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Get to ride along the triangle between Ronda, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean, which offers ever-changing and spectacular scenery! The trip starts on the beaches of the Atlantic coast where you can get used to the horses in all gaits. Turning inland, you’ll ride through the coastal pine forests and across large meadows with herds of bulls and wild cattle. You will then head for the mountains and ride through the natural reserve Alcoronocales with its canyons and cork oak forests. At 3,000 feet, you will have a great view of the surrounding mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.
During this holiday, you will be staying in various accommodations in double or single rooms. The first and last night will be at Rancho La Paz.
The rustic apartments are all Andalusian style furnished and are equipped with their own bathroom with shower. It also has air-conditioners to cool down in summer and warm up in winter. Towels and bedclothes, as the daily cleaning are included in the service. Between palms and oleander, the swimming pool invites to refresh during the “Spanish siesta” in the summer.
For the pool or a visit to the beach, you should bring your own towels. On the roofed-over terrace, in between lots of flowers, you will have your meals and spend time together in the evenings. For the colder winter time, you have a salon with a small library corner to relax. Here you also find a TV with national and international channels. You have an internet connection and a computer for free, on your disposal.
You will ride with Andalusia Mares and Geldings in Spanish saddles with long stirrups and a hackamore on one hand, a very easy and comfortable way of riding for riders and horses. You will ride in a walk or canter. You should have a good riding experience in the open country and be able to have a horse under control in the canters.
You are safe in the handling of a horse and have the necessary riding experience in outside rides to have your horse in all gaits in a group, and safe, under control, you can mount and dismount without help and you are able to stand up in the stirrups during the canters and longer climbing parts in the mountains to help your horse. On some parts, you have to walk so bring comfortable shoes.
Arrive in Malaga and spend the night at Rancho La Paz.
After breakfast, transfer to Zahara de los Atunes along the coast (approximately 2.5 hours). There, you’ll set off on your first beach ride to Barbate. Right after leaving the town, the beach is deserted and, except during the summer months, only used by the local fishers. As this stretch of the coast is under the supervision of the military, no hotels have been built and the firm sand gives you the opportunity to get used to your horse in walk and canter.
Nearby Barbate, a saddle bag picnic awaits you for lunch. After a siesta, ride through the pine forest above the steep coast of Cape Trafalgar. At this historic place, with its old lighthouse, you can see as far as Morocco. The horses stay in Caños de Meca, the riders will drive back to the hotel at the Atlantic beach. Before or after dinner, you may like to swim in the ocean or in the pool of the hotel.
Along sandy trails, you’ll ride back to the beach where you will enjoy more canters. Only towards the end of this morning, you’ll reach the busier parts of the coast. You’ll be pleased to stop at a beach bar for refreshments.
For lunch, you’ll turn inland to meet the support vehicle. Leaving the coastal pine forests behind, you’ll cross a stretch of fertile land with sugar beet, cotton, and bean fields before reaching the first meadows of Andalusia. The support vehicle awaits you with the picnic and refreshments. Ride on along Andalusia’s meadows. The horses will stay in the little farming village of Los Naveros while the riders will drive back to Zahara.
Leaving Los Naveros, you’ll ride to Paterna along old livestock trails, the “vereas”, which are still running through all of Spain and across meadows of cows and fighting bulls. There will be a lunch stop in a “venta”. There are no asphalt roads between meadows and fields, giving you the opportunity to canter again and again.
Enjoy the view over the wide-open landscape. Keeping a respectful distance, you’ll ride around herds of fighting bulls and wild cows. The horses will stay in Paterna, the riders will drive to Alcala de los Gazules. The central Village Square is the heart of the village life where people meet, especially late at night, after dinner.
Bordered by half a dozen pubs and in safe distance from the church, every villager walks across the square at least once a day. Virtually undiscovered by tourism, Alcala is one of the few remaining typical Andalusian villages. There is even a saddler there that you might like to check out.
Till now, you've had the possibility to know the Andalusian horses with their work in the countryside, today, you will see them in high dressage. You will drive to Jerez de la Frontera, the heart of Spanish horses with the deposit of Pure Spanish Stallions, the biggest festival with Spanish Horses (Feria de Jerez) and of course, the Royal Riding School where you can visit the morning training.
Have a look behind the scenery on how to train young horses to get show horses and young riders to get good trainers. You also can see the historical monuments with the stables. After the training, you will have time to visit the old part of the town or have guidance in one of the famous bodegas. Use the chance to try typical tapas in one of these small restaurants, lunch during this day is not included. In the afternoon, you will drive back to Alcala.
From Paterna, you will cross the open land, coming through the big groups of “retintas”, the big red Andalusian cows. In this area, you will find great affection for hunting with Galgos, Spanish hunting dogs and the horses on the fields. You will have lunch near Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Los Santos, a small church where the whole town of Alcala comes together for their festivals. The horses stay in Patrite and you will drive back to Alcala.
Until today, you have probably been amazed by the endurance and smooth canter of your Andalusian horse. Now you can admire how surefooted they are when climbing the mountains of the National Park Alcornocales. Only by special permission are you able to enter this protected nature reserve that was once owned by old Andalusian nobility.
