Giving its name to the Iberian Peninsula, the Ebro is Spain’s longest river and winds its way through the vast plains and towering gorges of the Cantabrian Mountains to the Mediterranean Sea.
Spanish holiday specialist Pura Aventura believes that in 2018 the Ebro is the place to go, and has introduced a new and unique inn-to-inn walking holiday following the upper course of the River. This is real Spain, secret Spain. Staying at charming guesthouses and posadas, walking between ancient villages where the rich history leaps out around each corner and where the Ebro is a constant companion, this is a little-visited and honest region that is best discovered on foot.
After transferring via high speed rail from Madrid, the holiday begins in the historic city of Burgos, home to a landmark cathedral and former capital of the Kingdom of Castile. Here, guests are met by one of Pura’s local guides who gives both an intimate city tour, uncovering its rich history and culture, and talks through the route for the week ahead.
The next morning the self-guided walking begins, starting at the spectacular viewpoint at Valcabao, before descending into the little-visited Valderedible Valley and following the Ebro to the village of Polientes, for an overnight stay in a converted mill.
Guests walk along the River to the village of San Martín de Elines, home to a beautifully preserved Romanesque church and the perfect spot for a lazy lunch.
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This afternoon the path continues through the narrowing limestone gorge to the spectacular village of Orbaneja del Castillo, where the ancient houses are framed by a horizon of jagged limestone towers. Guests spend two nights in Orbaneja, climbing out of the canyon to explore the Páramo plateau which offers far-reaching views of the River.
The next stop is Molino del Canto, reached by a zigzagging path that passes shepherd huts and plains of wild flowers. Here, guests stay with Javier in his converted watermill. A passionate birder, Javier joins walkers to explain more about the local area and helps them to spot colonies of griffin vultures nesting in the cliffs. After walking around the edge of the canyon (one of the country’s most famous hikes), guests re-join Javier to head back into Molino for a special three-course dinner served with regional wines.
The holiday’s final destination is Oña, where an 11th-century Benedictine monastery takes pride of places and transfers can be made to Bilbao for the flight home.
Pura Aventura (01273 676 712) offers the Ebro Inn-to-Inn from £1,415pp sharing, including eight nights’ B&B accommodation, five picnics, five dinners, luggage transfers, transfers, maps and detailed walking notes. Available March to June and September to November. Flights extra.
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