Type of horses:
Predominantly Menorcan bred horses, as well as Hispano Arabs and various types.
Nature of horses:
Generally calm natured and sure footed, but fit and ready for the trail.
Height of horses:
14.3 - 16.2hh
90kg / 200lbs
English and Australian stock saddles. Seat savers and saddle bags can be provided.
One of the pillars of Menorca's culture is the history and character of the Menorcan horse.The Menorquin breed was only recently recognised in 1987 although it has existed for many centuries. In the XIV century the horse was the main player in Menorca's defence system, associated with the bridle path known as the 'Camí de Cavalls', which runs around the edge of the island and is around 180 km. The route originally linked up the fortresses and watchtowers of the island and was regularly patrolled by soldiers on horseback. In recent times the path has been restored and is now the perfect way for riders to explore Menorca and the incredible scenery it has to offer. The horse remains the true star of local festivals - the local breed is famed for its shiny black coat and ability to walk on its hind legs in a move known as the 'bot'.
At the equestrian centre you will find a young team with extensive experience in the equestrian world. Toni the host has worked with horses since childhood and successfully participated in various disciplines, horses are his passion. He breeds his own horses and knows Menorca, and its many paths well, from the back of a horse. His family comes from Menorca so he has a deep knowledge as well as love for the island. Catalina is responsible for the logistics of the trip and they are assisted by Lluis who always gives clients 110% attention.
Anyone who loves nature will enjoy the excursions available here. The trail offers the possibility of getting to know the island from a new angle and the chance to discover the rich natural beauty and horse culture of the island.
Accommodation is in a variety of comfortable hotels along the route.
Hostal Port Fornells:
This is relaxed and family-based hostal, located 1 km from Fornells. The hostel has a comfortable bar and a large terrace surrounded by a garden.
The cuisine offered on the trail is typical Menorcan fare and plenty of it too, with three courses at each meal time.
The traditional cuisine of Menorca is a clear reflection of both its history and island status. Fresh seafood is plentiful, but so are some superb dairy products that reflect the British introduction of Friesian cattle to Menorca in the 18th century. Mahon Cheese is produced across the island to strict standards and is very popular throughout Spain. It is characterised by a square shape with an oily yellow rind and comes in a variety of types, depending on their maturity, some of which are cured for up to two years.
The meat dishes are also worthy because of their meticulous and traditional preparation. Pork meat is put to good use in dishes such as baked rice and Spanish omelette with delicious pork sausage and Menorcan style meat balls. Seafood is an unsurprising favourite here with an abundance of prawns, mussels, squid, mullet, sole and sea-bass. However the island is famed for caldereta de llagosta, a lobster stew once prepared simply by local fishermen on their boats. This dish has become a true speciality and it is said that King Juan Carlos travels from Mallorca to Fornells just to eat the excellent lobster.
For those with a sweet tooth they produce an array of pastry desserts. There are almond macaroons (carquinyols) and ensaimada (a fluffy spiral pastry made with lard and sugar). Menorcans also have their own ice cream from Alaior - La Menorquina. Its smooth, creamy taste is highly popular and is now sold throughout Spain.
All drinks are also included, so it's a great chance to sample some of the wonderful beverages produced on this island. As with much of the Spanish wine produced on the mainland, the wines of Menorca are very good quality. Commercial production of gin in Menorca began in the 18th century, stimulated by demand from British sailors. Xoriguer is the last remaining distillery on the island, whose gin is still sold in traditional earthenware bottles. The gin is unlike British gin (NOT recommended with tonic), more akin to the Dutch version. It is traditionally drunk neat, with herbes (a locally made liquer) or with lemonade to make a pomada.
This is a point-to-point trail, so there are little opportunities for non-rider activities. However, alternative hiking tours can be arranged for non-riders with prior notice.
Languages: English, Spanish, Catalan and basic French.
Health requirements: General good level of fitness and health is recommended. Many of the riding days are very challenging and will require riders to dismount and walk for long stretches, over some very challenging terrain. Some of the riding trails are also very steep, so you should have a good head for heights and be well balanced in the saddle too.
Age limit: 16+
Tuition: None available.
Included: Accommodation, meals, drinks, horse riding as per itinerary with the company of a qualified guide and transfers from Mahon (Mao) airport at set times.
Not included: Flights, travel insurance, tips and extras not mentioned.
Guests should fly into Mahon airport (also known as Mao) from where they will be collected. Group set time collection transfers are included from the airport at 16.00pm.
A six night programme which follows the Cami de Cavalls, an ancient bridle path used for the island's defence, around the whole island. By travelling on this route you can discover the lovely coast and the inland beauty spots. You will be accommodated in comfortable hotels along the way.
Day 1. Ciutadella
You will be transferred from the airport to the hotel, in Ciutadella, where you will stay for the first night.
