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Epona Dressage and Trails

Overview

This wonderful dressage centre lies just outside of Seville and suits almost every type of rider, from those who wish to combine dressage with trails through the countryside, up to experienced dressage riders who wish to experience training clinics with the Olympic silver medallist Rafael Soto. …

Highlights

  • Quality dressage tuition on fabulous Andalucian horses
  • Option to mix trails with tuition or focus on dressage
  • Visit Jerez and the Royal School of Equestrian Art
  • Stay in the beautiful historical city of Carmona
  • Special training weeks with Olympic rider, Rafael Soto

Essential Facts

  • 5 itineraries available
  • Max 8 riders per group
  • Average of 2 - 3 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: Dressage weeks 85kg / 187 lbs / 13 st 5lbs ; Train & Trail weeks 100kg / 220lbs / 15 st 10lbs

Description

This wonderful dressage centre lies just outside of Seville and suits almost every type of rider, from those who wish to combine dressage with trails through the countryside, up to experienced dressage riders who wish to experience training clinics with the Olympic silver medallist Rafael Soto.

They have over 40 horses so there is something to suit everyone. Some of the horses are trained in High School Dressage movements, whereas others are more suited to the trail environment, but all are beautifully schooled and responsive. Currently they have c. 10-12 Advanced High School trained schoolmasters, 10-12 excellent trail horses and 10-12 which are suitable for lower levels of dressage and novice riders. There are also retired horses and ponies, plus one donkey living at the farm.

The equestrian centre is an Approved British Horse Society Training and Examination Centre so you can be assured that the instruction is of the highest calibre. Their main two instructors both trained at the Royal Andalucian School of Equestrian Art:
Caty also trained in Saumur at the Cadre Noir and is a BHS and ABRS certified instructor as well as Spanish Equestrian Federation.
Vivi completed the full 4 year course at the Royal Andalucian School achieving the title of Jinete (rider). Two of those years were spent training under Rafael Soto and she took part in the demonstrations and displays the centre is famous for. She is also a BHS, ABRS and Spanish Equestrian Federation certified instructor.

At the centre they have an Olympic sized dressage arena (60x20m), a covered arena with sprinklers (42x22m), a floodlit arena (30x15m) and an additional large arena (50x50m). There is also a lunging ring and miles of hacking in beautiful countryside.

There are four main itineraries to choose from:
The Train and Trail option offers a combination of hacking and dressage tuition
The Intensive Dressage option offers two dressage lessons a day plus some lunge lessons
The Classical Dressage and High School training option includes two lessons a day, lunge lessons and groundwork lessons to work on high school movements.
Finally, the Rafael Soto clinics are a chance for competent dressage lovers to experience training with the charismatic Spanish Olympian.

Horses & Riding

Tack

English

Horses

Mainly Andalusian or Andalusian cross-breeds.

Riding

There are 5 itineraries:

  • Intensive Dressage Training is a based ride
  • Train and Trail is a based ride
  • Classical Dressage & High School Training is a based ride
  • Rafael Soto Clinics is a based ride
  • Heart of Andalucia is a trail ride

Ages

12 years or older for normal programme (sometimes special programmes can be arranged for families with younger children).

Health

No special requirements

Weight

Dressage weeks 85kg / 187 lbs / 13 st 5lbs ; Train & Trail weeks 100kg / 220lbs / 15 st 10lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

All breakfasts are taken at your hotel and are included in the price.

All lunches are included and served at the Equestrian Centre. They consist of freshly prepared home cooking combining traditional Spanish dishes with some International dishes. A variety of fresh salads and fruits are also available and home-made desserts are on offer.

Evening meals: a welcome tapas supper on your arrival Sunday is included in the price, but other evening meals are to your own account. There are many dining options within the vicinity of the hotel to suit all budgets, from formal restaurants to tapas bars. The hotel itself has it's own restaurant and bars as well as room service.

Accommodation

You stay in a four star hotel in the nearby historical city of Carmona. The 'Alcazar de la Reina' hotel is full of history, charm and elegance whilst also being comfortable and modern.

Standard twin/double rooms are airy and comfortable with en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning/central heating, satellite TV and a minibar (consumption payable locally). You can upgrade to a Superior or Deluxe room for an additional price, subject to availability.

