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6 Day The Great Trail of Sierra Morena Horse Riding Holiday in Andalusia

Hotel Monasterio de San Francisco, Palma del Rio, Spain

Spain Horse Riding Holiday

The Grand Tour of Sierra Morena is a horse riding tour that follows an ancient bridle-path steeped in history and culture in the heart of Andalusia. The five-day tour will allow you to admire the stunning landscapes of the Sierra Morena mountain range and the Guadalquivir River valley and to learn about unique local horse riding traditions, the art of Doma Vaquera (cattle-herding dressage), and the origins of the Purebred Spanish Horse!

Key Information

  • Horse Breed: Purebred Spanish Horse

Highlights

  • 5 horseback riding days
  • Approximate daily riding time: 5 hours
  • Lunches and visits to the Castle of Almodóvar and the Medina Azahara Archaeological Site
  • AVE Station-Córdoba transfers and pick-up
  • Half board meals are included
  • 6 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


5 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Spanish
Group size: Maximum of 8 participants
Airport transfer available:
Málaga Airport (US$136 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Seville Airport (US$136 per person)
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
19:00
Check-out Time:
09:30

During this holiday, you will be staying at the following accommodations:

  • Night 1: Hotel Monasterio de San Francisco
  • Night 2: Hotel El Álamo
  • Night 3: Country Cottages in Alisné
  • Night 4: Country Cottages in Alisné
  • Night 5: Country Cottage at “La Jarosa”
  • Night 6: Hotel Abetos Maestre Escuela

Program

You will stay overnight in a specially-chosen accommodation in enchanting settings and enjoy some of the most delicious local cuisines. The tour also gives you the chance to visit the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba and the archaeological site of Medina Azahara, both of which are World Heritage Sites, as well as the Sierra de Hornachuelos Natural Park, the open woodland near the Moratalla Palace, the Castle of La Floresta and the Royal Stables of Córdoba, which is a must for all horse riding fans!

The tour is led by top professionals who are all fully qualified and have extensive experience in offering an efficient friendly service. The horses you will ride are from Andalucia Horseback Experiences' stables and these attractive good-natured Purebred Spanish horses will make this a truly unforgettable horse riding experience; hope to see you soon!

Day 1

  • Andalucia Horseback Experiences will meet guests at the AVE train station in Córdoba and take them to Hotel Monasterio de San Francisco in the nearby town of Palma del Río.
  • Accommodation, dinner, and breakfast are included on this day

A walk around the historic quarter of Palma del Río is a must, along with a drink at the Peña Flamenca La Soleá, a well-known bar in town. The delightful architecture of the Hotel Monasterio de San Francisco dates back to 1492 when it started life as a monastery for the Order of San Francisco.

Around 500 years ago, Franciscan monks would set off from here on expeditions to the Americas, accompanying the armies of the Spanish monarchs on their conquests. Among many other items, they took with them to the New World the seeds of orange trees from Palma del Río. The US city of San Francisco was among the cities founded by this religious order and there, the monks first planted the seeds of what would go on to become the world-famous Californian orange.

The monastic style of the architecture in the hotel has been lovingly preserved, while at the same time, guests are able to enjoy all the modern comforts of a hotel of this category.

Day 2

  • Route on horseback through the Natural Park of the Sierra de Hornachuelos
  • Pick-up time: 09:30
  • Journey on horseback: 5 hours | Medium difficulty
  • Lunch: Los Arenales Farm
  • Accommodation: Hotel El Álamo

At around 9.45 a.m., Andalucia Horseback Experiences expects to arrive at Las Cruces farm, a bull-breeding farm owned by the heirs of a famous bullfighter, Manolo Vázquez. Here, you will be given a brief introduction to the figure of master-bullfighter Manolo Vázquez with a short talk about his life and a visit to a collection of his personal artifacts, after which, set out in the direction of the Natural Park of the Sierra de Hornachuelos.

The route on horseback takes around five hours and follows a track through the park known as "El Sendero del Águila" (The Eagle Route), leading to the GR48 Public Footpath which features a number of charming spots of great scenic and natural interest, including a 1,000-year-old oak, the panoramic views from vantage points at Mar de Tetis and El Conejo, the spring of El Valle, and the San Abundio hermitage.

