Away from the Crowds logoAway from the Crowds

Active, self-guided cycling and walking holidays in unexplored Spain

EagleThe story and team behind Away from the Crowds

Jaime Bartolomé

I am an Ecology graduate from Edinburgh University. After studying and working in the UK for nineteen years (the last 10 in the Highlands of Scotland), I returned to Spain with my English wife and two Scottish kids in 2006 and set up Away from the Crowds soon after.

The idea was to combine in our work: our love of outdoor pursuits, the natural world and discovering my wonderful country.

We wanted to take travellers to the parts of Spain we loved that are usually out of reach to tourists. Our self-guided routes reflect that, combining our passion for Spain's rich culture, traditional way of life and delicious food and wine.

Every trip is a hand-crafted artisan labour of love, tailored for the self-guided traveller looking for a unique and unforgettable experience. We look for itineraries that bring a smile to your face as you are wheeling or walking along with the sun on your back.

We believe in our products and are very passionate about them. After all, these are the holidays we take ourselves!

- An article I wrote recently

Our vision

We aim to stay true to our founding principles:

  • Avoid mass tourism. No fake experiences. Genuine Spain.
  • Meet the ordinary people of Spain, soaking up their way of life.
  • Experience nature, wildlife and beautiful landscapes as you exercise.
  • Make use of local knowledge to take you to those beauty spots that would otherwise pass you by.
  • Sustainable tourism: your holiday having a positive economic impact on the people on the ground and a minimal impact on the environment.

Our hope is to gradually create a repertoire of high-quality walking and cycling holidays covering the entire Spanish geography. Our aim is to make a profit while making the world a better place.

Our vision

The team

When you book a holiday with Away from the Crowds, we aim to make it a personal experience from beginning to end:

  • Sylvia has a wealth of local knowledge to answer your initial questions and help you decide which holiday is best suited to you.
  • Jorge is our logistics man, so he will take care of all the details, from luggage transfers to bike selection, local travel arrangements and meals.
  • Vanesa will take care of all the bills and behind the scenes administration.

Customer satisfaction is at the very top of our list of priorities. As a team, we strive to ensure a real quality experience for each and every one of our travellers.

Our team
Jorge Casas

Jorge Casas

I am a graduate in Music. I have worked for many years as an Opera singer but recently I decided to move to the countryside, closer to nature which is what really fascinates me.

Working for Away from the Crowds has been a real opportunity for me. Working for rural development, sustainable tourism and care for the environment, all in the same job, is a dream come true!

Besides entertaining all in the office with my singing, my job entails the booking services and logistical support. Outside of work, spending time with my family and activism for Human Rights and for the Environment keep me busy.

Sylvia Parra

Sylvia Parra

I am currently studying Graphic Design with the Open University.

I have lived in many places in Spain and in a couple of countries like South Africa and the U.K., so I’m a bit of a nomad!

Working for Away from the Crowds is a dream come true, where I can combine my love for the Spanish countryside with my experience in sales and customer support. So, this means I have the opportunity to ensure you have an unforgettable holiday with us.

In my free time I enjoy travelling, hiking and photography.

Vanesa Pastor

Vanesa Pastor

I am a Tourism graduate and I have been working in the tourism industry for over 10 years.

I love sharing time with my family and friends, hiking in the mountains, valleys and the amazing landscapes of Spain and of course, travelling. I have travelled to more than 20 countries.

I am delighted to work with the great team at Away from the Crowds, It's a pleasure to see so many people return home happily after exploring the countryside and villages of our beautiful country.