Spain ~ Masos d'en Coll & the Catalan Coast
Stays of 3 to 7 nights starting at a rural guesthouse close to the coast in northern Spain. You can stay at the base or choose a ride from village to village. Available April to November with options suitable for confident novice to experienced riders.
Where In Catalunya, north of Barcelona, starting from a working farm and guesthouse called Masos d'en Coll.
What is it like Masos is in the 'Emporda region', the plains between the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. There are small villages and historic hamlets, cork and pine forest on the hills and around the farm itself, fruit orchards, fields of sunflowers, wheat, barley and other crops. As you head towards the coast there are areas of marshland and finally, long sandy beaches.
Who does it suit Progressive rides, which are for confident intermediate riders and above, move from village to village, through rolling hills, over coastal plains and to the sandy beaches of the Costa Brava. Nights are at small hotels and guesthouses en-route. Discovery Rides include each night at Masos d'en Col, with daily rides, time to swim, or explore under your own steam. These are a great way to get to know the local area and can be adapted for different abilities from confident novice and up. All rides are a little 'hands on' - you need to help with your horse. Nothing too arduous but brushing and tacking up for example. Food, wine and accommodation are all straight forward but good!
Why we love it Friendly, easy going and uncomplicated to get to. Run by a very hospitable team who do their best to look after you and offer great value riding. All round reliable quality, without the frills you don't necessarily want. Its a lovely area to explore and who can resist riding to the coast...
Riding: 3 to 7 hours a day
Horses: Andalucian crosses/Spanish Arab cross
Pace: moderate with good chances to canter
Riding ability: intermediate to experienced riders
Weight limit: about 90kg (14st 2lbs) but please call us to discuss if your weight is close to this
Accommodation: comfortable guesthouse; 2* and 3* village hotels
Group size: maximum 8 (private groups of up to 12 can be accommodated)
Season: March to November
Price: 7 night trails from 1365 Euros (approx £1240) 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. Riders are expected to groom and tack up their own horse each day in preparation for rides and even occasionally to clean their own tack if necessary. There is a maximum rider weight limit of 90kgs.
Hours: The progressive rides generally include 5 to 6 hours riding each day, with occasionally a longer day; one base rides are a little more relaxed with 3 to 5 hours.
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. There are plenty of opportunities to move on, with some long canters particularly on the progressive itineraries.
Accommodation on all the rides, although not luxurious, is of a good standard and all rooms have their own bathrooms. Masos d'en Coll (where the first and last night of most progressive rides, and all nights on the Discovery Ride, are spent) is a working farm in a fairly remote location. It has been re-built and re-furbished. Bedrooms vary in size and are simple but stylish, all have their own bathrooms. Masos has its own small swimming pool, another place to relax after a day’s riding. Accommodation used on the progressive rides varies and depends on what is available along the route. You will either stay in small hotels - these are usually about a local 2* to 3* standard and some have swimming pools - or in the more remote areas, in smaller guesthouses. The latter are simpler but often with plenty of local character.
Prices are seasonal:
High Season = *
Average temperature guide
Itinerary in brief - Pyrenees & Beach Ride. Please enquire for other itineraries.
|Day 1||Arrive Girona airport. Evening transfer to Masos d'en Coll. Dinner and night at Masos d'en Coll.|
|Day 2||Meet the horses and set off riding along tracks through farmland of cereals and apple plantations. Follow the river Ter across the plains of Emporda. The night is spent in a local village hotel.|
|Day 3||Set off riding through some small traditional villages, pine woods and oak forest before arriving in Pontos, at the Tower of the Angel. After a light lunch ride on to Vilanant. Dinner and night in a rural guesthouse.|
|Day 4||Start off with a long ride across the plains, the route crosses ancient vineyards and olive groves, passing rustic farmhouses and follows an old trail along the banks of the Muga River. Stop for a picnic lunch close to the river and in the late afternoon head towards the mountains passing some lovely small villages to arrive at Cantallops in the Mediterranean Pyrenees.|
|Day 5||Set off across the Pyrenean foothills, heading towards to coast. Ride past the castle of Recasens, an impressive and now renovated 11 C fortress, before stopping for a picnic at the top of a mountain. In the afternoon head down to the easternmost part of the Pyrenees, with beautiful views of Cabo de Creus and the dramatic coastline.|
|Day 6||Today you leave the mountains and head to the beautiful plain of Emporda and the coast. Stop for lunch in Castello de Empuries, a small city with a rich medieval past which used to be the old capital of Emporda. In the evening continue towards the sea, with a fast ride to Mas de Mar at the beach of Sant Pere Pescador.|
|Day 7||Todays ride takes you south along the beach of the Bay of Roses to L’Escala and from here continues to Macizo of Montgri. Stop for a picnic at the top of the rocky ridge with a wonderful over the Bay of Roses. In the afternoon, mount up again and your last ride takes you back to Masos d'en Coll. The rest of the afternoon to relax before a farewell dinner and final night at Masos d'en Coll.|
|Day 8||Breakfast and transfer with the group to Girona 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 Girona airport and transfers from/to Girona at set times on the first and last days are included in the ride rate.
Jet2 and Ryan Air have flights from various UK regional airports to Girona. British Airways, Iberia, Easy Jet and several other airlines have direct flights to Barcelona from a number of different UK airports.