You will also learn about the different traditions in handling livestock and forestry management in the park, as well as stopping off at the Visitors’ Center. The route ends at Cortijo Los Arenales, another farm which breeds wild bulls, where you will have a classic country lunch, reminiscent of the typical lunches taken on working days in a traditional Andalusian farmhouse.

The farm boasts a millstone dating from the year 1902, which used to be mounted on a wheel turned by a pack animal and was used to grind olives and extract the olive oil.

You can also try a delicious glass of unfiltered Montilla-Moriles fino wine straight from the wineskins kept on the farm which is owned by the renowned winemakers, Doblas Alcalá. At the end of the day, you will stay at Hotel El Álamo, where you can rest, have dinner, and enjoy breakfast the following day.

Andalucia Horseback Experiences recommendations for this day include a short stroll through the town of Hornachuelos to enjoy its picturesque streets and get a feel of its history. The town preserves its old Arab street layout with its steep, narrow streets, as well as a number of buildings from that period, including the Arab Castle. Other sights in the old quarter include the Town Hall building, the Gothic church, and the crumbling walls of the Castle Keep in the former Parade Ground.

Day 3

  • Route on horseback along the GR48 Public Footpath: Hornachuelos - Posadas
  • Pick-up time: 09:30
  • Journey on horseback: 5 hours | Medium difficulty
  • Lunch: La Sierrezuela Restaurant
  • Accommodation: Country Cottages in Alisné

At around 9.45 a.m., you will reach "Las Cruces" farm, after which, you will set out on horseback along the GR48 Public Footpath towards Hornachuelos, where you will cross the dam at the end of the Bembézar Reservoir. Along the route, you will pass by a number of major sites of archaeological and historical interest, such as the Nublos watchtower, the Paterna water trough, or the Honda stone quarry.

Along this part of the route, which runs along the Real Cañada Soriana cattle track, guests will be treated to a guided commentary, including the history of royal cattle tracks, the phenomenon of transhumance, and the relevance of this route to the conquest of America: the horses which were driven along this route and were then transported to America later gave rise to the famous Mustang breed.

Further along the route, head towards a pine forest known as La Sierrezuela, which leads to the peri-urban park just outside the town of Posadas. After tying up the horses at a fence in front of the restaurant, you will be treated to a lunch of authentic homemade local cuisine, featuring some of the most popular dishes of the region, whose influences lean heavily on the game and locally-grown vegetables.

After dropping off the horses at a nearby farm, continue on to the Country Cottages at Alisné, whose terraces afford stunning views over the La Breña reservoir. The recommendation of the day is a visit to the La Breña Yacht Club on the shore of the lake. Here, the accommodation includes dinner and on the following day, you can enjoy breakfast at the San Luis restaurant which is best known for its traditional local breakfast products.

Day 4

  • Route on horseback along the GR48 Public Footpath: Posadas - Almodóvar del Río
  • Pick-up time: 09:30
  • Journey on horseback: 5 hours | Medium difficulty
  • Lunch: La Taberna de Almodovar Restaurant
  • Accommodation: Country Cottages at Alisné

At around 9.45 a.m., arrive at the farm and collect the horses from the stables. From there, set off on horseback down the GR48 public footpath and after an 11-kilometer ride, get to the town of Almodóvar del Río, where you can pay a visit to the imposing castle of La Floresta, one of the best-preserved castles in Europe, whose popularity soared after appearing as the Fortress of Highgarden in the well-known TV series, Game of Thrones.

After the visit, return to the GR48 footpath until you reach the Country Cottages at Alisné, where you will leave the horses and go for lunch to the popular local restaurant, La Taberna, in the town of Almodóvar del Río. Later, return to the cottages for dinner, accommodation, and breakfast.

