Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Amazing Aracena

Aracena Natural Park remains one of our most beloved destinations after hosting over a decade of our holidays. In June, Roger Jones returned with yet another happy bunch of painters and walkers, and it made me want to know why Aracena is such a great destination for Authentic Adventurers, year in and year out? Roger tells us a little about his most recent Aracena experience and why it is such a special location to paint.

Above Alajar, the village where we stay
Alajar was our destination within the Aracena Natural Park on this occasion, and it provides everything an Authentic Adventure holiday aspires to. Alajar and the nearby villages lie amid a green oasis of cork and holm oaks within the valleys of the Sierra de Aracena, north of Seville. We've brought painters and walkers to this area before, and we now have a fantastic family hotel, run by Angel and Lucy, to cater for us. The hotel offers a welcoming and serene environment  boasting outstanding comfort and local cuisine, not to mention a pool to bask beside to boot!

As before, we call upon the skills and extensive local knowledge of Peter and his wife 'MJ' as our walking leader and tutor's assistant. Alajar and the surrounding area has always been one of my favourite painting locations, more so now I've added the hamlet of Cabezuelo (a gem of a place), to a mix that so well represents, scenically, what we can offer our guests.

Cabazuelo - 'a gem of a place'
Alajar deserves to remain on the Authentic Adventures radar as it is such a satisfying location for painters and walkers alike; and it runs so smoothly with all those involved. It is barely two hours from Seville (closest airport) and in spring can rival anywhere I know in Spain or Italy with its beautiful flowers and, even further afield, the scenery of Gozo, Malta.

Aracena Natural Park encapsulates our philosophy of how holiday locations should be. Whether walking or painting, it combines stunning scenery with a sincere and friendly welcome, a taste of local cuisine, comfort, contentedness and, to make it even more magical, meeting local friends of ours along the way. Angel will show you how to carve, others can show you how to make your own fan or offer you the local delicacies (the finest cheeses & ham!) all, of course, washed down with the local wine!

Roger with one of his oil painting demos
Those who were tutored by Roger in Aracena seem to share his opinion of the region and the holiday, here is some of the feedback we received upon their return:

"I really felt we discovered authentic Spain."

"Quite superb hosts & cooks, we hope they do really well!"

"Excellent company and a superb holiday."

We have a host of upcoming dates to Aracena as well as a range of other exciting destinations, including those led by Roger in Sardinia, Gozo, Jersey and hopefully a return to Alajar!

Roger, who won the Menena Joy Schwabe Memorial Award at the ROI, is our longest serving tutor and never fails to deliver fantastic painting holidays, to find out more about him and his work visit

Find out more about our painting holidays online at or phone the office for bookings, brochure requests or if you have any queries on 01453 823 328