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This Alpujarra short break riding holiday is the perfect ride for those who do not have the time at their disposal for a full week. Explore the ancient bridle paths that traditionally connected village to village, mountain farm to mountain farm and during the summer led over the high passes to the north while moving nightly from place to place enables one to discover the charms of the small white-washed mountain villages with their typical Berber architecture.
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 the shower room. Bring a sleeping bag or sheets and a towel, the refuge provides blankets.
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. 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.
The hotel is run by a family team with extensive knowledge of southern Spain and many years 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 in 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, restaurant and lounge / bar, library, swimming pool, gardens, Wi-fi and satellite TV, as well as 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 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.
Transfer from Malaga airport - Costa del Sol (AG) to the village of Bubion at the designated time. While in Bubion, you will be staying in the charming Casa la Sevillana, a comfortable 19th Century townhouse with seven bedrooms with private shower-rooms, large patio, sitting room, breakfast room. It is located in the heart of the village within minutes' walk from the local restaurants and cafes.
Dinner with the rest of the riders and a briefing on the following day's activities.
Today, you head east to the short-break riding holiday white village of Trevelez, at 1,486 meters (4,876 feet), the highest municipality in Spain that is not a ski resort.
During the morning, you gradually descend (approximately 350 meters) on forestry tracks and bridle paths. The path passes through orchards and small terraces as it skirts the villages of Capilerilla, Pitres, and Portugos. There are a few sections where it is necessary to lead the horses on some of the steeper descents.
Leaving the village of Portugos below, you start the 600-meter climb to a picnic spot in the shade of the pine woods. After lunch, you join the main forestry track to Trevelez, this track maintains pretty much the same altitude as it winds its way through woodlands and small mountain farms. There are some good opportunities for nice canters. At the end of the day, approximately a 15 minute walk down an old stone path into the village.
Overnight and dinner in the comfortable Hotel Fragua situated in the old Berber quarter of Trevelez. Use of pool from June to September.
The route continues east to the village of Berchules. After a 10 minute walk through the streets of Trevelez, you water the horses at one of the many springs, mount up and head down to the river. Once across the river, the many centuries-old bridle path follows first the Moorish irrigation channel and then works its way up through evergreen Holm oak and pine forests to the open pasture lands of the Sierra of Juviles.
Descending across the open hillside, you have great views towards the coast of Almeria and the Contraviesa mountains. You climb again before stopping for a picnic in the oak woods. After lunch, you join a dirt track leading you to the short-break riding holiday white village of Berchules.
The final descent into the village is on foot, followed by a 15-minute walk through the streets to the stables and a hotel. Overnight and dinner in the comfortable Hotel Berchules. The pool can be used from June to the end of September.
Leaving the village of Berchules by one of the old bridle paths, you join the main forestry track where during the later part of the morning, you can have some good canters and trots. Late morning, you will join part of the Sulayr path winding through the pine woods to the ridge of “Lomo de Piedra Ventana”.
Early afternoon, the path leads over the ridge at approx 1,700 meters to commence the descent through the pine woods to the village of Trevelez. Picnic lunch in the shade of the woods with wonderful views across the valley to the peak of the Mulhacen (3,486 meters), to the south the Mediterranean and on a clear day Africa.
After a picnic lunch, the path gradually descends through pine and oak woods to the village of Trevelez. On the final descent, there are sections one must lead the horses. Overnight and dinner in the comfortable Hotel Fragua.
Returning 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, you leave the open pasture lands behind and follow the path descending through pine woods to the stables.
Overnight and farewell dinner in Bubion.
Breakfast and depart for Malaga airport - Costa del Sol (AGP).
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 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 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.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in the price. The food is fresh local produce. The area is famous for its air-cured hams, cheese, and trout. A special effort is made to enable the visitor to sample different local dishes, ordering what each place cooks the best. Some days, lunch will be in a small village, on others, you will take a picnic. Please specify if you have any special dietary requirements.
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 4 p.m. Alternatively, Federico García Lorca Granada-Jaén Airport (GRX) is a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Bubion and private transfers can be arranged on request at an extra cost.
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