Day 5

  • Route on horseback along the GR48 Public Footpath: Almodóvar del Río - Santa María de Trassierra
  • Pick-up time: 09:30
  • Journey on horseback: 5 hours | Medium difficulty
  • Lunch: “El Candil” Restaurant
  • Accommodation: Country Cottage at “La Jarosa”

At 9.45 a.m., set out from the farm where the horses have been kept in stables. From there, continue on horseback, following the GR48 public footpath, deep into the Sierra Morena mountains, after a brief visit to the popular Villalobillos estate, a property belonging formerly to bullfighter Manuel Benítez, known as "El Cordobés".

This stretch of the GR48 footpath passes through the stunning countryside of rolling pastureland dotted with trees, which is mainly used for rearing cattle. Next, arrive at the village of Santa María de Trassierra, where you will leave the horses in a nearby paddock and have lunch at the El Candil restaurant.

Afterwards, 40 minutes further along the road, come to the farm where the horses will be given overnight stabling. From there, head down to the city of Córdoba, to the Hotel Abetos Maestre Escuela, where you can enjoy accommodation and breakfast. For this first night in Cordoba, you are recommended to book a seat for the equestrian show "Passion and Spirit of the Andalusian Horse", which takes place at the Royal Stables and have dinner at one of the nearby restaurants.

Day 6

  • Route on horseback along the GR48 Public Footpath: Santa María de Trassierra - Córdoba
  • Pick-up time: 09:30
  • Journey on horseback: 5 hours | Medium difficulty
  • Lunch: "The Big Farm" Restaurant
  • Accommodation: Hotel Abetos Maestre Escuela

At 10 a.m., set off from the farm where the horses have been kept overnight. On horseback, join the Trassierra country path until it meets the "Los Nogales" public footpath which leads right up to the entrance to the Medina Azahara archaeological site. Clients are given the chance to visit Medina Azahara, after which, continue on horseback to the city of Córdoba.

After dropping off the horses at a horse club, have lunch at the Rancho Grande restaurant which is just next to the horse club grounds. Guests spend the night at the Hotel Abetos Maestre Escuela (half-board). The next day marks the end of the tour and Andalucia Horseback Experiences will do their best to help guests find the most suitable travel arrangements.

Day 7 (OPTIONAL)

Have a guided visit to the Castle of the Christian Monarchs, San Basilio district, and the Mosque-Cathedral. Guests are welcome to add an extra day to the tour to see the cultural sights in the city of Cordoba, including a guided visit to the Castle of the Christian Monarchs, the San Basilio district, the Jewish Quarter and the Mosque-Cathedral, courtesy of "Foot On The Ground" tour guides.

The recommendation of the day is a delicious lunch at the well-known restaurant, Bodegas Campos. Half-board accommodation at the Hotel Abetos Maestre Escuela is included, and gusts depart the following day.

Included excursions

During this holiday, you will be visiting the following site:

  • Parque Natural de la Sierra de Hornachuelos
  • Palacio de Moratalla
  • Castillo de Almodovar
  • Ganaderia de toros bravos
  • Conjunto arqueologico de Medina Azahara
  • Mezquita de Córdoba
  • Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos
  • Barrio de la Juderia
  • Espectáculo ecuestre Como Bailan los Caballos Andaluces

Location

Food

During this holiday, daily half board meals are included. You will be served traditional Andalusian food, traditional stews, game meat, vegetable creams and soups, rice, sausages, extra virgin olive oil, and typical fruits of the area.

The following meals are included:

  • Brunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Coffee
  • Detox juices
  • Soda
  • Tea
  • Water

What's included

  • 5 days of horseback riding
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Half board meals daily
  • Transportation and pick up from the AVE station in Córdoba

What's not included

  • Extra night with accommodation and breakfast at Hotel Los Abetos del Maestre School, visit to the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, the Jewish Quarter, and Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba with lunch at Bodegas Campos
  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Additional activities
  • Personal expenses

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please arrange your flight to arrive at Seville Airport (SVQ) or Málaga Airport (AGP). Transfers from either airport are not yet included in the package but are available at an additional cost of 120 EUR; for more information, please send Andalucia Horseback Experiences an inquiry.

Airport: Málaga Airport Airport transfer available: Málaga Airport (US$136 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Seville Airport Airport transfer available: Seville Airport (US$136 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
6 days / 5 nights
from --
Friday September 25, 2020
(6 days / 5 nights)

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