We are Ana and Will…
…we run Explore Spain Now but whenever we get an opportunity to leave the office to explore this wonderful country we do!
This spring / summer, we loaded our camper van with all the toys we needed to fulfil our ever growing list of go-to adventures. Climbing, SCUBA diving, hiking, swimming, paragliding and gorging on tapas all squabble for first place on our list of loves.
We headed down to Bolonia first for some early morning climbing, beating the hottest part of the day, before then heading down the road to Tarifa for a splash in the sea. Tarifa is home to some of the best kite surfing in Europe, if not the world!
Another favourite spot for us and on our road trip itinerary was the white village of Algodonales, about 1hr 20 minutes drive east of Seville. Algodonales is a mecca for paragliding, with pilots visiting from all over the world, especially in the winter when thermals are still working here but have died off elsewhere in Europe.
We couldn’t resist spending a couple of days in Conil for further beach vibes and to fill our boots with some of the best tapitas in the region. The tapas bars here are bustling, full of energy and a must visit destination for anyone wanting to Explore Spain Now!
Climbing wise, although beautiful and on every climbers wish list, we tend to scoot round El Chorro, favouring the quieter areas of Grazelema and Benaocaz. In the week, we often have these lesser known climbing areas to ourselves and know just the right places to climb to avoid the hottest time of the day or for the best views. We mostly enjoy lead sport climbing, but sometimes like to fix a top rope on a route way out of our league lead wise and see how we fair with the extra protection. There’s always a tapas bar near by for a spot of reflection and a couple of cañas (small beers) post climb. Having the van with us means that we can stay either near the climbing routes, by the beach, or if things get lively – outside the bar!
We enjoy watching the vultures flying above us when we are out on a climbing or hiking day and Will often thermals with them when paragliding. There are several vulture colonies in the Andalucia region and a great indication to paraglider pilots of when the conditions are start to work well.
Another graggy spot on the list is El Cerro del Hierro – a weird and wonderful place to climb, with some great wild camping spots near by for the van too. The formations are staggering and often the climbing routes are hidden away leaving those climbers not familiar with the area scratching their heads, guide book in hand.
As the summer kicks in, it’s time for us to head further north and get the diving gear out. Spain is home to oodles of superb diving spots, with many of them designated protected areas. This means that the fish life can be incredible, alongside some of the finest ship wrecks.
We meet many like minded folk along the way, even bumping into friends we’ve made on previous road trips. As well as the consistent weather and outstanding natural beauty, the low prices for great food and drink make this part of the world attractive to us and all that visit her.