More Than A Coastline – Costa Blanca’s Mountains

Costa Blanca Mountains - Castell de Castells

Costa Blanca Mountains – Castell de Castells

Behind Spain’s Costa Blanca with its tourist resorts lies a mountainous region waiting to be explored.

 

When you’ve had enough of beaches, turn and look inland. Those rugged peaks are more accessible then you might assume. First impressions might suggest an arid, austere region; prepare to be surprised.

 

Costa Blanca Mountains - Vall de Laguar

Costa Blanca Mountains – Vall de Laguar

But, once you make the decision to explore on foot, bike or horseback, you’ll find green valleys between the rocky peaks. Villages and hamlets nestle in the mountain folds.

Costa Blanca Mountains - Puig Campana

Costa Blanca Mountains – Puig Campana

There are many walking tracks and paths, some signposted. To get the most from adventuring here, get hold of Costa Blanca Mountains Tour & Trail Map and Walk! The Costa Blanca Mountains.

Brecon Beacons – a jewel in Britain’s crown

Today it was announced that the British Government is “looking afresh” at our National Parks which could lead to new additions to the 15 currently designated (the official website is HERE).

In the meantime, I wonder how many of our existing National Parks you’ve visited, and which is your favourite. One of the finest of the existing National Parks (in this author’s opinion) is Brecon Beacons.

Brecon Beacons - on Pen Allt-mawr

Brecon Beacons – on Pen Allt-mawr

Brecon Beacons Sgwd yr Eira

Brecon Beacons; Sgwd yr Eira

It’s a beautiful and rewarding place to walk, where high peaks hide glacial lakes in ancient moorland, while man-made reservoirs and canals blend with their natural surroundings, and waterfalls cascade down secret gorges and canals.

Brecon Beacons - Llangattock (Walk 21)

Brecon Beacons – Llangattock

 

Castles, churches and monasteries bear witness to the rich history and heritage that can be experienced while walking in this unique area of natural beauty.

Brecon Beacons - on Walk 11

Brecon Beacons – views in all directions

 

Find out more about the walks in the Brecon Beacons HERE.

 

 

Guess The Island

 

“The steepest island in the world, the deepest crater, the clearest skies: volcanoes you can climb without being shot into orbit; a subtropical forest minus the slimy things slinking up your trouser leg; black beaches, blue seas, high mountains, vegetation that is literally flamboyant, everything linked by 1080 kilometres of waymarked paths, and all virtually untouched by tourism.” (Author/researcher Charles Davis)

 

 

More clues? Okay then – it takes under 5 hours to fly there from the UK. It’s a whole lot warmer and sunnier than most of northern Europe, definitely so for more than half the year. Sometimes it is referred to as, ‘La Isla Bonita’.

 

So, have you guessed the location of this alluring destination? Check if you are correct, or give in and find out by looking HERE.

Madeira – Garden Isle

Taken by author/researcher Shirley Whitehead – stunning views from Encumeada.

Ah, Madeira! It’s an island that draws visitors back again and again, with its unique plant life, a wide range of wonderful walking from strolls to challenging mountain routes, and a benign climate, making it a year-round destination.

One of the best things about walking here is the sheer variety of routes. If you want gentle, level paths, there are many levada-side routes taking you through lush, natural green scenery. Mountain-lovers have a wealth of inspiring options to choose from. You want views? Wild flowers? Unspoilt villages? Short strolls? Challenging all-day routes? They’re all here.

Madeiran island authorities are well aware of the importance of walking to many of their visitors and do a great job of maintaining routes, keeping them open and safe.

 

 

If you’re thinking of a visit to the island, you’ll get much more value from your visit with a good guide book and map in your pocket. Have a look HERE for recommendations.

Spain’s ‘forgotten corner’? Really?

Last weekend, the Sunday Times Travel called this ‘the forgotten corner of Spain’. Not forgotten by us! (read the Sunday Times article here though you will need to sign in (free) to read it).

The entrance to Aracena Castle

The ancient bell-tower, Aracena Castle

We were intrigued by the Sierra de Aracena (Huelva), north-west of Seville, several years back while looking for lesser-known walking areas of Spain.

The plaza, Alajar

The plaza, Alájar

  • It’s green, natural, not too rugged and with fascinating villages and small towns.
Iberian pigs

Iberian pigs

  • There are inquisitive herds of pigs, wonderful flora and a laid-back air.
  • Little rustic bars and restaurants serve local foods at pocket-money prices.
The mezquita at Almonaster la Real

The mezquita at Almonaster la Real

  • There are castles and a sense of history, with the Moorish legacy clearly apparent.
Los Madroneros

Los Madroñeros

  • The walking isn’t too vigorous overall though many routes will whip up a healthy appetite for sampling those hearty home-made dishes.
Cortelazor

Cortelazor

 

If you’re intrigued, find out what to see, where to stay and what to do (other than walking): HERE’s a USEFUL LINK.

