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Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail Ride

The Sierra Nevada is the highest mountain range on the Spanish mainland. The Alpujarra Mountains are called the Sierra Nevada's southern end and face the Mediterranean Sea. It is said to be one of the most enchanting and beautiful regions in the world. It is known for its natural beauty, its snow-capped mountains and its small authentic whitewashed villages. Here you have the chance for an exciting trail ride with you English host, Sarah.

The flora and fauna is spectacular and there are fantastic views almost continuously. The ride goes along old donkey tracks and through beautiful valleys. The terrain varies daily, from rock beds, to pine forests and almond and olive groves. You pass villages with typical white houses on small narrow winding streets with begonias hanging from the windows and clotheslines between the houses.

You normally ride five to six hours a day at differing paces. There is a few canters each day and sometimes you need to dismount and lead your horse. Regardless of tempo the ride is breathtaking. You will stay in mountain huts and small hotels and be served good Spanish food. You will experience a completely different Spain away from the usual tourist haunts.

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Accommodation and Food

You stay in guesthouse/hotel in double room with ensuite toilet/shower. Rooms are simply furnished in a rustic style. There is often a pool (normally open end of May - end of September). Sheets and towels are provided.

The breakfast is a local Spanish breakfast and includes freshly squeezed orange juice from the farm orange tree (seasonal). Lunch may be bread with toppings, fruit and cereal bar and a drink and you will take lunch with you in your saddlebags. The dinners are ample and made from fresh local ingredients. Wine is included during the meals. Other alcoholic beverages are available for purchase on site in the evenings. The vegetarian food is also good, but please inform us before departure if you want to book it.

Horses

The horses you ride will mainly be Andalusians and Andalusians crossed with Arabians. The Andalusien horse is one of the oldest horse breeds and have a natural balance and a soft temperament while the Arabian is known for its strength and endurance. This makes it a great companion on a trail ride. The horses have English saddles. You will brush and saddle your own horse during the ride. The horses have saddlebags for picnic lunches. Otherwise, it is good to have a bag to carry your camera, etc. They have a few helmets to lend.

Program Alpujarra Trail Ride & Mini Trail Ride

Preliminary-day-by-day program Alpujarra Trail Ride

Day 1:You will transfer from Malaga or Granada airport (cost not included) to the tiny spa town of Lanjaron, “The Gateway” to Las Alpujarras. Your accommodation for the first night will be at the  Alpujarra Guesthouse high in the mountains and close to the Ranch. These  small mountain cottages have a swimming pool for use during the summer months. Dinner will be prepared by your host and cook, Emily, at the simple but beautiful guesthouse.

Day 2:  Breakfast will be at the guesthouse and then you will be driven to the stables (with your luggage) to meet the horses and your guide. You will trek out today to the impressive Rio del Guadalfeo.  This river is born in the Sierra Nevada mountains from rain and snow melt above the town of Bercules and heads out to the Mediterranean sea at Salobreña. The 71 km river can be torrential and fast flowing, but in the summer months the flow is slow and the horses enjoy a dip in the river. Trekking out from the ranch you will pass down through the tiny hippie village of Beneficio. This ´village´ is a sustainable, ecological and self-managed village that was created back in 1992 on small private land between the towns of Órgiva and Cáñar, which have also been impregnated by the hippie movement! You will ride on ancient mule paths following barrancos and the Rio Chico to the main Rio del Guadalfeo for a splash with the horses!  Lunch can be taken on the hillside on the southern slopes of Las Alpujarras  with stunning views of Mount Lujar, part of the Contraviesa mountain range. The afternoon will have you enjoying a valley ride through Orange and Almond groves to your night stop at Cortijo de la Cueva del Pescado above the Rules Lake and dam. An evening meal and the night spent at Cortijo de la Cueva.

Day 3: You will breakfast at the Cortijo de la Cueva del Pescado, after which you will tack up the horses and head out on a day trek to the town of Orgiva. Órgiva is located in the southwestern part of the region of the Alpujarra Granadina, and is the “capital town” of the Alpujarras with nearly 6,000 residents. It is a pretty town with its twin towered Church and cobbled main street. You will have plenty of time to look round the town for souvenirs and artisan products. Following your visit to Orgiva you will ride back to the Cortijo de la Cueva del Pescado, past century old olives groves and through younger olive plantations arriving late afternoon for a dip in the pool (when in season). You will receive an evening meal supplied by your host and hostess.

