For 2020 departures our trip inclusions are changing - please contact us for full details
Based at a firm Headwater favourite, the Finca el Cerrillo, this holiday combines gentle walking to the nearby white villages of Sedella, Salares and Competa with visits to the caves at Nerja and a day in Malaga, the birthplace of Picasso. The week ends with a spectacular 4X4 drive to Loma del Daire with views of the nearby peaks and distant views to Nerja and the sea. Our experienced walking leader will accompany you on all walks. Some of our paths will take us off the beaten track in the Sierra de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park and on other days, we'll be exploring the pretty white villages and olive-planted hillsides that date back to Moorish times. The walks are short, typically allowing for free time in the afternoon to relax in the beautiful grounds of the Finca.
The Finca el Cerrillo is an absolute gem of a place to stay. There are 13 individually styled en-suite rooms. The living areas include a wonderfully atmospheric beamed lounge - cool in summer and kept cosy on winter nights with a blazing log fire, dining room, small library and 'honesty' bar. The terraced gardens, with 100-year-old carob and palm trees, surround both sunny and shaded patios with comfy seating areas. The pool affords stunning views of the valley below and the pretty Moorish village of Archez with its 13th century Moorish tower.
The food here is superb with menus relying on fresh, local produce. On five evenings you eat at the Finca, either in the dining room or al fresco on warm evenings, and on the remaining nights dinner is included in a local restaurant. Wine (1/2 bottle per person) is included every evening as are all breakfasts and picnic/tapas lunches.
Read more about this holiday in our blog.
Walks are along mule paths and tracks with some ascents and descents. Transport is provided most days to get you to the start of the walk or back to the hotel.
Arrive at your hotel in Canillas de Albaida.
Hotel: Finca el Cerrillo
Meals: Evening meal
A 5-minute transfer takes us to the church of Santa Ana in Canillas de Albaida from where we head towards Competa passing smallholdings with avocados, maize, artichoke and citrus trees. We stop at the Bodegas Almijara where Maria will show us around and explain about wine making in the region - of course you'll get to enjoy a taste! It's then on to Competa for a tapas lunch in the lively main square, Plaza Almijara. We wind our way back to Santa Ana Church and either take the transfer back to the hotel or continue walking along the mule path from the village back to the Finca.
Hotel: Finca el Cerrillo
Meals: Breakfast, Picnic lunch & Evening meal
Today we head to the white village of Sedella where a track takes us above the village passing Roman terraces, still farmed today. We head up through almond groves to the Molino de Montosa, beneath the imposing La Maroma (2,096m), the highest peak in the region. On a clear day we can see North Africa's Rif Mountains. It's big bird country here too with regular sightings of griffon vultures and other birds of prey. After stopping for a picnic we head back down to Sedella and enjoy a cool drink in Salvador's bar before heading back for a lazy afternoon by the pool or in the library.
Hotel: Finca el Cerrillo
Meals: Breakfast, Picnic lunch & Evening meal
We offer an optional excursion to the beautiful city of Malaga where you have the day to explore at your leisure. Your starting point is the Castillo de Gibralfaro, a Moorish fortress with spectacular views to the port and town below. From here venture down into the old town where you can explore the Alcazaba, the Moorish Palace next to the Roman ruins. The 16th century cathedral is in the heart of the old town and a short distance from here is the Picasso museum with over 200 of the artist's paintings on display.
Hotel: Finca el Cerrillo
Meals: Breakfast, Picnic lunch & Evening meal
We head along a track through olives and citrus groves before dropping down past the bat house with resident horseshoe bats. We'll then continue alongside woodland, listening out for the river running beneath us and watching out for golden orioles. We enter Salares over the Arabic bridge which provides a great photo opportunity! There is an interesting church, Santa Ana, still bearing an old Moorish minaret. Lunch is taken at Theo's bar before a transfer back to the Finca.
Hotel: Finca el Cerrillo
Meals: Breakfast, Tapas lunch & Evening meal
A 45-minute transfer takes us to the spectacular Cuevas de Nerja where a 750m walkway takes us through a series of caves to a large column 32 metres high. We then head back out to start our walk along the Barranco de Maro. Wildflowers line the gorge with amazing rocky overhangs providing shady spots. After lunch explore Nerja town where you can people-watch from the Balcon de Europa, a rocky promontory made famous by King Alfonso XII. Relax on the beach or head to Nerja Museum to discover more about the caves. It's then back to the Finca before dinner in a local restaurant.
