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Amazing Horse Riding Holiday Spain

The Sulayr Short Break offers three full days of riding. On the first day, explore the high trails through the spectacular Poqueira Valley. The second day rides at a lower altitude through totally different terrain and vegetation to the village of Trevelez. On the third day, return to the home base by an alternative route traversing the high mountain passes.

Key information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 90 kilograms / 198 pounds
  • Horse Height Range: 14.3 to 16.1 hands
  • Horse Breed: Purebred Andalusian horse (PRE) and Andalusian-Arabian cross horse

Meet the instructors

Dallas
Read more

Highlights

  • 3 full days of riding
  • Approximate daily riding time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Fun riding toward whitewashed village Trevelez
  • Ride to the base of the Mulhacen and the Sulayr path through oak woods
  • Professional Sierra Trails’ riding instructor
  • A chance to ride the Spanish horses
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 4 nights' accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


3 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Spanish
Airport transfer available:
Málaga Airport (US$59 per person)
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
17:00
Check-out Time:
18:00

Accommodation will be in small family-run hotels offering twin bedded rooms with en suite bathrooms. The accommodation is comfortable, very clean, and pleasant. Every effort is made to use the best accommodation available, most of the hotels are small with no more than 12 or 16 rooms. There are no porter services available and most of the rooms are on the first or second floor.

Casa La Sevillana

You will be accommodated at Casa La Sevillana in the village of Bubion on nights one, two, four. The place was formerly the rather splendid residence of the local manager of the national electricity supply company, Sevillana. When electricity supply was denationalized in Spain and assets were sold off, the family bought the house, renovated it throughout, and converted it into comfortable and attractive bed and breakfast accommodation in the dramatic setting of the Poquiera Gorge in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in an area known as Las Alpujarras.

The views are breathtaking, snow-capped peaks in the immediate north and towards the Mediterranean Sea in the south. You can even see the Rif Mountains of Africa if the conditions are right. Set in the small, ancient, white-washed village of Bubión, Casa La Sevillana is conveniently placed a few minutes away on the country road which winds up the gorge to Capileira, one of Spain's highest villages. This is a perfect base for you who love mountains and nature.

An intricate network of paths and tracks at all levels will satisfy walkers of every ability and inclination and there is one of Spain's finest stables very close by (the owner lives in the village). Local facilities are excellent. There is ample free parking. Shops, bars, and restaurants are a stone's throw away.

La Fragua

You will be staying at Hotel La Fragua in the village of Trevelez on day three.

Program

The rides follow ancient bridle paths and drovers routes, dating back to the Moorish occupation and before. Many of these paths have been in use for a thousand years or more, as have the terraces and irrigation channels they transverse. With more than 30 years of knowledge of this region, Dallas has chosen a selection of trails offering an amazing diversity of terrains, views, and flora.

Day 1

Arrival in the village of Bubión. While in Bubión, you will be staying in the charming Casa la Sevillana. A comfortable 19th-century townhouse with 7 bedrooms with private shower rooms, a large patio, sitting room, and a breakfast room, located in the heart of the village within a minute's walk from the local restaurants and cafes. Dinner with the rest of the riders and a briefing on the following days' activities.

Day 2: Approximately 5 hours of riding

After breakfast, you will be driven the 5 kilometers up to the stables where you will meet the horses. The ride will vary slightly depending on the weather and the time of year. During the morning, the trail takes you along an old bridle path through pine woods to an open hillside high above the valley Poqueira.

The path winds its way past old terraced farms, follows the acequias (ancient Moorish irrigation channels) up through the high snow-fed summer pastures to the base of the Mulhacen, at 3,486 meters, the highest mountain on the Spanish mainland. Picnic lunch (approximately 2,400 meters) by a small snow-fed stream with spectacular views of the high peaks to the north and the Mediterranean to the south.

After lunch, the trail follows the open ridge of the Mulhacen for about an hour, again stunning views on a clear day all the way across to Africa. In the final two hours of the ride, the path takes you down through the welcome shade of the pine woods to the stables. Dinner on this night is not included, however, Sierra Trails is happy to make any reservations on your behalf with the local restaurants.

