Sierra Trails
la alpujarra week rides capiliera riding in the sierra nevada riding in the sierra nevada riding in the sierra nevada riding in the sierra nevada riding in the sierra nevada

La Contraviesa Ride

The Contraviesa mountain range lies between the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Mediterranean sea. Due to the proximity of the coast the climate during the spring and late autumn is very mild, rarely dropping below 15 C and during May reaching the mid 20C.

The main industry of the area is the cultivation of almonds, figs and vineyards. Little has changed here over the centuries; on many small holdings the mule and ox still pull the plough and the horse and mule still provide the transport.

On the Contraviesa and the lower slopes of the Alpujarra spring can start as early as February with the wild flowers blooming right through to May.

The early winter months are another lovely time to visit this area and are rarely cold. This ride offers an extraordinary range of scenery, vegetation and climate.

We follow old Roman and Moorish bridle paths, dirt tracks and dried-up riverbeds. Here you can literally ride from winter to spring and spring to summer and back again in a week.

The pace of the ride is determined by the terrain: on days 3 and 7 the paths are very narrow and there is a lot of climbing, on the other days there are opportunities to trot and canter. Where the paths are steep it is necessary to dismount and lead the horses.


Day 1

Those of you who have arranged to be collected from Malaga airport will be pickup at prearranged time and driven to the village of Bubion. While in Bubion you will be staying in the comfortable Casa La Sevillana.

Your host (Dallas Love) will meet you at 8.30pm and take you for dinner in one of the local restaurants, within easy walking distance of your accommodation.

bubion village

Day 2

Approximately 6 hours

After breakfast you will be collected and driven to the stables situated 5 kilometres from the village of Bubion at an altitude of 1.650 meters.

Today is a day ride local to the stables enabling you to acclimatise slightly to the area and the altitude. Also acquainting you with your horse prior to setting out for the week.

Leaving the stables we take a small path up through summer pastures to join the main forestry track into the National Park, where there are opportunities to canter.

dallas love sierra trails stable

We will follow the track to approximately 2.300 metres where it joins a bridle path. Following this path through the pine woods we come out on the ridge of Barranco Habali at approximately 2,100 metres.

Here we will stop for a picnic lunch. On a clear day fantastic views can be had down the valley across to the Contraviesa, the Mediterranean and finally Africa!

After lunch the route descends through oak woods and open pasture lands to meet the main forestry track leading back to the stables.

Overnight in the Casa Sevillana Bubion and a Set dinner in one of the local restaurants.

Day 3

Approximately 6 hours

Today we head east to the village of Trevelez. At 1,486 metres the highest municipality in Spain that is not a ski resort.

During the morning we gradually descend (approx. 350 metres) on forestry tracks and bridle paths. The path passes through orchards and small terraces as it skirts the villages of Capilerilla, Pitres and Portugos.

There are a few sections where it is necessary to lead the horses on some of the steeper descents. Leaving the village of Portugos below we start the 600 metre climb to our picnic spot in the shade of the pine woods.

After lunch we join the main forestry track to Trevelez. This track maintains pretty much the same altitude as it winds its way through woodlands and small mountain farms. There are some good opportunities for a nice canter.

At the end of the day there is approximately a 15 minute walk down an old stone path into the village.

Over night and dinner in the comfortable Hotel Fragua situated in the old Berber quarter of Trevelez. Use of pool June to September.

Day 4

Approx. 6 hours

The route continues east to the village of Berchules. After a 10 minute walk through the streets of Trevelez we water the horses at one of the many springs, mount up and head down to the river.

Once across the river the many centuries old bridle path follows first the Moorish irrigation channel and then works its way up through evergreen Holm oak and pine forests to the open pasture lands of the Sierra of Juviles.

week rides in the alpujarra

Descending across the open hillside we have great views towards the coast of Almeria and the Contraviesa mountains. We climb again before stopping for our picnic in the oak woods. After lunch we join a dirt track leading us to the village of Berchules.

The final descent into the village is on foot, followed by a 15 minute walk through the streets to the stables and our hotel.

Overnight and diner in the comfortable Hotel Berchules. Pool June to end September.

Day 5

Approximately 6 to 7 hours.

Today we do a circular ride dropping down to the Contraviesa foothills riding through very different and rapidly changing terrain.

The morning starts with approximately a 15 walk down to the riverbed where we will mount up and ride through small cultivated terraces and orchards to the tiny village of Narila.

riding in the sierra nevada

After a steep climb out of the village the terrain becomes much more arid and eroded, green cultivated land giving way to wild rosemary, thyme, almonds and fig trees. Ten minutes on a small secondary road will take us to the village of Golgo, where we will join the path leading us to the bottom of the valley.

After an early lunch by the stream in the shade of tall poplar trees the path climbs steeply through the deeply eroded hills to join a dirt track which will take us down to the valley of Yator.

Late afternoon we join one of the dry river beds which offers opportunities for some great canters and short gallops.

The end of the day we cross and recross the river of Cadiar, passing through orchards and small holdings to rejoin the bridle path leading back to the village of Berchules.

Second night in the charming hotel Berchules.

Pool June to late September.

Day 6

Approximately 5 hours riding.

Today is a slightly shorter ride heading down to the Contraviesa range.

The trail will take us down to the river Cadiar which we follow for about 20 minutes before starting the steep climb through almond and fig farms.

contraviesa ride day 6

On the higher slopes we pass through vineyards reaching an altitude of approximately 1,500 metres. From where there are wonderfull views of the Alpujarras and the high peaks of Sierra Nevada.

Picnic lunch in the almond groves. To-night we stay in the attractive hotel Alqueria de Morayma situated in the orchards above the river Cadiar.

Pool late May to late September.


Day 7

Approximately 8 hours

Our final day of the trek we return to the village of Bubion, a long climb for the horses.

Crossing the river Guadalefao we follow a steep bridle path west to the villages Lobras and Timar. From here the route follows a small local road for approximately 7 kilometres before beginning the descent into the spectacular gorge of Trevelez.

This descent is on an ancient Roman path cut into the sides of the gorge and must be made on foot leading the horses. It is approximately a 30 minute walk down to the bridge from which we will ride up past the pretty village of Busquistar and on to Portugos for a well earned lunch.

In the late afternoon we continue north west along paths and dirt tracks to Bubion.

Overnight in Casa la Sevillana and farewell dinner.

riding in the sierra nevada

Day 8

Transfer to Malaga.

Prices, Dates, Accommodation and Transfers


 1,395.00 Euros 

Single Supplement: 175 Euros (Payable on arrival in Spain)


6 days riding.

7 nights accommodation with breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Guide, backup vehicle for luggage.

Transfer to and from Malaga at pre-arranged time.



Personal and medical insurance. 

2019 Dates for La Contraviesa

Dates Ride Price S/Sup
23 – 30 March (Sat-Sat) Contraviesa Coastal 1,395.00€ 165 €
28 Sept- 05 Oct (Sat-Sat) Contraviesa Coastal 1,395.00€ 165 €
12 – 19 Oct (Sat-Sat) Contraviesa Coastal 1,395.00€ 165 €
26 Oct- 02 Nov (Sat-Sat) Contraviesa Coastal 1,395.00€ 165 €

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La Contraviesa Ride Map

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