Hotel: Finca el Cerrillo
Meals: Breakfast, Picnic lunch & Evening meal
Today is all about views - a 4x4 drive takes us into the Sierra de Alhama Natural Park where we stop at a viewpoint - a stunning vista of jagged peaks and the coast. The drive and the views continue until we reach the start point for the walk. We begin with a gentle climb surrounded by cistus, rosemary, thyme and an abundance of wildflowers. The trail flattens and contours round the mountain, below Cerro Verde, before meeting up with the historic silk trail taking us into Granada Province and back to the viewpoint.
Hotel: Finca el Cerrillo
Meals: Breakfast, Picnic lunch & Evening meal
Read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.
NEARBY:Situated in the heart of the southern Andalucian province of Axarquia, and on the edge of the Tejeda National Park, the Finca el Cerrillo is an absolute gem of a place to stay. Run by Sue and Gordon Kind along with manager - chef, Christine and dog, Sybil, it is a comfortably restored 200 year old farmhouse (it was used as an olive mill between 1805 and 1960).
If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.
This modern 3 star hotel is situated in an ideal position, just 200 metres from the Cathedral and a 2-minute walk from the Plaza Mariana Pineda, the location of the municipal tourist office.
Room upgrades: Superior.
The 4 star Hotel Becquer is a lovely hotel, with lots of original features, and is just a 10-minute walk from the historic old quarter and cathedral. There is a large airy lounge with plenty of seating, a breakfast room and attached tapas bar.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
NEARBY:The Molina Lario is perfectly situated in the old town just a stone's throw from the Cathedral, known as 'the one armed lady', and within easy walking distance of the other key sights.
Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
This is the second time we have visited the Finca, this time with friends to whom we recommended the holiday. It was a first class experience from the moment we arrived to the moment we left. Sue , Gordon and their team at the Finca were very welcoming knowledgeable and interested in all aspects of our days , they clearly loved the countryside and wanted us to maximise our experience. Our guide, Rafa was brilliant and added to the whole experience. The cuisine was also brilliant and in itself enough to draw us back!
Thanks to all involved....
A beautiful place...
Overall, a very good holiday. As I hadn't been on a walking holiday before, I wasn't sure what to expect. Given the location I expected slopes, and from photos realised that paths could be rough, however the walks were more challenging than I expected and I would not describe them as easy. In particular, on the last day we had a long steep, scrambly stretch up a fire break where I needed the guide to give me a hand in places. None of the walks are that long, but it was the terrain was quite difficult in places. However, Rafa the guide was great, and the vistas were great (when you weren't watching where to put your feet)! Some of the paths were narrow with prickly plants that were difficult to avoid, so long trousers would have prevented my legs getting scratched - mainly on the first and last walks.
On arrival, the photo of the cafe where we were to meet the taxi driver did not tally with the actual. A little map would have been helpful. The actual transfer takes about an hour - the first half along the coast and the second half going up the hillside on narrow winding roads with precipitous drops but Maria, (my taxi drive both to and from the airport) was an excellent driver.
The Finca was a delight, with lovely gardens. Don't expect TV's or telephones in the rooms, which are simply furnished, but clean and I found the bed comfortable. Meals were taken altogether around a long table. There were eleven of us in the Headwater group and we filled half the 14 rooms. The other rooms were taken by a group of artists from Canada on a painting course. Overall the food was excellent (although I wasn't too keen on the buffet meal one evening). Most nights at the Finca there was no choice of menu, with the exception of one night when it was a choice between two white fish for the main course, although vegetarians and dietary restrictions are catered for. Two evening meals are at local restaurants and we were then asked to make our choices before going off for our walk that day.
I didn't go on the trip down to Malaga as I had picked up a blister on the first day, so I stayed at the hotel and read. Although I was the only one staying in the hotel, Alison arranged for me to have a salad for lunch, and Sybil the dog came and kept me company for a while!
I was travelling alone, and was the only "solo" walker. I may have been very lucky, but my fellow walkers were all very nice and I never felt left out or uncomfortable in any way because I was travelling alone. The whole group seem to blend together very well, yet there was still time to sit alone if you wanted to.
Overall I was very happy with the holiday. I would have liked more time wandering around the white villages themselves, as opposed to seeing a little bit of them at the beginning or end of a walk, and I really would have liked to hear some Spanish guitar music sometime during the week. I also tried to book a massage (as advertised by the hotel), but apparently the lady who does it won't come for just one person.
A great way to explore the hills of Andalusia, if you don't mind walking with the hotel dog bounding around.
Finca el Carrillo is a little paradise. Our walks took us round the white villages and up into the hills. We saw many butterflies, flowers and birds. We even heard a nightingale. We also enjoyed local cuisine. Our day in Malaga was an opportunity to see some wonderful art at the Carmen Thyssen Museum also the Picasso
Beautiful walks. Guide was good in assessing group ability and provided challenging walks. The hotel was fabulous. I have never stayed in such a wonderful place with such good food and facilities.
