The Alpujarras is a landscape of exceptional natural beauty and grandeur; a wonderful place for a horse riding holiday. Here everything remains much as it was during the Rebellion of the Moors 400 years ago. Whitewashed villages cling to the edge of cliffs. On a clear day one can see the Mediterranean Sea from here. Bubión (4000 ft), the starting point for this trail, lies to the west.
This three day riding programme is an ambitious climb to the foot of the Mulhacen mountain (3.478 m), the highest mountain in the Spanish peninsula. Throughout the route the Sierra Nevada will reveal its varied landscapes, changing vegetation and sometimes very challenging terrain. It is a route for confident riders, who will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, the surrounding mountain ranges and the grandeur of the high mountain. Trevelez, the charming white village used as the base for the climb, is famous for being the highest village in Spain as well as for its cured Spanish ham, so mountain village life and gastronomy will also be part of the experience.
Your charming host, Rafael, has run trail rides in these mountains for over 30 years and knows the routes like the back of his hand. Pure Andalusians are your sure-footed mounts on the steep trails.
Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.
Review received from SS of Kyalami on 05/08/2015
Welcoming and introduction of the guide. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel Finca Los Llanos***.
Drive to the riding centre in Bubión (2 Km away from Capileira). Introduction of the horses. You will start by climbing up along bridle paths to the Barranco de la Sangre (Blood Ravine) riding through stunning scenery and enjoying the beautiful panorama of the Poqueira Valley in the Natural Park of the Sierra Nevada, declared Reserve of the Biosphere by UNESCO. In front of you are the sierras Lújar, Contraviesa and Gádor. You continue climbing to the track that leads you to Trevélez with views of the villages of La Taha Valley. Picnic en -oute. During the ride there are some opportunities for gallops with a magnificent panoramic view of the Sierra Contraviesa and the Mediterranean Sea opposite you. Descend to Trevélez by a bridle path where you will arrive in time for some beers with tapas. There will be the opportunity to visit some of the ham drying houses of Trevélez, famous for its hams and considered the highest village in Spain at an altitude of 1,700m. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel La Fragua **. A 5 hour ride
You will ride towards the snowy peaks of the National Park of the Sierra Nevada. You cross the ravines where the melt water flows and you reach the idyllic Siete Lagunas (3,100mts) where you will picnic at the foot of Mulhacén, which at 3,478 m in altitude is the highest peak of the peninsula. After a short rest, you descend back to Trevélez, where you will spend the night. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel La Fragua **. 5.5 hours riding today.
You will start by climbing up along a bridle path with views of the village of Trevelez, to the track which will take you to the Bina Ravine where after few metres you take the Sulayr path to climb through oak woods again to the top of the Loma del Jabalí, with stunning views of the Trevélez and Guadalfeo valleys. Later on you ride to Las Alcubillas for a picnic. With an altitude of 2.240m is the highest point of your itinerary for this journey with a magnificent panoramic vista of the foothills of the Sierra Contraviesa and Lújar opposite. On a clear day, you can even see right across the Mediterranean to Africa. You ride now by a track and along a bridle path descending through pine woods with views of the villages of the Poqueira Valley that leads you to Bubion. Farewell dinner in a local restaurant and accommodation at the hotel Finca Los Llanos*** in Capileira. 5 hours riding.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport.
Please note all hotel names are as a guide only. Any hotel may be replaced with another of similar standard without notice.
Single Supplement: Please note that if you are prepared to share, and we cannot find you a sharer, the single supplement is reduced by 25%.
Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.
The Spanish Cross horses are fit and strong and extremely sure footed in the rocky terrain. There is a range of tack utilised, from English saddles to Spanish and Western saddles. The bridles are English with a Spanish influence.
Riders should be confident at walk, trot and canter.
The weight limit for this ride is 198 lb/90 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
Accommodation is in 2 and 3 star small, family run hotels along the way. The food is delicious and traditional of the region.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.
Visa are not required for U.K. or other European nationals. In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on travel insurance, passport and visas, health and vaccinations, legal issues and emergency issues. They can be reached on 0207 008 0232/0233 or at www.fco.gov.uk
The British Consulate in Madrid is at the Calle de Fernando el Santo 16, 28010 Madrid. Tel: +34 91 7008200. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.ukinspain.com.
The Spanish Embassy in the U.K can be found at 39 Chesham Place, London SW1X 8SB. Tel: (020) 7235 5555.
Spring and autumn is generally a good time to visit and the days are sunny and warm (25 Celsius). In the summer it can be very hot with temperatures exceeding 30 Celsius on a regular basis.
No special health precautions are required for visits to Spain, for further details please see your local doctor. We do advise taking plenty of sunscreen!
For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org
Voltage is the same as in the UK and most appliances such as battery chargers for videos, hair dryers etc. can be plugged in with appropriate adapters. These are available for purchase at most airports and travel shops.
230V 50HZ with a two pronged round pin plug
Good quality film is widely available for purchase as well as batteries (normal, alkaline and lithium).
Light summer clothing is need on most departure dates. You need a riding helmet or broad rimmed hat which must stay on firmly and sunglasses with string. 2 pairs of riding trousers (cycling shorts for men), half chaps are recommended, riding gloves, jersey, warm jacket (spring and autumn), shorts, long sleeve shirts, T-shirts, sarong or wrap, swimsuit, 4 pairs of socks, raincoat (seasonal), sun block, camera on a shoulder strap with a pouch which can be secured to your belt, binoculars, 2 pairs of shorts, lightweight riding boots or trainers.
This is a 5 day/4 night programme with 3 days riding on set dates.
Trails can also be tailor ade for 4 or more people.
2020: 4 - 8 July.
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The Hand of Fatima by Ildefonso Falcones, ‘The New Spaniards’ –John Hooper, ‘Driving over Lemons’- Chris Stewart, ‘The Story of Spain’- Mark Williams, ‘South of Granada’ – Gerald Brenan, ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ – Ernest Hemmingway, ‘As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning’- Laurie Lee and ‘Don Quijote de la Mancha’ – Miguel de Cervantes. For the equestrian traveller who would like to see what is possible on horseback visit www.thelongridersguild.com also a fantastic place to acquire your equestrian travel books is www.horsetravelbooks.com
Their main activity is horse-riding but they can also tailor make trips for 4 or more people, including mixed programmes in jeeps and on horseback, picnics and visits to the most interesting places in the area such as museums, artisans’ workshops, wine bodegas and serrano ham curing establishments.
The Alpujarras are located to the south of the Sierra Nevada massif, in a Natural Park and with views over the Mediterranean. With their dramatic scenery and wild flora and fauna, they were declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1986. The village of Bubión, the starting point for the treks, is 1,300 metres above sea-level, in the Poqueira Valley.
Spain is a beautiful and diverse country, the second largest in Europe. The official language is Castilian Spanish but Catalan, Galician and Basque are also spoken. Territory includes two island archipelagos – the Balearics and the Canaries – and two enclaves on the North African coast, bordering Morocco – Ceuta and Melilla. The African influence can be found throughout Spain but especially in the south, for example the guitar was invented by the Spanish when they added a sixth string to the Arab lute. Music and art permeates Spanish culture, most obviously displayed in the fire and passion of the Flamenco and the stunning modern architecture found in the cities.
The famous siesta is still enjoyed by the majority of Spaniards, most shops close at lunchtime for two or three hours so everyone can escape the often scorching afternoon sun. Evening meals are served late into the evening with plenty of wine or sangria. Often meals can last two or three hours, especially if your host is serving Tapas, small and varied dishes of meats, bread, vegetables. Paella is also a delight and very popular across the country.
Spain is one hour ahead of GMT and they use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram. The international dialling code for Spain is +34.