view over mountains down to finca
Morning canter
Pippa likes to ride too!
Huefano & Faraon in the yard
Donna riding
Trotting along
Walking along
riverbed
Donna in front of the chapel
walking back
Mountain ride
Tony's Pony
Bar stop
Faraon
Horse arena
horses in field
Washing horses after the ride
Dado
Huefeno wants his tea!
Lola
Alberdini hotel bar entrance
Bedroom 1 at the Finca
Bedroom 2 at the Finca
terrace in front of Finca
Swimming pool on terrace
terrace at finca
Plaza of Competa village
hammock on terrace
Competa
Location of the Finca
view

East of Malaga deep in the mountains the Parque Natural Sierra Tejeda, Almijara Y Alhama Competa is the peaceful setting for a wonderful retreat.

With 16 beautiful, well schooled and immaculately cared for Andalusians, this traditional finca has been lovingly restored to create a stunning mountain retreat sure to charm riders or non riders. Extensive gardens with shady orange & lemon trees, indigenous plants and hammocks with views across the swimming pool all the way to the coast are perfect for lazy afternoons.

This very traditional part of Spain is best explored on horseback in comfortable local saddles (or English if you prefer) with stops at terraces and in white washed villages. The warm welcome extended by Donna, Jeff and Ricky ensures that everyone returns for another visit. If you are particularly taken with the culture and traditions of Spain you may like to join one of their Fiesta weeks - and for the adventurous rider their Ride to Jatar is a fabulous option.

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 SP of Bristol on 07/08/2018

Ride Summary
Fantastic, the best holiday I have ever had!
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     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Other(please specify)     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Riding tour leader
Professionalism     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Horsemanship     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Pacing of Ride     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern for Safety     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Leadership     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Friendliness/availability     (X) Excellent     (   ) 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     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Additional Comments

Horses and Tack
Condition of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Condition of Tack     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Performance of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Additional Comments
The horses were a joy to ride and be around.
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     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (X) 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:
It was a perfect retreat in the mountains with fantastic horses and food and beautiful accomodation.
Was there anything you should have known and were not told?     (X) NO     (   ) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:

What could we do to improve this ride?

How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
2
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
It was suiable for beginners (there were some) and advanced. I was only with the beginners for one ride and it was good because I could see that one of the family could ride (a girl aged 12) and I was able to ask her mother if she could come with me on my more advanced ride and her mother and the daughter were thrilled that this could be arranged.
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:

May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Any other comments:
It was a perfect way to holiday alone, I did not feel lonely, I was included in everything and I felt welcome and so happy the whole time.
Unicorn comments: Thank you for your feedback. Glad you had a great time! :)

A single supplement is not compulsory at the Finca if you are willing to share.

Accommodation
The beautiful Finca is set deep in the National Park and surrounded by nature. The original farm house is 500 years old and has been lovingly restored and consists of 2 double bedrooms and one small (child) single. This is suitable for 2 singles sharing the bathroom or a group of friends. There is also a one bedroom restored apartment containing a double and a single bed with bathroom; and a garden chalet apartment with room for 3 or 4 people sharing the bathroom. The views from the terrace to the ocean, peaceful terraced gardens and swimming pool make this a delightful retreat with horses on your doorstep. The Finca can be reached on a dirt road of 4 miles. Ricky, Donna or Jeff are happy to drop guests off at the beach, nearby villages or other activites and attractions when not riding and pick them up by arrangement.

Horses and Riding
The 16 Andalusian horses give a choice of mount for all levels of rider. Beginners can have some tuition in a school area before heading into the mountains. The traditional saddles are easy to ride in and the horses respond easily to light directions, making this an ideal place to learn/try riding. It is not uncommon to meet locals on their horses in this very traditional part of Spain. Horses are welcome in all the villages and most tavernas have a place to tie your horse. For more experienced riders there are good tracks for some faster riding and more challenging lively Andalusians. English saddles are available if wanted. Some routes are also steeper and technically challenging.

Non riders
The finca has a lovely pool. The beach, although only 4 miles as the crow flies and clearly visible from the finca terrace, is about 35min drive (Donna, Ricky or Jeff would be happy to drop you there). Other non rider options nearby:
Pilates, Salsa or Flamenco lessons; guided walks; guided cycling tours; off road motorbiking; golf, scuba diving; wine tasting and tour of the loca Bodega; tour of Malaga (Picaso Museum, CAC Malaga, Cathedral and Malaga Gardens or shopping!); tour of Nerja caves and town; Competa and Canillas tour including tapas and Competa wine.

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

There are 16 beautiful Andalusians from 14.3hh to 16.3hh. Many are bigger and stronger than average and this ride can comfortably cater for heavier riders. The horses are all lovingly looked after to the best English standards. They are fit and well fed, clipped and rugged in the winter, fed and inspected twice daily.


The horses are all well schooled with no vices and ridden in curb bits with traditional saddles for comfort. English saddles are also available for those who prefer. Some of the horses are more lively and forward going, others are schoolmasters. All are very responsive making this an easy place to learn to ride. The horses all wear halters under the bridles and are used to standing tied at tavernas.


