Andalucia walking & self drive vacation, Spain

“A beautifully thought out two week, tailor made vacation itinerary for those who want to drive through Andalucia but have plenty of serious hiking along the way too. ”

Highlights

Self-drive itinerary | Independence & guided experiences | Boutique hotels & family-run B&Bs | Highlights & backstreets of Seville | Peaceful walking in Sierra de Aracena | Special tasting menu lunch | Stay in coastal white village | Chance to spot whales, dolphins & flamingos | Wild beaches of the Costa de la Luz & Cabo de Gata | Visit Ronda & Cordoba | Guided tour of Granada old town | Visit the Alhambra | Walk through silent olive groves | Explore mainland Europe's only desert

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this vacation or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Andalucia walking & self drive vacation, Spain

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

On this vacation your hotels are owned and run to the direct benefit of both their local communities and environments. In Mairena the hotel sources its food locally from small, independent producers. By staying in local hotels of this nature, and eating in local restaurants, you will be contributing to the purchase of local produce, and thereby helping to maintain the agricultural output which so defines the area.

We have selected the hotels, particularly in the Alpujarra and Cabo de Gata, based in no small part on their sustainable credentials. The majority of the energy for the hotel in Mairena is produced by solar power, while the water is mainly sourced from the property’s own well. In Cabo de Gata your hotel again has a very low impact on the environment. It also runs largely on solar power. Waste water is recycled and used for the toilets as well as for any watering of the garden that is required in this arid area. Given the potential for water shortage in these parts, the hotel does not have a swimming pool. The buildings have been constructed using only sustainable materials, for example they have used cork for insulation purposes. Low energy lighting is used throughout and can also be controlled centrally to ensure sustainable usage.

Community

We are passionate about helping our clients see a slice of the ‘real’ Spain, and this vacation has very much been designed with that in mind. We are extremely mindful that in visiting and enjoying authentic areas, our clients should both understand any issues facing their hosts and contribute positively to the destination with their visit.

The large majority of this vacation (other than the two nights in Granada) is spent amongst small rural communities, who have had to contend with emigration to the cities, unemployment and falling produce prices. When our owner was researching this trip, he was intrigued to find that the excellent local olive oil is still produced with a traditional press – one of only two remaining in Andalucia - which produces the oil in the same way used since Roman times. However, this pays so little that many of the farmers take payment in oil rather than wages. Visitors to the village help to sustain interest in such traditional practices and give them a chance to survive.

Mairena is the sort of place where everybody knows everybody else, and we make sure our clients are well informed and received during their stay. The local guides we employ on this vacation ensure that our clients get the best experience from their local knowledge, and consequently support local businesses. Similarly, in Cabo de Gata, we provide clients with detailed information on locally owned restaurants.

1 Reviews of Andalucia walking & self drive vacation, Spain

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 07 Jul 2019 by

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


Our time spent in the Sierra de Aracena and Sierra Subbética were a pleasant surprise. As less visited areas of Spain, they are beautiful and relaxing.

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


It can be tailored to your needs. We had time restrictions as to number of days traveling and needed the tour to begin in Madrid. The tour was customized
for this.

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


We definitely used local guides, ate at local restaurants, bought from local merchants. Some of the hotels were "green" rated.

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


It was with a pleasant series of emails that we planned our trip with David; once we had outlined our tastes and limitations or restrictions, everything fell into
place. Even given that we were on the short end of the time required to book such a trip, everything was wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Spain. There was a pleasant balance between city touring and country exploration, expert guides, comfortable lodging and great food. I have been singing their
praises. We hope to be able to travel with this agency again as it truly was the type of vacation we appreciate.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Anne,

Thank you so much for taking the time to post a review of your trip with us on the Responsible Travel site. It's wonderful to hear you had such a good time, and
thank you for letting your friends know about us, that's a wonderful compliment!

I'm particularly pleased that you liked Aracena and the Sierra Subbética so much, these are exactly the type of more hidden corners of Spain that we love to
share with our clients. Our key goal with all our trips is to get you closer to the county and its people, it sounds like we were pretty successful on this front,
which is very pleasing.

Of course we'd love to have you travel with us again, so please do get in touch when you're thinking of heading back to Spain (or Portugal). We have lots of
ideas that I think you'll love and, as you say, are always happy to tailor these to each client.

All the best,

David

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