Adventure vacations in Spain

Alpujarra Ride


The Alpujarra and Coastal Range rides in the Sierra Nevada mountains follow ancient bridle paths from village to village on well mannered, fit horses at a moderate pace. The Alpujarra Ride is an ideal horseback riding tour in Spain as you will pass through carefully terraced valleys and farms, where the horse, mule and oxen are still used to pull the plow and thresh the harvest. One sees bridges and roads from Roman times and some of the aqueducts built by the Moors still flow to the small mountain villages.

The landscape is wonderfully varied as you ride through chestnut, almond and olive groves, pine forests, high mountain pastures and finally the high Sierra with its snowy peaks. Meeting only the occasional shepherd or farmer, riders enjoy a wonderful sense of peace and freedom.

There is opportunity to learn about the history of the area as you are exposed to a culture where tradition remains very much a part of every day life.

Lodging is in small village hostels and hotels providing twin bedded rooms and en-suite bath or shower rooms.

Breakfast, lunch and all dinners are included in the price. The local cuisine is excellent and much consideration is taken when planning the meals to provide visitors with a sampling of the many different dishes produced in the area. Vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notification.

  • Overview:
    The horses are pure and cross-bred Andalusians ranging in height from 15-16 hh. All the horses have been carefully selected for their intelligence, good nature and endurance and have been broken and schooled by the guide (there are no stallions used on the trek).
  • Horse Breeds:
    Andalusians and Arab cross
  • Trip Pace:
    slow to moderate with opportunities to canter
  • Tack:
    English trekking
  • Weight limit:
    190 lbs


Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Meet at the Malaga International Airport no later than 5 PM, and transfer by mini-van to the village of Bubión, one of three, small whitewashed villages built on the steep slopes of the Poqueira Valley. Overnight at the comfortable Hotel Casa La Sevillana. Your host and guide for the week will meet you at 8.30 PM and take you to dinner at one of the local restaurants, within walking distance to your accommodations.

Day 2

After breakfast you will be driven to the stables situated about 5 km from the village of Bubion. Today’s ride through the surrounding areas will enable you to acclimatize to the altitude and get acquainted with your horse prior to setting out for the week. The ride takes you high into the Poqueira Valley, on a combination of bridle paths and forestry tracks. Follow along ancient Moorish irrigation channels and summer pastures watered by the snow melt. The horses will carry a full picnic lunch which you will be able to enjoy besides one of the mountain streams at an idyllic spot along today’s route. On a clear day you may be able to see all the way to Morrocco. After returning to the stables and a quick drive back into the village you will have a chance to rest and refresh before dinner at one of the local restaurants. Overnight at Casa La Sevillana. Approximately 6 hours riding.

Day 3

Following a typical Spanish breakfast, transfer to the stables. Heading east, ride along beautiful mountain trails toward Trevelez, the highest village in Spain, famous for its cured hams and river trout. In the morning ride on an old bridle path down to the village of Pitres and on to the village of Portugos. After lunch follow a combination of paths and dirt tracks, climbing 800 meters through ancient Moorish terraces and chestnut groves to a broad forestry track leading to Trevelez. There will be opportunities for canters. At the end of the day walk about 15 min down an old stone path into the village while leading the horses. Dinner and overnight at the comfortable Hotel Fragua situated in the old Berber quarter of the village. The hotel pool is open June through September. Approximately 6 hours riding.

Day 4

Ride to the village of Berchules on a bridle path over totally different terrain, through mountain farms and pine forests. Follow a very steep and rocky path up through woods and summer pastures to an altitude of 2,500 meters. On a clear day it is possible to see across the sea to the mountains of Morocco. Picnic lunch on the way. The last 30 minutes of the descent to Berchules the path becomes very rough and it is necessary to dismount and lead the horses. Dinner and overnight in Berchules. 6 hours of riding.

Day 5

Berchules takes its name from the Spanish word, Berchel, which means mountain garden. This is easy to understand, as riders traverse the ancient Moorish bridle paths through the areas valleys and gorges. After a picnic lunch by a stream in the shade of pine woods, leave the bridle path for one of the Sierras’ broad forestry tracks and return to Berchules by a different route. The afternoon ride will afford several opportunities for trots and canters. Spend a second night in Berchules. 7 hours in the saddle.

Day 6

Today you head back to the village of Trevelez. Leaving Berchules below you have a steep climb to approximately 2,400 m. During the morning the route follows dirt tracks through farm and pasture lands up to the tree line. Enjoy a few canters along the way before picnic lunch in the pine woods with wonderful views over the valley of Trevelez, the sea to the south and the Mulhcen (highest mountain on the mainland) to the north. During the afternoon descend on a bridle path through the woods to the village of Trevelez. There will be some places where you will need to lead the horses for short periods. Dinner and overnight at the comfortable Hotel Fragua. 5 hours of riding.

Day 7

A short ride today following a broad forestry track which affords some wonderful opportunities for canters. In the afternoon, continue through pine woods to emerge high above the villages of the Poqueira. From here on a clear day it is possible to see across the Mediterranean Sea to the mountains of Morocco. Late lunch in the village of Capileira or Bubion. Afternoon free for some last minute shopping and a well deserved siesta. Overnight at the Casa la Sevillana and farewell dinner in one of the local restaurants. 3-4 hours of riding.

Day 8

After breakfast transfer to Malaga for departure.

Itinerary Addendum

This itinerary is flexible and changes may occur at the guide's discretion due to unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

Additional Pricing Information:
Prices are based on the dollar/euro exchange and are subject to change. Ride price is set, guaranteed, and final at the time deposit is paid.

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Preferred Trip Dates

Alpujarra Ride
May 21, 2024
January 1, 1970
January 1, 1970

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Epona November 2018: Super trip! Fernando and team were terrific, accommodations were great, fun riding (dressage lessons and trail rides) and extra activities, excellent food. THANKS

Susan Mercer