The hotel has a swimming pool, sauna, massage and beauty treatments (some at additional cost) as well as WiFi in public areas.

There is also a restaurant, tapas bar and Irish bar as part of the hotel.

Your hosts will collect you from your hotel each morning after breakfast to transfer you the short distance to the equestrian centre, and then back again at the end of the day.

Itineraries

Intensive Dressage Training Standard accommodation.

Train and Trail Standard accommodation.

Classical Dressage & High School Training Standard accommodation.

Rafael Soto Clinics Standard accommodation.

Heart of Andalucia Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

Non-riders are welcomed but would benefit from hiring a car so they can explore the local area at their leisure, including the city of Seville.

There is a pool at the equestrian centre and so relaxing in the gardens or by the pool is always an option between lessons - or you can watch your fellow riders.

One morning you are transferred to the Royal School of Equestrian Art in Jerez to watch a performance; and one evening you are taken to a Flamenco show.

Travel

The centre is only about 15 minutes drive from Seville airport and there are lots of direct flights into Seville, or indirect flights via Madrid. Airport transfers on arrival are provided by a local taxi firm and are at extra cost and payable locally.

There's also a great train service from Malaga, which is another option utilising low-cost airlines into Malaga. Transfers from the train station are also possible and you can be collected at 4.30pm for no charge.

On departure day, transfers are included provided you leave Epona between 8am and 11am (for flights departing from 10am). Transfers outside of this time will be payable locally.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Sunday

Riding: No riding.

On arrival at Seville train station or airport in the afternoon, you will be transferred to your accommodation in Carmona (c. 20-30 mins). You may wish to try out the pool or catch a quick siesta before meeting the rest of your group for dinner. Your hosts from the riding centre will meet you at the hotel for your welcome tapas dinner so that you get the chance to meet them and discuss the week ahead.

Day 2 - Monday

Riding: 3 hours

After breakfast at the hotel you will be transferred the short distance to the equestrian centre. After waving off guests on the trail programme, you will have your first dressage lesson - this will be an assessment lesson with your instructor, who will note your good points and any areas which need working on. It's also you chance to get used to the sensitive style of the Iberian horse. After a rest it's time for a lunge lesson which is great for improving your seat, balance and posture. In the afternoon you will have a another lesson.

When not riding, you can enjoy the facilities at the equestrian centre, either relaxing with a book, using the pool or watching other lessons or your instructors schooling the horses. Trail riders will often join you for lunch too. At the end of the day you are transferred back to your hotel and are free to choose your own restaurant for dinner (to own account).

Day 3 - Tuesday

Riding: 1 hours

An early breakfast this morning so you can be transferred to Jerez de la Frontera and the Royal School of Equestrian Art. Here you can watch a demonstration by the magnificent Andalusian stallions performing piaffe, passage and other high school movements. One of your instructors, Vivi, trained here for four years and frequently performed in the show. The entrance ticket is payable locally (€27). 

Return to Epona for lunch followed by an afternoon lesson.

Day 4 - Wednesday

Riding: 2 hours

Once the trail riders have departed you'll have your first lesson. As the week progresses, so will your dressage so that hopefully you are performing some more advanced movements. After your lesson you can stay and watch your instructors training the horses, from youngsters to the advanced - all the horses receive regular training to keep them sensitive and in good shape.

In the afternoon you will have a second lesson, and later you will be transferred back to your hotel again.

Day 5 - Thursday

Riding: 3 hours

Today follows the same itinerary as yesterday, except that you will also receive your second lunge lesson.

Day 6 - Friday

Riding: 1 hours

This morning you will have your final lesson. By this stage you might be performing some advanced movements and should certainly be feeling the benefit of all the training. 

Your final lunch at Epona is their famous paella accompanied by sangria. It's then time to get changed into your city finery ready to hit Seville for a classical Flamenco Show (payable locally €35). The show features over 12 dancers of national and international fame, traditional singers and the flamenco guitar. 

After the show, walk a short distance to an excellent restaurant for a final farewell dinner alongside superb Spanish wines (payable locally).

Day 7 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast at your hotel, it's time to head to the airport (latest transfer departs 11am).

