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Short-break horse riding holidays in Andalucia

Get away from it all ! We offer short break holidays in some of the best horse riding countryside in Europe. They include three full days riding on top quality Spanish horses ...

Your Guide

Guide and trek organiser, Dallas Love

"Dallas is one of those people who has forgotten more about horses than I shall ever know. What a brilliant character. She looked after us so well".

Dallas has been offering riding holidays on top quality Spanish horses in Las Alpujarras for more than 20 years.

She came here from Britain at the age of eight, and has rarely been far from a saddle ever since. Riding since childhood and working with horses all her adult life, she established the first stables in Las Alpujarras and now has more than 20 horses, all of them broken-in, schooled and cared for personally.

She also possesses a great understanding and respect for the ways and customs of these mountains. Few people are better acquainted with its hidden valleys, lost paths and ancient waterways.

Over the years she has gained a wonderful reputation for the quality of her riding holidays. Excellent horses, a lifetime's knowledge of these mountains and her own carefully researched trails - through some of the most beautiful and rewarding riding country in the world - are some of the secrets of her success.

All the rides are accompanied by Dallas personally and as the owner / trainer of the horses she is the ideal person to select the horses for each participant, and to give advice or assistance whenever required.

As Horse and Hound Magazine wrote "her determination to make everything as much fun as possible is only superseded by her love for her horses".

The Horses

The horses

"The horses were of a very high standard and would rate at the top end of the scale compared to other rides we have done".

Most of Dallas' "family" of horses are Andalusian and Andalusian / Arab crosses, ranging from 15 to 16 hands.

Some of the horses are home bred, others came as youngsters, almost all of them stay with Dallas for life. Nearly all have been backed and schooled by Dallas and her brother Mordecai Love, a professional and highly respected dressage trainer. Most of the horses are given a basic training in classical dressage.

Due to the hard and demanding terrain most of Dallas' horses do not start work until they are 6 years old. Until then they are handled, backed and spend most of their time enjoying themselves out on the mountain, free in the herd and only returning to the stables in the evening.

Carefully selected for their intelligence, endurance and good nature (a trait of the Spanish horse), they are fit, happy and strong, they enjoy their work and are a pleasure to ride.

These are not the average riding school or trail horse, but well bred and properly schooled, responsive and fun to ride. One of the most frequent comments from riders is that the quality and schooling of the horses far exceeded their highest expectations. As Dallas says, "I wouldn't have any horse on the ride that I wouldn't enjoy riding myself".

They lead a happy and healthy life, working hard when needed and free to be horses in a herd when not working. Mostly they work one week on, one week off. As a result they enjoy their work and being with people.

There are a selection of horses to suit different riding levels and great care is taken in the selection of horses according to the riding abilities and preferences of each individual. Dallas keeps about 22 horses and each one has its own personality, each special in its own way. Knowing their different characters is an essential part of matching horse to rider.

  • Adra

    Andalusian Mare

    16 Hands

  • Tanque

    Andalusian Gelding

    15.3 Hands

  • Canela

    Andalusian / Arab Mare

    15.1 Hands

  • Laurel

    Andalusian Gelding

    15.3 Hands

  • Longo

    Andalusian Gelding

    16.3 Hands

  • Lucero

    Andalusian Gelding

    16.3 Hands

  • Chiquitín

    Andalusian/Arab Gelding

    14.3 Hands

  • Maximo

    Andalusian Gelding

    16 Hands

  • Monteño (Monty)

    Andalusian/Arab Gelding

    15 Hands

  • Moreno

    Andalusian Gelding

    15.1 Hands

  • Amapola (Polly)

    Andalusian/Anglo Arab Mare

    15.2 Hands

  • Portos

    Andalusian Gelding

    15.3 Hands

  • Red

    Lucitano/Quarterhorse Gelding

    16 Hands

  • Baldomero

    Andalusian Gelding

    14.3 Hands

  • Torrente

    Mountain Cow Pony

    14.3 Hands

  • Valentino

    Andalusian/Lucitano Gelding

    15.3 Hands

  • Tello

    Andalucian Gelding

    15.1 Hands

The Trails

Short-break riding holidays

"I love the photos! So gorgeous, although they really cannot portray the absolute splendor when you visit for a vacation. Makes me really miss Bubion! After all these years, it is still the best vacation I've ever had".

