Almeria riding holiday in Spain - Far and Ride
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Almeria, Spain





Reviews



To be able to personally develop within a week from a trot, to hold my own while galloping alongside seasoned local Spanish riders was a feat only made achievable thanks to the joyful and resolute nature of trainer and owner Manolo and his delightful family... (on the trail) everyday grew ever more phenomenal as we trekked from mountain summit to galloping mile after mile of secluded palm tree framed beaches.

James H R-M. (Beginner programme and Sierra Nevada Trail)
I have recently returned from riding with Manolo. The horses were excellent and the diverse countryside was a pleasure to ride through. Accommodation and food also wonderful.

Sarah R
Myself and my husband have just come back from Spain. We did the Cabo de Gato trail beach ride in Almeria with Manolo. I would like to tell you it was an amazing holiday, he was a brilliant host, he treated us like his family, pointed every place out in detail. He took lunches and meals with us it really was a breathtaking holiday and we cannot wait to book up for next year with him. The horses were excellent and the two girls Melissa and Cassandra who helped out were so friendly and helpful with us letting us tack up and groom the horses, which made us feel we were involved hands on. I really feel I should let you know how special the people, the holiday and the horses were, I actually had tears when we said goodbye

Cheryl N
This was something new to me, the experience was quite superb, the scenery spectacular, the horse 'Mobi" quite beautiful and the instructor excellent. I couldn't fault it Manolo, the Spanish host and instructor couldn't have been more friendly and helpful. I'll be back!

Geoffrey G
An excellent mix of hacks, relaxation and Spanish life. We all felt that we had progressed greatly, learnt a lot, relaxed totally. What more do you need? We were very happy with the horses. Tuition was excellent. Ideal for beginners.

Fiona M
We both had a fabulous time. Manolo was great as were the horses, forward going but not too lively! We both grew in confidence over the week and really enjoyed the galloping.

Helen P
Very nice - although the temperature was a bit high for both humans and horses we managed and got a great week of learning how to ride. Favourite memory was to get to know some really beautiful horses. And of course the nice environment, beautiful landscape, nice people and really nice hotel. Very happy and satisfied with the horses and very friendly, good teacher. Transfer was easy and I can think of nothing to improve the holiday. We really want to go back to the same place in Spain!

Johanne (June 2015)
The holiday was relaxing and enjoyable... Manolo looked after me very well and it was clearly important to him that I had a good holiday. He pointed out some things on the routes, which was much appreciated. One day I went our with Juan Antonio, who has just started working there. He chatted a lot and taught me a lot about how their horses are trained and how I could improve my riding. He also pointed out a lot of features on the route and told me about local people and customs. I really enjoyed riding with him. The horses were incredibly well trained and relaxed. They were clearly well looked after. The saddle was comfortable and the tack looked in good condition.

Lesley A.
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Andalucian and Arabian cross breeds.

Nature of horses:

Well trained, surefooted

Height of horses:

15-16.2hh

Weight limit:

100 kg

Tack type:

English & Trekking saddles

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

The Natural Park of Cabo de Gata is situated in the province of Almería, south-eastern Spain. The unique landscape is arid and volcanic. It comprises sea-cliffs, volcanic sierras and a coastal plain populated by extensive dunes, stony plateaux, small lagoons and salt-pans. The coastal wetlands harbour many species of birds. In 1987 this 50,000 hectares of land, sea, volcanoes, dunes, cliffs and a wide range of aquatic life, flora and fauna was declared by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve. The Cabo de Gata landscape is seen nowhere else in Europe and enjoys many environmental and geological resources which are now being enjoyed by an increasing number of tourists. The area is populated by less than 5,000 inhabitants but welcomes more than 500,000 tourists every year.

The Cabo de Gata coastline has some of the most tranquil and pristine waters in Spain. It is composed of sand dunes and salt pans and edged by a chain of Desert Mountains which fall sharply into the sea, creating wonderful hidden bays and sandy coves that are perfect places for exploring, swimming, sunbathing or just relaxing.

The inland parts of this natural park are arid and desert-like, while the mountains range of Cabo de Gata has a distinctly volcanic appearance with sharp peaks and crags. This is an ideal area for horse riding as well as hiking, climbing, mountain biking and off-road land vehicle excursions.

