69 independent reviews for Altiplano de Granada activity holiday, Spain

Reviews for Altiplano de Granada activity holiday, Spain

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review 20 Sep 2017

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

We loved it all. The rafting, the kayaking, the rock climbing, the peace and tranquility, the lovely local people, Des and Illaria, the house, the stars and spending time together.

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

No matter what else you do, you must get a spit roast chicken from the market at Pozo Alcon and eat it with fresh crusty bread.. Amazing! Download google translate if your Spanish isn't very good. The local people are very kind, generous and patient but they don't speak much English so being able to order and communicate in Spanish makes the holiday much more fun. If you do the rafting, make sure you've been to the toilet before you go and take some water to drink.

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

Definitely!

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

So much more than we expected. A perfect balance of relaxation, exploration and excitement.

review 27 Aug 2017

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

Exciting activities - all arranged by Ilaria!

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

Look forward to peace - it's a wonderful region of Andalusia!

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

Yes - recycling and tourism.

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

Super holiday in a great place. Lovely friendly and helpful hosts!

review 27 Aug 2017

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

So hard to choose! We loved all the water activities particularly the canyoning and rafting.The kids loved making new friends.

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

Brush up on your Spanish - it's not a very touristy area and not everyone speaks a lot of English although Des and Ilaria were great at translating when we got a flat tyre. Another tip would be to hire an SUV car if you can as the roads can be a bit bumpy. Make use of Des and Ilaria's local knowledge and maps.

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

Yes definitely - the hotel is off grid and produces its own electricity. Guests are encouraged to recycle bottles etc. You can have dinner at the hotel but only if you request it in the morning so food waste is minimised. Ingredients are all locally sourced. Des and Ilaria use a variety of local companies for the activities.

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

Brilliant we loved it! I felt relaxed as soon as we arrived. The scenery, the setting, the other guests, the ambience - all were fantastic. Des and Ilaria were the perfect hosts and were so helpful with planning, booking and ideas for what to do. Thank you for such a fantastic holiday!

review 21 Aug 2017

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

Memorable: the beautiful 360 degrees view from the hotel and sitting out on the patio enjoying it. Exciting: rafting trip - thrilling, don't miss it!

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

As others have said, you need to be prepared to drive yourself around on narrow roads, including 3 km up a dusty track to get to the place. For this, you are rewarded by stunning countryside, few tourists and a lovely hotel where English is spoken, and lots of advice given for making the best of your visit. We also enjoyed meeting the other families at the hotel and comparing notes on days out and what to see.

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

Yes. It's an eco-hotel, which manages fine without air con and is off-grid. You use local services daily, which must benefit the local area.

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

Fantastic. We loved the hotel, the pool was such a welcome relief after a hot day out. We loved: eating out on the patio (including varied vegetarian meals), the honesty fridge for drinks, help and advice from owners Des and Ilaria, the local town Castril and its lovely suspended river walk and fantastic swimming pool with shady woodland area. So much to see, yet our holiday was also very relaxing. We loved it all!

review 14 Aug 2017

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

Really relaxing and slowing down and spending time together as a family. We also enjoyed the farm visit, kayaking, rafting and Castril, loved the bronze age site too! Kids really enjoyed making friends and 'chilaxing' in the pool.

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

Car hire a must.

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

Yes, definitely contributed to local businesses and economy. Des and Illaria committed to enabling guests to make minimal environmental impact.

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

Excellent, Des and Illaria and their sons made us most welcome and we were very well looked after. A special place indeed.

review 6 Aug 2017

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

All of it really! For Peter (14) and Mum - the rafting activity. Lovely people with a great sense of humour and concern for safety of the smallest members of the group ran it. For Dad - the National Park walks and swims. The hotel was lovely - Des and Elaria's warmth and enthusiasm set the tone. They seem to have accumulated a great set of people who run the activities that they recommend. The community atmosphere at the hotel was superb creating a great environment for friendships among adults and children alike. We came home with a new card game... books to read... and lovely memories of the other guests as well as the place.

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

The stargazing activity is excellent for beginners. For more advanced astronomers views through telescopes accompanied by qualified narrative was fun but perhaps a little slow. Worth it for us. The national park is definitely worth a visit. In summer get up as early as possible if you want to walk. Swim in the streams!

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

Yes. The hotel was 'off grid' with no air conditioning - but still comfortable. We were supported to use local services effectively e.g. markets, cafe's restaurants and swimming pools as well as local activities such as kayaking and rafting.

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

We had a fantastic time. Thank you Des and Elaria - nothing was too much trouble for you.

review 5 Aug 2017

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

The canoeing on La Bolera reservoir the people there were a massive help, the lake an amazing blue colour and the meal overlooking afterwards was really nice and very affordable.

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

Be prepared for a lot of driving on narrow roads but with amazing vistas

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

Well we spent some money there that benefitted the local economy, made sure that we didnt leave any litter and visited museums

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

15 out of 10 Des and Ila couldn't have been more helpful, the food was fantastic, the rooms cleaned daily and the view as you sat having your breakfast was breath taking we will definitely be going again at some time.

review 28 Jul 2017

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

The views over the olive groves from the hotel were stunning but it was the warmth and helpfulness of our hosts Ilaria and Des that really made the holiday. As the hotel is small we made friends with all the other guests and frequently did activities with them which made them all the more fun. The rafting was the most exciting activity we did and is not to be missed!

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

It was very hot at night so taking a cool shower and wetting your hair helps with sleeping as being an eco-hotel there is no aircon. Also we went for the HB option and the food was delicious every night!

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

Yes, the hotel encourages guests to recycle and conserve energy by reducing electricity usage. Ilaria buys all the ingredients for the breakfast and dinner from the local village and they actively promote the activities run by local businesses.

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

We absolutely loved our week here and have recommended it to our friends already!

review 27 Jul 2017

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

The warm welcome from Ilaria, Des and family, rafting, visiting the farm and visiting Castril.

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

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

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


review 16 Jul 2017

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

Staying at Elgeco Verde with the amazing hosts Ilaria & Des - they were so helpful with every aspect of our holiday & they run a very special hotel, great home cooked food, idyllic location

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

Definitely need a car to be able to enjoy the fantastic scenery . Rafting & kayaking our highlight & thoroughly enjoyed the Spanish cooking - highly recommended

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

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

One of the best, memorable holidays - perfect holiday for teenagers with a great range of activities. A real Spanish experience of local food & culture - Fantastic!

review 9 Jul 2017

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

We loved the activities like rafting and canyoning.

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

Follow the written directions sent by the owner, which are very helpful. Make use of their vast local knowledge when planning your excursions.