Day 3: Approximately 5 hours of riding

Today, ride through totally different terrain to the whitewashed village of Trevelez, the highest village in Spain and famous for its air-cured hams. During the morning, the old bridle paths and tracks take you through chestnut woods, orchards, and terraces to the villages of Pitres and Portugos.

After leading the horses through the narrow village streets, mount up and ride a further hour through small terraced farms and oak woods to the picnic spot in the shade of the pine woods. After lunch, join the main forestry track leading to Trevelez. During the afternoon, there are opportunities for some nice canters as you ride through the pine and oak weeks.

The final descent into the village is on a narrow path and it is necessary to lead the horses for 15 minutes. Trevelez has a long tradition of animal husbandry, the cattlemen and their horses heading out to the hills is a common sight in the early morning and late evening. Overnight in hotel La Fragua, their swimming pool is open from June to September. Have dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 4: Approximately 6 hours of riding

Return to Bubion by an alternative route that takes you high into the mountains above Trevelez. The dirt road out of the village lends to some good canters before joining the path leading into the high Sierras. This path climbs steeply through oak woods and open pasture lands to approximately 2,400 meters.

Picnic at 2,400 meters with stunning views over the Mediterranean, the valley of Trevelez, and the foothills of the Contraviesa. During the afternoon, leave the open pasture lands behind and follow the path descending through pine woods to the stables. Overnight and farewell dinner in the village of Bubion.

Day 5

Breakfast and departure at the designated time.

The trails

With more than 30 years of knowledge of this region, Dallas has chosen a selection of trails offering an amazing diversity of terrains, views, and flora. The rides follow ancient bridle paths and drovers routes, dating back to the Moorish occupation and before. Many of these paths have been in use for a thousand years or more, as have the terraces and irrigation channels they transverse.

Through parts of the mountains, there are more recent dirt tracks providing opportunities for canters and gallops, as do some of the riverbeds on the spring and autumn rides. The paths in many places are built into rocks and on some of the steeper descents, it is necessary to lead your horse. Likewise, it is necessary to lead the horses through the narrow village streets.

The horses

Meet the horse family. Much more than a business, the horses are Sierra Trails' way of life. Their wellbeing, care, and training are their highest priority. When not working, the horses live as a herd in a free, happy, and natural environment. The horses enjoy their work, like being with people, and are a pleasure to ride.

  • PRE

Pure-bred Andalucian (PRE) and Andalucian Arab or Sport horse crosses, ranging from 145 centimeters (14.3 hands) to 165 centimeters (16.1 hands). Most of the horses come to Sierra Trails as youngsters and most of them stay with them for life. They have been carefully selected for their good natures (a trait of the Spanish horse) and endurance.

  • Happy horses

The horses are fit, happy, and strong, they lead a happy and healthy life, when not working they are out together as a herd in the home paddock or free on the mountain pastures. In the yard, each horse has its own loose box for the colder winter nights or hot summer days. As a result, they are not sour, they work well as a team and enjoy being with people.

  • Correctly started

When bringing in new horses, ideally, Sierra Trails prefer for them to be un-broken and un-handled, so ensuring that they are correctly started. This initial contact and groundwork are essential for a good future working relationship with people. Most of the horses have been started, backed, and schooled by Mordecai Love.

Mordecai trained in Portugal as a classical dressage rider and has dedicated his life to working with horses. In addition to his passion for classical dressage, he is also very interested in Western training techniques.

  • Time and patience

A confident and happy horse is a safer horse and a better trail companion. The horses are usually backed and started between 4 and 5 years of age, it is important they are self-confident and physically strong before commencing with any schooling or trail work. Normally, the horses do not start trekking with clients until they are at least 7 years of age.

Most of the horses have basic classical training, helping to keep them supple and strong, so enabling them to carry your weight with balance and comfort. They are light, responsive, and forward-going, enjoy their work, and like being with people. These are not the average riding school or trail horse, but well-bred and schooled horses, responsive, and fun to ride. One of the most frequent comments from riders is that the quality and schooling of the horses far exceeded their highest expectations.

