Superb Spain (Spain, Europe)
In a Nutshell
Oh, Spain! A beautiful land of contrasts, with a desert, amazing beaches, green forests and large plains. Let’s not forget spectacular mountains inhabited by several cultures which were the seed to develop the Spanish culture. A diverse culture full of music, happiness and mouth watering cuisine. On this adventure, we are providing the opportunity to give back to nature some of the love it has offered us.
We will be discovering the Mediterranean and the beauty of Albufera Natural Park while helping to maintain it. Prepare to explore, and clean, the beautiful beaches of Denia. Lastly, get ready to be surprised by the biodiversity and charm of the island of Ibiza.
Yes, you heard right, Ibiza. If you have mistakenly thought of it only as a party island for people in their twenties, well, think again…come and witness the natural beauty of one of Europe’s diamonds. As for some city lights, don’t worry: during this ecological adventure, we will also have the opportunity to know the cities of Valencia, Granada, Denia and Ibiza. Their traditional paellas and sangrias are very much included!
On this adventure we will recover and protect the environment. The presence of different ecological Spanish organizations along the coast give our project’s participants a unique opportunity to study and compare the different ways to do so. The goal of this project is to learn different ways to reduce our ecological footprint in the environment. By visiting the cities of Valencia, Denia, Granada and Ibiza we will immerse ourselves in eastern Spain’s rich history, culture and traditions, but environment comes first.
Day 1, Sunday: Bienvenidos a España! Your dedicated guide will meet you at the airport and take you to your accommodation for the next few days: a 15th century palace, located in the historic center of Valencia. After checking in we’ll relax after a long day of traveling. A nice dinner in the historic center, close to our accommodation, will close our first day.
Day 2, Monday: Let the contribution begin! We will start this day with an overview and explanation about the social and ecological importance of the Albufera Natural Park as a natural stop in the migration route for the birds and as a place where the seed of Valencian culture began to grow. With the help of an expert guide, the group will start working on assigned tasks to help preserve the park.
Lunch time is the perfect time to taste the most famous dish of the Valencian culture: paella. In this case, a special kind of paella called “Arròs del Senyoret,” which is a paella with seafood. After lunch, there is nothing like the typical Spanish “siesta”. The perfect moment to get a rest and recover all the energy spent during the morning. In the afternoon we will have an introductory tour of Valencia, visiting the most historical spots of the city. From the ancient Roman times to the Spanish Civil War, we will hear all the stories.
Day 3, Tuesday: Anti-plastic day: after a boat ride in the Albufera Natural Park, with an expert who will explain the dangers of plastic for wildlife, we will clean-up the water canals. Come lunchtime, we will find out more about Mediterranean cuisine. During the second half of the day, we will visit the “Horchata Museum”, a beautiful farmhouse where we will learn all about the most famous and traditional Valencian drink. This will be a great opportunity to taste the original horchata made by the “chufas” cultivated in the fields that are around the farmhouse.
Day 4, Wednesday: On our third day of contributional work we will be introduced to the green filters, which are used to filter and clean the water in an organic manner. Participants will plant green filters under the supervision of biology and ecology experts. During lunch we will discover a large variety of tasty, rice dishes, together with other local specialities.
A visit to the Fallas Museum is a must in order to properly understand the “Fallas”- the iconic celebration of Valencia. At the museum we will see the collection of “ninots” – artistic monuments put in the streets during the celebration (which are then lit ablaze). Next on today’s agenda is a visit to the Arts & Sciences City – a collection of modern buildings built by the famous architect, Santiago Calatrava, which form the famous Valencian landscape. Placed at the end of the Turia Gardens, visitors will find “l’Oceanogràfic” – the Opera building.
In the evening we will engage in a super tasty activity – we will learn how to cook and enjoy a proper “Paella Valenciana”.
Day 5, Thursday: The Contributional work today will start in Almenara, a small village 15 km north of Valencia, and also a very important wetland. We will help preserve it via mini conservation projects assigned to us by the professional team. Lunch will be enjoyed at the beach. A cultural visit to the town of Sagunto will allow us to go back to ancient Roman times, and witness a wonderfully preserved castle and the Roman theater. This will be a great opportunity to discover more about Spanish culture, and since we are deep diving into Spanish culture and folklore, this is the perfect time for an introductory Flamenco class – where we will learn the basic steps of this marvelous dance.
Valencia cannot be fully appreciated without understanding the Arab influence on various cultural aspects – such as its cuisine. We will have dinner in the amazing Ruzafa neighborhood and witness this with all of our senses.
Day 6, Friday: Our day will start at the Central Market, one of the most important modern buildings in the city. Inside, a bounty of scents, colors and fresh produce awaits us. This is also time to bid Valencia goodbye and head to our next exciting destination – Granada! To break up the five-hour bus ride, we will make a stop in the city of Murcia, which will allow us to discover yet another Spanish city and its own traditional cuisine. Upon arrival to Granada, we will visit its crown jewel – the Alhambra. After that, we will check in to our accommodation, have dinner and relax, after a very full day.
Day 7, Saturday: We start this day with an introductory tour of Granada, including the most historical spots of the city. We will witness the Arab influence on the architectural design. Lunchtime will bring some free time for culinary self-exploration at several recommended restaurants. Then, “Mirador de San Nicolás”, “Paseo de los Tristes” and the local bazaar are just some of the places we will visit in Granada. Come evening, we will treat our senses to a professional Flamenco show in a magical venue. Dinner will be provided by our hotel in a typical “tasca andaluza” style.