These mountains are covered with cork oaks and other deciduous trees and keep the natural waters all year round, even in the summer. Rare plants, such as orchids, grow in the shade of the trees. Although this mountain range is only 1,600 feet high, it offers spectacular views over the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic. After the picnic, you will get to a big reservoir where the horses and you will start your way back to Rancho La Paz where you will stay for your last night.
After breakfast, transfer to Malaga Airport (AGP).
The location from La Paz is perfect for all kinds of trips in Andalusia; in just 10 minutes, you are at Costa del Sol, which is very animated in summer with a lot of nightlife, long sandy beaches, fish restaurants, and uncountable bars and shop; during winter, the coast calms down.
Full board meals and table wine are included, as well as picnic lunch during the riding days.
The recreation possibilities are indefinite and can satisfy anybody’s demand. The sportive ones can find nearby, an assortment of golf courses, routes for walking and biking, as well as all kinds of water sports for professionals and beginners. For culture lovers, the well-known towns offer a lot of history; Malaga (20 minutes) with the Picasso museum and the old town, Seville and Cordoba (2 hours) with lots of cathedrals, or Granada (2 hours) with Alhambra, Generalife, and the gypsy town. There is an excellent road network but you should not underrate the temperatures in summer in the cities.
A nice day trip passes over the small mountain roads through the white villages to Ronda, the historic town divided into two parts by the Tajo. A visit in the narrow alleys with all the typical shops of ceramics and leather things can be topped with a tapas meal in one of the small restaurants. Later, the street brings you down to the coast. Nearby Marbella, you will find the biggest and luxurious sail hunt port of the Mediterranean; restaurants, bars, and all kinds of shops are opened during near the whole night in summer.
Directly behind the tourism coast, you can find typical small villages with the church and its church square as a meeting point for everybody in the center. Old traditions and handworks get cultivated and small bars offer all kind of plane fare. Jerez is the stronghold of the Spanish horses. The Real Spanish Riding School shows their white horses in the show “asi bailan los Caballos andaluzes”, but you also can visit the morning training and the historic buildings with the stables, the museum of the carriages, and the own saddlers.
In the center of Jerez, you will find the military deposit of the PRE stallions. During the season, the stallions are shared in all towns of Andalusia but in autumn and winter, you can visit them here. Nearby Jerez, the famous stud, Yeguada la Cartuja, opens its doors for visitors. Every Saturday, they show their mares, youngsters, and well-trained working horses in all kinds of carriages in a beautiful show.
But Jerez is also famous because of all the old bodegas with the different sherry (the name comes from “Jerez”). You can get a guided tour of different languages and try all kinds of sherry. Tarifa is not just the southern point of the European continent but also the most popular windsurfing area because of the Levante, the wind coming from Africa. From here, ferries leave to Ceuta and Melilla. Dolphins are living in the deep water of the “Street of Gibraltar”, you can visit by guided tours.
Near Estepona, you can cross the big wildlife park, Selvo, by jeep and get near to a lot of wild animals. Each town has its own patroness they honor with a great festival once a year, the feria. Most of these ferias start with a romeria, a procession with horses and go in the center with lots of dances in traditional costumes, sherry, and meals. Each festival has its own customs and some of them continue up to one week; to visit them is a real experience.
The possibilities are unlimited, just think about that you can have a sunbath at the sandy beach in springtime, just two hours away in one direction you can go skiing in the Sierra Nevada, and about two hours in the other direction you can go windsurfing at Tarifa. Rancho La Paz is at your disposal with the planning of your trips. For your independent planning, you are recommended to rent a car.
Please arrange your flight to arrive at Málaga Airport (AGP). Rancho La Paz will pick you up from this airport at given times. Special transfers for 30 EUR can be booked as an extra to give you more flexibility with your flight booking.
From Málaga Airport (AGP), take the direction "Algeciras/Cadiz" on the A7/E340, take the way out 217 "Mijas/Benalmadena", follow the right street up in direction of Mijas, after 200 meters, you will have a gas station on the left side and the restaurant “El Higeron“, here you can drive on the parking of the restaurant and find a sign "Rancho la Paz“, follow the street down and drive straight over the roundabout always following the street that goes over in a way, you cross a small beck and come to a crossway where you follow the sign "Rancho la Paz“, right the street up and have the entrance of the ranch on your left side.
In the winter month, after a strong rain, it is possible that the beck is bad to pass over. Then you should follow the A7/E340 to Fuengirola (NOT the AP7 where you have to pay!). Take the way out 212 and turn left at the roundabout, cross the bridge, and take the A7/E340 in direction of Malaga. If you come from Cadiz/Marbella take the A7/E340 in direction of Malaga (Not the AP7), take the way-out 211 "Benalmadena Costa“ (take the street straight, there are several directions), you will cross two roundabouts straight, on the third you have the hotel Gardenia Park on the right side, there you can turn left and follow the street (Calle Orquideas, Calle del Alheli), you will cross two roundabouts straight, cross down the main street and follow the street up to the mountains, there you will find the sign "Rancho la Paz“.
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