Dia de Andalucia - 28th February. A public holiday, when the villagers of El Burgo muck in to make the delicious local dish "La sopa de los 7 ramales". The communal meal is followed by traditional dances performed by local groups.
Carnaval - A chance to watch the wonderfully inventive group and individual costumes take over the streets. Why be a spectator, when you will be warmly welcomed if you partake in the festivities?
Semana Cultural - A week of cultural events including theatrical performances organised by the town hall of El Burgo. This is a great chance to improve your language skills, and will provide a unique insight into Andalucian culture.
Two daily walks of different grades (see Itinerary for more details) in and around the nearby Sierra de las Nieves Nature Park. Routes will be led by local guides and Callum Christie, M21367's director. All local transfers included.
If you don't want to walk everyday, you can experience Andalucian customs at first hand. The daily diary is filled with a range of activities, led by expert guides. The 2013 activities and experts haven't been nailed down just yet but next year you can expect a similar line-up to the list below with some new faces and brand new activities.
Painting - Paco Mayorga.
Paco has lived in El Burgo for the last 10 years, and teaches different techniques, including abstract landscapes featuring the Spanish Firs of the Sierra de las Nieves. He has received various prizes and mentions from different competitions, and regularly exibits his work. Canvass and materials provided.
Author - Paul Murphy.
By the time of the Festival, Paul will have just completed an epic walk through Spain in the footseps of the writer Laurie Lee. Lee's celebrated memoir, "As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning" documents a year long tramp through Spain, at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). Poetry, politics and a passion for Spain combine thematically in Paul's Festival talk. He will be recounting his journey and sharing excerpts from his own forthcoming book. Read More About Laurie Lee By Clicking Here
Pottery - Devlet Dirik.
Devlet trained at the San Telmo school of Art in Picasso's home town of Malaga before moving to El Burgo. She has since established herself with a unique and widely renowned style. Devlet produces pieces ideal for home use, as well as by private order. She makes her own clay mixes and glazes and prefers to turn on the wheel. Materials provided.
Bird watching - Peter Jones.
Peter runs his own local tour company, Spanish Nature, and is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to tracking down wintering and resident species of birdlife. He is also the founder of the Andalucian Bird Society, the first organisation to actively unite Spanish and expat birding enthusiasts. His relaxed leading style has won him many followers. Bring your own binoculars.
Photography - Bob Wright.
A retired head teacher, Bob has lived in his Spanish mountain-top home above. Lake Vinuela for nearly ten years A life-long birder also interested in photography, classical music and steam trains, Bob now enjoys his retirement taking photographs on his many adventures, whether on his own or with clients and/or his Axarquia Bird Group. His exploits can be followed on both his website and blog.
Cookery - Conchi Bandera Gomez.
Conchi was raised in El Burgo. Her parents ran the best Tapas bar and later a successful Inn with an excellent kitchen. It's no surprise that Conchi has decided to follow in her mother's footsteps, repeating many of the delicious traditional dishes from recipes handed down from one generation to the next. Put on an apron, and spend a few hours in a professional kitchen, learning the art of making mouth watering tapas, soups, and even paella!
Botanising - Phil Sansum.
Phil is an ecologist. His special interest is in woodland and forest vegetation – its ecology, diversity and history. He currently works on survey and research in support of ancient woodland conservation in England and also serves as joint recorder for vascular plants in Stirlingshire, Scotland. He was awarded a PhD for his research into the long-term relationship between human resource use and woodland ecology in the Atlantic oakwoods of western Scotland. He recently fulfilled a long held ambition to visit and study the temperate rainforest vegetation of the Pacific Northwestern US and has spent time in a number of European national parks.
Astronomy - Julian Brower.
Julian has been watching the night sky for nearly 25 years. He studied astrophysics and now works on particle accelerators at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, the UK centre for Astronomy and Science. He'll take you on a tour of our universe to discover the distant galaxies and the many amazing sights to be seen from the clear skies of southern Spain.
