Andalucia Retreat riding holiday in Spain - Far and Ride
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Andalucia Retreat, Spain




Programmes


• Ride & Relax Programme

 

Reviews



Really relaxing, lots of fun in a beautiful environment. I felt like I was part of the family. (June) really worked hard, always smiling and really fantastic informative company... Real thought was put into who was best to ride each horse. (Favourite memory?) watching my son and husband cantering in front of me. My son is seventeen and had never ridden before - he didn't want to go on the holiday and he now wants to go back!

Petra L. (and family), August 2017
We had a most wonderful time despite the unpredictable weather! Everything was as described and more. (Favourite memories?) For my daughter: getting to ride Scarlett, the white horse and being with all the animals, seeing how June & Clive treated the animals was sooo wonderful! She wanted to stay!. For my mom: the yummy dinners and the kindness of June & Clive was wonderful. For me: Riding Ireney through the woods and having Clive tell me about all the wildlife and their stories was wonderful! (Accommodation & Food?) YES!!! It was perfect for us! It was a cozy cottage, with a loft where I was able to sleep next to my daughter and my mother able to have her own room. The dinners were also fabulous! June spoiled us with all her international recipes and yummy desserts (my daughter still talks about June's chocolate Pavlova and how she loved it!). (Horses & equipment?) Yes, we were very happy with the horses that we rode. We LOVED how June trained the horses without bits and in a very humane way. It was so wonderful riding on relaxed horses. (Guides/hosts?) Wonderful! June & Clive accompanied us during all of the rides. They both made such an effort to make sure we were able to experience a wonderful time with the horses, with nature... and also learning about how to ride. My daughter was so touched and surprised when Clive told her how well she rode, that she started to cry out of joy! And June was amazing taking my daughter out in the rain & in the mud, even though she ended up almost losing her rainboots in the mud!

Akiko V. (and family), April 2018
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Mostly Spanish mix and some Belgian Draught/Spanish Cross, as well as one elderly shetland pony

Nature of horses:

Calm, well cared for and surefooted.

Height of horses:

14 - 15.2hh

Weight limit:

85kg

Tack type:

Mostly treeless and bareback saddles, with bitless bridles used.

 

Travel Advice



Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.
 

Ride Description

Here is an exclusive holiday retreat with horse riding, heated pool and jacuzzi as well as delightful relaxing surroundings set in the beautiful olive groves and pine clad national park area of Andalucia, Southern Spain, just 40 minutes from Granada and Malaga airports. The breathtaking mountain views and spectacular rural location offers our holiday guests a truly memorable and relaxing holiday.

The farmhouse is situated just outside a small village near Malaga. The location, though quiet and rural, and a taste of ‘real’ Spain, is ideally situated for visiting all the top tourist attractions of southern Spain, such as Granada, Cordoba, Seville and Malaga (though the farm is in such a beautiful spot that once there the guests often don’t want to go anywhere else!). It is only ten minutes from the main Malaga to Granada motorway and 40 minutes from Malaga and Granada airports. From the pool, you can gaze at the spectacular 360º views. Visitors in August can expect to watch the nightly display of shooting stars, which occurs every year. Fiestas and traditions still play a big part in village life and occur frequently.

You can sample traditional Spanish cuisine at the many local restaurants and bars or just enjoy the delicious food on offer here. Food shopping and restaurants are just a 5-minute drive or 30-minute walk. A little further afield you can visit some of Spain’s historic cities, such as Cordoba, Ronda and Seville and of course Granada, only 40 minutes away, which boasts the wonderful Alhambra palace and a superb ski resort. It is quite possible, in the spring, to ski in the morning and spend the afternoon sunbathing on the beach. Nearest beaches are approximately 45 minutes drive. Spectacular Andalucian lake districts of Iznajar and Ardales are both within a one hour drive. They are close to the renowned beauty spot “El Torcal” and the famous flamingo migration lake. Also nearby is a wolf park and donkey sanctuary.