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

Tourism is an important contributor to the local economy but has not spoilt the local traditional culture.

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

10/10. We all thoroughly enjoyed our holiday. The area is beautiful and very unspoilt. Our hosts Des and Ilaria could not have been nicer or more helpful. The food was of a consistently high standard. A perfect holiday for families with lots of opportunities to interact with other guests or just do your own thing. Our son loved spending time with their lovely dog Lola and all the other kids. The stargazing is a fantastic activity.

review 11 Jun 2017

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

The kayaking and horse riding were great fun made all the more enjoyable by the beautiful scenery of Andalusia. Some great walks. We loved the town pools full of fish and particularly the cave cafe/bar.

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

Ilaria and Des are very knowledgeable about the local area. Take full advantage of all their tips for places to go. We found them invaluable.

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

Ilaria and Des fully support the local community. Food served by Ilaria is locally sourced. Electricity is generated by solar panels, leave your hairdryer at home. All the activities are run by local people and it is well worth visiting the local towns and sampling the tapas.

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

Good mix of activities, lovely local food, wine and sunshine. Ilaria and Des are lovely hosts and really make the holiday special.

review 5 Jun 2017

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

It was all exciting and memorable! Rock climbing gave us all a real sense of achievement, the setting is stunning and there's just so much to do.

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

When hiring a car, consider its off-road ability and ground clearance. There's nothing unmanageable, but a 4x4 would have coped with the unpaved roads better than the Ford Focus we hired. I'm really glad we brushed up our Spanish a bit too, as it's not very common to meet anyone who speaks more than a few words of English. A reasonable level of confidence and a dictionary helped us out no end.

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

The hotel is totally off-grid and the activities are arranged with local guides who are paid directly, so yes. Sparrows were nesting all round the hotel, even on the boys' bedroom window sill!

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

Fantastic! We all had a really great time with a good mix of excitement and relaxation. Des and Ilaria are lovely and so helpful in arranging everything and advising on good places to go, and the food was great too. The views at the hotel are superb and make it worth braving the sometimes hairy roads.

review 23 May 2017

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

A beautiful location with really helpful hosts. Castril is exceptionally beautiful. If your Spanish is poor the English and Italian speaking hosts are a wealth of helpful information.

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

Make sure you give yourself enough time. It is quite remote and you need time to assimilate. Be ready for some beautiful but occasionally challenging driving!

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

The hotel works hard at being environmentally sensitive.

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

Excellent. Restful, interesting, and really well cared for. The fact that our hosts were so well researched, and possessed detailed information on the area, was invaluable.

review 30 Apr 2017

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

One of the most beautiful views in the world from El Geco

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

Just do it!! It's a wonderful experience

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

Yes. Des and Illaria really care about eco and local community

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

One of the best holidays ever!!

review 12 Sep 2017

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

Rafting, and swimming, in the river was the highlight. The bronze age mountain village was also really amazing. It seems a very remote area, with hardly any people, and very little traffic, which was a blessing as the roads are mountainous twisting and quite scary.

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

Plan your activities before you go so that you get to do extras like star gazing and canyoning. Take your Spanish dictionary or brush up your Spanish before you go. It's off the beaten track, so useful to be able to communicate if you can.

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

This doesn't seem to be a very touristy area for foreigners, used more by Spanish people exploring and enjoying their own country. Probably benefited local people as our hosts suggested loads of good local places to eat and arranged activities run by local people.

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

A good mixture of relaxation and fun 8/10

review 5 Sep 2017

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

The location is marvellous, really beautiful and there is a wealth of activities to enjoy in the area. Kayaking and swimming at the lake in Castril was stunning, we had the place totally to ourselves as eagles circled overhead, beautiful. We also enjoyed swimming in the river in the national park.

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

Make the most of your hosts local knowledge to help you get the most from your visit.

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

We really welcomed the opportunity to stay in a sustainable, family run hotel. I'd like to see them make more of their sustainability, perhaps with some fun facts for young visitors. There was a water shortage when we were there so perhaps a bit of information reminding guests to minimise water usage etc would be good.

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


review 14 Apr 2017

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

There are many memorable moments on this holiday. Our favourite was visiting Castril town, it's a very beautiful little town with lots of different walks at varying degrees of ease. The walk way along the wooden track caressing the mountain edge, overlooking the river is breathtaking. It's an easy walk 1.5-2km with a lovely restaurant at the the end and a children's play area. Also, the kayaking is a lot of fun, we visited the dam in Castril - again so beautiful. You are spoilt for choice on this holiday. Perfect for an immersive, cultural and natural experience, ideal location to switch off.

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

It was Easter in April when we visited and warmer than we expected. I recommend taking sun lotion, solid footwear for the fabulous walks, and light long sleeve clothing to cover up. The holiday offers great outdoor adventures and Ilaria and Des provide lots of advice on great places to visit. We enjoyed a different location each day, there is plenty to see and experience. The place offers stunning panoramic views, delicious homemade Spanish cooking, nothing is too much trouble for the owners. I recommend booking the stargazing experience, kayaking on Castril dam, horse riding in the mountains, a visit to the Bronze Age burial site and the two restaurants overlooking the dam's; the first on route to El Geco Verde and the other 10 mins drive away from the hotel. Both serve traditional delicious Spanish dishes.

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

I found the the excursions and activities supported local businesses really well, they are set up offering a 100% profit to the locals running the activities. The holiday definitely reduces environmental impact and supports conservation.

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

It was a wonderful holiday in a tranquil location. We were spoilt for choice on things to do and see. Perfect for an immersive, cultural, natural experience. An ideal location to enjoy the outdoors, connect with nature, meet local families, offering a sense of community and connection through conversation with other travellers. Ideal place to switch off and relax.

review 2 Feb 2017

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

The hikes - they were breathtaking! Beautiful scenery and waterfalls.

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

We went in November, during the off season. I would recommend going earlier in the year for better weather. But we still had a great time!

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?

It was fantastic - one of the best holidays I've ever been on!

review 20 Jan 2017

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

Three: the visit to Jose-Marie's farm, where he enthusiastically showed us round, cooked us some delicious food, made cheese, milked (tried anyway) goats, a truly delightful and enthusiastic gentleman. Second was swimming with the fish in the outdoor swimming pool with the beautiful sunlit mountains in the background with goat bells quietly tinkling nearby. Three, Ilaria's delicious cooking and not having to think about food, except for lunch. In fact four, the walk in the gorge on a cantilevered path over the water which thundered below us.

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

Be prepared to use your car each day, unless just staying at the hotel, we went off season, so it wasn't terribly warm. However, Des provided perfect and detailed suggestions for what to do each day, so we had a lovely time.

