Spain ~ Sierra Nevada

4, 5 and 7 nights, riding between village guesthouses and hotels, available March to November. For fit, confident novice riders and above.

Where Exploring the foothills of Andalucia's Sierra Nevada mountains, about an hour south east of Granada in southern Spain.

What is it like Sun-parched hills hide small whitewashed villages, blossoming almond orchards, ancient olive groves and tiny terraced farms where horses, mules and oxen are still used to plough the fields and where life goes on in the same unhurried way that it has for centuries. The winding cobbled streets of the villages are decorated with colourful awnings of bougainvillea, Moorish waterways feed ancient water troughs which provide a welcome drink for the horses and there is miles of open space, with views stretching to north Africa.

Who does it suit Anyone who wants a challenging ride that is not a race; a well-schooled responsive horse that they'll love to ride and a chance to see a part of Spain that's probably not what they thought it was. In spring and autumn the Contraviesa Ride goes from village to village following a route through the lower foothills of the Contraviesa range. In mid-summer, the Alpujarra Ride follows a similar route but ventures higher into the mountains and the Buena Vista Ride goes higher still, crossing right over the mountain range. All are a proper 'journey' through the hills. Nights are in village hotels and guesthouses, for a good night's rest after an active day out (one night mountain refuge on Buena Vista ride). Shorter breaks are also offered throughout the season and are perfect for a quick getaway.

Why we love it Its always hard to believe this part of Spain is so rural and untouched yet only an hour or so from the busy coast. Dallas's horses are a treat to ride, laid back yet full of energy as they power up the hills and the routine of a morning's work out, a picnic in the mountain air, a snooze in the shade and an afternoon riding home for sundown is a real tonic.  

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Riding: 6 hours a day

Horses: Andalucian and Spanish Purebred cross

Pace: moderate, can be slow in places due to rugged, hilly terrain but chances to canter most days

Riding ability: confident novice to experienced riders

Weight limit: about 90kgs (14st 2lbs) but please call to discuss if your weight is close to this

Accommodation: 2* and 3* local hotels

Group size: max 8

Season: March to November

Price: 7 night trails from 1850 Euros (approx £1610) per person


Horses: The horses are mostly Andalucian and Spanish Purebred crosses of between 15hh and 16hh. They are of medium build and all have been carefully selected for their endurance and good nature and schooled personally by your English guide. They are a real delight to ride, being extremely responsive, forward going and well mannered. All are very sure footed and cope easily with the varied, and sometimes steep, difficult terrain. Tack is similar to English style wiith saddle-bags provided and seat-savers if required. Rides are normally limited to 10 guests.

Hours: There is usually about 6 hours riding on full days, moving from village to village, with stops for rests and lunch.

Pace and experience required: To take part in these rides you should have a reasonable amount of previous riding experience and a fairly good level of general and riding fitness. You should be secure, comfortable and in control on a well schooled horse at the walk, trot and canter and used to riding in open country. The horses are a well schooled, very enjoyable and forward going ride for experienced riders. There are also well mannered, steady horses that are suitable for the fit, but less experienced rider. The terrain in the area is rugged and there will be some steep ascents and descents and some narrow trails to negotiate along the route. This means the riding can be at a slow pace, although there are opportunities to canter on forest tracks or dry river beds most days.


Accommodation on the rides is in small village hostels ("Posadas") and comfortable local hotels. The hotels vary in size and style; all are quite simple and rooms are generally fairly small, but they are clean and comfortable, and all rooms have a small en suite loo and shower or bath with plenty of hot running water available. Your luggage is transported from hotel to hotel by vehicle. Rooms are twin bedded and if you are booking alone a small single supplement is payable for a single room. Breakfast and dinner each day will be eaten at the hotels (except on 3 evenings on the short breaks where you are free to choose your own restaurants for dinner). Lunches are usually picnics out riding.


