Cooking and walking vacation, Spanish Pyrenees

“A small group tour, for a week, with gentle walking and superb cooking on the outskirts of Ordesa NP and Monte Perdido. Staying in 17th century guesthouse. ”

Highlights

Albella | Walking in Ordesa National Park | Monte Perdito | Walking in Spanish Pyrenees | Torla | Somontano wine region, Aragon | Views of Monte Perdido and Brecha de Roland

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03 May 2020
1395
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6 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 03 May 2020 departure
28 Jun 2020
1395
excluding flights
Full
 
05 Jul 2020
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20 Sep 2020
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04 Oct 2020
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Responsible tourism

Cooking and walking vacation, Spanish Pyrenees

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Environment

We are passionate about the environment and the wildlife where we live. The Ordesa National Park is a World Biosphere Reserve and a ‘Special Protection Area for Birds’ with over 171 species, including the rare Lammergeier or Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus Barbatus). We support the Lammergeier Conservation Foundation by using guides from the Foundation, visiting the raptor feeding stations with guests and selling the Foundation T-shirts. This helps fund a breeding program in our area which has had great success.

There are also well over 100 species of butterflies and moths in our area, including the rare and beautiful Isabelina Moth (Actias Isabellae) and the Giant Peacock Moth (Saturnia Pyri). We have been successful in hatching the eggs and releasing the caterpillars for these moths.

At the farmhouse we have geothermal heating and hot water with minimal environmental impact. We also harvest rainwater for both the irrigation of our vegetable patch and garden, and for the washing machine.

We recycle all we can, including building materials and furniture. For example all the vanity units in the luxury bathrooms are unique secondhand pieces of furniture, adapted with a granite top and basin. All the furniture in the house is antique or secondhand and has been or is in the process of being restored by Simon, your host. Many of the external doors are secondhand and have been adapted.

The beams and stone from the four year renovation of the property have been reused throughout the building process. We continue to reuse this material now as we landscape the garden.

Community

We support the local economy wherever possible by employing guides, experts and teachers from our area. We offer english lessons to our guides, providing them with a greater opportunity for work.

We involve our neighbours with our vacations, offering the possibility to visit their houses which have changed little through the centuries. This gives a unique insight into the culture and traditions of the high Pyrenees. In return we make donations to the village fund, for amongst other things the maintenance of our historic chapel of San Urbez (hermitage).
We also offer a guided visit to the chapel of San Urbez, explaining the stories about our saint, his miracles and the architectural features. For this, we ask our guests for a donation in the chapel collection box.

We are involved in trying to preserve and restore the local pathways, acting as volunteers as the need arises.

15 Reviews of Cooking and walking vacation, Spanish Pyrenees

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Reviewed on 16 Oct 2019 by

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


How expertly Lucy and Simon planned our activities, choose our guides and related to the local people. The activities were so great it is impossible to pick just one.

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


Be prepared for limited internet access and just enjoy being mostly unplugged. Wear good hiking boots.

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


Yes. Simon and Lucy tried very hard to find sustainable solutions and sourced many supplies from small local producers.

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


Fantastic. We have been independent travelers for many years. This among our best vacations ever.

Reviewed on 13 Oct 2019 by

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


Walking the near the top of the Pyrenees

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


Book it! Be prepared for a vacation packed with fun, good food, history, spectacular scenery and great hosts.

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


Very eco-friendly and utilised local people, services and attractions.

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


Best vacation ever!

Reviewed on 23 Sep 2019 by

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


Spectacular views & great hospitality. Nothing was too much trouble.

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


Good walking boots were essential as the terrain was quite rugged. Apart from that, be prepared to go with the flow!

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


Definitely. The guide employed for our walks was a local expert on the area, we visited 2 small local cheese producers & our hosts were very environmentally aware in every aspect of recycling, re-using & growing their own organic vegetables

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


Excellent

Reviewed on 13 May 2019 by

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


The warm generous hospitality of the family who run the trip and the peace and beauty of the place that they have so tastefully renovated. The laughs we all had cooking some of our meals.

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


Just choose which activity suits you and BOOK. I am definetly going back.

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


Definetly. It gives locals work using them as walking guides, teachers and specialists such as ornithologists. Also you visit local small businesses such as goats cheese making and olive oil bottling.

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


Absolutely 100% brilliant and would give 10 stars if I could.

Reviewed on 22 Oct 2018 by

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


We had 2 guided walks and the one in the Ordessa Valley up in the heights was amazing.

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


It's quite a remote area so a fair bit of driving to get to things if you want to see the national parks etc
Ask a question and Lucy and Simon will know the answers, or find it out for you, very knowledgeable and experienced.
The hosts like to pay attention to every detail to give you the best vacation so when they ask for height and width it's not to set the calorific value of the food it's so they match you to the best bedroom configuration. They really listen to what you want and try to give the best experience.
Note no TV. They have lots of books!

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


Definitely.

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


Very good. We were on a cooking and walking trip and it exceeded our expectations to include wine tasting, beer making, local history, supermarket visit, castles, apple pressings, bird watching, animal spotting, amazing waterfalls, honeyman, coffees, local restaurants, bird watching, gardening, fine food and and and.

Reviewed on 28 Sep 2018 by

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


The stunning scenery and the geological explanations and guidance provided by Lucy

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


Be prepared to be bowled over by hospitality, ambience and experience

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


Yes with introduction to local, small scale producers of honey, olive oil, cheese and world class wines. Coupled with using local guides with a passion
for the environment.

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


Excellent, travelled solo but hope to come back with family and friends.

