10 Great Places to Horse Ride- #7 Donana National Park, Spain

April 1, 2012

You can't get much better than horseback riding on the beach in Southern Spain, which is why this beautiful national park ranks #7 in our Top 10 list.

by Darley Newman

Doñana National Park is another destination that I've been priviledged to ride horses in twice! These are some of the most beautiful beaches for horse riding and it's neat that much of the park is off limits to vehicles and other traffic, keeping it pristine and letting nature rule.

Located in Andalucia in Southern Spain, the park has three different ecosystems. Vsitors can venture through marshes, forests and vast sand dunes, all within a few hours. Listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, Doñana is one of the largest parks in Europe. Bird watchers and animal lovers flock to Doñana to see endangered species, such as the Spanish Imperial Eagle and the rare Iberian lynx, as well as the myriad of birds who nest, breed or rest in the safety of Doñana. 

We rode with Fernando Garcia of Epona, which offers dressage training and trail riding holidays from their hacienda outside of Seville.

 

In the 13th century, part of the park was set aside as a hunting reserve by the Kings of Castille who were attracted by the area’s abundance of game. The park is named after one of the duchesses of Medina, Sidonia, Doná Ana de Silva y Mendoza, who built a residence in the park. It was because of her that the area would be known as ‘the forest of Doná Ana’ or Doñana. It was turned into a national park in 1969.

Jeep tours are a popular way to discover the park, as are hiking trails. Riders can hit the beach and trails surrounding the park, taking in the area’s natural beauty on Andalusian horses.  

Read about our #8 pick–– Cappadocia, Turkey.
Check out our #6 pick–– Canyon de Chelly in Arizona.

 

Learn more about  dressage vacations and horseback riding vacations in Spain and beyond in the Equitrekking Vacation Guide and on EquitrekkingTravel.com.

Topics: Andalucia, Andalusian, Andalusians, beach, beach riding, darley newman, Donana National Park, equestrian travels, equestrian vacation, equestrian vacations, Equestrianism, equine travel, equitrekking, europe, horse riding, horse riding beach, horse riding vacations, horse vacations, horseback riding on the beach, Southern Spain, spain, Spain

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