Walking Holidays

Europe’s majestic mountains ~ with a genuine specialist
Organised & Self-guided Walking

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Tel. 01799 513331 - - Open Today - 9am to 5.30pmCollett's Ltd. is ABTA bonded W6883 - Travel with confidence
Organised & Self-guided Walking with a Genuine Specialist

The Silk Route

Today’s walk in Andalucia had guests wandering along an ancient bandit mule track which was once used to transport Silk from Competa to Granada. In more recent years, this track has become part of the GR7 route through Andalucía and is one of few paths which lead you straight into the heart of the Sierra Almijara Natural Park.

Once again the morning sun gave the impression of mid-summer as we set off on a short 15 minute drive to the start of the route. As the car wound its way up the valley to the top of Competa, the guests seemed relieved that some of the ascent had already been knocked off. I soon changed that by pointing uphill and the realisation of why this was classed a ‘hard’ walk soon became apparent.

After a short trundle past an old lime kiln and through some scrub, we emerged onto a wide track which enabled the group to mingle some more. Our keen bird watcher of the day, Stephen, kept an eye on the sky for the infamous Golden Eagle as the ladies enjoyed smelling the Rosemary and Lemon Thyme which covered the area en masse.

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As we reached the highest point, views across the Sierra Almijara opened up over the rolling mountains and down to the coast of Torre Del Mar. A slight haze from the sun created a picturesque scene around El Lucero, a pointy peak which is a popular route for walkers and one on offer later in the week; the lighting up of a few faces suggested some guests would definitely be up for the challenge.

Stepping off the wide track and back onto a narrow, rocky path the out and back route allowed guests to set their own pace without the worry of getting lost. A mix of woodland walking and open pathway was enjoyed along undulating terrain and the passing of kiln ruins added a sense of Spanish history. Arriving at the second ruined ventor (Ventor Pradillos) we decided this would be a great place to stop and have a picnic in the sunshine to admire the coast.

Although walking back along the same path is not always preferred, this particular stretch deemed perfect for bird watching and allowed a new view in the opposite direction. Once we hit the track again we began our descent back to Canillas de Albaida, without meeting a single car I might add.

Arriving back into the village mid-afternoon the last bit of sun was enjoyed in the square with a beer. Oh and by the way, Stephen was very pleased with himself as he did spot a Golden Eagle today after all! Note to self, always remember to take binoculars on walk because you never know what you might spot here in the Andalucian Mountains.

Collett’s Blogs

Collett’s blogs are written by our resort diarist, photographer, walker and skier, Kelly Diggle. If you are out on a walk, snowshoe itinerary or ski day with her you are sure to be included in her photographs in one of her weekly blogs. Kelly’s personal travel blog can be found here. You can keep up to date with Kelly on Twitter here.

Follow Collett’s on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest.

Canillas to Competa

A brand new destination, a hotel full of enthusiastic guests new to the area and plentiful picturesque walks to enjoy; welcome to Canillas de Albaida, a beautiful white Spanish village in the high mountains of Andalucía.

Collett’s walk organisers, Rich Manterfield and Kelly Diggle joined Andalucia Walking expert Mick Smith who has been living and working in Andalucía for the past 13 years and has extensive knowledge about Andalucia, Canillas and the surrounding villages.

To kick start a wonderful week of walking in the mountains, Mick shares his extensive knowledge of the area as he leads the group to Competa, an equally charming community, whereby tapas and wine-tasting can be enjoyed at the local Bodega Jarel; a short walk perfect for the first day exploring a new location and an ideal setting to get to know your fellow walkers of the week.

Hike the Camino de Santiago
Hike the Camino de Santiago
Hike the Camino de Santiago
Hike the Camino de Santiago
Hike the Camino de Santiago
Hike the Camino de Santiago
Hike the Camino de Santiago
Hike the Camino de Santiago
Hike the Camino de Santiago
Hike the Camino de Santiago
Hike the Camino de Santiago
Hike the Camino de Santiago
Hike the Camino de Santiago
Hike the Camino de Santiago
Hike the Camino de Santiago

Setting off for a quick tour around the village of Canillas, the sun was already feeling incredibly warm for this time of year. As we wandered past old buildings and quirky narrow streets Mick explained a bit about the history of the area. Everybody was thinking the same thing; the streets were incredibly quiet as only waggy-tailed dogs crossed our path. As jackets came off and trousers were shortened, we headed off up the hill to the top of the village and on our way to begin the days walk.

It wasn’t long before we hit a slightly narrower track which took us amongst the scrub and past colourful lemon, orange and olive trees, whilst flower enthusiasts amid the group pointed out favourite species.

Arriving alongside Competa we could see that it was twice the size of Canillas. With an hour to explore the village, guests dispersed to find a nice spot for lunch – the most popular offered a plate of delicious tapas and a seat in the sun. The tall, brown church steeple stood out from its white surroundings which provided the perfect meeting place and a good spot to people watch (whilst enjoying an ice-cream if you couldn’t resist).

The afternoon plan, arranged by Mick himself, was to visit the local Bodega. Maria, the current owner along with her small family, welcomed our group by explaining the wine-making process followed by a tasting session sat out in the sun. A long table laid out with fresh olives, cheeses and meats meant the selection of dry, sweet and very sweet wines went down a treat! Conversation flowed and as the sun began to sink we made our way back along the road to end the day with an easy stroll. What better way to get to know the other guests than by enjoying a glass or two of traditional, local and refreshing Spanish wine?

Collett’s Blogs

Collett’s blogs are written by our resort diarist, photographer, walker and skier, Kelly Diggle. If you are out on a walk, snowshoe itinerary or ski day with her you are sure to be included in her photographs in one of her weekly blogs. Kelly’s personal travel blog can be found here. You can keep up to date with Kelly on Twitter here.

Follow Collett’s on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest.