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.

Riding deep in the heart of this region is much like traveling in the Spain of the 19th Century, where time stops for travellers, who wonder at the changing face and vegetation of the different micro-climates. Your charming host Rafael, has run trail rides in these mountains for 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

Ride Summary
Brilliant ride
What was your overall impression of the holiday

Unicorn Trails sales staff
Professionalism     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Friendliness     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Speed of response     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Efficiency     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Knowledge     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Other(please specify) dealing with difficult customers     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Riding tour leader
Professionalism     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Horsemanship     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Pacing of Ride     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern for Safety     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Leadership     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Friendliness/availability     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Culture     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Flora/Fauna     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern with Environment     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Language skills     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (X) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Additional Comments

Horses and Tack
Condition of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Condition of Tack     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Performance of Horses     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Additional Comments

Meals
Meal Quantity     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Quality     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Punctuality     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Accommodation
Camping Equipment     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (X) N/A
Hotels/Lodges/Inns     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Hygiene standards     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Miscellaneous
Transfer arrangements     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other office staff     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other ride staff     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Weather     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
Ride described on web-site and email from Wendy
Was there anything you should have known and were not told?     (X) NO     (   ) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
Perhaps to impress on future riders for sturdy riding boots or rather hiking boots - I rode with hiking boots with a slight heel and found it more comfortable with the going
What could we do to improve this ride?
Brilliant ride
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
8
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
8 more because of going (mountainous)
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
One stop adventure riding agency
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Any other comments:
Was a great experience
Unicorn comments: Thank you for your feedback. Glad you had a great time! :)

Day 1.
Welcoming and introduction of the guide. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel Finca Los Llanos***.

Day 2.
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 route. 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 five hours ride

Day 3.
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 **. Five and a half hours riding today.

Day 4.
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 meters 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 Morocco. 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. A 5 hour ride. Farewell dinner in a local restaurant and accommodation at the hotel Finca Los Llanos*** in Capileira

Day 5.
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%.

Reading List
We're avid readers here at Unicorn Trails and have selected several books connected to this ride. If you're interested in reading more about the area before you travel, or want to get into the cultural background, here are some suggestions that may inspire you. Click on the links for more information.

The Hand of Fatima - Ildefonso Falcones
The New Spaniards – John Hooper
Driving over Lemons - Chris Stewart
The Story of Spain - Mark Williams
South from Granada – Gerald Brenan
For Whom The Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemmingway
As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning - Laurie Lee
Don Quijote de la Mancha – Miguel de Cervantes

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.

Horses & Riding

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.

Rider requirements

Riders should be confident at walk, trot and canter. Minimum riding age is 6 years

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 14 st/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.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

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.

General information:

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: commerce@ukinspain.com www.ukinspain.com.

The Spanish Embassy in the U.K can be found at 39 Chesham Place, London SW1X 8SB. Tel: (020) 7235 5555.

Climate Summary

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.

Climate Chart

Health

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

Electricity

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

Film and Camera Equipment

Good quality film is widely available for purchase as well as batteries (normal, alkaline and lithium).

Packing List

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 short, lightweight riding boots or trainers.

Programmes

This is a 6 day/5 night programme with 4 days riding on set dates. Trails can also be tailormade for 4 or more people.

Departure Dates

2019: 6 July

Pricing
Single supplement must be paid if booking alone.


No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
20186d/5n3double pp949
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
20186d/5n3double pp1,035
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
20186d/5n3double pp1,205
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
20186d/5n3double pp10,909
Recommended Reading

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

Other Activities

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.

Wildlife

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.

Other Country Information

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.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Granada Airport (GRX) at 18:30
Transfer:
Included from Granada at 18.30 or 75 Euro per person each way from Malaga at 16.30 for a minimum of 2 people. There is also a bus from Malaga airport to Granada train station from which you can be collected.
Flight Guide:
London - Granada return from £50 with Ryanair. Please see "getting there" fo flight information
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