Andalusian Mountain Retreat
Donna in front of the chapel
165
Faraon
Horse arena
Swimming pool on terrace
Plaza of Competa village
570
Walking along

East of Malaga deep in the mountains the Parque Natural Sierra Tejeda, Almijara Y Alhama Competa is the peaceful setting for a wonderful retreat. The beautiful Finca is set deep in the National Park and surrounded by nature. The original farmhouse is 500 years old and has been lovingly restored. The views from the terrace to the ocean, peaceful terraced gardens and swimming pool make this a delightful retreat with horses on your doorstep.

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 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, Steve and Ricky ensures that everyone returns for another visit. Most of the food at the Finca is home grown organic, with fresh eggs and vegetables served daily. Donna was a chef at the Grosvenor Hotel in a previous life, so the food is outstanding! 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 PL of LEWES on 21/11/2022

Ride Summary
Warm welcome, lovely horses, nice accommodation and great food.
What was your overall impression of the holiday
Overall impression
Unicorn Trails sales staff

Riding tour leader

Additional Comments
Steve always took care to match horses to riders.
Horses and Tack

Additional Comments
Horses were forward going and responsive and sure-footed.
Meals

Accommodation

Miscellaneous

Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
Please give more details to explain your response:
Trails were exclusively along mountain paths. Rides were 3-4 hours (with a chance to dismount and take refreshments.
Was there anything you should have known and were not told?
Please give more details to explain your response:
Descents could be very steep.
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?
7
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
Well organised, good communication with office. Helpful and knowledgable staff.
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
YES
Any other comments:
We really enjoyed this 4 day trip. The hosts were fantastic, friendly and helpful. Great company.
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. It consists of 2 double bedrooms and one small single that is ideal for a child. 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 4 mile dirt road. Ricky, Donna or Steve 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 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, and the beach (although only 4 miles as the crow flies and clearly visible from the finca terrac) is about 35min drive (Donna, Ricky or Steve are happy to drop you there). Other non-rider options nearby include
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.

New!:

Pilates, Yoga and Fitness Training Sessions are now available on site by fully qualified instructors who specialise in sessions specifically designed for riders. You are advised to book your sessions in advance before you arrive and are payable on site.  During the summer months pool therapy, therapeutic swimming, & aqua gym sessions are available. All equipment is provided including mats. Sessions last 1 hour and cost 60 euros split between all participants.

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 lovingly looked after to the best English standards. They are fit and well fed, clipped and rugged in the winter and fed and inspected twice daily.





The horses are all well schooled with no vbad habbits 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, while others are schoolmasters. All are very responsive, making this an easy place to learn how 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.

We are always on the lookout for new horses to come and join the Los Olivillos team and at any one time, we regularly have horses that we are working with and who are learning their job. As a result, there are a number of more spirited rides that guests can enjoy as well as our stalwart dependable schoolmasters!


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 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, consisting of 2 double bedrooms and one small single(child). This unit 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. We have recently added a cocktail bar and dining room to our accommodation. This allows guests to both relax and dine together to eat and/or after riding help themselves to a glass of fizz or a cold beer.



The Finca can be reached on a 4 mile dirt road. 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 Grosvenor 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.

NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures

Passport and Visa 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 should you need a visa.

In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain

In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Spain.html

In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/spain

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

COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.

You should always bring any regular prescription drugs you may need with you.

Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Spain and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.

Electricity



In Spain the supply voltage is 230V. If the appliance is a single voltage rated appliance, it will need to operate at the same voltage as the supply voltage of the country i.e. 230V. If this is not the case it should be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly.

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

2022/23: 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 £
2022 Finca per nightper night1double pp per night185
2022 Finca per nightper night1non-rider per night135
2022 Finca per nightper night1single supplement per night24
2022 Finca per nightper night1Extra riding per hour 35
2023 Finca per nightper night1double pp per night205
2023 Finca per nightper night1non-rider per night135
2023 Finca per nightper night1single supplement per night24
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2022 Finca per nightper night1double pp per night209
2022 Finca per nightper night1non-rider per night155
2022 Finca per nightper night1single supplement per night27
2022 Finca per nightper night1Extra riding per hour 40
2023 Finca per nightper night1double pp per night229
2023 Finca per nightper night1non-rider per night155
2023 Finca per nightper night1single supplement per night27
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
2022 Finca per nightper night1double pp per night235
2022 Finca per nightper night1non-rider per night169
2022 Finca per nightper night1single supplement per night30
2022 Finca per nightper night1Extra riding per hour 44
2023 Finca per nightper night1double pp per night255
2023 Finca per nightper night1non-rider per night169
2023 Finca per nightper night1single supplement per night30
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2022 Finca per nightper night1double pp per night2,329
2022 Finca per nightper night1non-rider per night1,675
2022 Finca per nightper night1single supplement per night289
2022 Finca per nightper night1Extra riding per hour 439
2023 Finca per nightper night1double pp per night2,549
2023 Finca per nightper night1non-rider per night1,675
2023 Finca per nightper night1single supplement per night289
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 Steve 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.

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 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:
2022/23: From Malaga €85 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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