The Hotel Dos Mares has one of the most charming settings imaginable, directly on a fabulous beach on the foot of Spain where the Atlantic and Mediterranean meet. Accommodation is in bungalows directly on the beach or can be in the hotel itself. This hotel is ideal for those looking for a relaxed, informal venue with stunning views and a short walk to ride, surf, swim (in the pool or sea), or chill out generally!. The hotel offers a selection of cafes, bar and a restaurant offering local Southern Spanish cuisine. It's a great family venue. Tarifa town is a short taxi ride away for those wanting to explore the local culture.
Plenty to do for non riders. Riding and horses for every level of experience. Choose between the following riding options:
The weekly riding programme, which includes a picnic day ride to the sand dunes, two full day mountain rides into the national park, lots of sunset beach rides and a day trip to the famous 'Dance of the Andalucian horse' show in Jerez.
Short break: 4 nights, from Sunday to Thursdays which includes the Santuario de la Luz ride and the sand dune ride (c.14 hours riding over 5 days).
Weekend getaway (3 nights, from Thursday to Sunday). 2 full days riding (Corktree forest ride and the Paloma Baja ride to the deserted coastal national park) and 2 two hour beach rides on the arrival and departure days.
The relax programme 10 hours of beach riding or lessons learning the spanish way of riding for intermediate riders, spread over the week.
Beginner programme: Suitable for novice riders and children. 2 hours per day of riding spread over 5 days (1 hour of ground work and 1 hour beach ride). Learn to take care of your horse.
SADDLE AND SURF Tempt your non riding friends to join you to do a kite-surfing, wind-surfing or surfing course at the hotel's own surf school on this world famous beach!
4 night Ride & Surf short break with 3 Beach rides (1hr each), and 2 kite-surfing lessons (2 hrs each). Windsurfing and surfing equipment and tuition also available.
7 night Ride & Surf £916 per person with10 hours of riding which can be used as you like for beach/mountain rides or on the half-day riding excursions and 4 x kite-surfing lesson with equipment (2 hrs each)
First week in September is the annual carnival of the Patron Saint, the 'Virgin of the Light' which is party time in Tarifa! Don't miss the procession of hundreds of Andalucian horses as they parade through the old town, with everyone in costume, and (even the kids) dancing late into the night.
Sunday: Arrival at the Dos Mares.
Monday: First contact and beach ride. 10h30: We meet at the stables to introduce you to your horse of the week, to the tack and to the Spanish way of riding. As soon you are comfortable on your horse we will take you out to your first ride on the endless beach of Tarifa - 'Playa de los Lances'. This beach is part of a nature resort. A wide range of birds use it for a stopover before they fly to Africa. 14h00: Lunch. In the evening another beach ride is waiting for you where you can practice your Spanish riding style.
Tuesday: Mountain ride to the 'Sanctuary of the Light', a historic site of Tarifa. 10h30-15h00: Away from the beach we discover the real Andalucian countryside. We ride at a slower pace through fields and along narrow pathways, where all types of animals can be seen. Evening ride on the beach.
Wednesday: Sand dune ride to Punta Paloma. 10h30-15h00: Ride to the sand dunes at the most famous windsurf beach of Tarifa. Have fun sliding down the dunes on horse back. After this special adventure you'll enjoy the picnic in the pinewoods. Evening ride on the beach.
Thursday: Show 'Dance of the Andalusian horse' in Jerez; Sherry distillery. 9h15-18h00: Meeting at the Reception of the Hotel Dos Mares. We will drive to Jerez de la Frontera, the horse capital of Andalucia by car. After tasting fine wine in a sherry distillery, we will watch the show called 'The Dance of the Andalucian Horse'. Here you can see the most beautiful pure Andalucian stallions, showing the highest level of dressage. Lunch in Jerez.
Friday: All day ride into the Los Alcornocales National Park. 10h30-16h30: Ride into the hills of Tarifa through a wood of cork trees where we will have a nice picnic. This is a beautiful ride into the remote back lands of Tarifa.