Day 4: Again you will breakfast at Cortijo de la Cueva, following which you will head out on the Ruta del Pescado mule track towards Lanjaron, after which you will following the Rio Lanjaron river gorge climbing high into the mountains on a 600 year old  cobbled mule track through the Chestnut forests to the waterfalls of  El Tello. Lunch will be enjoyed at high altitude amongst walnut orchards and alpine meadows. A fast pace ride after lunch to take you the Tello ridgeroad mountain track, and from here you will drop back down to the Ranch in the afternoon. Your evening meal and night will be spent in mountain cottages close to the Ranch  (at the Alpujarra Guest House)

Day 5: You will breakfast at the guesthouse, following which you will be transferred to the ranch to collect your horses from where you will trek high into the mountains with plenty of opportunities for canters on the pine forest logging tracks. Your trek will take you through scrubby oak forests to the high mountain pastures of the Sierra Nevada. Continuing you will trek through the pine forests of  Puente Palo (the bridge of the sticks) and then through El Prado de las Liebres (the meadow of the hares). A picnic lunch can be enjoyed in the pine forest before returning to the Ranch via the Mirador de Cañar to the west. You will be transferred to the Alpujarra Guest House where you will again stay and receive your evening meal.

Day 6: Following your breakfast at the guesthouse you will need to collect and pack your belongings which will be transferred with you to the ranch where they will be stored for the day. Today’s trek will be a longer trek with at least 6 hours in the saddle. You will first trek to the white washed high village of Cañar to the East. With a population of less than 300 residents, this tiny town with it´s pretty church of Santa Ana has only has one small supermarket and a few small bars. Stopping at one of these bars for refreshments in the town before climbing high into the Sierra Nevada National Park where you will experience spectacular scenery and views southwards to the Mediterranean coast and (on a clear day) the Atlas mountains of Africa. Upon returning to the ranch you will collect your belongings and be transferred to the local town of Lanjaron where you will have a chance to explore the town and find a restaurant for your evening meal (not included) in the local town. Lanjaron translates as "place of springs" in Arabic (Al-lancharon) It is a spa town famous for its natural abundance of springs. With its old Moorish castle, constructed on the site of a small medieval fortress originally constructed around the 12th-13th century it was dedicated mainly to surveillance, shelter and defense of the population. However, the current remains date back to the 14th century. The town is very lively with fiestas during the summer months and we can keep you informed of all the local fiestas that might be occurring during your visit. There is also a chance to book in at the local spa for spa treatments and massages after your shorter trekking day tomorrow.

Day 7: Breakfast at Farmhouse/Hotel, Lanjaron. You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to the ranch where you will have a shorter morning ride today. You will initially head past goat farms and beehives, riding through the region known as El Pecho, towards the trail of the mud huts. Following this you will make a steep climb on the ancient mule paths on the west side of the Lanjaron river valley before dropping down and back to the ranch. You will then be transfer back to your hotel in the town of Lanjaron for your evening meal (not included) for a swim in the pool and a chance to look around the local town of Lanjaron, and that spa and massage?!!

Day 8: Breakfast and departure.

(Subject to change depending on local circumstances. Occasionally they have snow in winter months, which can mean changes to the normal routes & itineraries, as they then take slightly lower paths.  Named hotels / farms may be changed to equivalent accommodation in the area.)

Preliminary day-by-day program Alpujarra Mini Trail Ride

Day 1:Transfer from Malaga airport to the small spa town of Lanjaron, "gate" to the Alpujarras, where your guide Sarah greets you. It is usually Sarah who leads the rides, but one of her staff may lead the ride if she is unavailable. Dinner will be prepared for you at a simple and beautiful Spanish farmhouse or a popular, local village hotel. Your first night will be spent there.

Day 2:  Breakfast at the guesthouse and then you will be driven to the stables (with your luggage) to meet the horses and your guide. Trekking out today to the impressive Rio del Guadalfeo. This river is born in the Sierra Nevada mountains from rain and snow melt above the town of Bercules and heads out to the mediterranean sea at Salobreña. The 71 km river can be torrential and fast flowing, but in the summer months the flow is slow and the horses enjoy a dip in the river. Trekking out from the ranch you will be passing down through the tiny hippie village of Beneficio. This ´village´ is a sustainable, ecological and self-managed village that was created back in 1992 on small private land between the towns of Órgiva and Cáñar, villages impregnated by the hippie movement. You will ride on ancient mule paths following barrancos  & the Rio Chico  to the main river for a splash. Lunch on the hillside on the Southern slopes of Las Alpujarras  with stunning views of Mount Lujar, part of the Contraviesa mountain range. A valley ride in the afternoon through Orange and Almond groves to Cortijo de la Cueva del Pescado above the Rules lake and dam. Evening meal and the night spent at Cortijo de la Cueva.