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

Yes, the hotel is mainly, if not totally off-grid and we didn't travel too far each day.

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

Very pleasant, and extremely well catered for. We have a demanding dietary regime and it can be difficult to find somewhere suitable, so because this was sorted out for us, it made it far more relaxing. Thank you Des and Ilaria.

review 17 Jan 2017

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

The kindness and dedication of our guest house!!!

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

If you want to enjoy nature in a beautiful rural hotel that is the place to be!

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

Yes the house is thought to have the least impact on the environment and benefited the small village where the rural hotel is located. Most of the products that you will have for breakfast and dinner are locally grown and organic. Delicious honey and olive oil..

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

Excellent

review 8 Jul 2017

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

We all like the rafting the best.

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

plan

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

I liked that all the trip operators were locals

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

okay

review 20 Apr 2017

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

The most memorable part of the holiday was our 5 hour walk which involved scrambling up a mountain and was a real challenge for my fear of heights!

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

Ask the owners for their recommendations for restaurants - and trust them! Sometimes the restaurants look very simple, but the food is delicious!

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?

Really rejuvenating, healthy, family bonding time.

review 26 Sep 2016

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

The rafting was outstanding

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

Do the farm visit if you have kids

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

Yes - all the activities were run by local people

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

We received a very warm welcome from Des when we arrived, after a short drive down a track through the olive groves. The hotel is perched on a hill with 360 degree views of working countryside, with vultures sometimes circling overhead. You are adjacent to 2 Natural Parks and the wildlife is fascinating. The English and Italian hosts are lovely, only too happy to suggest and book activities if you so wish. We have a 6 year old daughter, and she LOVED the rafting, horse riding and the farm visit. Best was the rafting, I'd say. We spent as much time in the river as we did the raft. Magical floating down the currents. Also don't miss the nearby communal swimming pools, fed by the river and full of trout! Granada is a big day - 3 hours in the car, but well worth visiting the Alhambra. After a tiring day it was great to come back to a bottle of cava, a chat with Des and Illaria, and 3 delicious courses. We only at out twice in 7 days. I can't recommend a holiday here highly enough

review 19 Sep 2016

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

The amazing scenery, quietness at the hotel, and exciting activities.

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

Hire a car.

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

Yes, the activities supported local people setting up small businesses, including an organic farmer who taught us how to make cheese and bread.

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

Perfect.

review 20 Jul 2016

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

We did canyoning!!! What a fantastic unforgettable experience! All organised by the holiday provider using their trusted contacts. There were so many highlights including the star gazing, mountain biking, walking, rafting. Truly great memories to have forever...oh I forgot bird watching which was exceptional...

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

Don't hesitate, book it and enjoy!

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

Definitely. All the activities were organised and run by locals. Additionally we gained in depth knowledge of the local flora and fauna, eu legislation and local procedures that really helped understanding environmental impacts.

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

10/10

review 31 Oct 2016

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

The scenery in the area is amazing, it's like being in a cowboy movie - the mountains, valleys and ravines are breathtaking. It's easy to have a good time when you're surrounded by all of that. We stayed at the accommodation, which is a great place to stay for the quiet life. Lovely rooms and food, and the couple who run it are great, very helpful, they helped organise activities (horse trekking and kayaking) and provided us with ideas/maps for days out and places to visit.

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

This part of Spain is rural and they don't see a lot of English people, most people don't speak English, but they are friendly and will try and help you where they can so don;t be afraid to try your mangled Spanish as most people will play along.

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

Yes, the activities (organised through our hotel) were great and run by local people. We paid the local people directly, nobody took a cut out of their fee.

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

Ace. We're a family of four, (kids 6 & 8), and we had a fantastic time.

review 20 Sep 2016

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

We really enjoyed the watersports activities we took part in. For example Kayaking and rafting

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

Brush up on your Spanish!

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

Yes everything we did was through small family businesses.

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

We loved this holiday. Everything was as we had hoped if not better. We felt totally relaxed and stimulated during the whole trip.

review 15 Sep 2016

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

The Canyoning trip was a fantastic and testing adventure - almost all of the guests in the hotel took part, age range from 10 year old girls to age 50 something men. It was easy to fit into the group, which was good as my family were chicken that day. It contrasted nicely with the stargazing, which was peaceful by comparison but informative and fun. Staying up that late also required stamina.

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

I would contact Des and Illyria to make sure you prebook whatever activity needs to be prebooked, but they were fantastic and very knowledgable hosts, and seemingly can arrange almost anything, including most kit if you forget anything. They do a great job at drawing maps. They also serve great food. The hotel is a long way off the road, but just keep on going down the track.

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

We helped keep local businesses going, suporting local activities eg adventure companies, stargazers, dance teachers, and good tips for local restaurants. The location was hot, but big spacious rooms were generally cool.

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

It was fantastic, I loved every day of it, and wished we had stayed there longer..

review 27 Aug 2016

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

White-water rafting, horse riding, cave restaurant.

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

Walk to the source of the Rio Castril in the national park and swim in the town's pool.

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

yes: we ate local food and wine (and shopped at nearby markets), all electricity was from solar.

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

Excellent

review 22 Aug 2016

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

Just spent 10 days here at the beginning of August. Beautiful, peaceful views and Ilaria and Des, the B&B owners, were very friendly and helpful in planning our activities and recommending places to visit. We especially enjoyed rafting and stargazing where we were led around the Milky Way and star constellations by an expert from Malaga. Amazing seeing Saturn and its moons as well as distant galaxies! We also loved all the wild swimming opportunities.

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

If you don't like the heat then don't go in August! There is no air conditioning and although there are mosquito nets on the windows so that you can leave the windows open at night, the rooms still stay quite hot at night. Ilaria and Des did, reluctantly, put a floor standing fan in our children's room after a sleepless first night, though. The hotel is off the National Grid hence they are keen to limit electricity usage. Also, the track to the hotel is quite bumpy with some rather deep ruts so we did have some concerns about the Ford Fiesta that we had hired, although it made it back to Malaga airport, if a little dusty!

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

We used local tour operators for all the activities and ate out at the local restaurants so the holiday definitely benefited the local people. The hotel generates its own solar electricity also.

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

This was a very different holiday to what we are used to but one which the whole family thoroughly enjoyed. Lots of family bonding time and both the children( age 14 and 11) said that they would be happy to do a similar holiday again. The activities that we did, were horse riding, rafting, kayaking, stargazing and river walks/ swim. I would say that 7-8 days might be enough time in this area though.

review 13 Aug 2016

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

Definitely the secluded location in its stunning setting.

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

Hire a car for ease of access to nearby attractions as a little off the beaten track.

