Sierras of Spain riding holiday in Spain - Far and Ride
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Sierras of Spain, Spain





Reviews



To be able to personally develop within a week from a trot, to hold my own while galloping alongside seasoned Spanish riders was a feat only made achievable thanks to the joyful & resolute nature of trainer/owner Manolo Ruiz and his delightful family.

James H.
We had an enjoyable week with charming hosts and an interesting group of international co-riders. (Favourite memory?) Visiting the valley known as "the End of the World". The scenery is amazing.

Madeleine A.
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Andalucian and Arab crosses.

Nature of horses:

Well trained and surefooted, with great stamina for these challenging trails.

Height of horses:

15-16.2hh

Weight limit:

90 kg/198lbs

Tack type:

trekking and English saddles, with saddles bags provided.

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

This fantastic trail ride is led by Manolo Ruiz from our Almeria horse riding destination on the southern coast of Spain. These rides are based in the Sierra Nevada national park, which is home to some of the most impressive terrain in Andalucia. With landscapes ranging from high mountains to deep river valleys and gorges and out to the stark wilderness of desert and farmland beyond, you will experience a land almost designed for discovery and adventure. These impenetrable mountainous barriers have for centuries played major roles in the historic battles and conquests of these lands; abetting and impeding military advances in equal measure.

This absolutely unique riding trail has been researched and designed by Manolo in conjunction with local riding centres and tourism initiatives, in order to offer his guests an exciting, diverse and unforgettable experience. Your host Manolo is a skilled horseman whilst remaining a kind, caring and attentive host. He is regularly involved in all aspects of the equestrian industry, including teaching children and adults how to ride, and giving classes as part of the Equestrian tourist guide scheme for the Spanish government. His love of people, horses and nature is evident in his holidays and he describes horses as "our companions through life". He can offer you a wonderful holiday where you can immerse yourself in Spanish culture, ride a beautiful Andalusian horse and most importantly, enjoy yourself.

The Sierra mountain ranges of Andalucia are of volcanic origin and offer some wonderful climates for riding in, with dry, arid summers turning into cold snowy winters. The extremes of weather and temperature have really helped to shape this region, including its cuisine. For example, the Jáen region surrounding the Sierra Cazorla is well known as one of the best olive growing areas in Southern Spain, producing fruit for the vast majority of Spanish olive oil.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Accommodations for these trails will be in a range of traditional Moorish and Andalucian hotels and guesthouses. All have been selected for their character, comfort and suitability in regards to the trail. These can range from charming rural guesthouses to 4* hotels and luxurious Parador.

All food along this trail will be influenced by the fabulous region you are riding in. Even lunches will be cooked in the traditional Andalucian style - no packed lunch sandwiches here! - with dishes centred around pork, fish and vegetables. You will be able to sample the flavours and delicacies of Andalucia, with warming, hearty meals designed to tantalise your interests and satisfy your hunger. The wines of this Spanish region are also fantastic and those who wish will be able to sample and enjoy the local offerings.

Vegetarian and speciality diets can certainly be catered for with prior warning.

 

Activities

The natural parks of Andalucia are the perfect location for any adventure holiday, with trails suited to mountain biking, hiking, kayaking and all manner of thrill seeking activities. A great way to discover the beautiful and dramatic outdoors!

For those wishing to take things a little slower, these reserves are also wonderful places to spot a great number of diverse and interesting wildlife, including 36 species of mammal, 125 separate bird species, as well as many amphibians, reptiles and fish! Really, there is something here for everyone.

Andalucia is also a great food region of Spain, with influences from Mediterranean as well as middle eastern dishes. The ancient regional capital of Granada is also worth taking some time to visit, with its ancient hilltop fortifications and stunning views to the snow topped mountains beyond.

 

Further Details

Languages: Spanish, Catalan and English.

Health requirements: Riders should be comfortable at walk, trot and canter and able to ride for long hours each day.

Age limit: 14+ years for the trails.

Tuition: No

Included: Airport or bus station transfers at set times, accommodation, all meals and drinks, as well as horse riding as per the itinerary with an experienced and knowledgeable guide, all luggage transport along the trail route and a support vehicle.

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, personal expenses not mentioned above and transfers outside of the set times.

 

Travel Information

A group transfer is arranged from Granada airport at 18h00 on the day of arrival. This set-time transfer is included in the cost of your holiday.

It is possible to arrange transfers at different times and from a different local airport, but these will need to be charged at an additional cost.

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

Malaga - Sierra Nevada (round trip) €320 for a bus of up to 8 people.

Airport: Granada

 

Programmes


Sierra Nevada Trail



This is a 7 night trail along the northern side of the Sierra Nevada national park, far from the ski resorts and tourists. You will explore small white villages with moorish architecture, valleys filled with melt-snow fed rivers originating in the high mountains, red clay canyons and the ever changing landscape of a varied terrain. Here you will discover the real "dark side" of the Sierra Nevada.

