Andalucia self guided walking, Spain
Description of Andalucia self guided walking, Spain
Our Andalucia self guided walking holiday is based in Castillejar, a wonderfully rural spot located between the Barbatas and Guardal rivers, within easy reach (approximately 30 minutesí drive) of the regionís four natural parks: Sierra de Baza, Sierra de Huescar, Sierra de Seguara and Sierra de Cazorla. We can create an itinerary for you along trails that are perfect for independent hiking, through varied terrain including tranquil pine forests, almond and olive groves or through more open spaces with panoramic views and vertical rock faces. With golden eagles soaring overhead on the thermals and ibex jumping rock to rock.
Our accommodation is in two traditional cave houses, both beautifully restored in a way that respects the stark, rustic traditions of the region but done to a high standard. They have long been traditional hillside dwellings because they stay cool in summer and retain the heat in winter so, with the assistance of our wood burning stoves, you can stay and hike here in all seasons.
Castillejar is at an elevation of 766m above sea level and is one of several hamlets in the area where you can enjoy traditional markets, bars and cafes. The nearest main town is Huescar, just 15km away. This itinerary below has some of our favourite trails and trips, but this is a tailor made trip so we are happy to tweak it to cater for your hiking experience and timeframe.
Here are some of our tips on the best time to go walking in Andalucia:
September to November is Indian summer like, with temperatures still gloriously warm for walking. We donít recommend long walks during July and August as it is very hot indeed.
December and January for mild winter walking and olive harvest time.
Come hiking in February to catch the almond blossom coming out.
March to June is perfect for keen birders and it is also when the wildflowers go really wild!
|Day 1||Arrive. We suggest you settle in and take a small walk locally to get to know the environment and the village.|
|Day 2||The Castrill Valley: This is a great place to start your walking holiday with several way marked routes to suit all abilities. You can choose from gentle riverside strolls to a full days excursion to summits over 2000m|
|Day 3||Jabalcon and the thermal baths: This solitary mountain rises from the plains and dominates the landscape. Climb to the top for spectacular views of Lake Negratine and the Sierra Nevada. Enjoy a visit to the thermal baths on your way home|
|Day 4||Gallera: Take a walk through fertile valleys to the village of Gallera enjoy lunch at a local Retaurant and perhaps take a look at the well preserved bronze age site.|
|Day 5||Sagra: At 2383m Sagra is the highest mountain in the area there are several routes to the summit and the round trip takes between 5 and 7 hours|
|Day 6||Sierra de Baza: From the visitor centre choose one of the way marked routes and enjoy the spectacular scenery that this beautiful national park has to offer.|
|Day 7||Castrill. Visit the mountain village and experience the famous gorge walk. Afterwards enjoy a tapas in the square and soak up the atmosphere|
PlanetThe amazing natural insulation of cave houses mean that they stay cool in summer and warm in winter a pleasant constant temperature of sixteen degrees. They require no air conditioning in the summer and very little extra heating in the winter despite outside temperature extremes of +40c to -10c. Both caves have wood burning stoves to help on chilly winter nights. These have hot plates and are also a great energy saving way to cook food.
The water supply is metered and all the bathrooms are shower only with half flush toilets. We use eco friendly cleaning products including eco balls for the laundry. Once we have established an income from the caves we plan to reinvest this to further enhance their environmental credentials. Solar panels are an obvious first step down this route and we hope to install these in the near future. There are very good recycling facilities with segregated collection points throughout the village.
PeopleCastillejar is traditional Spanish village there are no large supermarkets and as with most of rural Spain no Sunday opening. The pace of life is much slower and we think better for it. There are a good range of shops bars and cafes in the village and we encourage our guests to use these and support the community. The local produce is fantastic with a vast range of local fruit and vegetables available at the regular Saturday market all year round.
The village is within easy reach of three national parks and we employ local guides for walking and horse riding excursions. The cave houses belonged to a local family who restored them using traditional methods retaining many original features. All the furniture and furnishings were bought locally and give the caves a really authentic traditional feel. We have an ongoing plan to upgrade the cave houses and are using a local Spanish builder to impliment these plans
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