In this wonderful countryside we can offer you some first class horseriding. The host, Manolo is a skilled horseman whilst remaining a kind, caring and attentive host. As his business grew, Manolo found himself involved in all aspects of the business, including teaching children and adults how to ride, and giving classes as part of the Equestrian tourist guide scheme for the Spanish government. He designed and set up all the existing routes around the area, opening up once again many forgotten paths of the area. His love of people, horses and nature is evident in his holidays and he describes horses as "our companions through life". He can help you to improve your riding skills whilst also offering you a wonderful holiday where you can immerse yourself in Spanish culture, ride a beautiful Andalusian horse and most importantly, enjoy yourself.

The stables here are typically Almerian. Here, horse riding lessons are given and it is the base for excursions. From here guests can ride on horseback to the unspoilt coves of San Jose, full of mystery, and still accessible during mild days in autumn.

The horses and lunar landscape of Cabo de Gata paint a picture that brings to mind Western films. This is no coincidence - Sergio Leone filmed the Clint Eastwood movie "For a Fistful of Dollars" here and in its seventy hectares of land. This area also featured in the film "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade".

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

The riding is based near the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata.

Hotel Oro y Luz

This hotel is situated in the village of Rodalquilar on the edge of the Caba de Gata national park. The hotel is ideally located close to the beach and is also on the same estate as the equestrian centre so you are within easy walking distance of the stables. The hotel is clean, fresh and modern with phenomenal views out toward the national park and the Sierra Nevada beyond. Each room offers an independent entrance, private patio and en-suite bathroom, as well as being decorated with a freeze from well known western productions shot in the region - a touch of individuality and personality in each one.

The restaurant on site invites you to enjoy delicious gourmet meals in a calm and peaceful environment, again with those fantastic views across the natural park. Chef Jorge will produce dishes filled with local and traditional produce and flavours.

The food here is typical Spanish with plenty of fresh vegetables and fish. In the hotel restaurant they cook with many organic ingredients.

 

Activities

The crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean are a perfect setting for underwater photography, snorkelling and SCUBA diving as well as sailing and windsurfing.

The reserve is also one of Europe's most important areas for breeding and over wintering birds and an important stopping-off point for migrating birds on the Africa-Europe route. Bird watching can be enjoyed year round with more than eighty different species, including Greater Flamingos, Herons, Waders, Egrets, The Duponts Lark, Ospreys, Storks, Eagles and especially the Pink Flamingo, with over 2,000 breeding pairs.

There is a golf course nearby.

 

Further Details

Languages: Spanish, Catalan, English, French

Health requirements: Fit & Healthy

Age limit: None

Tuition: Yes

Included: B&B, half or full board accommodation depending on programme, riding as per itinerary and transfers to and from Almeria.

Not included: Flights and travel insurance.

 

Travel Information

There are low cost flights available with easyJet, Ryanair and Monarch. Almeria airport transfers are included within the cost of each programme, with arrival and departure between the hours of 7am and 6pm. Transfers outside of these times will carry an additional charge.

It is now possible for us to arrange Malaga airport transfers for the following costs:

Malaga - Cabo de Gata (round trip) €500 for a bus of up to 8 people.

Airport: Almeria

Alternative Airport: Malaga

 

Programmes


Cabo de Gata Beach Trail



This trail programme runs through the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata-Nijar. It combines routes along the coastline with riding through valleys further inland where you can find beautiful scenery and small, unknown villages.

Itinerary (subject to change if necessary).

Day 1 - Arrival

Transfer from Almeria airport to the riding centre where you will meet your guide and horses and learn about the route you will undertake over the next few days. Dinner and overnight in the hotel Aro y Luz.

Day 2 - Rodalquilar - La Torre de los Lobos - El Playazo:

After breakfast you will be allocated your horse for the week and have your first chance to ride in the arena in order to get to know each other. Set off riding through the Rodalquilar valley, which used to be a prosperous mining settlement (for gold!) and the source of many great pirate battles. Follow a narrow path alongside the coast - these roads were once used for coastal surveillance to prevent pirates landing, and you can see the small castles and watchtowers. Ride along the famous El Playazo beach with its golden, crystalline sands, crowned by the castle of San Ramon.

Picnic lunch is by the sea and dinner/overnight is in Rodalquilar again.

Day 3: Rodalquilar - Los Escullos - San Jose

Today you ride along beautiful paths near to the seaside. From here you can enjoy spectacular views from the sea and the amazing cliffs. This is the best vantage point to enjoy such incredible scenery. At midday you will enjoy a picnic lunch on the Escullos beach, amongst the Oasis of palm trees at Isleta del Moro. In the afternoon continue riding along the beach to San Jose where you have dinner. Overnight at the hotel Cortijo El Sotillo.

