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Greece, Crete

Crete, Greece's largest island, offers an unbeatable combination of sun, sea, and history. With its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and charming villages, Crete is hard to beat.

After an hour’s drive from the island's capital, Heraklion, your journey into the mountains begins. The last fifteen minutes of the drive wind higher and higher until the landscape suddenly opens, revealing the picturesque Asterousia Mountains (UNESCO World Heritage site). Nestled on a mountainside, an authentic old mountain village offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean. 

Here, your hosts, Popi and Markus, have spent many years building an elegant village in a rus-tic style at a secluded spot with a stunning view of the majestic mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. They have a true passion for preserving authenticity in both accommodation and food, as well as in their production of feta cheese. They want to show and share this passion with a small group of nature lovers from all over the world. Around the farm, there are miles of old trails and paths perfect for exploring the spectacular nature on horseback. You'll ride through picturesque villages, olive groves, and along ancient paths that have been used for centuries. During the week-long ride, you will embark on a two-day journey down to the sea, stay at a monastery, dine with monks, and, weather permitting, swim with your horse.

Besides horses, the farm is home to 300 goats, 150 sheep, pigs, cows, and chickens. Most of the animals roam freely on the 1,000-hectare estate. Every morning, hundreds of liters of goat and sheep milk are turned into feta cheese and other delicious cheeses. When not riding, you can truly relax with a drink in this peaceful environment and enjoy the silence, fresh air, and an infinity pool with sea views. This is an exclusive riding trip for those who want to enjoy life's pleasures, such as excellent food and drink, beautiful authentic surroundings, and exciting nature experiences in a secluded location.
 

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Accommodation & Food

The accommodation is in a cozy mountain village with winding streets and narrow alleys, not to mention the fantastic sea views. You stay in charming, traditional Cretan stone houses that have been renovated to preserve the authentic atmosphere while offering modern convenienc-es. Here are some details about the accommodation:

Traditional Houses: The accommodation consists of individual stone houses that are carefully restored to retain the original Cretan architecture. The houses are built with natural materials such as stone and wood, creating a rustic and cozy atmosphere.

Unique Rooms: Each house is uniquely decorated with local furniture and decorative details reflecting the Cretan culture. The rooms feature comfortable beds, beautiful textiles, and often traditional fireplaces.

Modern Amenities: Despite the traditional style, the houses are equipped with modern amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. This includes air conditioning, heating, Wi-Fi, fully equipped kitchens or kitchenettes, and modern bathrooms.

Views and Privacy: Many of the houses have private terraces or balconies with spectacular views of the mountains and the sea, allowing guests to enjoy the peaceful nature and beautiful sunsets in privacy.

Common Areas: There are common areas where guests can relax and socialize, such as a res-taurant, an infinity pool, and various outdoor spaces. These areas are designed to blend into the natural surroundings and offer a relaxed atmosphere.

Sustainability: The accommodation is designed with sustainability in mind, using organic and local materials, energy-saving solutions, and a general respect for the environment.

Restaurant
The restaurant offers an authentic Cretan culinary experience focusing on local and organic ingredients. The food is prepared using traditional methods and recipes, allowing guests to enjoy the rich flavors and aromas of Cretan cuisine. Here are some examples of what you can expect:

Fresh Vegetables and Salads: Meals often include fresh vegetables from local gardens, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and olives. Traditional salads like Greek salad (choriatiki) with feta cheese, olive oil, and oregano are common.

Mezze: Small appetizers and starters like dolmades (vine leaves stuffed with rice), tzatziki (yogurt dip with cucumber and garlic), and fava (yellow pea puree) are often served as part of a meal.

Main Courses: Cretan main courses often include meat from local farms. Dishes like stifado (meat stew with onions and tomatoes), moussaka (eggplant, potato, and minced meat gratin), and kleftiko (slow-cooked lamb) are common. There are also vegetarian options like gemista (stuffed vegetables) and various dishes with local legumes.

Fish and Seafood: Fresh fish and seafood are often prepared in simple and flavorful ways, such as grilled or baked with herbs and olive oil.

Bread and Olive Oil: Freshly baked bread is always served with locally produced olive oil for dipping.

Desserts: Traditional desserts like baklava (filo pastry with nuts and honey), loukoumades (fried dough balls with honey), and various fruits are served to finish the meal.

Drinks: Local wines, raki (a traditional Cretan spirit), and fresh juices complement the meal.