A range of riding helmets is available on site and riders are encouraged to wear one although this is not compulsory. Saddles are equipped with small saddle bags to carry en route essentials such as sunscreen and water bottles.


2-3 hrs riding a day is included in the package or a supplement can be paid for a full-day ride.

Rider requirements

This ride is suitable for riders of all abilities, from complete beginner to advanced. Some of the mountain paths, while wide enough, do have steep drops alongside and are not suitable for those with an extreme fear of heights.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 16st /224 lb/102 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

The beautiful Finca is set deep in the National Park and surrounded by nature. The original farm house is 500 years old and has been lovingly restored and consists of 2 double bedrooms and one small (child) single. This is suitable for 2 singles sharing the bathroom or a group of friends. There is also a one bedroom restored apartment containing a double and a single bed with bathroom; and a garden chalet apartment with room for 3 or 4 people sharing the bathroom.



The views from the terrace to the ocean, peaceful terraced gardens and swimming pool make this a delightful retreat with horses on your doorstep. The Finca can be reached on a dirt road of 4 miles. Ricky, Donna or Jeff are happy to drop guests off at the beach, nearby villages or other activites and attractions when not riding and pick them up by arrangement.



Most of the food at the Finca is home grown organic with fresh eggs and vegetables daily. Donna was a chef at the Grovesnor Hotel in a previous life, so the food is outstanding.

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. Overnight thunderstorms are common in the mountain regions but are generally gone by morning.

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

There is electricity available at the Finca and hotel. Telephone reception is poor in the mountains although on the terrace at the Finca 2 bars of reception can be received. The hotel has good mobile reception. There is almost no internet reception although on special request wifi is available at a nearby cafe while enjoying a drink/coffee/meal.

Packing List

Light summer clothing is needed on most departure dates. You need a riding helmet or broad rimmed hat which must stay on firmly and sunglasses with string. Riding trousers (these can also be jeans or chinos as the local saddles are similar to Western saddles) half chaps are recommended, riding gloves, jersey, warm jacket (Winter, Spring and Autumn), shorts, long sleeve shirts, T-shirts, sarong or wrap, swimsuit, socks, raincoat (seasonal), sun block, camera on a shoulder strap with a pouch which can be secured to your belt, binoculars, lightweight riding boots (can be sturdy shoes with tread and a heel) and a change of footwear - trainers or sandals.
A range of riding helmets are available on site.

Programmes

From May to August a minimum of 3 nights applies. Short breaks of 2 nights are possible for the rest of the year. Groups larger than 6 can be accommodated by special arrangement, please enquire.

Departure Dates

2018: All year round on request. Closed 25th and 26th December.

Pricing
No single supplement payable if willing to share with someone of same sex. Should you wish to book a single room, please see supplement price below.


No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
2018 Finca per nightper night1double pp per night155
2018 Finca per nightper night1non-rider per night115
2018 Finca per nightper night1single supplement per night21
2018 Finca per nightper night1Feria supplement125
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2018 Finca per nightper night1double pp per night179
2018 Finca per nightper night1non-rider per night135
2018 Finca per nightper night1single supplement per night24
2018 Finca per nightper night1Feria supplement145
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
2018 Finca per nightper night1double pp per night215
2018 Finca per nightper night1non-rider per night159
2018 Finca per nightper night1single supplement per night29
2018 Finca per nightper night1Feria supplement175
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2018 Finca per nightper night1double pp per night1,879
2018 Finca per nightper night1non-rider per night1,395
2018 Finca per nightper night1single supplement per night249
2018 Finca per nightper night1Feria supplement1,535
Wildlife

Eagles can often be seen soaring using the thermals from the mountains. There are wild boar in the area and may be seen in the evenings from the terrace at the Finca. Dedicated wildlife spotters may be lucky enough to see an ibex.

Other Activities

The finca has a lovely pool and the beaches, although only 4 miles as the crow flies and clearly visible from the finca terrace, is about 35min drive (Donna, Ricky or Jeff would be happy to drop you there). Other non rider options nearby:
Pilates, Salsa or Flamenca lessons; guided walks; guided cycling tours; off road motorbiking; golf, scuba diving; wine tasting and tour of the loca Bodega; tour of Malaga (Picasso Museum, CAC Malaga, Cathedral and Malaga Gardens or shopping!); tour of Nerja caves and town; Competa and Canillas tour including tapas and Competa wine; or relax with massage and reflexology options.

Other Information

This particular part of Spain is very traditional and the present younger generation is far wealthier than their parents who can still tell vivid stories of Franco's time and their jobs as muleteers and fishermen. The mountain is criss-crossed with traditional mule routes which were in regular use until 25 years ago. Fresh produce such as fish, oranges and lemons were taken from coastal towns such as Torremolinos across the mountain range to inland cities such as Granda with corn and grain being returned. Mules are still used in the national park today as the best way to access the steep and rough back country.

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):
Malaga Airport (AGP) or town
Transfer:
2018: From Malaga €80 per car each way divided amongst the passengers. Transfer time is approximately 1 hour. Payable on site.
If hiring a car you MUST hire a 4x4.
Flight Guide:
London - Malaga return from £50 with Ryanair. Please see "getting there" for flight information
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