3 independent reviews for Aracena Hills walking vacation, Spain

Reviews for Aracena Hills walking vacation, Spain

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review 1 Jun 2010

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

This is the definition of an uncrowded walking vacation through peaceful fields, tracks, and ancient villages. The cork oaks, olives, and chestnut trees are unique to this area and were even more sensual in person than in the photos that inspired my trip. Ancient cobbled paths and churches or castles from the 12th and 13th centuries were culturally fascinating. And the people are most friendly and good hearted--one of my favorite hiking trips ever. I would love to return in the fall to see the harvests and foliage changes. Also, Lucy and Angel at the accommodation (our local hosts and contact) were absolutely a blast, great cooks, very welcoming and helpful. They have created a lovely restful place there where I could see spending a month!!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Bring a compass, and get better hiking notes than those provided. Travelers checks are useless, and ATMs are everywhere, even in the tiny whitewashed villages! A little spanish goes a long way here and is needed in the small towns.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Benefitted local people, yes. Minimized impact yes, although having the bags delivered to each hotel seems a lot of petrol wasted when the same person drives out from the base hotel each day to deliver them. Why not have a local means of transport from each hotel to the next?

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

Excellent, but a bit frustrating in always trying to decipher the walking notes even with the better map provided by our fantastic local host, Lucy. The route is varied and the hiking distances are very achievable with several hours to spare before dinner each night.

review 19 May 2006

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

Best bit was the fantastic range and quantity of wild flowers and attractive, varied scenery.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Aim to walk most of the daily hike in the morning, before it is too hot, then spend a few hours over a long lunch in the shade. 3. Do you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment? Yes, the walking certainly did, as I spent a long time in a very small area, minimising travel impacts. The small hotels also were all locally run and created employment in relatively rural areas.

4. Any other comments?

Some stories to tell the grand children, I would not hesitate to recommend it, and indeed already have.

review 7 Jan 2005

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

Visiting/trekking in the gorge between Grazalema and Zahara where the Griffin Vultures nest.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Really try to make 100% sure of the total routes between locations if you are traveling from one area to another by car. Instructions seem to written by those who are familiar with the area and sometimes do not take account of strangers' unfamiliarity with the area. They make assumptions that can lead you astray.

3. Any areas for improvement?

Mainly '2' above. Also some walk instructions could be clearer, particularly at the start. I found that tourist staff at Grazalema were unable to speak English and their maps were not particularly descriptive and were of the wrong scale.

Read the operator's response here:

"Feedback relates to a slightly different vacation (Andalucia Self-Drive) and is therefore not strictly relevant to our Aracena walking vacation. However, with regards comments made, driving directions and walking notes are updated, on average, twice a year to take account of client feedback and changes in signage/road or path layout, etc. Staff in the Grazalema park office are supposed to speak English although it appears that on this particular day no English speaking staff were on duty. We will obviously keep our eye on the situation."

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