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Luxury Horseback Riding Vacations Spain

Based in a luxury rural retreat in Casarabonela in the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park, Cortijo el Chenil Caballos is run by ex-professional jockey Darren Biggs. The holidays not only feature the most amazing riding throughout this picture perfect location, with mountains on one side and the beautiful olive groves of the Guadalhorce valley on the other, but the luxury accommodation and exceptional facilities mean you will also enjoy a fantastic luxury holiday. It really is a truly unforgettable experience.

Key information

  • Rider weight limit: 210 pounds / 95 kilograms
  • Horse height range: 14.2 to 17 hands
  • Tack type: Spanish, Dressage, Portuguese, and English tack
  • Horse breed: Hispano-Árabe, Pure Spanish Horses, and Andalucian Horses

Meet the instructors

Read more


  • 5 days of trekking and education (if required)
  • Approximate daily riding time: 2 to 4 hours
  • All rides led by ex-professional jockey Darren Biggs
  • 7 breakfasts and five dinners
  • 7 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


5 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Spanish
Group size: Maximum of 6 participants
Airport transfer available:
Málaga Airport (US$64 per person)
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  • Swimming pool (outdoor)
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Bar
  • Barbeque facilities
  • Garden
  • Honesty bar
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Picnic area
  • Poolside bar
  • Smoke-free property
  • Terrace
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Internet access
  • Ironing / ironing board
  • Laundry
  • Parking lot
  • Wedding
  • Wireless internet

Cortijo el Chenil Rural Retreat is a fabulous luxury rural retreat with stunning panoramic views of the Andalucian countryside. They have three luxury apartments available, 1 one-bedroom and 2 two-bedroom apartments.

Apartments are all stylishly decorated and very well appointed, featuring smart television, DVD players, Bluetooth speakers, coffee machines, and luxury linens and towels provided, including pool towels. All bedrooms can be configured as either twin rooms with two incredibly comfortable single beds or as doubles with fabulous king beds.

The standard pricing is for a single bed in a twin room in a two-bedroom apartment with a shared bathroom. Double rooms with single occupancy are available, and it is also possible to request the one-bedroom apartment, either for two people or for a single rider, supplements apply.


Swimming pool

The fabulous south facing swimming pool means you can soak up the sun whatever the time of day. Surrounded by sunbeds, you can relax around the pool with a good book or even sample one of the cocktails from the bar. When you get bored of sunbathing, you can enjoy a game of pool or darts or even a game of petanque on the specially built court.


A free pool table and electronic dart board are available for your entertainment, as well as a DVD library, and games selection. DVD’s can be taken from the library and watched on the smart TV’s provided in the apartments. A state of the art music system plays a selection of chilled and relaxing music in the pool and bar areas.

There is also a fabulous Petanque court on the front of the property and of course, the free Wi-Fi means you can choose to stay in touch with the rest of the world, or if you prefer you can choose to disconnect and completely relax and unwind off the grid.

Laundry facilities

Should you need them, they are available, priced per load. There are irons and ironing boards available for your use free of charge, please just ask.


Baby monitors are provided in each apartment for your convenience, so if you choose, you can put the children to bed and feel completely secure and at ease about enjoying a drink at the bar.


Several acres of orchards and plantations, growing many different types of fruit including the typical oranges, lemons, and olives, as well as more exotic avocados, mangoes, pomegranates, and dragon fruits, enhance the beauty of the property.

There are two lakes on the property with stunning panoramic views. A small river runs through the center of the property, surrounded by bamboo providing a perfect haven for a variety of wildlife. The lake and river attract a plethora of birds and dragonflies meaning the property is heaven for those of you who love to relax surrounded by nature.



On your arrival at the retreat, you will be shown to your room and then invited to join Cortijo El Chenil Caballos for your induction. This will be an opportunity to meet the other riders and for Cortijo El Chenil Caballos to discover what your aspirations are and what you are hoping to get out of your holiday with them.

You will discuss the possible routes and decide a plan based upon everyone's abilities and requirements. They will then go through all of the safety requirements, assess your ability, and assign you a horse.


You will enjoy five days of riding on your eight-day holiday, with one day off in the middle of your week to enjoy at your leisure. Cortijo El Chenil Caballos prefer to keep groups small as they feel this promotes a friendly atmosphere and ensures everyone gets the attention they deserve.

On riding days, you will generally go out on a morning or evening hack for up to four hours. Cortijo El Chenil Caballos encourage all riders to take part in grooming and tacking up as they feel this helps you develop a relationship with your horse and helps you get more out of your experience.

The schedule is not set in stone as they feel they have so many routes and options to choose from they can tailor it to the individual needs of the riders. Lessons are provided if required, as a lot of our routes are not suitable for beginners due to the terrain, it is sometimes necessary to exchange riding time for extra lessons in our arena with Darren to work on your riding ability and your confidence. The horses are very safe and relaxed, they are very used to the terrain and know their job well, if required the lessons help to learn about and adapt to our horses and their riding style.

On your hacks, you will explore the local countryside, including the mountains, the olive groves, rivers, and local villages, you can enjoy tapas at a local bar or a picnic in the mountains. The location means whichever direction you ride, you will be guaranteed breathtaking views and beautiful tranquil countryside with plenty of photo opportunities along the way.

Lessons and education

When required, Darren carries out all lessons according to your ability. Nervous and intermediate riders will be schooled in the arena, focusing on improving your skills and building your confidence so as you can get the most out of your time with us, the lessons mean the more nervous riders can truly relax and enjoy the hacks and the beautiful scenery.

Whilst riding Darren will often give talks on horsemanship and learning about how to read your horse and improve communication, sharing his knowledge and experience gained over 20 years of racing and exercising horses all over the world.