We offer two different Short Break itineraries. One is a centre-based ride (the Poqueira Short Break) where we ride out on three very different day rides, returning each evening to the home base. The second ride (the Sulayr Short Break) offers three full day rides with an overnight away from the home base.

Whichever you choose, you will enjoy four nights accommodation and three full days riding. Average riding time per day is 5/6 hours).

A perfect introduction to the spectacular landscapes of La Alpujarra and the Sierra Nevada National Park, it is also an ideal break away from the pressures of daily life. Here you will ride all day, meeting only the occasional shepherd or farmer. No fences or tarmac roads, just a wonderful sense of freedom and space, one which is rarely found in Europe today.

We will explore many of the more inaccessible ravines and valleys of this beautiful region following ancient bridlepaths and drovers routes, many of which have been in use for a thousand years or more, as well as more recent dirt tracks. From the high summer pastures and streams fed by the snow melt off Mulhacen (Spain's highest mountain) down to the whitewashed villages in the valleys.

As ever, Dallas has chosen a selection of trails which offer an amazing diversity of terrains, views and flora. On each of the three days you are guaranteed a beautiful and inspiring ride.

The Poqueira Ride

The Poqueira ride

A great break. We rode across the most incredible country, including vast almond orchards and acres of wild rosemary and thyme. Each day was different, and our horses were fit, strong, and incredibly sure footed".

During your holiday you will stay for four nights in the comfortable Casa La Sevillana located in the small mountain village of Bubión. Spectacularly situated, quiet and charming, the village boasts some very nice little restaurants and small bars, perfect for a relaxing evening.

An ancient land of pine forests and alpine meadows, wooded valleys and gorges, almond, olive and orange groves, La Alpujarra is the name given to the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Its natural splendour and heritage, harking back to times forgotten, is legendary within Spain.

We follow ancient bridlepaths and valleys where the horse, mule or oxen still pull the plow and thresh the harvest. Each day of the ride we pass through different terrain; from mountain pastures and pine forests to almond and olive groves.

Here is an opportunity not only to discover spectacular landscapes and sceneries, but also a culture where tradition remains very much part of everyday life.

There are plenty of opportunities to canter or gallop, but we do sometimes have to lead the horses on foot as we penetrate the heart of the mountains.

Click to see full details

Ride Details

Poqueira ride (4 days, 3 days riding)

An opportunity not only to discover spectacular landscapes and sceneries, but also a culture where tradition remains very much part of everyday life.

Dates, Prices & Booking

Dates 2014

The Poqueira Short-Break Ride takes place as follows:

  • Saturday 22nd March - Wednesday 26th March
  • Sunday 20th April - Thursday 24th April
  • Saturday 3rd May - Wednesday 7th May
  • Saturday 31st May - Wednesday 4th June
  • Thursday 10th July - Monday 14th July
  • Thursday 16th July - Monday 21st July
  • Thursday 24th July - Monday 28th July
  • Thursday 31st July - Monday 4th August
  • Saturday 20th Sept - Wednesday 24th September
  • Saturday 4th October - Wednesday 8th October
  • Thursday 27th November - Monday 1st December
  • Thursday 11th December - Monday 15th December

For dates and details of the Sulayr Short Break Ride see below

 

Prices

The inclusive price for the Poqueira Short Break Ride is £450 per person.

The (optional) accommodation supplement for single clients wishing to occupy their own room in the hotel is £60. No supplement is required if clients are willing to share.

Prices include:

  • Four nights accommodation in twin-bedded rooms at Casa La Sevillana in Bubión)
  • Breakfast on all four days
  • Lunch on the three riding days
  • Dinner on your arrival evening
  • Horses (3 days riding)
  • Guide
  • Support vehicle
  • All taxes, fees, credit card charges. There are no hidden extras at all

 

Prices do not include:

  • Airfares
  • Personal and Medical Insurance
  • Dinner on the riding days
  • Wines, sprits and refreshments
  • Airport transfers (although these can be arranged for a supplement of 35 euros each way per person payable locally. The collection time should be no later than 4 pm, the return transfer on the day of departure would get into Malaga airport no earlier than 10 am.)