The horses all live together in harmony as a family group. June and Clive try to make their living conditions as natural as possible - the happiness of their horses is very important to them and they believe in their horses' comfort and well being at all times. As a lot of the horses are rescue horses, they try to give them as calm and as stress-free a life as they can, to make up for their past traumas. They try to vary the riding routes from day to day to give you the chance to see all the surrounding countryside. The length of the ride depends on the rider’s ability and the time of year. If it is very hot, then they have to restrict the riding to early morning or evening, meaning that rides of 2 or 3 hours are the maximum. For cooler months they can do longer rides, with a stop for picnic lunch.

Whether you come to ride, or just enjoy the pool and surroundings, you will love meeting the friendly herd of horses, many of them rescued from sad past lives and now all living happily together. Catering specifically for beginners, nervous riders and families with children. Non riders are also very welcome, with full board or self-catering options available.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

The accommodation is centred around a stunning tastefully converted old farmhouse. Here there are two twin/double bedrooms. In addition are two cottages, tastefully furnished in typical Spanish style but very comfortable. They offer private patios or courtyards and each sleeps up to four adults and two children. There is also a one bedroomed apartment with twin or king size beds with additional beds for children if required. The lovely accommodation offers a fabulous heated pool for year around swimming so very welcome after an hour or two in the saddle. A new welcome treat is a jacuzzi installed in 2016. There are washing and ironing facilities and wifi.

For the Ride and Relax programme, all meals are included. Breakfast and lunch are self-service, with food items provided in your accommodation for you to prepare and cook at your own leisure and at a time to suit you. This allows you to be very flexible with your meals and your daily schedule, making for a relaxed stay. You will finish each day with a three-course dinner, cooked by your host June, and served with delicious local wine. Most dietary requirements can be catered for with prior notice. Please notify us at the point of enquiry if you or a member of your party requires a gluten-free or vegan diet.

 

Activities

At this wonderful retreat, there is so much to do besides horse riding.

The region is a walkers paradise with many marked routes available. You can choose to stick to the tracks or climb the steeper mountain paths. Expect to see wildflowers and even the more unusual wildlife if you are lucky. There is wild boar, Ibex (the wild mountain goat) eagles, Hoopoos, blue magpies, bee-eaters and numerous other birds. A guide to show you the birds and wildlife is available on request. This area is well known for excellent bird watching.

There are several mountain bikes available for guests to use, free of charge, suitable for adults, as well as for children aged 9 years and up.

For those who have their own car, then there are several beautiful beaches on the Costa del Sol, within an hours drive of the farm. The cities fo Malaga and Granada are also approx. 45 minutes drive away and are well worth visiting during your stay. Closer to the farm you will also find the quaint little town of Antequera and its associated natural beauty spot, El Torcal.

During the season, it's possible to arrange an excursion to the Sierra Nevada ski resort if skiing is your thing - all equipment hire and lessons can be arranged, or if you prefer and are a competent skier your hosts can act as a guide to show you the best runs.

For painters and photographers, there is no end of spectacular scenery here, so you will be in paradise. Bring your own equipment and you can spend hours relaxing and painting in these beautiful surroundings

Motorcycle trail riding - it is possible to organise trail riding on motorcycles as well.

 

Further Details

Languages: English, Spanish

Health requirements: None

Age limit: None

Tuition: Informal tuition whilst on the trail

Included: Full board accommodation, approx. 14 hours horse riding (week programme), use of mountain bikes, heated pool and jacuzzi, transfers from and to Malaga airport (depending on times!).

Not included: Flights, insurance

 

Travel Information

Flights are to Malaga and we can arrange your transfer from there - transfers are included in the price provided they are at reasonable times.

Please try to arrive before dinner time and bear in mind that your hosts provide the transfers themselves so early mornings and late nights are not possible - do check timings with us before booking flights please.