This holiday exceeded my expectations. Excellent doesn’t do justice to this holiday.
We had a great time -The other members of the group were friendly and we had enjoyable walks and meals together. Gordon and Sue were so lovely . They were very knowledgeable and helpful both as guides and also as hotel owners.They have built such a great hotel ,both comfortable and efficient .I understood why so many of their guests return.
Very enjoyable with good company, good accommodation, lovely walks. A little more attention to detail with joining instructions would have helped.
A lovely week walking in the hills of Andalucia, based in a great little Finca. Wonderful food and friendly, helpful staff making for a very relaxing stay. Nice to have a day off in Malaga which has lots to see. A fabulous walking guide in Judith who although Dutch lives locally so knows the area very well. Would definitely recommend the week for gentle walks, great food and hopefully good weather!
The highlight of the holiday was most definitely the hotel. We were made to feel like old friends, even by fellow guests who weren’t part of our group. We’ve never stayed in a more relaxing hotel. The guide was excellent and the walks, particularly the last one into the mountains, where delightful. The accommodation was excellent as was the food.
Finca el Cerrillo was a beautiful property, with everything you could hope for. There was only 14 rooms but the outside space, with so many tucked away seating areas, was incredibly spacious. Dinner each evening was delicious. Our hosts were friendly and welcoming, and the staff always smiling and helpful. Judith, our guide, was extremely knowledgeable and very easy to get on with. She helped to make our walks a real experience.
5* location, 5* beautiful Finca with endless hidden terraces, where you could relax in peace if you wanted to. Lovely swimming pool. Food was exceptional throughout the week, including lunch tapas stops out and evening restaurant meals,. Best of all were the Finca meals. Wine was flowing and , if you wanted, you could purchase further drinks before meals from the Honesty bar. I found the walks accurately marked at 1+ and, at 67 and only recently having become a walker, I thought they were perfectly doable unless you had mobility issues, in which case, choose a trip which doesn't include rugged mountain tracks. The guide, Nick, gave us background geography and history, while walking, and many thought that was a welcome addition to some other trips they had been on. There were only 9 of us and I think, again, that that is what made the trip so enjoyable. We could chat to different people on the walk and evening meals were all the more pleasant because of the smaller group. Sue and Gordon, who run the Finca with help, provided an exceptional experience. They put themselves out and were charming but unobtrusive. I think I was very lucky to have chosen this trip as my first walking experience away on my own. It was a brilliant week and well worth every penny.
Brilliant! Fantastic guide (Nick), food, The Finca and hosts. Great company in our walking group.
EXCELLENT WEEK AWAY, GOOD COMBINATION OF WALKING, SIGHTSEEING & RELAXATION IN PRETTY SURROUNDINGS
The Finca was first rate , and an ideal base to return to after a days walking. The walks were challenging and interestingly brought to life by our guide. An all round holiday experience
Finca el Cerrillo is exceptional. The care and tought that have gone into the walking programmes is impressive.
Amazing Spanish venue giving a true insight and feeling to old Spain (well away from fish and chips!). The Finca has been beautifully renovated to offer individually laidout room with plenty of quirky outdoor spaces (including a tree house with bar). The hosts are very welcoming with great enthusiasm and knowledge. The walks were well thought out with plenty to see.
5 star holiday experience . Excellent hotel , location and walking experience.
Friendly, welcoming hosts in a beautiful location. Wonderful walking with Gordon and Sue.
A thoroughly enjoyable, relaxing time in beautiful surroundings. Congratulations to Sue and Gordon, and their team, they are wonderful hosts.
Everything about the holiday was good, the hotel, the company, the food and the guides had an excellent knowledge of the environment. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable week.
Friendly, helpful, engaging and committed to ensuring a successful holiday experience.
Gentle walking in beautiful scenery. Nick was an excellent guide, and the Finca is a lovely, homely place to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet.
Following receipt of the excellent documents describing the holiday in full we were extremely excited. If anything we were a little worried that we had too high an expectation but this certainly wasn't the case. The holiday was every bit as good as we expected. Even the weather was perfect. Everything was arranged so well and the people looking after us from the owners to the staff were excellent.
