The equine is weaved like a gold thread through Spain’s history and is the cornerstone of the nation’s identity. It embodies the culture, life and passion; it is the music from their guitars, the wine in their goblets, the sunshine on the hills, the blood spilled in the bullring. The Spanish horse is one of the jewels of the equine race. Enthusiastic testimonies to the qualities of the breed abound dating back to the sixteenth century. French King Henri III wrote: ‘I put the true Spanish horse in first place, giving it my vote as the most beautiful, the most noble, the most graceful, the most courageous and the most worthy of King.’
This EXCLUSIVE riding program has been thoughtfully compiled by local hosts, Giles and Miranda, and takes in the very best of Andalusia. It’s here in the south of Spain, in the region of Andalusia, where the scent of orange blossom is pungent and white villages perch precariously on mountain-sides, that you’ll get to ride the famed Spanish horse (P.R.E – Pura Raza Española – Andalusian). These horses are renowned for their placid and even temperament, strongly built yet elegant with a thick crested neck, flowing mane and tail.
Through pricked ears, you’ll ride, drink, eat and dance through Andalusia where your knowledgeable guides will take you to local haunts not privy to the normal tourist. The itinerary highlights are endless – from tapas in the old town of Málaga, to riding to a Spanish bar in Coín, to free-flowing canters through paddocks sprinkled in wild herbs. This ride is NOT only about the fine horse flesh and the epic riding adventures but the off-the- horse cultural excursions that Giles and Miranda will take you on.
- Horse Breed:Spanish Horses (Pura Raza Española or P.R.E.) and Hispano Arabs (Spanish horse x Arab)
- Pace:The pace varies on a daily basis from a walk right through to a fast canter whenever the terrain is suitable. There will be plenty of opportunity to trot in between.
- Weight Limit:Maximum of 85kg / 187lbs. This is a very strict weight limit!
- Type of tack:Barefoot treeless saddles
- Seasons:May through to December
- Group size:Minimum of 4 and a maximum of 6 guests
- Time in Saddle:On average 4 hours per day
- Riding Ability:This ride is suitable for intermediate to experienced riders only. This means you need to have an independent seat and you can competently ride a forward going horse over varied terrain in walk, trot and (fast) canter.
- Accommodation:Twin share spacious accommodation in beautifully converted 300-year old marble mill. The shared facilities include an outdoor terrace, swimming pool and a communal dining room where you’ll enjoy the traditional Spanish fare. Not only that, you’ll be within walking distance from the centre of town (Coin), so when you’re not in the saddle, you can sit idle in a cafe and soak up the culture or explore the boutique shops.
- Ride Length:8 days, 7 nights with 5 days riding and a rest day in between where you’ll take part in a local cultural excursion with your hosts, Giles and Miranda.
- Inclusions:The price includes round trip transfers to/from Malaga Airport on the first and last days of the itinerary; private room accommodation for solo travellers; all meals/drinks (beer, wine & soft drinks at dinner); internal transfers; and entrance tickets to sights.
- Exclusions:The price does not include international or regional flights; travel insurance; alcohol at bars/restaurants; and accommodation/meals outside the itinerary.
DEPARTURE DATES & RATES
**EARLY BIRD SPECIAL** Book on a 2020 departure and pay your deposit BEFORE June 30, 2019 and you can take advantage of the 2019 ride rates!
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price includes round trip transfers to/from Malaga Airport on the first and last day of the itinerary; private room accommodation for solo travellers; all meals/drinks (beer, wine & soft drinks at dinner); internal transfers; and entrance tickets to sights.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price does not include international or regional flights; travel insurance; alcohol at bars/restaurants; and accommodation/meals outside the itinerary.
Accepted payment is by credit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all credit card payments.
Why is the price quoted in EUR?
With our riding destinations, the currency is dictated by our ride partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.
ItineraryExpand AllCollapse All
*Please note, this is a suggested itinerary only and subject to change at the discretion of your guides due to weather and other influencing factors.
Meet & greet at Málaga airport with your enthusiastic hosts and guides – Giles and Miranda – where you’ll take the train to Málaga city centre, and enjoy a 3.5 hour tapas tour through the beautiful city of Málaga – a type of “restaurant hopping” very common in the everyday life of locals. You’ll savour a great variety of creative, surprising and delicious tapas in many different prestigious establishments as you eat your way through Málaga’s old town! Artisans, grocers, and chefs will share their personal stories and their passion for food.
Afterwards you will be transferred to Coín and your new home -Molino de Saladilla, where your accommodation and horses await you. In the evening, a light meal and drink will be offered by the fire place.
After a good breakfast (cereals, fruit, yogurts, breads, cold meats, cheese, marmalade, coffee, tea and juice) you will be introduced to your hosts’ pride and joy: the HORSES. Each rider will be matched with the horse most suitable for their ability, weight and height and after a short assessment in the arena/paddock, you’ll be off on the first ride.
Today your globetrotting posse will cruise through valleys and follow the local rivers “Pereila” and “Río Grande”, where you’ll encounter plenty of bird life. Depending on the time of year, you may see small groups of Black Stork (flying in from Eastern Europe to pass the winter in this region) and other inland water birds (such as Egrets, Herons and Black-winged Stilts). There will be gentle trots and canters wherever the terrain allows. This is when you’ll fall head over heels in love with your Spanish horse. You’ll marvel at the sure-footedness of the horses as they manoeuvre over rocky riverbeds and are always ready to turn on the engine when asked!
Upon return there will be a light lunch with drinks after which you have time to take a nice hot shower and enjoy some time to relax before dinner, which will be served in the evening at approximately 7pm.