Accommodation

Each night is spent in twin/double bedrooms, with private bathrooms, at a beautiful 4* hotel in nearby Carmona.

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

All abilities can be catered for, but you'll get more out of it if you have some basic riding ability already.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 2
Accommodation for up to 6.
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 3, 2021 - Dec. 18, 2021  (Dates available to suit with arrival on Sundays and departure on Saturdays)

At any time during: Jan. 2, 2022 - Aug. 20, 2022  (Dates available to suit with arrival on Sundays and departure on Saturdays)

At any time during: Aug. 28, 2022 - Dec. 17, 2022  (Dates available to suit with arrival on Sundays and departure on Saturdays)

Pricing

2021/2022
Rider; 6 nights (Sun-Sat); Sharing
£1455 $2015 €1730
2021/2022
Non-Rider; 6 nights (Sun-Sat); Sharing
£740 $1025 €880
2021/2022
Rider; 3 nights (Sun-Wed or Wed-Sat); Sharing
£750 $1035 €885
2021/2022
Rider; 4 nights (Sun-Thur or Tues-Sat); Sharing
£1025 $1420 €1220
Included 6 nights accommodation in shared rooms, daily breakfasts, lunches on riding days, tapas dinner on arrival day, set-time transfer from Seville train station on arrival and to Seville airport on departure, 5 days of riding (8 group lessons and 2 lunge lessons).
Not included Flights, travel insurance, transfers (other than specified), evening meals, drinks, entrance to the Royal Andalucian School of Art, entrance to Flamenco show, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Airport Transfer €45
Paid locally
Seville airport transfer on arrival is a local taxi and payable locally - amount is indicative.
2021/2022 - Single Supplement £225 $310 €270
Paid to Far and Ride
Waived if a sharer is found
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.

Day 1 - Sunday

Riding: No riding.

On arrival at Seville train station or airport in the afternoon, you will be transferred to your accommodation in Carmona (c. 20-30 mins). You may wish to try out the pool or catch a quick siesta before meeting the rest of your group for dinner. Your hosts from the riding centre will meet you at the hotel for your welcome tapas dinner so that you get the chance to meet them and discuss the week ahead.

Day 2 - Monday

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

After being transferred the short distance from your hotel to the equestrian centre, you will mount up for the Old Hacienda Ride - a relaxed hack around the immediate countryside, through olive groves and eucalyptus trees. Depending on the season you may see fields of sunflowers, wheat and cotton as well as melons or water melons in late summer. The ride takes you past impressive 16th and 17th century haciendas and cortijos which have stood here since the days when Cervantes rode these same trails collecting olive oil taxes. 

Return to Epona for lunch, where you will also join those riders on the intensive dressage programmes. In the late afternoon, when it's cooler, you'll have a dressage lesson in one of the arenas. 

When not riding, you can enjoy the facilities at the equestrian centre, either relaxing with a book, using the pool or watching other lessons or your instructors schooling the horses. At the end of the day you are transferred back to your hotel and are free to choose your own restaurant for dinner (to own account).

Day 3 - Tuesday

Riding: 1 hours

An early breakfast this morning so you can be transferred to Jerez de la Frontera and the Royal School of Equestrian Art. Here you can watch a demonstration by the magnificent Andalusian stallions performing piaffe, passage and other high school movements. One of your instructors, Vivi, trained here for four years and frequently performed in the show. The entrance ticket is payable locally (€27). 

Return to Epona for lunch followed by an afternoon lesson.

Day 4 - Wednesday

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

This morning's trail ride takes you across country to the Roman Bridge. You'll pass through a landscape rich with many different crops which are still rotated each year with wide headlands of uncultivated land separating one field from another and creating natural bridleways across the countryside. You may see orange and peach trees as well as olive groves with ancient trees still carefully tended and nurtured. There is also a great variety of wild flowers, butterflies and birds. 

Along the way you'll cross the river, which is full and flowing in spring but cool and shallow in summer - a natural haven for wildlife with abundant vegetation all year round. Splash through the shallows whilst watching for terns and grebes before emerging at the old Roman Bridge and a shady eucalyptus grove. Stop for a short break (and some photographs!) before riding back to Epona for lunch.

In the afternoon you will have another lesson, and later you will be transferred back to your hotel again.

