Spain ~ Seville
This ride starts from a ‘Cortijo’ or Andalucian country house to the southwest of Seville, without doubt one of Spain's most beautiful cities. It follows routes used by mounted pilgrims on their way to El Rocío, Spain’s International village of the horse and site in May each year, of a fantastic mounted pilgrimage in honour of the Virgin Mary. This is a unique opportunity to visit some of the regions traditional country houses, to learn the customs of Andalucia and to ride through the environs of the famous Doñana National Park where forests of pine and cork oak, sand dunes and marshland provide a winter home to an array of migratory birds. A truly wonderful way to enjoy the kingdom of the Andalucian horse.
Rides are run between October and April for 4 or 7 nights.
Riding: 4-6 hours a day.
Horses: Hispano Arab, Anglo-Hispano, Andalucian crosses.
Pace: moderate overall.
Riding ability: intermediate to experienced riders.
Weight limit: 90kg (14st 2lbs).
Accommodation: private 'cortijos', 3* village hotels, 4* Parador.
Group size: max 12
Season: February to November
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. Many have been bred by your host, several competing in dressage and eventing. Tack is English style with sheepskin saddle covers available if required and saddle bags provided when necessary. Rides are normally for a maximum of 10, sometimes 12 guests.
Hours: There is between 4 and 6 hours riding a day riding, 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 moderate overall, there are wide sandy tracks with opportunities for energetic trots and canters.
Accommodation on the rides is in a combination of private Cortijos (Andalucian farmhouses) and a comfortable hotels in El Rocio. All are clean, comfortable and chosen as far as possible for their character. Rooms have private en suite bathroom with shower or bath and loo. Rooms are mostly twin bedded although single rooms can be arranged at a supplement. Your luggage is transported from accommodation to accommodation by vehicle. Breakfast and dinner each day will be eaten at the cortijos / hotel. Lunches are usually picnics out riding.
Seville, Trails of Andalucia (7 nights) - Euros 2950
Seville, Trails of Andalucia
Itinerary in brief - Seville, Trails of Andalucia
|Day 1||You will be met at Seville train station, usually at about 16.00, and driven around 30 minutes to Cortijo La Corbera. Dinner and the night at the Cortijo.|
||Breakfast, then set off riding though farmland, past several haciendas, stopping for a picnic lunch. Ride back to La Corbera by a different route and in the evening perhaps time to visit a famous Andalucian stud. Dinner and second night at La Corbera.|
||A short drive to the 16th C Hacienda Torrequemada where the ride starts. Ride through olive groves and pine forest and into the boundaries of the Donana National Park. The night is spent at the Ardea Purpurea (the Purple Heron), a beautiful cortijo inside the park.|
||Breakfast and follow the sandy tracks through holm and cork oak forest. Picnic lunch close to the Palacio del Rey, a royal hunting lodge, then ride on to El Rocio, Spain's International village of the horse. Dinner and night at a hotel in El Rocio.|
||A half day ride in the morning, along the waterway than runs through El Rocio to the marshlands. There are many species of birds and you may spot deer and perhaps the wild black pigs.Dinner and second night in El Rocio.|
||Breakfast and set off riding again, following the "Camino de Moguer" which runs alongside the waterway of La Rocina which feeds the marchlands on Donana. Stop for lunch near the lagoon of Rivatehilos then in the afternoon ride to the abandoned village Cabezudos Here the horses stay the night and you are driven the the Parador of Mazagon which overlooks a wonderful beach and the Atlantic. Dinner and the night at hte Parador de Mazagon.|
||Ride to the little known western part of Donana, through pine forests and wild shrubs. Stop for an aperitif by the Laguna de la Piedras and then a picnic lunch on the dunes overlooking the Atlantic ocean. The afternoon ride is through the dunes and then along the beach, with some exhilarating canters. Farewell dinner and the night at the Parador de Mazagon.|
||Breakfast and then transfer back to Seville for your onward journey, arriving about 12 noon.|
|Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 train station. There are direct flights from London Gatwick to Seville with British Airways.
Easy Jet has direct flights from London Gatwick to Seville but not every day, Ryan Air have flights from London Stansted to Seville, again not daily.
Fares vary with the airline and season but budget around £150 to £250 return.