Spain, Pyrenees - Trail Ride in the Pyrenees
Do mountain peaks and incredible views fascinate you? Are you an experienced rider in good physical condition? Then this is the ride for you. On this ride, you ride at high altitudes, up to 2800 m (9,000 ft) above sea level. You will pass between the peaks of the Pyrenees, through deep valleys, along rocky gorges where it feels like you have landed on the moon, and reach spectacular heights from where you will have spectacular views.
You will ride about 4-7 hours / day for 5 days. On some of the steep passes, you will sometimes need to lead your horses, so it is important to have good shoes. It is also important that, in addition to good riding skills, you have a good level of fitness as some of the days are long and with demanding riding.
This part of Catalonia is also known for its cuisine and wines which brings an extra spice to the ride.
Day 1 - Arrival
You will be met at the airport and driven to L'Abella, a typical Catalan village in the middle of the mountains. (About 2 hours). During the welcome dinner you will go through the week's program and discuss the type of horse that each rider prefers.
Day 2- riding start
After an early start at Abella, you begin to climb up to Costa Bona, at 2500m (8,200 ft). Soon you will head off the beaten track and the rolling alpine meadows and wild flowers offer the chance for fantastic galloping. Arriving at the top of the Costa Bona, you ride into French territory and pass the source of the River Ter. The views are awesome and breathtaking. Up here, it is very common to see eagles, vultures and herds of wild goats and deer. You continue the ride through the countryside of Can Magre and Portella de Mantet and reach the slopes of Vallter 2000. You leave the horses and drive to your hotel in Setcasas, well-known for its excellent food.
Day 3 - up to the highest peaks
Today you head off early around 7:00am. During today, you ride through a spectacular landscape of high mountains with peaks of 2600m and 2800m (8,500-9,100 ft). From Vallter 2000, you ride to Coll de la Marrana, cross the upper part of the Molina River where you eat a picnic that you carried in your saddlebags. After lunch, you climb up to Pic de l'Infern from where you can admire the beautiful Caranca Lakes and the Coma de Vaca Valley. Your next destination is the Nou Creus peak, at 2800m (9,100 ft), the highest peak on this ride. During the descent, you can enjoy long gallops and you will then head to Vall de Nuria. You will spend the night in a hotel and have free time until dinner.
Day 4 - French border
You start the day by riding into French territory, pass through some nice ski stations followed by a tough ascent to Coll de Finestrellas. From the Vall de Núria, you climb up the Finestrelles crossing the Spanish-French border several times. Now you begin an easy descent down the Puigmal, where you enjoy a picnic lunch. After lunch, you will pass into France through Vilallobent and enter Spain again heading to Pugicerdà. Overnight at hotel in Puigcerdà. Free time to visit the spa area or the town of Puigcerdà.
Day 5 - The Great Valley in the Pyrenees
Today you will have a short riding day with several chances to gallop. From Puigcerd, the largest village in the valley, you ride towards Queixans where you ride up into subalpine mountains and come to a mountain cabin at Pla les Forques where you stop and picnic. The vegetation is considered particularly interesting here because the low temperatures, high humidity and altitude have all contributed to the development of species that are not characteristic of the Mediterranean region, but rather of Northern Europe and alpine or European mountains instead. After lunch, you ride down to La Molina. Overnight in La Molina (a ski station during the winter).
Day 6 - National Cadí-Moixeró
Two major mountain ridges, El Cadi, and El Moixeró, meet on the Coll de Tancalaporta and form an impressive mountain barrier where the main Pyrenean ridge meets the pre-Pyrenees. This is where the El Cadi-Moixeró Natural Park protects not only incredible biodiversity but also many places of outstanding natural beauty. You ride across the plains through fields of wheat and sunflowers. You then climb up to the mountain meadows where cattle and horses are sent to graze in summer. This is when you will appreciate your horse’s strength, safety and endurance as you ride up to the top. You ride up to an altitude of 1500 meters (4,900 ft) until you come to Las Barracas del Rus, where cattle graze during the summer, and you will picnic next to a mountain spring.
After lunch, you will have long gallops across the meadows of the Pla d'Anella, and the opportunity to see some of the more than 2000 sheep grazing there in summer. Arrival at the hotel in La Molina.
Day 7 - Bye
After breakfast, leave the hotel and drive to Barcelona Airport. Arrival at the airport at 11.30am.
(Subject to change due to local circumstances beyond our control.))