I booked this holiday as a treat for my daughter and I, following her GCSE exams this year. She is a keen equestrian, with her own horse, and I have ridden in the past but lacked confidence. It seemed like a perfect combination of riding and relaxation and we were not disappointed.
Cortijo Los Lobos really is a hidden gem. The accommodation, the landscapes, the horses and other animals and our hosts, Clive and June, were all superb. We had such high expectations before arriving, that I feared we may be disappointed, but far from it: our expectations were exceeded.
Firstly, the accommodation. We stayed in the El Jaral apartment, which was ample for two. The kitchen came complete with everything needed to prepare hot and cold snacks, and our fridge was full of tasty goodies, suited to our tastes, when we arrived. We opted for full board and were provided with plenty of food and drink with which to prepare our own breakfast and lunch, which suited us fine as it meant we could eat as and when we felt like it. The apartment also had a DVD player and a library of DVDs were available, with Clive happy to recommend films if we were stuck! The large bedroom had plenty of storage space, comfortable beds and a fan to keep us cool on the hotter nights. The entire apartment was spotless and the decor stunning. June and Clive have worked hard to keep the accommodation in keeping with the original building, with exposed beams, whitewashed walls and shuttered windows. It really was a pleasure to live there for a week.
As I mentioned, we opted for full board and were provided with provisions to prepare our own breakfast and lunch. Our evening meals were cooked by June and Clive and they were truly scrumptious! Three courses every night of good, wholesome, home cooked food, with a few glasses of wine to wash it down. Not only was the food delicious, but it was nice to spend time chatting with other guests, June and Clive, and Veera and her family.
Whilst we weren't riding, we spent the days relaxing around the Cortijo. There are plenty of places to curl up in the sunshine with a good book. Like the accommodation, the outside areas of the Cortijo are beautiful and because there aren't ever too many guests there, very private and peaceful. We often found we had the pool to ourselves, which was fantastic.
We rode Monday- Saturday for 2-3 hours each day. Because of the heat, we either rode early morning or evening, but that was great as it meant we had full days to chill by the pool. The horses are just gorgeous. I rode the lovely Lucy and my daughter cheeky Leo. We rode through pine forests, olive groves, fields and mountains and it was all brilliant. I've have never seen such well behaved horses and my confidence was immediately restored. After eight years of being too afraid to canter, I was cantering on the first day and loving every minute of it! We did breakfast and evening picnic rides, which were great, with stunning views as we sat on the hillside with the ponies grazing happily beside us. Words can't really describe just what a fantastic experience it was. All I can say is that whether you have experience of riding or not, you will love the riding on this holiday. June will ensure you are teamed up with a pony suitable for your level of experience, so if you want to canter you can, and if not, you can stick to your own pace, knowing your pony isn't going to take off after the others.
As well as the horses, there are plenty of other four legged friends to keep you company: cats, dogs, a sheep and a goat (plus the two-legged chickens). I can't not mention little Peanut who stole our hearts and always brought a smile to our faces with his cheeky grin, waggy tail and never-ending desire to play! Like the horses, all these animals are loved and cared for and lead such happy, carefree lives.
Last, but by no means least, the people. The wonderful accommodation, food, riding, pool... everything is down to the hard work and dedication of June and Clive. Without them, the experience wouldn't be the same. I can only describe what they do as a labour of love- they literally did not stop throughout our entire visit. What they have created here is truly unique and a credit to them both. I must also mention the lovely Veera who was working there during our stay and came out riding with us each day. It was a pleasure to meet and ride with her, and share pictures of our own pets from home over dinner.
Overall, this holiday ticked every single box for us. There is nothing I would change and we are already planning a return trip. Thank you to June, Clive, Veera, Lucy, Leo, Peanut and all the other animals for making our holiday so special. It really was a dream come true and one we will never forget.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 2 Self catering 2 bedroom cottages and a 1 bedroom apartment offering group or individual lettings for single person to large group of friends. Bitless and barefoot horse riding on site. Heated pool, jacuzzi, gardens ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Cortijo Los Lobos Spain/Villanueva Del Trabuco, Malaga