Spain, Catalonia - Beach & Meadows
Catalonia Horse Trails offers again a route that is going along the Catalan Coastline, riding through the fantastic landscape of Empordà and Costa Brava. Beach and Meadows trail will allow you to discover the Costa Brava. It is a beautiful stretch of coast and this area has a rich medieval history, beautiful scenery and a great artistic heritage. It has been voted one of the "Best of the World Destinations 2012" by National Geographic Traveler Magazine and deservedly so. You will also discover a nature reserve, the Parc Natural dels Aiguamolls de Empordà. This Park has been designated as both a RAMSAR site and an Important Bird Area. The Park is built on marshy land and shelters predominantly aquatic birds. More than 300 different species have been sighted here.
And also you are going to ride through the magnificent river mouth "La Gola", converted now in a protected natural area, which will give you a view of the coastal plant life and the fauna of maritime-land areas of Costa Brava. Beaches, sand, natural dunes, precious villages, castles and churches. Discover small medieval sites such Peretallada, Torroella de Montgrí and ride through two sandy beaches. Experience the most exciting gallop on the fringe of the sea. Beach and Meadows trail has the perfect formula for a unique and unforgettable horse riding.
8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS - 160KM - 4-6 HOURS X 6 DAYS RIDING
Vilafreser - Sant Marti d'Empuries - Castelló d'Empuries - Vilafreser - La Gola de Ter - Serra d'Aró - Vilafreser
Preliminary day- by-day program
DAY 1 - WELCOME IN CATALONIA
Located on the Pyrenees’ feet, facing the natural and wild reserve of the Medes Island, the guesthouse and its camp site, will make you discover l'Empordà, his preserved nature, riding trails. Holiday’s nature close to beach, Figueres and Girona, and not far from Barcelona. The ideal place for a horse-riding holiday and an original way of discovering this Catalan lovely region. Before dinner you will be told about the special characteristics of our Andalucian trail horses. You will be given an introduction to the week´s programme with an opportunity for a one-to-one conversation designed to find every rider their perfect horse. Then, you can enjoy a fantastic dinner!
DAY 2 - FROM THE LAND TO THE SEA
Today is a nice day in the saddle. With lots of long canters and gallops through the Alt Empordà pine forests and rolling hills. As the afternoon draws on you can sense the proximity to the coast and at last we arrive to your accommodation in Sant Martí d’Empúries, a scenic little world set in one of the most beautiful bays in the Mediterranean, el Gulf of Rosas. Surrounded by areas of authentic natural beauty Sant Martí d’Empúries is located near the famous ruins, with the same name, of the first Iberian Peninsula Greek city and keeps a perfect balance between land and sea, between the greens and yellows of its orchards and the blue and gold of the village´s extensive beaches and historic past.
DAY 3 - THE FIRST BEACH
After a so early start, we trot our horses 1 km down to the beach. The long curve of the bay of Rosas stretches before us, kilometers of golden sand. Here we enjoy some excellent canters and gallops on the beach. After the beach ride we head inland again following the river Fluviá, past a bird sanctuary where we can see flocks of migrating birds. The terrain is flat with lots of rice plantations and peach, pears, and apple orchards. The pace today is lively. Our destination is Castelló d’Empúries, a lovely medieval village, separated from the sea front to protect better his inhabitants from the corsair intrusions at XVIth and XVIIth century. Free afternoon, to enjoy the swimming pool at the hotel you or to explore Castelló d’Empúries, do some shopping and taste some tapas on one of the nice terraces. You also have the possibility to go to Figueres to visit the famous Dali-museum.
DAY 4 - MEDIEVAL VILLAGES
We will start our trail going down to Baix Empordà. In spite of being a prosperous area, it still conserves the traditional rural and village way of life. The paths and tracks have not been asphalted nor has the countryside been fenced off so there is an unlimited combination of paths and bridleways to explore. Every hour we pass another beautiful village, castles, churches, arches, tunnels, old wooden doors with wrought iron knockers, the beauty of the stonework of the past. At lunch time we will have our daily picnic in an evergreen oak forest. In the afternoon, we will arrive at the farmhouse from we’ve start three days ago.
DAY 5 - THROUGH THE MEADOWS
We start again from the same place but today in the contrary direction as the first day. South direction, to the river Ter, purchasing the Castillo de Montgrí outline, located at the top of the mountain mass who have got his name. We will arrive to the river Ter riding in routes and paths in the middle of forests and meadows, and at the end along rice fields, to arrive at the mouth of the river and the sandy beach of Pals with an exceptional view of the famous Medes Islands in the distance. Our hotel is in front of the beach.
DAY 6 - THE SECOND BEACH
After breakfast, we trot our horses down to the beach. Here we enjoy some excellent landscape on our second beach in this trail. In Fonollera beach, the river forms a lagoon then enters it fully into the sea. Riding your horse through the natural spaces of La Gola del Ter, La Platera or El Ter Vell will give you a view of the coastal plant life and the fauna of maritime-land areas. We then ride along meadows and rice fields to arrive at Peratallada. This lovely village is carved of stone from the moat which surrounds Peratallada. Indeed, its name means 'carved stone'. Defensive walls surround parts of the village and there is also a stone castle. It was one of the best fortified medieval villages in Spain.
DAY 7 - A MOSAIC COUNTRYSIDE
The entire route goes through a countryside that combines fields of crops, which sinuously cut into the clearings of Mediterranean woods, with small scattered human settlements, that are integrated into the territory. We ride through mosaic countryside, enjoying some excellent canters and gallops. We enjoy our lunch near a natural well, welcome refreshment for us and the horses. Back on our horses for the last part of today, a gentle ride following the path leads us to home.
DAY 8 - ADIÓS AMIGOS
Breakfast and departure and we hope to see each other again soon (Or why not continue for another week trail up to the mountains?)