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Holiday Report: Calimani Mountain Trails, Romania

August 24th, 2012

Relu's photo of the riding groupCalimani Mountain Trails, Transylvania, Romania, 2012.

‘Transylvania – A Fashion for Vampires’, Christine Dier.

There had been a light shower of rain as we travelled through the mountainous region of Transylvania and just as the evening started to settle, the clouds started to emerge from the silent forest, drifting slowly towards the sky, and even if you don’t believe in vampires the atmospheric conditions would challenge even the most sceptical. Every one of our exploration group joked how you could see how the legends occurred and Bram Stoker stories have filtered across the globe. Our tents were pitched close to the top of the mountains just above the tree line, in a little huddle for the comfort of knowing others were close by.

Our dinner cooked over an open fire in a cauldron, suspended on three legged stand with a hook and chain. We laughed and chatted as the dinner cooked and woodsmoke filled the air. The horses grazed on the mountain pasture in happy contentment. We were miles from anywhere in these remote but beautiful mountains. We built up the fire to keep the bears and wolves away from the horses. Finally it was time to go to bed and as I turned away from the fire I noticed a fast rising mist from the damp grass, which was creepily eerie in the early moonlight. The surrounding forest was black now and silent as the mist was starting to reach the lower branches. I flicked on my torch and scrabbled into my tent, zipping it up tightly to keep the cold and damp from coming in. I got into my sleeping bag which was comforting and warm. As I lay quietly the sound of distant howling wolves started to fill the night. My ears went on to high alert, as I listened for any movement around the tents. Are vampires and werewolves silent? I don’t know. My mind started re-running spooky movies. What should I do? The howling wolves finally stopped but did that mean they had moved closer or further away? Finally I slept.
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Holiday Report: Almeria, Spain

June 26th, 2012

Beach riding in AlmeriaAlmeria, Spain, 2012.

Sarah Ritchie, Far and Ride.

In April 2012 I visited our destination in Almeria, Spain, and stayed in both Hotel Cortijo el Sotillo and Apartementos Turisticos Villa Maltesis. Hotel Cortijo el Sotillo is conveniently located close to the village of San Jose and is right next to the Almeria riding centre. The 18th century converted farmhouse is just a short walk from the village. San Jose offers a wide range of good restaurants, local produce in the shops, internet cafes, a tourist office and a bus service to Almería. The hotel rooms are very spacious with plenty of wardrobe space, a sofa and a desk area as well as an area for hanging coats. The bathrooms are also very spacious with a large walk-in bath/shower and a nice selection of complimentary toiletries. Each room also has its own private terrace. The staff are friendly and helpful and always smiling. There is a lovely swimming pool with plenty of sun loungers for those wishing to soak up some sunshine.

Apartamentos Turisticos Villa Maltes is just a short distance away from the stables and ideally suited to families wishing for their own private accommodation or perhaps a self catering option. There are 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments available with a kitchen, living room with sofa bed, individual patio and access to the swimming pool. They are air conditioned/heated and also contain a fridge, TV and possibility of adding extra bed. During my stay the restaurant was not yet open but it soon will be with the added option of requesting breakfast to be brought to you in your apartment.
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Escorted Riding Holidays for 2012

June 12th, 2012

Escorted Trips for 2012

Previous Escorted Trip to Jordan

Sarah riding with clients in Jordan

An ‘escorted’ trip is a riding holiday accompanied by a Far and Ride member of staff and is a particularly great option for single travellers. By joining an escorted ride, you are guaranteed the company of likeminded people and also have the option to join our staff member for your flight as well, making the whole adventure a lot more relaxed and enjoyable. Although many of our clients have travelled alone and are comfortable in doing so it can be refreshing to have someone to chat to at the airport, to ride alongside you and to encourage a real group spirit during the holiday. Of course you might just like to make a new friend in one of us!

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Holiday Report: Country and Beach Getaway, Sardinia

May 26th, 2012

Holly and TatanaCountry and Beach Getaway, Sardinia, 2012.

Holly Anthony, Far and Ride.


In May 2012, Holly from Far and Ride took the opportunity to visit the Country and Beach Getaway in Sardinia. This riding holiday destination is a remote country hotel offering a selection of riding packages to suit all levels. The horses graze freely in the hotel’s beautiful gardens during the day and the destination is a haven for both the horse lover and indeed the horses themselves. With the opportunity for lessons and various rides out (meadows, mountains, beach and gardens!) as well as a full trail programme from the mountains to the sea, all guests can improve their riding and enjoy the stunning and peaceful surroundings. Sardinia is often overlooked by riders but as it turns out, it’s a true horse island!

Holly’s visit was part of a special weekend as we market this destination. She was able to take part in an especially long ride, created to show as much of the land from the trail programme as possible, as well as enjoy a shorter ride from the hotel’s second paddocks on the coastline. She also took the time to enjoy the facilities, food and of course the company of new friends! Below are her thoughts on this wonderful rural retreat.
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Holiday Report: Moorland Cattle Drives and Trail Rides, England

May 17th, 2012

Holly riding RockMoorland Cattle Drives and Trail Rides, England, 2012.

Holly Anthony, Far and Ride.


Holly from Far and Ride recently returned from a long weekend of riding in Dartmoor, driving cattle and trail riding across the beautiful, open moorland. Although this part of England is acknowledged as offering excellent riding terrain, the chance of working with cattle from horseback is rare in this part of the world with most travelling to the far fields of Wyoming or Montana in order to fulfill their cowboy dreams. Phil and his family can offer genuine, hands-on cattle work at their farm in south-west England, where you are guaranteed a warm welcome and can enjoy the company of the numerous cattle, sheep, horses and dogs on site. A typical week combines a few days of cattle work and some superb trail riding opportunities, making the most of this rural setting.
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Western Riding Training Clinic, Hungary

April 17th, 2012

Barrel Racing as Kiskunsagi Ranch, Hungary Kiskunsagi Ranch, Hungary.

