For many adventurers, the allure of travel is in the land itself.
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Popular Cultural Holiday
This is a small group guided holiday. The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.
The trip did not get off to a good start as contrary to the joining instructions, there was no one to meet us at Madrid airport. (Flights had been booked through Exodus). Eventually we had to telephone the Exodus office in the UK and the guide who had been waiting at a different terminal did meet us.
Covarrubias is a pretty medieval town which was unfortunately mostly closed as the season appeared over. The hotel was pleasant, the staff very friendly and the evening meals very good. The packed lunches were at best average. The first two days walks were disappointing and returned early afternoon. The last three days walks were much better, covering a variety of terrain and offering lovely views. The guide was enthusiastic but it was the first time she had led this trip. The 2+ hour return trip by bus to the airport was not accompanied by an Exodus representative (or English and Spanish speaker) but fortunately no problems were encountered.
The last two walking days were good.
She was enthusiastic and made an effort to find the answers to questions. She kindly organised a bus for us all to go to Burgos on our day off. As experienced walkers, she did not appear to us to be an experienced walking guide.
At this time of year the town was very quiet with most things closed.
Having enjoyed travelling with Exodus several times now, we were certainly not disappointed this time - this trip was one of the best.
Covarrubias has a charming small medieval town centre, and the hotel is well-situated in the old part where limited traffic access meant it was very peaceful. The hotel was very comfortable and the meals good - substantial breakfasts and varied dinners (with wine provided). Our host, Eloy, looked after us very well.
The walking matched the grade very well for us - 17-20 km walks with leisurely 9.30am starts, and usually ending back at the hotel between 4pm and 5pm - in time for a relaxing beer or two afterwards under the shady trees in the square. The climbs were often gradual, with just a few steep pinches; but the views from the top were well worth the effort. The maximum climbing in one day was 450m (not all at once though). We often had quite hot weather (up to 33°C), but as a lot of the climbs were in the morning, often in partial shade, this wasn't too bad. Rucksacks were a bit heavy though, with up to 2 litres of water, packed lunch and the precautionary waterproofs etc. The main effect of the hot weather was some sore feet after long descents on stony paths - very comfortable boots are needed for such conditions.
All but one of the walks started from the hotel, taking us quickly into the lovely countryside. The vast expanses of wild flowers were an unexpected bonus (we thought they'd be over by June). All the walks took in different views and terrain, and were planned to allow for plenty of opportunities to stand and stare, take photos and enjoy leisurely elevenses and lunch. The villages were interesting, if rather quiet.
The free day spent in Burgos was worthwhile. The cathedral is spectacular, and the town centre very pleasant to wander around, especially by the river. For a more relaxing day it's worth sharing a taxi to return to Covarrubias late afternoon rather than taking the regular 1pm bus.
Highlights were - panoramic views from ridges or mountain tops, fields of wildflowers, isolated villages, Burgos cathedral.
Emily, was great - very friendly, knowledgeable and with relaxed leadership. She paced the walks very well.
Watch out for the stairs in the hotel. A few of our group missed their footing coming down where the stairs turn - the dark wood stain makes the edges hard to see, even with the light on.
Signed up for this with a friend - our first walking holiday with Exodus and we weren't disappointed! Based out of Covarrubias, a picturesque and characterful town 2hrs north of Madrid - an undiscovered gem off the usual tourist route.
5 days of walking and each day was different, striking off in a different direction each morning. The terrain was varied and we had some fantastic views! Our leader Emily was wonderful - the perfect combination of enthusiasm and professionalism, and so full of knowledge about the local area and the walks themselves.
Our day off trip to nearby Burgos was also a pleasant surprise - plenty to see for those culturally/ religiously inclined (famous cathedral and spotting Camino pilgrims) as well as modern evolution museum that far surpassed expectations.
Would highly recommend this for all ages - the name of the trip implies a more historic trip - and while there was certainly plenty of history, the emphasis was most definitely on the hikes themselves.
A great ridge walk on our final day that allowed some of the best views of the trip.
The daily dinners provided by the local hotel - some true spanish home cooking - surpassing all expectations in both quality and quantity!
Emily was absolutely fantastic - a real asset to Exodus. So knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and handled difficult situations with sensitivity.
Bring lots of layers! The weather was unpredictable when we were there in June - going from 27c to 17c in a single week.
A suggested day is to take the 09:00 public bus to the cathedral city Burgos and its many sights. Return on 13:00 bus to Covarrubias for tapas lunch at our hotel. The choice of a siesta or short afternoon walk before taking a tour of the town, provided by the tourist office, including a visit to the church museum.
Bethany Lees - European Operations
Yes, this trip is centre based so if you would prefer to take off any of the days, you're free to do your own thing. Obviously we hope you'll take advantage of all that is on offer, but it's still a holiday, not a forced march!
Brendan Phelan - Customer Operations
All the staff at Exodus share a passion for adventure travel, and are always happy to answer any questions you may have. You can find an expert for the area you are interested in here and can contact them to get further information. If you don't see your specific country listed, please email [email protected] and they will get the answers you need!
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|Sat 10 Jun 17 - Sat 17 Jun 17||Available & guaranteed||Price excl. flights (pp) from USD $1,115||Book now|
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