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

We brought additional tourism to the area which seemed somewhat of a novelty in this part of Spain, refreshingly. Being that the hotel is "eco friendly" we were conscious of electricity and water usage, which was kept to a minimum, along with recycling wherever possible.

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

Excellent. This was a departure from our usual beach resort vacation and with three girls to amuse was probably the best family holiday to date. The activities were excellent and varied and the mountain views superbly panoramic. The accommodation was simple, rustic and suited us perfectly. The hosts were very attentive and like old friends by the end of our stay.

review 30 Jul 2016

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

The scenery is breathtaking, Ilaria and Derek are the perfect hosts and the children really enjoyed all of the rafting, canyoning and wild swimming that they did. It is really difficult to pick just one memorable moment from such a relaxing yet exhilarating break. We took part in Rafting, Pizza making, Canyoning, Farm Visit and Spanish Dancing and enjoyed them all.

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

Bring some old trainers, we didn't and most of the water based activities required them.

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

The holiday definitely benefited local people. All of the activities were run by local people and payments were made directly to them. Ilaria and Derek cook locally sourced food, the property relies on passive design rather than A/C to manage the temperature and the only significant impact on the environment would be the location of the hotel which is a 20 minute drive from most places.

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

We loved our holiday and will look back fondly on our time with our hosts.

review 25 Jul 2016

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

Definitely the Canyonning! It was the most amazing, terrifying, exciting thing we have ever done...

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

We would suggest that you do the rafting/kayaking before the Canyonning as everything seemed a little tame afterwards! We loved the horse-riding too and don't miss the raised river walk at Castril. The local restaurants were great, fantastic food and incredibly reasonable.

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

Absolutely- tourism is still in it's infancy in the area and I hope our custom supported the local restaurants and activity businesses that we used. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming too. Des & Ilaria do everything possible to be sustainable but at no point did that impact on our enjoyment.

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

It was a brilliant holiday, the first time we have done anything like it and I'm sure it won't be the last. We saw a side to Spain we'd never seen before whilst keeping the whole family entertained. The welcome was second to none, Des & Ilaria were so helpful and when I'm sitting at my desk I will think longingly of the panoramic view from the terrace and the peace that surrounds it all.

review 9 Apr 2016

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

We loved the amazing views in all directions from, the great range of exciting activities organised by the owners, who were fantastic hosts and so friendly and helpful, and the total relaxation of really getting away from it all. Our bed was really comfortable, too!

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

Be prepared for a few kilometres of rather rough track to reach the hotel - but it's absolutely worth it to be in such an amazing spot. A bit of knowledge of Spanish is helpful. It's a great place for children; our daughters loved being able to take the two dogs for walks along the tracks through olive and almond groves.

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

Yes - the activities were all organised directly with local businesses. The hotel uses renewable energy and is not connected to the national grid (they do have a back-up generator!) There was some amazing wildlife to spot, too (eg. vultures flying over the terrace).

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

Wonderful - a great combination of relaxing and active, in a truly stunning part of the world.

review 9 Apr 2016

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

A unique opportunity to stay in the mountains of Spain waking up to fabulous views and amazing history every day

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

Take good walking boots and varied clothing as you will have glorious sunshine but in April it still snows on the mountain so the air is chilly

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

The area has many amazing bronze age discoveries and local visitors provide much needed income for the new modern and excellent museums. Local people provide the activities that are great fun and unique

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

A gloriously friendly hotel with a perfect location for a peaceful retreat into a Spain we rarely get to experience

review 9 Aug 2015

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

Sitting on the terrace first thing in the morning, canyoning, stargazing, eating Illaria's delicious meals.

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

Book it ! You won't be disappointed. There is something for everyone to do. Des and Illaria know so much about the area and all the activities they make it so easy and relaxing. You can visit Alhambra, archeological sites, go on amazing walks, dip under waterfalls and then come back and sit on the terrace with a glass of something cold feeling happy with the world. Des and Illaria are perfect hosts. Bring old trainers and relax and enjoy.

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

It definitely benefitted local people just by bringing tourists to the area. The hotel generated all its own electricity (which they store in these giant batteries !) and energy consumption is minimal. The way food and refreshments are provided minimises waste. The food is delicious by the way.

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

Absolutely fantastic. We have three children ( 10 14 16 ) who are all completely different and two of them are not at all sporty but they all loved the experience.

review 9 Aug 2015

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

If forced to select just one then it would have to be canyoning. Imagine climbing 150m down to the bottom of a dam and then stepping off rocks into a dark pool (thank goodness for the wetsuits). Whether it was scrambling over rocks, through streams, traversing the steeper bits by rope, abseiling, swimming in cold, clear water or summoning up the nerve to jump several metres off a ledge into one of those pools, all the time surrounded by scenery that very few get to view -it is very special. As a mixed group of energetic teenagers and fit and not so fit adults, it worked for us all. The guidance of both our guides was calm and reassuring and it felt safe and secure at all times. Expect to be tired, happy and exhilarated at the end. But then the horse riding - up into the hot hills and then back down through olive and almond groves and a delightful white hillside village was amazing, the best ride we novices have been on. The Andalucian cooking, with our ebullient and ever so Spanish chief who provided most of the ingredients from her garden, was great fun and the results very,very tasty. Will we be able to re-produce that wonderful tortilla back in England? We hope so!

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

Staying is like visiting some cool friends who have gone to live in the coolest place -as far removed from a packaged holiday as possible. The hotel is small, comfortable and our hosts, Ilaria and Des, so friendly, relaxed and accommodating. It is in a stunning location - the 3km drive down the dusty track is something in itself and, after the initial where are we going worry, part of the hotel's charm. And the food is good too.

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

Yes. All the activities are booked with local companies employing local people - we found them all to be friendly and helpful. We changed our minds about timing several times and Ilaria was fantastically helpful, making all the arrangements for us. The hotel ran on solar power while we were there and has a biomass (olive stones and almond kernels) for the winter)

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

It was fantastic, our most memorable holiday ever and we were all sad to leave.

review 4 Nov 2015

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

Every day was different. My 6 year old son would probably vote for the visit to a bronze age archeological site.

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

There is so much to do and see in this very unspoilt area. Ilaria and Des looked after us very well and were great about providing information on things to do. My son loved the 2 very gentle dogs, Nacho the cat, Richard the rabbit and even the chickens who pecked him when collecting eggs!

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

Absolutely. It is off-grid and managed with a view to sustainability. All the activities we took part in (Andalucian cookery morning, bread and cheese making at organic farm, stargazing ) were run by local people to whom we made direct payment.

