The Alpujarra and Coastal Range rides in the Sierra Nevada mountains use well mannered, fit horses and are moderately paced through beautiful landscape going up to alpine meadows. For these reasons this trip is an ideal horse riding holiday in Spain. One sees bridges and roads from Roman times and some of the aqueducts built by the Moors still flow to the small mountain villages.
Situated between the Sierra Nevadas and the Mediterranean Coast, is the Sierra la Contraviesa, a small mountain range reaching a maximum altitude of 1,511 meters. Due to the proximity of the coast, the climate and vegetation is very different from that of the Sierra Nevada, warmer and more arid. February and March are the months of almond blossoms and wild flowers, spring arrives here at least six weeks earlier than in the Alpujarra.
The early winter months are another lovely time to visit this area and rarely cold. Until the 18th Century, this range was thickly wooded with cork, oak and chestnut. However, most of the indigenous timber was felled by the turn of the century and replanted with almonds, figs and vineyards. Following ancient bridle paths, goat trails, dirt tracks and riverbeds, ride from the Alpujarras over the Contraviesas and down toward the coast. Little has changed here over the centuries; the mule and ox still pull the plough, the horse and mule still provide the transport.
The dramatic trail passes many small holdings and stone built farms that today provide the main industry for the area.