Breakfast in the morning after which you are about to have another unique Spanish experience. Today you’ll be crossing the town of Coín – you’ll ride through the high street and climb up towards the southside of the town and into a forest area called “El Nacimiento”, which literally means “birth”. In this case it’s the birthplace of natural springs as this area holds an underground aquifer with natural spring water, a very important source of local water supply. You’ll encounter many wild herbs in the forest, such as rosemary, thyme and sage which, together with the pine trees, offers a wonderful blend of fragrance as you ride the horses through them. The terrain is rocky at times but there will still be plenty of opportunities for trots and canters. On the way back, you’ll do as the locals do and will stop for a drink at a local bar before returning home.
After breakfast you’ll follow a quiet country lane for a while before exploring an area towards the north-west from Molino de Saladilla. You’ll descend down towards the Rio Grande where the horses are offered a drink before crossing over and into some stunning open countryside ‘La Jarra.’ From this vantage point, the views will astound you and you’ll gain a new appreciation as to why visitors are in awe of the beauty of Andalucía. After another exhilarating canter, you’ll enjoy a fabulous 360 degree view of the ‘La Jarra valley’ overlooking quaint coastal regions and the white village of Alozaina with the “Sierra de las Nieves” as a stunning back drop.
Today is a rest day for the horses but don’t worry, your hosts have a full cultural agenda planned. After breakfast you’ll be driven to the beautiful local lake district ‘El Chorro’ and Ardales National Park where you’ll explore one of the most famed walks in the world – ‘El Caminito del Rey’ (Walk of Kings). This used to be one of the most dangerous hikes in the world as the paths became nearly impassable after many years of disusage – the original pathway was built in 1805 in order to connect two waterfall locations for a hydro-electrical company. It was called the ‘Walk of Kings’ after King Alfonso XIII walked over it in 1921 as he officially opened the “Guadalhorce Reservoir” (main drinking water source in the area). The area has Roman and Miocene history and is of great geographic importance as it boasts Jurassic limestone formations and dolomite as well as Miocene sediments. This incredible walk is not very demanding, but hugely spectacular as you’ll walk along a deep gorge of 300m depth at times (don’t worry, safety standards are set very high!) and you’ll feel like you are up there with the eagles and vultures (who will be circling above you), whilst below the crystal clear water is flowing – an experience not to be missed! A packed lunch can be enjoyed whilst sitting on the water edge of the reservoir taking in the beauty of your surroundings. Evening meal back at Molino de Saladilla.
This morning you’ll be taking in Coín’s beautiful countryside once again. Today you’ll be in the saddle for four-hours and will head east towards the Guadalhorce Valley to an area called ‘la Carreta’. You’ll initially be riding over a plateau dotted in Spanish country residences, and will enjoy long trots and changing vistas before descending towards Rio Pereila and following lower tracks to return back to Coin.
Today is the last day in the saddle (boo hoo!) but rest assured you’ll be ending with a BANG! Your tight-knit globetrotting group will be crossing the Pereila and Rio Grande rivers, riding past small holdings, orchards plump with citrus, avocados, pecan nuts and olive trees. The honey-comb, farmland is great for long, loping canters before you start climbing to reveal exceptional views, before crossing the Rio Grande towards home. After lunch at home, you’ll be taken to a local equestrian family where you’ll be offered a private presentation of Spanish horsemanship with beautiful highly trained Spanish stallions. Be prepared to see some magnificent horses, trained in a quiet manner to a very high standard. The family lives and breathes horses and have earned great respect nationwide and even across the borders. Farewell dinner in the evening.
After breakfast you’ll be transferred back to Málaga airport.
Guests should be ready for pick up from Málaga Airport no later than 10am on the morning of day one. If the flight times are too tight, we recommend staying in Málaga the night before so you’re ready for collection on day one. We can recommend a suitable guesthouse and a central meeting place will be advised for collection on day one. Departure time can be flexible but check out from your accommodation must be by 10am. Transfers both ways are included in the ride price.
Extra horse riding lessons (classical dressage, alta escuela and doma vaquera) are available upon request but need to be arranged ahead of time as they are subject to availability. The cost for these private lessons is €75 (payable direct to hosts). Pilates classes are available a few times a week at €10 per person (price subject to change). Massages are available upon request (prices vary depending on selection).
‘Ahhhhh… trail riding in southern Spain.
This was my fourth Globetrotting ride and it was amazing!
I could talk forever about the Spanish food and wine, the gorgeous views, the charming, thoughtful and generous hosts BUT it was all about the horses… beautifully responsive to leg, wonderful temperament – forward moving when asked and yet responsive to the slightest touch on the bit.
Giles and Miranda have assembled and trained an outstanding group of horses who are much loved and much respected, and it shows. I couldn’t have enjoyed myself more.’
‘What a wonderful week we had in Coin with Giles and Miranda! Such a beautiful place to explore on wonderfully schooled horses and a gorgeous place to relax and unwind. I would happily return for the food and ambience alone!’
Stories from the saddle
If you’ve signed up for a saddle seat on our Andalucia, Spain ride you might just be lucky enough to manage a double whammy and get to ride the delightful Embrujarda. We asked our guides, Giles and Miranda, for the rundown on this beautiful mare. Horse’s Name: Embrujada (means ‘bewitched’) Breed: Pura Raza Española (Purebred […]
Giles and Miranda Crawford-Alards are the combined driving force behind our ride in Andalusia, Spain. These guys take enormous pride in their work and love nothing more than showing off the sublimely beautiful countryside of southern Spain from the backs of their super-responsive Andalusian, or PRE horses. Read on to learn more about the passion […]