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

Lovely. Peaceful hotel, good food, beautiful countryside, interesting and varied activities which work for children and adults.

review 21 Aug 2015

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

We really enjoyed discovering this lovely region of Spain. This holiday makes for a great base to visit the National Parks and towns in the area. We made full use of the hosts' knowledge to get the best out of our stay. The Alto Plano region is relatively free of tourists and we enjoyed being amongst the Spanish on holiday. We enjoyed walking in Sierra de Castril Park and tried kayaaking, horseriding and fishing.

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

Des and Ilaria are extremely knowledgeable and very willing to help you get the most from this relatively unknown area. They have books, maps and details of activities and walks around the region. There are many good options for eating out locally or the hotel can provide a 3-course meal if you let them know at the start of the day. We also spent two days at Granada at the end of our stay, and several guests included this accommodation as part a two or three site holiday. The local town of Castril has a really good Municipal pool. Do try the activities availale.

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

The hotel is off-grid and guests' waste is recycled. Local companies were used for the kayaaking, horseriding and stargazing activities and a local cook was brought in for an Andalucian evening and the cookery class. Also for the dance class that another guest asked for.

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

A sound four stars. Guest searching for comfort may find the lack of fans or air conditioning make for hot rooms in peak season, but we did acclimatise. The Alto Plano is a beautiful region and we enjoyed all the activities we tried. Our nine and ten year olds also really enjoyed the holiday.

review 9 Aug 2015

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

We all enjoyed the various activities arranged by Illaria and Des. Standout ones were stargazing and kayaking.

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

You need to hire a car and brush up on your Spanish as this is a largely undiscovered part of Spain to international tourism. Go out and enjoy the local restaurants and bars - the food is great and good value. All adds up to an authentic Andalusian experience.

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

Yes. We used local businesses for activities. Ate in local restaurants. Enjoyed the local widelife and plantlife. The hotel is off grid, does not have aircon (which was a challenge at 40degrees). I think El Greco Verde does its bit for the local economy.

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

Excellent. We had a really wonderful family holiday. Thank you to Illaria and Des for being attentive and helpful and making our stay so enjoyable.

review 19 Jul 2015

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

We had a great night undertaking the star gazing activity and also a visit to an archeological dig.

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

The hotel is very beautiful and is quite rural.I is very peaceful and good for local adventure type activities but dont go expecting lively nightlife and shopping!

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

Yes, the hotel is eco friendly-solar panels recycling etc. The hotel uses local tour operators for activites and recomentds local restarauts thus generally helping with the areas economy.

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

Very enjoyable. The hotel is beautiful and the owners are excellent hosts Very warm and welcoming and knowledgable about where to visit in the local area. The house is very testefully decorated and its setting is within stunning countryside.

review 10 Jun 2015

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

The most memorable would have to be the location of our B&B, which was surrounding by beautiful fields and hills and very peaceful. The most exciting part was going canyoning by the Bolera Dam in Castril. Lots of climbing, jumping and a bit of abseiling!

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

Make sure you have a powerful, reliable car to get around and a confident driver. All activities and sites are quite far apart, the area is very rural, lots of dirt tracks and winding mountain roads.

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

We visited slightly out of season and the area was very rural so I feel that we have contributed to the economy at a time when it was more needed by visiting local sites, restaurants and the people running our bnb booked all activities for us but we paid the companies/guides directly. The accommodation is a eco hotel

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

It was great. The Altiplano is a beautiful region perfect for both a relaxing and quiet holiday but also if you want to fill your holiday with sports and activities. Des & Ilaria couldn't have been more helpful and friendly and really made our holiday.

review 16 Sep 2014

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

Enjoying the treks and to be able to have time to relax.

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

Do your research and liaise with the local operator before heading out to get the most out of your holiday.

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

Yes. I hope so in every holiday trip we do. Every we visit we try to make very little environmental impact so it's still there for when we come back years later.

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


review 7 Sep 2014

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

The property and the surrounding area are utterly enchanting. Des & Ilaria the perfect hosts. High-lights? Star-gazing, or horse riding through the surrounding mountains, or kayaking on the beautiful lakes. Or eating Ilaria's wonderful food on the terrace.

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

Visiting the incredible outdoor swimming pools in the area, including one at Castril. Our children are 8 & 9 and loved it. We read books and ate tapas while they played together in the pool. It worked well for all of us.

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

Yes. Ilaria and Des run at great place, growing their own veg, composting and recycling everything. The area is a very rural economy so of course the tourist pound makes a difference.

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

It couldn't have been better. A wonderful, wonderful family holiday (children 8 & 9).

review 7 May 2014

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

The most exciting part was definitely the canyoning. We had no idea what canyoning even was before we did it but it was quite an adventure! We also really enjoyed the stargazing. The most memorable parts of our holiday were the stunning scenery and our charming hosts, Ilaria & Derek.

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

Car rental: book your car direct from one of the better-known international car rental firms, avoid brokers and comparison sites, read the small print and avoid any company that charges you for the full tank on collection. Fully comprehensive insurance is probably advisable for peace of mind as you will be driving on stony tracks both to get to the hotel and in the parks. Walking: invest in a detailed ordnance survey map, tell your hosts where you are planning to walk and when you'll be back and get clear directions. Signage is sparse at best, expect to rely more on intuition and common sense, especially outside the main national park. We walked for hours without meeting a soul so you need to be self-sufficient and keep your wits about you! While stunning, the rugged scenery can be disorientating. Canyoning: we thoroughly enjoyed this but it is not for the unfit or faint-hearted. Expect to scramble, walk, swim and abseil - sometimes in confined spaces - for a good 4-5 hours or more depending on the size and experience of the group. You need to be physically fit, have plenty of stamina and be comfortable with heights and flowing water. Once in the canyon the only way out is to keep going. Rock-climbing and abseiling experience would be an advantage. Oh, and if you decide to film your adventure with a POV camera, don't rely 100% on the helmet mount as you'll be plunging into pools from a height of several metres, which can tear it off. I lost my GoPro at the last waterfall, only a few hundred metres from the finish, because I made the mistake of not tethering it to my helmet. Expensive lesson learned! If someone comes across it I'd be very grateful if you would return it to Ilaria & Derek :o)

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

Definitely. All activities were provided by local individuals and companies so there is no question that the local economy benefited. The hotel is powered by renewable energy. This region gets very little tourism and is truly a hidden gem.

