Ask a Question

Check Availability

Doñana National Park Trail

Overview

The Doñana national park is a paradise for horses and horse lovers. As one of the most important wetlands of continental Europe, the region is well-conserved and steeped in rich cultural heritage. Situated between the provinces of Huelva, Seville and Cadiz, Doñana is now a labyrinth of tracks and w…

Highlights

  • Ride in the beautiful & unspoilt Doñana National Park
  • Enjoy tasty luxury picnic at a full laid table
  • Ride well-schooled and kind PRE and Lusitano horses
  • Savour the feeling on the wind on deserted beaches
  • Spot some of Spain's most timid and elusive wildlife

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 8 riders per group
  • Average of 5 - 6 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 100kg / 220 lbs / 15st 10lbs

Description

The Doñana national park is a paradise for horses and horse lovers. As one of the most important wetlands of continental Europe, the region is well-conserved and steeped in rich cultural heritage. Situated between the provinces of Huelva, Seville and Cadiz, Doñana is now a labyrinth of tracks and waterways which have shaped marshes, ponds and streams, interspersed with native pine forests, sand dunes, beaches and spectacular cliffs too. This range of habitats offers a diverse home for many rare and endangered species of birdlife. All this ends in miles of beautiful and pristine white sand beaches stretching between Matalascanas and the mouth of the Guadalquivir river.

In this glorious setting, Jose Manuel Jimenez has realised his dreams and is now offering some wonderful programmes at his new equestrian centre which is located on the outskirts of El Rocio. This is a town like no other and perfectly suited to horse riders and not cars! The town is close to the coast and only an hour from Seville. The roads here are sand and you will see horses and riders making the most of the sandy open roads. Everywhere here has been made easy for the horse riders including bars with raised tables to put your glass on when you are sitting on your horse enjoying your drink. There are horses everywhere!

Your trail will take you through these stunning protected areas of the park where very few are allowed to go and culminate with a beautiful ride on the stunning open beaches to the south of Matalascañas.

Jose Manuel also offers dedicated dressage training packages with his beautifully schooled horses. Please see our Doñana Dressage ride for more details on these packages.

Horses & Riding

Tack

For the trail, the horses are ridden in traditional Spanish Doma Vaquera saddles. These are handmade to fit the horses perfectly and are comfortable for long hours. The horses are ridden either in simple snaffle bridles or traditional Vaquera bridles with curb bits.

Horses

The horses are all of Iberian origin and include PRE, Lusitanos and some Cruzado (Spanish and Portuguese crosses). You will also find mules on the farm, although these are most often used as carriage horses rather than for riding.

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Doñana Trail is a based ride

Ages

Riders aged 10 and over are welcome provided they are happy to ride a full sized horse and able to spend long days in the saddle. Those aged 18 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Health

General good health is recommended for these rides. You should be fit enough to spend a full day in the saddle.

Weight

100kg / 220 lbs / 15st 10lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

Meals at the guesthouse home are prepared by a master chef off-site using local quality ingredients. Breakfast and evening meals are finished and served to you in the guesthouse dining room. You will also enjoy plenty of tasty homegrown produce, such as fresh tomatoes, freshly squeezed orange juice and eggs from the farm's chickens.

Breakfast will consist of coffee, tea, freshly squeezed orange juice, bread, eggs and yoghurt. Lunches will generally be luxurious and tasty 2 or 3-course picnics served at fully laid tables in the countryside. Dinners will be a lighter, hot meal served late in the evening as is traditional in Spain. You will also be offered excellent wine to accompany your lunches and dinners.

Accommodation

Accommodation each night is in a newly built guesthouse, which has been designed to reflect the traditional Spanish Finca style. Each morning you will meet the horses where you left them the previous night and continue the trail, before returning to your cosy room again in the late afternoon.

The guesthouse has a modern yet homely feeling with a superb, open-plan living/dining area at the very heart. The main entrance leads you into this spacious communal area, which is furnished with comfortable sofas and every facility you might need for a relaxing stay. Heading up the stairs above the living area, you will find a second level leading to four double bedrooms, each with a fabulous and well-thought-out en-suite bathroom. The second level overlooks the main communal area via a balcony and offers a wonderful and sociable environment. There are a further two smaller rooms located in an annexe adjoining the main guesthouse, which can be offered to single travellers at no additional cost. These are allocated on a first come first serve basis. One of these single rooms has an en-suite bathroom, and the other has a private bathroom that is not en-suite.

