Las Alpujarras walking holiday, Spain

“Join the author of 'Driving over Lemons', Chris Stewart, on a week of walking between the villages, gorges and farmsteads of Las Alpujarras in southern Spain's Sierra Nevada.”

Highlights

Led by author Chris Stewart | Sierra Nevada hike | white-washed villages of Alpujarras and La Taha | Poqueira Valley | Trevelez Gorge | lunch at Chris' farm El Valero | village bodegas selling ham, wine, cheese and olive oil | guided tour of Granada with architect Rafa Anderson| almond orchards | terraced meadows |

Description of Las Alpujarras walking holiday, Spain

Take your walking holidays in Spain to new heights as you explore the Alpujarra and hike the high mountains and southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range where terraced orchards and fast-flowing rivers lead to white-washed villages and lush green meadows.

There’s no better guide to lead you on this eight day walking holiday in Spain than walking enthusiast and author Chris Stewart who will be able to talk you through the cultural and natural history of the region as well as sharing the inspiration for his best-selling book Driving over Lemons.

Chris Stewart’s knowledge of the Alpujarras is nothing short of encyclopaedic and soon you’ll be getting to know the historical stories and cultural identity of the region as you enjoy day walks in the high Sierras, explore the river gorges of Poqueira and Trevelez, and listen to what life in the Alpujarras is really like.

Juxtaposed against the white-walled villages of the Alpujarras are hillsides and meadows blanketed with alpine flowers and following Chris for an alfresco lunch at his farm, El Valero, places you at the heart of the stunning Spanish countryside as featured in the BBC programme Rick Stein’s Spain.

Aside from walking along the Trevelez River gorge to Chris’s farm you’ll also experience a day of historic sightseeing in the Arabian, Jewish and Moorish sections of Granada, which presents an exciting opportunity to compare and contrast architecture that lies within the shadow of the Alhambra.

As this walking holiday in Spain is based in a guesthouse within the mountain village of Ferreirola your small group (no more than 14 walkers) will be able to make the most of gorgeous views over the surrounding gorge on a daily basis. The guesthouse itself has been featured in the top fifty holiday destinations in Spain, as voted by the Times, and has been lovingly converted from what used to be an old stables and wine pressing facility to make the most of the valley views from the Moorish garden.

If the Rick Stein mention hasn’t given the game away already, this walking holiday in Spain also involves a fair bit of gourmet dining with the guesthouse chef well-versed in preparing delicious dinners alongside the chance to indulge in the Spanish slow food revolution at one of Granada’s finest tapas restaurants. As well as opportunities to sample gastronomic delights over long lunches you’ll also be invited to enter the village bodegas where a superb selection of rustic hams, Spanish wine, locally-made cheese and olive oil can all be found in abundance, perfect for taking a true taste of Spain, back home

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Check dates

2017: 29 Apr, 13 May, 23 Sep, 21 Oct
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Las Alpujarras walking holiday, Spain

Environment

We encourage our guests to experience, enjoy and learn about the environment of the Alpujarras and Sierra Nevada National Park. We have done this by designing walks (straight from the door of the guest house, so no car needed) using the ancient, established footpaths, and we supply hiking notes as well as arranging guided walking holidays.

Guests can experience not only the flora and fauna and the natural landscape but also the ancient systems of terracing and irrigation, created by the Moors some thousand years a and unique to the Alpujarras. We show guests the terracing and stone walls built by the Moors as well as examples of the many miles of waterways, man-made pools and sluice systems that sustain the environment even now. The Moorish system is a miracle of engineering, but also precious and fragile and we aim to promote understanding and respect for it amongst our visitors.

Through our walking holidays and our emphasis on the peace and beauty of the environment we aim to encourage low-impact, environment-appreciative tourism.

This in turn helps to promote awareness amongst local people of the economic benefits of an unspoilt environment, and contributes to the argument that sustainable tourism is of stronger long-term benefit to the local economy than short-term-employment construction projects.

Community

The area of the Western Alpujarras known as La Taha, where the guest house is located, is considered the jewel of the area and yet it is the least populated. Villages such as Ferreirola and others in La Taha were once thriving but have been in decline since the 1960’s to the point where the resident populations are too small to support a healthy economy.

By bringing visitors to the area and promoting sustainable tourism, we are contributing to the local community in several ways. Firstly we encourage guests to visit the local restaurants and bars, to buy produce at the weekly markets and to browse the shops supplying local crafts and produce. Secondly we ourselves work with local businesses, from the laundry service to the village baker, butcher, fishmonger and family-run supermarket. Thirdly, we also provide good working conditions and wages to local people, including cleaners, cooks, maintenance experts, and occasionally the local painter and decorator, plumber and electrician. By offering employment we hope to help younger people find work and so have the possibility of remaining in the area.

We have also helped to animate the village of Ferreirola: four years ago we were given permission to grow vegetables on an abandoned plot right in the centre of the village. We share the garden with some neighbours and they grow organic vegetables, herbs and flowers. The locals have enjoyed seeing the transformation of the garden from a mat of straggled weeds to neat rows of abundant vegetables. Hard work but we love it!

Reviews of Las Alpujarras walking holiday, Spain

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 29 Jun 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


An almost impossible question to answer: a different route each day walking in
the stunningly beautiful Alpujarras, taxing but invigorating; loved the
remoteness filled with birds, wild flowers and so much water. Meeting
shepherds and their grazing flocks. Cute white hilltop villages with welcome
fountains and other beverages! Granada's old city history tour, superb.
Returning each day to the amazing Casa Ana where great food and wines were
assured. Anne and her team together with walk leader Chris Stewart
and co-walkers did everything possible to make this a memorable holiday - my
best yet!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


A reasonable level of walking fitness is needed, otherwise those climbs could
appear steeper than they actually are! I benefited from taking my walking pole.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definitely! At the casa, my home for the week, local people work producing
wonderful food and maintaining a high standard in the rooms. Our group
willingly supported the village bodegas, and ate local foods.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Highly recommended to anyone who loves walking in the open countryside,
sprinkled with white hilltop villages, and snow capped mountains a little way
off. A fantastic holiday which went way too fast!

Reviewed on 25 Sep 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The whole package not just the walks will stay with me for a long time. The food was some of the best I have encountered in Spain.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Book early

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Whilst most of the key elements were under the control of Anne & Chris, we did enjoy our visits to the various Spanish owned establishments on our journeys. Chris is very protective of his Aljupurran environment and is a constant source of knowledge both historic, botanical and environmental.


4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It exceeded my expectations due to the venue, weather and levels of real engagement by the organisers. I will return again one day to this rural idyll.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Steve and Sue,
Many thanks for your lovely comments about the holiday. I'm so glad you had a good week, and hope to see you back in the Alpujarras one day.
Kind regards
Anne

Reviewed on 04 Jul 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


I have just completed a weeks walking holiday with Chris Stewart in the Alpajurra, a group of 13 of us stayed at the casa...
Have to say it was a really great week. The casa is situated in the most beautiful spot there are spectuclar views from the Terrace. The food was consistently good, we ate together every night and had really varied , delicious menus ... My bedroom was comfortable and simple .... The walking holiday itself was amazing, really quite challenging, but in the most stunning landscape and we learnt a lot about the local history and also Granada when we had a say trip there ... We also had a lot of fun and laughter and a good evening playing guitar and singing!

I would recommend anyone to have a holiday at the casa. The peace and beauty is hard to match ..... Great place to get away from every day madness !

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Make sure you're quite fit

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


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