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Enjoy easy coming in a new way of riding, one day with the horses at the Atlantic beach while enjoying beautiful landscapes, every day tasting of typical Andalusian cuisine in small "ventas", on the way riding along the small villages in the inland, across old trade routes, beautiful mountain trips, and the typical "tapas", where local people go out for a meal.
Rancho La Paz, a little white town in the mountains of Mijas and the home of about 100 Andalusian horses. In the south of Andalusia, between Malaga and Marbella, in the mountains of Mijas with views over Fuengirola and Costa del Sol, you will find La Paz, an independent little white town that has grown up during the years; 27 rustic typical Andalusian apartments are distributed all over the ranch, between palms and oleander, the swimming pool invites to refresh during the “Spanish siesta” in summer.
On the roofed-over terrace in between lots of flowers, you will have your meals and spend time together in the evenings. For the colder wintertime, you will have a salon with a small library corner to relax, here you will also find a TV with national and international channels. You will have an internet connection and a PC for free at your disposal.
At La Paz, everything moves around the horses, as about 100 of them in all ages mention it their home. Most of them are born there and have grown up in the spacious corals in herds, waiting to show you their homeland and typical marks; nobles, hardness, and safety. The tract with the boxes for the youngsters, which are in training, surrounds the patio where the trail horses get prepared for the rides, here you get to know “your” horse, clean it before riding and shower it after; the guides always saddle the horses.
At La Paz, you will live in between the horses, you will wake up with a snicker and fall asleep with a snuffle from the corals. In a relaxed moment, you can observe the young foals with their mums, the youngsters playing, and the riding horses spooning with the others. Surely you fall in love with the youngsters that are on the first training!
The rustic apartments are all in Andalusian-style furnished and with their own bathroom with shower. You can book single, double, or triple rooms. The rooms are equipped with air-conditioners to cool down in summer and warm up in winter. Towels and bedclothes, as well as the daily cleaning, are included in the service.
Between palms and oleander, the swimming pool invites to refresh during the “Spanish siesta” in summer. For the pool or a visit to the beach, you should bring your own towels. On the roofed-over terrace, in between lots of flowers, you will have your meals and spend time together in the evenings.
For the colder wintertime, you will have a salon with a small library corner to relax. Here, you will also find a TV with national and international channels. You will have an internet connection and a PC for free at your disposal.
This new Tapas trail is made for all those who want to get in "trail riding", enjoying changing landscapes on not too long riding days so you'll have time to relax in the afternoons. On the first day, you'll get used to your horse, the way of riding, and the area. You will be impressed by the horses climbing in the mountains.
On the next day, you can enjoy the sandy beaches in the Atlantic with your horse, a unique experience! On your third riding day, you'll start on to the Tapas trail where you will be shown Andalusia, far away from any tourist visiting the local taps bars. You'll cross mountains with amazing views over to the coasts of Africa, come through rivers in between plantations of oranges, lemons, and olives, following old nearly forgotten paths from town to town.
Arrive in Malaga and transfer to Rancho La Paz where there will be an after-dinner presentation of the tour.
After a pleasant breakfast, you will, for the first time, have the opportunity to get to know the horses and the way of riding. Two rides, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, of around two hours will give you the opportunity to become familiar with the terrain and especially with the surefootedness of the horses and their performance in cross-country rides. Lunch and dinner will both be served at La Paz.
Straight to the highlight of your vacation, you will enjoy your beach ride on an endless and wide sandy beach. Directly after breakfast, the horses will be loaded on the horse carrier and you will drive with a bus along the Costa del Sol. Passing Marbella and Estepona, the famous cliffs of Gibraltar and the strait, which allows unique views to the coast of Africa, if the weather conditions are good.
You will pass Tarifa and drive along the Atlantic Coast to Barbate. The wide, sandy beach will wait for you and, except in summer, you will only have to share it with some cows and occasionally fishermen. With a view over the coast of Africa, you’ll reach Zahara de los Atunes, a former little fishing village, which still cultivates the tradition of fishing tuna.
