Photography Holiday Reviews Pyrenees

All the photographs posted here are taken by the photographers and they are published with their permission.

Photography Holiday Reviews Pyrenees

Jane Murdoch. Foix, France. Oct 2016

We recently spent a photographic week at Casa Allue and cannot rate our experience highly enough. The location of Casa Allue is stunning and the restored farmhouse warm, comfortable and welcoming. Our hosts Simon and Lucy were kindness itself Nothing was too much trouble and their attention to detail was remarkable,
The food - all based on local produce and much of it from Simon and Lucy's garden - was outstanding.

Our photographic tutor for the week, Inaki Relanzon, knows this area of the Spanish Pyrenees intimately and along with Simon he got us to all the best places for photographing the beautiful autumn colours which abound in October. We were also taken to the mountains for a 4x4 trip to try to spot and hopefully photograph the lammergeyer. It was a privilege to share Inaki's knowledge and enthusiasm for the protection of this once threatened species.

On a practical level we benefited hugely from Inaki's instruction. Always kind encouraging and patient he took our photographic skills to a whole new level.

We would recommend this trip unreservedly.

Photography Holiday Reviews Pyrenees

Neil Emmott. Bristol. October 2016.

I went on a photography holiday week and had a lovely time. The location, organisation, food, house and people were all fantastic. Saw lots of interesting wildlife and beautiful landscapes. The walking in that area is great too.

Photography Holiday Reviews Pyrenees

Bert Hand. County Durham. October 2015.

I recently spent 10 days at Casa Allué on a Photographic Holiday. As an octogenarian, I booked the holiday with a bit of trepidation. My major concern being that as the activity was in the Spanish Pyrenees, would require a fair bit of walking in the mountains, would I be able to keep up with the rest of the group, who assuredly would be much younger than I was? I am happy to say that I survived, and a brilliant experience it was.
I have been on several Photographic Workshops in the past, but this for me topped them all!

Casa Allué is located in the tiny hamlet of Albella, a 17th century farmhouse, lovingly restored by the current owners Lucy & Simon Woollons, an English couple who purchased the property some years ago.
Rooms and accommodation are tastefully decorated, and in keeping with the age of the original building. Stunning views from the rooms!
Casa Allué is surrounded by mountains, abounding with wildlife, not uncommon to see deer feeding in the meadows on a morning, foxes playing in the fields, red squirrels 'raiding' the walnut trees, the grunting of wild boar as they root around for things to eat, the call of wood peckers and other bird life. The location is as close to nature as one can get!

I was there in autumn, and one of the highlights for me was visiting the Odessa National Park and being blown away by the spectacular kaleidoscope of colour. Mile after mile of spectacular scenery. During our walks in the park we were able to see Griffon vultures, Lammergeier vultures, Chamois deer grazing, and just surrounded by stunning scenery!

The group was accompanied by a professional photographer (Inaki Relanzon) who with his wealth of photographic knowledge, kept the group 'right' on camera settings, best angle of view, catching the light and other helpful hints.

However the holiday was made all the more memorable by our hosts, Simon & Lucy who really went out of their way to make sure that all the guests were comfortable, and very ably cared for. Their two charming young daughters, Penny & Sofi were just brilliant, treating us on one occasion to an impromptu after dinner 'musical' recital.

For me, this particular holiday stood out from the many I have been on, and has convinced me to not only return, but to make Casa Allué the venue for my annual Photographic Holidays, albeit at different times of the year.
Many thanks to Lucy, Simon, Inaki and last but not least Penny & Sofi.

 

Photography Holiday Reviews Pyrenees

Karen and Steve McLellan. Carlisle. October 2015.

My husband and I joined the October Photography workshop after a day in Barcelona. This was our first visit to the Pyrenees and we had an amazing week of Autumn colours, wildlife encounters and extraordinary scenery, shared with us by Simon and Inaki with such warmth and enthusiasm. The attention to detail, kindness and sheer hard work involved were impressive.

Simon, Lucy and Inaki were very concerned to give the group the best possible experience adapting the programme and the coaching to suit the individual needs and wants on a daily basis.

The house and surroundings are wonderful though with such a full programme we didn't have as much time to explore locally as we would have liked. The meals were lovely and as a vegetarian I particularly appreciated the effort to provide a special dish for me each night. You felt you could ask for anything and it would magically appear!