Day 8, Sunday: After a delicious breakfast at our hotel, we will visit the amazing mountains of Granada. After an on-the-go-lunch we will depart for our next destination – Denia. Upon arrival at our boutique hotel, a seafood dinner in this beautiful city by the sea is the right thing to do.
Day 9, Monday: A tranquilo day: a morning city tour in Denia will unveil a castle from the 11th century, a traditional market and the Ethnology Museum. After that, we will re-master the art of the siesta… In the afternoon, we will visit the amazing beaches of Denia, and finish by tasting the city’s traditional tapas.
Day 10, Tuesday: What a wholesome day: we will start with the reminder that we are much more than simply tourists, with a visit to Alquería – an eco-farm where we will learn more about traditions and sustainable farming. We’ll have lunch at the marina in Denia. Come afternoon, we will hop on a ferry to our final destination – the island of Ibiza! During the journey we will look for dolphins and whales (we’re not guaranteed to see them, but we will certainly try…) In the evening we will check in and have dinner at our accommodation at Ses Salines Natural Park, one of the places with the greatest ecological, historical and cultural significance in Ibiza.
Day 11, Wednesday: Buenos dias, Ibiza! We will start the last part of our adventure with a special guided tour of the island’s capital. You will be intrigued by the fascinating secrets its cobblestone streets keep. During the tour, we will hear stories about pirates, Roman, Muslims and vandals who have settled on the island since was founded in 654 AD. Then we will explore the Dalt Vila neighborhood, climb its stone wall and enjoy the view of the “Virgen de las Nieves” Cathedral. We will also visit a typical flea market for some shopping and enjoy lunch at an eco-friendly restaurant. Next on today’s agenda is a visit to Ibiza’s spectacular aquarium, located inside a natural cave. Here we will find an interesting sample of the main species of this Mediterranean ecosystem, and meet sea turtles recovering after being saved by fishermen. In addition to the live animals, we will also see a collection of shark eggs, sea sponges, gastropods, bivalves and other marine invertebrates.For end the day, we will enjoy the local cuisine at a beautiful restaurant.
Day 12, Thursday: Final day, and what a day! We start with a visit to the beautiful, traditional village of Sant Joan de Labritja, with its amazing landscapes. We will walk along the path connecting Sant Joan and Cala Xarraca, through forests and mountains. We will pass the “Font des Avencs, ” an ancient spring where traditional dances were celebrated each summer, and down to the spectacular Bay of Xarraca, where you’ll find “Cala Xarraca” cove, with crystalline waters. The way back offers beautiful, panoramic views of the Bay of Xarraca. We’ll continue our discovery of local cuisine during lunch. Then we will visit an ecology and education center founded in 1993. Located in the green heart of Ibiza’s beautiful countryside, its owners practice and teach sustainable, healthy living by applying permaculture principles, using alternative energy and re-using and upcycling waste materials. This farm visit will serve as a great eco-friendly finale to our eco-friendly adventure. In the afternoon, we will have some free time to explore on our own, and time to contemplate and absorb everything we saw, felt, built, tasted and learned etc. A festive last dinner will close this meaningful adventure we’ve shared.
Day 13, Friday: Hasta luego, España! Your dedicated guide will accompany you to the airport and wave adios at the departure gate.
- Location of the Project: Valencia, Granada, Denia and Ibiza, Spain (Multiple locations)
- Project length: 13 days
- Arrival airport: Manises International Airport , Valencia (VLC)
- Departure airport:Ibiza International Airport , Ibiza (IBZ)
- Contributional Work: The Albufera Park in Valencia is one of the most important natural wetland ecosystems in the world. Due to the human intervention, with the development of the agriculture and factories, the wetland ecosystem has been seriously threatened.
Since the late 1960’s, social awareness about the Albufera Natural Park has grown, and some ecological organizations have become guardians of the park. Nowadays, there are a few modern spaces, known as green filters, cleaning up the waters and leading the scientific research about recovering polluted waters. These green filters are under the supervision of the ecological organizations and participants will work alongside them. In addition to its scientific goals, this adventure promotes educational and awareness activities for the public, publishes its results to the scientific community and aims to improve conservation efforts in the area. In Denia and Ibiza, the goal of the project is to learn different ways to reduce the ecological footprint and improve the efficiency of energy and waste. Participants will further these goals with the guidance and support of professional staff who have been pursuing this important mission for years.
- Family Option: This project accepts families with children as young as 8 years old.
- Number of participants: This adventure requires a minimum of four participants.
- Accommodations: Throughout the adventure, 4-star, super comfortable accommodation is provided in upscale and boutique hotels.
- Food: All meals are included on Days 2-6. Half board (breakfast and dinner) is included on Days 7-13.
- Transport: All transportation, including private transport between cities, to and from the project and round trip airport transfers, is provided.
- Activities: activities (tours, classes, museums, etc) and Flamenco show. Orientation: Participants will receive an orientation upon arrival.
- Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 emergency hotline, experienced local field team.
What’s Not Included
Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, lunch on Days 7-13, alcoholic drinks, personal expenses.
Adventure Departure Dates
- June 2nd 2019
- September 8th 2019
- October 6th 2019
- March 15th 2020
- April 20th 2020
- May 10th 2020
- June 7th 2020
- June 29th 2020
Adventure Cost : $4,150 USD