Extremadura Trails riding holiday in Spain - Far and Ride
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Extremadura Trails, Spain





Horses



Type of horses:

Andalucian PRE, Hispano-Arab, Anglo Arab or cross-breds.

Nature of horses:

Responsive, good natured, safe and noble

Height of horses:

15.1 - 16.1 hh

Weight limit:

90kgs / 198 lbs

Tack type:

English saddles with light saddle bags and seat savers on all of them. Most bridles include snaffle bits, but there are also some pelhams and some horses which don't wear bits at all.

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

Extremedura is a region in western Spain which is a paradise for horse riders. Boasting a fabulous climate in autumn, winter and spring, with hot summers, it has excellent preserved natural reserves and historical sites, many of which are UNESCO protected. Characterised by "dehesa" - wooded pasture - it is one of the most prized destinations in Europe for bird-watching enthusiasts and nature lovers the world over.

Crossing this land are wide grassy pathways or Canadas Reales, which are ancient routes used by cattle herders for moving their stock between summer and winter pastures. These routes offer safe and enjoyable trots and canters for riders on the beautifully cared for horses of your host and guide. The horses are all PRE Lusitano or Hispano Arabs or cross-breds and most are born and raised at the stables. They are sure-footed across the stony paths in the mountains whilst being fast and smooth across the flat and sandy glens of the valleys.

Your host and guide, Emilio, is the grandson of an Avilena cow herdsman and still moves his horses between the mountain and valley pastures as his family previously did with cattle. As well as breeding and raising the horses used on the trails, he over 30 years experience as a Spanish Equestrian Federation instructor and guide.

There are four trails to choose from, with the Transhumance ride taking the horses up to their summer pastures in the mountains in June and bringing them back in October. Trails run through the autumn, winter and spring months.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

You stay in rural hotels or inns - the best that is available in the area. They are clean, comfortable, charming and picturesque. Twin and double rooms are available and all rooms have private bathrooms.

As these are all trail rides, your accommodation will change each night. Some of the hotels have swimming pools, but not all of them.

Breakfasts are taken at the hotels.

Lunches are out on the trail but the support crew meets you so there are tables and chairs. If necessary there is also a tent for protection against the weather (sun or rain). Lunch may be an exquisite BBQ with Avilan beef, or a fresh paella prepared by your guide. Tapas with freshly carved Serrano ham are also on offer.

Dinners are taken at the restaurants and include typical Castilian dinners.

Drinks during meals, including red or white wine, beer and aperitifs such as sherry are included, but drinks outside of meal times are to your own account.

 

Activities

Non riders can travel with the party in the support vehicle, meeting riders at lunch spots and in the evenings. Alternatively, non-riders can hire their own car and visit sights during the day, meeting the group for dinner.

 

Further Details

Languages: English and Spanish

Health requirements: General good health

Age limit: Children must be 10 years or older to join the trails and used to riding horses as there are no ponies

Tuition: No

Included: Accommodation, meals, red/white wine or beer and tea/coffee with meals, water bottles, riding, transfers at set times from Madrid airport

Not included: Flights, alcoholic or soft drinks other than wine with dinner, insurance, tips

 

Travel Information

Transfers are provided from Madrid airport at set times.

On arrival day you will be collected at 15:00 (3pm) and so you need to arrive by 2pm at the latest to allow time for luggage collection.

Collection is from Terminals 1 and 4 only, so if you arrive at terminals 2 and 3 you should walk to Terminal 1 (it is very close) to meet the transfer vehicle at 3pm. Terminal 4 is 3kms away and hence a separate collection.

On the departure day, your flight should depart from 2pm or later as the road transfer is 2.5 hours and you won't depart the hotel until 10am.

Airport: Madrid

 

Programmes


Conquistadors Ride



This ride starts and finishes in Trujillo - a historic town with a mix of cultures. Trujillo was originally founded in prehistoric times on a granite batholith, then became the Roman town of Turgallium before the Arabs built a spectacular castle above the town in the 10th century. Trujillo was the birthplace of Francisco Pizarro and his brothers, who conquered Peru, as well as Francisco de Orellana who was the first the navigate the Amazon river. Pizarro's statue stands in the main square (Plaza Mayor) and there are many beautiful palaces around the square which were built by the Spanish Conquistadors in the 16th century.

