Gredos Mountains riding holiday in Spain - Far and Ride
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Gredos Mountains, Spain





Reviews



It was an amazing adventure. The horses were beautiful and so well behaved, Maria the owner was very professional and the paradors we stayed in were perfect. Loved every moment!

Emma W.
A very well organised holiday with great attention to detail! Meeting the back-up crew with fabulous looking aperitifs and lunch set up for you - always immaculate, tasty and plentiful. (The horses are) forward going, well mannered and in very good condition. Quality well cared for English tack, guests rode in safety stirrups and horses wore "kind" bits - not the "traditional severe bits" commonly used in Spain. Maria Elena spoke excellent English, had very good knowledge of the area and kept us informed of everything. The back up crew were well trained, made safety checks (of horses and tack) and assisted us to mount.

Judith & Terry R.
One of the best riding holidays we have taken (this is our 12th). Brilliant host, horses and scenery. The food and wine was very good, Maria Elena is a very generous host. Horses were well chosen based on our requests and tack was in good condition. Guide could not have been better, Maria Elena is outstanding.

Andrea C.
Great scenery, friendly guide, riding enjoyable.

Graham P.
1st Class - excellent horses quality well-maintained tack. interesting routes - plenty of canters! very happy with the horse I was allocated - named Texas. Maria Elena is an excellent guide and companion. She speaks excellent English. Her staff are very good too!

Judith R. (Second visit)
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Hispano-Arab, Andalusian, Lusitano and Arab.

Nature of horses:

Fit, fun to ride, well-trained and with a lot of personality. They are well loved and happy horses.

Height of horses:

15hh - 16hh

Weight limit:

90kg / 198lbs (with riding gear on!)

Tack type:

English tack in excellent condition, seat savers and saddle bags provided. The saddles are good quality general purpose leather saddles with deep knee rolls.

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

This is a superb opportunity for intermediate and experienced riders to explore the Northern and Southern valleys of the Gredos mountains. This is excellent terrain for riding, mostly open fields with magnificent views and paths that follow the course of rivers. The small villages along the trail display the architecture, traditions and way of life of the people who, isolated in this remote place, have had their characters shaped by their unique surroundings.

The Sierra de Gredos mountain range, situated south west of Madrid, features a large area with Regional Park Status. The surrounding region comprises of the provinces of Avila, Toledo and Cáceres, in the regions of Castilla-León, Castilla La Mancha and Extremadura. Trails in the Gredos Valley take you through a very characteristic part of Avila, truly rural Spain, and this medieval town is surrounded by walls constructed in the 11th and 12th centuries. It was and still is a very religious place, with a grand gothic cathedral, charming squares and beautiful, quiet streets which are very pleasant for walking around the historic town.

Originally, only shepherds moving their flocks had reached the remote alpine valleys of this mountain range. It wasn't until 1905 that the Sierra de Gredos became an area of interest when King Alphonso XIII created the Gredos hunting reserve in an attempt to protect the wild Spanish Ibex, of which only a few were left. Today the Gredos mountains have one of the largest remaining populations of this goat and it is thanks to Alphonso XII that there are now byways in place to reach the highest peaks of the Gredos, its glaciers and its lagoon (Laguna Grande). Roman roads can also be seen here as although they did not settle in the Gredos, they created mountain passes for the movement of troops.

As riders explore this fascinating part of Spain, they will be impressed by the diverse display of flora and fauna through the Tormes, Corneja, Alberche and Tietar river valleys. The landscapes here are full of light and colour, where wild nature shows its splendour. There are opportunities to ride up slopes of oak, pine and chestnut trees, cross rivers of pristine waters, discover wildlife from rocky overlooks and gallop across pastures and open fields. The climate here is influenced by the altitude at which you are riding and summers can be very warm and sunny, with autumns somewhat cooler. Spring rides are spectacular with millions of wild flowers and snow in the mountains from May until early June.