 

 

Booking your holiday

Please email or contact us with the date of the ride(s) you are interested in and how many you are.

We will let you know if there are places available and will hold a place (or places) for you for a couple of days.

We will need to know a brief summary of your riding experience, how long you have been riding, the type of horse you ride, your weight, height and age. Please also specify any dietary requirements.

To confirm the booking we require a deposit of 25% of the inclusive holiday price. Most of our clients prefer to make payment by credit card (we accept VISA and Mastercard).

As soon as we have received your deposit, we will send you a Confirmation of Booking, showing details of your reservation, the amount paid, the balance due for payment and when it is due (eight weeks before the commencement of your holiday).

The Itinerary

Day 1 :

The majority of our short-break clients hire a car from Málaga airport and make their own way to Bubión (it's a two hour drive).

If you prefer, we can arrange to collect you from Malaga airport at a pre-arranged time for a supplement on the price (35 euros each way, payable locally) and driven to the village of Bubion.

In Bubion you will be staying (for four nights) in the comfortable Casa La Sevillana. Your host (Dallas Love) will meet you at 8.30pm and take you (and your companion riders) for dinner in one of the local restaurants, a short walk away from your accommodation.

 

Day 2 :

After a relaxed breakfast, we head up to the stables to meet the horses and set off for the first and possibly the most varied of our rides.

We follow ancient Moorish irrigation channels (more than 1,000 years old), bridle paths through old terraced farms and orchards, and up through holm oaks and pasture lands to the more recent dirt tracks through the pine woods (here there are some good canter opportunities).

Picnic lunch at the tree line (approximately 2,400 meters), spectacular views down the Barranco Habali, across the Contraviesa mountains to the Mediterranean and on to Morocco.

Descending on one of the firebreaks we pass the remains of trenches and gun placements from the Civil War (1936-1939), and down through oak woods to the main forestry track leading back to the stables.

Overnight at Casa La Sevillana. Dinner is not included on this evening so you have a free hand to choose a local restaurant of your choice.

 

Day 3 :

Riding at a lower elevation (between 1,300 and 1,800 meters) we follow a combination of forestry tracks and bridle paths through pine, oak and chestnut woods. During the course of the morning in addition to the woodlands we pass through pretty terraced farms and orchards above the villages of Pitres and Portugos

After lunch we return to the stables on one of the main forestry tracks offering opportunities for some good canters.

Overnight at Casa La Sevillana. Dinner is not included on this evening so you have a free hand to choose a local restaurant of your choice.

 

Day 4 :

Today, the highest ride of your stay takes you to the base of the Mulhacen (at 3,486 metres the highest mountain in mainland Spain).

During the morning wec take a steep ascent on old Moorish bridle paths and sheep tracks over rough and steep terrain, crossing Moorish irrigation channels and snow fed streams. There may be places you have to dismount and lead your horse.

After a picnic lunch by one of the mountain streams we have a much gentler descent on dirt roads down through pine woods, finally joining a small path leading through the woods and down to the stables.

Because today is largely climbing there are no canters but the scenery and the paths are breathtaking.

Farewell drink with your guides. Dinner is not included on this evening so you have a free hand to choose a local restaurant of your choice. Overnight at Casa La Sevillana

 

Day 5 :

After breakfast, for those who have arranged transfers, we return you to Málaga airport for your homebound flight.

 

Notes :

The stables are situated at an altitude of 1,650 meters and the trails we follow range between 1,300 and 2,500 meters elevation. At these altitudes the weather can at times be unreliable, so we may have to be flexible with the routes chosen for each day.

As with all our rides you need to have a reasonable level of fitness and there are places you will need to lead your horse. It is necessary to be comfortable at all paces.

Click to close details

The Sulayr Ride

The Sulayr ride

"It's always amazing riding here. I have found nothing else like it in my travels. A fantastic combination of adventure, companionship and fun".

