This horse riding holiday in Spain winds its way through two Nature Reserves of unique natural beauty which gives the route its name: The Sierra Nevada, with its snowy peaks and mountainous landscape and the Tabernas Desert, the most important desert-like zone in Europe. The route starts high up in the Sierra and makes its way down to the fertile slopes and valleys where olives, figs, almonds and even wine are produced. Then, suddenly, the unique topographical conditions render the route into a true, western movie style desert, of canyons and dry riverbeds where numerous spaghetti-westerns films have been made. The expedition ends in Granada with the option to visit the Alhambra.


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


Drive to the riding centre in Bubión (2 Km). Introduction of the horses. We will start by climbing up along bridle paths through the Blood Ravine to the track that leads us to Trevélez with views of the villages of the Poqueira and La Taha Valleys. Picnic en route. During the ride there are some opportunities for gallops with a magnificent panoramic view of the Sierra Contraviesa and Lújar opposite us. Descend to Trevélez by a bridle path where we 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.


After crossing the bridge over the Trevélez river, we will start this route by a bridle path that climbs the left slope of the ravine, leaving behind the village from which it takes its name. Once again, we will enjoy the beauty of the sierras Contraviesa, Lújar and Gádor, this one already in the province of Almería. Descent along a more gentle path to Juviles, where we will have lunch. Descend to Tímar along a narrow path through the gorge. Then we will take the bridle path to the beautiful Hotel Alquería de Morayma**, close to Cádiar. We have descended over 1,000m in 5 hours. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.  


Riding first over the hills with stunning panoramic views of Sierra Nevada and the sierras of Contraviesa and Gádor, then we will ride to Ugíjar along the dry riverbed. Picnic on the way. In the afternoon we will ride up to Picena where we leave the horses. A six-hour ride. Drive to Laroles (3Km). Dinner and accommodation at the Refugio de Nevada*.


After breakfast, drive to Picena to meet the horses and start our ride crossing the village of Picena and the Bayarcal river, where we enter the Almería province. Picnic at Guarros. Leaving for Benecid passing by Laujar de Andarax, important wine-growing area. A six-hour ride. Dinner and accommodation at hotel La Marmita de Ahlam**


Across Sierra Gádor, riding on a track enjoying the open view of Sierra Nevada, on the other side of the Andarax river, towards the old “Venta de Alcora” where we will arrive after some short gallops on time for a good lunch. After a short rest, we ride for nearly 2 hours enjoying the first views over the Tabernas Desert. Descend to Rágol by a very nice bridle path. Approx. a five-hour ride. Drive to Canjayar (4Km). Dinner and accommodation at Posada del Calvario*.  


Drive to Rágol to meet the horses for our last threehour ride to the desert. Crossing the Andarax river to the mountain of Montenegro through the Rambla (dry river bed) of Guadix, with some opportunities for canters and where we start to discover the first desert landscape. Descend through a labyrinth of canyons similar to those seen in numerous spaghetti-western films. At the end of the Rambla de Los Yesos, we will arrive at Alboloduy, at the eastern-most edge of the Sierra Nevada Natural Park. After saying goodbye to the horses, lunch in the village. Drive to Granada (2 hours). Farewell dinner in a typical restaurant and visit to the old part of Granada with amazing views of the Alhambra right opposite us. Accommodation in Hotel Maciá Plaza**.


Farewell after breakfast and transfer to the airport of Granada.

OPTIONAL: For those who wish, it is possible to visit the Alhambra or enjoy a free relaxing bath at the Arab Hamman in Granada on this day but reservation is required beforehand, well in advance. Subject to availability.

Please follow this link for a map of this itinerary: Tabernas Desert Route

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


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 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

The British Consulate in Madrid is at the Calle de Fernando el Santo 16, 28010 Madrid. Tel: +34 91 7008200. Email:

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


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


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

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 shorts, lightweight riding boots or trainers.


This is an 8 day/7 night programme with 6 days riding on set dates. Trails can also be tailormade for 4 or more people.

Departure Dates

2021: 17 Apr; 2 May; 2 Oct.

Single supplement must be paid if booking alone.

No of   
Riding days Product item description £
20218d/7n6double pp1,439
20218d/7n6single supplement159
20218d/7n6single supplement if willing to share but no sharer can be found119
No of   
Riding days Product item description
20218d/7n6double pp1,645
20218d/7n6single supplement179
20218d/7n6single supplement if willing to share but no sharer can be found135
No of   
Riding days Product item description $
20218d/7n6double pp2,079
20218d/7n6single supplement219
20218d/7n6single supplement if willing to share but no sharer can be found165
No of   
Riding days Product item description SEK
20218d/7n6double pp16,989
20218d/7n6single supplement1,865
20218d/7n6single supplement if willing to share but no sharer can be found1,399
Recommended Reading

The Hand of Fatima by Ildefonso Falcones

Other Activities

The 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.

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
Included from Granada at 18:30 and €75 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" for flight information
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