Day 1: Arrival

You will be transferred to the riding centre near Granada in order to meet your guides, horses and fellow guests. A chance to enjoy an aperitif followed by dinner and the chance to discuss and learn more about the trail ahead.

Overnight accommodation at the hotel Hospedería of Zenete 4* (or similar), a replica of the medieval castle above the town of La Calahorra.

Day 2: La Calahorra - Aldeire - La Calahorra

In the morning, following a tasty breakfast, you will meet the horses and begin your first day of riding. Heading toward La Calahorra, a former muslim fortress with great history and a stunning example of some of the first renaissance architecture to reach this part of Spain. Riding across fertile land with irrigated fields of almond trees, fig trees, olives and a host of other crops. Following a morning of challenging riding, you will enjoy a picnic lunch near the Rosandra river before heading back to La Calahorra crossing the ancient village of Aldeire and its network of irrigation channels, legacy of the Moorish occupation.

Back at the hotel Hospedería del Zenete 4* you will have a well-earned dinner and overnight.

Approximately 5 hours of riding in total.

Day 3: La Calahorrra - Jerez del Marquesado

This morning, you will head towards the Zalabi valley, the "Wild West" of Andalucia. You will ride across a large flat plain that will take you to amazing canyons. There will be a picnic lunch waiting for you next to the Cogollos lake - there may be time for a cooling dip too. After lunch you will climb up through the pine forests to the National Park and then ride along the old mining paths to arrive in the small and ancient Moorish village of Jerez del Marquesado.

Dinner and overnight will be at Hotel Rural Sierra de Jerez.

Approximately 5.5 hours on horseback today.

Day 4: Jerez del Marquesado - Alhori River - Jerez del Marquesado

This morning, you will climb up to the Postero Alto summit, riding through Mediterranean pine forests and up crystal clear streams. You will eventually reach the summit at 1850 m. The trail is often used by farmers in the region to monitor their herds of over 4000 cattle that graze freely in the mountains. Lunch will be a picnic next to the Alhori river and you will then ride back down along the tracks to Jerez del Marquesado.

A special dinner of grilled meats and vegetables will be served to you in one of the local restaurants. Overnight back at the hotel Rural Sierra de Jerez.

Approximately 5.5 hours in the saddle today.

Day 5: Jerez del Marquesado - Cogollos de Guadix

You will climb up the "Camarte" of the Sierra Nevada where you will enjoy incredible scenery from stream beds to olives plantations. You will also discover, after reaching 2000m, green pastures where the Spanish bulls graze in peace. After a delicious picnic, you will ride along old mining paths to arrive in the small village of Cogollos de Guadix.

Dinner and overnight at the Casa Rural el Tesorillo in Cogollos.

Approximately 6 hours of riding today.

Day 6: Cogollos de Guadix - Rio Alhama - Guadix

This morning you will head toward the Alhama river and the easternmost side of the Sierra Nevada Natural Park. You will find a region reminiscent of the scenery from many Spaghetti westerns - similar to the deserts of Arizona from the 70s. Finally, you will take a rest with a picnic lunch under the shade of pine trees, on the side of the river. During the afternoon, the step of your horses will lead you to your accommodation for the night at Guadix, a nomadic city where even today close to 4000 people live in cave homes hewn from the rock face.

Dinner and overnight at the cave hotel - Hotel Cuevas Abulo Ventura - which offers a comfortable nights rest and the chance to take a dip in the heated cave pool.

Approximate riding time of 6 hours today.

Day 7: Guadix - Cogollos - Guadix

You will leave Guadix and follow winding pack trails which will lead you directly to the highlands of Albuñán and the spectacular views beyond. Leaving the horses, you will enjoy a delicious Andalucian lunch at a local restaurant in Cogollos.

In the afternoon you will head by road back to Guadix where you will have a carriage ride through the neighbourhood caves of Guadix. Dinner will be a celebratory one with a special flamenco show. Overnight at the Hotel Palacio de Onate (or similar).

Approximately 3.5-4 hours of riding today.

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your departure.



Accommodation: Accommodation will be provided in a range of traditional Moorish and Andalucian hotels and guesthouses
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Intermediate and above. All riders must be physically fit and happy at walk, trot and canter.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 6 days riding, 3-6 hours per day
Departure dates: 2017: 17-24 September.
 
Pricing: 2017:

£1142 per person based on full board accommodation.
Single supplement £164 per person.
Small group supplement: £238 per person (payable in case of less than 4 confirmed riders).

