Grazalema self guided walking holiday in Spain

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Departure information

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Grazalema self guided walking holiday in Spain

Environment

1. The area of Grazalema Natural Park is exceptionally rich in fauna and flora, which is why walking in the area is so fulfilling. We are particularly interested in introducing birdwatching on our walks. Birds of prey and their conservation are of our special interest: the local colony of Griffon Vultures, the nesting pairs of Golden and Bonelli´s eagle and the vulnerable but locally present Egyptian Vulture. We believe that observation and learning leads to better understanding of these species of birds and thus to their better conservation. We also encourage the interest in flora, especially the 35 species of wild orchids present in Grazalema Park. Our walks include an explanation of the life cycles of plants and animals, the importance of habitat preservation and, especially, advice on the respectful observation of animals and plants. We also advise on non-invasive wildlife photography.

2. All walkers are informed about our policy of leaving absolutely no rubbish behind, including organic remains. This policy also involves being responsible for waste or other risk factors for the wildlife encountered on the walks and knowing how to alert the appropriate Andalucían authorities. We also discuss the impact of forest fires on the area of Grazalema and what individual walkers can do to help prevent them.
3. We explain the importance of water to the area especially during the long and hot Andalucían summers. All natural springs encountered on the walks are always checked for any rubbish or obstacles that could be blocking them so that birds and other animals have access to clean water.

6. The necessity of driving to the starting point of the walks is reduced to an absolute minimum. We try as much as possible to use the probably most sustainable transport method: our feet. The route chosen to take the walkers to the starting point forms part of the experience: we include points of interest in the village such as the Visigothic and Roman fountains which traditionally supplied water to the village, visiting the local small producers of cheese for which the village is famous, or locating points where you can observe wildlife within the village parameters.

7. Although the modern walker is likely to use high-tech clothing and equipment, we discuss the materials, clothing and equipment traditionally used in the area for walking in the mountains: esparto grass bags, natural walking poles, objects made of natural cork, straw hats, clothing made of Grazalema merino wool in the small local factory which dates back to the 19th century. These materials are used, and their use demonstrated, by the guide, hopefully inspiring the use of combination of natural and high-tech equipment while walking.

Protecting our environment and sustainable tourism is a priority here in Grazalema. All of the hotels and accommodations we use for our clients have a policy of waste recycling and use biodegradable cleaning products that are 100 percent organic. Walking routes are selected to avoid foot traffic impact and guidelines are given to our walking clients to remain on the paths, not collect wild plants and to respect in general the wildlife that exists in the area.

Community

Tourism is the only major industry in this isolated part of Spain. By encouraging tourism we are contributing to the local economy and protecting jobs at a time of great unemployment and economic downturn.

The walking holidays here in Grazalema are an important aspect in regards to supporting the local community. Our clients eat in local restaurants and stay in or close to the village thereby creating and assisting the local economy. The village of Grazalema depends 100 percent on tourism and we believe our guided and self guided walking holidays are helping in a sustainable way many of the businesses in the area.

Reviews of Grazalema self guided walking holiday in 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 02 Mar 2014 by

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


Climbing Simancon on a beautifully sunny day. Wading down the Roman road to Ubrique on the day following a torrentially wet one.

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


If you want a break from the excellent walking, Ronda is worth spending a day.

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


Hotel and restaurants were locally run and using local produce. Lots of good and varied walks directly accessible from the village, so minimal car use.

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


An enjoyable week in the midst of a stormy, wet winter. We'll be back!

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