Day 5 - Thursday

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

Today you will set off early to a seaside village where you will meet new horses which are all tacked in Spanish cowboy tack (montura vaquera), for your beach ride. You'll follow an unforgettable route through the Donana Natural Park, one of Europe's last wilderness regions and one of the largest wildlife reservations in Spain. The ride takes you through golden dunes, brushing past fragrant lavender, rosemary and thyme. The area is home to many species including fallow deer, fox, boar, lynx, eagles, kites, vultures, storks, flamingoes and herons. Ride down onto the beach to splash in the surf and, for those who wish to, for a canter along the waters edge.

Return to Epona for lunch and a lesson in the afternoon.

Day 6 - Friday

Riding: 3 hours

Your final ride sets off across country, through orange and olive groves, past farmers working the land. There are no official bridleways in this region, but horse riders can go anywhere as long as they respect the crops. Farmers never object to riders crossing their land but instead are always pleased to see you - everyone in Andalucia understands and loves horses!

Your final lunch at Epona is their famous paella accompanied by sangria. It's then time to get changed into your city finery ready to hit Seville for a classical Flamenco Show (payable locally €35). The show features over 12 dancers of national and international fame, traditional singers and the flamenco guitar. 

After the show, walk a short distance to an excellent restaurant for a final farewell dinner alongside superb Spanish wines (payable locally).

Day 7 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast at your hotel, it's time to head to the airport (latest transfer departs 11am).

Accommodation

Each night is spent in twin/double bedrooms, with private bathrooms, at a beautiful 4* hotel in nearby Carmona.

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

All abilities can be catered for and groups can be split so that those who wish to trot/canter ride separately from those who don't. There is no galloping as the terrain is unsuitable.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 3, 2021 - Dec. 18, 2021  (Dates available to suit with arrival on Sundays and departure on Saturdays)

At any time during: Jan. 2, 2022 - Aug. 20, 2022  (Dates available to suit with arrival on Sundays and departure on Saturdays)

At any time during: Aug. 28, 2022 - Dec. 17, 2022  (Dates available to suit with arrival on Sundays and departure on Saturdays)

Pricing

2021/2022
Rider; 6 nights (Sun-Sat); Sharing
£1285 $1775 €1525
2021/2022
Non-Rider; 6 nights (Sun - Sat); Sharing
£740 $1025 €880
2021/2022
Rider; 3 nights (Sun-Wed or Wed-Sat); Sharing
£655 $905 €780
2021/2022
Rider; 4 nights (Sun-Thur or Tues-Sat); Sharing
£870 $1205 €1035
Included 6 nights accommodation in shared rooms, daily breakfasts, lunches on riding days, tapas dinner on arrival day, set-time transfer from Seville train station on arrival and to Seville airport on departure, 5 days of riding (4 hacks and 4 lessons).
Not included Flights, travel insurance, transfers (other than specified), evening meals, drinks, entrance to the Royal Andalucian School of Art, entrance to Flamenco show, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Airport Transfer €45
Paid locally
Seville airport transfer on arrival is a local taxi and payable locally - amount is indicative.
2021/2022 - Single Supplement £225 $310 €270
Paid to Far and Ride
Waived if a sharer is found.
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.

Day 1 - Sunday

Riding: No riding.

On arrival at Seville train station or airport in the afternoon, you will be transferred to your accommodation in Carmona (c. 20-30 mins). You may wish to try out the pool or catch a quick siesta before meeting the rest of your group for dinner. Your hosts from the riding centre will meet you at the hotel for your welcome tapas dinner so that you get the chance to meet them and discuss the week ahead.

Day 2 - Monday

Riding: 3 hours

After breakfast at the hotel you will be transferred the short distance to the equestrian centre. After waving off guests on the trail programme, you will have your first dressage lesson - this will be an assessment lesson with your instructor, who will note your good points and any areas which need working on. It's also you chance to get used to the sensitive style of the Iberian horse. After a rest it's time for your second lesson on a different horse. Later there's also a lunge lesson which is great for improving your seat, balance and posture. 

When not riding, you can enjoy the facilities at the equestrian centre, either relaxing with a book, using the pool or watching other lessons or your instructors schooling the horses. Trail riders will join you for lunch too. At the end of the day you are transferred back to your hotel and are free to choose your own restaurant for dinner (to own account).