 

More? Take a look HERE where you’ll find the Map and Guide Book information.

 

 

Which Mediterranean holiday island destination has no traffic lights?

Which Mediterranean holiday island destination has no traffic lights?

IMG_8800 Formentera

Got the answer yet? No? Here’s a few more clues:

  • The island is 19km long
  • There are plenty of white, clean natural beaches. (Look here for beach information.)
  • It has no airport
  • There are no fast-food places
  • There are no discos
  • Residents are unmoved by celebrity visits (for example, recent visits from Kate Moss, Jade Jagger, Philippe Starck , Naomi Campbell)

The answer is Formentera, Ibiza’s little sister.

IMG_8798 Formentera

Despite its laid back ambience there are some great places to stay (and eat). See this article from the New York Times.

There’s a great highly-detailed map of Formentera (a short ferry ride from Balearic island Ibiza) – for details of the map look here.

Where In The World? Pampaneira and Bubión

Bubión village, seen on Walk 3

 

The Telegraph Travel 15.12.17) wrote an article entitled ‘15 beautiful villages in Spain you’ve probably never heard of

 

 

 

 

Both villages lie in the Poqueira valley, Alpujarras.

 

We’ve certainly heard of most of them and two in particular took our attention; Pampaneira and Bubión. They are both ‘white villages’ in Spain’s Alpujarras, east of Granada.

 

 

 

 

What a place to walk! Spring is a great time to visit. There’s likely to be snow on the mighty peaks to the north, while Spring flowers burst through on the lower slopes and in the valleys.

 

Section from ‘Alpujarras Tour & Trail Map’

 

 

There’s more Alpujarras walking, mapping and digital information here.

 

Tenerife South Walks – Back To The Future

Tenerife is a fantastic choice for walkers, as the island offers a huge number of walks in a wide variety of terrains, with choices for all levels of fitness and endurance.

Tenerife South Life in the Raw looking towards Playa ParaisoSMALL

Walking high above Tenerife’s southern resorts

While this is great, it also throws up a problem when researching and putting together a comprehensive walking guidebook that’s portable. Some walks had to be left out of later editions of Walk! Tenerife, but many walkers let us know that they wanted them back.

Now Discovery Walking Guides has revisited some of their early and easily accessed southern routes that many walkers remember with fondness. These have been compiled into a free pdf book. The routes are ideal for families as they are not too challenging and are easy to reach from the resort areas. Tenerife South pdf walking book is free to download.

View from 'Walkers Who Lunch' route above Tenerife's south coast

View over Tenerife’s south coast from ‘Walkers Who Lunch’ route

For more information take a look at our latest ENews. Or go to Discovery Walking Guides website where you’ll find lots of walking information.

Almost 2018

The clifftop route above the Brisbane River SMALL

View from the clifftop walk, Brisbane River’s south bank

There are a few great walks alongside the Brisbane River. This morning we took a ‘down the cliff-face’ old path, then walked along the south bank.

There were a few others about, yet in a few hours’ time, this area will be packed with tens of thousands of New Year revellers watching the fireworks launched from huge barges in the centre of the river.

Blue-Faced Honeyeaters feeding along the route

Blue-faced Honeyeaters feeding from trees lining the route

For now, it was an enjoyable walk, wildlife adorning the route here and there.

Eastern Water Dragons pop out along the path

Eastern Water Dragons sunbathe along the walk along Brisbane River’s south bank.

So, almost 2018. Wishing all a happy, healthy 2018.

via Daily Prompt: Almost

Post-Christmas Walks – Marvellous Malverns

After all the turkey, pud, mince pies and drinks, wouldn’t it feel good to get out in the fresh air and get moving?

Walk 17, The Worcestershire Beacon

If you’re in reach of the Malvern Hills you’re spoilt for walking choices. How about climbing the Worcestershire Beacon? It only takes an hour and a half, ending at a café at St. Ann’s Well. It’s a circular walk so you end up back at your transport.

 

 

 

Walk 21, Eastnor Park

Or perhaps a delightful, gentle stroll that skirts Midsummer Hill then climbs to the landmark obelisk in Eastnor Park before descending to Eastnor village?

Field and woodland paths drop us close to Ledbury and a charming back route through the town to The Market House.

It’s a 2 hour linear walk with taxis available at the end if needed; just the right length to get moving again post-Christmas.

If you want to know more take a look here.

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