Whilst the summer comes to an end in the UK, Fido is gearing up for a new project with Hike + Bike the Sierras, an adventure holiday company based in Ronda, a historical town of Andalucia. Spain basks in 300 plus days of sunshine a year, making it the perfect place to take off for a cycling and walking holiday.
Here’s what the company’s founder Heather Cooper had to say about ditching her 9-5 life in the UK and falling in love with the charms of rural Spain.
How did the idea for Hike + Bike come about?
After a typically wet and miserable English winter, my husband and I went on a long holiday to Andalucia, taking Spanish lessons every morning and walking and cycling in the afternoons. We found there were some great routes for road cyclists, but for mountain bikers there was a lack of good maps and no marked trails. We saw acres of open and unspoilt countryside with so much potential. It was an opportunity we had to take.
What’s been your biggest challenge?
We spent 8 months exploring and mapping more than 600kmÇ of terrain before Hike + Bike opened for business. This was a good challenge but we had long days, personally checking every route and getting to know the area. There are also some language issues! Our Spanish is improving but the accent in this part of Spain is notoriously difficult to understand and the locals speak very fast!
How does life in Spain differ to life in the UK?
Every day is different and we have no set hours or regular timetable. I love being outdoors and watching the countryside change as we move through the seasons. I had spent 25 years working in marketing – I don’t miss boardroom meetings or the early morning commute into London!
What’s the best part about your job?
There is nothing more rewarding than seeing people with big smiles on their faces after they have finished a ride or walk with us and are full of stories about what they’ve seen, done or conquered. People experience the real Spain in Ronda – dramatic mountains, terrific scenery and amazing tapas!
Find inspiration for your own adventure at www.hikeandbikeholidays.com