Day 3 - Tuesday

Riding: 1 hours

An early breakfast this morning so you can be transferred to Jerez de la Frontera and the Royal School of Equestrian Art. Here you can watch a demonstration by the magnificent Andalusian stallions performing piaffe, passage and other high school movements. One of your instructors, Vivi, trained here for four years and frequently performed in the show. The entrance ticket is payable locally (€27). 

Return to Epona for lunch followed by an afternoon lesson.

Day 4 - Wednesday

Riding: 2 hours

Today follows a similar format to Monday in that you will have your semi private lesson first, followed by your private lesson. Your dressage should be improving by now and you'll be working on some more advanced movements. 

After a break you will also have the chance to work with your trainer on a one-to-one basis as she teaches groundwork techniques to develop the more advanced movements. Groundwork is important in Classical Dressage training.

Day 5 - Thursday

Riding: 3 hours

Today follows the same itinerary as Monday, with a semi-private lesson, private lesson and lunge lesson spread throughout the day.

Day 6 - Friday

Riding: 2 hours

Today is a repeat of Wednesday, with your two ridden lessons and a groundwork session. By this stage you might be performing some advanced movements and should certainly be feeling the benefit of all the training. 

Your final lunch at Epona is their famous paella accompanied by sangria. It's then time to get changed into your city finery ready to hit Seville for a classical Flamenco Show (payable locally €35). The show features over 12 dancers of national and international fame, traditional singers and the flamenco guitar. 

After the show, walk a short distance to an excellent restaurant for a final farewell dinner alongside superb Spanish wines (payable locally).

Day 7 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

Flight times allowing, there's hopefully time for a final lesson this morning where you can cement everything you've worked on during the week. Then it's time to say goodbye and head to the airport (latest transfer departs 11am).

Accommodation

Each night is spent in twin/double bedrooms, with private bathrooms, at a beautiful 4* hotel in nearby Carmona.

Experience Experienced

You should be a capable rider who is already reasonably established in basic dressage.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 2
Departure windows

Aug. 1, 2021 - Aug. 7, 2021

Aug. 8, 2021 - Aug. 14, 2021

Aug. 15, 2021 - Aug. 21, 2021

Aug. 22, 2021 - Aug. 28, 2021

Aug. 29, 2021 - Sept. 4, 2021

Sept. 5, 2021 - Sept. 11, 2021

Sept. 12, 2021 - Sept. 18, 2021

Sept. 19, 2021 - Sept. 25, 2021

Sept. 26, 2021 - Oct. 2, 2021

Oct. 3, 2021 - Oct. 9, 2021

Oct. 10, 2021 - Oct. 16, 2021

Oct. 17, 2021 - Oct. 23, 2021

Oct. 24, 2021 - Oct. 30, 2021

Oct. 31, 2021 - Nov. 6, 2021

Nov. 14, 2021 - Nov. 20, 2021

Nov. 21, 2021 - Nov. 27, 2021

Nov. 28, 2021 - Dec. 4, 2021

Dec. 12, 2021 - Dec. 18, 2021

At any time during: Jan. 2, 2022 - Aug. 20, 2022  (Dates available to suit with arrival on Sundays and departure on Saturdays)

Aug. 28, 2022 - Dec. 17, 2022  (Dates available to suit with arrival on Sundays and departure on Saturdays)

Pricing

2021/2022
Non-Rider; Sharing
£740 $1025 €880
2021/2022
Rider; Sharing
£1885 $2610 €2240
Included 6 nights accommodation in shared rooms, daily breakfasts, lunches on riding days, tapas dinner on arrival day, set-time transfer from Seville train station on arrival and to Seville airport on departure, 5 days of riding (5 semi-private lessons, 5 private lessons incl. one with Rafael Soto, 2 lunge lessons and 2 groundwork sessions)
Not included Flights, travel insurance, transfers (other than specified), evening meals, drinks, entrance to the Royal Andalucian School of Art, entrance to Flamenco show, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Airport Transfer €45
Paid locally
Seville airport transfer on arrival is a local taxi and payable locally - amount is indicative.
2021/2022 - Single Supplement £225 $310 €270
Paid to Far and Ride
Waived if a sharer is found
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.