First and foremost, at Cortijo el Chenil they are horse lovers. Currently, they have nine horses - one Shetland, two registered Hispano Arabes, one Spanish PRE gelding, and 5 Andalucians, ranging from the 13'2 hand pony to the fabulous 17 hand ride and drive gelding.

All horses are safe and surefooted and very well taken care of, in fact, Cortijo El Chenil Caballos have worked in conjunction with their vet and adopted the Paddock Paradise system to ensure that they are kept in the healthiest and most natural environment possible.

They love a grey at Cortijo el Chenil, so much so that five of their eight horses are greys! They also have two bays and the fabulous pony is a palomino. They also have a variety of tack to suit your riding style. Most customers prefer to ride Spanish horses in Spanish tack, but they also hold Dressage, Portuguese, and English saddles.


Non-riders are welcome and they will find plenty to do to keep them occupied whether they just want to relax at the retreat or explore further afield. Cortijo el Chenil is surrounded by fabulous Andalucian towns and villages steeped in tradition and culture and this area is perfect for hiking, cycling, mountain biking, motorcyclists, birdwatching, and photography.

There is also a wide range of other activities available, including paddle boarding, kayaking, buggy rides, quad biking and much much more. Or as Cortijo el Chenil is only 30 minutes from Malaga, you can head down to the coast to enjoy the shopping, the beaches, and the culture. All other activities are subject to additional charges.

Day off

As with the non-riders, there is so much to see and do around that it is hard to decide how to spend your day off. Whether you prefer to relax around the pool with a good book, have a cocktail at the poolside bar or venture further afield into the surrounding villages, Cortijo el Chenil can help you decide what to do.

If you have chosen not to hire a car, there is the option of public transport with a local bus to Malaga not far from the retreat. They also offer transport to a variety of locations and can organize outings and excursions from horse shows to food tours. They will discuss the options and costs with you at your induction.


Children over the age of 12 are also welcome as riders or non-riders. Under 12 and non-riders are welcome to sign up for the horse and stable management classes whilst you are out on your hack, a series of games and activities designed to help them learn about general care, grooming, and lunging.


Darren Biggs


Located in the beautiful traditional white village of Casarabonela in the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park, this retreat in the perfect location for your riding holiday. With mountains on one side and Guadalhorce Valley littered with olive groves on the other, whichever direction you ride, you are guaranteed breathtaking views and incredible countryside.


Andalucia is widely considered to be one of the most romantic regions in Spain. Its rich history and culture, mountainous backdrop littered with whitewashed villages, and the scent of orange blossom provide the perfect setting for a memorable holiday. And of course, the all year round mild climate means it is one of the most popular destinations for those who enjoy both summer and winter sun vacations.


The retreat is located on the edge of the picturesque white village of Casarabonela. Casarabonela is located in the Sierra de las Nieves natural park, at the foot of Sierra Prieta and from its many viewpoints, visitors can admire the outstanding vistas looking down over the incredible Guadalhorce Valley as far as the sea.

Casarabonela has a very rich culture and history and is one of the few Costa del Sol towns that has managed to retain and combine its Roman, Moorish, and Christian heritage in both its traditions and its landscape. The narrow, whitewashed streets have so much to offer, not only in the variety of monuments and places of interest but also in its many tapas bars offering local gastronomic specialties.



  • Horse riding
  • Swimming
  • Swimming pool (outdoor)


  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Bar
  • Barbeque facilities
  • Dining area
  • Garden
  • In-room safe
  • Kitchen
  • Lake
  • Lounge
  • Poolside bar
  • River
  • Smoke-free property
  • Terrace


  • Child care
  • Free bottled water
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Hair dryer
  • Laundry
  • Parking lot
  • Wedding
  • Wireless internet


During your stay, you will enjoy seven delicious continental breakfasts, including a selection of cereals, fruit, toast, pastries, orange juice, tea, and coffee. You will be served five evening meals (at least one trip to a local restaurant) including dinner, dessert, and one drink. The poolside bar also serves a complete range of tapas and drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, with a superb cocktail selection, all available at an additional cost.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

For non-riders and on your day off, there is plenty to do and see in this area. You can soak up the atmosphere in the cosmopolitan city of Malaga or take in a little culture in any one of the many fabulous historic towns such as Ronda, Mijas, and Antequera.

You can head towards the coast to soak up the sun on one of the many fabulous Costa del Sol beaches or sip a cocktail alongside the fabulous yachts in Puerto Banus. There really is something for everyone to enjoy. You may even want to try another activity such as paddleboarding, mountain biking, surfing, buggy rides, and much more.

All extra activities will be subject to an additional charge. If you want to get out and about and explore the region in your downtime, there are excellent public transport links and Cortijo El Chenil Caballos can also do drop offs to various location in their minibus. Charges depend on the destination.

  • Bodega tours
  • Buggy rides
  • Carriage rides
  • Dolphin watching trips
  • Equestrian shows
  • Food tours
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Paddleboarding
  • Sightseeing
  • Shopping trips
  • Yoga and Pilates classes

What's included

  • 5 days of horseback riding
  • Hacks from 2 to 4 hours
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 fabulous continental breakfasts
  • 5 delicious evening meals (dinner, dessert, and one drink included)
  • All rides led by ex-professional jockey Darren Biggs

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Málaga Airport (AGP). Transfer from and to this airport is available at 60 EUR for each way; car hire is also available.

Airport: Málaga Airport Airport transfer available: Málaga Airport (US$64 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Quality of activity
8 days / 7 nights
from --

This vacation is available all year round, with arrival on Saturday.


Low season
  • November 2019 - February 2020


Mid season
  • June 2019 - August 2019


High season
  • September 2019 and October 2019
  • March 2020 and April 2020

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