Saturday: Day ride to the secret village 'Paloma Baja'. 10h30-16h30: Day ride along the beach of the Atlantic Ocean, over dunes and through pine woods until we reach and pass the hidden village Paloma Baja. As we reach our beautiful spot on the coast we stop for lunch with views to the sea in middle of the coastal national park.
Sunday: Departure day. Enjoy your last view over to Africa, before saying goodbye to your horse of the week and we take you back to the airport.
Sunday: We are looking forward to meeting you at the stables, where we give you information about your riding programme and your stay.
Monday: 3h introduction day,start: 10h30. Meet at the stables in the morning to get to know our horses and to introduce you to the Spanish style of riding. When we've tacked up, we go out for a ride on the beach and into the pine forest to practice the Spanish style of riding. In the evening we go out for another beach ride.
Tuesday: 4-5h, Santuario de la Luz, start: 10h30. We go for a ride to discover the Spanish countryside and to visit the Sanctuary of the Light, over hills and through small forests. We meet the cows, pigs, goats that are all walking around free. We have picnic at the sanctuary before we ride back to the stables. Beach ride in the evening.
Wednesday: 4-5h, Sand Dune ride, start: 10h30. We ride to the sand dunes situated on one of the most famous windsurfing bays of Europe where we climb up on the huge sand dunes to slide down its back. Picnic lunch in the pine forest behind the dunes before we ride back to the stables. Beach ride in the evening.
Thursday: 2h, start 10h30. We have an extended beach and mountain ride in the morning, before departure.
(Starting times change according to season).
Thursday: 2h introduction, start: at your arrival. We meet at the stables, where we inform you about your riding program and your stay in general. We will then introduce you to the Spanish riding style getting to know the tack and the horses. When we've tacked up, we go out for a ride on the beach and in the pine forest to practice the Spanish style of riding.
Friday: 4-5h ride to the cork trees, start: 10h30. A nice ride to the national park of the cork trees, we ride up through the mountains and get to see the really unspoiled nature of Andalucia. We have a picnic underneath the cork trees where some pigs or goats might join us. On the way back we get to see the real Spanish countryside.
Saturday: 4-5h Ride to Paloma Baja, start 10h30. We ride along the beach and through pine woods to a deserted costal region in the midst of a nature reserve. We have a picnic before we go back to the stables.
Sunday: 2h, start 10h30. We have an extended beach ride or a beach and mountain ride in the morning, before your departure.
(Starting times change according to season).
Relax programme riding week: package of 10 hours riding per week. Novice to very experienced riders. Learn the Spanish way of riding. Depending on your riding level, enjoy some nice gallops along the beach or calm sunset rides. Flexible schedule. A good choice for those starting slowly again or for those who like to enjoy a good ride but still have time to do other things like relax by the pool or on the beach! Perfect to combine with the weekly program as a second week.
Beginners program: Package of 10 hours of lessons (2 hours over 5 days). Suitable for novice riders and children. Learn to take care of your horse. You can have the same one for the whole week. You will learn the principles of natural riding with 1 hour of ground work and 1 hour of beach riding each day.
The day trip to the Andalucian horse show may be included in the Relax Week or Beginners' week at a cost of £75 per person. Thursdays only.
Highlight of the week for many is the day trip to the Real Escuela Foundation (Foundation of the Equestrian Arts) in Jerez, dedicated to the art of riding. Here you will see the weekly Andalucian Horse Show; an equestrian ballet accompanied by Spanish music with riders in 18th Century style costumes. There are some classical dressage performances (Passage, pirouettes and Piaffer etc..) and also movements used in the country when handling cattle herds. There is also an impressive carriage driving demonstration and a performance where the horse obeys its rider even when not in the saddle and carries out classical high school dressage exercises such as levadas, voltes, corvetas, piaffer (between pillars), Spanish step and long rein.
