Ride Overview - Ride to the White Village of Gaucín
An idyllic horseback riding vacation to Gaucin in southern Spain! In 1865, Henry O’Shea said that the road from Gibraltar to Ronda, “… was one of the most beautiful and romantic journeys on horseback that can be undertaken by our country.” Ernest Hemingway described the Serranía de Ronda as a perfect place for honeymoon. “A truly romantic setting.” An intriguing 19th century trail will lead from the Bay of Gibraltar to Ronda. The fruit trees of the Guadiaro Valley give way to pointed slopes, forested hillsides and rocky spurs. You will ride through cork tree groves of the Los Alcornocales Natural Park. This Park is the largest on the Iberian Peninsula. It may be the best example of wooded primeval Iberian forests. The erosive action of the wind has carved whimsical shapes in the sandstone. When the mist floats through the forest, you will feel in a mystical place.
Additional trails will be secluded paths of mythical bandits and tobacco smugglers and muleteers. You will ride past traditional mosaics and lush gardens of the wealthy. Along the way, you will visit the hilltop perched medieval Castellar Castle, and the Moorish influenced Castle of Jimena de la Frontera. A highlight of this horseback riding vacation is “jaw dropping” white washed village of Gaucín. Gaucín is gateway to a group of small towns that dot the valley of Genal. The region was a critical stop on the route to the interior of al-Andalus of Berbers. Then became popular with smugglers from Gibraltar. Lodging for two nights is a Finca (B & B) which breeds champion Arabs and black bulls. At your trails’ end, you will agree with the poets who sought this region for an inspiration in peace and silence. RIDING IN SPAIN
Ride Itinerary - Ride to the White Village of Gaucín
You will be transferred from the Malaga airport to the Los Barrios starting point. After you have settled into your room at the Finca las Majadillas, you will meet your horse. Then you can visit the adjacent farm which was a black bull raising farm now converted into breeding outstanding Arabian show horses.
You will become accustom with your horse by riding across the Arabian stud and wild bull farm. A traditional picnic lunch will be served along the way. You will return to the Finca for dinner and lodging.
This trail allows you to discover the Hispano-Muslim frontier heritage of the province from a privileged location in the Los Alcornocales Natural Park. Here, the erosive action of the wind has carved whimsical shapes in the sandstone limestone and, on days when the mist floats through the forest, you will feel as if time has stood still. Next, you will pass the medieval Castellar Castle and surrounding historic village.
Today, you will trace the secluded paths of mythical bandits. Numerous trails which veer from your main trail became an ideal setting for robberies and escapes into forests of oaks, and leafy thickets of rockrose, gorse and thyme. After a picnic lunch, you will ride up to the perched Castle of Jimena de la Frontera. This fortress was an important defensive element for the south-western border of the Nasrid kingdom.
Your trail reveals the paths of tobacco smugglers as they worked their way from the Gibraltar landings to Malaga. Along the way, you will see charming whitewashed mountain villages. After a picnic lunch, you will enjoy the breathtaking scenery as you ride to your Gaucin hotel for dinner and lodging.
This route is certain to please! You will ride past traditional vegetal mosaics and lush gardens that have been nurtured out of the natural wealth of the valley. Old routes used by muleteers transporting wheat and olives to the mills located along the Genal River will then lead you to your dinner and lodging for the evening.
This historic trail traverses deep into the Serranía de Ronda. The fruit trees and irrigation of the Guadiaro Valley give way to the pointed slopes, forested hillsides and rocky spurs. In the distance, the picturesque village of Gaucín stands out like a sparkling gem. Gaucín is the southern key of the Sierra and gateway to a constellation of small towns that dot the valley of Genal. The region was initially a critical stop on the route to the interior of al-Andalus of Berbers, Almoravides and Marinids, and then became popular with smugglers and travelers from Gibraltar. We follow a beautiful path above the River Guadiaro and then climb up to where we look across to the ancient city of Ronda and its famous gorge. Riding along an old cobbled lane under the gorge we arrive in the Plaza San Francisco in time for lunch. Dinner and lodging will be in Ronda.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport.
*The guide reserves the right to change the itinerary based on unforeseen circumstances.
Ride Details - Ride to the White Village of Gaucín
Dates: March 7th-14th, May 23rd – 30th, October 3rd – 10th
Best Months to Ride: Northern Spain’s peak season is July and August. Central region: October – May. Southern: late spring – early autumn. Winter riding can be enjoy in the Andalusia because of the desert like climate.
Meeting Point: Malaga Airport (AGP), Malaga Train Station or Gibraltar Airport
Length of ride: 6 days
Daily Riding Hours: 5 – 5 1/2
Ability level: INTERMEDIATE Able to trot and canter in open spaces. Beach riding
Horse: Andalusians and Andalusian cross-breeds
Group size: 2 – 10
Non-riding activity: kayaking, surfing, golf, bicycle, and guided tour of Gibraltar.
Hotel/s: 3* hotel and B & B. Finca las Majadillas, Castle of Castellar Hotel, Hotel Enrieta, Hotel la Frotuosa, Hotel Inz-Almazar and Hotel Bodega el Juncal or similar
Price per person: $1,485.00 per person, double occupancy $235.00 single supplement
Small group fee may apply: $350.00 per person
*Price is based on the USD/EURO exchange rate and be fixed at final payment.
Included: full board accommodations, all meals, transfer to and from airport and train station arriving before 6:00 PM and departing at 7:00 AM
Not included: airfare, transfer from airport and train station: arriving after 6:00 PM and departure before 7:00 AM (160.00 euros roundtrip, per person)
ANNUAL TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL:
Ride to the White Village of Gaucín: Gallery
Ride to the White Village of Gaucín