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The Good Life in the Alpujarras

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Immerse yourself in this hidden region of rural Andalucia, sampling the food, learning how to cook and walking through olive groves and vineyards.

Guided Walking Holidays - The Good Life in the Alpujarras

When the Moors were expelled from Granada, they retreated to the Alpujarras, the southern foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and signs of their existence still show today in buildings, and place names. Immerse yourself in this hidden gentle region of rural Andalucia, sampling the food, enjoying the wines and walking through olive groves and vineyards. Peppers and corn dry in the sun against white-washed walls – this is simply another way of living.

The village of Mairena, where we are based for the week, is a small rural community in the western Alpujarras, a less visited part of the region. It was here that writer and Hispanist Gerald Brenan lived the rural life and entertained his literary friends from London.  On some of our dates, one of our walks takes us on a path below the village of Yegen and we’ll spend time in the village he chose to live in, and see where the Serrano ham is dried, gaining an insight into the production of this local delicacy.

The scenery here is splendid and a great accompaniment to the walks and activities. At Jubar, we’ll visit its church and discover how the area has been infuenced by the Moors, not to mention the Civil War; explore the Laroles Valley and stroll to the village of Ugijar through almond and olive groves. One of our walks finishes at a bodega, with a short visit and a wine tasting. At our hotel’s finca we explore the several hectares of land, picking seasonal produce and savouring the home made paella our chefs will prepare. In Valor, we visit a weaving workshop and one evening we will visit the Mairena olive mill and learn all about local olive oil production and farming.

The British hosts of our hotel, Las Chimeneas, have planned our activities for us, taking in the best of the area with a real insight to rural Andalucian life. Their restaurant’s evening menus offer the best of local produce in tasty local dishes.

Las Chimeneas has published a book that combines dozens of the tried and tested recipes which you will sample at their restaurant in Mairena, together with a series of essays and interviews with local characters which will bring insight into this region that the owners love so much, and add flavour to the reading experience. A copy of the book is included for all 2019 bookings.


Our May 11-18 2019 departure includes a special visit to the author Chris Stewart's house for lunch and to learn about his own "Good Life" experience when he moved to the Alpujarras

Holiday Highlights

  • Sample Alpujarran cuisine
  • Walk in Laroles Valley for views across the Sierra Nevada.
  • Enjoy traditional tapas in Almeria.
  • Enjoy local produce on various artisan visits.
  • Experience authentic Alpujarran accommodation in a pueblo blanco
  • Visit the village of Yegen, writer Gerald Brenan’s home.
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Return fights from London to Almeria (British Airways or charter)
      Airport transfers
      Half board en suite accommodation
      Picnic or tapas lunches
      All local transport costs.
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

    Please see the Holiday Information sheet for this Holidays Itinerary as the content may vary depending on departure date.

Travel Details

  • Return fights from London to Almeria (British Airways or charter)
  • Airport transfers by road c.2hrs30mins
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights this may be Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Most low-cost carriers also have extra legroom seats. 
  • If direct regional flights are not available, we can often offer add-on flights to a London airport at a competitive rate. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.

Trip Map

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Our Accommodation on this holiday

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday. If you are on a multi-centre holiday, these are highlights of the places where we stay. Please refer to your Holiday Information sheet (which can be found under View Departures & Book), for your departure date and for all your accommodation details.

Las Chimeneas, Mairena

We stay at the delightful Las Chimeneas in Mairena which has been lovingly restored by its British owners. The collection of buildings exudes rustic charm and quirky characteristics, with rooms offered in the main house or in one of the three adjoining houses. Wonderful views  can be see from all buildings across the hills to the sea in the distance. Excellent breakfasts and dinners made with local produce are taken here. Lunches are also included in the holiday cost., and maybe a scrumptious picnic made by the hotel, a freshly made paellea or tapas in a traditional restaurant.

Casa las Chimeneas is an extremely spacious house which has been restored in the local style and is furnished with authentic antiques throughout. All rooms have a small balcony or patio and are en suite. They are decorated in a traditional style and offer great comfort. There are plenty of nooks and crannies to sit and relax with a book, a small plunge pool and a terrace with views.