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Horse Riding Tour in Spain

On this trail ride, Sierra Trails offers four full days of riding, moving nightly from place to place. The perfect ride for those who do not have a full week at their disposal but wish to pack as much as possible into the time available. The landscape, the scenery, and the terrain change daily as you follow the ancient bridle paths that traditionally linked the white-washed mountain villages. The trails take us along ancient accequias (Moorish irrigation channels), passed small mountain farms, through woodlands, and up through the summer pastures of the high Sierras.

Key information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 75 kilograms (intermediate) - 90 kilograms (experienced) / 165 pounds (intermediate) - 198 pounds (experienced)
  • Horse Height Range: 14.3 to 16.1 hands
  • Tack Type: English tack
  • Horse Breed: Purebred Andalusian horse (PRE) and Andalusian-Arabian cross horse

Highlights

  • 4 days of riding
  • Approximate daily riding time: 5-6 hours
  • Ride excellent PRE and Andalucian Arab or Sports horse crosses
  • Ride ancient mountain bridle paths from one village to another
  • Great views towards the coast of Almeria and the Contraviesa mountains
  • Transfer to and from Malaga at the pre-arranged time
  • Daily breakfast and dinner and lunch on riding days will be provided
  • 5 nights' accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


4 days with instruction
Group size: 2-9 participants
Airport transfer included: Málaga Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
17:00
Check-out Time:
10:00

You will be accommodated at Casa La Sevillana, Hotel La Fragua, and Hotel Rural Los Bérchules. These small family-run hotels offer 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. At the refuge of Postero Alto, it is necessary to share rooms and shower rooms. Bring a sleeping bag or sheets and a towel, the refuge provides blankets.

Casa La Sevillana

This small, family-owned country inn offers comfortable and attractive bed and breakfast accommodation in the dramatic setting of the Poqueira Gorge in the Sierra Nevada mountains, in an area known as the Alpujarras. The local facilities are excellent. There is ample free parking close to the inn, and shops, bars, and restaurants are a stone's throw away.

There are seven bedrooms - five on the first floor and two on the ground floor, all with en-suite bathrooms. Each bedroom is different in size and layout, and all are light, bright, and attractive with splashes of color. The accommodation consists of three double rooms with double beds, two double rooms with single beds, one single room, and one triple room. All the rooms have balconies or private terraces, all with gorgeous views.

Downstairs, leading off from the entrance hall, there is a communal sitting/breakfast room with sofas gathered around a large fireplace. This leads to a spacious, walled patio/terrace where the guests can sit at Morrocan tables and enjoy the fine air and country sounds of this little mountain paradise. From the sitting room, there is a kitchen anteroom where you can help yourself to a buffet-style breakfast in the morning, and coffee or a beer, perhaps, at any time of day.

Hotel Rural Los Bérchules

The hotel is run by a family team with extensive knowledge of southern Spain and many years of experience in catering. On the outskirts of the village of Bérchules at an altitude of 1320 meters, the hotel is surrounded by stunning mountain scenery and is the ideal location to explore the Alpujarras. You can be sure of a warm and friendly welcome at Hotel Rural Los Bérchules.

It stands on its own grounds with private parking on the outskirts of the village and within easy walking distance to the shops, bars, bank, church, and bus stop. There are 10 en-suite twin bedrooms, four en-suite single bedrooms, a restaurant and lounge/bar, a library, a swimming pool, gardens, Wi-Fi, and satellite TV, as well as a Ceragem massage bed. The pool is available from June to late September.

Available on request are transport, laundry, special diets, maps, etc. The pinewood paneled lounge/bar overlooks the valley and mountains to the sea. It has comfortable sofas and a wood-burning fireplace. Light meals and refreshments can be served here and outside on the long terrace. The double rooms have en-suite bathrooms and 1.05-meter twin beds with memory foam mattresses and duvets. Each room has a balcony with a table and chairs and beautiful views down the valley.

The gardens are now established with flowers, shrubs, and trees and the swimming pool, with its loungers and sunshades, is for the exclusive use of hotel guests. The pine-paneled dining room seats 35. Guests are welcome to exchange books from the library. Books in the lounge are about the region and its history, as well as on cookery, travel, and other topics of interest. There are also games and puzzles, maps and postcards, and information on walks and places of local interest.

