Andalusia under gallop
Andalusia has the largest number of protected nature areas of any Spanish autonomous region. They all offer the chance to enjoy direct contact with nature and the rural environment. One of the particular highlights is the Doñana National Park on the marshes of the Gualdalquivir.
Horseback ride along the beach in Fuengirola (Málaga)
- Autonomous region: Andalusia
Discover Andalusia on horseback. Have you ever thought about it? These animals have been closely linked to this part of southern Spain for centuries. Get ready to enjoy Andalusia in a very different way: you will discover spectacular landscapes and hidden villages as you explore unspoiled tracks and trails. A journey where sport, nature and adventure go hand in hand. Shall we get going?
Equestrian tourism is an enjoyable, original, different way to discover Andalusia, a region with deep-rooted traditions surrounding the world of horses. There are many horse-trainers', stables and riding schools to be found all over Andalusia. There are also a host of companies that organise rides and excursions on horseback, lasting anything from a couple of hours to a couple of weeks. In some cases these are well-established routes, although if you prefer, routes can also be designed "à la carte". This means the first thing is to decide what you want to do. We would recommend a visit to one of the tourist offices, where staff will help you with any queries or doubts.
Before heading into the countryside, bear in mind things like the excursion's difficulty level and the characteristics of the terrain. It is a good idea to practise on a closed circuit for a while first. This is no problem - many companies have their own riding schools. You should, of course, wear comfortable clothes, boots, jodhpurs and riding hat. Now it is time to ride over mountains and valleys, to cross rivers, to explore nature reserves, to gallop along the beach… From the white villages of Cadiz and the mountains of Jaén, Seville and Cordoba, to the irresistible surroundings of Granada, and the beaches of Huelva, Malaga and Almería... As you can see, there is plenty to choose from.
Horses are also the protagonists of amazing shows, like those at the Royal Andalusia School of Equestrian Art. Come to this internationally renowned institution in Jerez de la Frontera, a town where horses form a central part of local life and tradition. Enjoy exhibitions, dressage competitions and carriage-pulling by purebred Spanish horses.
Don't miss out on the chance to see the "How Andalusian Horses Dance" show in person, where horses move and dance in time to well-known Spanish music. Here you will also find an exhibition with a valuable collection of carriages, saddles, trappings... Well worth a visit.
Lords of the fiesta
Horses are a symbol of fun and happiness: many fiestas and fairs in Andalusia would be unimaginable without them. You will see for yourself if you go to the El Rocío Pilgrimage, the April Fair, races on the beach in Sanlúcar de Barrameda or the Horse Fair in Jerez, all of which have the International Tourist Interest designation. Horses are often the centre of the celebration. They add spectacle and majesty with competitions, exhibitions, show jumping, contests... This is, in the end, another example of the affection and passion that horses provoke in this region. Come and see for yourself. What are you waiting for?