Day 3: Breakfast at Cortijo de la Cueva. Head out on the Ruta del Pescado mule track towards Lanjaron. Following the river gorge climbing high into the mountains on a 600 year old cobbled mule track through the Chestnut forests to the waterfalls of  El Tello. Lunch at high altitudes in walnut orchards and alpine meadows. A fast pace ride after lunch to take you the Tello ridgeroad mountain track. Dropping back down to the Ranch in the afternoon. Evening meal and night spent in mountain cottages close to the Ranch.

Day 4: Breakfast at the guesthouse. High mountain trek with plenty of canters on the logging tracks. Through scrubby oak forests to high mountain pastures of the Sierra Nevada. Trekking through the pine forests of  Puente Palo (the bridge of the sticks) and  through El Prado de las Liebres (the meadow of the hares). A picnic lunch to be enjoyed in the pine forest before returning to the Ranch via the Mirador de Cañar to the west. Evening meal at the guesthouse. 

Day 5: Breakfast and departure.

(Subject to change depending on local circumstances. Occasionally they have snow in winter months, which can mean changes to the normal routes & itineraries, as they then take slightly lower paths. Named hotels / farms may be changed to equivalent accommodation in the area.)

Climate

The climate in Andalusia is hot in summer, pleasant in spring and autumn and cool in winter. The temperature can vary from day to day up in the mountains so it is best to ride in layered clothing.

Travel Information

Ability description: Trail ride Level 2-3 >>

Included in the price: Alpujarra Trail Ride: 7 nights, 6 days riding, full board incl. wine with dinner. Alpujarra Mini Trail Ride: 4 nigths, 3 days riding full board incl. wine with dinner.

Not included. Flights, transfers, travel insurance, 2 dinners on Alpujarra Trail Ride, drinks and extras not mentioned.

Travel: Book flight/rental car >>
Fly to Malaga.

Transfer: Book in advance with HorseXplore and pay in cash on spot to the driver.
From airport to equestrian center, about 90 minutes by car. 
Meeting time/place: Usually between 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Outside the arrivalhall by Santamaria bar.
Price: 110 EUR per way / car (max 4 people / car).

Bus: You can also take a bus from Malaga to Granada. For times see www.alsa.es. Transfer from Granada to the riding center takes about 45 minutes and costs 60 EUR / car / one way. If you want you can continue with bus to Lanjaron. 

Departure: Book a flight to go home after 11:00PM on the day of departure.

Single room: Can be booked with a supplement. For price click on ”Book on request” under Dates & prices. If you're willing to share rooms, you will not be charged a single supplement if you are allocated a single room.

Season: All year. 

Arrival / departure:
Weekly program: Arrival on Saturdays afternoon in order to get dinner, departure the following Saturday after breakfast.
Weekend: Arrival on Thursdays afternoon in order to get dinner, departure Mondays after breakfast.
No riding on arrival and departure day.
You can choose another arrival and departure day, just mail us on info@horsexplore.se

Group size: is a minimum of two riders and maximum of 10.

Weight limit: 90 kg

Currency: EUR
Credit card: Not accepted by riding center.
Tipping: Clients often tip the guides at their own descretion. Normally between 20 euros and 50 euros.

Wifi: Free Wi-Fi at the accomodations except at the remote mountain cottages.

Dates and prices

"Book on request" means that we cannot confirm your booking immediately, but we will get back to you as soon as possible with a booking confirmation, normally within 24 hours on weekdays.

DateDaysName of tripPrice from
19/06/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
22/06/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
26/06/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
29/06/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
03/07/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
06/07/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
10/07/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
13/07/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
17/07/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
20/07/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
24/07/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
27/07/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
31/07/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
03/08/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
07/08/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
10/08/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
14/08/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
17/08/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
21/08/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
24/08/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
28/08/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
31/08/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
04/09/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
07/09/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
11/09/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
14/09/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
18/09/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
21/09/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
25/09/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
28/09/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
02/10/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
05/10/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
09/10/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
12/10/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
16/10/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
19/10/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
23/10/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
26/10/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
30/10/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
02/11/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
06/11/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
09/11/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
13/11/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
16/11/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
20/11/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
23/11/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
27/11/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
30/11/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
04/12/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
07/12/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
11/12/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request
14/12/20248Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra Trail RideEUR 1,670Book on request
18/12/20245Spain, Sierra Nevada - Alpujarra MiniTrail RideEUR 865Book on request

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