Hotel La Fragua

Hotel La Fragua is situated in Trevélez, one of the few places in Spain where the environment allows to cure ham through a natural process. The hotel complements the tourist promotion with two hotels and a smart restaurant trying to keep the essence of the Alpujarra. They also contribute to preserving the local patrimony supporting the local culture and gastronomy.

Program

Day 1: Bubion

Collection from Malaga airport at the designated time and transfer to the village of Bubion. Journey time is between 2-2.5 hours. While in the village of Bubion, you will be staying in the comfortable Casa la Sevillana. A charming 19th Century townhouse, with 7 bedrooms with private shower rooms, sitting room, breakfast room, and large patio. The house is located in the heart of the village and within a minute's walk from the local restaurants and cafes.

Dinner in a local restaurant with the rest of the riders and a briefing on the following day's activities.

Day 2: Trevelez - Approximately 6 hours

After breakfast you will be driven the 5 kilometers to the stables where you will meet the horses and be introduced to your trail companion. Today's destination is the village of Trevelez, at 1,486 meters (4,876 feet) the highest municipality in Spain. Throughout the day, the terrain and pace are varied, starting with a slow morning giving horse and rider time to become better acquainted.

The first part of the morning we will be descending along forestry tracks and bridle paths through woodlands and small terraced farms passing the villages of Pitres and Portugos. It will be necessary to discount and lead the horses for short periods on a few of the steeper paths and through the village streets.

On leaving the villages there is an ascent of approximately 600 meters to your lunch spot in the shade of the pine woods. Following lunch the trail joins one of the main forestry tracks through pine and oak woods, here there will be opportunities for trots and canters. At the end of the afternoon, join the old bridle path descending into the village of Trevelez, here it is necessary to lead the horses for approximately 20 minutes.

Overnight in the comfortable Hotel Fragua and dinner in Meson La Fragua. The use of the swimming pool is available from June through September.

Day 3: Berchules - Approximately 6 hours

Starting the morning starts with a 15-minute walk through the narrow streets of Trevelez continuing east to the village of Berchules. On mounting up, cross the river Trevelez and follow the bridle path along the edge of the ancient acequia (irrigation channel) as it passes through oak and pine woods.

Leaving the acequia the path climbs to join a dirt forestry track along which you can do some trots and canters before commencing the descent through an open hillside towards the village of Juviles. Panoramic views over the Contraviesa mountains to the Mediterranian and on a clear day Africa.

Picnic lunch in the oak woods above Juviles. Following lunch, the trail descends towards the village of Berchules following tracks and paths over the open hillside, small terraced farms, and orchards. During the afternoon there is a section over the open hillside where the path becomes very steep and it is necessary to lead the horses for approximately 20 minutes.

Overnight and dinner in the comfortable family-run Hotel Berchules. The pool is open from June through September.

Day 4: Trevelez - Approximately 5 to 6 hours

Today, head back to the village of Trevelez on a much higher route. After traversing the village the main dirt track takes you high into the hills, passing small farms and pastures lands to reach the higher pine woods. Opportunities for trots and canters. Reaching the pines, the path continues through the woods to cross the ridge at approximately 2,300 meters.

Picnic lunch overlooking the valley of Trevelez, spectacular views of the Contraviesa mountains and the Mediterranian to the South, the snowy peaks of Sierra Nevada and the Mulhacen (3,486 meters/11,450 feet) to the North. After lunch, the path gradually descends through pines and oaks to Trevelez. On the descent, there are short sections where it is necessary to lead the horses. Overnight and dinner at Hotel Fragua.

Day 5: Bubion - Approximately 6 hours

The return to the home base and the village of Bubion is along one of the prettiest and most varied trails leading high into the mountains. The ride starts on the forestry track leading out of Trevelez along which you can have a few good canters. After an hour or so, leave the track and for the rest of the morning follow the path up through oak woods, across small spring-fed streams, and on through the open pasture lands of the high Sierras.

Picnic lunch at approximately 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) and again stunning views. After lunch, the landscape changes again as the path gently descends through pine forests to just above the stables. Overnight and farewell dinner in Bubion.

Day 6

Breakfast and transfer to Malaga airport at the designated time.

