You were ready to dismiss the white flowers in-between the rocks as daisies, but your guide crouches down. “Manzanilla real,” she explains: royal camomile, one of the Sierra Nevada’s most famous flowers. She says the Spanish name, because not only are you here to walk, you’re also here to learn the language. “My guide, Teresa, knows the hills around Granada really well and it was a delight to talk with her,” said Finola McGrath, of her holiday to learn Spanish and walk Spain’s national parks. “We talked completely in Spanish.”
Walking combination holidays introduce you to a new place twice over – first through its terrain, and then again through its language, its food or its wine.
The plants you pass on the trail, the overheard snatches of conversations in the street, the sight of people bringing the harvest in – it’s tempting to join in at every turn when you’re walking, but we rarely do – call it shyness, politeness, or the hurry to get back to the hotel. That’s why we have walking combination holidays: they let you get to know even more about the destination.