Day 1 - Sunday

Riding: No riding.

On arrival at Seville train station or airport in the afternoon, you will be transferred to your accommodation in Carmona (c. 20-30 mins). You may wish to try out the pool or catch a quick siesta before meeting the rest of your group for dinner. Your hosts from the riding centre will meet you at the hotel for your welcome tapas dinner so that you get the chance to meet them and discuss the week ahead.

Day 2 - Monday

Riding: 2 hours

After breakfast at the hotel you will be transferred the short distance to the equestrian centre. After waving off guests on the trail programme, you will have your first of two dressage lessons today - these lessons are with the Epona instructors and are assessment lessons so that you can get used to the sensitive style of the Iberian horse. It's also your chance to try different horses so that you can be matched with a suitable horse for later in the week. 

During the week you will also receive two lunge lessons which are great for improving your seat, balance and posture. The timing of these will be scheduled whilst you are there.

When not riding, you can enjoy the facilities at the equestrian centre, either relaxing with a book, using the pool or watching other lessons or your instructors schooling the horses. Trail riders will often join you for lunch too. At the end of the day you are transferred back to your hotel and are free to choose your own restaurant for dinner (to own account).

Day 3 - Tuesday

Riding: 1 hours

An early breakfast this morning so you can be transferred to Jerez de la Frontera and the Royal School of Equestrian Art. Here you can watch a demonstration by the magnificent Andalusian stallions performing piaffe, passage and other high school movements. One of your instructors, Vivi, trained here for four years and frequently performed in the show. The entrance ticket is payable locally (€27). 

Return to Epona for lunch followed by an afternoon lesson.

Day 4 - Wednesday

Riding: 2 hours

Once the trail riders have departed you'll have your first lesson. As the week progresses, so will your dressage so that hopefully you are performing some more advanced movements. After your lesson you can stay and watch your instructors training the horses, from youngsters to the advanced - all the horses receive regular training to keep them sensitive and in good shape.

In the afternoon you will have a second lesson, and later you will be transferred back to your hotel again.

Day 5 - Thursday

Riding: 2 hours

Today follows the same itinerary as yesterday, except that you will be focusing on ensuring you are partnered with the correct horse for your lessons with Rafael Soto tomorrow.

Day 6 - Friday

Riding: 2 hours

Today you will have two lessons with Rafael Soto. These lessons are private and last 45 minutes each. You will be able to sit and watch other students having their lessons in between yours.

Today's lunch at Epona is their famous paella accompanied by sangria. It's then time to get changed into your city finery ready to hit Seville for a classical Flamenco Show (payable locally €35). The show features over 12 dancers of national and international fame, traditional singers and the flamenco guitar. 

After the show, walk a short distance to an excellent restaurant for dinner alongside superb Spanish wines (payable locally).

Day 7 - Saturday

Riding: 2 hours

All other guests will have departed, but you have another two lessons with Rafael Soto. You'll also have the chance to discuss your progress with Rafael and the resident instructors with the aim of taking your newly developed skills back home with you.

Day 8 - Sunday

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast at your hotel, it's time to head to the airport (latest transfer departs 11am).

Accommodation

Each night is spent in twin/double bedrooms, with private bathrooms, at a beautiful 4* hotel in nearby Carmona.

Experience Experienced

You should be riding to at least Elementary Level in Dressage.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 5
Departure windows

Nov. 7, 2021 - Nov. 14, 2021

Dec. 5, 2021 - Dec. 12, 2021

Feb. 13, 2022 - Feb. 20, 2022

March 6, 2022 - March 13, 2022

Nov. 6, 2022 - Nov. 13, 2022

Dec. 4, 2022 - Dec. 11, 2022

Pricing

2021/2022
Non-Rider; Sharing
£740 $1025 €880
2021/2022
Rider; Sharing
£2065 $2855 €2450
Included 6 nights accommodation in shared rooms, daily breakfasts, lunches on riding days, tapas dinner on arrival day, set-time transfer from Seville train station on arrival and to Seville airport on departure, 5 days of riding (6 semi-private lessons with Epona instructors, 2 lunge lessons, 4 private lessons with Rafael Soto).
Not included Flights, travel insurance, transfers (other than specified), evening meals, drinks, entrance to the Royal Andalucian School of Art, entrance to Flamenco show, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Airport Transfer €45
Paid locally
Seville airport transfer on arrival is a local taxi and payable locally - amount is indicative.
2021/2022 - Single Supplement £225 $310 €270
Paid to Far and Ride
Waived if a sharer is found
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.

