The El Marquesado ride circles the Sierra Nevada mountain range following some of the highest bridle paths on the Spanish Peninsula reaching altitudes of over 3,000 metres. Accessible only by horse or foot we will be riding through some of the most spectacular, varied and often demanding terrain in Sierra Nevada and El Marquesado.

Following a combination of forestry tracks, bridle paths, old droving routes and Moorish irrigation channels we will ride for 7-9 hours per day covering approximately 30 to 40 kilometres.

During the ride one night is spend in a high mountain refuge, the other 6 nights in comfortable village hotels (3 with pools). Each day there will be sections where it is necessary to lead your horses due to very steep and rough terrain. On 2 days there are downhill walks on foot of up to an hour and a half.

Key Facts

  • Trail riding – Progressive
  • Set departures on Saturdays
  • Operates June
  • 7 nights/8 Days (Shorter rides available)
  • Staying in locally run guest houses
  • Suits Intermediate and Experienced rider
  • Minimum: no minimum / Maximum 10 riders
  • Riding time – 3-8 hours with leisurely breaks
  • Weight limit: 90 kilos

Riding Details & Horses

These rides are suitable for competent to experienced riders, the horses are all well-schooled and forward going.

It is important that you can control a horse outside at all paces, and that you can mount and dismount without assistance.

Fitness – You will need to be reasonably fit to participate on one of these rides. In addition to being riding fit you will be required to lead your horse on some of the steep descents, and need to be comfortable walking on rough ground.  These rides are not for those who suffer from vertigo.

The horses are pure bred Andalucian (PRE) and Andalucian Arab or Sport horse crosses, ranging from 14.3 to 16.1 hands. Some of the horses are home bred, others came as youngsters, most of them stay with us for life.

They have been carefully selected for their good natures (a trait of the Spanish horse) and endurance. These are not the average riding school or trail horse, but well bred and schooled horses, responsive and fun to ride.

Great care is taken in the selection of horses according to the riding abilities and preferences of each individual.

English bridles and each horse will also have their own saddle. Normally these are an English style general purpose/endurance type of saddle, and are very comfortable.


El Marquesado Ride

This ride circles the Sierra Nevada mountain range following some of the highest bridle paths on the Spanish Peninsula reaching altitudes of over 3,000 metres. Accessible only by horse or foot we will be riding through some of the most spectacular, varied and often demanding terrain in Sierra Nevada and El Marquesado.

Day 1
Those of you who have arranged to be collected from Malaga airport will be picked up at a prearranged time and driven to the village of Bubion.  While in Bubion you will be staying in the comfortable Casa La Sevillana.  Your host will meet you at 8.30pm and take you for dinner in one of the local restaurants, within easy walking distance of your accommodation.

Day 2
Setting out from the stables we cross the River Poqueira and climb steeply west on little-used paths through small terraced farms and woodland.

This morning offers wonderful views of the Mulhacen and the 3 villages of the Poqueira valley. The first part of the afternoon follows an ancient irrigation channel through oak woods to join one of the forestry tracks where we stop for a picnic lunch.

After lunch this track leads high into the valley of Lanjaron, where it joins a narrow path leading down and across the river Lanjaron. Horses camp out at about 1,800 m and riders transfer by vehicle to the village of Lanjaron (approx. 1 hour’s drive).
Overnight in comfortable 3 star hotel with pool and air conditioning.
Approximately 8 hours.

Day 3
Continuing west we start the morning with a steep climb to the ridge of El Caballo at approx. 2,500mts. From here we descend cross country on foot and horseback to the head of the river Niguelas where we join a dirt track leading to the source of River Durcal.  In the River Durcal we join an old droving route which we follow for the rest of the afternoon. For the first 20 minutes there is a steep climb on foot. The rest of the afternoon we ride until a final descent of approx. 30 minutes.

During the course of the day the landscape changes dramatically and there are amazing views. Horses camp out and riders are driven to the town of La Zubia on the edge of Granada. 30 minute drive. Overnight in comfortable hotel.
Approximately 9 hours.