As well as discovering this fascinating town, this ride takes you through spectacular woodland, pasture and the Dehesa (Mediterranean forest) of holm and cork oaks - the emblematic landscape of the Extremadura. You also ride in the Villuercas Geopark which offers great footing for the horses.

Day One:

You will be transferred from Madrid airport to Trujillo (2.5 hours journey) and there is time to look around the town before a welcome dinner at your hotel. Here you will learn about the region and be shown your route on a map.

Day Two:

After breakfast you will be transferred from Trujillo to Herguijela where you meet the horses and are allocated your partner for the week. Set off riding through the Dehesa (Mediterranean forest), which is believed to be the habitat which would have covered this region thousands of years ago. After your mid morning stop for tapas, you break for lunch of an excellent home-cooked paella with fresh salads.

Rest for c. 2 hours and then re-mount for a shorter afternoon to Garciaz where the horses spend the night. It's a short transfer (15mins) to Madronera where you spend the night in a small rural hotel.

Riding time: 5 hours

Day Three:

Today's ride takes you from Garciaz to Berzocana, through some of the best preserved Mediterranean forests. The dominant species are the evergreen oaks (holm or cork oaks) and the deciduous oaks. After lunch, you ride to the Villuercas mountains in Berzocana, with magnificent views along the route. Dinner and overnight in a rural hotel with spectacular sunsets over the Villuercas Geopark.

Riding time: 7 hours

Day Four:

Ride through the Villeurcas Geopark which was declared by UNESCO in 2011 because of its cultural and natural heritage as well as its geological features. The landscape is impressive and this rural region features many fields with stone walls. You may see vultures, eagles, azure-winged magpies, red-billed choughs, shrikes or ravens as you ride. The afternoon has many opportunities for good canters before you reach your rural hotel in Logrosan.

Riding time: 6 hours

Day Five:

The morning ride offers lots of stimulating trots and canters through the Dehesa. There are lots of cows, sheep, goats and iberic pigs being farmed in traditional ways, reminiscent of a bygone era. Plenty of afternoon canters take you to Zorita for dinner and to overnight.

Riding time: 6 hours

Day Six:

Complete your circuit by riding from Zorita to Trujillo through the Dehesa Extremena with plenty of trots and canters. Overnight in the same hotel as on the first night and enjoy a farewell dinner with your group.

Riding time: 5-6 hours

Day Seven:

After breakfast you will be transferred to Madrid for your flight home.



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: You need to be at least an intermediate rider, capable of riding in all paces across varied terrain.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 7 days/ 6 nights/ 5 days riding
Departure dates: 2018:
7-13, 14-20, 21-27 January; 28 Jan-3 Feb; 4-10, 11-17 (confirmed), 18-24 February; 25 Feb-3 Mar; 11-17 March (confirmed); 1-7, 15-21 April; 29 Apr-5 May; 6-12 May (confirmed), 20-26 May (confirmed); 27 May-2 Jun (FULL); 30 Sept-6 Oct (confirmed); 14-20 October; 4-10, 18-24 November; 2-8, 9-15, 16-22 December.
 
Pricing: 2018:

£1116 per person sharing
£110 single supplement



Trujillo-Guadalupe Ride



Ride through the beautiful mountain towns of Villuercas until reaching the historical town of Guadalupe with its cobbled streets, traditional houses and monuments of great value, such as the Sanctuary Monastery of Guadalupe from the 14th century, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery was commissioned by King Alfonso XI of Castile after his victory in the Battle of Salado in 1340. It is one of the major pilgrimage centres within the Iberian peninsula and has been the scene of important events, such as the audience of the Catholic Kings with Christopher Columbus when he was given the ships that would allow him to start heading to America. You'll also canter along an old railway which was built in the 1920's but never finished due to the Spanish Civil War.

Day One:

You will be transferred from Madrid airport to Trujillo (2.5 hours journey) and there is time to look around the town before a welcome dinner at your hotel. Here you will learn about the region and be shown your route on a map.

Day Two:

After breakfast you will be transferred from Trujillo to Herguijuela where you meet the horses and are allocated your partner for the week. Set off riding through the Dehesa (Mediterranean forest), which is believed to be the habitat which would have covered this region thousands of years ago. After your mid morning stop for tapas, you break for lunch of an excellent home-cooked paella with fresh salads.

