An experience in Spain usually involves the Costa Del Sol or a city break in Barcelona. But after a glorious holiday in Greece (for me) when my children persistently told me that they were board staying by the pool in a hotel I decided it was time to embrace the ancient British spirit of adventure and take the kids on a trip they would not forget in a hurry.
This rural hotel is perched on top of a mountain surrounded by olive groves close to Castril De La Pena. You are surrounded by stunning mountains and National Parks. The closest airports are Granada, Almeria, Murcia, Malaga and Alicante, all a three and a half to four hour drive but worth it for the authentic, unspoilt Spanish countryside and towns. Very few people here speak any English so be prepared with a few useful phrases.
El Geco Verde is a converted Andalucian farmhouse, Iliaria and Derek ( Italian and British ) are passionate about the eco credentials of their beautiful off grid hotel. They produce much of the food on site that is then cooked to perfection by Illiara. There are only eight rooms so you soon become like one big happy family with all the kids disappearing every evening to ‘visit’ the chickens and ‘look’ for geckos (harass) The family rooms are spacious with beautiful ensuite bathrooms and the communal areas are stuffed full of books games and DVD’s. Prior to travelling Derek took details of what sort of activities we would like to try and each morning of our holiday ran through the itinerary and gave directions or maps.
What a week we had kayaking, mountain biking, walking, climbing, visited archeological sites and museums, ate tapas in a cave, swam in free outdoor swimming pools full of fishes, rode horses, milked goats, made goats cheese, made bread, vulture spotted,learnt about the night skies, saw the surface of the moon, collected praying mantises and lizards ( tough negotiations not to bring them home ) , and did we mention the food and wine……..
The Low Down
We flew FlyBe from Doncaster to Alicante for £80 per person return ( it was October ) We rented a convertible Fiat 500 for a week for £90. El Geco Verde cost €80 per night, evening meals were €15 for adults and €10 for under 10’s.
And so here we are in April and the kids still talk about El Geco Verde weekly, it really did turn out to be a holiday they won’t forget in a hurry.
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