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Which of the sierras in Andalucia would be most pleasant to visit in early March?

Which of the sierras in Andalucia would be most pleasant to visit in early March?

Old Feb 18th, 2003, 08:22 PM
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Which of the sierras in Andalucia would be most pleasant to visit in early March?

We would like to spend a 3 or 4 days visiting an area that would have turned the corner from winter to spring, and would have a mix of nature and quaint towns and villages. I've thought of perhaps the Sierra de Aracena or the Arcos/Ronda/Gralalema area or Las Alpujarras. I think we could enjoy ourselves equally in all of the areas but the season has me worried. I can't quite figure out the effect that elevation will have on the environment. I know there are never any weather guarantees, but which of these areas would have greened up the most and might have some flowering plants? If we decide to do some hiking I'd prefer to have some color over the winter greys and browns. Thanks.
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Old Feb 19th, 2003, 08:16 AM
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Julie, I can't totally answer your question but can offer some information. We have stayed in the area just west of the Alpujarras (about 1/2 an hour drive west of Lanjaron) for the last 2 weeks of March several times in the past few years. At this time of year in that location, the orange trees have already been in bloom long enough for the local men to be harvesting oranges and the trees seem to be still in bloom while there's already ripe fruit on them. The almond trees flower in February, I believe. In the towns along the coast, there is some bougainvilla in bloom and a few other flowers, but largely it is still pretty early for flowers. A lot of the gardens we went to, e.g., the Generalife at the Alhambra, seemed to be just barely waking up from the winter. There was wistaria blooming in the village where we stayed. I suspect that the higher elevations are markedly colder (at least at night) and I bet there's less blooming at the same time.<BR>I don't know anything about the Sierra de Aracena region but I'm sure some other Fodorite will.<BR>Have a great trip (we're leaving 3/13 for Spain).<BR>gail
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Old Feb 19th, 2003, 11:58 AM
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julies,<BR>I can't give you a definite answer either, as we never travel in Andaluc&iacute;a that early in March, but I suspect that the greening up would come later on in Aracena. Don't think the winter greys and browns will have disappeared by then. <BR><BR>You might come closer to the flowering and greenery you're looking for a bit below Ronda/Arcos/Grazalema in the Gauc&iacute;n environs, as Gauc&iacute;n is only a half hr. drive from the coast.<BR><BR>Here's my suggestion: <BR>I'd email the folks at i-escape ([email protected]) and ask them this question. <BR>Or maybe Nikki at i-escape will see this and come to your rescue! <BR>I-escape represents properties in all these areas: Aracena, Gauc&iacute;n, the other white towns and the Alpujarras, and they should be able to give you the precise info you're seeking.<BR><BR>Or ask the Alpujarras specialists, Rustic Blue, at [email protected] about the best area there for your dates.
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Old Feb 19th, 2003, 11:59 AM
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Gail--<BR><BR>I actually have info on several self-catering places near the Lecrin Valley. Is this the area where you stayed? Where exactly did you stay and what did you think of the area? We are not into shopping or places that just cater to the tourist trade. We are not golfers. Actually we'd like to bike, but I think from what I've read the area only lends itself to mountain bikers. We like to visit small colorful towns and markets. We are outdoorsy people but do not want to go to Spain soley for a nature vacation since we live in Minnesota which is one of the most beautiful places in the country once the snow melts (that is also why I am looking for a little green). We probably would be interested in doing some hiking in the Alpujarras between the small towns. We want to visit Granada for at least a day. Even though we have minimal Spanish we are not concerned about getting off the beaten path to visit the real Spain. What do you recommend in this area? We are quite active. Could we entertain ourselves for a week if we booked a place for a week? Thanks.
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Old Feb 19th, 2003, 12:58 PM
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maribel--<BR><BR>You are a font of information. Thanks so much for your help with ALL of my questions, and I know ther have been a lot of them. Unfortunately, I am one of those people who wants to explore all options ahead of time so as to have the best possible trip and to avoid disappointment. Plus, I think it makes it a little more difficult when we don't necessarily want to do all the things that the more typical tourist might want.
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Old Feb 19th, 2003, 02:25 PM
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julies,<BR>In cas you haven't already discovered them, <BR>www.spanishaffair.com<BR>offers many self-catering properties around Gauc&iacute;n plus the Lecr&iacute;n valley.<BR><BR>www.elnobo.co.uk offers a cute little cottage on their property.
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Old Feb 19th, 2003, 03:08 PM
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Maribel--<BR><BR>I've taken your advice and e-mailed both Rustic Blue and i-escape. Already got a reply from i-escape and am considering those options. It will be intersting to see what Rustic Blue suggests. Thanks again.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2003, 07:42 PM
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Julie: sorry, I haven't checked the board in a few days. In reply to your questions:<BR>yes, we stayed in the Lecrin valley, in a village called Chite. We enjoyed it and that's where we're staying again when we go next month. I don't think the area is very conducive to biking: it's very mountainous and the roads are very narrow, with no guardrails and no breakdown lane, and traversed by fearless car and truck drivers. I think there are probably some really-back-roads that could be mountain biked. I am unaware of any local markets but there may be some. My brother-in-law (with whom we travel) also wants to go to the Alpujarras and do some hiking/walking. Last time we were there, we drove as far as Orgiva just to look around and I have to admit that I wimped out -- couldn't stand the hairpin turns with precipitous drops and no guardrails and made him turn around and go back. I'm going to give it another try this year.<BR>I don't know what to recommend to you. As i mentioned in my email response to you directly, we just enjoyed walking around the village and through the orchards, buying groceries in the tiny store, buying bread at the local bakery, making coffee in the morning and eating pastries we just bought up on the roof deck sipping our coffee and looking at the mountains. We took a couple of daytrips into Granada, and drove to Almunecar and Salobrena one day.<BR>Although you can get by without spanish, you can not ask anyone for directions and expect to understand their response so if you go out in your car and want to try to find the old district in the center of Almunecar, for example, you can forget it. I loved Spain and the Spanish so much that I started studying the language so I can try to communicate a little with the people we meet.
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