Week long walking and hiking holidays based at the wonderful Finca Estrellas, located in the heart of the Axarquia region of Southern Andalucia and one hour NE of Malaga.
Varied walking on hills and mountains to 1800m during the day and luxury accommodation at night. All inclusive options available. Available October to May inclusive. Take advantge of cheap mid-week flights and start your holiday mid-week!Grade: Moderate Grade: Challenging
Departure Time: 10am (by foot from Finca Estrellas)
Distance: 12km/7.5 miles
Max Elevation: 825m/2706ft
In the course of our walk this morning, we'll be skirting the upper edges of the Natural Park and experiencing some spectacular views of the coast and the nearby villages - we might even catch a glimpse of the Rif Mountains in Morocco across the sea.
Departure Time: 10am (by foot from Finca Estrellas)
Max Distance: 16km/9.9 miles
Max Elevation: 859m/2820ft
Today's walk takes us along traditional pathways that have long connected the ancient Moorish Villages of Canillas de Albaida and Salares (pop. 220). We return to Finca Estrellas by a different route that offers some panoramic views of Competa and beyond.
Departure Time: 10am (We will be driven from Finca Estrellas to the starting point of today's walk)
Max Distance: 15km/9 miles
Max Elevation: 1346m/4419ft Ascent: 726m/2383ft
Today, our walk will take us to the top of Cerro Verde (1,346m / 4,419ft), a peak similar in height to Ben Nevis in Scotland where we will enjoy an al fresco lunch on the summit. Getting there involves a good climb of some 726m/2383ft, but we will take it steady with plenty of breaks to admire the views and rest our legs. We may even spot some ibex (large wild goats), wild boar and eagles as we pass through some of the most secluded and beautiful parts of our itinerary.
Departure Time: 10am (Transport will take us from Finca Estrellas to Puerto Blanquillo, the start of today's walk)
Distance: 11km/7 miles
Maximum Elevation: 1,769 m/5,808 ft
Today, weather conditions permitting, we take on a truly exciting challenge that will take us to the greatest heights of this holiday - nearly 1800 meters. El Lucero (the Morning Star) is one massive piece of Dolomite marble, pointing sharply to the sky, but the views from the summit are spectacular and the surrounding landscape is awe-inspiring in its jagged majesty.
Departure Time: 10am (By foot from Finca Estrellas)
Distance: 15km/9 miles
Maximum Elevation: 825m/2706ft
From Finca Estrellas, today's route takes us first to Puerto de los Carboneros (Pass of the Charcoal Burners), high above the villages of Canillas and Archez. From here, we will follow the ridge of the hills south towards the sea, passing through highly cultivated land, mainly given over to vineyards. These vineyards are significant as our final destination today, Bodega Bentomiz, is a relatively new endeavour that has revolutionised vine-growing and wine-making in the area.
Once at Bodegas Bentomiz, owner Clara will take us on a tour of the operation and demonstrate how modern fine wines are now being made in this unique valley that has long been such a bastion of traditional mine-making and vine-growing. And, of course, she will also be offering delicious samples of her products for us to try!
Finca means 'country house" and estrellas means 'stars'. Translated literally as 'House of Stars" Finca Estrellas is a newly built 300sq metre house designed to reflect the rustic and Moorish influences that abide in the area.
There are 4 individually designed ensuite bedrooms with twin or double beds in each. Each bedroom has top quality air-conditioning/heating units, ceiling fans and central heating. There is ample wardrobe and drawer space, bedside cabinets with reading lamps and hairdryers.
All bathrooms have walk-in showers and have underfloor heating for the winter months. There is also a toilet/washbasin on the ground floor.
The bedroom in the main house has its own terrace area through double doors with wooden patio furniture and the 2 poolside bedrooms have patio furniture outside the room and by the pool.
When the weather is not conducive to eating outdoors the indoor dining area comfortably seats 10 people.
The living room with 42" flatscreen and Freeview TV and HD recorder seats 10 people on period style leather sofas and there are various books and games.
There is over 1,000 sq metres of outdoor space including a Moorish courtyard, a Fountain courtyard, a covered pergola with hammocks and various nooks and crannies to hide away and read if you want to. There is a covered terrace between the house and the pool with a dining table and comfortable wicker furniture with a low table. Around the pool there is plenty of room for 10 sunbeds. Behind and all around the house there are many plants and garden areas.
€285 per person per week based on 2 sharing a double or twin, self guided. €80 a day total guide hire.
Cost per person sharing a twin or double room: €495 for 7 nights
to include: Accommodation, breakfast, airport transfers, Guide and transport to start of walks. There is an honesty bar for soft and alcoholic drinks.
Cost per person sharing a twin or double room: €675 for 7 nights
to include: Accommodation, Guide, all transport to start of walks, airport transfers, restaurants, all meals except for free day, 3 at local restaurants, 3 at the finca with live music on one night. There is an honesty bar for soft and alcoholic drinks.
Common to both price options:
Andalucia is famous for its 'White Villages' and Finca Estrellas is very fortunate in being a short distance from 4 of them, all very different in character.
Canillas de Albaida is a very pretty village perched on a hillside just a 3 minute drive or 20 minute (steep) walk from the Finca. There are flower-filled corners and balconies everywhere and livestock (including mules) are still kept below houses. Canillas boasts several excellent restaurants and bars.
Archez is a very attractive village with strong Moorish roots. This influence is most in evidence at the church of Nuestra Senora de la Encarnacion with its remarkable fourteenth century tower which is the minaret of an earlier mosque, it is one of the best examples from this period.
A white huddle of boxes tumbling down the hillside, surrounded by vineyards, the cosmopolitan village of Competa is just a 10 minute drive (or a lovely 45min walk) from the Finca. It has many bars, restaurants, hairdressers, shops of all kinds and several banks.
A complete contrast to the much larger Competa, Salares is a very small and quiet village with only 3 bars that serve snacks and no restaurants. It is very picturesque and is only 10 minutes drive from the Finca. It feels like it is stuck in the past and has not changed for centuries, like Canillas people still keep chickens and mules in the ground floor of their houses.