FORGET THE COSTAS
The UK-based specialist in active outdoor holidays to Spain, Pura Aventura has unveiled four brand new Spanish adventures for 2016. These include a new inn to inn walking route in the Ordesa National Park, an area of the Pyrenees hitherto untouched by tourists. The new range of all-action itineraries also offers walking with shepherds and dining like kings in Basque country (home to a 2016 European Capital of Culture); a family foray of hiking, biking and canyoning in the Picos mountains, and a journey on two feet from the mountains to the Catalan coast
Walk with Shepherds and Dine like Kings on a Basque Foodie Explorer
This self-drive journey exploring the myriad flavours of the Basque Country's coastline, mountains and vineyards, finishes in San Sebastian, currently a Capital of Culture. Gastronomy is part of the Basque identity and guests will explore all corners of their taste buds, winding from urban kitchens to bustling markets and artisan food producers, and from the vibrant wines of Rioja Alavesa to the paprika-spiced txistorra sausage. Hands-on foodie experiences include walking in the hills with a shepherd who produces Idiazabalcheese; meeting the harvesters of Spain's finest salt; tying on an apron to create Basque tapas dishes known as pintxo; and helping to bottle vintage wine on a family vineyard. Stay in comfortable characterful hotels, ranging from a striking modern hotel to a beautifully restored 17th Century palace. Price: 10 nights costs from £1,995pp based on two sharing, including accommodation, 9 breakfasts, 2 dinners, 3 lunches, guided activities and excursions, and detailed notes and maps. Flights to Bilbao are extra.
Explore Hitherto Un-travelled Paths on the Pyrenees Inn to Inn
Discover the most beautiful parts of the high Pyrenees with its peaks, valleys, forests and villages of the remote Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Parks. These are the highest limestone mountains in Europe, home to the last of the Pyrenean glaciers and endemic species of flora and fauna. Walking along ancient paths between villages, encounter the changing terrain from sunny Mediterranean forests to narrow gorges with crystal blue waters and grasslands with views of the surrounding glaciers and peaks. The walking is strenuous with distances of between 6-12 miles a day and substantial climbs of up to 500 metres. Guests stay in a mixture of dramatically located boutique hotels, traditional Paradors, mountain-style hostels, and a homestay with a local artist. Price: 8 nights costs from £1,075pp based on two sharing including half board, some picnics, car hire, luggage transfers between inns, briefing, walking notes and maps, and a GPS with route loaded. Flights to Barcelona are extra.
Family Mountain Adventures Away from the Crowds - Picos Family Explorer
The Picos de Europa is one of Spain’s foremost UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and is ideal for families who love exploring away from the crowds. This new itinerary provides a mixture of independent exploring and private guiding by foot, canoe, bike and river. Families stay in a comfortable mountain inn, with a warm welcome and a comfy bed each night. Highlights include a guided canoe adventure; a slide drop down a mountain stream; Stand Up Paddleboarding in the calm waters of Playa del Poo; and hiking along a Roman road to a ridge with stunning views of all three of the Picos massifs. With an ever-present rich cultural heritage, learn how rural communities live from small-scale agriculturalists who still scythe the hay by hand to artisan food producers baking bread in wood-fired ovens (pan de lena). Price: 7 nights costs from £797pp, including B&B accommodation, car hire, guided excursions, activities and entrances. Flights to Santander or Bilbao are extra.
Walk from Mountains to the Sea – Catalonia Inn to Inn
Walking from the high forested slopes of La Garrotxa Natural Park, travel from the mountains to the sea, passing through gentle landscapes of lakeside villages, forests of beech, cork and holm oaks, hilltop hamlets, over the Guixeres range and down into the pretty fishing coves of the Mediterranean. This active walking holiday includes several long, steady days on foot. Sleep in a succession of charming small hotels, many of which are original historic buildings with a taste of the cultural heritage. Highlights include a day in Girona, a city rich in history, where Catalan is the lingua franca rather than Spanish; and the perfectly preserved medieval architecture of the village of Madremanya, typical of the Empordá region, one of the most beautiful in Spain. Price: 7 nights costs from £1,058pp based on two sharing including half board, some picnics, luggage transfers between inns, briefing, walking notes and maps, and a GPS with route loaded. Flights to Girona are extra.