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Spanish rural life in the Vall de Gallinera

* Discover a beautiful, unspoiled valley  * Fine mountain walks  * Organised visits to local farmers & artisans * Stay in stone casas rurales

Just a few miles from the tower-blocks of the Costa Blanca, the Vall de Gallinera is another Spain entirely, a remote, mountainous valley where the ancient villages house people who are justly proud of their traditions and rural way of life. Local people have got together here to welcome guests to discover their beautiful valley and to allow them privileged access to their ways of life. 

Walking and Visiting

This holiday is all about appreciating local life. Guests are invited to visit a local shepherd and join him for a few hours in the mountains, to see how a farmer tends his olive trees, or harvests the cherries, or to join Alicia as she prepares her delicious preserved fruits, something that has been done here for centuries. On other days, you enjoy guided walks in the hills and around the villages, to learn about the landscapes and cultural history of the valley, and you also have two free days, when you can relax and explore, or follow our notes on more wonderful walks. 

Stay in beautiful village houses

You stay on a self-catering basis in beautifully-restored stone village houses – casas rurales. These are comfortable and appointed to a high standard, with wood burning stoves for cool evenings in the autumn and spring. Some houses have shared kitchens. Your welcome hamper includes a sample of local fresh products (milk, tea, coffee, bread, infusion plants, vegetables, pasta, honey, cold meat, etc.). There are some good local restaurants, and meals can also be prepared for you by arrangement.

We recommend you organise car hire from Alicante or Valencia airports. We can also arrange private transfers at a supplement (and this includes local transfers for the various visits and excursions).

 

 

The discovery of the Vall de Gallinera includes fascinating visits, accompanied by a local guide, to local farmers or artisans, as well as accompanied walks to appreciate the regional culture and landscapes. Visits and walks will vary according to the seasons and what is going on at the time of your visit, so the following itinerary is, naturally, subject to changes.

Outward Journey

Day 1

Arrive in the Vall de Gallinera (by transfer or in your hire car); welcome meeting with your local guide at your rural house. Welcome hamper of local food. There are also several excellent, inexpensive restaurants in the villages.

Day 2

Enjoy an introductory stroll through your host village with your guide, who will give you insights into the history, culture and people. After plenty of free time for relaxing and exploring, you have a second stroll in the late afternoon, visiting one of the two remaining Arab castles of the valley, the perfect, panoramic setting to learn the rich history of Romans, Iberians and Arabs of the region.

Day 3

The day starts with a morning walk to discover some of the secret corners of the valley, meeting along the way some of the farmers and producers who continue help preserve the rural way of life here. In the afternoon, after more free time, your guide will help you discover the gardens and surroundings of the villages, to understand the different crops, smell the pungent herbs and learn about their medicinal uses, and discover the beautiful vegetable gardens of this fertile, warm valley.

Day 4

Today is a free day, and our local guides have prepared some wonderful self guided walking routes to discover natural wonders such as waterfalls, high ridges, wetlands, or to find some of the many prehistoric cave paintings of the region (some of them declared human world heritage by the UNESCO), or
some of the most beautiful hidden and unspoiled beaches of the nearby coast.

Days 5 & 6

Together with your local guide, you join a local farmer, shepherd or artisan producer to spend time with them and understand something of their lives. This is usually a full morning each day, and could involve walking with a shepherd in the hills, visiting a beekeeper, or a winemaker. It is a real privilege to experience these rural lives up close like this.

Day 7

For your final full day in the valley, you are free to explore, enjoying more of the specially-prepared self-guided walking routes.

Homeward Journey

Day 8

Return to your choice of airport by car hire or transfer.