Day 2. Ciutadella - Son Àngel
After breakfast and once you have prepared your horse, you will depart from "Eugues de Flo" and head towards Torre del Ram. Riding along this stretch of the trail you will be able to observe the traditional buildings and the endless dry walls, as well as the huts for the animals. At around midday you will reach Cala Morell, where you will stop for a picnic at the Caves of Cala Morell, on the north coast of Menorca. This is the location of one of the most important archaeological sites of the island, the Necropolis of Cala Morell, containing a set of fourteen caves carved out of the cliff-edge artificially. This necropolis also has around twenty small oval-shaped cavities or niches, known as “capades de moro”, which may have been used as ossuaries, urns or for the burial of children.
After regaining some energy you will continue along the route to Son Àngel, where you will take the saddles off the horses, and you will be able to have a refreshment and admire one of the pure-breed Menorcan studs which is representative of the land and will serve as an introduction to the patron festivities of the local towns and villages.
(Please note that this section of the route includes some very steep tracks and challenging terrain).
Day 3. The Tramuntana Route
Breakfast will be at Biniatram before you are transferred to Son Àngel to get the horses ready for the next stretch of the route. Today you will pass by the Pla de Mar, to the virgin beach of Cala Pilar where you will find a source of fresh water. The clean intense blue water contrasts with the reddish rocks and the yellow sand, creating the landscape that best identifies the northern coast of Menorca. At Els Alocs and Son Ermità, where you will be offered a typical farmer’s lunch (or a picnic at Els Alocs as an alternative). You will continue after lunch towards Cala’n Calderer, Cala Barril, Pregonda and you will then take a turn towards the farm of Sant Vicent where you will leave the horses and then be transferred to the hotel. You will have dinner and spend the night here.
(Please note that this section of the route includes some very steep tracks and challenging terrain).
Day 4. Wildest Coast
Following breakfast, you will be transferred to Sant Vicent where you will get the horses ready and set off towards Binimel·là and Cap de Cavalleria.This stretch of coast is one one best preserved areas of the Menorca coastline. The path continues inland between croplands and stone walls until Cavalleria beach. At this site you will be able to witness impressive dune systems where there is much vegetation. You will have a picnic lunch in Cala Viola and visit the Cap de Cavalleria Ecomuseum. Then, you will then carry on to Cala Tirant and end the day at Hostal Port Fornells where the owners have horses which they participate in the island festival of "Jaleo"
Day 5. Port Fornells
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the park of Torre Den Galmés. From here you will take the Camí de Cavalls at Llucalari. The route will continue towards the beach of Son Bou, the largest of the island and from there on to Talis and Sant Tomàs, where you will find an early Christian basilica and dunes of high ecological value. You will turn inland through the farmland fields of Son Bou meadow also know as Albufera de ses Canessies, the most important one after the natural park where you will stop for lunch at the restaurant Es Bruc. After lunch you will stop to visit the amazing Cova des Coloms. Tonight you return to Agroturisme Biniatram.
Day 6. Es Migjorn Gran
The trail today will take you to Cala Mitjana, Cala Galdana and Marcarella. You will start the trail from Binigaus and take the trail towards the ravines of Trebuluger and es Calafat. You follow the path until you come to Cala Galdana where you will see a diversity of birdlife and you can explore the caves and grottos. Not far from Macarella is the farmhouse of Torralbet, where you will stop for a typical Menorcan farm meal including cold meats made from pork (sobrassada, carn i xua, cuixot, etc.) and cheese, all produced and sold directly at the farm. After a welcome siesta you will continue riding until you reach Macaralleta and Macarella where many aquatic species coexist at the reeds of Santa Anna. Then you will cross wild olive and juniper wood to arrive at the dunes and the beautiful beach of Cala en Turqueta. You will be transferred and overnight at the hotel.
Day 7. Departure
You will be transferred to the airport.
Hotels used will generally include:
Hotel Geminis hotelgeminismenorca.com
Hostal Port Fornells hostalportfornells.com
Son Juaneda (two nights)
However, these are subject to change depending on seasonal availability throughout the year.
|Minimum group size:||4|
|Maximum group size:||8|
|Ability description:||Strong intermediate riders and above. This is not an especially fast trail due to some of the more challenging terrain. The tracks can be very rocky and include some narrow paths so experience and confidence is required. There will be times when canter and gallop is possible, so you should also be fairly confident handling a forward going horse at all paces. It is important you are able to cope with very steep terrain and narrow paths.|
|Type of ride:||Trail|
|Total riding time:||5 days of riding covering a total distance of around 135km.|
|Departure dates:||2017: 9-14 April, 16-22 April, 1-7 October, 15-21 October, 5-11 November|
£1298 per person
Single supplement: £211
Price includes 6 nights of full board accommodation (shared room), 5 days of guided horse riding as per itinerary and transfers.