Why a walking holiday in Andalucía can restore your joie de vivre…

If you are contemplating a walking holiday, then it is quite likely that you appreciate the outdoors and in particular areas that still retain a certain amount of wilderness. Las Alpujarras is such an area, nestling below the Sierra Nevada, Spain; it supports ibex and wild boar and in spring is swathed with wild lavender and broom. The walking opportunities in the area are immense. There is a well signposted network of paths that criss-cross valleys and mountainsides, joining villages at different heights, giving a range of choices for novices and experienced walkers. Las Alpujarras is an unspoilt and varied region of outstanding natural beauty.

The surprise is that Las Alpujarras is relatively unknown outside of Spain. Millions of tourists are drawn to Granada and the Alhambra yet few of these visitors would know to visit the quiet rural countryside adjacent to this well known city. It is so accessible from the UK that you could easily consider a long weekend walking in the sunshine in relative solitude. Or you could end a city tour of Seville, Córdoba and Granada with a few days to unwind in the peace and tranquillity of Las Alpujarras.

Accommodation in the white mountain villages is easy to find and the standard is very high. Hotel Los Bérchules shines amongst them: sitting on the edge of the pretty village of Bérchules it offers the visitor much more than a high standard of accommodation. Alejandro, having been born in the area, and his mother Wendy, owners of Hotel Los Bérchules, have a wealth of local knowledge between them. This enables them to provide excellent accommodation, hospitality, local well-prepared food and a menu of walks that would take you over a month to complete. All that is required of you is to turn up, smile and relax. They will even pick you up from the airport.

The benefits of being in the mountainside air, enjoying the warmth of the Mediterranean sun and drinking in the vista of beauty and solitude, are immeasurable. The opportunity to glimpse ibex grazing in the morning light and then spot eagles catching thermals high above the mountain slopes is a precious moment but it is the stillness and the silence that hold the restorative power. Just to lay your head down on a grassy mountain slope and bask in the Mediterranean warmth from the sun above while your worries drain from you, listening to the comforting, lulling bells of the distant goats.

I really can’t think what you are waiting for! Simply book a walking holiday in Las Alpujarras at Hotel Los Bérchules, catch a budget flight to Granada, Malaga or Almeria, phone Alejandro to pick you up and choose yourself a walk from the walks’ menu. Then breathe… and relax...