Rates 2023

Contraviesa Ride (7 nights) - Euros 1850
single supplement - 200 Euros
Alpujarra Ride (7 nights) - Euros 1850
single supplement - 200 Euros
Buena Vista Ride (7 nights) - Euros 1940
single supplement - 175 Euros
Alpujarra Short Break (5 nights) - Euros 1315
single supplement - 150 Euros

Rates include
- all riding, 7 or 5 nights twin accommodation, meals and transfers from Malaga to the start of the ride and back at set times with the group.
Rates above exclude - international flights, personal medical insurance (compulsory), your bar bill, any visa fees and any tips.

Short Breaks - Poqueira Ride (4 nights) - Euros 770
single supplement - 75 Euros
Sulayr itinerary, semi progressive short break - Euros 925
single supplement - 150 Euros

Rates include - 3 full days riding, 4 nights twin hotel accommodation, breakfast and lunch each day and dinner on the first and last nights.
Rates exclude - international flights, transfers to / from Bubion (transfers from Malaga can be arranged at 55 euros each way per person payable locally), dinner on days 2 & 3, personal medical insurance (compulsory), your bar bill, any visa fees and any tips.

Prices are quoted in Euros. Payments to us can of course be made in pounds sterling if you wish and we can give you a sterling rate at the time of booking.

Dates 2023         

Contraviesa Ride (7 nights)
28th October to 4th November 2023
11th to 18th November 2023
25th November to 2nd December 2023

Alpujarra Ride (7 nights)
20th to 27th August 2023
23rd to 30th September 2023
14th to 21st October 2023

Buena Vista Ride (7 nights)
2024 dates TBC

Alpujarra Short Break (5 nights)
2nd to 7th September 2023
9th to 14th September 2023
7th to 12th October 2023

Poqueira & Sulayr Short Breaks
(4 nights)

5th to 9th August 2023
17th to 21st September 2023
1st to 5th October 2023
22nd to 26th October 2023
19th to 23rd Novmeber 2023
10th to 14th December 2023

 Average temperature guide


Itinerary in brief - Contraviesa Ride. Please enquire for other itineraries.

Day 1 You will be met in Malaga usually at about 17.00 and driven to Bubion, a village in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Dinner and overnight in a village hotel.
Day 2
Driven a short way to the stables to meet the horses. The ride today takes you high into the sierra, to the base of Mulhacen, the highst peak. A picnic with tremendous views and then ride back to Bubion for dinner and the night.
Day 3
Set off riding following mule tracks through open country and woodland then broad forest tracks to reach Trevelez, the highest village in Spain. Dinner and night in Trevelez.
Day 4
Breakfast and ride on through oak forest and out onto open pastures with wonderful views of the Contraviesa range. Continue to the village of Berchules where you will stop for the night. Dinner and night in a hotel in Berchules.
Day 5
Set off after breakfast riding a circular route through the Contraviesa foothills. A picnic lunch by a stream and in the afternoon opportunities for some faster pace riding in the dry riverbeds. Return to Berchules for dinner and night.
Day 6
Today's ride is a little shorter, around 5 hours, following the Cadiar river, then through orchards and then vineyards, climbing to around 1500 meters. A picnic lunch in the almond groves with wonderful views of the high peaks. In the afternoon ride on to the lovely Morayma Hotel where the night is spent.  
Day 7
Breakfast and set off following dirt tracks and mule paths, crossing a deep ravine and continuing to Portugos where you stop for lunch. Then follow forest tracks back to the stables at Capileira. Dinner and the night at a hotel in Bubion.
Day 8
Breakfast then a return transfer to Malaga to arrive late morning.
  Contact us at 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 Malaga and transfers from/to Malaga at set times on the first and last days are included for the 7 night and 5 night programs. For Short Break rides transfers from Malaga can also be arranged and will be billed locally, approx 55 euros per person each way at set times. British Airways, Iberia, Easy Jet and several other airlines have direct flights to Malaga from London. For flights to Malaga from London budget around £150 to £250 economy return (seasonal and depends on the airline).

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