Writing Axarquía & Cómpeta Hikes:
Writing and Walking Retreat in southern Spain
4 – 9 September, 2017
Are you a writer who loves to walk, or a walker who loves to write? Are you feeling stuck and looking for ways to get started with your writing or hungry to re-kindle your creativity?
Writing Axarquía has joined forces with Cómpeta Hikes/Finca Los Pinos, to create a week of writing, walking and relaxation. Staying at the idyllic Finca Los Pinos, perched in the breathtaking and beautiful mountains of the Axarquía, our carefully chosen guided walks will bring the history and stories of the dramatic landscape alive to get you inspired. Daily writing workshops will guide you to unleash your imagination in new ways. An introduction to our Creative Imagination Mediation will help to still your mind from the chatter of the everyday to make room for creativity. The small group size ensures that everyone gets maximum attention and can equally benefit from the week.
The tranquility of the Finca Lodge, set in 2.5 acres of gardens and woodland on the edge of the natural park, ensures absolute serenity for exploring your writing.
Suitable for: All levels – whether you’re new to writing or you’re looking for time-out to invigorate your writing practice, you can work at your own pace, supported with structured group sessions.
“Well-structured, prepared and delivered with humour and sensitivity, inspiring me to write, equipped with knowledge and skills I could never have gleaned from my reading experience.”
“A teaching duo, whose love for writing shines through, complemented by their ability to teach the building blocks to me, a novice.”
“Supportive leaders, who inspire confidence.”
“They absolutely know what they are talking about and have a great feeling for explaining even difficult contexts in a simple way.”
Typical Daily Programme:
08.00 Creative Imagination Meditation (optional)
10:00 Writing Workshop or hikes/walking into the mountains
14:00 Writing Workshop or hikes/walking into the mountains
17:00 Free time for own writing practice and relaxing
20:00 Dinner, and for 2 nights during the week, Spanish cultural live entertainment
21:30 Sharing our work, sharing readings, social time
Finca Los Pinos is a stunning country Lodge, which has been providing all inclusive retreats and holidays for over 15 years, consistently earning “Excellent” reviews on TripAdvisor.
The wonderful 2.5 acre site of traditional Spanish fincas, and Andalusian style log cabins in the midst of the trees, is a wonderful setting for writing and relaxing. There are plenty of places to sit with a book, notebook or laptop and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. A lawned garden is perfect for outdoor workshops, yoga and relaxation practice all year round. Or relax on the wooden deck furnished with Moroccan rugs and ornaments, set under a large Algarrobo tree, with views to the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains. The heated outdoor pool offers extra comfort and relaxation for winter and autumn retreats. It is a wonderfully tranquil setting, in the midst of nature and demonstrating rural Spain at its best.
We offer a varied menu, with vegetarian and vegan choices available upon request. All our food travels no more than 20km and is locally sourced, seasonal, and freshly prepared and cooked on site. We provide our guests with organic food as far as we possibly can.
As well as being a writer (and one half of Writing Axarquía), I am a yoga and relaxation instructor and I am looking forward to uniting these elements during our week together. If you’re interested in finding ways unplug and unblock your creative potential, perhaps you’d like to try Creative Imagination Meditation. That’s just a fancy way of saying relaxation with visualisation and it’s not as scary as it sounds. Give it a try. I love being in the mountains, walking along ancient paths in the footsteps of traders, brigands, lovers, farmers and warriors. To be in this landscape is to awaken your senses to the hidden histories, the human and animal and mineral traces of deep time. This mountain range was once sea-bed, before the tectonic shifts that divided this end of Spain from the top of Africa. I am inspired by nature and our sense of place in the world. Let’s get off the beaten track and get creating!
I love stories – reading them, writing them, watching them, living them. When I visited the Shetland Isles, I imagined the viking raiders’ silent, deadly glide through the mist in a long-boat. Here in Andalusia, I’m fascinated by the layer upon layer of human history. Neanderthals, Phoenicians, Celts, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Moors, Sephardic Jews, Christians and Bourbons have successively conquered and settled here, leaving their mark from cave paintings to palaces to tracks through the mountains. The history of modern Spain is no less potent and it’s all here, in the faces, the buildings, the pathways and customs of this region. Whether an ancient or a futuristic setting, story is what drives me. I love creating worlds, populating them with characters and putting obstacles in their way to see what will happen. I’m excited about sharing my passion for story with you during our week together and guiding you to tell stories of your own.
Our Walking Guides
Our specialist walks are conducted by our local guide, Nacho. He has over 30 years experience in the surrounding mountains and is a mine of information about the flora, fauna, geology and history of the area. To be guided by Nacho is to have the hidden histories and stories of the paths and byways revealed.
Our second guide Nick has been a professional guide in Competa for five years. Nick is a qualified teacher and landscape artist. He is a qualified walking guide, from the British Mountaineering association. Born in London, Nick has lived in France, Switzerland and Spain.
Airport transfers from Málaga
Accommodation for 5-nights
Daily tutored writing workshops
Opportunity to learn, share and awaken your creativity
Daily Creative Imagination Meditation on the lawn or deck
Guided walks in the Parque Natural Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama
Get an authentic taste of Spanish language, culture and food
Small group size
Lovely, friendly hosts
Experienced and friendly tutors and guides
Mountain and sea air
Visits to Nerja or other places of interest (Optional)
€1245 twin room with shared bathroom
€1295 private room, single occupancy with shared bathroom
€1345 private room with private bathroom
Prices include all expenses as above, minus travel to Málaga, so all you’ll need is your flight! There are flights daily to Málaga from most major European cities.
** EARLY BIRD OFFER ** 10% discount for bookings made before 16 July 2017.
Some Writing and Walking Retreat FAQs
Q: How do I book?
A: Contact Sarah or David at Competa Hikes/Finca Los Pinos by email. They’ll get right back to you and they’ll be able to answer all of your accommodation questions: competahikes @ gmail.com
Q: Do I have to do the walks?
A: The walks are carefully chosen to feed your imagination, not only with the natural landscape, but with stories of the land and her people. They are not compulsory, but some writing exercises will take place during the walks, so it would be a shame to miss them.
Q: How fit do I have to be?
A: Anyone with a basic to moderate level of fitness will cope well. Our guides are experienced in matching the terrain of the walk to the group and there are options for some tougher walks for those who wish to like to challenge themselves.
Q: Can I just hang-out and write at the Finca?
A: Yes, of course. It is your week and it is up to you whether, or how much, you take part in group activities. We don’t want you to miss out, but if you decide you want time alone to write, that’s your choice, and there are plenty of tranquil places to sit with a notebook and pen or laptop.
Q: I am vegetarian/vegan. Can you accommodate me?
A: Yes, but please let us know any special dietary requirements or allergies in advance.
Q: I’m a complete beginner. Will I feel silly or out of place with more experienced writers?
A: Not at all. We believe that creative inspiration and expression are not the property of certain special people. We all have stories to tell, fictional or not. Whatever the backgrounds or experience of fellow participants, we consider that all who attend are writers and each voice is as valid as the next. We mutually agree to listen, to support and to encourage each other, with constructive feedback and with our full attention
Q: I’m still unsure about a few things. Can I speak to someone before I book?
A: Yes, we’d love to hear from you and answer any questions. Drop us an email and we’ll get back to you by email or phone just as soon as we can. Please see below for where to direct your query.
For writing related queries:
For bookings, accommodation and transfer queries
Contact Sarah or David at Finca Los Pinos
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