From farm visits to museum exhibits, scenic drives to all-day trips, we can suggest some great outings. Here are just a few of the possibilities…
La Pasarela, Castril
Castril is an enchanting mountain village with a beautiful river running around it. A scenic boardwalk, La Pasarela, makes it possible to follow the river´s course through a narrow gorge formed by massive slabs of limestone. Cross the river on a swing bridge and enter a cave where a lovely waterfall awaits you. Stop for beer and tapas at a reformed mill before winding your way back up to town through the olive groves.
Duration: The walk itself takes around an hour.
Hike to the source of the Rio Castril
There is a lovely low-level hike to the source of the river Castril inside the natural park. There is a visitor centre just outside Castril dedicated to the natural park. Opening hours are updated regularly at El Geco Verde.
Duration/cost: If you´d like an English speaking guide the cost is €30 for the four-hour round trip.
Farm visit, Castril
Learn the secrets of organic cheese and bread making with Castril´s ecological farm pioneer Jose Maria. Prepare the cheese and the dough, then bake your bread in a traditional Andalucian wood burning oven. Why not take a tour of the farm while the dough is rising? This activity is by prior arrangement only.
Duration: Workshops take place in several sessions with a longer break for lunch. Fresh bread, cheese, honey, figs, delicious!
Cost: Adults €30, kids (12 years old or less) €15. We try to put families together for this activity so the farmer has a mimimum income of €100 for the day.
Guided walk/Cookery class
Farmer, guide and gastonomic expert Jose Maria reveals some of the secret places of Castril´s Natural Park, including some spectacular rock dwellings and the hand-hewn home of a famous local hermit.
Back at his farm JM will teach you a few of his favourite traditional dishes, whereupon lunch is served!
Jose only has a few words of English but he´s a natural communicator! A translator can be provided at extra cost.
Duration: Walk of two hours followed by cookery workshop of 90 mins, then lunch. By prior arrangement only.
Cost: €60 for two people, €70 for three, €80 for four and €100 for five, ingredients (and lunch) included.
The Cradle of Europe; Galera and Orce
This full day trip from El Geco Verde takes in the amazing Bronze Age village of Castellon Alton (background picture of this page) two gorgeous cave towns and some really mind-bending scenery.
An unusual natural swimming pool (full of trout) provides a relaxing break from the cultural trail, then its on to Orce to find out why they call this area “the cradle of European civilisation.”
Ask Ilaria or Des for written information and round trip directions.
NB: Castellon Alto is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Duration: Full day. Allow for a one hour car journey each way through stunning scenery. Aim to arrive at Castellon Alto by 11am. Orce´s Prehistory Museum is open 5pm to 9pm (summer) or 4pm to 6pm (winter) and is closed Mondays, except bank holidays.
Cost; Entrance fees to sites and museums are around €3pp. The natural pool (Fuencaliente de Orce) is free.
Top tip; Go on a Saturday if you want to see inside Orce´s Moorish castle (it´s only open to the public on Saturdays).
New for 2017: An English speaking tour guide can combine a tour of Castellon Alto in English with Esparto grass weaving workhops for around €30pp. Ask Ilaria or Des for more details.
Granada & La Alhambra
Granada is internationally famous for La Alhambra, the incredible Moorish fortress which dominates the old quarter of the city.
Marvel at how the intricate craftmanship of the palaces has defied the ages and enjoy the harmonious interplay of plants, geometry and water which makes the garden so iconic. Try to spare a little time for wandering the cobbled backstreets of the ancient Albayzin district or enjoying tapas in the city´s bars.
At only 90 minutes from El Geco Verde, a visit to Granada and a tour of La Alhambra makes for an unforgettable day trip but it is important to book well in advance.
For information in English, go to: http://www.alhambra.org/eng
Top tip; The interior patio of the Hotel America (inside La Alhambra) is a lovely cool place to rest.