Here, you will strengthen yourself thanks to a little rest before you get the chance to enjoy the beach again and now and then, you’ll use the vereas, the cattle drive paths of the red cows on your way back to Barbate. In a small Venta, you will have the chance to enjoy local delicacies (lunch is not inclusive), before you head home to La Paz.
Starting at La Paz, you will head for your tapas trail in the "Sierra de Mijas". On wide paths, climb slowly but steadily at a height of around 800 meters above sea level, in steep sections, it is partially necessary to dismount and lead the horses. From the plateau, you will have a breathtaking view.
On one side, you will see the Costa del Sol with its beaches and on the other side, the Andalusian countryside starts, far off any tourism. The Sierra is a nature reserve not only offering stunning views but also mountain springs giving the chance for a short break to refresh the horses and yourselves.
The horses will stay overnight at the bottom of the mountain in paddocks at "Pinos de Alhaurin“, whereas you will take, for the first time, the chance to visit a "venta", typically small and homely restaurants which had originally tiny salesrooms offering the most urgent things of daily life.
Ventas are venues for the locals, not only to eat but also to socialize. The food is traditional and local, often the "moms" and "grandmas" are working at the stove. Later on, the dinner will be served at La Paz where you will also stay overnight.
Today, leave the hectic everyday life behind you and ride through small villages and pass a lot of private and traditional fincas. Traffic jams in this area are mostly caused by sheep and goat herds, showing that the clocks are ticking still slowly here. Cross the small "Arroyo de Pedregal" and start the modest ascent to "Sierra Llana". This mountain trail is quite short and not very steep but scenically fantastic.
After the descent, ride around the mountain using the old trade route "Almontaje" until you arrive at today's final destination. After taking care of the horses, head for a very special dinner at the venta "El Tintero de Campero". The guests are not ordering the dishes via a menu but the food is freshly prepared and will be touted by the waiters directly at the tables. Who shouts first will be served first, you will have the chance to try out a variety of delicious dishes.
You'll finally leave the mountains behind and cross the "Rio Guadalhorce". With its length of more than 160 kilometers, it is the most important river in the province of Malaga, supplying the surrounding areas with sufficient water for the agriculture and plantations, offering only a few fords to cross the river.
Ride to the old village "Estación de Cártama", in former times an important place for trading in the region of Málaga. In this area, the typical fruit cultivation and vegetable growing are still characterizing the landscape. Andalusia is especially well known for tasty oranges, mandarins, lemons, and also for olives, avocados, and almonds.
As a sleeping place for the horses serves today, the typical "Pena Caballista", a small bar in the middle of the countryside, having stables attached. The locals stop here for a drink during their horse rides, have a chat, normally having their drinks still sitting on the horseback.
On your today's trail, pass the "Hacienda La Esperanza", an impressive large private finca, being dedicated for generations to the traditional breed and education of the Spanish horses Pura Raza Espanola (PRE). You'll have a beautiful last ride through the soft mountains, following the paths from the goats and enjoying the views over the Sierra, Malaga, and the big port and the green area of the Guadalquivir.
After having loaded the horses, visit the last venta "Los cuatro vientos". Whenever you are looking for somebody from the area, you will find them here.
Transfer to the airport of Málaga and departure.
This program is for experienced riders who want to try the trail riding with the possibility to get used to horses and way of riding on two shorter rides on the first day, who do not want to have too long riding days, and want time to relax and enjoy local tapas. This program can be combined with any program of La Paz. A minimum of four clients is required in order for the holiday to take place.
On arrival and departure days, there will be no riding program. You will ride with Andalusia mares and geldings in Spanish saddles with long stirrups and hackamore on one hand; a very easy and comfortable way of riding for riders and horses. You will ride in walk or canter and on the trail, you may have to walk on some parts so please wear comfortable shoes.
