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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Spanish classes + stunning hikes in Picos de Europa
From €400 7 days excluding flights