Segura, Júcar, Mundo NEW
Discovery, walks, nature, history and traditions - small international guided group - southeast Spain
In the adjoining provinces of Albacete and Murcia, the enchanted valleys of the three principal rivers of southeast Spain: the Segura, its tributary the Mundo, and the Júcar. Magnificent scenery; remains from the Iberians, Romans, Visigoths and Moslems... Villages, castles, gorges, limestone and volcanic summits; vales with orchards of date palms, peaches, lemons, oranges, fig and banana trees, watered by Moorish-style norias and acequias (waterwheels and irrigation canals).
ONE WEEK Activities: 5 days with walks of 2h-2h30 (max denivellation +250m) on sometimes stony paths; picturesque villages & monuments; 3 fabulous archaeological sites; surprising casas-cueva, a volcano, the carpets of Alcaraz and the bronze of Riópar... Murcian esparto, rice and wine. Group 8 maximum.
FULL BOARD EXCEPT 2 MEALS in rooms for 2 with private bathrooms: 4 nights in the magnificent little hotel* of Cieza (Murcia) and 3 in the converted** former C16 Jesuit college of Alcaraz (Albacete, La Mancha), birthplace of the Renaissance architect Andrés de Vandelvira.
* double rooms (150 cm bed) with terrace or balcony with view; twin rooms giving on to an interior courtyard (with reduction) or suites (with supplement) with view, double bed and separate folding bed; single rooms with supplement depending on choice of: courtyard or balcony with view.
** comfortable rooms with a sitting area, some with artesonado ceilings, Renaissance patio, singular former cellar transformed in restaurant.
The Ricote valley, where stands Cieza, is also called the Morisco valley or the Orchard of Spain. As well as the abundance of fruits, a variety of vegetables are produced, most notably mini-aubergines, and capers (local name tapaneras) whose flower-buds, berries and young shoots are all eaten. Vegetables are the principal ingredients of various local dishes such as empanadas murcianas, potaje ciezano and zarangollos... complemented by meat from the local hills and fish from the coast.
In contrast the Sierra de Alcaraz offers typical Manchegan mountain dishes developed by muleteers, shepherds and hunters: atascaburras, migas del pastor, gazpacho manchego, caldereta de ciervo, alubias con perdiz... relieved by refreshing mojetes, asadillos, pipirranas and pistos of the vegetables grown in the valleys.
2022 12-19 May.
PRICE 1145 euros per person; obligatory single supplement: 155 euros (room facing courtyard at Cieza) or 265 euros (room with view).
Twin rooms: supplement if suite at Cieza [see above]: 50 euros per person; if twin giving on to courtyard at Cieza, reduction of -50 euros p.p.
RENDEZVOUS at Cieza station, accessible by train from Madrid. If flying to Madrid, you should take a plane scheduled to arrive by 14.30.
DISPERSAL We can book your train tickets in advance and send them to you. Please contact us if you wish to arrive and depart by bus or train, other than from Madrid.
We can book your train tickets in advance and send them to you. Please contact us if you wish to arrive and depart by bus or train, other than from Madrid/Alicante.
Location of this programme:
THURSDAY: Transfer from Cieza station to our hotel. Tapas evening.
FRIDAY: Volcano of Cancarix and rice-paddies of the río Mundo. The walled city of the Tolmo de Minateda, with ruins from Romans, Visigoths and Moslems. Orchards and hydraulic system of Abarán.
SATURDAY: The Camino Morisco of Ricote, which dominates the valley: outstanding views. Wine and esparto production.
SUNDAY: Cieza, where the fertile valley is dominated by limestone peaks with the impressive remains of the Almohad village of Siyâsa.
MONDAY: We leave Cieza for the Sierra de Alcaraz, with en route the Hoz del Júcar andthe amazing village of Alcalá del Júcar: castle, cave dwellings and steep alleys.
TUESDAY: Elegant Renaissance buildings of Alcaraz, and its carpet weaving and castle ruins. Walk of the delightful valley of the río Portelano.
WEDNESDAY: Source of the río Mundo: a grandiose entry of this river into the upper world! Fábricas de Riópar, where, in mid-C18, Carlos III opened the first bronze and brass factory in Spain. The museum and site of Libisosa (Lezuza), whose resident archaeologist reveals the extraordinary civilization of the Iberians, the most advanced pre-Roman people.
THURSDAY: Transfer to Albacete station.
Discovery: Almagro-Mancha / Rioja / Berlanga-Soria / Candás-Costa Verde / Liérganes-Santander
Extremadura from Trujillo / Ruta del Oro / Land of lakes and storks / Almería / Huelva / Guadiato-Campiña
Zafra and the Tierra de Barros / Ciudad Rodrigo-Arribes del Duero / Ciudad Rodrigo Theatre Festival
Bienal Flamenco Seville / Jerez Flamenco Festival / Almagro Theatre Festival / nature rambles
Xmas on the Costa de la Luz / New Year Natural Parks Cádiz
walking: Andalusia / Madrid-Segovia / Old Castile / Soria / Albarracín-Cuenca-Teruel / historical journeys
for families or friends / Holiday index+calendar / Introduction in English / How to book / e-mail us