Alpujarras – Back to Basics – a Family Mountain Break

So we promised a round up of the family holidays with the MyGeckoBox team this summer …
STOP, don’t switch off!
Worry not, we are not going to bore you with a thousand holiday snaps, but we thought you might like some ideas for kid friendly holiday venues and just some lovely places to visit which may not be on the usual tour operators front pages.
 Last week we fell in love with Mijas, this week we are going up an even higher mountain…
We are fortunate enough to have a little bolt hole way up in the mountains of Granada, Spain, which is a lovely place to be when the heat on the coast starts hitting 45 degrees.  It’s a place of beauty, peace and tranquility, a far cry from our town in the summer.
Here is what My GeckoBox mum Kate thought …
Mountain holiday break in GranadaMyself and two of the MyGeckoBox mums, Claire and Yvonne, with kids in tow, headed up for an adventure to Orgiva, the capital of the stunning Alpujarras mountains.  To get there you can drive through stunning gorges, that feel a little bit like you are in  cowboy territory. Then your breath is taken away by a massive expanse of deep blue water, which is the reservoir that is topped up by the melting snow from the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Situated at the bottom of the valley surrounded by forests and with the Rio Chico running through, you eventually arrive in Orgiva. The town is very traditional Alpurjarran but with a mix of some modern features too.  It has a very laid back atmosphere and attracts many free spirits who can be found wandering around the town barefoot.Alpujarras Granada Malaga
Anything goes in the Alpujarras!
We visited the small village of Cañar which sits overlooking Orgiva.  A really charming and quaint place full of character.  We happened to be there when one of the many local festivals was taking place.
The children had a ball.  Given the freedom to run around unchecked as nothing happens unnoticed  in this village under the beady eye of the local octogenarians who sit on the benches in the tiny  cobblestoned plaza .
They love watching the kids have fun.
Cañar, GranadaAs with any Spanish festival the toy stalls selling the the same things didn’t deter them from spending the euro or two burning a hole in their pockets.  During the week long festival there is always a day dedicated to the children and the village comes alive music and laughter.  Local kids are eager to participate in the simplest of games with great gusto: throwing paper balls into the the boxes, spoon and marble races and the good old sack races.  Who would have thought, when at home, if it’s not electronic, “its boring” !   Our children despite being foreign to the village were just as eager to join in and the locals were more than obliging.  Good old fashioned fun…
Meanwhile, the parents sat in the shade of the local  bar and enjoyed the tapas ( freshly prepared small portions of traditional Spanish snacks) which to our delight came free with every drink ordered. luckily, we were thirsty!
We went on walks up and down the mountain tracks, used by donkeys for centuries, enjoying the 
spectacular views and wildlife and flora.  It was really interesting to see the water ducts, designed  by the Moors to irrigate their land, it’s a method still used as it is so efficient.  Which is more than you can say for the operating times. The locals meet up weekly to loudly discuss who gets their hour of free water and when. The loudest get prime time, whilst the meek get to open up the sluice gate to allow the water to flow at 4 oclock in the morning!  All discussions are held over a brandy and a game of dominos of course!
Accommodation?
There are campsites dotted around the towns which have all the amenities for families to enjoy, even the Dance campsite for the more free spirited families! Dancecampspain.com .  Or if you prefer air conditioning  and a simple country hotel, you can find many  beautiful places on Trip Advisor.  Horse riding and trekking in the lower slopes of the mountain, you can enjoy it all in the Alpujarras.
If you are thinking of a family holiday, getting back to basics in the mountains is top of our list .
Don’t forget that you will need to hire a car for this holiday. Malagacar.com have their cars already at the airport, you can even collect a cool bag full of goodies along with your car, so you can kick the holiday off with a cold beer or glass of prosecco and some nibbles. Check out Startpackage-malaga.com  who have collaborated with them and MyGeckoBox to ensure your arrival in Spain is enjoyable. Annette and Kim, a lovely Danish couple have covered it all.  See our Guest Blog.
Happy Holiday planning.

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