Due to popular demand we are offering a new three day short-break itinerary with a days ride through the stunning valley Poqueira followed by an overnight stay away from the home base.

For your first two and your last night you will stay in the comfortable Casa La Sevillana located in the small mountain village of Bubión. Spectacularly situated, quiet and charming, the village boasts some very nice little restaurants and small bars, perfect for a relaxing evening.

The third night is spent in Trevélez, the highest village in Spain and famous for its cured hams and river trout. Luggage transfers are arranged.

A little more expensive than the Poqueira Short Break holiday, it also includes dinners on two evenings (not just on the first night as on the Poqueira Ride) as well as breakfasts and lunches.

A perfect introduction to the spectacular landscapes of La Alpujarra and the Sierra Nevada National Park, it is also an ideal break away from the pressures of daily life.

On the final day's ride we follow the Sulayr path (which translates as "mountain in the sun") through oak woods and open pasture lands high above the Trevélez. Views are stunning, over the Mediterranean, the valley of Trevélez and the foothills of the Contraviesa.

Click to see full details

Ride Details

Sulayr ride (4 days, 3 days riding)

A perfect introduction to the spectacular landscapes of La Alpujarra and the Sierra Nevada, it is also an ideal break away from the pressures of daily life.

Dates, Prices & Booking

Dates 2014

The Sulayr Short-Break Ride takes place as follows:

  • Saturday 22nd March - Wednesday 26th March
  • Sunday 20th April - Thursday 24th April
  • Saturday 3rd May - Wednesday 7th May
  • Saturday 31st May - Wednesday 4th June
  • Thursday 10th July - Monday 14th July
  • Thursday 16th July - Monday 21st July
  • Thursday 24th July - Monday 28th July
  • Thursday 31st July - Monday 4th August
  • Saturday 20th Sept - Wednesday 24th September
  • Saturday 4th October - Wednesday 8th October
  • Thursday 27th November - Monday 1st December
  • Thursday 11th December - Monday 15th December

For dates and details of the Poqueira Short Break Ride see above

 

Prices

The inclusive price for the Sulayr Short Break Ride is £550 per person.

The (optional) accommodation supplement for single clients wishing to occupy their own room in the hotel is £60. No supplement is required if clients are willing to share.

Prices include:

  • Four nights accommodation in twin-bedded rooms (3 nights at Casa La Sevillana in Bubión; 1 night in La Fragua in Trevélez)
  • Breakfast on all four days
  • Lunch on the three riding days
  • Dinner on two evenings
  • Horses (3 days riding)
  • Guide
  • Luggage transfers
  • Support vehicle
  • All taxes, fees, credit card charges. There are no hidden extras at all

 

Prices do not include:

  • Airfares
  • Personal and Medical Insurance
  • Dinner on two evenings
  • Wines, sprits and refreshments
  • Airport transfers (although these can be arranged for a supplement of 35 euros each way per person payable locally. The collection time should be no later than 4 pm, the return transfer on the day of departure would get into Malaga airport no earlier than 10 am.)

 

 

Booking your holiday

Please email or contact us with the date of the ride(s) you are interested in and how many you are.

We will let you know if there are places available and will hold a place (or places) for you for a couple of days.

We will need to know a brief summary of your riding experience, how long you have been riding, the type of horse you ride, your weight, height and age. Please also specify any dietary requirements.

To confirm the booking we require a deposit of 25% of the inclusive holiday price. Most of our clients prefer to make payment by credit card (we accept VISA and Mastercard).

As soon as we have received your deposit, we will send you a Confirmation of Booking, showing details of your reservation, the amount paid, the balance due for payment and when it is due (eight weeks before the commencement of your holiday).

The Itinerary

Day 1 :

The majority of our short-break clients hire a car from Málaga airport and make their own way to Bubión (it's a two hour drive).

If you prefer, we can arrange to collect you from Malaga airport at a pre-arranged time for a supplement on the price (35 euros each way, payable locally) and driven to the village of Bubion.

In Bubion you will be staying (for four nights) in the comfortable Casa La Sevillana. Your host (Dallas Love) will meet you at 8.30pm and take you (and your companion riders) for dinner in one of the local restaurants, a short walk away from your accommodation.

