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A Walking Week with Chris Stewart

Las Alpujarras – land of olive and almond trees

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We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, since 2 October 2015 we have included a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we now publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

KaBu, Scotland   October 2018

An excellent walking holiday with a difference. Having Chris Stewart with us on most days was a delight. Similarly David Illsley's knowledge of the history of the region enhanced the holiday experience as did the other David's knowledge of natural history. Emma and David have a great team working for them at Las Chimeneas and every one of the staff made a huge contribution to my enjoyment of the week's activities. The food was fantastic and I hope to recreate one or two of the recipes using their book.

Mrs L Sutherland  South Africa October 2018

Emma and David and their staff from Casa Las Chimeneas are wonderful hosts, who went out of their way to make our stay comfortable, interesting and memorable. The food was absolutely exquisite, every meal provided for with great care by the chefs and kitchen staff, providing for everyone's dietary needs. The accommodation was lovely - we had a fully-equipped, charming cottage to ourselves with a fireplace, constantly supplied with wood. The bed was oh-so-cosy, with a duck-down duvet, which kept us warm even when it snowed! It was my first experience of snow (we're from South Africa!) and David indulged me by driving us up to the snow-line for a moment of magic. The walks were great, not too strenuous and the scenery spectacular. There was always a car available when we reached a village at a halfway point, in case anyone had enough for the day. David is a fount of interesting historical knowledge, which he shared while walking with us. Las Chimeneas also had a handful of helpers, who kept us entertained, added conversation to dinners and hikes, and were just fun to hang out with. On a very rainy day, our hosts drove us out to Almeria, a moorish port city - it was a thoughtful addition to our holiday, to allow for the weather. The highlight of the trip, was, of course, meeting the author Chris Stewart. It was a crazy dream come true, for big fans of his books. He is a wonderful person, a great guide to the Alpujarras and enthralling story-teller. He invited us to lunch at his farm, Al Valero (yes, the one from the books!). Chris and his wife, Ana, laid out a delicious spread for us, while we lazed on the patio over glasses of wine and explored the little oasis of a garden the two of them have created over thirty years, with hard labour and loads of love. We met the sheep, cats and dogs and crossed the famous river. We are grateful for the beautiful experience and truly memorable holiday that all these people provided for us. We would also recommend the team at Inntravel for organising and promoting this little gem.

Mrs J Reid  Galashiels October 2017

This holiday was everything and more than we could have hoped for. It was our first time walking with a group and as such we did not quite know what to expect. We were extremely fortunate to be in the company of a like-minded group of individuals. Christ Stewart was an amazing companion on the walks and on the evenings he joined us for dinner. Our visit to his home El Valero was incredible. It brought his books to life. We felt very privileged to be welcomed to his home by him and his wife. It will be one of our most memorable holiday experiences

Mr P Neale  Royston October 2017

A nice relaxing and very enjoyable holiday. Chris Stewart is a great walking companion and our visit to El Valero for lunch was a real provilege and joy for us all. 

Mrs R Tooze  Rugby October 2017

Everything about this holiday was positive. Flights and transfers were punctual and comfortable. The village accommodation at Las Chimeneas was excellent, the communal facilities were good, food first class, and service faultless. There was a variety of wines, beers and spirits available, as well as soft drinks, all at very reasonable prices. Our hosts, Emma and David, were very attentive. Chris Stewart was great company, entertaining us with his tales as well as playing guitar. Highlights of the week were the visit to Chris and Ana's place, El Valero, and the paella lunch cooked over a fire-pit at Emma and David's finca. We do not consider ourselves to be particularly fit but found that the walks were achievable within our ability, and the scenery is stunning. Overall, we would recommend this holiday and would consider returning ourselves to experience the area at a different time of year.

Mr S Davies  Reading October 2017

This was our first group walking holiday and we very much enjoyed the experience, although it was a group of varied ability and my wife cannot rush on uphill stretches - of which there are many!! Meeting, walking and talking with Chris Stewart was the reason behind this holiday choice and we were not disappointed. The hospitality extended to us all by Chris and Ana, at El Valero, was warm and generous and certainly memorable. Chris, David and Emma are so enthusiastic about the history, culture and geography of the region that one could not fail to be enthralled. David and Emma are excellent hosts and are supported by a wonderful team at Las Chimeneas. Definitely a venue to recommend to others.

Anon   November 2016

A really wonderful week away - beautiful scenery; fresh, clear mountain air; fine, varied walking; delicious food; excellent company and knowledgeable, entertaining guides. Great to meet Chris Stewart and learn at first hand about his love for Las Alpujarras. I felt like I had been away for much longer. So glad we managed to fit in the evening trip to the Alhambra as well - truly memorable.

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