Day 4
Heading North to the town of Güéjar Sierra, the path takes us through a wide variety of terrain: pine woods, high summer pasture, oak woods and snow fed streams.  After a picnic lunch we join a dirt road where it is possible for some canters. Late afternoon we have a 6 kilometre descent on a secondary road to the town. Overnight at a hotel with pool.
Approximately 7 hours.

Day 5
Leaving the town way below we climb during the day to 2,300 m The path follows the contours of the ridge offering spectacular views to our right of the highest peaks in Sierra Nevada and to the left the plains of Guadix and Zenet del Marquesado.

After a picnic by one of the mountain springs the path descends through pastureland and pine woods to the Mountain refuge of Postero Alto at 1,900 m. Here we share rooms and you need a sleeping bag or sheets. The refuge provides blankets.  Dinner is basic and plentiful.
Approximately 8 hours riding.


Day 6
Following the foot and bridle paths across the open mountain side, we climb to 3,000 m. From where the descent starts to the valley of Trevelez on the southern side of Sierra Nevada.  Spectacular views of the Mulhacen and the Alcazaba, two of the highest peaks.  Overnight in the village of Trevelez.
Approximately 9 hours riding.

Day 7
Today is a short ride. Following the forestry track through pine and oak woods we return directly to the stables high above the villages of the Poqueira.

This route not only offers wonderful views out over the Contraviesa mountains and the Mediterranean sea, but some good opportunities for canters. Enjoy a late lunch in the village of Capileira or Bubion. Afternoon free for some last minute shopping and a well deserved siesta. Overnight in the village of Bubion and farewell dinner.
Approximately 3 to 4 hours

Day 8
Group transfer to Malaga.

Food and Accommodation

Small family run guest houses and hotels offering twin bedded rooms with en-suite bathrooms. The accommodation is comfortable, clean and pleasant.  There is no porter services or lifts.

The food is fresh local produce, the area is famous for its air cured hams, cheese and trout.

A special effort is made to enable the visitor to sample the different local dishes, ordering what each place cooks best. Some days lunch will be in a small village, on others we will take a picnic.

Please specify if you have any special dietary requirements.

There is no single supplement if you are prepared to share a twin room. If you do not wish to share then it is usually possible to guarantee a single room by requesting it in advance and paying a single supplement.

Dates and Prices


  • Departs on Saturday and finishes on a Saturday.
    Shorter trails may be available by request – please contact us for more information about these.
  • COSTS: 8 Days/7 nights €1550.00 (Please ask for the Australian conversion rate)
  • Single supplement:  €175.00
  •  2019: 8 – 15 JuneNote: Rates are based on the Euros and subject to currency fluctuation.  We will convert rates at time of enquiry and confirm final charges prior to final balance.


Eight day/seven night trail ride

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day
  • 6 days of riding, own horse throughout
  • Guide and backup vehicle for luggage
  • Transfer from Malaga airport at pre-arranged time

Not included

  • Flights to Spain and accommodation prior to and after the tour
  • International travel insurance (Compulsory)
  • Drinks, tips and any incidentals not stated in the itinerary
  • Single supplement payable locally if required.  This must be advised at time of booking.** Rates are based on Euro and subject to currency fluctuation **

Other Information

Just over one hour to the coast, one hour and 15 minutes to Granada and a little over 2 hours from Malaga. Sierra Nevada covers an area of approximately 2,000 square kilometres in the provinces of Granada and Almeria in the south of Spain.

Due to the altitude the sun is very strong and it is essential to use sun protection all year. In the evening the temperature drops and even during the summer months a light jumper or jacket is required. In March, April, May and October you should bring warm clothing and waterproofs. The weather in Spring and Autumn in the mountains can be changeable and it is best to be prepared for all conditions.

Weather website: http://www.holiday-weather.com/

Languages – English and Spanish

Closest Airport & Train Station – Malaga & Granada

Travel information and a packing list will be provided.

For more information regarding the ride please email us at info@snaffletravel.com.au

Terms and conditions apply.

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