Spain ~ Girona Pyrenees
Adventurous 6 and 7 night 'place to place' rides, staying in rural lodging and village hotels, available April to October. Suitable for fit intermediate riders and above
Where In the Girona Pyrenees, in north-east Spain where the Pyrenees mountains form the border with France.
What is it like The high 'Garrotxa volcanica', with pine and beech forests, is a landscape typical of this region. From here trails lead down to Mediterranean forest, vineyards and the craggy coastline of the Cap de Creus which was inspiration to Salvador Dali. Rides start high in the Pyrenees, close to the small town of Camprodon and explore mountain pasture and sleepy villages. One route crosses into France and back; another follows cattle drovers' tracks from the mountains down to the coast.
Who does it suit Adventurous riders and mountain lovers who are looking for long, peaceful hours in the saddle. Accommodation options in the mountains are limited acommodation used ranges from pretty rustic guesthouses to 'simple but comfortable' 2*, occasionally 3* village or rural hotels. Your guide is Spanish, usually Xavier who owns the horses, is from the area and extremely experienced as a local guide - but is not a well-practised English speaker. Some adaptability is required!
Why we love it Its a real 'escape' in Europe. This part of Spain is easy to get to from the UK but the mountainous region is wild, remote and off the beaten track. Ride are challenging with long, often slow, saddle hours and some sections on foot at high altitude. You need to be fit and 'up for it' but we love the feeling of 'doing something that tests you' - and of course a good local dinner and drink at the end of a long day.
Riding: 6 to 9 hours a day
Horses: Hispano-Arab crosses, Anglo-Arab and local cross breeds
Pace: moderate with good chances to canter, depending on conditions
Riding ability: confident intermediate to experienced riders
Weight limit: about 90kg (14st 2lbs) but please call us to discuss if your weight is close to this
Accommodation: guesthouses, 2* and 3* village hotels
Group size: maximum 10
Season: April to October
Price: 6 night trails from 1475 Euros (approx £1340) per person
Horses The horses used for rides are well schooled crossbred Andalucian and Hispano Arabs. They have all been carefully chosen and most are between 14.2hh and 16hh and are of a medium build. They are fit, good natured, forward going and responsive to ride and well adapted to the sometime rough terrain. Saddles are mostly general purpose English saddles. Most horses are ridden in snaffles. Saddle bags are provided to carry items required during the day and for picnic lunches. There is a maximum rider weight limit of 90kgs.
Hours: Rides generally include 6 to 9 hours riding each day, with breaks for drinks and lunch
Pace and experience required: To take part in these rides you should have a reasonable amount of previous riding experience and a fairly good level of general and riding fitness. You should be secure, comfortable and in control on a well schooled horse at the walk, trot and canter and used to riding in open country. The horses are a well schooled, very enjoyable and forward going ride for experienced riders. There are also well mannered, steady horses that are suitable for the fit, but less experienced rider. On most days there are good opportunities to move on, with some long canters, but some days in the mountains will be slower - the Pyrenees to Sea Ride has more possibilities for faster riding.
Accommodation on all the rides, although not luxurious, is of a reasonable standard and all rooms have their own bathrooms. Accommodation varies and depends on what is available along the route. Sometimes you will stay in simple, rustic guesthouses; sometimes small rural or village hotels - these are usually a local 2* to occasionally 3* standard. Some have swimming pools.
Prices are seasonal:
High season =*
Average temperature guide
Itinerary in brief - Pyrenees to Sea Ride. Please enquire for other itineraries.
|Day 1||Arrive Barcelona. Evening transfer about 2 hours to L’Abella. Dinner and night at L’Abella.|
|Day 2||Meet the horses and set off riding towards the Pyrenees and to the Salarsa valley. Ride through beech forests and across wild flower meadows before you continue up onto the mountain plateaus, to reach the Coll de Salomó, the highest point of the day (850 m). Ride onto Sant Andreu de Bestacrá and then descend to Beget for the evening.|
|Day 3||Today is probably the longest and most demanding day. The morning ride takes you through the scented oak forests of Alta Garrotxa towards Vall d’Hortmoier, Cross the Llerca River and climb to the Talaxà peak. From here descend to Vall de Sadernes, leading the horses for about 1km. You arrive at the Sant Aniol River before another climb to the Coll de Bassegoda at around 1,200 meters before descending to Albanyà. The night is spent at Bassegoda campsite, in comfortable twin cabins.|
|Day 4||Ride along the Muga River and continue across the GR2, with it´s typical landscape of Alt Empordan, full of vineyards and olive groves as well as the vegetation of Albera Natural Park. Here you may see the most typical Mediterranean metamorphous rocks made of schist and clay shale. In the evening arrive at your hotel near the medieval village of Perelada, famous for its “cava” (sparkling wine).|
|Day 5||Today you leave the mountains and ride through the Albera and the coastal area of Costa Brava towards the sea. Arrive at the town of Llanca, your destination for the night. Within the town, there is a wealth of artistic and historical heritage.|
|Day 6||Ride out of Llanca to a small bay. A chance for a swim and lunch at a local restaurant before spending the afternoon on the beach. In the late afternoon ride into Albera and back to Llanca.|
|Day 7||Breakfast and transfer with the group to Barcelona airport for your flight home.|
|Contact us at email@example.com or on tel (+44) (0)1837-82544 / 825440 for further information, detailed itineraries, dates and answers to questions.|
The meeting point for the rides is Barcelona airport and transfers from/to Barcelona at set times on the first and last days are included in the ride rate. British Airways, Iberia, Easy Jet and several other airlines have direct flights to Barcelona from a number of different UK airports. Flights vary from as little as £60 to £250 economy return.