Maria, the host of this ride, has been arranging trails in Gredos Valley for a number of years. She is at home with the customs, natural history and culture of the region and this makes her a wonderful travel companion throughout the holiday.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Accommodation during the trails will vary from rustic to luxurious, sharing with you some of the most representative and charming hotels and paradors of the region. However, no matter where your trail leads you, you can be assured of comfort and en suite facilities.

Lodgings have been chosen to take into account the availability and suitability of the natural environment through which you will travel. This includes a cosy rural hotel, a simple but comfortably furnished room in a monastery and a luxurious medieval castle now converted into a National Parador. At the end of a long day in the saddle you will look forward to reaching your accommodation.

Despite differences in the types of accommodation provided you will always be sure to find a warm welcome and drinks waiting for you, shortly followed by a hot bath or shower and an excellent dinner.

The local cuisine combines a number of excellent dishes from the region, allowing you to sample many delicious local specialities.

A support vehicle will follow the riders during the trip, meeting for aperitifs, meals and at night. Breakfasts, aperitifs, lunches and dinners are included whilst on the trek. Lunch is usually a picnic in the countryside with set tables, chairs and a small feast everyday! Some lunches will be cooked on the spot, others prepared in the village in bars and restaurants, always delicious. Dinner is at the hotels and will feature a varied selection of the typical cuisine.

Vegetarians can be catered for with prior notice.

The usual schedule for meals: Breakfast at 08:30, aperitifs at 12:30, lunch around 14:00 (followed by a siesta) and dinner usually served at 21:00.

Drinks outside of meals - at the hotel bars - are not included. Riders will need to pay for these drinks as they consume them.

 

Activities

If you wish to spend some time in Madrid, Avila, Segovia or Salamanca before or after your ride, please contact us for recommendations.

Avila is a medieval walled town and one of the world heritage cities of Spain. It is one of 660 cultural sites in the world that the world heritage committee considers as having outstanding universal value. Avila is the city of saints and stones. The birthplace of St Theresa and the burial place of the Grand Inquisitor Torquemada Avila has kept its medieval austerity. This purity of form can still be seen in the gothic cathedral and the fortifications which are the most complete in Spain. Charming squares and beautiful pedestrian streets make for a very pleasant walk around this old historic town.

 

Further Details

Languages: English and Spanish

Health requirements: Reasonable health & fitness required. Must be able to cope with long hours in the saddle.

Age limit: No under 18's

Tuition: No

Included: Set time transfers from and to Madrid, accommodation, meals, beer and wine during meals, aperitifs and riding with guide as per itinerary.

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, tips and extra drinks.

 

Travel Information

Flights to Madrid are offered by a number of low cost airlines. Transfers are included in the price from Madrid-Barajas International Airport Terminal 4. There is a Cafeteria Capprizzio by Gate 10 and you will be collected from there at 3pm on the Sunday of your arrival.

Flight departure on the Sunday after your ride should be booked for any time after 13.00.

Airport: Madrid

 

Programmes


The Valleys of Gredos



Immense landscapes, unspoilt nature, remote Castilian villages, great diversity, delicious aperitifs and picnic lunches, charming hotels... a lot of reasons make this one the destination's most successful ride. One never gets tired of the views, the scents of the wild flowers, and the smiles of the people in the villages. The most spectacular spring ride in the months of May and June with thousands of wild flowers and the snow in the mountains.

The Sierra of Gredos is one of the most characteristic regions of the Iberian Peninsula situated between the provinces of Avila, Cáceres and Salamanca, and crossed by the Duero and Tajo rivers. The landscapes are full of light, colour and nature. The Valleys of Gredos trail travels through a very representative part of this region in the province of Avila, truly rural Spain. It is excellent terrain for riding, mostly open fields with magnificent views and paths that follow the course of rivers. Riders will be inspired by this National Park's diverse display of flora and fauna through the Tormes, Corneja, Alberche and Tietar river valleys. Ride up slopes of oak, pine and chestnut trees; cross rivers of pristine waters; discover wildlife from rocky overlooks, and gallop across pastures and open fields. The small villages along the trail display their architecture, their traditions, and the way of life of their people, isolated in this inaccessible nature that shapes their unique character.

