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The Sierra Nevada is the highest mountain range in Spain and little has changed here over the centuries. The mule and ox still pull the plough in the tiny terraced fields, the horse and mule still provide transport and the shepherd still tends his flock of sheep on the mountainside.
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.
On these itineraries you ride between three villages, following drovers’ paths through steep valleys filled with Mediterranean almond and walnut groves up to high summer pastures irrigated by the snow melt. The Contravisa Ride takes the lower mountain paths during early spring and late autumn and the Alpujarra Ride takes the higher routes to avoid the summer heat.
This is a slightly more challenging itinerary where you ride higher (around 2,700 m) than on the Alpujarra Ride. There are two long days of about eight hours riding and on those two days there are a couple of long downhill walks. You do need to be fit, happy to get off and lead over rough terrain and be aware that you will be riding at high altitude on three of the days.
If time is short we have some great short breaks (4 and 5 nights) in the Sierra Nevada.
The horses are Andalucian and Andalucian crosses and have all been schooled by their owner and your guide Dallas Love. They are fit, surefooted and responsive with the classic good nature of the breed, enjoying their work and a pleasure to ride.
The horses are usually ridden in 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. You are expected to tack up and groom your horse, although assistance is available if you need help.
Riders should be competent at walk, trot and canter outdoors, with good riding balance. Novice riders will not be accepted due to the technical and steep terrain. This terrain dictates the pace but there are occasional places for trots and canters. There is a certain amount of walking on foot and we recommend that you are physically fit as well as riding fit. You need to be able to mount from the ground and from both sides of the horse.
On some of the very steep descents it is necessary to lead the horses and these rides are not for those who suffer from vertigo.
Stay in small, family run village hostels and hotels (some with pools) in twin bedded rooms with en-suite facilities. The accommodation is clean but simple and does not offer room service or lifts. Your luggage is taken ahead for you by vehicle and left at reception. We recommend packing light as you will have to carry your own luggage up to your room.
On the Buena Vista Ride one night is spend in a high mountain refuge and the other six nights in comfortable village hotels (some with pools).
Additional dates may be available for private groups. Please call for more information.
|Holiday||Experience LevelExp Lvl||Arrive - DepartArr - Dep||Price||Itinerary||Availability|
|Alpujarra Ride||15 Apr 2023 - 22 Apr 2023||7 nights 7 ngts||$2,097.39||Book|
|Alpujarra Ride||29 Apr 2023 - 6 May 2023||7 nights 7 ngts||$2,097.39||Book|
|Alpujarra Ride||13 May 2023 - 20 May 2023||7 nights 7 ngts||$2,097.39||Book|
|Buena Vista||27 May 2023 - 3 Jun 2023||7 nights 7 ngts||$2,199.42||Book|
|Alpujarra Ride||1 Jul 2023 - 8 Jul 2023||7 nights 7 ngts||$2,097.39||Book|
|Alpujarra Ride||20 Aug 2023 - 27 Aug 2023||7 nights 7 ngts||$2,097.39||Book|
|Alpujarra Ride||9 Sep 2023 - 16 Sep 2023||7 nights 7 ngts||$2,097.39||Book|
|Alpujarra Ride||23 Sep 2023 - 30 Sep 2023||7 nights 7 ngts||$2,097.39||Book|
|Alpujarra Ride||14 Oct 2023 - 21 Oct 2023||7 nights 7 ngts||$2,097.39||Book|
|Contraviesa Ride||28 Oct 2023 - 4 Nov 2023||7 nights 7 ngts||$2,097.39||Book|
|Contraviesa Ride||11 Nov 2023 - 18 Nov 2023||7 nights 7 ngts||$2,097.39||Book|
|Contraviesa Ride||25 Nov 2023 - 2 Dec 2023||7 nights 7 ngts||$2,097.39||Book|
INCLUDES Accommodation; all meals (dinner on day of arrival through to breakfast on day of departure); riding; return transfers from Malaga at set time.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT No single supplement if willing to share. A limited number of single rooms are available at a supplement which is payable locally - Contraviesa & Alpujarra: €175, Buena Vista: €160.
SMALL GROUP SUPPLEMENT
The Alpujarra and Contraviesa rides require a minimum of three people to confirm to run and there is a small group supplement if there are less than 6 people in the group. The supplement is payable locally and costs €150 per person.
The Buena Vista ride requires a minimum of five people to confirm.
PAYABLE LOCALLY Drinks; tips; small group supplements if applicable.
NEAREST AIRPORT Malaga or Granada.
TRANSFERS Included at a set time from Malaga. Private transfers can also be arranged from Granada or Malaga.
Transfers are included from Malaga. The collection time at Malaga is scheduled for 17:00 so you should book a flight with an arrival time before 16:00 to allow for luggage collection.
The drive from Malaga to the first night of the ride takes about two and a half hours.
Your return flight should depart from Malaga after 12:00.
Private transfers at other times from Malaga and Granada airports are also possible, please call or email for details.
These rides are in Andalucia in the highest mountain range in 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.
The riding was as described in the brochure and on the website. It was not fast because the terrain did not permit this, but we did have at least one long canter every day. The scenery was magnificent, the horses superb (my beautify horse Maximo was a real gentleman, and was very patient with me when I was having to lead him down tricky rocky obtain passes), and even the weather was fantastic - T-shirt weather, while the UK was whipped by wind and rain! There is nothing that could be improved. Great break from the UK winter!
Lynne ,DerbyshireOverall rating: 5/5
Dallas grew up here and has a host of stories from the bygone days. But if you look closely you will still see evidence of the old way of life, with most villagers keeping donkeys, mules and the occasional Andalucian stallion.
In The Saddle says
These trails offer the chance to ride over the these vast mountains and witness the stunning views on offer. This is a very rural part of Spain and you will stay in whitewashed Andalucian mountain towns along the way. The horses are lovely to ride, well schooled and part of the family here.