Day 4: San Jose - Cabo de Gata - Genoveses beach - San Jose

Today you ride through the western side of the national park, which covers nearly 3500 acres. Here you will find some of the last virgin beaches of the Spanish coastline at Genoveses and Monsul. You can see white sand dunes which were used as the setting for famous films including 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade', 'The Adventures of Baron Münchhausen' and 'Lawrence of Arabia'.

At midday stop for a picnic lunch in Cortijo El Romeral, where farmers and shepherds still gather. Then continue riding uphill through El Tesorillo valley and back to San Jose.

Day 5 - San Jose - Fernan Perez:

In the north face of the park you find the mountains of "Sierra de Gata" which still have the craters of ancient volcanoes and a moon-like scenery. You can visit unspoilt villages such as "Los Albaricoques" where you will again discover the scenery of many western movies, and where you will be able to enjoy a delicious Andalucian picnic lunch. In the afternoon, you will ride on an old gold mining path and head for "Cortijo del Fraile", made famous by the film "Bodas de Sangre" (Blood Wedding) by Federico Garcia Lorca. Finally you will arrive to the small village of Fernan Perez. Your hotel is a charming building which used to be an old flour mill which has now been restored.

Accommodation will be at the Hotel Maise where a traditional Moorish/Moroccan dinner will be served.

Day 6 - Fernan Pérez - Las Minas de Rodalquilar - Las Negras:

Today's ride heads inland to cross the old gold mines and climb through ravines which formed the only connection between the farms. Ride through the crater which forms the Roadlquilar valley and discover mineral walls where hidden gold may still be present! You can visit the old mine facilities which were in operation from 1933 until 1986.

In the afternoon you arrive at the Hotel Cala Grande where you can enjoy the spa (sauna, steam room, jacuzzi etc) before dinner in a local restaurant facing the sea.

Day 7 - Las Negras - Rodalquilar:

On the way to Las Negras you ride past vegetable gardens which are irrigated by water flowing from Rambla de las Aguilas, which gathers in a series of pools near the sea. The village of Las Negras comprises a group of simple white houses on the coastline. From here you take the path that leads to San Pedro Cala which has some impressive ecological features.

Final special dinner with flamenco show and overnight at Oro y Luz.

Day 8 - Departure

Transfer back to the airport.



Accommodation: Accommodation is provided in a range of 3* & 4* hotels along the route.
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Intermediate to Experienced riders.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: Flexible
Departure dates: 2017: 19-26 February, 5-12 March, 19-26 March, 2-9 April, 16-23 April, 30 April-7 May, 28 May - 4 June, 1-8 October, 22-29 October, 19-26 November, 27 December - 3 January 2018 (New Year special)
 
Pricing: 2017:

£1100 per person based on full board accommodation.
£1232 per person for the end of year special.

Single supplement £158 per person, per week.

Small group supplement (payable if there are less than 4 confirmed riders): £229 per person.

Price includes 7 nights accommodation in 3* & 4* hotels, based on shared twin or double rooms, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, these are traditional Andalusian and are served with water and one other drink (beer or wine). Includes 6 days of horseback riding as per the itinerary. Return transfers from/to Almeria airport, bus terminal or train station are also included.

Price does not include extra drinks, flights and travel insurance.

** SPECIAL 2017: As our partners are celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2017 we will be offering a £44 per person discount on the above mentioned price, as well as an additional £26 off single supplement charges too! **



Learn to Ride by the Sea (Beginner)



This programme is designed for total beginners or those with a little experience who would like to have more confidence in the saddle. By the end of the programme you should be happily walking and trotting in open countryside, having learnt good riding techniques from Manolo. He has great horses for beginners and years of experience in giving riders confidence. For this programme you are based by the sea (National Park of Cabo de Gata).

The Beginners Programme combines riding lessons with trails in the beautiful Spanish countryside and can be done at your own pace, alone or in a group. A suggested itinerary is as below but you can choose to shorten or lengthen your stay. To get a good basic understanding of the rudiments of horse riding then the following programme would give you great confidence.

Day 1 : 

Upon arrival you will be transferred to the hotel where you will receive a welcome glass of wine and discuss the coming week. 