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

We had a brilliant holiday. The food and hospitality were excellent and our hosts were intimately familiar with the language, locality, food, history and culture. The hotel is as off the beaten track as one could imagine and is in a tranquil and scenic setting. There is lots to see and do and the hotel proposes a variety of activities through local experts. There is a good choice of local restaurants - we would particularly recommend the restaurant by the lake. We very much hope to be back!

review 21 Apr 2014

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

Location, kindness of hosts, accomodation, amazing stars at night

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

Book early! Would be tricky without a car - which Ilaria advised us of before we went.

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

Massive benefit to local tourist activity operators all run by local people. All waste recycled. Solar panels at accomodation. Own vegetables and hens.

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


review 15 Sep 2014

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

Canyoning was certainly the most challenging! But we all really enjoyed just sitting on the terrace in the evening, having a beer or a glass of local wine and admiring the view and those stars!

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

We chose this holiday because it combined the opportunity to do a range of activities (great for our two teenagers) and also keep us parents happy with bird watching, walking and reading. Although there is lots to do locally, the scenery in this region is stunning so do try and explore further afield as well. We often headed off into the mountains on some very exciting roads! I did most of the driving and was a little apprehensive at first but you quickly become accustomed to hairpin bends and sheer drops!

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

A lot of the food and drinks were sourced locally and the activities were run by local people or companies. There was also rubbish recycling. Distance from the main highway meant that most holiday makers would need a car to get to the property.

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

Tranquil but with lots of opportunities to challenge yourself or your family!!

review 14 Sep 2014

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

We were thrilled by the views from the location of El Geco Verde. The views of both the landscape - olive groves, small towns, mountains and plains and the clear night sky were memorable. The canyoning activity was exhilarating, I'm told it was a beginner level, plenty exciting enough for me! The children (9 and 14) enjoyed kayaking on nearby lake and horse riding in the cool evening with more memorable views.

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

We went partly for the activities, we also did archery and visited the 'badlands' scenery, swam in lakes and with fish in a freshwater swimming pool. We recommend doing all these to appreciate what the area has to offer. The hotel accommodation is very well presented and comfortable and your hosts Des and Ilaria are most welcoming and helpful.

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

I think that all activities were organised with local businesses and we were encouraged to visit places of historical/archaeological interest throughout the area. Recycling was very evident in terms of disposable cans, bottles etc.. There was no air conditioning which was liveable even in August heat, and this further conserves energy. The only thing we would prefer them to eliminate were the wasps!

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

We would rate this holiday very highly, particularly the approach of Des and Ilaria - nothing was too much trouble and they were always cheery and helpful. There are plenty of activities to do, sites to see and places to visit - would certainly recommend for a family holiday.

review 7 Sep 2014

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

The most memorable parts were doing some stunning walks - we were given great advice and info sheets on the local walks. Also walking to a nearby village to sample the well known local lamb chops for lunch. We loved the nearby village Castril which had a great outdoor pool and market. Also just having lovely food cooked every evening for us by Ilaria was heavenly and gave the holiday the most needed restful part as we are always too busy when back home doing activities/ school stuff and house stuff ...The location of El Geco Verde set in the rolling olive planted hills 3 kms from main road was great . Just amazing . Finally ;learning how to make good pizza - we now do this regularly back home as one of our fave family meals ...

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

Arrive by lunch time at Malaga airport as best to do the car journey before dark - its a 3 hour car journey. Ask Des for best sat nav instructions to the hotel that are not through Castril as this is the long way round if coming from Malaga.

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

yes - as we shopped local for lunctime stuff and used local companies to do Kayaking b/ stargazing and canyoning

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

It was really really good and I would like to return - either by myself to chill and walk or if we can organise ourselves and others like this summer then return next summer ....

review 6 Sep 2014

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

That is difficult since most of the holiday was memorable and exciting. Of particular note: the way Ilaria and Des, the children and Lola the dog welcomed us. Ilaria and Des did everything they could to meet our every need. The location of the hotel (well worth the dusty track)is very special. We all (with an age range of 11 -57) did the canyoning and loved it, the gorge is spectacular. There are very few English tourists, in-fact few tourists at all, which we consider to be a bonus.

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

Go with a sense of adventure. Try things out of your comfort zone - it's fun. You need to be fairly fit to fully enjoy some of the activities. You will need to hire a car. There is something for everyone, we enjoyed lots of energetic activities however we could easily have occupied ourselves with relaxation, walking and site seeing. Don't forget to tell Lola if you are going for a walk from the hotel, she will accompany you.

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

Yes: Local operators were used for all activities, the hotel reduces environmental impact as best it can. Local produce is used in Ilaria's lovely cooking. However you have to be realistic and accept that a plane trip is required to get there and you need a hire car.

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

Excellent - I would like to return, perhaps in the spring to see the rivers and waterfalls fuller with winter melt and the Olive blossom. We had a super time. The location of the hotel with its 360 degree views of olive groves and distant sound of sheep bells facilitated relaxation. The flexibility of and range of activities (we walked, cycled, kayaked, canyoned, rock climbed, visited villages, markets and historical sites and swam in municipal pools with fish!) kept everyone entertained.

review 13 Jul 2014

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

The most memorable aspect was the hotel itself and the great service provided by Ilaria and Des. They are fantastic hosts and arranged all the activities for us as well as providing notes for the various walks and excursions we did. My husband and sons particularly liked the canyoning.

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

Expect plenty of relaxation time as well as a good range of activities both physically demanding and more gentle such as the cookery lessons. Also you can change the duration of the holiday and the activities to suit yourselves.

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

Yes, all activities were run by local companies. Also the hotel is off grid and tries to minimise its impact on the environment.

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

We had a fabulous time and I am already planning to return in the springtime to see the rivers in full flow.

review 3 Jul 2014

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

The visit to the bronze age site. We had our own guided tour with Maria who was so enthusiastic with her wonderful broken English. A really fascinating trip.

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

Since its an exciting hairpin drive to the nearest town, it was simpler and far more enjoyable to eat the evening meal at the guest house. Wonderful cooking from Ilaria!

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

We boosted the local economy by eating out at many restaurants! The guest house operates a very practical environmental approach - solar panels, biomass boiler and hardly any waste.

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

Very relaxing. Derek and Ilaria were very helpful hosts. Couldn't have asked for better!

review 25 Apr 2014

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

Arriving after such a long drive to the most beautiful view, warm welcome and peaceful environment. We did some great hikes (full map and details supplied by Ilaria and Derek, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking and horse riding. The star gazing was also brilliant. Our son really enjoyed playing with other children that were staying and Ludo and Freddie. He also loved feeding the chickens and collecting their eggs.

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

Be prepared for the last part of the journey, it seems to take a long time but is worth it. Maybe stop at a supermarket / pharmacy if you need anything before you get there, as you are 20mins from any shops.

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

Yes. Ilaria and Derek run everything as 'greenly' as they can.