Price includes 7 nights full board accommodation in shared twin or double bedrooms, all meals are traditional Andalucian, served with water and one drink (beer or wine). 6 days riding as per itinerary, luggage transport, transfers from/to Granada airport, bus terminal or train station at set times 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 £46 per person discount on the above mentioned price, as well as an additional £27 off single supplement charges too! **



Sierra Nevada trail and El Rocio



Join the centuries old tradition of "Saca de las Yeguas" in Almonte before exploring the Sierra Nevada mountains on horseback. In the days preceeding San Pedro Fair, the Almontenos ride out to the marshes to gather the mares and foals which graze there. The next day, the entire herd are paraded through the streets of El Rocio until reaching the Ermita where they are blessed by the parish priest. The Association of Cattle Marismeno gives a foal to the Virgin of the Rocio and the rest of the herd continue out of the village to Almonte. Here they are corralled and prepared for sale the next day.

Day One: Arrival

You will be collected from Malaga airport at 6pm at the latest and transferred to your hotel Aldea del Rocio where you have dinner as a group and meet your guide.

Day Two: Saca de las Yeguas

Today you accompany, on horseback, the herd of mares and foals from El Rocio to Almonte. This is a fantastic chance to experience a truly authentic festival. You have a "campero" lunch under the shade of pine trees whilst the mares rest partway through your journey. On arrival at Almonte, you are transferred back to El Rocio and your hotel Aldea del Rocio for dinner and to overnight.

Day Three: San Pedro Fair

You are transferred to Almonte to view the fair and sale of the mares and foals. Those which do not sell are later returned to the same marshes they were gathered from a few days ago.

At the end of the day you are transferred to the Sierra Nevada mountains, ready to embark on your riding trail tomorrow.

Dinner and overnight at Hospederia Zenete in Calahorra.

Day Four: Calahorra - Aldeire Valley - Calahorra

In the morning, following a tasty breakfast, you will meet the horses and begin your first day of riding. Head towards La Calahorra, a former muslim fortress with great history and a stunning example of some of the first renaissance architecture to reach this part of Spain. Continue riding across fertile land with irrigated fields of almond trees, fig trees, olives and a host of other crops. Climb to the highest point of the day (c. 2000m) following the "trail of the glaciers" which was used in ancient times by horsemen who cut blocks of ice to take back to the village to help keep their food cool. Following a morning of challenging riding, you will enjoy a picnic lunch near the Rosandra river before heading back to La Calahorra crossing the ancient village of Aldeire and its network of irrigation channels, legacy of the Moorish occupation.

If time allows you can visit the medieval castle of Calahorra which was the first Renaissance palace in Spain.

Back at the hotel Hospedería del Zenete 4* you will have a well-earned dinner and overnight.

Approximately 5 hours of riding in total.

Day Five: Calahorra - Jerez del Marquesado

This morning you will head towards the Zalabi valley, the "Wild West" of Andalucia. You will ride across a large flat plain that will take you to amazing canyons of red clay which remind you of the great American canyons of Colorado. There will be a picnic lunch waiting for you next to the Cogollos lake - there may be time for a cooling dip too.

After lunch you will climb up through the pine forests to the National Park and then ride along the old mining paths to arrive in the small and ancient Moorish village of Jerez del Marquesado.

Overnight will be at Hotel Rural Sierra de Jerez and dinner will be in a local restaurant.

Approximately 5.5 hours on horseback today.

Day Six: Jerez del Marquesado - Rio Alhori - Jerez del Marquesado

This morning, you will climb up to the Postero Alto summit, riding through Mediterranean pine forests and up crystal clear streams. You will eventually reach the summit at 1,850 m. The trail is often used by farmers in the region to monitor their herds of over 4,000 cattle that graze freely in the mountains. The view from the top is beautiful. Lunch will be a picnic next to the Alhori river and you will then ride back down along ancient cowboy tracks to Jerez del Marquesado.

A special dinner of grilled meats and vegetables will be served to you in one of the local restaurants. Overnight back at the hotel Rural Sierra de Jerez.

Approximately 5.5 hours in the saddle today.

Day Seven: Jerez del Marquesado - Guadix

This morning you will head toward the Alhama river and the easternmost side of the Sierra Nevada Natural Park. You will find a region reminiscent of the scenery from many Spaghetti westerns - similar to the deserts of Arizona from the 70s. Finally, you will take a rest with a picnic lunch under the shade of pine trees, on the side of the river. During the afternoon, you will ride to Guadix, a nomadic city where even today close to 4,000 people live in cave homes hewn from the rock face.

Overnight at the cave hotel - Hotel Cuevas Abulo Ventura - which offers a comfortable nights rest and the chance to take a dip in the heated cave pool.

Dinner will be a tapas tour of the old district of Guadix and a special local wine tasting.

Approximate riding time of 6 hours today.

Day Eight: Departure

You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home - Malaga or Granada airports are both fine. The transfer to Malaga is by bus. The group transfer departs for the earliest flight and all transfer together (but not before 7am).



Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Intermediate and above. All riders must be physically fit and happy at walk, trot and canter.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 5 days riding (5-6 hours each day)
Departure dates: 25 June - 2 July 2017 (-100€ discount!)
 
Pricing: 2017:

£1325 per person sharing
Single supplement: £183

** 100€ per person discount for last minute bookings **