Riding & Horses

The rides take you through the spectacular nature around the Asterousia Mountains, with beautiful views of valleys, cliffs, and the Mediterranean coast. You ride through picturesque villages, olive groves, and along ancient paths that have been used for centuries. The highlight of the week is a two-day long ride with an overnight stay down to the Mediterranean Sea. It is important to have comfortable riding shoes, as you will need to dismount and lead your horse at times. The rides usually end with leading your horse, which is good for both horse and rider. We recommend a pair of well-worn riding boots and short chaps.

Horses
There are 6 horses, Arabian purebreds, and Arabian crosses. They are about 145-155 cm. They are in very good condition and lively, easy-to-ride horses. You can choose to ride in an English saddle or a western saddle.

 

Greece, Crete – Star trail Comfort with 2 day mini trail

Preliminary day by day program

This is an example of what a week might look like. Normally, you discuss with the guide how you want to spend your day/week. Since only a maximum of 4 riders are accepted, the rides can be customized. Depending on weather, experience, and preferences, the order of the rides and the exact program can also vary. For example, it might be better to plan the two-day ride to Tripiti Gorge or to a bay on the green eastern side.

Day 1: Arrival in Heraklion and transfer to the hotel, about 1 hour. If you arrive early enough, you can get to know the horses and other farm animals and take a short test ride.

Day 2: After a delightful breakfast, you walk down to the stable (about 10 minutes) where you saddle your horses for a ride towards Kofinas. You ride through sheep and goat pastures with views of the Massara Plain and Crete's highest mountain, which is sometimes snow-capped until early summer. You take a long lunch break at a beautiful chapel with ancient ol-ive trees. You will also pass two other chapels and some Minoan ruins. On the way back, you can enjoy the fantastic panorama of mountains and sea. Those who wish can also hike to the top of Kofinas for an even better view. Riding time: 4-5 hours.

Day 3: Today you ride west to Tripiti Gorge. It is Crete's second-largest gorge, named after a church in a cave at the foot of the gorge, only accessible via unmarked trails. You take a break at a magical spot with a chapel and remnants of a Minoan settlement. Then you continue downward through cliffs, gnarled olive trees, and barren grazing land with sheep and goats, always with a sea view. The ride through the gorge is breathtaking, with high cliffs on both sides of the narrow paths. When you reach the end of the gorge, you can cool off in the sea. Lunch is at a restaurant. Later, you return along a similar path back to the stable, where the gradually ascending wide roads invite some galloping. Riding time: 5-6 hours.

Day 4: Today you can start the day by sleeping in and then use the day for an excursion to, for example, a bay or a hike. In the evening, you meet for a sunset ride at the stable. You ride on narrow goat paths up to a viewpoint with a fantastic view of the steep coast in the evening sun. Then you enjoy a delicious dinner at the hotel's restaurant as usual. Riding time: max 1.5 hours.

Day 5: Today you start a two-day ride to Koudoumas Monastery, where monks still live and work. You ride again towards the east, past Mount Kofinas where vultures and eagles live. It then steadily descends on wide paths through a pine forest with a sea view. You take a lunch break at a chapel or in the forest and enjoy your picnic. In the evening, you reach the remote monastery by the sea, take care of the horses, and can cool off in the cool water. Accommoda-tion is at the simple guesthouse at the monastery. Those who wish can also sleep directly on the beach in a sleeping bag (provided). Riding time: 5-6 hours.

Day 6: You have breakfast in the monastery's garden, saddle the horses, and set off towards Agios-Ioannis, near the ancient ruins of Phaistos. Your path follows the cliffs above the steep coast along a narrow, sometimes rocky trail, surrounded by trees. In some places, the horses must be led due to the terrain. You are rewarded with breathtaking views of the steep coast, cliffs, and caves. In Agios-Ioannis, you can swim in the sea and enjoy a delicious lunch. Then a wide serpentine road takes you back to the village and the stable, which you reach in the afternoon. Riding time: at least 5 hours.

Day 7: Breakfast and departure according to your flight times. If you are traveling late in the evening, you can also ride once more in the morning

Short Program 4 Days

Day 1-3: See above.
On the 4th day, you take the ride to the view-point after breakfast. Departure after lunch. If you are flying back the same day, preferably after 5 pm.
 

For Non-Riders/Excursion Tips

There are many remote sea bays, hidden caves, and chapels in the area worth visiting. Addi-tionally, Crete is full of Minoan ruins and Bronze Age excavations. For those who love the sea, there are opportunities to swim, snorkel, or take a boat trip to one of the sea bays. On re-quest, you can also book a cooking class or watch goat milking and cheese making.