Rest for c. 2 hours and then re-mount for a shorter afternoon to Garciaz where the horses spend the night. It's a short transfer (15mins) to Madronera where you spend the night in a small rural hotel.

Riding time: 5 hours

Day Three:

Today's ride takes you from Garciaz to Berzocana, through some of the best preserved Mediterranean forests. The dominant species are the evergreen oaks (holm or cork oaks) and the deciduous oaks. After lunch, you ride to the Villuercas mountains in Berzocana, with magnificent views along the route. Dinner and overnight in a rural hotel with spectacular sunsets over the Villuercas Geopark.

Riding time: 6 hours

Day Four:

Ride through the Villeurcas Geopark which was declared by UNESCO in 2011 because of its cultural and natural heritage as well as its geological features. The landscape is impressive and this rural region features many fields with stone walls. You may see vultures, eagles, azure-winged magpies, red-billed choughs, shrikes or ravens as you ride. Late in the afternoon you reach Guadalupe and overnight in a Monastery Hotel.

Riding time: 6 hours

Day Five:

The morning ride offers lots of stimulating trots and canters through the Dehesa. There are lots of cows, sheep, goats and iberic pigs being farmed in traditional ways, reminiscent of a bygone era. Plenty of afternoon canters take you to Logrosan for dinner and to overnight.

Riding time: 6 hours

Day Six:

Continue riding through the Dehesa Extremena with plenty of trots and canters. Overnight in a rural inn in Zorita.

Riding time: 6-7 hours

Day Seven:

The morning ride takes you back to Herguijuela, where you started. The afternoon is a chance to visit the town of Trujillo before a farewell dinner and overnight.

Riding time: 4 hours

Day Eight:

After breakfast you will be transferred to Madrid for your flight home.



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: You need to be at least an intermediate rider, capable of riding in all paces across varied terrain.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 8 days / 7 nights / 6 days riding
Departure dates: 2018:
18-25 March, 8-15 April.
 
Pricing: 2018:

£1319 per person sharing
Single supplement £132



Monfrague National Park trail



The largest and best preserved Mediterranean forest in the world lies within Monfrague national park, surrounded by hills and dotted with rocks and streams. Monfrague was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2003 and takes its name from the Romans, who called it Mons Fragorum - the fragmented mountain. Difficult to access and covered by scrubland, this typically Iberian landscape is home to a diverse mix of flora and fauna. The most popular bird watching spot is Salto del Gitano - a 300m cliff above the Tajo river where black storks, vultures and imperial eagles nest.

Day One:

You will be transferred from Madrid airport to Trujillo where there is time for a short visit to the town before a welcome dinner. Here you will learn about your weeks ride and the route you will follow. Overnight in Trujillo.

Day Two:

After breakfast you are transferred from Trujillo to Herguijuela where you will be allocated your horse. Set off riding through the Dehesa (Mediterranean forest) which is exclusive to southern and central Spain. As you ride though the Canada Real Puerto de Miravete, you follow the medieval network of paths used for cattle movement which are 75m wide and perfect for riding. You may see free roaming bulls as you pass.

After lunch on the trail, your afternoon ride is shorter as you cross the flat terrain of Torrecillas de la Tiesa to reach your rural hotel for dinner and to overnight.

Riding time: 6 hours

Day Three:

Follow the cattle trail Canada Real to the medieval village of Jaraicejo within the national park. There are plenty of trots and canter this morning as you cross the Dehesa, where local cows, sheep, goats and pigs graze. After lunch in the countryside you cross the Almonte river over a medieval bridge to reach your rural hotel in Jaraicejo.

Riding time: 6 hours

Day Four:

Continue along the cattle trail, with some good trots and canters throughout the morning ride, until reaching Torrejon el Rubio. Here you have dinner and overnight in a 4* hotel.

Riding time: 6 hours

Day Five:

Today you ride through the National Park Reserve which is a protected area and requires special authorisation. Upon reaching the Sierra de las Corchuelas, the highest point in the reserve, you have spectacular views of the pure nature and peace of this area. After lunch beside the Tajo river, you visit the cliff Salto del Gitano to admire the birds which nest here. Ride back to Torrejon el Rubio for a second night in your 4* hotel.