Day 1 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

Arrive in the afternoon and settle into your hotel in the beautiful medieval town of Carmona. In the evening you are joined by one of your hosts for a welcome dinner where you'll meet the rest of your group. After this friendly introduction you are free to spend the evening at your leisure.

Day 2 - Sevillian countryside and haciendas ride

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

This first day will be an easy one, allowing you the chance to get settled and ease yourself into the ride.

You will be collected from the hotel after breakfast and taken on a very short drive to the equestrian centre just outside Carmona. Here you will chat with your guide so that they can allocate you the correct horse for your ability. Mount up to go on a morning ride in the beautiful countryside around the farm - this is a lovely opportunity for everyone to get to know each other.

The ride takes you through tranquil, slightly rolling farmland, scattered with crops of cereals, olives, citrus and almond trees. It is a charming way to get to know this part of the region, filled with culture and peaceful landscapes. Throughout the ride, you will be passing several haciendas that produce delicious olive oil, many of which were built around the 16th Century.

Arrive back to the stables for a delicious, fresh, home-cooked lunch. After lunch, you are offered a complimentary transfer to Sevilla for a sightseeing or shopping opportunity. This is a unique city so a visit is highly recommended and really should not be missed.

If you would rather take it easy and would prefer to rest up in preparation for the adventure in Doñana, you can be transferred back to the Hotel for an easy afternoon instead.

Day 3 - Quema river and Aznalcollar forest

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After an early breakfast, you will be transferred to the town of Villamanrique, the oldest town in the Doñana environment. You will arrive at a new stable, where you will meet the horses that will take you on this unforgettable adventure through Doñana.

Mount up and get to know your horse. There is a little “test ride” in the arena and as soon as everyone is feeling comfortable, you head off into the open country and begin the adventure! Today’s ride is loaded with the folklore and tradition of the area, as you cross the famous Quema river. This river is where pilgrims are baptised on their first pilgrimage to the village of El Rocío to show their respect and devotion to the Virgin Mary. You also pass the emblematic Virgen del Rocio monolith and ride through the famous pine forests of Alznalcollar.

This part of Doñana, with an extension of 30.000 acres, is famous for its majestic beauty. The forest is mostly made up of umbrella (stone) pine. This type of pine is native to the Mediterranean and is famous for its delicious pine nuts used to make many dishes, pastries and sweets in this region, since ancient times.

You also ride through the scrubland filled with Mediterranean shrubs such as rosemary, rockrose, heather and palm hearts. This vegetation provides the perfect habitat for wildlife, with many birds of prey in the area such as different types of eagles and black kites. Depending on the time of year, it will be very easy to see dozens of storks nesting in the treetops.

Lunch will be at a famous "venta", or bar, popularly frequented by the locals. Here you have the opportunity to taste the delights of the local cuisine of this Sevillian region. After lunch, ride back to Villamanrique.

You spend tonight at Ardea Purpurea lodge. This luxurious lodge is charmingly cosy. It has been designed and built using the materials and unique architectural style of the area, most strikingly, the thatched roofs.

Rest in your comfortable porched room or stroll through the extensive gardens before meeting the rest of the group for dinner in the lodge’s restaurant, famous for its exquisite dishes - it has been in the Michelin guide for eight consecutive years.

Day 4 - Pilgrims Path to El Rocio

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Today’s ride allows you to discover the northern part of the heart of Doñana, which the locals call “El Coto”(the Reserve). You ride the same sandy tracks that pilgrims use on their religious journey to the Basilica church and village of El Rocio. They call this cross-country path through the heart of Doñana the "Raya Real" (Royal Strip).

These tracks and the whole area are mostly closed off from the general public as it is a wildlife preserve. Brotherhoods of pilgrims get special permission to use them on the week of the pilgrimage - held in May - and the rest of the year access is only possible by licensed operators and guides (such as the ones who operate this ride).

