Walking holidays in Grazalema, Andalucia, Spain

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Date
Price
Basis
10 May 2017
£ 895
excluding flights
Full
 
21 Oct 2017
£ 895
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 21 Oct 2017 departure
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Walking holidays in Grazalema, Andalucia, 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 by using a local guide who has completed several Andalucian courses that focused on birdwatching in and guiding birdwatching groups in Andalucía. 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.

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 discuss noise pollution and visual pollution and their effect on both wildlife and other walkers. We also discuss the impact of forest fires on the area of Grazalema and what individual walkers can do to help prevent them.

3. On our walks 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.

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 walking holidays are helping in a sustainable way many of the businesses in the area.

Protecting our environment and sustainable tourism is a priority here in Grazalema. All of the hotels and accommodations we use for our clients are locally owned and/or run and 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 which helps preserve this important area for the locals.

Reviews of Walking holidays in Grazalema, Andalucia, 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 Jan 2015 by

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


The opportunity to see wildlife (ibex and vultures in particular) in their natural habitat with the accompanying commentary by two intelligent, dedicated and knowledgeable guides. The walks gave different perspectives on this marvellous part of Spain and helped me to understand the diversity and the sensitivity of this region so much better.

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


This is a wonderful introduction to Grazalema and the surrounding sierra. Be prepared for all types of weather and some steep inclines.

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


Perhaps one or two more different restaurants for the evening meal may have circulated the tourist euro a little further throughout the village. I also think it would be beneficial to review the amount of plastic that was discarded through the daily picnics.

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


I enjoyed this break hugely, I learnt a lot about this wonderful, fragile environment.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you so much for your review on our Grazalema walking holiday. We are so pleased that
you had a wonderful time.
All the “Plastic” containers used for picnics are made from recycled materials and we of
course use the recycling system in the village to dispose of any waste created…. One reason
we use Rumores bar for breakfasts and picnics is because of their policy on recycling…. Our
guests just have to return any of the picnic containers and they will either be re used or
recycled. I do hope this helps to clarify your concerns.
Our very best regards,
Paul and Victoria.

Reviewed on 31 Dec 2014 by

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


The guides, Eva and Sue, were just superb! Their knowledge of the wildlife; plants and animals/birds was outstanding. Their knowledge of the areas we were walking was just 'out of this world'.... it will be difficult going on another holiday and not having those 2 as the leaders. Just superb!

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


Check arrangements for flights and airport transfers! There was alot of conflicting
information from different members of the group, meaning that some (including myself) had to wait for hours for flights (on return) or airport transfers (on arrival) because of times when being transferred to and from the airport.
Greater clarity on timings would have prevented this.

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


Yes I do. The group stayed in a hotel, used a local cafe for breakfast every day and on returning from walks, ate in a variety of restaurants in the evenings, shopped in the local supermarkets and other shops.
The fact that we walked from Grazalema most days reduced any pollution caused by using any transport.

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


I would highly recommend this holiday! I loved everything about it (apart from the misunderstanding with arrivals and departure times).
The hotel was superb and clean with a very welcoming manager, Terese.
The walks were just stunning, the company excellent, the food was wonderful. All in all, fabulous! I will be returning!!

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on your holiday in Grazalema. We are
delighted that you had such a wonderful time. We shall be addressing the issue of arrival
and departure timings for future holidays.
Very best wishes and WE look forward to seeing you again.
Victoria and Paul.

Reviewed on 02 Jun 2013 by

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


The walks and the people particularly the guide, Eva. She was amazing

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


That it can rain in Spain in May and you need all your rain gear..

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?


Absolutely excellent

Reviewed on 28 Apr 2013 by

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


Walking on the hills.

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


Ensure you have comfortable footwear.

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


Yes , local suppliers were used for all services.

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