board accommodation and a week of fully guided walking led by qualified walk leaders with a full local knowledge of the area.

For those who prefer “self guided” holidays, we are able to organise accommodation and provide written details of the walks we lead.