Day 2 : 

Today you will learn the basics of riding including riding at walk, turning, stopping and generally controlling your horse. This will be followed by a short ride in the countryside (walk). You will also learn to correctly prepare your horse for riding, including grooming, saddling and handling.

c. 2.5-3 hours riding. 

Day 3 : 

A riding lesson where you begin to learn how to trot, followed by a ride out (usually walk only).

c. 2.5-3 hours riding.

Day 4 : 

Learning to improve your techniques at trotting followed by a ride out (walk).

c. 2.5-3 hours riding. 

Day 5 : 

Improving control of your horse at trot and mastering turning whilst trotting. Ride out into the countryside (walk).

c. 2.5-3 hours riding.

Day 6:

Ride out on the beautiful 'Virgin Beaches of the Cabo De Gata'. This white sand beach has been the backdrop for famous films including Lawrence of Arabia, Indian Jones and The Last Crusade and the adventures of Barron Münchhausen. You will be able to enjoy a delicious picnic with traditional Andalucia produce (no sandwiches here!).

c. 3.5 hours riding.

Day 7

After breakfast you will be transferred back to the airport, bus terminal or train station in Almeria.



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: This programme is designed for total beginners and for people who have ridden a little and want to improve their riding skills. The course will alternate between classes in the arena and rides out in the surrounding areas.
Type of ride: Tuition & Trail
Total riding time: Flexible
Departure dates: All year round, with arrival on Sunday and departure the following Saturday.
 
Pricing: 2017:

£660 per person based on B&B accommodation.
£748 per person throughout July & August.

Single supplement: £158 per person.
Small group supplement: £158 per person (payable if less than 2 riders book this programme).

Non-rider: £524 based on a shared room with a riding companion.

Price includes 6 nights bed and breakfast accommodation in Hotel "Oro y Luz" (or similar), 1 picnic lunch with the beach ride. 4 days lessons and short hacks, as well as a half day hack to the beach on the final day and return transfers from/to Almeria airport, bus terminal or train station.



Cabo de Gata and Beaches Radial Routes



This is a fabulous programme for riders looking to explore the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata-Nijar with a knowledgeable guide and excellent horses. The park features virgin beaches, valleys and small fishing villages - all of which you can experience whilst staying in the same comfortable accommodation each night.

Day 1: Arrival

Upon arrival you will be transferred to the hotel where you will receive a welcome glass of wine and discuss the coming week. 

Day 2: Torre de los Lobos

Today you head into the Rodalquilar valley which is famous for its gold mines - these are the reasons why the beaches were visited so often by pirates. Follow a narrow path along the coast where you can see small lookout towers and castles which were used for surveillance to prevent the pirates from landing.

c. 3 hours riding. 

Day 3: El Playazo

Ride along the famous beach of El Playazo. With its golden, crystalline sand within a white rugged setting and overlooked by the castle of San Ramon, this is a spectacularly beautiful ride.

c. 3 hours riding.

Day 4: The Andalucian Western

Today you will visit quaint villages such as Los Albaricoques, where you will discover scenery from many Spaghetti Western movies. 

c. 5-6 hours riding.

Day 5: Las Minas de Oro

Cross the interior, full of old mines and climb up through ravines which serve as the only connection to the inland farms.  Ride through the crater which forms the Rodalquilar valley and discover mineral walls where the remains of hidden gold can still be found. The mines were operational from 1933 until 1986.

c. 3 hours riding.

Day 6: Las Negras

On the way to Las Negras you ride past vegetable gardens which are irrigated by water flowing from Rambla de las Aguillas and collected in a series of pools near the sea. The village of Las Negras is a simple collection of white houses overlooking the sea. Your return path leads to San Pedro Cala with some impressive ecological sights.

c. 3 hours riding.

Day 7: Departure

After the breakfast you will be transferred back to the airport, bus terminal or train station. 



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Strong novice to advanced riders.
Type of ride: Based with daily trails
Total riding time: 4 half day rides & 1 full day
Departure dates: 2017: 22-28 January, 12-18 February, 12-18 March, 9-15 April, 7-13 May, 15-21 October, 10-16 December.
 
Pricing: 2017:

£660 per person based on B&B accommodation.
£788 per person throughout July & August.

Single supplement : £158 per person.
Small group supplement: £158 per person.

Non-rider: £554 based on a shared room with riding companion.

Price includes 6 nights bed and breakfast accommodation in hotel "Oro y Luz" (or similar), 4 half days riding and 1 full day riding including a picnic, as well as transfers from/to Almeria, bus terminal or train station.