Active Aracena! (2009 season)
Portugal - Spain TWIN-CENTRE GUESTHOUSES - GET ACTIVE IN SPAIN AND PORTUGAL
• Stay in comfortable & characterful family-run guesthouses • Cycle & walk the trails of the Sierra de Aracena • Kayak down the Guadiana River to Mertola
A taste of Adventure The Sierra de Aracena is a great place for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. It remains green and lush even in the height of summer when much of Andalucia dries out in the heat. The white-washed village of Castano, meanwhile, still offers the 'real Spain' - beautiful walks, great tapas, good wine, sleepy afternoons and, on occasion, wild fiestas! Castano is also a great base for exploring the nearby city of Seville. We'll follow old drovers' trails and mule tracks to the town of Aracena, and have time to visit its castle ruins. Our charming guesthouse is a typical village house with several public rooms, a garden and terrace.
Mertola & Guadiana Valley Natural Park By contrast, in Mertola, our riverside base is the Residencial Beiro Rio, a classic townhouse which originally housed a mill over 100 years ago. The guesthouse has magnificent views of the Guadiana river and is ideally located in the heart of the old town. Mertola is overlooked by a castle (which is well worth a visit). The region around Mertola has several points of interest including the Alcaria Hills, Pulo do Lobo, several 15th century water mills and a choice of scenic rambles in the surrounding Natural Park. Here we plan to take to the water and enjoy a gentle paddle down the river aboard twin-seat canoes.
Itinerary1 Fly London/Seville; transfer to Castano del Robledo village near Aracena for 4 night stay. 2 Walk to Aracena (approx. 16km); optional visit to castle 3 Cycling in the Sierra de Aracena (approx. 23km). 4 At leisure; optional horse riding, walking or day trip to Seville. 5 Transfer to Mertola (Portugal) for 3 night stay; orientation walk. 6 Easy half day canoe excursion (approx. 7km). 7 Optional walk in Natural Park do Vale do Guadiana. 8 Drive Seville; fly London.
Accommodation and Meals4nts Posada del Castano in Castano del Robledo village, 3nts Residencial Beiro Rio in Mertola; 7 breakfasts included. Both guesthouses are small, family-run and provide simple yet comfortable bases from which to explore their scenic surroundings.
TransportCharter bus transfers/On foot/Bicycle/ Double-seat fibre-glass canoe. Optional horse-riding is a popular local activity.
CommentsTravelling is kept to a minimum with each transfer taking between 2 to 3 hours. Included walks are graded easy with the occasional moderate stretch. Canoeing is suitable for beginners. Look out for our special 'La Reina de los Angeles' festival departure at the beginning of September each year. See dossier for details.
Tour StaffExplore Tour Leader plus transfer driver(s). Back-up support is provided whilst cycling and canoeing allowing shorter activities if preferred.
Group SizeApprox. 12 to 16.