Our Local Area (and some of our rides)
In the fabulous hill country of
southern Castilla la Mancha, 59 miles from the north eastern border of
Jaen territory, Andalucía, Viva Iberica’s riding centre and the
Purebred Spanish Horse Stud 'Yeguada Iberica' are
to a protected nature reserve near the mediaeval village of Tobarra, 5
miles from the ancient market town of Hellin.
This unspoilt area has not yet been
invaded by the tourist industry, although it is a secret paradise for
Spanish visitors who appreciate its outstanding countryside, wildlife and
To many, Castilla La Mancha represents the vast
plains of Don Quixote country, where the famous white windmills
are depicted on sun-drenched hills in numerous paintings and
photographs. However, we are situated in southern Castilla La Mancha
where the vast plains of central Spain change to pine wooded hills,
ancient arroyos, vineyards and fertile orchards of olive, almond,
apricot, peach and pear.
Riding or walking directly from our Centre to the
east you will find a protected nature reserve, pine woods and hills,
vineyards, olive and almond plantations, with views to the far
To the south are low mountains and the extinct
volcano of Cancarix, where you could imagine you are riding in an
old 'Western', or perhaps in Arizona.
Southwest are the rivers, lakes and wooded hills of
Agramon, where stunning views to the far mountains alternate with
shaded paths alongside the (rivers) Rio Mundo and Rio Seguro.
To the SSW
is Tolmo de Minateda, one
of Castilla La Mancha’s archaeological parks, occupied since prehistoric
times (with prehistoric paintings in its rock shelters), plus an ancient
Ibero-Roman fortified village, later a Visigoth settlement.
Declared a "World Heritage" by UNESCO.
To the west you can ride or walk on ancient tracks
through the fruit orchards of Polope.
We are a 50 minute scenic
drive (included in Tours of the Region options)
from the vast nature reserves of the Sierra del Segura and the
Sierra de Alcaraz where the Rio Mundo begins its long
journey to the sea.
1½ hours drive from Alicante or St
Javier (Murcia) airports, also
the port of Cartagena, or
La Manga and its
golf complex and the beach resorts of Mazaron & Santiago de la Ribera in
The Riding Centre
The Centre is situated within a 110 acre working farm
(vineyard, olives, almonds, alfalfa) and the Purebred
Spanish Horse stud farm 'Yeguada Iberica', between Tobarra and the
village of Cordovilla.
Campos de Hellin
situated in the heart of what is known as the Campos de Hellin, a
collection of landscapes reflecting perfectly the transition from
the endless Castilian plains to the eastern Mediterranean lowlands,
where the traveller descends from the vineyards, olive and almond
trees to the mountainous areas bathed by the rivers Mundo and
Segura, in which surroundings river woods, bamboo, pine forests and
fertile market gardens grow. Next to us are the Sierra de Los
Donceles, rich in Mediterranean pines and wildlife, and the Volcano
of Cancarix, declared a national monument.
Tobarra, our local village -
2km (1¼) miles from the
A combination of medieval town,
ancient winding streets and traditional and modern shopping and
facilities, thriving cultural centre, concert hall, sports centre,
swimming pool (July and August) situated in gardens and palm trees,
covered bullring and the world’s foremost drum museum!
Tobarra is classified a National
Tourist Interest and is noted for its Holy Week festivities
Easter Sunday) when thousands of drummers descend on the town. In
the Town has been
granted an extra hour before changing its clocks to summer time
to allow the drummers an extra hour of festivities!
History: Remains of an early
village from the Iberian period have been found here. Later Tobarra became
an important settlement in the Arab period, then an independent town in
1269. The Town Hall is a fine 16th century building as are some of the
houses in the town, some with coats of arms and rows of ancient balconies.
Fine old buildings include the 16th century church of Assumption, the
Franciscan Convent, church of San Antón, the Shrine of the Cristo de la
Antigua y de la Encarnación with Mudejar ceiling and Mozarabic features.
Wikipedia entry for Tobarra (opens in new window)
(where your hotel is situated) - 8km (5
miles) from the Centre
character of its ancient history with all the modern shopping centres and
facilities of a thriving and prosperous community. Market day is Wednesday
History - An important town of the
Mancha region considered to be the Ilumum of the Roman period. In the 3rd
century, Roman villas were built here and mosaics from Hellin are now in the
National Archaeological and Albacete Museums. Later an important Arab
settlement, captured by the Christians in 1256, owned by the Catholic
Monarchs in 1476 and granted the title of a town in 1898. The main town of
this agricultural region it has an historic centre, of Arab origin, formed
by an irregular and maze-like pattern of streets. It is surrounded by
walls and has a permanent covered market, an old Moorish castle and a
number of 16th century churches and towers and 18th century palaces and
There are two museums, one devoted
to bullfighting (not open all year), the other to local archaeology.
Wikipedia entry for Hellin (opens in new window)
The Wines Of Castilla La Mancha
It is not generally appreciated that the region of
Castilla La Mancha produces some fine and internationally award
winning wines. More than 570,000 hectares of vineyards in Castilla
La Mancha provide 17.8% of Europe's entire wine production and 7.6%
of wine produced worldwide.
Near to Tobarra is the town of Elche
de la Sierra in an area surrounded by mountains, rivers and lakes.
This is an area where we (Richard) takes part in rounding up and
herding the fighting bulls to the town corrals. We sometimes ride in
this area and on the sandy shores of the Embalse de Talave
Links to other information
Why choose us
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