Spain ~ Mountains & Valleys of Gredos
The Gredos Mountains are about three hours drive west of Madrid, past the medieval walled city of Avila and on the borders of the provinces of Caceras, Salamanca and Avila. They are a lovely example of rural, unspoilt Spain where high snow capped peaks frame open moorland valleys and seas of yellow broom, lavender and thyme cover the hills. Rides in the Gredos explore the untouristed valleys of the Tormes, Corneja, Alberche and Tietar rivers, passing through sleepy hillside villages where you may stop for a drink in a local bar or to water your horse at an ancient well, before picnicking on the grassy river bank. Nights on the rides are at comfortable village hotels, with Paradors used on some nights.
Rides are run from fixed dates between March and November for 4 or 7 nights.
Riding: 5-7 hours a day.
Horses: Arab and Andalucian crosses.
Pace: moderate overall.
Riding ability: intermediate to experienced riders.
Weight limit: 90kg (14st 2lbs).
Accommodation: 2* and 3* village hotels, 3* & 4* Parador.
Group size: max 10
Season: March to November
Horses: The horses are mainly locally bred Arab and Andalucian crosses. They average between 15hh and 16hh and are a forward going, responsive and thoroughly enjoyable ride. They are also good natured, nimble but sure footed and well suited to the going. Tack is English style with sheepskin saddle covers available if required and saddle bags provided when necessary. Rides are normally for a maximum of 10 guests.
Hours: There is between 5 and 7 hours riding a day, riding from village to village with breaks for rests and lunch.
Pace and experience required: To join these rides you should be a reasonably experienced rider who is comfortable, secure and in control on a well schooled horse at a walk, trot and canter in open country and over varied terrain. You should also have a fairly good level of general and riding fitness. The pace on the rides is moderate overall but it varies each day with the going - one day particularly includes some steep ascents, descents and narrow trails to negotiate; other days are on more open going which allows faster riding.
Accommodation on the rides is in a combination of Paradors and comfortable village hotels which are varied in style and character. All are clean, comfortable and chosen as far as possible for their character. Rooms have private en suite bathroom with shower or bath and loo. Some nights are spent in the Parador of Gredos, an old hunting lodge built by King Alfonso XIII and now an imposing country hotel. Hotel rooms are twin bedded although single rooms can be arranged at a supplement. Your luggage is transported from hotel to hotel by vehicle. Breakfast and dinner each day will be eaten at the hotels. Lunches are usually picnics out riding.
Valleys of Gredos Ride - Euros 2300
Valleys of Gredos
Itinerary in brief - Valleys of Gredos itinerary. Please enquire for other itineraries.
|Day 1||You will be met at Madrid airport, usually at about 3 pm, and driven about 2 ½ hours to a small village in the Gredos mountains. Dinner and the night at the Parador of Gredos.|
||Breakfast, then meet the horses and set off on a day ride through pine woods and open fields. A chance to really get to know your horse with wonderful views of the Sierra de Gredos as you ride. Picnic lunch out riding and ride back to the stables in the late afternoon. Dinner and second night at the Parador with time to visit a local spa with heated pool before dinner if you wish.|
||A day ride following the course of the Tormes River, stopping for lunch at Pozo de las Paredas, a magical spot at the gorge of Barbellido which joins the Tormes. After lunch and a swim in summer, follow cattle tracks to Navalperal de Tormes. Diner and night at a rural hotel.|
||A long half day ride today, along cattle tracks and past the village of Aliseda de Tormes. The night in a luxurious country hotel with spa and pool just outside the small town of Barco de Avila. A free afternoon with time to visit Barco if you wish. Dinner and the night.|
||Breakfast, then ride through holm oak woods and pastures to Puente del Congosto. Picnic by the river, then a short ride on to Hoyorredonda for dinner and the night in a lovely country hotel.|
||A day of contrasting landscapes, starting with flat open valleys, then following the Corneja River to its source. Lunch near a watermill, before following a Roman road up the Puerto de Chia for panoramic views of the whole of the Corneja and Alberche valleys. Climb down to San Martin de la Vega and dinner and night at a rural hotel.|
||Ride back to Navarredonda stopping for lunch with great views of the peaks of the Sierra. A short afternoon ride takes you back to the stables and return to the Parador de Gredos for dinner and final night.|
||Breakfast and then transfer back to Madrid for your onward journey, arriving about 12 noon.|
|Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Madrid airport. There are several flights a day to Madrid from London. British Airways have regular flights from Gatwick and Heathrow and Iberia fly several times a day from Heathrow. Easy Jet usually have a daily flight from Luton and also some flights from Stansted. Fares vary with the airline and season but budget around £150 to £250 return.