Western Training Clinic, 9th – 16th June 2012.

Calling all medium to advanced western riders!

From 9th – 16th June 2012 there will be a training clinic at our spectacular Kiskunsagi Ranch in Hungary. Riders will spend either the mornings or afternoons training in the arena, then spend the rest of the day out riding the local trails. The ground in this part of Hungary is beautifully sandy meaning that the going is superb for canters and gallops.

During the lessons you will work on various western riding disciplines such as reining, pole bending and barrel racing. The week will conclude with a friendly competition to try out your improved skills in the saddle.

The ranch offers a warm welcome and has excellent facilities. Guests are comfortably accommodated on site and can also enjoy other activities such as carriage drives, visits to the local cheese factory or perhaps a trip to the bird watching station. The ranch has just been visited by our Managing Director, Sue, who is happy to tell you more about the set up. You can also read her holiday report.
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Holiday Report: Gaucho Experience, Brazil

April 13th, 2012

Hans on a Palomino horse Gaucho Experience, Brazil, 2012.

Hans H.

As promised, here is a full comment on my stay in Brazil from 18 – 25 March 2012.

This was an absolutely amazing holiday! The riding was intense – I certainly got very tired – but the countryside was lovely and the local people wonderful.

Of course, being the only foreigner there, I did not have a standard itinerary, so I suppose that my comments can’t be taken as a reflection of the typical experience. In some cases we did things and went to places that they said they could not do with a bigger party – either because it might be difficult with several people or because it was impossible to get a van there to prepare food. I made clear to them at the start that I had no expectations in terms of food – “I eat what you eat, I drink what you drink” – so at times we ate simply from saddle bags (although being gauchos they still had a habit of making a fire and cooking meat – I just helped gather up some firewood).
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Holiday Report: Kiskunsagi Ranch, Hungary

April 12th, 2012

Kiskunsagi Ranch, Hungary, 2012.

Sue Woodbine, Far and Ride.

I’ve just returned from my first trip to Hungary and I was not sure what to expect… what a wonderful adventure it turned out to be! Accompanied by Stephen, my non-rider husband who is also a Director of Far and Ride, I visited our Western Ranch situated in Kiskunsagi Park which is about 80km from Budapest. Ida met us at the airport and we drove the scenic route to the ranch (this was not intentional but it was fun!). The countryside during the journey was very pleasant but flat and unexceptional. However, once we were near the ranch the countryside totally changed beyond recognition – this area is basically known as the Hungarian desert as there is sand underfoot for miles! I got out of the car and was struck by how peaceful and tranquil the ranch was… this feeling remained for the whole of our stay and is difficult to describe unless you have been there yourself. The pace of life is so different and offers a great way to escape from hectic lives back at home.
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Holiday Report: Petra Trails, Jordan

November 18th, 2011

Petra Trails, Jordan, 2011

Sarah Ritchie, Far and Ride.

From 3rd – 12th November 2011, Sarah from Far and Ride escorted a ten day Petra to Wadi Rum tour in Jordan. The tour consisted of three nights in hotels, five nights camping and one night in a permanent desert camp. There were six days of riding, a visit to Petra and a visit to the Dead Sea. Tailor made programmes can be designed for groups wishing to spend longer exploring Jordan.

Below is Sarah’s report on the week…

“I arranged to meet Far and Ride clients Karl, Ann and Emma at Heathrow Airport before our departure so after a brief coffee we headed to our boarding gate and we were off. The flight to Amman took approximately five hours and as soon as we arrived we were met by an Airport Representative who was there to assist us in obtaining our visas. This proved to be a very fast and easy process followed by a driver waiting for us as soon as we had collected our baggage. I do recommend having Jordanian Dinars to hand though as the ATM in arrivals was empty. We waited a very short time for another rider to arrive on a flight from Paris before setting off to our hotel in Amman for the evening. We were all handed our welcome packs containing information on Petra and Wadi Rum along with our weekly programme detailing each day.
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Holiday Report: Brecon Beacons and Beyond, Wales

October 31st, 2011

Holly (right) and Emelie the guide.Brecon Beacons and Beyond, 2011.

Holly Anthony, Far and Ride.

Holly recently went on a long riding weekend in Wales, accompanied by several clients, in the beauty of the Brecon Beacons in Wales. Wales is known for offering interesting riding terrain and has become famous for pony trekking, though what you will find at Far and Ride’s Welsh destination are not ploddy ponies but forward-going Welsh cobs, many of whom are home-bred. The farm offers day rides, week stays (riding out from the farmhouse each day) or a point to point trail covering almost the length and breadth of Wales. Novice to experienced riders can be accommodated here and the herd of horses is an absolute delight to see as they roam the fields.

A weekend riding holiday here is a great option for those who don’t have the time or budget to travel too far but who still want to enjoy some adventurous riding amidst stunning scenery. Wales isn’t famed for its great weather but Holly’s group experienced a beautiful Saturday and Sunday (Holly wore just a t-shirt on the Sunday which is fair enough for mid October!) and just a bit of rain on the Monday afternoon. They ride whatever the weather so provided you take a raincoat and a sense of adventure then it won’t dampen your enthusiasm for the experience.
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