Day 1: Madrid - Navarredonda de Gredos

You will be transferred from Madrid (Pick up at 3pm) to Navarredonda de Gredos, a small village in the heart of Castile with a splendid view of the Sierra de Gredos. This is a region steeped in history, where the Moors and Christians fought, where Romans built roads that have lasted for centuries. You will enjoy a welcome dinner and overnight at the Gredos National Parador.

Day 2: The Pinewoods and the Summer Pastures

Circle ride from Navarredonda, an easy introductory day, with a picnic lunch in the countryside. You will ride through pine woods, open fields and trails, towards the mountains with great views of the Sierra de Gredos. A picnic lunch in the countryside will be enjoyed by the group. In the afternoon you will ride back to the stables in Navarredonda, returning for dinner and overnight as the previous night. Todays ride is short so riders and horses get used to each other. If any change of horse is necessary it can be done, before leaving the next day and for the rest of the ride. A nice small Spa has been opened in the next village (5 min away). It is possible to arrange a session - a special rider’s massage - in the evening before dinner.

Day 3: Navarredonda de Gredos – Navalperal the Tormes

This mornings ride will be through woods and beautiful meadows in the Tormes river valley. You will follow the course of the Tormes River. Lunch will be at the Pozo de las Paredes, a magic spot at the gorge of Barbellido, which joins the Tormes River. This spot is ideal for a swim in summer. In the afternoon, you will follow the cattle path, with great views of Navalperal the Tormes. Tonight you will stay at a new rural hotel: Hotel Rural Cruz del Gallo, near the Tormes River.

Day 4: Navalperal the Tormes – El Barco de Avila

Today will be a long half day ride, a progressive ride to get to El Barco. You will ride along the Tormes River valley, along cattle paths, passing the village of Aliseda de Tormes. You will appreciate the change in the vegetation as you approach the small town of El Barco de Avila. The hotel in Barco de Avila is a country hotel, a luxurious hotel built as a restoration of a ancient country estate. The hotel has a spa and an indoor heated pool, a good chance for a rest to be fresh for the rest of the ride. You will have a free afternoon to visit El Barco de Avila or just relax in the hotel. El Barco de Avila is a 15th century walled village with a medieval bridge stretching over the Tormes.

Day 5: El Barco de Avila – Hoyorredondo

Today’s ride will proceed through holm oaks woods and pastures, following the cattle track between Barco and Hoyorredondo, arriving in Puente del Congosto, with a XVth century bridge and castle. Picnic near the river – a beautiful spot for a swim in the summer. In the afternoon there will be a fun short ride to Hoyorredondo. Overnight will be at a beautiful and comfortable rural hotel.

Day 6: Hoyorredondo – San Martin de la Vega

A day with great contrasts in the landscape. The ride will start in the valley of the Corneja River, open flat valleys until you reach the aperitif stop. You will follow the river Corneja to its source, and stop for lunch near one of the water mills along the river. In the afternoon you will follow a Roman road up to the Puerto de Chia (5,686 feet) for a panoramic view of the Corneja Valley on one side, and the Alberche River on the other. You will descend to San Martin de la Vega where the horses will spend the night. There will be a short transfer to a charming rural hotel in Barajas de Gredos.

Day 7: San Martin de la Vega – Navarredonda de Gredos

On your final riding day, back to the Sierra de Gredos, there will be great views of the peaks of the Sierra. You will descend towards the Tormes valley where you started. You will enjoy a picnic lunch with panoramic views of the Sierra de Gredos. The afternoon ride will be short, with some good canters, before heading back to the stables. Overnight and farewell dinner at the Parador.

Day 8: Navarredonda – Madrid

After breakfast you will be transferred to Madrid, arriving around 12 noon. All riders will be transferred at the same time, so if any rider needs to arrive in Madrid prior to noon, all riders will depart earlier - or an alternative transfer will be arranged (at an extra cost).

Itinerary may be altered due to unforeseen circumstances. All departures are guaranteed but the programme may be varied slightly in the event of less than 6 riders, but will be kept to the same high standards. 