Riding experience

It is necessary to be comfortable outdoors at walk, trot, and canter.

Horses

  • PRE

Purebred 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 stay with them for life. They have been carefully selected for their good natures (a trait of the Spanish horse) and endurance.

  • 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 war horse 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.

Location

The Alpujarra

The Alpujarra is the name given to the south of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. A region of much botanical and geological importance, it is an area with a rich cultural and historical heritage. With its rich variety of landscapes and consistently beautiful scenery, La Alpujarra and the Sierra Nevada mountains offer some of the most spectacular horse riding countryside in Europe. Less than two hours from the Mediterranean Sea and with more than 20 peaks over 3,000 meters, the region boasts many diverse microclimates, flora, and geological formations.

Sierra Nevada covers an area of approximately 2,000 square kilometers in the provinces of Granada and Almeria in the south of Spain. Sierra Nevada National Park covers 86,210 hectares and the natural park another 86,000 hectares, making it the largest park in Spain. 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.

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 river beds on the spring and autumn rides.

The paths in many places are built into the rock 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. Here, it is possible to forget the pressure of daily life and to ride all day meeting only the occasional shepherd or farmer.

The stables are situated in the spectacular Poqueira valley, above the picturesque villages of Pampaneira, Bubion, and Capileira. At 1,650 meters, they are possibly the highest stables in Europe. The stables are just over an hour drive to the coast, an hour and 15 minutes to Granada, and a little over two hours from Malaga.

Bérchules

Bérchules is located on the southern slope of Sierra Nevada Natural Park, in high mountain between beautiful places and sources of ferruginous and carbonated waters. It has a spring called Fuente Agria and located in the hollow of the Guadalfeo River. Its white houses with flat roofs and its stepped streets, perfectly adapted to the broken terrain, make up the typical Alpujarra architecture.

The originality of its urbanism, the integration of the people in the landscape, the historical monumental resources as well as the customs and traditions make this municipality a very appropriate place for the development of rural tourism and the complementary activities that this sector carries with it. The set of all architectural, cultural, and landscape features make Bérchules an exceptional tourist destination.

The name Bérchules is derived from the ancient Arabic 'vergel' or pasture. It was a collection of wealthy smallholdings and a center for the silk trade. Mulberry trees still line one of the prettiest local walks leading to the ruins of the silk factory, with its perfect Moorish arch still intact, now a delightful spot for a picnic.

The town perches on the mountainside above the deep river gorge, the source of the Guadalfeo. Behind is the snow-capped Sierra Nevada and all around are terraced and irrigated farmlands. There are great old chestnut trees, cherry, peach and apple orchards, and fields of cherry tomatoes, green beans, raspberries, and strawberries. You will hear the tinkling of bells of all sizes on the sheep, goats, and cattle and the jolly song of multitudes of birds.

The Moors' influence is still visible in Berchules, with its steep, narrow, cobbled streets, more comfortable for mules than for cars or humans. The higgledy-piggledy houses compete with their displays of colorful plants and there are many fountains, washing houses, and drinking troughs. There are two banks (one with a cash dispenser), a few shops, a chemist, a doctor's surgery, library, school and a helicopter pad for emergencies plus several bars for tapas.

Trevélez

Trevélez is a village located in the well-known national park of Sierra Nevada and within the historical region of La Alpujarra. Trevélez is also known for its excellent hams, scenic beauties, a strategic location within the region of La Alpujarra, and also for being the highest village in Spain.

Food

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in the price. 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 a 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

  • 5 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast and dinner
  • Lunch on riding days
  • 4 days of riding
  • Transfer to and from Malaga airport at a pre-arranged time (Transfer on the day of arrival will be no later than 5 p.m. and on the day of departure, the transfer will return you to Malaga airport at 10 a.m.)

What's not included

  • Air flights
  • Personal insurance
  • Bar bills

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Málaga Airport (AGP). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Sierra Trails will pick you up from the airport. You will be collected from the airport on the day the trek commences. The collection will be no later than 5 p.m.

Airport: Málaga Airport Airport transfer included: Málaga Airport No additional charges. 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.
Rated: 5/10 2 reviews

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6 days / 5 nights
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Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

Thursday August 22, 2024
(6 days / 5 nights)

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