Overview

This ride travels through one of the highest mountain ranges of Spain the Sierra Nevada’s situated south of Granada.  Riding through this ever-changing landscape is an unforgettable experience and no two valleys, ravine or summit are alike.

The rides in spring, late summer and autumn explore the ancient Moorish bridle paths linking the picturesque mountain villages and terraced farms of the Alpujarras.

In summer the trails follow the old droving routes and paths over the high Sierras. This is where you will experience the wilderness and beauty of the mountains, their vastness and ever-changing panoramic views.

Starting from Bubion, the riding trails follow ancient Moorish drovers’ paths through steep valleys filled with Mediterranean almond and walnut groves up to high summer pastures irrigated by the snow melt. You pass through pretty white villages with narrow winding streets and ancient Moorish architecture. On some of the very steep descents it is necessary to lead the horses.

You stay in small comfortable village guest houses and each day your luggage is taken ahead for you. During the day there will be several rest stops and a leisurely picnic lunch of locally cured hams and cheeses accompanied by freshly baked bread and salads. Evening meals give you the opportunity to sample the unique local cuisine and Spanish wines.

Key Facts

  • Trail riding – Progressive
  • Set departures on Saturdays
  • Operates March to November
  • 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 – 3-7 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.

Itinerary

Alpujarra Ride

The Alpujarra Ride runs in summer months and takes you higher into the mountains avoiding the heat of the valleys. You stay at three different locations, returning to Bubion on the final evening enjoying your last ride in the mountains.

Day 1
Transfer from Malaga airport and transfer to the village of Bubion where you will be met by the trek organiser and guide. Supper and accommodation in a comfortable village guest house in Bubion.

Day 2
After breakfast you will be collected and driven to the stables situated 5 kms from the village of Bubion at an altitude of 1.650m.  Today you will explore Poqueira valley, on a combination of bridle paths and forestry tracks. This will enable you to get to know your horse. The route follows along ancient Moorish irrigation channels and summer pastures watered by the snow melt. With the Mulhacen (the highest mountain in Spain) forming the backdrop, this valley is often described as the most beautiful in the Alpujarra. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the shade of a pine wood and in the afternoon follow a forestry track back down the mountainside towards Bubion. You will stay in Bubion again tonight. Approximately 6 hours riding

Day 3
Heading east you set off for the village of Trevelez, at 1,476m, this is the highest village in Spain. During the morning you will follow the old mule paths through the countryside to the village of Capilerilla, Pitres and then Portugos where you will have lunch on the way.

After lunch you will climb up to join a broad forestry track through the pine and oak trees to Trevelez. This afternoon there may be some opportunities for canters. Overnight in Trevelez. Approximately 6 hours riding

Day 4
Today the route continues east to the village of Berchules after a 10 minute walk through the streets of Trevelez we water the horses at one of the many springs, mount up and head down to the river. Once across the river the path, many centuries old, follows first the Moorish irrigation channel and then works its way through oak and pine forests to the open pasture lands of the Sierra of Juviles. Here we have two options, depending on the weather we continue to climb and picnic at about 2,300m or start a gentler descent and picnic in the oak woods above the village of Juviles. Both lovely rides with stunning views. Both slow as we are mostly climbing on mountain paths. On both options the final descent into the village of Berchules is on foot about 30 minutes walk. Overnight and dinner in the very comfortable Hotel Berchules, Pool available June to late September. Approximately 6 hours riding

Day 5
Berchules takes its name from the old Spanish word Berchel, meaning literally, mountain garden.    During the morning we take the ancient Moorish bridle path, once the main trade route over the mountains to Granada. As the path passes through terraced orchards and fields, high above the cause of the river, it is easy to see how the area came by its name.

We stop for a picnic lunch in the shade of the pine woods. After lunch we join the main forestry track built in the early 1900s to improving access for farming and reforestation in the area. Opportunities for trots and canters. We spend a second night in the village of Berchules.  Approximately 7 hours riding

Day 6
Today we head back to the village of Trevelez. Leaving the village of Berchules below we have a steep climb to approximately 2,400 metres. During the morning the route follows dirt tracks through farm and pasture lands up to the tree line. Some canters. Picnic lunch on the edge of the pine woods with wonderful views over the valley of Trevelez, the sea to the south and the Mulhacen 3486m (the highest mountain on the mainland) to the north. During the afternoon we descend on the bridle path through the woods to the village of Trevelez. There are some places one needs to lead the horses for short periods.

Overnight and dinner in the comfortable Hotel Fragua, Pool June to late September. Stay overnight in Trevelez. Approximately 5 hours riding

Day 7
Today is a shorter ride. Following the forestry track through pine and oak woods you will ride towards the stables high above the villages of the Poqueira. This route offers spectacular views out over the Contraviesa mountains towards the Mediterranean sea.  There is some good opportunities for some canters.

After a lunch in the village of Capileira or Bubion you will have the afternoon free for some last minute shopping and a well deserved siesta. Overnight in the village of Bubion and farewell dinner. Approximately 3-4 hours riding

Day 8
Depart for Malaga after breakfast.

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 hotel in Berchules has an unheated pool which is open during summer months – available on the Alpujarra ride

On the El Marquesado and the Buena Vista ride one night is spend in a high mountain refuge; the other six nights in comfortable village hotels (some with pools).

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

2018 TRAIL RIDE SCHEDULE:

  • Departs every 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 €1395.00 (Please contact us for Australian conversion rate)
  • Single supplement €175.00
  •  2018: 28 April – 5 May, 12 May – 19 May, 1 July – 8 July, 29 July – 5 Aug (Fully booked), 18 Aug – 25 Aug, 1 Sep – 8 Sep, 15 Sep – 22 Sep
    Note: 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.

Includes

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
  • English speaking guide and back up vehicle for luggage
  • Return transfers from Malaga at a 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 if required.  Must be advised at time of booking
  • ** Rates are based on Euro and subject to currency fluctuation **

Other Information

Location
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.

Weather
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

Please contact Snaffle Travel for further information, booking terms and conditions to info@snaffletravel.com.au

Conditions and terms apply to this riding holiday

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