Spain, Catalonia - Mountain and sea
Galloping through surf on unspoilt sandy beaches, riding through old villages, passing Romanesque churches. We leave the foothills of the Pyrenees, the undulating plains of the Empordà region await, fringed by the long curve of the Bay of Roses, eight kilometers of beach! From here we can see the white-water of the waves where you will experience the gallop of your life in the surf. Every hour passes with beautiful villages, castles and churches including Castelló d’Empúries a lively cathedral town. Ride through the fantastic nature of the Alt Empordà. Discover small medieval villages such as real Besalú, Crespià and Bàscara. Cross hills and fields of wheat, poppies and sunflowers. Discover forests full of wild herbs. Canter on plans coastal meadows on mount and follow the small winding creek. Alt Empordà is full of culture, history and natural diversity.
8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS - 4/6 HOURS X 6 DAYS RIDING, 180KM
Vilafreser - Sant Marti d’Empúries - Castelló d’Empúries - Boadella lake - Besalú - Espinavessa - Vilafreser
Preliminary day-by-day program
DAY 1 - WELCOME TO CATALONIA
You will arrive at your accommodation, located on the Pyrenees’ feet, facing the natural and wild reserve of the Medes Islands, the guesthouse and its camp site, will make you discover the Empordà and his preserved nature, riding trails. The multiples pleasures of the mountain and the country-side holidays. Holiday’s nature close to beach and Figueres, and not far from Girona and Barcelona. The ideal place for a horse-riding holiday and an original way of discovering the region. Before dinner we will go over the week's program. You will be told about the special characteristics of our Spanish trail horses. You will be given an introduction to the week´s program 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 - THE JOURNEY BEGINS
Today, after saddling the horses we are ready to leave, 180 km ahead. The horses are fresh and ready for the adventure. With lots of long canters and gallops through the Alt Empordà pine forests. Every hour we pass another beautiful village, castle, churches, arches, tunnel, old wooden doors with wrought iron knockers, the beauty of the stonework of the past. As the afternoon draws on you can sense the proximity to the coast and at last we arrive at the Mediterranean, the beautiful gulf of Rosas stretches before us. Our hotel for the night is right on the beach.
DAY 3 - VAMOS A LA PLAYA
After an 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 fields and peach, pears, and apple orchards. The pace today is lively. By lunchtime we arrive at our destination Castelló d´Empúries for an amazing picnic. During the afternoon, you can enjoy the swimming pool at the hotel you or explore Castelló d´Empúries and do some shopping. You also have the possibility to go to Figueres to visit the famous Dali-museum. Castelló d´Empúries is a lively cathedral town where we can enjoy some excellent tapas and cold drinks on one of the nice terraces and the local nightlife.
DAY 4 - BOADELLA LAKE
Today is a long day in the saddle around 40km. After an excellent breakfast on the magnificent roof-top terrace of the hotel over-looking the cathedral with the Mediterranean on one side and the gentle curve of the Pyrenees on the other, we saddle up again to continue our journey to the mountains. Today the riding is spectacular, once more a lively pace as we trot and canter out across the planes, through fields, meadows, and Mediterranean woodland rife with the scents of wild herbs and flowers. In the afternoon we ride through cork trees, olive groves and vineyards. Past the lake of Boadella we will find our accommodation for tonight, a lovely farmhouse where we will enjoy an excellent homemade dish cooked with local products.
DAY 5 - WILDNESS EMPORDA
Today after saddling the horses we are entering in the most isolated area to the whole trail. Flora, wildlife, nature, we are going to enter in the wildness of the Alt Garrotxa. During the morning we ride through rolling hills and pine and oak forests. Then, past the charming village of Terrades we will continue through scenery of where it is very likely to meet herds of sheep or wild boar. At dusk we arrive at our destination, Sant Martí Sasserres, with his famous church, where we leave our horses to graze and rest. Today the assistance translates us by car to the Hotel Masia La Palma in Espinavessa. It is a house dedicated to rural tourism where rooms are rented without losing the charm of the place where Tonia and Andres are the perfect hosts.
DAY 6 - CATALAN ARCHITECTURE AND BESALÚ
We follow the north bank of the river Fluviá where we can enjoy the spectacular fluvial scenery with lots of different bird species. We cover many miles in a short time through sunflower fields, open meadows and forest. We stop in Besalú where we have a delicious picnic lunch by the river. Besalú, a medieval walled village, ancient capital, is a jewel of Romanesque architecture set between two rivers. The squares, stone cut pillars and cool shady arched passageways are a wonder to behold. Not to mention the stained glass of its churches. You have some time to wander around and absorb the unique atmosphere of this ancient medieval village with its spectacular bridge and Romanesque architecture. Our destination for today is the Hotel Masia La Palma, where we’ve staying yesterday. The house dates back to the seventeenth century and has been carefully restored. The swimming pool and the living room are all at our disposal and there is the possibility to enjoy a private Spa or a massage. In the restaurant they serve a traditional cuisine based on the finest local ingredients and on some old family recipes.
DAY 7 - HOMEWARD BOUND
In the morning we leave from Vilert into the forest and over the rolling hills around the village of Ollers, with its church dominating the area. Here you find some majestic farm houses built by the nobility in the XVIIth century. With amazing views on the Pyrenees behind us, we enter the historic village of Galliners with some fine examples of Catalan architecture. We travel through forests full of aromatic herbs and wild flowers and we stop for an excellent picnic surrounded by Rosemary bushes. After lunch we continue our journey into the Alt Empordà region and after some good canters, a gentle ride until to arrive at our destination where you can relax in the gardens or have a swim in the swimming pool. Finally, time to enjoy a fantastic home cooked meal for dinner!
DAY 8 - ADIOS AMIGOS
Breakfast and departure and we hope to see each other again soon