Accommodation: Lodging is planned in some luxurious, with character, and some small and charming country hotels, providing double or twin-bedded rooms and en-suite bathrooms. The accommodation is chosen to suit both riders and the horses - every night the horses stay in a field next to the hotel making for a special contact between the group of riders and the herd.

First, second and last nights are spent at the National Parador of Gredos***, an ancient hunting lodge built by the king Alfonso 13th, and the first Parador opened in Spain. One night is spent at Hotel Puerta de Gredos (4*) built in a grand XVIth century country estate. Other accommodations will be in comfortable rural hotels, like La Trocha de Hoyorredondo where the horses sleep in the backyard and come to the windows to wake the riders in the mornings.
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Intermediate and above, capable of riding at all paces, handling a horse on the ground and with trail riding experience. The pace of the ride will vary but includes walks, trots, canters and gallops depending on the terrain. Guests can assist in taking care of their horse but this is not necessary, horses will be ready for riders to get straight on every morning.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 6 days covering 180km
Departure dates: 2018: 15-22 April, 29 April-7 May, 13-20 May, 27 May-3 June, 10-17 June, 2-9 September, 16-23 September, 30 September-7 October, 14-21 October.

Please do not hesitate to contact us in the office, as other dates may be available!
 
Pricing: 2018: £1963 per person

Prices include seven nights shared accommodation in comfortable and charming hotels including the luxurious Parador of Gredos, six days riding, all meals, beer and wine with meals, aperitifs, a support vehicle and airport transfers from and to Madrid at set times.

Single supplement £134. (Please note supplement will be implemented if there is no one to share with)

Price does not include flights or travel insurance.



Sierra de Gredos



The Sierra of Gredos is one of the most famous regions in the Iberian Peninsula situated between the provinces of Avila, CÃceres and Salamanca. It is crossed by the Duero and Tajo rivers, with a landscape full of light and the colour of natures splendour. You will ride through forests of oak and pine; cross crystal clear rivers of pristine waters; discover a variety of wildlife from the rocky outcrops and gallop across pastures and open fields. The small villages you ride through are filled with typical architecture, local traditions and a simpler way of life for their people - isolated in this inaccessible part of nature which has, over the years, shaped the unique character of the people and creatures who call this place home. 

Day 1: Arrival

You will be transferred from Madrid (Pick up at 3pm) to Parador of Gredos, a small village in the heart of Castile with a splendid view of the Sierra de Gredos. This is a region steeped in history, where the Moors and Christians fought, where Romans built roads that have lasted for centuries. You will enjoy a welcome dinner and overnight at the Gredos National Parador.

Day 2: The Pinewoods and the Summer Pastures

Today you will enjoy a pleasant circle ride from Navarredonda, as an easy introductory day. You will ride through open fields, pine woods and trails, heading towards the mountains with amazing views of the Sierra de Gredos. At midday you will enjoy picnic lunch with the group and in the afternoon you will ride back to the stables in Navarredonda. You will return in time for a tasty dinner and overnight as the previous night. Today's ride allows guests to become accustomed to their horses and request any change of horse if necessary. 

There is a small Spa that has been opened in the next village (5 min away). It is possible to arrange a session here - with a special riders massage - in the evening before dinner.

Day 3: Along the Tormes River

This morning you will ride along the river to the beautiful little village of Hoyos del Espino, before continuing on to climb up to the equally charming Hoyos del Collado. Riding along an ancient cattle path you will head towards Navacepeda de Tormes and then descent from the hills, towards the Tormes river and the Gorge of Barbellido. Lunch will be taken at a beautiful close to Pozo de las Paredes, where a bend in the river creates a lovely, crystal clear lagoon - ideal for a swim, a short but scenic afternoon ride, with some truly magnificent views will take you to the village of Navalperal de Tormes. 

Dinner and overnight will be at a country hotel in the village.