In a word, EXCELLENT. The Finca el Cerrillo provided comfortable accommodation in a wonderful location. Surrounded by beautiful gardens with excellent views across to the nearby (white) village, this was a great place to relax. Breakfasts, packed lunches and evening meals (two at local restaurants) were all delicious. The hotel owners, Sue and Gordon Kind, were welcoming and attentive hosts, keen to make sure that every guest felt looked after. Our walking guide, Elaine, was first class, leading us at the right pace for the group, and informing us about the local area, history and wildlife. The walks were typically 4-5 miles in length, and correctly described as 1+. Nothing too challenging, but with enough ascent and descent to keep us active for a few hours each day. I greatly enjoyed the trip to the caves at Nerja, the visit to Theo's bar, and the journey by 4x4 up into the mountains to start the walk on the final day. All flights and transfers went well, including Headwater offering alternative flights very quickly and efficiently following the collapse of Monarch. As a single traveller this was a great opportunity to meet with some interesting and sociable fellow travellers who all got on well together. Overall, I would highly recommend this holiday.
One of my best holidays. Good company (others on same holiday). Nick the guide was excellent too.
Exceeded expectations in accommodation and general arrangements & attention to,detail. Walks were good. However needs,to be made clear these are not gentle strolls and a degree,of difficulty is involved
A well chosen rural, village based location for an experience of the real Spain. The Finca el Cerillo takes some beating,and we would recommend every aspect of the holiday, the experience was only positively added to by the whole location team. Thanks to all.
I would have done away with the day to visit Malaga, instead put in another walk. The return flight was a mess because of B.A., nothing to do with you but it put a damper on future plans.
It was a five star Holiday.
This is the fourth time my sister and I have been to Finca El Cerillo. Its setting, garden and swimming pool are outstanding and the buildings have been adapted imaginatively to make comfortable en suite rooms. Staying there feels like staying in an idiosyncratic country house where nothing is too much trouble. Food is delicious, the welcome is exceptional, and suggestions for improvement are genuinely welcomed. The walking is great too, and very well guided. We like the practice of sitting with fellow guests at supper and on each occasion have found them congenial. Very few exceptions!
An excellent introduction to the area with a wonderful guide.
This was a door to door excellent holiday and experience.
Our third visit to the Finca. As always great - although the mixture of guide/companions made this possibly the most enjoyable visit yet. As always the Finca is a superb centre for the holiday; and Elaine is an outstanding guide in all respects.
This holiday has a delightful base at the pretty finca run by Gordon and sue and their friendly and efficient team .Their commitment to making your holiday as enjoyable as possible includes excellent guiding, delicious food within a relaxed , comfortable atmosphere. Walks seem to be adjusted to match the weather and overall ability of the group. The inclusion of meals out in the local restaurants etc meant we really felt that we were experiencing the Spanish cuisine. Great fun in a lively group. Thank you!
The Finca was excellent with varied & tasty food & comfortable rooms. The splendid location & walks were accurately graded & Nick the guide was very knowledgeable. He adjusted his pace to accommodate the slower walkers on the steep terrain. The programme was varied, but the days in Malaga & Nerja were not 'rest' days (this is not a criticism, but an observation)
Excellent accommodation & location, good guide & good variety of walks.
The finca el cerillo was in a spectacularly beautiful place. On top of this the owners and staff were delightful and highly efficient. The food at the finca was quite superb and the arrangements at local restaurants were very good too. Elaine, our guide, was extremely knowledgeable, kind and thoughtful. The whole week was filled with interesting walks, history and culture, and was wonderfully managed. It was like staying as a house guest with very kind friends. We will definitely look at Headwater holidays again.
Excellent hotel, great walks with an excellent local guide, and super company. There were gentle walks in the early days building up to a lovely long last day hike in the mountains. Good local food and opportunities to sample local bars and restaurants. A couple of excursions to Nerja caves and Malaga old town added variety to an excellent week.
A combination of great walks in a beautiful place coupled with an outstanding hotel made it a week to remember.
Everything about this holiday was top class. From the accommodation, the food, the walking, the guide, the transfers to the hotel staff. Most of all the company of the other walkers. Compliments to all concerned.
This was my second visit to the finca - my first was in November when the weather was poor, and I wanted to see what it was like in sunshine. I was not disappointed - I would recommend this holiday to everyone who enjoys walking, eating good food and drinking wine!
The Finca was excellent, as were all meals. Our guide Elaine was fantastic,the walks not too long, the week was fun.
Lovely holiday with great food. Elaine was an excellent guide and very informative.
We had promised ourselves a return to the Finca since our first brilliant experience a few years ago. We were not disappointed. Fabulous food, walks, & company in a glorious spot....we will return.
An excellent location, with good views, well appointed rooms and excellent food. The guide Nick was very knowledgeable. We would repeat in a different season to see the wildlife.
