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Almunecar where our hotel overlooks the peaceful waters of the bay

October is usually a time of ideal holiday weather in Spain. A combination of long lies, sitting on the balcony of a quality hotel, sitting in the sun sipping a cold drink beside the pool, wandering down to the local seaside town, and days out to beautiful places at a leisurely pace, is just what the doctor ordered. So how about the following to do all of the above?.

The journey takes us through some of the most pleasant countryside to be found in Spain. Green fields, rugged valleys, pine clad mountains, villages towns and vibrant cities flash by. Amongst these Granada. Our knowledgeable courier keeping us well informed about what we are seeing and the history behind it. By late afternoon we arrive at a large comfortable 4* hotel which sits on a rock and overlooks the peaceful waters of the bay.

At reception the friendly hotel staff quickly book us in and send us off to large comfortable well equipped rooms. Every room with its own large balcony. For a whole week we will spend our time choosing to do whatever we want. With no beds to make, nor food to cook, or dishes to wash. Evening sees us enjoying a tasty buffet meal with wine and water included. Then off to the bar, the poolside or the balcony to ease away our evening.

During our week away we can decide to go down to the local towns of Almuñecar or La Herradura, both located in the same bay and both with excellent beaches. Or we can join the excursions provided as part of the deal. If we go for a day out, the hotel will on request provide us with a picnic lunch. Excursions include a visit to the charming little town of Nerja.

This town is so very typical of the Andalucia region. Through a network of pretty white washed houses, we make our way down by the old local church and on to the famous “Balcon de Europe” which juts out into the sea. A pleasant bubble of noise drifts up from the street side cafes, as a combination of excited conversation and flamenco music fill air. Nerja has a magic which has to be experienced to be appreciated. On this day you can also, if you wish visit the fabulous caves of Nerja.

A huge cavern which can’t fail to impress. The caves sits amongst beautifully kept gardens which offer a fantastic view of the local coastline. Inside, this large spacious cavern almost has the feel of a natural cathedral which has been carved out by nature. On another day we can head down the coast to the famous holiday town of Torremolinos.

Here the mood is just as relaxing as Nerja. There are more people, more shops – both large and small, but again a large sandy beach and this time with a long elegantly designed promenade which stretches all the way down to the nearby resort of Benalmadena. Before we go to Torremolinos though, we will take a short drive up the coastal mountains to the rather pretty little town of Mijas. Perched on the mountainside and offering stunning views of the Costa del Sol, there are a surprising amount of things to see and do here. Street side cafes and a selection of all types of shops are topped by a 16 century castle, a monastery, and would you believe, nappy wearing donkey taxis.

Yes they actually keep the streets unsoiled by using a cleverly adapted donkey nappy. Street vendors fry and sell the local sweet meal, almonds coated in sugar, as horses and carriages carry excited tourists round the town. A really well balanced day out. Another day sees us in the foothills of Spain’s highest mountain range. The Sierra Nevada. Literally meaning the Snowy mountains. As the name suggests, despite being only 50 Kilometres from the balmy heat of the Costa del Sol, these mountains are snow topped for almost all of the year. The drive up into this area known as the Alpujarras, is spectacular.

If you have ever read the books written by Chris Stewart, “Driving over Lemons, the Almond Blossom Appreciation Society, and Parrot in the Pepper Tree”, then this is the rather romantic and beautiful area he was writing about. First making our way to the water producing town of Lanjeron. (You must have bought this famous water from the local supermarket at some time). This town also is famous for its spa baths and so also has a large number of Spa owning hotels.

The castle, which can still be seen, and the town itself town were the site of many a skirmish between the troops of the Christian conquerors and their often rebellious subjects, the Moors. Next stop is Pampaniera. What an exquisite little gem this village is. Very small, but so pretty. Not one of the whitewashed houses seems to be without a blaze of floral colour. Mostly Geraniums, but in stunning quantities. Home spun carpets line the streets inviting visitors to snap up a superb product at a bargain price. Natural fountains constantly spill crystal clean spring waters from wall mounted taps.

Driving up through Europe’s largest chestnut forest. On the way passing through tiny villages and hillside hermitages, we finally arrive at the highest village in Spain. Trevelez. This is a journey unparalleled for natural beauty, charm and uniqueness. Then in the evening it is back to the comfort of our lovely sea facing 4* hotel. To relax, mull over all we have seen and look forward to another fun day, this time in Gibraltar. What a contrast this is. It is not often that British territory is described as sunny.

Gibraltar is usually the exception. A place of enduring history from the discovery of Cro-Magnon man, to the Moors spilling through Gibraltar from Africa to conquer almost all of the Iberian Peninsula, the conquering of the rock by British forces leading to Great Britain being granted ownership for all time, the numerous attempts by Spain to recover this lost territory, and of course all the intrigue in and around the rock during the 2nd world war. All this has created a sunny, British owned territory, with a quaintness which makes it more British than Britain, except perhaps for the Monkeys who are charged with maintaining British control of the rock. But then I suppose that is rather quaint too!!

With all travel and excursions included in the price this journey is being offered by David’s Coachtrips SL

Next dates 7 days 19-25th October for only 295€ including full board with wine and water.. At under 45€ per day we think this offer is brilliant value. Commentary throughout your excursion is provided by a well informed English speaking courier. To reserve your place call (0034) 966785910 or book online at www.coachtripsonline.com

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