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Snowshoeing in Sierra Nevada, Mulhacen behind

Winter Holidays in Spain

Top 5 Destinations for Winter Holidays in Spain

Tenerife: Even though the beaches in Tenerife are incredible, there’s so much more to see. Playing host to the UNESCO World Heritage Site and volcanic Mount Teide, Teide National Park is drenched in history and nature. As you walk along ancient trails, dramatic mountains and breath-taking views appear around every twist and turn. And the coastline is just as impressive, lined with whitewashed villages and towns where you can enjoy the local Spanish culture and sample authentic dishes such as tapas and paella.

La Palma: When you visit La Palma, you’ll soon realise why it’s been dubbed the Pretty Isle. Home to giant gorges, ocean views and prehistoric forests, everything about this island is totally alluring. What’s more, there are over 900 endemic species of wildlife that occupy La Palma and in 2002 the island became a Biosphere Reserve. It’s also worth taking a trip to Santa Cruz Old Town where ancient cobblestone streets are flanked with religious buildings and colonial-style architecture that tell of its illustrious past.

Andalucia: Blessed with sun-drenched landscapes made up of lush olive groves, ancient forests and rugged peaks, Andalucia draws the hiking crowd all year round. There is something wildly beautiful about the region that sets it apart from many other Spanish destinations. Some of the most awe-inspiring places to explore are the El Chorro Gorge and the Caminito del Rey, the passionate city of Seville and the Sierra de Grazalema, which was the first ever national park in Andalucia. Seville is the birthplace of Flamenco, and throughout the city you’ll see fine examples of Moorish art.

Picos de Europa: One of the most impressive mountain ranges in Europe, Picos de Europa National Park is the only inhabited nature reserve in Spain. The park lies on the Iberian Peninsula and encompasses 11 villages as well as a range of limestone mountains. Throughout the park the occasional bear or wolf and a wealth of bird species, including eagles and vultures, are often spotted on walking tours, making it a fantastic place for wildlife lovers.

Camino de Santiago: One of the most famous and oldest pilgrimage routes in Europe is the Camino de Santiago. It’s also known by many as the Way of St James and is made up of a network of routes that follow an 800km trail to Santiago de Compostela which culminates at the final resting place of St James, Baroque Cathedral. Along the route of old farm tracks and country paths you pass iconic sites such as the seat of the Spanish Kings, Galicia and old Castile. En route you’ll stop off at traditional Spanish restaurants, try the local dishes and meet with other like-minded walkers travelling along the Camino de Santiago.

Never having done snowshoeing before we were not sure how easy it would be but if you can walk you can snowshoe! It was a wonderful novel way of exploring the woodlands around the basecamp with plenty of time to chill in the sauna at the end of the afternoon.

Deborah Gibson-Smith Snowshoeing in Finland

As a complete beginner with no expectations leading up to it, I was left amazed by the stunning location and excellent tour leaders. The leaders managed the group superbly, considering the various ages, experience and ability levels. The accommodation was fun, though a bit tight for space with 4 grown men sharing a 4-sleepr room, I felt like I was at camp. The skiing itself was one of the best things I have ever experienced and can’t wait to try again. Very demanding at times physically, but I pushed myself more than what was expected. A special mention of the food, which was all included. The chefs really know what they’re doing!

VAUGHAN SHEWARD Cross-country Skiing: Kvitavatn

Excellent trip definitely recommend it

Martin Killey Finnish Wilderness Week