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A Walking Week with Chris Stewart

Las Alpujarras – long summer evenings
Holiday information
Nights: 7
Grades: moderate walking (flexible options)
Terrain: valleys, terraces, hillside trails
Climate: plentiful sunshine throughout the year
Accommodation: characterful rural hotel
Meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches or picnics, 1 tapas dinner, 6 gastronomic dinners
Max: 16 persons
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Life in an Alpujarran Village
If you cannot make these dates in November, we offer week-long stays at the Casa de las Chimeneas (without Chris), which also give you unique insights into village life in the Alpujarras.
This Holiday in a nutshell
  • single-centre walking holiday in the company of author Chris Stewart
  • local walks and trips accompanied by Chris and other guests
  • feel part of the community, with insights into local ways of life
  • excellent regional gastronomy - learn to cook Alpujarran dishes
  • rewarding and varied walking
  • excursions to Almeria, Calahorra and Guadix
  • airport transfers included

This fascinating week takes place where the almond-coated hills of Las Alpujarras flank the southern slopes of the dramatic Sierra Nevada, the highest mountains in mainland Spain. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty, with characteristic whitewashed villages tumbling down terraced valleys, and the ancient Moorish irrigation systems that are a testament to the area’s long and colourful past. Here, you will find a hardy people who have worked these landscapes for centuries; theirs is a traditional way of life that seems untouched by the passage of time.

Mairena, the main base for your holiday, is one such Alpujarran village whose hard-working inhabitants adhere to a simple way of life, based upon a sound knowledge of the terrain and climate. With the help of your knowledgeable hosts, Emma and David Illsley, you have the opportunity to become much more than just a spectator, immersing yourself in the gentle rhythms of the south.

Your time in Mairena is spent in the company of award-winning author Chris Stewart who not only accompanies you on a number of scenic walks and excursions that explore this alluring corner of southern Spain, but he also spends the week at the hotel as a fellow guest, sharing his views, thoughts and memories.

In early November, the tallest summits have their first coat of snow, adding greatly to the drama of the scenery. However, on those days when the snow-laced winds blow down from the high Sierra, the hotel kitchen will be steaming with great pots of migas, or olive oil polenta eaten with sardines, considered, a bit like porridge, to protect you from the cool mountain air.

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