Our Responsible Travel and Environment policy for employing local people, respecting the environment and supporting local mountain initiatives
Spanish Highs is an environmentally friendly company which offers travellers authentic and responsible holidays. Here is our approach to responsible, sustainable travel. We encourage our guests to support us in this, whilst having a fantastic activity holiday with us here in the Alpujarras and Sierra Nevada.
Respect for the environment
We offer expertly guided, low impact activity holidays in the Alpujarras and Sierra Nevada mountains for individuals and small groups, staying in small local hotels and both guarded and unguarded mountain refuges. We do our best to protect this breath-taking, unspoiled but fragile wilderness and ask guests to do so too.
We carry bags so all rubbish is extracted from the mountain. Not only ours, but also the litter left by others!
The development of rural tourism in the area provides economic benefits and encourages an alternative to that of the overdeveloped "costas".
Supporting local mountain initiatives
Together with local mountain lovers we have been instrumental in developing an initiative to restore mountain refuges in the Sierra Nevada. Accion Sierra Nevada started out in 2011 as three people cleaning and painting the Refugio de Caballo (2900m) above Lanjaron. Now we have the support of the Parque Nacional Sierra Nevada and Accion Sierra Nevada has it's own website and Facebook Fan Page where you will find all the latest news. We have plans to further restore other mountain refuges in the Sierra Nevada.
Employing local people
Spanish Highs started out in 2002 with UK based guides. Since 2008 our policy has been to widen the staff base and the main criteria now is "local people". We have a pleasant mix of spanish, german and uk guides, all of which are local to the Alpujarras and Sierra Nevada. Furthermore, we are actively developing our "Expert Guide" project throughout Andalucia and Spain. This initiative is to provide employment for local experts.
We also develop tours with local people trying to retain the old traditional ways. In 2011 we started "Trekking with Mules" in order to revive traditional ways of moving in the mountains and thus employing local people.
Keeping our own "house" in order
Our office location has solar water heating and we are continually striving to replace existing facilities with solar products (ie our sun oven). We do not print "in house" unless print is an absolute necessity when we use local office sources to print. Recycling is of vital importance!
We dehydrate and prepare "mountain food" from our garden. See "Drying your own food for the mountains".
Our multitude of mountain gadgets (phone, sat navs, sat comms etc) are rechargeable wholly via solar powered sources
We encourage our guests to interact positively with the local community by being respectful and courteous in the countryside and villages and to buy local foods, crafts and wines.
We do not have "favourites" and try to let guests see the wide range of hotels, bars, restaurants and local facilities available.