Greece, Crete - Mediterranean Ride from Mountains to Sea
This ride is suitable for experienced riders. This is a real adventure ride through mountain areas, totaling about 160 kilometers. The ride goes from hotel to hotel over the Lassithi Mountain plateau where you get a lovely gallop, then on to the mountains and down to the sea. You will stay overnight by the sea and eat fresh fish and swim with the horses.
After the flight, it can be nice to have a dip in the pool before you are served a delicious welcome dinner. The next morning, you test ride your horse on a ride in the mountains. You will stay at the equestrian center and comfortable hotels along the way. Your luggage is transported by car.
The trail ride begins with a spectacular climb up to 1,100 m (3,600 ft) over sea level along old donkey tracks. Once up on the Lassithi Plateau, you are off at full gallop. You then ride over Dikti Mountains heading south. You pass villages with whitewashed houses, olive trees and orange groves. On the slopes are vineyards and castles. Once you reach the coast you can stretch out for a great gallop along the beach. The beach has no currents and you can even swim with the horses. That evening a fresh fish dinner with a good white wine is served. After the coast the ride heads inland through small villages where time seems to have stood still.
This trail ride has everything a good trail ride should have, beautiful and varied trails, good accommodation, good lunches and dinners and fine healthy horses. Definitely worth a try!
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Accommodation & food
You stay 4-5 nights at the equestrian center and 2-3 nights at various hotels along the way. Most have ensuite shower / toilet, but some people share a bathroom in the hallway. The equestrian center is located in a beautiful valley with plenty of oak and olive trees. There is a café, restaurant and a lovely pool. Both the café and restaurant have a balcony or terrace where you look out over the courtyard and the valley below. The restaurant serves delightful local dishes. In Greece people eat late so dinner is served at around 9.00pm.
Your luggage is transported by car between the hotels.
(The program subject to change due to local circumstances beyond our control)
Day 1 Arrival
Arrive in Crete and transfer to the small village where the equestrian center is located. You are invited to a welcome dinner and will stay overnight.
Day 2, about 3 hours riding
After a good breakfast, you will meet your new travel companions. The ride heads north with a climb up the Sfendili Mountain. You will ride past the Byzantine Church in Avdou before galloping over the Mochos Plateau overlooking the island's highest peak Psiloritis Mountain at about 2500 meters (8,200 ft) above sea level . Overnight at the equestrian center.
Day 3, about 6 hours riding
Today the trail ride starts with a real climb. You climb from sea level to 1100m (3,600 ft) through a valley on small donkey trails. In the past, this was the only possible route over the Lassithi Plateau. You get to enjoy amazing views. Lunch is cooked in a traditional oven. After lunch, you ride over the Lassithi Plateau. This fertile mountain plateau between the peaks of the Dikti Mountains is known for its white windmills. Here you can meet the locals who still work the land by donkey. A quick gallop across the plateau is beautiful. Overnight in Magoulas or Dzermiado
Day 4, about 5 hours of riding
Today you ride over the Dikti Mountains heading south. Experience the feeling of being alone with the horses, mountains, nature and the occasional weathered shepherd. You are driven home to the equestrian center for the stay overnight.
Day 5, about 6 hours riding
You ride down through a desert area that has been dried by southerly winds from Africa. Eventually, you will reach the beautiful clear blue waters and it might be time for a dip in the sea. If the weather permits, you may swim with the horses, but it depends on location. You will spend the night near the beach and if you want to, you can grill fresh fish over an open fire. Overnight in the Keratokampus Finikas apartment hotel.
Day 6, about 6 hours riding
First you ride along the coast and then inland. From the sea, you follow the Anapodaris River that has gouged a 5 km long gorge. The water continues to make the gorge deeper and deeper. Suddenly, the landscape becomes friendlier, hilly with lots of olive groves and vineyards. You ride through small villages and along Lake Ini. Transfer back to the equestrian center.
Day 7, about 5 hours of riding
The ride returns to the equestrian center through typical Greek countryside. You will pass villages where time seems to have stood still. Feel free to stay and take an ouzo with the villagers in the square. Nearby, the Diki Mountains tower overhead - an image that will stay long in your memory. Stay overnight and farewell dinner at the equestrian center.
Day 8. After breakfast you are transferred to the airport.
Mediterranean Ride - on your own
If you are very experienced with horses and an experienced rider, you can also ride this trail ride on you own. You will stay two or three nights at the equestrian center and four or five nights in hotels along the way. You carry your luggage in the saddlebags and mid-ride you will get to swap your luggage. If you are adventurous and can read a map, this is the ride for you.