Guided tour of Ronda - Antonio Jesús Naranjo.
Antonio Jesús will be your guide to interpreting the stunning architecture of one of Andalucia's most stunning old towns; from Roman to Moorish times, through medieval and 20th century history, a native of Ronda, Antonio Jesús also knows what makes the present day town tick, and will be able to answer all your questions. He was recently chosen to guide Michelle Obama on her visit to Ronda.
Peninsular War - Stephen Drake-Jones.
Stephen moved to Spain in 1975 during the last year of Franco´s reign. His initial forays to the battlefields of Wellington in Spain and Portugal inspired him to found the Wellington Society of Madrid in 1979. He joined the Royal Spanish navy in 1982 with the proviso that he did not have to go to sea! He taught military history for two years at the Admiralty in Madrid. He tours the battlefields of the Peninsular War in both Spain and Portugal and was guest speaker at the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, at Cape Trafalgar. He is an ardent Leeds United supporter!
Festival Director - Callum Christie.
Callum has spent most of his adult life based in Andalucia. He set up M21367 10 years ago from his family base in El Burgo. He now splits his time between leading walks in Spain, designing new holidays for M21367 as well as running the Tourism Office at the southern end of the West Highland Way in Scotland.
His fluent castellano and insights regarding the surrounding landscape and its social history help to add an extra dimension to his guided walks.
Day 1: Transfer from Malaga airport to the pretty white mountain village of El Burgo. Visitor registration & reception at El Burgo's Nature Park Centre.
Day 2: Guided walks A & B (see grading key below).
-Walk A - Circular walk from El Burgo upstream on the Moorish trail to Ronda before doubling back along the Rio Turon.
-Walk B - Explore the surrounding olive and almond groves with a low level circular walk form El Burgo. Pre dinner talk from Astronomer Julian Browser. Post Dinner Star Gazers Night Walk.
Day 3: Half day guided walks- A & B. Afternoon - Dia de Andalucia Village Party. Pottery & Painting Workshops. Full Day - both morning and afternoon sessions. Evening Talk - Ecology of the Nature Park with Callum & Phil.
Day 4: Guided walks A & B.
-Walk A - Into the Sierra de las Nieves Nature Park with a route through the majestic forests of Spanish Firs.
-Walk B - A circular walk within the Nature Park along drovers' trails.
Andalucian Cookery - a full day of typical dishes and tapas. Evening Talk with Historian Stephen Drake-Jones.
Day 5: Vineyard Tour and Wine Tasting in Ronda. Lunch in Ronda. Cultural Tour of Ronda. Pre dinner talk from Astronomer Julian Browser. Post dinner Star Gazers Night Walk.
Day 6: Guided walks A & B.
-Walk A - A chance to climb Sierra Cabrilla, the limestone giant that towers over El Burgo.
-Walk B - A drop off and walk back to El Burgo, through beautifully mixed terrain of pine forests, worked fields and olive groves, with wonderful views over the surrounding hills. Full Day Bird Watching & Photography Field Trip. Evening - Paella Night & Learn to Dance Flamenco.
Day 7: Guided walks A & B.
-Walk A - Stunning circular walk through the Nature Park with a great variety of terrain on show; from mountain pastures to craggy limestone cliffs that overhang majestic forests of endemic Fir.
-Walk B - A circular walk within the Park past the lime and stone built farmhouse where the last Andalucian outlaw had a daring escape from the Law. Additional Workshops may be available. Evening - Dress up for Carnaval.
Day 8: Transfer to Malaga airport. Note: Walk Gradings are as follows.
-Grade A: a walk between 4 and 6 hours with combined altitude climb not exceeding 500 m.
-Grade B: a walk between 3 and 5 hours with combined climbs not exceeding 250 m. Please note that the order of events may be subject to change during the week.
-Single supplement £95
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