The ranch is a bit outside, situated away from the troubles of Costa del Sol. You can walk up (about 40 minutes) to the town of Mijas, famous for the donkey taxi and with lots of small alleyways with typical handwork shops and bars with snacks and drinks. To the beach of Fuengirola, Rancho La Paz offers transfers (with a small fee). For sightseeing trips, you can rent a car for half or full-day directly on La Paz (bring your driving license). If you do not want to drive yourself, there is a bus and train station in Torreblanca/Fuengirola.
Daily full board meals, as well as table wine, will be provided. Lunch on the beach day is not included in the price.
The location from La Paz is perfect for all kinds of trips in Andalusia. In just 10 minutes, you are at the Costa del Sol, which in summer is very animated with a lot of nightlife, long sandy beaches, fish restaurants, and uncountable bars and shops; in winter, the Costa calms down. The recreation possibilities are indefinite and can satisfy anybody’s demand: the sportive ones can find an assortment of golf courses, routes for walking, and biking, as well as all kinds of water sports for professionals and beginners nearby.
For culture lovers, the well-known towns offer a lot of history: Malaga (20 minutes) with the Picasso museum and the old town, Seville and Cordoba (2 hours) with lots of cathedrals, or Granada (2 hours) with Alhambra, Generalife, and the gypsy town. There is an excellent road network but you should not underrate the temperatures in summer in the cities.
A nice day trip passes over the small mountain roads through the white villages to Ronda, the historic town divided into two parts by the Tajo. A visit in the narrow alleys with all the typical shops of ceramics and leather things can be topped with a tapas meal in one of the small restaurants. Later, the street brings you down to the coast. Nearby Marbella, you will find the biggest and luxurious sail hunt port of the Mediterranean, restaurants, bars, and all kinds of shops that are opened during nearly the whole night in summer.
Directly behind the tourism coast, you can find typical small villages with the church and its church square as a meeting point for everybody in the center. Old traditions and handworks get cultivated and small bars offer all kinds of plain fare.
Jerez is the stronghold of the Spanish horses. The Real Spanish Riding School shows their white horses in the show “asi bailan los caballos andaluzes” but you also can visit the morning training and the historic buildings with the stables, the museum of the carriages, and the own saddlers.
In the center of Jerez, you'll find the military deposit of the PRE stallions. During the season, the stallions are shared in all towns of Andalusia but in autumn and winter, you can visit them here. Nearby Jerez, the famous stud Yeguada la Cartuja opens its doors for visitors. Every Saturday, they show their mares, youngsters, and well-trained working horses as all kinds of carriages in a beautiful show.
Jerez is also famous because of all the old bodegas with the different sherry (the name comes from “Jerez”). You can get a guided tour in different languages and try all kinds of sherry. Tarifa is not just the southern point of the European continent but also the most popular windsurfing area because of the Levante, the wind coming from Africa. From here, ferries leave to Ceuta and Melilla. Dolphins are living in the deepwater of the “Street of Gibraltar” that you can visit by guided tours.
Near Estepona you can cross the big wildlife park, Selvo, by jeep and get near to a lot of wild animals. Each town has its own patroness they honor with a great festival once a year, the feria. Most of these ferias start with a romeria, a procession with horses and go in the center with lots of dances in traditional costumes, sherry, and meals. Each festival has its own customs and some of them continue up to one week; to visit them is a real experience.
The possibilities are unlimited, just think about that, you can have a sunbath at the sandy beach in springtime, just 2 hours away in one direction, you can go skiing in the Sierra Nevada, and about 2 hours in the other direction, you can go windsurfing at Tarifa. Rancho La Paz is at your disposal with the planning of your trips. For your independent planning, it is recommended for you to rent a car.
Please arrange your flight to arrive at Málaga Airport (AGP). Transfers from this airport are included, Rancho La Paz will pick you up at given times. Special transfers can be booked at an extra cost of 30 EUR to give you more flexibility with your flight booking.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookRanchVacations.com. All major credit cards supported.
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