Check-out is generally by 10am on departure day.

Many guests prefer to hire a car to have flexibility when it comes to non-riding time. We can help with directions.

Airport: Malaga

Alternative Airport: Granada

 

Programmes


Ride & Relax Programme



Here they train these lucky horses with kindness using positive reinforcement and do not use whips. All of the horses are barefoot and ridden in bitless bridles – but happily, this has only improved their behaviour. The riding style is English with a rein in each hand and you use the same aids as if you were using a bit, just with very loose reins and contact. For most people, this is quite easy to adapt to. They do stop, in fact, very easily so please do not worry.

Your hosts take a kind approach in everything they do with the horses, especially bearing in mind that some of them have come from past lives that were not so kind. This means that they do not kick (just a squeeze please, unless it really is unavoidable, such as if they won’t take their head out of a patch of luscious grass!) and they take it slowly when tacking up, doing the girth up gently, asking for feet to be picked, not demanding. Their horses do not understand any other way and are lovely to be around when treated kindly, but might be confused if treated differently. They prefer a gentle stroke after an enjoyable ride as opposed to a hard pat!

There are open fields, cool shady pine forests, olive groves and streams. For any of you who are nervous of heights, don’t worry, there are no very steep, narrow mountain paths, all the tracks are wide and they don’t ride on roads, (with the odd exception of a quiet country road if it links one track to another). They cater specifically to beginners, nervous riders and families with young children with the pace generally limited to walk and trot only. A canter or two may be possible during your stay if you feel comfortable doing so. The horses are kind and sure-footed and your hosts will ensure that they find the right horse for you and your requirements. Here they tend to concentrate on hacking as it is the perfect way to be at one with your horse and the surrounding countryside and wildlife. They are happy to teach beginners but prefer to teach in a more informal way whilst out riding in the countryside, as it is more enjoyable for both horse and rider. If you have never been on a horse before then don’t worry, they are more than happy to walk along with you to help you gain your confidence and learn the basics, though the horses are very good with beginner riders and you probably won’t need any help. Your hosts are happy to take out mixed abilities at the same time, which can be perfect for families, meaning that you can enjoy your ride together instead of having to ride separately.

June and Clive prefer their guests to feel that the horse they have been allocated at the start of their holiday is theirs for their stay and they are welcome to take total care of them, grooming, tacking up, etc - a wonderful bonding experience. This is just an option and, of course, they will prepare the horse for you if you prefer - the choice is yours. If you wish to try a different horse out each day, then that is fine too.

Based on seven nights accommodation and 14 hours of riding - a typical week would consist of a 2 hour ride on your first full day here to get you started gently, gradually building up to longer each day to enable you to experience the full beauty of the surrounding countryside and, depending on the time of year and weather, perhaps a delicious picnic ride as well. Your hosts will discuss and tailor make your holiday to fit in with your other plans. If there is something you would like to do, just ask and they will do their best to arrange it – they tailor your riding stay to suit you and are happy to fit around your other holiday plans.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 4
Ability description: All abilities
Type of ride: Based trail rides
Total riding time: Up to 14 hours depending on your chosen length of stay.
Departure dates: Riding holidays are not available between 1 December and end of March but it is possible to book a self-catered apartment during that time with the option of adding some riding if weather allows.
 
Pricing: 2018 and 2019:

7 nights (12 hours riding): £673 per person, £449 non-riders
6 nights (12 hours riding): £611 per person, £395 non-riders
5 nights (10 hours riding): £539 per person, £332 non-riders
4 nights (8 hours riding): £467 per person, £278 non-riders
3 nights (8 hours riding): £404 per person, £224 non-riders

All prices include shared accommodation, with all meals (some are "help yourself"), wine with dinners and riding.

Children under 12 - 10% discount

Single room supplement is mandatory if there is no one to share with. Costs are as follows:

7 nights : £180
6 nights: £157
5 nights: £135
4 nights: £112