To travel and discover new and amazing places is one of life’s great pleasures and Antonia and I have just returned from a wonderful to trip to Las Chimeneas in the Alpujarra mountains of Granada in Southern Spain. I have always loved being in the mountains, the great elevation offering a huge broadening of perspective. This combined with lovely people, stunningly unspoiled flora and fauna, superbly cooked locally grown food and fine weather sees Las Chimeneas firmly settled in as one of our favourite places. We are very much looking forward to our return in September to run our forthcoming retreat.
Las Chimeneas is a dramatic set of converted houses in the remote mountain village of Mairena. Run by Emma and David Illsley, they have been welcoming guests to the Alpujarra since 1998. There are nine lovely rooms, each with fabulous views across the hills to the sea in the far distance and on a clear day it is possible to see the coast of Northern Africa. Emma and David are wonderful hosts and made us feel very welcome. They are real salt of the earth people, their knowledge of the local area second to none having been fully ensconced in the traditional village life for over 20 years.
As a keen naturalist the first thing I noticed as I surveyed the stunning views upon our arrival was an absolute abundance of wildlife. During our time there I observed many different species of fascinating birds, insects and flowers. One of the best things was a plethora of Nightingales, one of my favourite birds and a species quite rare in the UK these days, their hauntingly beautiful song never far away as we explored the locale and bathed our hot feet from time to time in the many gurgling streams that pervade the mountainside.
Even though we live in the countryside at home we noticed that the air there was exceptionally clean and never without the addition of some delightful fragrance from the countless blossoms and wild herbs. We spent lots of time walking, exploring and training and it was all utterly delightful in such an unspoiled environment.
In fact I would go as far to say that whole the area is a walkers paradise, the steeper paths providing an excellent challenge to one’s fitness and agility. After a day of walking and training what better than to come back to the enchanting little restaurant at Las Chimeneas where we enjoyed a wide variety of delicious traditional village food cooked with a level of expertise and genuine loving care that is increasingly hard to find these days – I found it quite touching. A homage to true nutrition on all levels. We were even treated to an impromptu cooking lesson from chef Sole on how to make delicious authentic Tortilla.
We were at Las Chimeneas for four nights but that was enough for the all-pervasive peace and natural harmony to seep into our bones. As a powerful antidote to the perils of modernity this place simply oozes respite and realignment.
We are very pleased to announce that you can join us for a 5 night all-inclusive stay at the wonderful Las Chimeneas in the mountains of southern Spain from September 5th to 10th 2019
Peace, relaxation and an authentically warm welcome prove a very winning combination, which is why ‘The Times’ rated Las Chimeneas amongst their Top 10 best mountain hideaways in the Summer of 2018. A haven for nature lovers, keen walkers and foodies alike.
During this retreat you will be able to enjoy our bespoke Pilates, Tai Chi and movement training, walk straight out into unspoiled and rugged countryside, saviour the timeless pace and immerse yourself in a truly inspirational and unique way of life.
Available activities include traditional cookery and weaving workshops, learn more about olive oil making and tasting, wine tasting, local history and nature. Excellent massages are also available for rejuvenating weary bodies.
Pricing: shared twin/double en suite £700 per person. Single en suite £850 per person. Prices include the following:
* Return transfers from/to Granada Airport
* Full Board Accommodation
* 2-3 hours of training daily (except on travel days)
* Transport and a guided hike in the High Sierra.