Reviewed on 17 Sep 2018 by

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


The lovely restored 17th century home was in a beautiful location with great hikes in the surrounding hills and also in the spectacular Ordessa national park. Our hosts were great, catering to a group with different abilities and fitness levels, ensuring that we enjoyed all aspects of the vacation.

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


Relax and enjoy the great scenery and freshest produce.

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


Our hosts were very environmentally aware, reusing building materials in the renovated house, recycling and composting, growing much of the produce used in the cooking classes and for our meals. Other produce was sourced from small local growers and local markets. They have a policy of employing only local guides and drivers.

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


Absolutely fabulous. The highlight of our trip to Spain.

Reviewed on 17 Sep 2018 by

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


Discovering the incredible beauty of the Pyrenees. Great walks planned by
Simon and Lucy with delicious picnic lunch to enjoy along the way.

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


Relax and leave all planning to Simon and Lucy. Wonderful walks and then
back to prepare dinners.

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


Definitely benefited local people. Visited local cheese maker, beekeeper, vineyard and more.

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


Simon and Lucy incredibly thoughtful hosts in beautiful setting. Great food,
eating out on patio, meeting local people and wonderful walking. Vacation couldn’t have been better!

Reviewed on 18 May 2018 by

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




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




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




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


First class. Lucy and Simon could not have been more helpful and accommodating and so knowledgeable.

Reviewed on 14 May 2018 by

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


Watching bearded & gryphon vultures flying in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Brilliant guide, fabulous scenery, not difficult walking.

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


Contact Lucy or Simon if you have any questions- always helpful. Be honest about your fitness level for the walking

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


Yes. The guides were local people & the products used in food preparation were local too. The owners were very aware of environmental issues & supported conservation projects.

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


A good mix of walking/cooking/geology/local culture and all in a quiet place: lovely scenery & very friendly company

Reviewed on 30 Oct 2017 by

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


Meeting a great bunch of like minded people on our trip including our hosts. The mix of activities we did worked really well, not just the cooking and walking but also everything else we managed to do including wine tasting, visiting the olive oil co-operative, evening visits to local historical town, and more. The walking for me was a bit special as we had a very high return for our efforts with respect to views, and great info from our enthusiastic guides and great company in amazing weather!

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


If you go at this time of year, be adaptable with respect to temperature as you will need sun cream and shorts in the sun, but layers in the evening and shade. In the bottom of steep valleys such as Odessa, you will be in the shade for some of the time and it will be chilly when you are. Speak to Simon and Lucy with any requests or concerns- they are very adaptable and accommodating to each persons needs as well as the groups.

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


Absolutely. Several different guides were used, and local produce. Part of the cooking included selecting product from the garden. One of the walks we did was focused on seeing the Bearded and Griffin Vultures and how the community including our hosts are supporting the reintroduction of the bearded vultures (which we got great views of).

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


Not just an excellent vacation but also a great experience.

Reviewed on 07 May 2017 by

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


The beauty of the landscape, the freshness of the air, delicious food and invigorating walks. I could go on.....

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


Very important to come prepared for changes in weather, although we had been told that anyway. But it may mean being flexible with regard to the itinerary. Warning - the food is so good you could put on weight!

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


Very much so. Lucy and Simon have employed local people to help renovate the house and as drivers, guides and teachers. This is ongoing. They are passionate about wildlife and the environment and get involved with local projects so are well known in the area as people who care. They are also very knowledgeable about the area, its history, geography, geology, etc, which made it all the more interesting.

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


It was wonderful. I feel very much refreshed after it and it is heartening to know such places exist. Lucy and Simon have just the right balance of friendliness and professionalism and seem to have thought of everything in terms of what guests might need.
Can I just say, I would certainly give this a 5 but I think your choice of comment could be better. There are many different types of vacation so, for example, it would be hard to compare it with a trip to the Antarctic or the jungle. So 'best vacation ever' is not really appropriate in my view!

Reviewed on 07 Nov 2017 by

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


The hikes were enjoyable with beautiful scenery all along

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


Expect not to have free time

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


This was an environment friendly vacation for sure, our hosts are in a small community which means relying on local people most of the time.


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


Very well planned and organized vacation and a feeling of living with a family, truly a memorable vacation.

Reviewed on 16 Oct 2016 by

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


The location of this stunning and natural area in the Aragon Pyrenees with very contrasted hiking trails . The national parks had such a diverse range of
shorter trails with historic routes chapels, bridges and hermitages.
Superb hosts Simon & Lucy and accommodation and amenities that exceeded my expectations can not be faulted .
Food for all meals was outstanding.
The combination of walking and cooking was a perfect blend . I learnt so much about this area and gained an appreciation of geology .
I now have a great spanish cooking repertoire and learnt lots of handy hints

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


Highly recommended. Great for solo travelers.
Be prepared to be active . This location is also great if you feel like a non active day-off .

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


Certainly as local guides used in addition to Lucy & Simon ,
We visited local businesses and cafes, artisan food product makers and places you would never discover if doing your own itinerary and travel plans.

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


EXCEPTIONAL. Exceeded my expectations on so many levels. From the quality of accommodation and attention to detail with all aspects of the week . From
being picked up at train station and being greeted by Simon with cooler in van with water & refreshments on hand to every day being a great adventure and
exploration of the Aragon region.

Reviewed on 12 Oct 2016 by

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


Breathtaking canyon walks far exceeding my imagination. Not forgetting having the experience of a lifetime as two Lamagayers (bearded cultures
with 3metre wingspan) glided past me just a couple of metres away. Amazing.

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


Just book it. Simon and Lucy are such great hosts that they will adapt the vacation so you make the most of it.

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


Yes all of the above.

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


Brilliant. I couldn't fault it. Cooking and walking both superb.

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