There is wifi available throughout the property.

Itineraries

Doñana Trail Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

During the trail, you will have little opportunity for other activities as the days are full yet relaxed. However, non-riding companions are welcome to join and can enjoy the local area while riders are out for the day. In these cases, we would recommend you hire a rental car in order to enjoy the area fully.

Seville is one hour away and it is then possible to visit Doñana park, local beaches and a selection of nearby vineyards. There is a deserted 30km beach just fifteen minutes by car from the equestrian centre. The villages of El Rocio and El Monte are also well worth a visit, although El Rocio is best reached on foot or on horseback!

Travel

The closest airport to the riding stables is Seville, which is 90 km away. We can organise private or group transfers from the airport at an extra cost (please see individual itineraries for costs).

However, it is possible to fly to Faro (170 km) or Malaga (300 km). Faro is about a two-hour drive and Malaga is about a 3-hour drive away. Guests arriving at either of these airports would be best to hire a car and self-drive to the stables although we can provide private transfers at an extra cost if required (please ask for a quote).

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Sunday

Riding: No riding.

Arrive at the beautiful Finca homestead in the afternoon, in time to enjoy a delicious dinner. Over the meal, you will be able to discuss the week's activities with your host and guide and learn a little more about the Doñana national park.

Days 2 to 6 - Monday - Friday

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Each day you will ride for about 6 hours, covering between 25-30 km, through the Doñana National park before returning to your comfortable accommodation every night to relax. Your horse will be taken care of at the end of the day's trail and you will return to them after breakfast to continue the trail route the next day. The trail will begin at the edge of the town of El Rocio and lead you day by day through the Doñana national park before finishing up on the beautiful white sand beach to the south of Matalascañas.

A typical day will begin with breakfast served at 8 am and a transfer (if needed) to start the day's trail at around 09:30 am. You will ride through the morning until around 2.00 pm when you will stop for a tasty picnic lunch at a fully laid table, with plenty of typical local products to sample. Perhaps you might like to indulge in a traditional Spanish siesta before you get back in the saddle for another two hours ride to where you will leave the horses that night.  Having safely settled your horses, you will be taken back to the Finca to rest, wash and prepare for a delicious dinner which will be served late, at around 9.00 pm.

Some of the trail dates will be able to combine with local festivals and special interest events, such as the Saca de las Yeguas which takes place in El Rocio during the late spring or the SICAB horse fair in Seville in November.

Day 7 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast, with fond memories of your adventure through the park.

Accommodation

Each night will be spent in twin/double rooms, with private bathrooms, at the beautiful home villa.

Experience Experienced

All riders should be experienced, and comfortable at a walk, trot and canter on a forward-going horse.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

Feb. 19, 2023 - Feb. 25, 2023

March 5, 2023 - March 11, 2023

April 16, 2023 - April 22, 2023

April 30, 2023 - May 6, 2023

Sept. 17, 2023 - Sept. 23, 2023

Oct. 1, 2023 - Oct. 7, 2023

Oct. 29, 2023 - Nov. 4, 2023

Pricing

2023
Per person, 4-5 riders in the group, sharing rooms
£2220 $2685 €2500
2023
Per person, 6-8 riders in the group, sharing rooms
£1555 $1880 €1750
Included 6 nights accommodation in twin/double rooms, all meals from dinner on arrival day until breakfast on departure day, drinks with meals and 5 days of riding as per the itinerary.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, airport transfers, drinks at bars outside of meal times, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Malaga Airport Transfers €700
Paid locally
Per vehicle, return (1-4 pax)
2023 - Seville Airport Transfer €350
Paid locally
Per vehicle, return (1-4 pax)
2023 - Single Supplement 25.0%
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable by anyone requiring a single room. For those willing to share, there is no extra charge provided a room sharer is found. There is one single room available at no extra cost on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.