We are two very different photographers in terms of equipment and interests but both gained a lot from the workshop and always found plenty to photograph. Although the weather was varied there was always a good location to suit. By day 4 I was thinking ' well it can't be better than yesterday'...but it was! Each day surpassed the last culminating in an unforgettable 'display' by a pair of Lammergeiers as we finished our lunch at a mountain restaurant.

Before the holiday I had been a bit anxious as to the amount of walking involved at altitude as we are not hardened mountain walkers. However, we managed easily and I would even have preferred to walk a bit more. There are quite long drives to most of the locations but always plenty to see on the way and usually a coffee break squeezed in!
What I found almost unique about this holiday was the all round knowledge of Simon, Lucy and Inaki. Whatever the question that came up, whether it might be the state of Madagascar's rainforests, the identification of birdsong or the legacy of the Spanish Civil War, they showed an interest in everything.

We live in Cumbria which is a very special and beautiful part of the world. It is hard to beat...but in the Pyrenees it has some competition!

Photography Holiday Reviews Pyrenees

Karin and Richard. Cotswolds. July 2015.

Richard: Casa Allue is set in the beautiful village of Albella, a picturesque and peaceful part of the Spanish Pyrenees. It was the perfect base for our photographic workshop: with stunning landscapes and wildlife to shoot just outside the front door and of course within the surrounding area. We were warmly welcomed by the hosts Lucy and Simon, who were incredibly accommodating throughout the week.

Karin: The actual house is a lovingly restored 17th century farmhouse, decorated with tasteful antiques, spacious bedrooms (cleaned daily) , modern bath/shower rooms and surrounded by wonderful mountain views. Our day began with a healthy buffet breakfast of fresh fruit, cereals, yoghurt, warm croissants and fresh brewed coffee or tea.

Richard: The food was delicious and there wasn't a meal we didn't enjoy; it was a mix of home made meat and vegetarian dishes, with a three course meal each night and a lighter lunch during the day. They were more than happy to provide alternative dishes for guests with particular dietary requirements. We were given pack lunches/suppers if we were out in the field and these were equally tasty; a sunset picnic at the top of a mountain with beer being a particular highlight. Simon and Lucy were so kind and welcoming and nothing was too much trouble and you quickly felt at home.

Richard: The photographic workshop was one of the most enjoyable experiences that I have undertaken.
It was run by Iñaki Relanzón who is a renowned wildlife photographer but who's portfolio expands to most types of photography (his landscapes for example are also exceptional). He was a excellent teacher throughout the week, exuding passion for photography and conservation, and this came across in the way he helped us technically and compositionally; he was very patient and informative.

As this was my first photography workshop I was blown away with the amount I learnt and having edited my photos I am very pleased with the results.
The programme was very well thought out and we were able to cover all the iconic areas of the Pyrenees and seemed to arrive at all of them at the right time, especially in regards to lighting! There was a mix of subjects from landscapes to wildlife to macro, plus much much more. The only thing we missed was the famous Bearded vulture/Lammergeier/ but unfortunately that is the nature of wildlife photography!

There was quite a large amount of walking as part of the workshop but this is necessary to reach the locations that we were shooting and they were all well worth the effort; allowing us to shoot stunning vistas from angles that are not commonly taken.

Karin: Due to the variety of subjects we encountered, it was necessary to carry all lenses, accessories and tripod for the whole day. Most walks were quite gentle but I did have some reservations if I could manage the steeper treks. I needn’t have worried, as I was encouraged to go at my own pace and the photo shoots were never rushed. The quicker walkers in the group were encouraged to go ahead and Simon stayed with the slower walkers. The vista at the end of the climb, whether glacial lake, gushing waterfall or top of the world mountain peaks, made the effort worthwhile. Our picnic lunch stop offered a welcome rest and on one occasion we had the opportunity of a refreshing swim in the glacial river (not me!!).

Richard: In summary, if you are thinking of visiting Casa Allue I would highly recommend that you would do so, you won't be disappointed! The setting is stunning and the house and hosts incredibly hospitable. If it is the photographic holiday in particular that you are thinking of going on I couldn't recommend it more, although you may be put of by the walking I can only implore that you give it a go because although you will be exhausted by the end of the week you will go home with such wonderful memories and photographs to treasure.

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