Ride Overview - Castle Plains
A horse back riding vacation that descends from the steeply rising limestone buttresses of the Ronda mountains (6,000 feet/1,919 meters) to weathered, jagged formations and deep valleys. Along the way, you will see eagles and griffon vultures circling on currents of warm air. This is idyllic rural. You will be high enough to be cooled by the breeze off the Mediterranean to the south. Gibraltar and the mountains of Africa will draw closer as your trail traverses across sandy pine plantations to a medieval walled castle overlooking a lake. Plenty of faster riding is possible on these coastal plains. A visit to the impressive 14th century Castle of Castellar perched on a large rocky area overlooking the Bronda Valley is included. You will stay in a mountain village hotel for the first and last night and within the castle walls with stunning views for nights 2 and 3. You will sample traditional tapas and delicious picnics at lunchtime. For a longer stay in the region, you can add the Lost Valley and White Villages Rides.
“… in my mind I’m still travelling those trails with your lovely horses. I can’t thank you enough for such a truly amazing time. I never expected it to be so well organised and such a beautiful place to ride.Truly therapeutic, I will be back. I’m really grateful I was prodded into coming. I’m hard to persuade as I’m always worried about being disappointed with my precious time away. Nothing was a let down and I hope to return when possible. You have opened life up for me again.” L. A.
Ride Itinerary - Castle Plains
You will be transferred from either the Gibraltar or Malaga Airport in the early afternoon or evening* to the hilltop Gaucin village (approx 1hr) where you will spend the first night. This picturesque white village has stunning views and plenty of winding streets to explore. The Hotel Caballo Andaluz with it ́s terrace overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar and Africa is a perfect place to slip into the gentle Mediterranean atmosphere. *Scheduled pick-up time is the early afternoon in Gibraltar.
After breakfast, you will meet your fellow riders and your horse and set off along a gradually descending ridge towards the distant sea. Your trail continues through sloping meadows and along a lane lined with small farms and orange groves to a bridge across the Guadiaro River. You will enjoy a tapas lunch at a traditional country ‘venta’ or restaurant. Next, your horse will climb over picturesque hills and then descend to the hamlet of Monte Negral. You will then be driven to the spectacular Castle at Castellar where you will stay in a comfortable B & B inside the castle keep.
This morning, you will be driven down from the castle to mount up to ride across the Hozgarganta River to an ascending trail where you once again have a splendid view of Gibraltar and the Straits. Behind you is a spectacular panorama of the mountains from where you have ridden as well as the distant famous resort of Sotogrande where top class polo is played every summer. Your ride continues across the unspoilt estate of Alcaidesa, once the King of Spain’s hunting grounds. Gradually the tracks become sandier as you arrive in a magnificent forest of umbrella pines. This was planted in 1800 by the Spanish Navy but as the naval requirement for timber declined, the 338 hectare park was donated to the villagers of San Roque as a compensation for their loss of Gibraltar. Here, your ride will enjoy a picnic on a high crag and then canter along open tracks in a huge circle which takes us by a different route to your castle walled B & B.
A path across rolling hills and along a beautiful valley below the Castle of Castellar. Once again, there are plenty of chances for long canters until your horse wades through the Hozgarganta River to arrive at a local venta in time for lunch. Continuing on sandy lanes across the fertile farmland and abundant spring flowers, your ride will start to climb towards La Almuna, arriving early evening.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport.
Ride Details - Castle Plains
Dates: March, April, May, June
Daily Riding Hours: 5 – 6
Riding Ability: STRONG INTERMEDIATE: Confident and in control at all paces including posting trots, two point canters and gallops in open country. Capable of crossing rivers and riding on ascending and descending trails and tricky terrain.
Group Size: Maximum 4
Weight Restrictions: 187 pounds (over 187 pounds extra charge for extra horse)
Horses: Andalucian (some Criollo and Arab crosses)
Accommodations: 3* hotels and inns
Price: $1,300.00 per person, double occupancy $90.00 single supplement
*Price will fluctuate with the USD/EURO exchange rate and will be fixed at final payment.
Included: 4 nights’ accommodation, horse, tack, guide, national park entrances, meals
Not Included: airfare, transportation to and from Malaga Airport
Castle Plains: Gallery