The Contraviesa mountain range lies between the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Mediterranean sea. Due to the proximity of the coast the climate during the spring and late autumn is very mild, rarely dropping below 15 C and during May reaching the mid 20C.

The main industry of the area is the cultivation of almonds, figs and vineyards. Little has changed here over the centuries; on many small holdings the mule and ox still pull the plough and the horse and mule still provide the transport.

On the Contraviesa and the lower slopes of the Alpujarra spring can start as early as February with the wild flowers blooming right through to May.

The early winter months are another lovely time to visit this area and are rarely cold. This ride offers an extraordinary range of scenery, vegetation and climate.

We follow old Roman and Moorish bridle paths, dirt tracks and dried-up riverbeds. Here you can literally ride from winter to spring and spring to summer and back again in a week.

The pace of the ride is determined by the terrain: on days 3 and 7 the paths are very narrow and there is a lot of climbing, on the other days there are opportunities to trot and canter. Where the paths are steep it is necessary to dismount and 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 – 5-8 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.


La Contraviesa Ride

La Contraviesa Ride operates in the Spring and Autumn months. Spring can start as early as February with the wild flowers blooming right through to May.
The early winter months are another lovely time to visit this area and are rarely cold. This ride offers an extraordinary range of scenery, vegetation and climate.

Day 1
Arrival Day
Those of you who have arranged to be collected from Malaga airport will be pickup at 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 8.30 pm and take you for dinner in one of the local restaurants, within easy walking distance of your accommodation.

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 we ride close to the stables enabling you to acclimatise slightly to the area and the altitude. Also acquainting you with your horse prior to setting out for the week.  Leaving the stables we take a small path up through summer pastures to join the main forestry track into the National Park, where there are opportunities to canter.  We will follow the track to approximately 2,300m where it joins a bridle path. Following this path through the pine woods we come out on the ridge of Barranco Habali at approximately 2,100m. Here we will stop for a picnic lunch. On a clear day fantastic views can be had down the valley across to the Contraviesa, the Mediterranean and finally Africa!

After lunch the route descends through oak woods and open pasture lands to meet the main forestry track leading back to the stables.  Overnight in the Casa Sevillana Bubion and a Set dinner in one of the local restaurants. Approximately 6 hours riding.

 Day 3
Today we head east to the village of Trevelez. At 1,486m the highest municipality in Spain that is not a ski resort. During the morning we gradually descend (approx. 350 metres) on forestry tracks and bridle paths. The path passes through orchards and small terraces as it skirts the villages of Capilerilla, Pitres and Portugos. There are a few sections where it is necessary to lead the horses on some of the steeper descents. Leaving the village of Portugos below we start the 600 metre climb to our picnic spot in the shade of the pine woods.  After lunch we join the main forestry track to Trevelez. This track maintains pretty much the same altitude as it winds its way through woodlands and small mountain farms. There are some good opportunities for a nice canter.

At the end of the day there is a 15 minute walk down an old stone path into the village.  Over night and dinner in the comfortable Hotel Fragua situated in the old Berber quarter of Trevelez. Swimming pool available June to September. Approximately 6 hours riding.

Day 4
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 many centuries old bridle path follows first the Moorish irrigation channel and then works its way up through evergreen Holm oak and pine forests to the open pasture lands of the Sierra of Juviles.  Descending across the open hillside we have great views towards the coast of Almeria and the Contraviesa mountains. We climb again before stopping for our picnic in the oak woods. After lunch we join a dirt track leading us to the village of Berchules. The final descent into the village is on foot, followed by a 15 minute walk through the streets to the stables and our hotel.  Overnight and diner in the comfortable Hotel Berchules. A swimming pool is available June to end September. Approximately 6 hours riding.

Day 5
Today we ride a circular ride returning to spend a second night in the comfortable Hotel Berchules.  The itinerary will depend on weather conditions.  If the weather is not so good we will ride during the morning returning to the hotel for a hot lunch and spend the afternoon relaxing.   Should the weather be fine we will ride through the almond orchards and vineyards of the Contraviesa foothills.  Returning to Berchules after a picnic lunch. Approximately 3 – 5 hours.

Day 6
Today we descend to the Contraviesa foothills passing through very different and rapidly changing terrain and vegetation.

The morning starts with approximately a 15 walk down to the riverbed where we will mount up and ride through small cultivated terraces and orchards to the tiny village of Narila.

After a steep climb out of the village the terrain becomes much more arid and eroded, green cultivated land gives way to wild rosemary, thyme, almonds and fig trees.

10 minutes on a small secondary road take us to the village of Golgo, where we join the path leading to the bottom of the valley. After an early lunch by the stream in the shade of tall poplar trees the path climbs steeply through deeply eroded hills to meet the dirt track which we follow down to the valley of Yator.

Late afternoon we join one of the dry river beds which offers opportunities for some great canters and short gallops. The end of the day we cross and recross the river of Cadiar, passing through orchards and small holdings.  Overnight in the attractive hotel Alqueria de Morayma situated in the orchards above the river Cadiar.  Pool late May to late September. Approximately 6 hours Riding.

Day 7
Today is our final day on the trek and we return to the village of Bubion, which is a long climb for the horses.  Crossing the river Guadalefao we follow a steep bridle path west to the villages Lobras and Timar. After this the route follows a small local road for approximately seven kilometres before beginning the descent into the spectacular gorge of Trevelez. This descent is on an ancient Roman path cut into the sides of the gorge and must be made on foot leading the horses. It is approximately a 30 minute walk down to the bridge from which we will ride up past the pretty village of Busquistar and on to Portugos for a well earned lunch.  In the late afternoon we continue north west along paths and dirt tracks to Bubion.  Overnight in Casa la Sevillana and farewell dinner. Approximately 8 hours.

Day 8
After breakfast, transfer to Malaga Airport.


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 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 ask us to convert to Australian dollars)
  • Single supplement:  €175.00
  •  2019:  23 – 30 Mar, 28 Sept – 5 Oct, 12 -19 Oct,  26 Oct – 2 Nov
    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.


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

We will provide travel information and a packing list for your ride.

Terms and conditions apply.

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

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