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

The holiday was excellent, we felt relaxed when leaving, the evening meals were fantastic, and all activities were arranged for us so there was no stress.

review 23 Aug 2013

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

The location of this hotel is absolutely idyllic. Our hosts made us feel at home as soon as we arrived and spent a lot of time and effort ensuring that all guests had as fulfilling time as possible. There were many highlights but I think my girls would say the canyon trip was their favourite. The astronomy evening was very special but for me I think the most memorable would be the impromptu jam we had under the stars playing and singing until the early hours.

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

This area is very rural and probably one of the most unspoilt parts of Spain. Consequently not many speak English - if you don't know Spanish take a phrase book. The hotel of course is English speaking (Derek not a typical Spanish name) and they will book the activities for you. Locally employed translators are usually in attendance at activities where necessary. It gets pretty hot in the summer but there are lots of water based activities. If you want to explore the national parks probably best to do that in May / June or September October.

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

All the activities are booked with local companies and no commission is taken by the hotel.

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

Fantastic, the whole family loved it and I have every intention in returning. There is so much to do in this area that you cannot possibly get it all in in one holiday.

review 28 Jul 2013

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

Canyoning in a gorge at the foot of an impressive reservoir wall. The local instructor provided all the equipment and the chilly mountain water was no bother with the full body wet suits on. With waterfalls flowing into the deep gorge from spring above, the views here were spectacular and a good contrast to the panoramic vista's you experience from the hotel and on the many possible hikes.

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

We were lucky enough to have the hotel to ourselves which meant it was possible to get lifts to the activities and into Castril from the generous hosts. However if advised we would recommend having access to a vehicle to allow you to explore the area and make the most of all the available activities. If you are planning to do the canyoning then you will need to take suitable trainers with you.

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

All the activities were done sustainably and used local guides / instructors. The area is currently relatively unknown to foreign tourism, and by integrating themselves into the local community, the operator is leading the way in showing the locals how to bring tourist to this beautiful area and boost the economy in a sustainable and sympathetic manner.

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

This holiday provided all the activities and breathtaking scenery you could want from an adventure holiday. The natural parks and reservoirs flourish due to natural spring water and provide waterfalls and swimming points along the hikes across the rolling mountain sides. The hotel had a very friendly and homely feel with excellent homemade food available at meal times. The room was very comfortable with great views and due to the buildings design naturally stayed at a cool temperature even in the 30 degree heat. Thoroughly recommend it!

review 26 Jul 2013

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

Everything!! We will always remember our first view of the accommodation; it is in a lovely setting and is a beautiful hotel. Ilaria gave us a very friendly greeting, which was just wonderful after our drive. Lola also greeted us and remained very attentive throughout our stay :) Our room was big, spacious and very comfortable. The beds are very comfortable and the bathroom is lovely. Ilaria cooked some wonderful meals and was particularly kind to Adam, always making sure he had plenty to eat and giving him big 'teenager' portions. The arrangements for activities were just brilliant; best horse riding ever and the canyoning was great (you need to have plenty of stamina for the canyoning but it is well worth it). We also enjoyed the bike rides (despite getting a bit lost!) Ilaria and Derek are wonderful hosts and deserve every success with this lovely hotel.

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

Ask Ilaria and Derek for directions to the accommodation as it can be challenging to find. When you get there enjoy the wonderful environment and very friendly atmosphere.

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

Yes. The hotel uses local produce and gently supports guests to make good use of resources and to take care of the environment.

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

Completely brilliant. Best holiday decision I've made in a long time. We didn't want to leave and are very keen to return.

review 22 Jul 2013

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

As a single Mum of an 11 year old, I was a bit nervous to be staying in a rural hotel as I have always opted for the "safe" option staying in a hotel with kids club and on site entertainment etc, but Ilaria and Derek made us both feel welcomed, as though into their home, from day one! I also wanted my son to experience the outdoors, away from computer games and TV, and I was not disappointed! Ilaria had pre-arranged the activities for us, saving us time on arrival and each activity was as enjoyable as the next. The kayaking was amazing, with my son leading the way up front. He was a little dubious of the horse riding at first, but he absolutely loved it! The archealogical site in Galera was fascinating, and although a little way out, was definitely worth the trip! The local village of Castril was only a short drive away, with a beautiful waterside walk and a stunning local swimming pool set in lush surroundings. The drive to the hotel from the airport had us travelling from motorway to mountains, through quaint villages, across spectacular reservoirs, through forests and desert plains, and in a 35 degree heat, we could still see snow on top of the Sierra Nevada! The most impressive of landscapes. I cannot point out the most memorable or exciting part of our holiday, as each day was a new adventure. The hospitality at the hotel was second to none, and the comfortable rooms were cool and welcoming. I know that this probably sounds too good to be true, but I have to say that this type of holiday has set me up for future holidays! My son had the best time and didn't want to come home and has already decided on the activities he wants to do "next time we go" ! A fantastic holiday all round. Thankyou!!

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

If you are nervous about taking a rural holiday, don't be! Just do it! You won't regret it. Make sure you have plenty of suncream, comfy walking shoes, a sense of adventure and insect repellent(just in case). I believe that the "Canyoning" was quite intense, so if you are going to do that as an activity, limber up before you go :)

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

The hotel was completely self-sufficient energy wise, with solar panels to heat the water and run the electricity (with the help of a generator).Local businesses definitely benefited as places of interest were being recommended, which I would never have known about had we not been told of them, even down to the Municipal swimming pool.

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

As a first timer staying in a rural hotel, I am a convert! An excellent all round holiday experience. Fun, sun, activities, relaxation, education and making new friends in a stunning location!

review 21 Feb 2013

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

The region is stunningly beautiful and the hiking is top-notch. Ilaria and Des go above and beyond to make sure their guests are happy and comfortable. Hardly any tourists are around during the off-season! The food is exquisite: tasty, perfect proportions and deeply satisfying. Their personal library (books and DVDs) is well-stocked and varied.

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

Bring hiking boots and clothing you don't mind getting muddy. Bring a camera: the landscape is breath-taking.

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

The entire building is off of the grid, the food is organic and local and it is possible to arrive by public transportation. THey encouraged us to visit local restaurants and museums. It was the first time I personally used a low wattage hair dryer and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it works and now hope to get my own. Everything is recycled.

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

Fantastic, relaxing, and inspiring! A great place for friends, families and couples.

review 23 Sep 2013

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

The open spaces and skies! and the amazing activities like wild swimming, horse-riding and canyoning..

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

Take your sense of adventure with you!

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

Activities support local tour operators Everything about hotel is eco-friendly.

