Being Product Manager for our Spanish tours, I am very lucky to have visited a lot of this amazing country! However, one of my favourite places I went exploring was most definitely the Sierra de Aracena - a real undiscovered gem! Here's why....
The Lifestyle - if you are looking to really switch off and re-charge the batteries, this is the place to do it! The villages of the Sierra de Aracena are so sleepy and rural that it's very hard to feel rushed at all. Add to that the nice, easy walking trails where you can really take your time and you will undoubtedly feel re-charged at the end of a walking holiday here!
The Food - I think people get fed up about me talking about it, but I had what was one of THE best dining experiences in my life in the tiny village of Linares de Sierra at the Arrieros Restaurant (a Michelin-recommended restaurant) where I enjoyed one of their famous tasting menus. The crowning glory was the strawberry gazpacho which was like nothing I have ever tasted before!
Chance to brush up on my Spanish - this part of Spain really is quite off the beaten path, and there aren't quite as many tourists as in other parts of Andalucia. Whilst slightly daunting, this did give me the excuse to practice my Spanish to converse with the locals!
Finca Buenvino - is one of those places where you instantly feel at home! Run by the lovely Chesterton family who have lived there for the past 35 years it is set amongst 40 hectares of forest with their own Iberian pigs, sheep and chickens as well as a lovely saltwater infinity pool in which to relax.
Seville - another Spanish favourite of mine, Seville is one of the most exciting cities with its bustling tapas bars and flamenco dancers! It is just over an hour from Seville by bus to Aracena - so you can be in the heart of a thriving, jostling city one minute and in the tranquil countryside within a couple of hours!