This was an excellent hotel and Sue and Gordon really looked after us. The food was great and the facilities were super. The walks were mostly good for us although quite testing for me in places. They were relatively short but in my opinion were greater than a 1 boot+ probably more like a 2 boot. My particular problem is that I suffer from severe vertigo and this resort is nearly 600 meters above sea level with very steep winding roads and many of the higher ones had no barriers. The local taxi drivers were really good but nobody should talk to them when driving because they use their hands to answer. Our guide Elaine was excellent and very understanding. However I backed off the last walk because it used 4x4 trucks to go high up, across winding narrow tracks and the walk was a bit hairy too. Don't get me wrong overall it was a great holiday.
Had a great holiday. Eleven off us in the party and we all got on well together. No cliques. Wine tasting on the Sunday got us all going.
Our only criticism is that of alternative departure airport does make a huge difference to the cost. The airline we were booked with is a low cost budget alternative, but we would have done far better to book independently. Any perceived benefit by having a 'package' booking was lost when flights were changed and no explanation or option was offered by Headwater. This is our 6th or 7th walking holiday with Headwater so we obviously happy overall, but the personal touch has been lost over the last few years. It is now much more of a 'package' and we would point that out to friends considering a walking/activity holiday. We have organised our own holidays of a very similar nature and that results in at least a 25% reduction in cost along with the benefit of being an independent booking at the destination - i.e. a higher value individual to the hotel.
For a carefree holiday with attention to detail and comfort this ticked all the boxes.
Relaxing, interesting and enjoyable blend of easy walking and sightseeing.
Accommodation at Hotel Finca was super and everyone on holiday there were very friendly, especially the five Singapore ladies who we were walking and dining with. They were great company.
This was a brilliant, relaxing holiday and a fantastic introduction to Spain which we had never visited before. Wonderful countryside, a gem of a hotel, lovely food and really helpful staff and walks guide. It couldn't have been better.
I have been on Headwater walking holidays before (not for at least 8 years ). I now have a partner and I needed to convince him that the holiday would be enjoyable. My partner is in good health and fit but he is 82 years and he was nervous that the walking would be difficult. I persuaded him that a 1 boot would be fine but it was harder that I thought it would be.
When I first telephone Headwater to enquire about the holiday the telephone rep was most helpful so I suggested that my partner telephoned so that he could ask for the information he needed - this time there was a different rep and she was not so reassuring.
However we enjoyed the holiday and will attempt another with Headwater..
Excellent group holiday with good accommodation and very well organised. Wine included was good.
Varied program & walking harder than expected for one boot but lovely. Walking guide lovely & encouraging!
A unique holiday experience that fully met our expectations. Would highly recommend
This was a very well planned, smoothly run holiday. All our connections/transfers/taxis operated like clockwork. We were very well catered for and the Finca
had everything we needed for an extremely rewarding and relaxing holiday. Our guide, Nick, was very attentive and inclusive and happy to impart his
knowledge of the area. We loved the challenge of walking in the morning and then plenty of time in the afternoon to chill around the beautiful grounds of the Finca - lovingly developed over the years by our hosts Sue and Gordon. All the staff were very accommodating and friendly. We couldn't have asked for more.
Thank you everyone involved.
The Finca el Cerrillo is a wonderful place to stay in a beautiful location. We were extremely well looked after and the organisation was seamless. The walks were, as stated in the brochure, very gentle and leisurely. We would definitely consider returning especially If some more challenging walks were on offer.
Excellent holiday, well described in the brochure. However I thought the walks were a bit short so there was quite a lot of free time at the Finca. While the Finca is a really lovely place it was a little remote so if you wanted to go into the village/town there was a very steep walk down the ravine and back up the other side. I am sure later in the season the Finca is a lovely place to stay with swimming pool and lots of outside sitting areas but in early March it was a bit chilly. I wasn't too keen on the wine tasting in the morning before a walk. We seemed to spend a lot of time eating. We only had picnic lunches on 2 days which meant a lot of food was provided both at lunchtime and in the evening. I would have been happy to have longer walks and more picnic lunches.
An excellent holiday , helped by the weather!
Stress free excellence! I loved every minute of this holiday principally because all arrangements went super smoothly, the hotel staff, accommodation and location were way above my expectations. The week flew and the walking was thoroughly enjoyable. Would I go with Headwater holidays again? Absolutely.
Exceeded all expectations. Very relaxing. Party of 10 ideal size to get to know each other. Excellent introduction to Andalucia
Booking straightforward. Transfer to and from Malaga airport efficient. Great welcome at the Finca. Excellent food including local dishes. Food and wine from local source. The Finca is located in spectacular countryside enabling walks to be varied. Our guide Nick supplied us with information of the area-the history and customs of the local people, the fruit production on the hillsides-avocados, olives, grapes etc.
An excellent holiday.