The scenery in this area is stunning. The ride takes you through wooded areas of stone pine and eucalyptus, and through scrubland formed by aromatic thickets that impregnate our path with delicious aromas such as rosemary, lavender, rockrose and heather. At the halfway point you arrive at the "Palacio del Rey", an ancient hunting estate that was used by Spanish kings and monarchs since it was built in the 13th century, and is the perfect place for a picnic. After a short break, you continue your way through grasslands and pastures dotted with cork oaks and mastic trees.

These oak groves are the ideal habitat for many birds. More than 80 species of vertebrates inhabit this area of the reserve and more than half are birds, such as the imperial eagle, short-toed eagle or "pito real" (woodpecker) . If you are lucky you may be able to spot the Iberian lynx, wild boar or foxes. It is very common to see several types of deer during this part of your journey too. Towards the end of your route, you cross the famous Ajolí bridge that takes you to the gates of the Village of El Rocio. Before the end of the day you will visit the marshes loaded with natural life such as flamingos, herons and other water birds followed by a glass of sherry or wine on horseback in the local style!

Overnight in one of the villages best hotels with views of the marshlands. Dinner in the hotel restaurant with the rest of the group and the guides to sample the local cuisine and wines.

Day 5 - El Rocio to the beaches of Donana

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

You are now riding entirely in the province of Huelva. This day's ride takes you south, from the village of El Rocio to the virgin beaches of Doñana. Pass through some of the most popular places in the park, such as the famous Rociana lagoon where the brotherhoods of pilgrims arriving from the western parts of Andalusia are baptised.

This area of great beauty and environmental richness is another perfect habitat for wildlife with species such as roe deer, red deer, and wild horses too. Halfway there, you make a stop to taste a typical country lunch, accompanied by wines from the Doñana county.

Finally, your path takes you to the Mazagón beaches. You spend the night in the Parador here, a luxurious hotel with ocean views and direct access to the beach. The hotel has an outdoor (non-heated) and indoor heated pool, sauna and massage service.

Dinner at the Parador as a group, together with the guides.

Day 6 - Dunes, view points and virgin beaches of Doñana

Riding: 3 hours

Today is a half-day ride, through the impressive and beautiful coast of Doñana, with its dunes, cliffs and beaches.

From the top of the Asperillo dune - the highest and most important in Doñana - you will have amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean. The line of fossil and mobile dunes that form the cliffs of Doñana are some of the most important in Europe.

Make your way down to the immense virgin beaches, and then it will be time for a long canter. The sound of the waves and the splashing of your horses in the water provides an immense sense of freedom, elevating your senses. This feeling is scarcely matched by any other. After this ride, you have to say goodbye to your horses, with a chance to take a few last-minute pictures.

Lunch is taken in a nearby restaurant in the fishing village of Mazagón, by the sea. After lunch, you are transferred back to your starting hotel in Carmona. The afternoon and evening in Carmona can be used to rest. The hotel offers a massage service (on request), and a salted outdoor pool. Or it can be used as an opportunity to visit this beautiful medieval town. Dinner will be at the hotel.

Day 7 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast, there are complimentary transfers to the airport or train station at 8.00 and 11.00. If you want to arrange transfers outside these hours or the next day, we can organise a taxi service for you at extra cost.

Accommodation

You stay in a range of high quality hotels and lodges along the route, similar to four star standard.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

You should be a confident rider who is able to trot and canter easily and be fit for 4-6 hours a day in the saddle. The weight limit is 90kg on this trail.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

Oct. 17, 2021 - Oct. 23, 2021

Nov. 14, 2021 - Nov. 20, 2021

Feb. 20, 2022 - Feb. 26, 2022

March 13, 2022 - March 19, 2022

April 2, 2022 - April 8, 2022

Pricing

2021/2022
Per person sharing
£2360 $3260 €2800
Included 6 nights accommodation, breakfasts and lunches (with drinks), welcome dinner on day one, riding and luggage transportation, airport transfer on departure.
Not included Flights, insurance, evening meals (except on day one), evening and additional drinks, tips, airport transfers on arrival, massages etc at hotels.

Extras

2021/2022 - Single Supplement £225 $310 €270
Paid to Far and Ride
*waived if we find you a sharer
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.