  • Individual characters

There is a selection of horses to suit different riding levels and great care is taken in the selection of horses according to the riding abilities and preferences of each individual. Sierra Trails keep about 22 horses and each one has its own personality, each special in its own way. Knowing very well their different characters is essential in matching horse to rider.

  • The Andalusian

Also known as the Pure Spanish Horse or PRE (pura raza española), is a horse breed from the Iberian Peninsula, where its ancestors have lived for thousands of years.

  • History of the PRE

The Andalusian has been recognized as a distinct breed since the 15th century and its conformation has changed very little over the centuries. Throughout its history, it has been known for its prowess as a warhorse and was prized by the nobility. The breed was used as a tool of diplomacy by the Spanish government and kings across Europe rode and owned Spanish horses.

  • Conformation

Strongly built and compact yet elegant, Andalusians have long, thick manes, and tails. Their most common coat color is grey, although they can be found in many other colors. They are known for their intelligence, sensitivity, and docility.

Riding ability

These rides are suitable for competent to experienced riders, the horses are well schooled and forward going. It is expected that you are comfortable riding outdoors at all paces. There are a limited number of horses available for less experienced riders, but you still need to be comfortable at walking, trot, and canter on a quiet horse. Please send an inquiry if you wish to consult regarding your riding skills.

You will need to be able to mount and dismount without assistance, however, there are plenty of banks, stones, and rocks en route that makes for handy mounting blocks. The weight limits are:

  • 90 kilograms / 198 pounds for experienced riders.
  • 75 kilograms / 165 pounds novice/intermediate riders

Fitness

You will need to have a reasonable level of fitness to participate on one of these rides. In addition to being riding fit, you will need to be walking fit as on some of the steeper descents, you will have to lead your horses over rough uneven ground. Please note that these are mountain trail rides often at high altitudes so it's not suitable if you have a heart condition, suffer from vertigo, or have trouble walking downhill.

Instructors

Dallas Love

Location

The stunning Poqueira Valley

The stables are situated in the spectacular valley of Poqueira, above the picturesque villages of Pampaneira, Bubion, and Capileira at 1650 meters they are possibly the highest stables in Europe.

Close to the Costa Del Sol

Just over an hour's drive to the coast, an hour and 15 minutes to Granada, and a little over 2 hours from Malaga, The Sierra Nevada covers an area of approximately 2,000 square kilometers in the provinces of Granada and Almeria in the south of Spain.

Incredible Sierra Nevada National Park

Sierra Nevada National park covers 86,210 hectares and the Natural Park, another 86,000 hectares, making it the largest park in Spain. With more than 20 peaks over 3,000 meters, it forms the highest mountain range on the mainland. The many microclimates have given rise to the richest botanical life in Europe. 2,100 plants have been cataloged in the park, 60 of which are unique to the area.

Food

You will be served breakfast, lunch, and dinner for three days. The food is fresh local produce. The area is famous for its air-cured hams (jamon serrano), cheese, and trout. Special effort is made to offer the visitor to sample the different local dishes, ordering what each place cooks best.

On most evenings, dinner will be in your hotel, normally offering a selection of 2 or 3 different daily menus. Some hotels will offer a set menu determined a day in advance and offer vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Lunches on most days will be a full, homemade picnic, fresh salads, local cheeses, cold cuts, home-cooked meats, dips, etc. Sierra Trails endeavors each day to provide varied meals prepared using local products. Please specify if you have any special dietary requirements or food allergies.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

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

  • Vegetarian
  • 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

What's included

  • 3 full days of riding
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Breakfast and lunch for 3 days
  • Dinner for 3 nights

What's not included

  • Flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Personal and medical insurance
  • Dinner on one night
  • Personal expenses

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Malaga Airport (AGP). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request. Sierra Trails can arrange a shared transfer from Malaga Airport (AGP) for an additional cost of 55 EUR per person each way. The collection time should be no later than 5 p.m. on the day of arrival and the return transfer on the day of departure would get into Malaga no earlier than 10 a.m.

Airport: Málaga Airport Airport transfer available: Málaga Airport (US$59 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% 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
Food
Location
Quality of activity
5 days / 4 nights
from --
Wednesday July 6, 2022
(5 days / 4 nights)

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