 

Day 2 :

After breakfast you will be driven the five kilometers up to the stables, where you will meet the horses.

The ride will vary slightly depending on the weather and the time of year. We will ride an average of 6 hours following the acequias (ancient Moorish irrigation channels), old bridle paths and tracks through the beautiful Poqueira Valley to the base of the Mulhacen, at 3,486 meters the highest mountain on the Spanish mainland.

A full picnic lunch en-route. Return to Bubión for your second night. Dinner is not included on this evening so you have a free hand to select a local restaurant of your choice.

 

Day 3 :

Today we ride to the whitewashed village of Trevélez, the highest village in Spain and famous for its air cured hams. 5 / 6 hours riding, approximately 28 kilometers.

During the morning the old bridle paths wind their way through chestnut woods, orchards and terraces above the seven villages of La Tahá.

After a picnic lunch we join the main forestry track through the pine woods where there are opportunities for some nice canters.

The final descent into the village is on a narrow path and it is necessary to lead the horses for 15 minutes. Trevélez still has cattle and sheep and the cattlemen and their horses heading out to the hills is a common sight in the early morning and late evening.

We overnight in the comfortable rural hotel La Fragua situated in the old quarter of the village. Dinner at a local restaurant.

 

Day 4 :

Returning to Bubion (6 hours riding, approximately 25 kilometers) we follow the forestry track and then the Sulayr path through oak woods and open pasture lands high above the village.

Picnic at 2,300 meters with stunning views over the Mediterranean, the valley of Trevelez and the foothills of the Contraviesa.

During the afternoon we leave the open pasturelands behind and follow the path descending through pine woods to the stables.

Farewell drink with your guides in Bubión and overnight at Casa La Sevillana. Dinner is not included on this evening so you have a free hand to choose a local restaurant of your choice.

 

Day 5 :

After breakfast, for those who have arranged transfers, we return you to Málaga airport for your homebound flight.

 

Notes :

The stables are situated at an altitude of 1,650 meters and the trails we follow range between 1,300 and 2,500 meters elevation. At these altitudes the weather can at times be unreliable, so we may have to be flexible with the routes chosen for each day.

As with all our rides you need to have a reasonable level of fitness and there are places you will need to lead your horse. It is necessary to be comfortable at all paces.

Click to close details

Client Comments

More client comments

Here are just a few more kind words from clients. There are many others we could have chosen from ...

"If you want to ride a wonderfully well mannered horse through some simply stunning mountains then this is the trip for you. The mountains of the Sierra Nevada are magnificent and the whole experience is one of fun, beauty and enjoyment. I would not hesitate in recommending this ride".

"No amount of website surfing compares with the real experience of riding through the mountains with Dallas. Rock-steady and confident horses, amazing scenery, wonderful accommodations ... Dallas' knowledge of the area. The white villages of southern Spain are magical, the variety of track and vista made every day different from the last. Thanks and thanks again, Dallas!"

"The scenery was spectacular and we saw some wonderful sights. You obviously have a very wide knowledge of the areas we were passing through which showed, as did your attention to detail and regard to safety.

Chiquitine's was a lovely little horse, full of character. All the horses were obviously well cared for and much loved.

The food was plentiful and delicious and the evening meals substantial - just what was needed after a day in the saddle.

All the accommodation was of a good standard and always clean. We all got along well together as a group and had some great laughs at the end of each day".

Useful Information

Useful Information

"Having ridden with Dallas before, it was a joy to be back riding her excellent, well schooled and happy horses. Fantastic picnics each day, excellent evening meals and the efforts Dallas went to in accomodating my dietary restrictions were really appreciated. The accomodation is full or character, comfortable and we were made to feel very welcome."

Location

The stables are situated in the spectacular valley Poqueira, above the picturesque villages of Pampaneira, Bubion and Capileira. At 1.650 meters they are possibly the highest stables in Europe.

Just over an hours drive to the coast, an hour and 15 minutes to Granada and a little over 2 hours from Malaga.

 

How do I get there ?