Mountain Bike: It is also possible to rent mountain bikes. The destination is perfect for cy-clists, with endless exciting cycling routes. Perhaps you are a couple where one wants to ride and the other wants to cycle, then you can meet in the evening over a good dinner.
 

Travel Information

Ability description: Trail Riding 2-3

Included in the Price:
•    6(3) nights, 5 (3) days of riding
•    Full board including wine with dinners
•    Transfer from Heraklion Airport

Not Included:
•    Flights
•    Drinks other than those mentioned above (there is a bar where you can purchase drinks, and at the end of the week, you will receive a collective bill)

Travel:
•    Fly to Crete, Heraklion Airport (about 60 minutes) or Chania Airport (about 2 hours)
Transfer: From Heraklion Airport included.

Arrival/Departure Day:
•    Arrival on Sundays as early as possible
•    Departure on Saturday (or Wednesday), preferably in the afternoon

Season: April-October

Single Room: It is possible to book a single room for an additional fee.

Number of Riders: Minimum 2, maximum 4

Age Limit for Riders: Minimum 15 years old with a parent

Weight Limit: 95 kg

Currency: EUR

Credit Card: Yes

WiFi: Yes

Power Outlets: Standard EU 2-plug

Beach: About 9 km drive to the beach.

Pool: Yes

Misc.:
Riding equipment to borrow: Helmets
Special Diets: Inform at booking.

Dates and prices

"Book on request" means that we cannot confirm your booking immediately, but we will get back to you as soon as possible with a booking confirmation, normally within 24 hours on weekdays.

DateDaysName of tripPrice from
01/09/20244Greece, Crete - centre based trail ride comfort, short weekEUR 945Book on request
01/09/20247Greece, Crete – Centre based trail ride comfort with 2 days Mini trailEUR 1,700Book on request
08/09/20244Greece, Crete - centre based trail ride comfort, short weekEUR 945Book on request
08/09/20247Greece, Crete – Centre based trail ride comfort with 2 days Mini trailEUR 1,700Book on request
15/09/20244Greece, Crete - centre based trail ride comfort, short weekEUR 945Book on request
15/09/20247Greece, Crete – Centre based trail ride comfort with 2 days Mini trailEUR 1,700Book on request
22/09/20244Greece, Crete - centre based trail ride comfort, short weekEUR 945Book on request
22/09/20247Greece, Crete – Centre based trail ride comfort with 2 days Mini trailEUR 1,700Book on request
29/09/20244Greece, Crete - centre based trail ride comfort, short weekEUR 945Book on request
29/09/20247Greece, Crete – Centre based trail ride comfort with 2 days Mini trailEUR 1,700Book on request
06/10/20244Greece, Crete - centre based trail ride comfort, short weekEUR 945Book on request
06/10/20247Greece, Crete – Centre based trail ride comfort with 2 days Mini trailEUR 1,700Book on request
13/10/20244Greece, Crete - centre based trail ride comfort, short weekEUR 945Book on request
13/10/20247Greece, Crete – Centre based trail ride comfort with 2 days Mini trailEUR 1,700Book on request
20/10/20244Greece, Crete - centre based trail ride comfort, short weekEUR 945Book on request
20/10/20247Greece, Crete – Centre based trail ride comfort with 2 days Mini trailEUR 1,700Book on request
27/10/20244Greece, Crete - centre based trail ride comfort, short weekEUR 945Book on request
27/10/20247Greece, Crete – Centre based trail ride comfort with 2 days Mini trailEUR 1,700Book on request
03/11/20244Greece, Crete - centre based trail ride comfort, short weekEUR 945Book on request
03/11/20247Greece, Crete – Centre based trail ride comfort with 2 days Mini trailEUR 1,700Book on request
10/11/20244Greece, Crete - centre based trail ride comfort, short weekEUR 945Book on request
10/11/20247Greece, Crete – Centre based trail ride comfort with 2 days Mini trailEUR 1,700Book on request
17/11/20244Greece, Crete - centre based trail ride comfort, short weekEUR 945Book on request
17/11/20247Greece, Crete – Centre based trail ride comfort with 2 days Mini trailEUR 1,700Book on request
24/11/20244Greece, Crete - centre based trail ride comfort, short weekEUR 945Book on request
24/11/20247Greece, Crete – Centre based trail ride comfort with 2 days Mini trailEUR 1,700Book on request

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