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

10/10 !!!

review 26 Aug 2013

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

the canyoning was brilliant

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

have your food at the hotel because the three course meal every night was beautiful

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

yes because we had lunch out every day in the local towns

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

excellent, loved every minute of it

review 25 Aug 2013

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

We really enjoyed all the activities (kayaking, horse riding, canyoning, star gazing) as well as all the walks and things to do in the surrounding areas. Ilaria and Derek were great hosts, making us feel really welcome and providing us with lots of helpful information.

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

You definitely need a car to get about.

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

Yes - activities were run by a group of local families, the hotel was off grid and generated their own power through solar panels and there were bins for recycling.

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

Fantastic holiday - lots of activities to keep you busy but also very relaxing. Would definitely recommend to friends and family.

review 29 Jul 2013

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

We really enjoyed the fantastic food and views from the hotel. Our hosts were extremely helpful and friendly - nothing was too much trouble. All the family enjoyed the horse riding, kayaking and star gazing. Personally I really enjoyed a walk to a waterfall that Derek told us about - we had a lot of fun jumping into freezing cold pools in the river!

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

Bring long trousers for horse riding! The pool in Castril was fabulous. Great for kids - our son was 9 and had a lot of fun with the 2 children at the hotel and also was kept active most of the time.

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

Yes - it is a very green hotel - very caring to the environment and it was nice not to line the pockets of another big corporation!

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

Very highly - we really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it.

review 10 Jul 2013

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

The landscape - barren and rugged, quite breath-taking. The location of the hotel and the fantastic views.

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

Accept that you will need to drive for sight-seeing/activities, often on unmade roads. Very few local people speak English (take a phrase book or better still learn Spanish)

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

Up to a point, if you discount the fact that a plane and a car was necessary to reach the destination. I understand that the owners are striving to keep environmental impact to a minimum by use of solar energy. The activities offered were all provided by local people thereby benefiting the economy. The menu included locally sourced ingredients.

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

Very enjoyable. The hotel owners were very hospitable and keen to share their knowledge of the area, the food excellent and the hotel itself clean and comfortable with many unusual touches.

review 22 Jun 2013

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

The welcome and care provided by Ilaria and Derek and the views from their hilltop house (and in the surrounding area) were excellent. The couple were at hand to help plan our day and give tips and suggestions to make the most of our stay and nothing seemed too much trouble. Best place visited was Castillon Alto - fascinating.

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

Transport is essential and be prepared to drive for 30 to 75 minutes to see places of interest in the area and for some activities. All were worth the trip as the scenery in the area is very impressive. Canoeing on the lake and horse-riding through a village and surrounding countryside were particularly enjoyable. The star gazing at the hotel was fascinating and we know would have been even better if there had been no moon, so perhaps visit when there is no moon. Take a walking map of the area and a compass if you are intending to walk as directions alone may be a bit tricky to follow. Similarly a good road map of area would have been very useful. We ate at the hotel each evening - Ilaria's cooking was very good and varied so no reason to go elsewhere.

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

Supported local economy through activities undertaken and local produce eaten.

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

Very good. We will consider returning for relaxation and some challenging walking, lovely views and a range of activities. We would recommend the holiday to anyone with similar interests.

review 20 Apr 2013

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

The setting and scenery, the warm hospitality and relaxing, homely atmosphere and the peace and tranquility. Also the fact that Illaria and Derek were always on hand to share their local knowledge and to make helpful suggestions for whatever we wanted to do: walking, sightseeing, cultural visits plus other activities like mountain biking, horse riding etc. We were inspired to tackle walks that we never would have found on our own.

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

A perfect base for a family walking holiday - we loved the fact that we could just turn up and Illaria and Derek had lots of good ideas, and provided maps and directions for our walks on arrival, plus a delicious picnic if we needed one. We decided each morning whether we wanted dinner (which we did every night) . Children of all ages are very welcome.

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

Yes. The delicious food is mostly made on site from locally sourced ingredients and we also had a delicious fish stew that had been made locally. Illaria and Derek have gone to great lengths to limit the impact they make on the environment - in terms of their heating choices, availability of recycling facilities for guests, discouraging guests from changing bedding or towels unnecessarily and growing their own vegetables and keeping hens for eggs.

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

A fantastic retreat - exceptional hospitality in an incredibly beautiful place. We very much hope to return. The weather was not particularly kind to us - but it is such a wonderful place, that it more than made up for the poor weather and we still had a brilliant holiday.

review 28 Feb 2013

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

It is hard to pin-point one thing being the most memorable or exciting part of this holiday: the location, the hotel, the activities, the welcome and the food were all great. We particularly enjoyed the horse-riding and the hiking around the hotel. The surrounding landscape was stunning.

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

Buy your own water and other drinks, snacks, if you can, and take to the hotel with you. Although the cost of purchasing such items in the hotel is not expensive or unreasonable, you can pick up them up very cheaply in the local supermarkets.

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

Yes. Business was pushed towards local providers;the hotel is completely off-grid; there is a focus on re-cycling and conserving natural habitats.

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

A fantastic holiday. The welcome we received was warm and inviting. Our hosts, Ilaria and Derek, offered useful advice and guidance on where to go and what to do and were good company too. The evening meals were home-cooked and delicious. It is a stunning location - ideal for both relaxing and engaging in some physical and outdoor activities. The room we stayed in was comfortable and nicely furnished. We couldn't have wished for a better week and have brought some lovely memories home with us.

review 4 Jul 2012

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

The setting of the hotel is just idyllic, really in the middle of nature! All the activities were very good and we were in just a little group of 6 people, it felt very privileged. We signed up for the canyoning as well and that was truly exciting and a bit scary. The stargazing just fabulous, never seen so many stars! The food was very good and Ilaria and Derek (the hosts) could not be more helpful. We will definitely go back for more walking.

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

We had hired our own car and got a discount on the holiday. It gave us the freedom of doing more during the down time and also some independency after the activities. I would decently recommend it.

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

Definitely. All the activities were organised with local companies, some of the meals were as well taken at local restaurants. The hotels has lots of solar power.

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

Really good. We have recommended it to all our friends and we are planning of going back in October for more walking (the parks are stunning!)

review 7 Oct 2012

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

The whole holiday was memorable and exciting, definitely one of the best family holidays we have had. Highlights were swimming in a waterfall and kayaking in a beautiful lake but generally the surroundings and really relaxed hotel made it a great holiday. Ilaria at the hotel made sure we had everything we needed and booked all the activities we wanted as well as having great advice on where to go and what to do.

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

Just turn up and enjoy.

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

Yes, hotel very aware of its environmental impact.

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

Fab holiday.

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