Guests usually arrive in the afternoon and settle in to their hotel, a former Palace once the residence of a Queen, which is nestled in the heart of the breathtakingly beautiful medieval town of Carmona. We offer a complimentary pick-up from the train station in Seville at 16.30. We can offer transfers at other times (and days) as long as you let us know in advance. In the evening, you will be joined at the hotel by one of the hosts, for a welcome dinner, where you will meet the rest of the week’s riding members. After some friendly introductions and conversation, you are free to spend the rest of the evening at your leisure, and to relax before the beginning of what we hope will be an unforgettable week.
You will be collected from the hotel and on arrival, you will have a short guided tour. You will then mount up for the ‘Old Hacienda Ride’, a relaxed trail ride around the immediate countryside, through olive groves and eucalyptus trees. Depending on the season, you could see fields of sunflowers, wheat and cotton, as well as melons and water melons in late summer. The ride takes you past impressive 16th and 17th century Haciendas and Cortijos, steeped in history.
Return to the riding centre for lunch. Afternoon free.
Early breakfast and pick up at the hotel at 8:30 a.m. for the drive to Jerez de la Frontera, in the province of Cádiz. Jerez is internationally renowned for its production of sherry and brandy. However, the main attraction of this day will be the visit to the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre, and to see an equestrian performance titled, “How the Andalusian Horses Dance”.
Here you will have the privilege of seeing the magnificent Andalusian stallions at their best, at home in the breathtaking setting of their 18th Century palace and riding hall. They will be performing piaffe, passage and the airs above the ground (courbette, capriole, etc) in a spectacle of light, music and colour.
Vivi Garcia trained at this school for four years and frequently performed in the show.
Please note: the additional cost for the entrance ticket to the “How the Andalusian Horses Dance” performance is €32.
Return for a late lunch. Afternoon free.
After breakfast, mount up and set off across country for the ‘Roman Bridge’ ride. Depending on the time of the year you could be riding through fields of sunflowers, wheat, cotton, oranges or almond trees, and through ancient olive groves still carefully tended and nurtured. It is a countryside where there are very few fences.
Along the way you may come across the river, full and flowing in spring, cool and shallow in summer, a natural heaven for wildlife, with abundant vegetation all year round. Splashing through the shallows, where you may disturb terns and grebes, you’ll emerge at an old Roman Bridge and shady eucalyptus grove.
Return for lunch. Afternoon free.
Today we set off early from your hotel to the coast, where sturdy Spanish horses, all in Spanish Andalusian cowboy tack (montura vaquera), will be waiting to take you on the Beach Ride.
The ride takes you on an unforgettable route through the Donaña Natural Park, one of Europe’s last true wilderness regions. This area is home to many species (some protected), such as fallow deer, boar, fox, iberian lynx, imperial eagles, kites, vultures, storks, flamingos and herons.
The ride will take you over the golden dunes, full of the scents of the abundant flora, before arriving at the spectacular beach, where there is the opportunity to get the horses legs wet and to have a trot and a long canter, if desired.
Doñana Natural Park is one of the hidden gems of Andalusia and we are privileged to be able to ride through it. After the ride, we head back for a late lunch.
* Please note the beach ride is not available for the months of July or Aug and can be replaced by a lesson or trail ride from the centre.
We set off across open country for our last trail ride of the week, through olive and orange groves, and past farmers working the land. How strange, in a region where there are no bridle paths the horse can wander anywhere just so long as you have respect for the crop. By now, you will realise that in Andalucia, everyone understands and loves the horse.
Return for lunch.
After a relaxing afternoon back in Carmona, get ready to visit the historical heart of Seville.
Here you can visit the tack shop, always a highlight and after a short walk around , It is time for a classical Flamenco Show. The show features dancers of national and international fame, traditional singers and wonderful flamenco guitar. This Flamenco show is optional and has an additional cost of €35.
Alternatively, if you don’t wish to go to the Flamenco Show or you have already seen it , perhaps you would rather stroll the streets around the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the palaces and mansions that are a part of this world famous city.
The photo opportunities are endless and you will be spoiled for choice. There are also plenty of shops to visit near the city centre before it is time to meet up with the others for dinner.
After the show it is a short walk to the typical Spanish night market where you can choose your own meal, from a range of Spanish and International cuisine, accompanied, of course, by some superb Spanish wine.
We offer complimentary transport to/from Seville train station and airport between 09 .00 - 11.00 hrs on Saturday morning.
Have a safe onward journey and we look forward to welcoming you back!