Why [in no particular order]
wonderful scenery and excellent walking routes
superb group of walkers - we all got on well together, all of us at a similar standard.
great accommodation with 2 very welcoming hosts and their staff
excellent meals at all times - at the Finca and in the villages
a very knowledgeable guide
well organised transport throughout the holiday
A wonderful holiday from start to finish, the accommodation surpassed our expectations and the food was some of the best we have had, especially in the Finca. The air of calm around the place made us relax from the first day, thanks to Sue, Gorden and the rest of their lovely staff. The walks were well led by Nick who was very knowledgeable and made the point of talking to everyone in the group and making sure all were OK as some days it was very hot. Would recommend Headwater to friends without any hesitation, thank you.
As others have said in reviews, excellent hotel, hosts and food, The walks were relatively easy with very nice scenery,
We did this holiday two years ago and loved it - hence the decision to return. We think the new programme makes it even better, especially in hot weather, which we had! The mix of walking, visits and sightseeing exactly hit the spot for us. Gordon & Sue are, as ever, wonderful hosts; Jenny was a first-rate guide; and the local drivers were also first-class. Well done to all at the Finca - we cannot fault your excellent service, food and attention to detail!
Sue and Gordon offer a wonderful warm welcome and the friendly informal atmosphere at the Finca is very relaxing
An excellent location, good walks with knowledgeable guides who paid close attention to our safety, charming hosts at hotel and comfortable rooms with excellent food in the hotel and in nearby bars/restaurants - arranged by hotel
Excellent, well organised holidays with good company, first class accommodation and guides - and above all, personal service that cares!
There had been comments that the walking on this holiday was too challenging, but I would have preferred longer walks.
This was our first visit toSpain. It as well organised by Headwater, the arrangments worked perfectly and we would like to go again.
Lovely new experience. I enjoyed the variety. Nice not to have to start walks before 10.00 a.m.
The group were great and we all got on very well. Lovely having a leader, who told you about things. Wish you had more guided holidays.
They all said they preferred Headwater, because of the standards of accomodation, so lots of good quality hotels will be great for other holidays.
We all agreed that we are less keen on the three stars!
It was nice eating in sometimes and out at other times, and so you never knew what interesting thing was going to be provided next.
They were great walks and I loved everything about the holiday. We all liked the length of the holiday aswell. ie a week.
An invigorating holiday in an excellent and very enjoyable location.
We had a lovely week in the mountains. We loved coming 'home' to the Finca after our days walking. Christine's cooking was an inspiration and we enjoyed our evening meals enormously. Jenny's guiding was safe and interesting and she gauged the pace of the walks perfectly. Sue, Gordon and Alison organised everything perfectly and all arrangements went like clockwork. We did not need to think about anything-wonderful! Thank you to Mari our taxi driver who negotiated the bends and hills expertly without making me feel sick.
NOTE : Did not stay at Pousada Delmonte completed in error !
Finca and hosts ( Sue and Roger ) was excellent . Difficult to appreciate the countryside as most walks were steep climbs and descents .consequently most time was spent looking at footing ! Would have preferred more walking on flat ....but I guess that's Spain !
Breathtaking scenery for our walks with a friendly, knowledgeable guide. Then, back to the Finca- a real gem of a hotel, nestling in the hills amongst typical white villages- for a swim before an excellent evening meal. On three nights we were taken to local restaurants where the food, though very good, still couldn't compete with the Finca. Sue, Gordon and Sybil (the dog) are wonderful hosts - no wonder they have so many visitors who return year after year !
Main concern was the grading of the walking routes, I run 10 miles each week, fitness is a priority , but found the gradients challenging as did many group members, ascents and descents.Thursdays walk was gentle and everyone enjoyed it more as we were able to take in the views , flowers ,without having our eyes glued to the terrain in case of fall, stumble, several of the group fell on previous walks, not what you want from a holiday.
The group dynamics were excellent and much laughter was shared, the idea of inhouse and restaurant meals, tapis lunches was the perfect mix. We did enjoy our holiday very much.
Very welcoming owners in hotel in a beautiful area of Spain
We were fantastically fortunate with the weather, the organisation was excellent and the Finca was a superb base for the walks. It is easy to see why visitors return several times - walkers and non-walkers alike. Our travel arrangements were good and Jenny, our guide, fun and informative. Food at the finca was exceptional and the atmosphere was a great balance of friendliness and conversation and peaceful relaxation. This was a beautiful time to visit with all the Spring flowers. Having tickets for the Alhambra and having transport arranged was a real plus - especially during Holy week.
