Sierra de Aitana walking vacation in Andalucia, Spain

“Just a few miles from the Med but a world away from the Costas, this week of walking in the Sierra de Aitana presents Andalucía away from the tourists.”

Highlights

Benimantell village | Peña del Rastrell | Guadalest Valley | Serrella Peak | visit a local olive oil factory | walk from Penya Roc to Collado Papatxi | summit Puig Campana (1410m) | options to scale Aitana Peak, visit a chocolate factory and enjoy a day at the beach near Villa Joiosa |

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11 Dec 2016
US $ 1285
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15 Jan 2017
US $ 1315
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05 Feb 2017
US $ 1315
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12 Feb 2017
US $ 1315
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26 Feb 2017
US $ 1315
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05 Mar 2017
US $ 1315
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12 Mar 2017
US $ 1315
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25 Mar 2017
US $ 1315
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02 Apr 2017
US $ 1315
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16 Apr 2017
US $ 1315
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07 May 2017
US $ 1365
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21 May 2017
US $ 1365
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04 Jun 2017
US $ 1365
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10 Sep 2017
US $ 1365
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24 Sep 2017
US $ 1365
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01 Oct 2017
US $ 1315
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22 Oct 2017
US $ 1315
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05 Nov 2017
US $ 1315
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26 Nov 2017
US $ 1315
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03 Dec 2017
US $ 1315
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10 Dec 2017
US $ 1315
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07 Jan 2018
US $ 1345
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14 Jan 2018
US $ 1345
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11 Feb 2018
US $ 1345
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25 Feb 2018
US $ 1345
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11 Mar 2018
US $ 1345
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01 Apr 2018
US $ 1345
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15 Apr 2018
US $ 1345
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06 May 2018
US $ 1395
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03 Jun 2018
US $ 1395
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23 Sep 2018
US $ 1395
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30 Sep 2018
US $ 1345
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21 Oct 2018
US $ 1345
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04 Nov 2018
US $ 1345
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25 Nov 2018
US $ 1345
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09 Dec 2018
US $ 1345
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Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Sierra de Aitana walking vacation in Andalucia, Spain

Accommodation and Meals:
The whole trip is based at El Trestellador Pension, which is a clean, simple and comfortable accommodation in the village of Benimantell. The hotel is run by a local family and a few other people from the village. As Benimantell is a quiet village, the hotel is a valuable provider of employment and income- especially for young people in the area. The pension is surrounded by olive groves and they produce their own olive oil, oranges, apples, spinach and other seasonal vegetables. Where meals are provided, they will consist of locally produced ingredients and traditional recipes wherever possible. The pension is renowned for regional specialties like spencat, minxos (small pancakes) and oven-baked rice served with local wine.

Local Craft and Culture:
With there being so much good, locally produced food in this region of Spain, it would be a shame not to support these cottage industries as much as possible. We encourage guests to attend market days and cooperatives where locals gather to sell their organic fruit and veg. This provides a good insight into daily activities and agricultural lifestyle for many in the region, whilst clients can support small scale local production at the same time. On the free day we recommend visiting Vila Joiosa, where there is a chocolate museum and factory and a winery- where you can take a guided tour.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with trekking trips especially with late spring and summer temperatures and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. We suggest that instead of repeatedly buying bottled water, guests should use the fresh water springs on the way to re-fill a singular container. These springs are clean and are a wonderful resource for reducing plastic waste, or guests can simply re-fill at the hotels where they stay. We also use recyclable cloth bags for picnics in a bid to minimise other disposable packaging.

Activity:
Few vacations have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a walking and trekking trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We also employ local people regularly for footpath maintenence. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants, use markets to purchase traditional gifts and crafts and get a real impression of this area of Spain.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

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