This trip can be tailormade throughout the year and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary
Traveling with a local operator
This vacation is operated by a company based in the vacation destination and they will be able to provide expert local knowledge. They will be able to tailor make your vacation to suit your requirements not only concerning the dates of travel but also typically the standard of accommodation, and thus price. It is rare for local operators to be able to help with the booking of your flights.
Responsible tourism: Activity vacation in Andalucia, Spain
Our objective is to maintain a low impact, sustainable business which employs local people, using locally sourced or home grown produce, allowing visitors the opportunity to sample traditional village life in a non-obtrusive manner, and to explore the hills and mountains along the ancient network of mule tracks , with zero or minimal effect on the fragile eco-system.
At the start of each tour guests are fully briefed on different aspects of life in Spanish villages as well as given guidelines and suggestions to minimise damage to the environment out on the trails. Spanish customs and social mores (behaviour at Spanish fiesta for example) are discussed as well as the importance of water conservation and information about local farming and watering. Guests are given the opportunity buy local produce as well as given directions to important cultural or historic sites.
Everyone we employ lives within the village. The same is true of the builders and tradesmen we have worked with to restore several local houses. The bulk of our purchasing is done at the nearest market town, and we actively encourage our guests to visit local shops which offer wine, honey, olive oil, tapestry work, sun-dried foods, carpentry and ceramics all produced within the community. We are currently in the early stages of an ambitious project to create a charity based work creation scheme whose aim is to create 10 full time positions for the conservation and maintenance of the local landscape.
We maintain a 4 hectare finca, or local farm, working with local people and using traditional agricultural techniques. As such we are members of the watering community, an ancient, near sacred body responsible for the upkeep of the network of water channels without which the whole massif would quickly desertify. Our farm is recognised by the soil association as organic, using goat manure from the village and compost from kitchen leftovers. We are members of an organic growers group, and are active members of various pressure groups campaigning against unregulated intensive farming. All our properties are built from locally available materials, using magnesium clay (launa) as insulation over the beams of poplar trees grown for this purpose on our farm.
The support and trust that our neighbours in the village have placed in us provides great satisfaction and great responsibility. Hey ! We live here, our boys were born here, after 14 years we still love it here, we're in it for the long haul and we resolve to protect and sustain our lovely home and its environs to the best of our abilities .
1 Reviews of Activity vacation in Andalucia, Spain
4 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on 08 May 2008 by Charlotte Adcock
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
Visiting the Alhambra Palace in Granada was amazing - it was a hot sunny day with many visitors but we still managed to explore the Palace and discover its peacefulness and innate beauty. We also loved exploring the Sierra Nevada mountains on foot. A stunning, awesome landscape - it literally took our breath away as we reached the snow capped summits.
Wonderful delicious food and wine - added an extra dimension to the vacation - cooked and presented with love by the chef. Fantastic. Also, the hosts local knowledge. They were fascinating to talk to and happy to share their knowledge. We would have had a lesser vacation without them.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
Book a visit to the Alhambra Palace a few weeks in advance and try to get an afternoon slot - we had morning - so that you can visit the rest of the Palace in the morning once you have collected your tickets. Work out what you need to see before you go in, and get to see Genarlife, Alcazar and Nasrid Palaces in your booked afternoon slot. Also take food in as you cant buy substantial food and drink once inside.
Plan travel well before you go. Our vacation involved a lot of car trips.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?
Didn't minimise impacts - we did a lot of traveling by car, but local people employed who were wonderful and added something special to the experience. I did offset our flights too.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
Excellent value (apart from travel) - travel to and from airport costly if by car which was only possibility on return journey.