We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday at the Finca el Cerillo and our hosts Sue and Gordon could not have been more helpful and considerate. The location, high on a ridge, gave wonderful views of the steep, rugged valleys with white villages clinging to the crests and in the distance the Mediterranean. Our bedroom was large, the bed equally so and very comfortable and the tiled bathroom had underfloor heating-great! The food at the Finca and the local restaurants was very good and the wines at the Finca first class. The walking was tough, lots of steep ascents on rocky paths. After the first morning we took the gentler option accompanied by Rose a super local guide. We hope to visit the Finca el Cerillo again.
The Finca is a terrific destination for people who wish to enjoy rural Spain but the experience is heightened by the quality of the hospitality provided by Sue, Gordon, David and Christine. Their welcoming and informative approach, and the eye for detail, guarantees a good experience and, combined with the quality of the guides (principally Jenny), ensures a great holiday.
If you're looking for a completely stress-free holiday then book with Headwater. I didn't have to think about any arrangements for the week as they were all taken care of. The finca is the ultimate retreat and Sue, Gordon and Jenny were all outstanding in their welcome and guidance. I can't wait to go back and will use Headwater again for another trip.
I think that the Hotel Finca el Cerillo is a delightful location, with a wonderfully warm welcome by the owners Sue and Gordon. The rooms are all individually presented, and the mals provided in house were excellent and on other nights the local restaurants used were very good. The walking is guided by Jenny who maintains a steady pace that anyone with modest levels of fitness should be able to maintain while spotting out all sorts of flora and fauna.
I would not hesitate to recommmend this hotel to other travellers.
My one caution is that the some of the walking is at the upper end of a 2 boot grading.
The Finca, the base for the 'Secrets of Andalucia' holiday is worth more than five stars! The welcome, friendliness of the owners an staff, and the 'house party atmosphere contribute to making this one of the best Headwater Holidays we have taken. Of course we went for the walking (and to get away from the cold weather) and this turned out to be pretty good as well. Jenny was the main guide, who was helped out by Rose when he walk was split into two levels. Both were excellent in their knowledge of the local flora, fauna and routes. The meals provided at the Finca were superb, and he packed lunches extremely filling. As part of the package two lunches and three diners were taken at local restaurants and this enabled us to sample local cooking aswell.
Overall a superb holiday that ticked all the boxes for us!
Setting,food and walking were superb. Gordon and Sue were exceptional hosts and Christine's food deserved a rosette!
Excellent hotel and fantastic food, very friendly staff, taxis arranged to local restaurants, super walking with a great guide, lovely views in the hills and very quiet location. Only drawback really is that the hotel is a good walk from the nearest villages and towns, so you can't pop out after a walk to have a look around or do a bit of shopping unless you use a taxi, or get the boots out again. The map provided for the holiday wasn't any use for walking - good job we had a guide!
We had a wonderful week at the Finca. It's a beautiful location and the hotel owners Sue and Gordon and their staff are great as is the food with a balance of eating in and out at local restaurants every other day.
The grading as leisurely is a little surprising as although the pace is not relentless the terrain is a little challenging at times and the week is packed with activity. That said it is of course not obligatory to undertake every walk or activity. The finca is a wonderful place just to relax.
On our week we had the benefit of Sue Bishop, a professional photographer. All took advantage of her great knowledge and skills which were freely and generously given.
We intend to revisit the Finca in the future.
I couldn't fault the location, the ambience, seclusion and comfort of the hotel, and how well we were looked after by the hosts, Sue and Gordon. They treated us like friends and bade us farewell as such. My only complaint is that the walking was tougher than advertised. I don't do vertigo-inducing walks and the last day gave me 2 hours of fear and feeling very uncomfortable and I had to be patiently guided by a very understanding guide. Being classed as a leisurely walking holiday, is the reason I chose this holiday, so I feel let down and misled by this description. I questioned the guide about the classification and she understood it to be classed as moderate. It doesn't say this on your website!
I will no doubt take another holiday with you, but if I feel misled the next time, it will be the last time I choose Headwater.
Welcoming hotel and great walking guide. Exactly as described. Level of walking was rather more than leisurely though. The group decided that it was more of a Moderate grade.
A wonderful holiday, but be aware that although the pace of walking may be leisurely the terrain is very hilly, making the walks moderate rather than easy.
Lovely accomodation with hosts who went out of their way to make you feel like family friends. One of the best guides (Jenny) we have ever had on walking holidays.
