Spain ~ George Scott Rides, Andalucia
3 and 5 night place to place rides, starting from a traditional farmhouse in the Sierra Morena. Available March to mid-June and mid-September to November for intermediate riders and above.
Where Starting from a traditional farmhouse about one and a half hours drive north of Seville, in southern Spain
What is it like Andalucia is one of Spain's wealthiest areas, with some wonderful country estates and many deep seated traditions that focus on the horse and cattle breeding, both central to the area's rural lifestyle. Around Taramona, where the ride starts, the landscape is of rolling hills, covered with cork and holm oak forest and olive groves. There are some small fields of corn and oats, and a few small vineyards, but little cultivation. This is a very unspoilt and little visited part of Spain and most farms have the traditional livestock, Iberain pigs, Merino sheep and red cattle of southern Spain..
Who does it suit Intermediate to experienced riders, who are interested in the customs, history and 'ambiance' of Andalucia as well as its wonderful horses. Its a way to share the Andalucian lifestyle, riding through the unspoilt Sierra Morena, stopping for leisurely lunches along the way - all an important part of the Andalucian day to day. Sociable, comfortable with super horses that you feel good on!
Why we love it Its hard not to love riding a beautiful, responsive Andalucian horse, enjoying the sunshine, the gentle breeze, and with the sherry and tapas you know is waiting around the corner...! Its true escapism and beautifully done.
Riding: 4-6 hours a day
Horses: Hispano Arab, Anglo-Hispano, Andalucian crosses
Pace: slow to moderate overall
Riding ability: intermediate to experienced riders
Weight limit: 90kg (14st 2lbs)
Accommodation: private farm houses, Indian safari style tented camps
Group size: max 12
Season: mid March to mid June & mid September to mid November
Price: 3 night ride from 2200 Euros (approx £2000) per person. 5 nights also available
Horses: The horses are mainly locally bred Hispano Arab, Anglo-Hispano, Arabs and Andalucian crosses. They average between 15hh and 16hh and are a forward going, responsive and thoroughly enjoyable ride. Tack is Spanish style, with saddles quite similar to an Australian stock saddle and some traditional "vaquero" saddles (high back and pommel). Saddle bags are provided when necessary. Rides are normally for a maximum of 12 guests.
Hours: There is between 4 and 6 hours riding each riding day, with breaks for rests and lunch.
Pace and experience required: To join these rides you should be a reasonably experienced rider who is comfortable, secure and in control on a well schooled horse at a walk, trot and canter in open country and over varied terrain. You should also have a fairly good level of general and riding fitness. The pace on the rides is slow to moderate overall, there are some wide sandy tracks with opportunities for trots and canters.
Accommodation on the rides is in a combination of Andalucian farmhouses, and sometimes Indian style safari tents. The farm houses vary and some are un-restored, very atmospheric but with very few facilities. At the base, Taramona, most rooms have their own bathroom with shower and loo. Safari tents are stylish with block-print linings, proper beds, colourful kelims and a bathroom tent attached. Luggage is transported from accommodation to accommodation by vehicle and a cook travels with the vehilce, preparing breakfast and dinner each day at your accommodation. Lunches are substantial picnics out riding.
3 day trails (Taramona) - Euros 2500
Autumn dates are mid September to December
Average temperature guide
Example itinerary in brief - 3 day trails
|Day 1||You will be met at Seville airport, usually at about 16.00, and driven around an hour and a half to Taramona. Dinner and the night at the Taramona farmhouse.|
||Breakfast, then set off riding though cork oak forest and olive groves, past several haciendas, stopping for a picnic lunch at Pantano del Pintado. Ride back following the ancient cattle trail of Gargantafria, climbing back to Taramona by a different route. Dinner and second night at Taramona|
||Breakfast and after tacking up the horses set off on a beautiful ride heading east. Descend to the Benalija stream which you cross and then stop for lunch. After lunch continue across the valley to an early 1900's cortijo, El Hornillo. The night is spent here - there is no electricity, just oil lamps and candles and it gives an atmospheric glimpse of traditional Andalucan farm life. Dinner cooked on a wood fire and served under the stars.|
||Leaving El Hornillo behind, follow the valley down stream, stopping at a favourite lunch stop beneath a 100 year old Mediterranean oak tree. This is wild country and in the afternoon you climb to a magnificent view point, looking back over all you have ridden over. Arrive back at Taramona in time for tea. Transfer to Seville airport for your onward journey.|
|Contact us at email@example.com or on tel (+44) (0)1837-82544 / 825440 for further information, detailed itineraries, dates and answers to questions.|
The meeting point for the rides is Seville airport (or in central Seville). There are direct flights from London Gatwick to Seville with British Airways. Easy Jet also has direct flights from London Gatwick to Seville but not every day and Ryan Air has flights from London Stansted to Seville, again not daily. Airfares vary with the airline and season but budget around £150 to £250 return.