Most clients fly in to Málaga airport, approximately two and a half hours drive from the village of Bubión. Guests arrange their own flights.

See our Airlines and Flights page for airlines travelling to Málaga from the UK.

The majority of our short-break clients hire a car from Málaga airport and make their own way to Bubión (it's a two hour drive).

If you prefer, we can arrange to collect you from Malaga airport at a pre-arranged time for a supplement on the price (35 euros each way, payable locally) and driven to the village of Bubion. The collection time should be no later than 4 pm, the return transfer on the day of departure would get into Malaga airport no earlier than 10 am.

 

Where do we stay ?

We stay in small, family-run hotels and hostals, in twin-bedded rooms with en-suite bathrooms. They are small, usually with no more than twelve rooms, comfortable, clean, pleasant and friendly.

Every effort is made to ensure the best accommodation available, but please bear in mind that you will be staying in rural hotels in quite remote, mountain village locations. Services offered are reasonably simple: you should not expect porters, elevators or air conditioning, for example.

 

Meals

Andalucía has many wonderful delicacies and La Alpujarra is particularly famous for its air-cured hams, cheeses, trout and mountain honey. A special effort is made to enable the visitor to sample the different local dishes.

Lunch on the short break holidays is a picnic (always in a beautiful spot). Vegetarian (or other dietary requirements) can usually be catered for. Please specify if you have any special dietary requirements.

 

The Weather

There is every reason to expect the delightful Andalusian sun to shine during your holiday. However, there may be showers during spring and autumn. Temperatures range from 10ºC to 15ºC degrees in early March to 30ºC or 35ºC degrees in July and August.

Riding Ability

These rides are suitable for competent to experienced riders. You should be able to control a horse outside at all paces and be able to mount and dismount without assistance.

You will also need to be reasonably fit as you will be required to lead your horse on some of the steep descents, and will need to be comfortable walking on rough ground.

When booking it is important to specify your riding level and experience, age, height and weight.

 

What do I bring with me ?

Due to the high altitude the sun is strong and it is essential to have sun protection, dark glasses, long-sleeved shirts and a hat. In the evening, even during summer, the temperature drops and a light sweater or jacket is required.

It is a condition of booking that you accept that the guide is entitled to require you to dismount or to refuse to allow you to ride if, for any reason, such as ability, behaviour or health, she consideres that you may endanger the safety or welfare of the horses or any person.

Before late May and from early September bring warm clothing and light waterproofs.

Recommended items to bring include:

  • comfortable riding trousers
  • riding boots with a rubber sole (suitable for walking where necessary)
  • long-sleeved shirts (with collar)
  • rainproofs
  • jumper or jacket
  • gloves
  • full or half chaps
  • hat (a hard hat is recommended)
  • sun glasses (and a strap to hold them on securely)
  • sun screen and a water bottle

 

Insurance

All riders must take out holiday and accident insurance prior to commencing the ride.

Spain has a National Health Service and it is highly recommended that participants from other European Union countries obtain a European Health Card (this replaces the form E111 in the UK) from their local post office which will entitle them to free medical service while in Spain. Without this clients may be requested to pay in full for any medical treatment received in Spain.

Whilst every care is taken to ensure the safety of participants and their effects, neither Rustic Blue nor the trek organiser can accept responsibility for loss of personal belongings or injury.

Horse riding, Las Alpujarras

Find Out More

Find out more

About the beautiful countryside and little villages where you are based.

Las Alpujarras

Between the highest mountains in Spain and the Mediterranean Sea, Las Alpujarras is one of the most enchanting and beautiful regions in the world, a joyous land of sunshine, snowy mountains and some of the most splendid scenery imaginable …

Bubion

If you enjoy high mountain peace and beauty, the little Moorish village of Bubión is the place to be.

Sitting proudly in the midst of the incredibly beautiful Poqueira Ravine at 1.350 m, all around is glorious nature, views are far, wide and very handsome …

Capileira

Spectacular from afar - a white crown on the great Poqueira Ravine - its architecture characterised by years of Moorish occupation, Capileira today is a pretty, friendly place, popular with visitors seeking remote beauty coupled with good facilities …

More horseriding photos

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