The Big Outdoors

LEAVE THE RAT RACE far behind and get out into the BIG OUTDOORS of LA ALPUJARRA , a place characterised by extreme variables in climate where it’s possible to SKI in the mountains as late as April and go SNORKELING in the sea, all in one day.

THE AREA HAS BECOME A FIRM FAVOURITE FOR WALKERS. The GR7, runs through the La Alpujarra, a long distance walking route based on ancient mule trails. The dramatic mountains and lush valleys with its chestnut forests and wild flowers offer a huge variety of choice to suit both relaxed ramblers and the more adventurous hikers.

The house is based at what has been called the ‘GATEWAY TO THE ALPUJARRAS’. THE POQUIERA VALLEY is just up the road, famous in the region for its dramatic scenery and the three beautiful mourntain villages of PAMPANEIRA, BUBION and CAPILEIRA. This valley alone has a number of stunning walking routes to suit all abilities.

BROWSE SOME WALKS in the immediate area and beyond, at this site: Sierra Nevada Guides

SIERRA NEVADA GUIDES are great for those that like to plan ahead. You can download and print off the routes you like for some self-guided walks.

IF YOU PREFER TO GO ON GUIDED WALKS and tap into local knowledge then Sierra Nevada Guides can take you out for the day and tailor make walks to suit your pocket and fitness levels. Contact them in advance to be sure of their availability.

IF YOU DON’T WANT TO TAKE THE CAR right on the doorstep of the house are walks that will take you into glorious countryside. To wet your appetite here is a local circular walk of only 4 miles courtesy of con-jamon bloggers. On this site you will also find a couple more local walks in the immediate area.

FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO DISCONNECT from laptops and browsing Internet sites we’ve left a good old-fashioned walking guide at the house, “WALK! THE ALPUJARRAS” by Charles Davis

IF WALKING SEEMS TOO MUCH LIKE HARD WORK THEN EXPERIENCE THE MOUNTAINS ON HORSE BACK. A highly reputable stables is CABALLO BLANCO AT LANJARON, a 10-minute drive from Orgiva. The stables have been running for over 20 years by its owner Sarah Vesey. Comedian John Bishop tried out one of Sarah’s rides and came away with some sanguine advice “Rule number one, you’re on a horse, not a Chopper, so do not lean back hoping for a wheelie. You will look stupid!” He gives a great account of what to expect from one of Sarah’s rides here: John Bishop Goes Horse Riding in Spain

Check out the stables site at Caballo Blanco. They offer lessons and rides from a couple of hours to all day hacks.

ANOTHER WAY TO EXPERIENCE THE REGION IS CYCLING, ON AND OFF ROAD. It’s become very popular in the last few years and there’s several local companies now offering equipment and rides for all abilities.

BIKING ANDALUCIA are based just down the road from the house and have been running for over 10 years. http://bikingandalucia.com
Or you can hire bikes on a daily basis from these guys at SIERRA NEVADA. http://www.sierranevada.cc

FOR SERIOUS THRILL SEEKERS THERE’S WHITE WATER RAFTING AND CANYON DIVING (I’m not totally sure what this is but it sounds very scary). SALTA RIOS specialise in these jaw dropping activities and more. Here’s a link to their site.
http://www.raftingenandalucia.com

FANCY A DAY OUT AT THE BEACH? A 30 min drive takes you down to the coast at Motril and the Mediterranean beaches of the Costa Tropical.

It has a wide variety of beaches to explore from family friendly to more remote choices and for those who really want to disconnect, shed their inhibitions and connect with nature there’s several nudist beaches – though don’t sweat it’s not compulsory! Here’s a link for the more adventurously inclined http://www.granadaspain.co.uk/costa-tropical-playa-cantarrijan/

A FIRM FAVOURITE FOR SPANISH FAMILIES IS THE BEACHES OF SALOBRENA with a variety of restaurants, and beach shacks where you can dine out on the local’s favourite dish of barbequed sardines. There’s also a beautiful old town with independent shops and a vertiginous climb to a Moorish castle with stunning views of the rugged coastline.

ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES IS THE PLAYA DE LA RIJANA . It’s been voted one of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol, except it’s actually on the more modest Costa Tropical. See here for how to get there and what you’ll find once you do.

Playa de la Rijana

FOR A COMPLETE GUIDE of what this glorious coastline has to offer get the inside track of ALL the best beaches.

AND FINALLY our whistle stop tour of the BIG OUTDOORS ends with some FAMILY FUN AT A WATER PARK – LA AQUAOLA – near Granada has slides and rides galore with names like Pirate Galleon, the Tornedo Slide, The Black Pope and Cyclone it looks like it won’t disappoint the kids. See here for more information. It opens its doors in JUNE and looks like a great day out for kids (and adults!).