A Clients view - we like to publish what our clients think about our holidays - and what it means to them
Roger Gorman Tenerife 19-26 January 2019
Having holidayed with Secret Hills in Gran Canaria in 2018 I was keen to join them again in Tenerife.
Secret Hill’s formula for success is based on excellent client relations and super holiday locations. You are treated as an individual throughout - from their initial contact to final goodbyes. Having 20 years’ knowledge of walking holidays with several organisations I think that Secret Hills/New Experience offer a unique holiday. What is most notable is the friendliness of all the participants and the professionalism of those responsible in leading and organising the whole holiday.
I received excellent, bespoke information regarding my holiday with comprehensive pricing and was able to choose flights from my local airport.
We stayed at the excellent Vallemar Hotel on the sea front at Puerto de la Cruz in the north of the island. The staff are friendly and helpful, the rooms are well appointed, and the quality and variety of the food is very good. The hotel has an excellent roof top bar and swimming pool – the bar is a super place to meet for drinks before dinner. It’s a shame that there is no resident’s bar but there are many convenient, good quality watering holes nearby for that post dinner get together.
Walking on Tenerife is varied, interesting and as challenging as you want it to be. Jilly was our fantastic Group Leader, ably assisted by Anna our local guide. They have a marvellous rapport and were able to organise our walks with imagination and flexibility. If the weather was inclement we were able to alter our programme and walk in a different area.
The walks were universally fabulous, giving us all a feel for the topography, geology, culture, and traditions of the island. Each walk was well planned and led with Anna at the front and Jilly acting as back marker. Safety was paramount, and those with more limited experience were helped over obstacles or difficult land. We were able to walk at our own pace, taking care not to go too fast or get out of touch with the group. Jilly is extremely skilled in ensuring each member of the group has a rewarding holiday experience – caring, compassionate and knowledgeable.
We covered five walks in a wide variety of terrain – from the pleasant and beautiful around Erjos and Masca in the west of the island, to the more rugged and spectacular near Taganana in the north. Walks on the Teide plateau were scenic and interesting, having a lunar landscape with varied flora.
Transfers from and to the airport were efficiently organised.
I spent a second week organised by New Experience in Lanzarote. They dealt with all my transfers, including my flight from Tenerife to Lanzarote, and located me at the excellent Vik Hotel, San Antonio, in Puerto Carmen. I had three organised walks, booked by New Experience, with Lanzarote Active. I visited five volcanoes/craters with a geologist and went on a Wine Tasting and Gastronomy Tour of the island – 3 vineyards, 9 glasses of wine and a local meal....
I AM DEFINITELY joining the trip to LA PALMA in March 2020.... cant wait...
Llyris Young Gran Canaria January 2019
I have been enjoying Secret Hills walking holidays for a few years now and regularly hear about the joys of walking in the winter sun. Well this year, I finally got there….and what a treat it was! I can’t believe how wonderful it was to spend a week in the glorious sunshine on Gran Canaria…in the middle of a grey, wet and cold London winter!! The island is incredible with such a diverse landscape and the most spectacular views in every direction – there was a ‘wow’ around every corner! I love walking in the UK, but this island is something else – rugged mountains, barren moon-like plateaus, lush forests, woodlands and quaint villages. Jill was our walk leader and as always, she inspired, encouraged and challenged us all and we were rewarded with an amazing and fun week. We stayed at the most fabulous hotel, perched on a hill with incredible sunrises coming up over the valley and coast. I would highly recommend everyone to take advantage of any (or all !!) of the winter sun holidays – it’s so good for the soul to see the blue sky, feel the sun, breathe the fresh air and spend a week in the company of great fun people.
Kate Brockman - Edges and Valley of the Derbyshire Dales - Castleton July 2018
Hi Jill, Alan and team,
Prompted by your recent posts and FB updates from the cheery, tanned, beer-sipping groups in the Canaries, I’ve been scanning through this year’s offerings in your ever-expanding portfolio. ‘Blue Monday’ has slipped by, the ‘Blue’ certainly seems rather appropriate judging by the seasonal blue tinged skin-hues up here in Scotland as we’re being hit by yet another northerly blast of snowâ›„ï¸
I had a great time and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the ‘Edges and valleys’ SH holiday in the High Peaks... and have since revisited this stunning area to hookup with friends and relatives from the south - a few photos attached (you may deduce I like stalking sheep!)
Glad to see on a recent tv programme rating ‘best UK walks’ that two of the ‘edges’ from our itinerary, Mam Tor and Stanage Edge, were featured up there with the UK’s best. The routes were thoughtfully planned to minimise gradients as we ascended from the valleys, and yet as we walked into the ‘wilds’, you would never know the Peak District ‘oasis’ is flanked by the likes of Manchester and Sheffield.
From the five routes we covered, my favourite was along Derwent Edge above Ladybower reservoir, where the lofty moorlands were dotted with bizarre gritstone tors including ‘Cakes of bread’, and the ‘Salt cellar’ . . plenty of clambering and a posing playground! The Ladybower Inn was a welcome lunchtime stop. Other group members chose different walk-days as their favourite, such was the consistently high level on offer. Keith was our guide, and we were joined on different days by two others from your team. They were all knowledgeable, enthusiastic and most entertaining!
Our hotel accommodation was great.... a selection of 52 gins at the bar and a good breakfast menu (including marmite!). My room had a four poster and a view up towards Peveril Castle. There was a choice of venues for our evening meals too with some memorable banter and a fossil-reconstruction masterclass! ðŸ˜
Fossils, orchids, and even the illusive ring ouzel can be spotted so anyone with a penchant for geology, nature . . . trig points, folklore, fresh air, ancient or industrial history, I would certainly recommend packing your boots, hand lens, binoculars, camera and get yourself on an SH trip in Derbyshire to experience some real gems, other than Blue John! Apart from the fantastic walks, there’s so much else to do in the Peaks, so any prospective participants I would suggest it’s well worth staying on an extra day or two to explore further, whether it’s caves, historic towns or properties (and bring your National Trust or English Heritage card).
Don’t be put off by distance either, our group weren’t . . . it’s not that far south of the border or north of Watford, and only a short drive from the M1 or M6.
I look forward to joining another of your trips soon, it’s just a matter of deciding which one! And maybe mentioning it to friends from my first trip just incase they fancy tagging along too?!