Before the show there will be time to visit a sherry distillery (the other thing that the area is famous for) for a tasting at the Bodega Sandeman. After the show, we will have lunch in the old city in a restaurant typical of the region. Day trip included in the weekly programme only. Every Thursday.
Kite surfing: this is what Tarifa is famous for. The hotel has its own kite surfing, windsurfing and surf school. All the equipment you will need is available as part of your course. Tarifa beach is an inspiring place to have a go at this new trend sport. Each afternoon you will see hundreds of participants enjoying the wind and the waves, their colourful kites bobbing in the sky. It's an amazing sight and few can resist having a go.
Visit Africa for the day: Morocco is just a 30 minute boat ride away from Tarifa. The modern, high speed boats go every 2 hours and cost €38 per adult which includes a guided tour with a visit to the souk in the medina, a camel ride, a visit to a spice shop, a carpet demonstration and an excellent Moroccan lunch.
Whale watching with marine biologists: in the Straits of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean and home to some of the world's most exotic sea life. Dolphins, whales (including killer whales) and sharks abound in these waters and local companies like TuresMares and Firmm run regular trips in glass bottomed boats (c.4 hrs) out to sea from April to October. Scientific data gathering, 90% sighting guarantee (or a second trip for free). Also see www.whalewatchtarifa.net.
Bird watching: outstanding birdwatching opportunities as thousands of birds migrate to the Tarifa area because it is the bridge between Europe and Africa. Each season 250,000 Raptors and more than 30,000 Storks and Kites congregate here.
Tarifa town - just 3 miles away, at the end of the beach: shopping, history and nightlife. Take an informative tour of the Castillo, a 1000 year old castle. The main street, Batalla de Salado, is full of designer sports shops, cafes, bars, jewellery shops and ethnic clothing boutiques. In the maze of cobbled streets in the old town you'll find Moroccan craftware stalls and designer interiors shops next to health food cafes and fun al fresco bars.
Also known as the Pure Spanishbred Horse, these are thought to be one of the oldest breeds in existence today. Originating from the Iberian peninsular, and closely related to the Lusitano, they were considered to be the choice mount of kings and led many onto the battle field and later into the bullring.
Today, they are highly prized for their qualities under saddle and make exceptional classical dressage mounts, on account of their innate intelligence and ability to learn. With their well muscled crest and clean bone structure, they achieve a beautiful line and this combined with their flowing manes and tail make them a joy to behold at work in an arena, or flying along a sandy beach throwing up sea spray in their wake. Please note that for our holidays at this resort there is an upper weight limit of 95kgs (15 stone).
The transfer to Gibraltar is included in the price of your holiday. We will organize transfers from Malaga or Jerez for a supplement of £40 per person each way. Supplement of £50 per single each way for Gibraltar transfer and £100 each way for singles for Malaga.
Malaga is just over an hour away.
Flights from London Heathrow with GB Airways, from Gatwick with Monarch, GB Airways, and Thomsonfly.
Flights from Manchester with Thomsonfly, from Glasgow with Easyjet and Flyglobespan, from Birmingham with BMI Baby, from Leeds with Jet 2, from Belfast with Monarch.
Bristol to Malaga with www.easyjet.com
Lowcostseats - internet travel agent for charter flights offering good deals.
Jetnav - an independent website searching schedule services, budget airlines and some charters.
Dohop - searches charter and schedule services.
Travelocity - internet travel agents for schedule services.
Avis car hire can also be arranged at the airport (approx €300 for 7 days).
Self-drive: Car rental can be booked easily and inexpensively online with Holiday Autos. Please tell us so that we can reduce the quote of your holiday.
Train travel: For everything you need to know about any train journey visit Seat Sixty-One.
If you would like to view the location of this holiday, please refer to the overview map.
Andalucia has a Mediterranean climate which means hot dry summers and mild winters. The average annual temperature is a very pleasant 18 degrees along the coast. The summer months (July and August) can be very hot (40 degrees is common) and very busy. For this reason we only recommend trips here from October to June.
BBC 5 day weather forecast for Tarifa.
BBC Spanish weather overview.