This was one of the best holidays we have had - hotel, walks, guide etc were more than excellent. Food at the Finca was worthy of accolades! A beautiful part of Spain to explore. Overall a holiday of a lifetime!
we had a wonderful week's walking holiday in Andalucia. Our hotel finca el cerrillo was a small friendly hotel with each of the rooms with individual character and charm. The gardens were beautiful with many little seating areas both in sun and shade. Lovely pool to soothe the aching muscles after day hikes.Wonderful dinners at the hotel and local restaurants.Walks set off not too early in the morning and our very experienced guide Jenny new the walks inside out and told us local history, the names of flora and fauna and never faded in her enthusiasm.She looked after us individually in the group and tailored the walk and stops for info chats to suite everyone. The weeks holiday lived up to out expectations and more! Richard and Yvonne Clements
As other reviewers have noticed, the Finca el Cerillo is a gem. Gordon and Sue are great hosts; the location is stunning; and nothing is too much trouble for the hosts or the staff. The hotel is superb and the mix of local restaurants and eating in gave us an excellent mix of really enjoyable food. The grounds of the hotel are lovely and the views from the various patios are exceptional. The walking guides (Jenny & Rose) were also very good with a relaxed manner and a store of local knowledge. They responded well to the varying walking levels and needs of the group. This was unquestionably one of the best Headwater holidays that we have had.
Owners, staff and guides at Hotel Finca el Cerrillo go the extra mile in all ways to ensure guests have a wonderful experience. The hotel is remote, but taxis are used to get Headwater guests to restaurants & to/from walks. Personally we recommend the 1-Boot option weeks, as this is hilly country and weather can be warm. Even the hotel is built on a hillside with many little oases of calm corners. Wonderful scenery & views; fantastic meals; great guides; and such great hosts.
This was an excellent holiday, the accomodation and hosts/guides were superb.BUT
The grading was classed as soft/leisurely which it definately was not.This is misleading.
We did the 'Vistas of Valencia' last year which was classed as moderate. This was the same level of walking.
Without doubt, Finca el Cerrillo, has to be one of the best hotels we have stayed in with Headwater. Nothing was too much trouble for Sue and Gordon. They are the perfect hosts and it was more like being part of a house party than being a paying customer.
Our guide, Jenny, was good fun as well as being excelletn at her job.
We had a wonderful trip. One or two of the walks were at the top end of our comfort zone however and we'd probably not do another two boot with Headwater. Also, given the small amount of involvement Headwater staff had once we got to our destination, I think the cut they take is quite high (ie. our accommodation provides their own packages for a significantly lower price even taking flights into account).
Thank you for your comments, we are so pleased that you enjoyed your time in Andalucia, although we are sorry you feel the pricing of the holiday could be improved. On this particular holiday, the tour we offer is not the same as what the hotel offer direct to the public, therefore the prices do differ. We include tickets and transport to/from the Alhambra and we include wine with meals for example. That said, we want to keep our prices as competitive as possible as will certainly bear your comments in mind when looking at the costings for next year.
Many thanks again for taking the time to contact us with your feedback.
The Finca was exceptional, the walking fantastic and the guide (Jenny) was professional, well informed and great fun.
I loved the holiday, the hotel was exceptionally good in the warm welcome, helpfulness of hosts and all staff, good food, arrangements for transport and meals out, and the character of the hotel and beautiful location. Visit to Alhambra and Granada also brilliant. Inspite of rain excellent holiday, one to remember
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.
Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.
For 2020 departures our trip inclusions are changing - please contact us for full details.
This 7 night guided walking holiday includes:
Single-centre accommodation in a hotel
All meals (including wine at dinner)
Management by local hotelier
Services of an experienced walking guide
Standard transfers to/from your hotel
Nerja Caves entrance
Selected dates with no single supplement
How to book:
|Departure date||Tour only||Availability|
|21st Sep '19||US$2099||Check availability|
|5th Oct '19||US$2149||Check availability|
|12th Oct '19||US$2149||Check availability|
|26th Oct '19||US$2249||Check availability|
|29th Feb '20||US$2079||Check availability|
|21st Mar '20||US$2079||Check availability|
|18th Apr '20||US$2149||Check availability|
|2nd May '20||US$2179||Check availability|
|23rd May '20||US$2179||Check availability|
Minimum group sizes
A minimum of 4 people (in total) are required for each departure.
This holiday is unsuitable for children.
Guided walking Managed locally by hotelier.
Selected Saturdays from 21st Sep 2019 to 23rd May 2020, for 7 nights. All dates are subject to availability, please contact us to check.
All meals (including wine at dinner)
Transfers included from Malaga airport at 11:00 (12:00 Sep 29 departure), and back to Malaga airport at 09:00.
If you choose to book your own flights please check with us first that your chosen departure date is definitely operating as our guided holidays are subject to minimum group sizes.
Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for . Simply complete the form below (fields marked * are mandatory) and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.
Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 to discuss your requirements in more detail.