Riding time: 5 hours

Day Six:

Another beautiful day of riding as you continue along the Canada Real to Aldea del Obispo. Take lunch beside the Almonte river where the Canada Real crosses the river at a medieval bridge. Later in the day you cross another ancient bridge over the river Tozo before reaching your rural hotel in Aldea del Obispo.

Day Seven:

Complete your circuit with a final ride along the Canada Real back to Trujillo. In places the Dehesa oak woodlands are split by outcrops of slate. Lunch is taken on the ride, but there is time to visit the town of Trujillo in the afternoon before a farewell dinner.

Day Eight:

After breakfast you are transferred to Madrid airport for your flight home.



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: You need to be at least an intermediate rider, capable of riding in all paces across varied terrain.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 8 days / 7 nights / 6 days riding
Departure dates: 2018:
4-11 March, 22-29 April (confirmed) 13-20 May (confirmed).
 
Pricing: 2018:

£1319 per person sharing
Single supplement £132



Transhumance



Spain is criss-crossed with ancient drover routes that have served the pastoral communities for many years. Called Canadas Reales, these tracks are 75m wide and stretch for 700km in length. Today they are still used by cattle herders who move their cattle between summer pastures in the mountains and winter pastures on the lowlands.

This ride follows 200km of these Canadas Reales, from Trujillo to Navarredonda de Gredos, crossing three regions of Spain - Extremadura, Castilla la Mancha and Castilla y Lyon.

Day One:

You will be transferred from Madrid airport to Trujillo in time for a short visit of the town before dinner at the Monastery hotel. Here you will learn about the route and be able to see it on a map.

Day Two:

After breakfast at the hotel you are transferred to Herguijuela (10mins) where the horses are waiting for you. After being allocated your horse, you set off riding along the Canada Real, stopping for lunch in the countryside where a delicious paella is created. The afternoon takes you across flat terrain to Torrecilla de la Tiesa where you overnight in a rural hotel.

Riding time: 5 hours

Day Three:

Set off riding across open countryside and through olive trees, with plenty of trots and canters. After lunch you ride to Casas de Miravete - you will be able to see the 13th century castle from a long distance away. Dinner and overnight in a rural hotel.

Riding time: 6 hours

Day Four:

Continue along the Canada Real with impressive views of the Sierra de Gredos. Stop for lunch in the countryside in Toledo province and then in the afternoon, ride to Navalmoral. Dinner and overnight in a hotel in Navalmoral de la Mata.

Riding time: 7 hours

Day Five:

Todays ride along the Canada Real is through a flatter area where there are lots of trots and canters. The Canada is wider here at 200m as you continue to Ventas de San Julian. Dinner and overnight at a rural inn in Calzada de Oropesa.

Riding time: 6 hours

Day Six:

Another day riding across flat terrain with plenty of trots and canters. The landscape changes and you ride along the reservoir close to Navalcan with beautiful views to the Gredos mountains. Dinner and overnight in Navalcan.

Riding time: 6 hours

Day Seven:

A beautiful day of riding as you leave one Canada and take another in the direction of the Gredos mountains, offering spectacular views. Depart Toledo province and enter Avila province at Castilla y Leon. Dinner and overnight in Mombeltran.

Day Eight:

After breakfast you set off up the Roman road which is more than two thousand years old and well preserved for 7km. The road takes you up into the mountains with beautiful views before arriving at the picturesque mountain village of Cuevas del Valle. Continue along the Roman road to Puerto Pico where the road ends amid beautiful mountain landscapes. Stop for lunch in Puerto Pico and then ride through very different landscapes with green mountain pastures surrounded by stone walls, with the highest peaks of Gredos ahead of you. Farewell dinner and overnight in Navarredonda de Gredos.

Day Nine:

After breakfast you are transferred back to Madrid airport for your flight home.

NB. Please note that this itinerary can also run in reverse



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: You need to be a competent rider, capable of riding in all paces across varied terrain - there are some long days in the saddle so you also need to be riding fit.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 9 days / 8 nights / 7 days riding
Departure dates: 2018: 2-10 June (confirmed); 27 October-4 November
 
Pricing: 2018:

£1538 per person sharing
Single supplement £193