Day 4: The Cattle Path to El Puerto de Pico

After breakfast, you will depart from Navalperal and follow the cattle paths back toward Navacepeda de Tormes in the East. By joining the course of the Tormes river, you will be able to wind your way back through the valley and enjoy more of the amazing views out across the Sierra de Gredos. A delicious lunch will be served at a fisherman’s hut in Hoyos del Collado, with a nearby river pool - ideal for a swimming. You will spend some time in the afternoon by the river and ride back through the pinewoods in order to reach the stables in Navarredonda. 

Dinner and overnight at the Parador of Gredos (or at a hotel rural in the village).

Day 5: Views of the Sierra de Gredos

You will begin your ride this morning by climbing to the heights of Caada del Horno mountain pass, through open fields and dense brush, with a phenomenal panoramic view of the Alberche river valley below. Lunch will be a relaxed affair at a bar in the village, San Martan de la Vega, before continuing through the afternoon, back towards the Sierra de Gredos park. As you descend back down from the Caada del Horno, towards Barajas de Gredos, you will return to the stables in Navarredonda in the evening. 

Dinner and overnight at the Parador of Gredos (or at a hotel rural in the village).

Day 6: Barbellido Mountain Gorge

Today you will head out towards the heights of the Sierra de Gredos national park with some of the most magnificent views of this whole trip. Climbing to the top of the Covacha gorge, above Navarredonda, you will descend the other side and into the gorge of Barbellido. You will enjoy a delicious picnic lunch by the Barbellido river; another excellent spot for a swim! In the afternoon you will continue your climb to the heights of Siete Fuentes and finally descend into the pinewoods of Hoyos del Espino, finally returning back to the stables in Navarredonda de Gredos. 

Dinner and overnight at the Parador of Gredos (or at a hotel rural in the village).

Day 7: Avila - Medieval Walled town

The morning will see all guests transfered to the Medieval town of Ávila (1 hour drive). A day spent in Avila will allow you to visit this historic walled town, which dates back to the 11th century. Avila is one of the World Heritage Cities of Spain, one of the 660 cultural sites in the world that the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value. Recommendations for visits, tours and restaurants in Avila will be provided to you. (Lunch this day is not included).

Dinner and overnight at one of the following hotels in Ávila:

The National Parador of Avila (4*). This Parador is a 16th century Palace in the historical centre of monumental Ávila, backing onto the majestic city walls. Dinner, night and Sunday breakfast at this luxurious Parador are included in the programme.

Hotel Las Cancelas 2*, with a great location near the cathedral and a great open air restaurant by the walls. 

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast you will be transferred to Madrid, arriving around 1pm. All riders will be transferred at the same time, so if any rider needs to arrive in Madrid prior to noon, all riders will depart earlier - or an alternative transfer will be arranged (at an extra cost).

Itinerary may be altered due to unforeseen circumstances. All departures are guaranteed but the programme may be varied slightly in the event of less than 6 riders, but will be kept to the same high standards. 



Accommodation: 5 nights at the Parador de Gredos (3*), 1 night at a country hotel in the village of Navalperal de Tormes and 1 night at the Parador de Avila (or country hotel in the old town).
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Intermediate and above, capable of riding at all paces, handling a horse on the ground and with trail riding experience. The pace of the ride will vary but includes walks, trots, canters and gallops depending on the terrain. Guests can assist in taking care of their horse but this is not necessary, horses will be ready for riders to get straight on every morning.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: Five days riding, ranging from 3-5 hours per day.
Departure dates: 2018: 1-8 April, 8-15 April, 6-13 May, 20-27 May, 24 June-1 July, 8-15 July, 15-22 July, 29 July-5 August, 5-12 August, 26 August-2 September, 9-16 September, 7-14 October, 21-28 October.
 
Pricing:
2018:

£1696 per person

Prices include seven nights shared accommodation in comfortable and charming hotels including the luxurious Parador of Gredos, five days riding, one day guided sight seeing in Avila (lunch not included), all meals, beer and wine with meals, aperitifs, a support vehicle and airport transfers from and to Madrid at set times.

Single supplement £134. (Please note supplement will be implemented if there is no one to share with)

Price does not include flights or travel insurance.



Short Break/Long Weekend Programme



This programme is a great introduction to a beautiful area of Spain, the Sierra de Gredos in the heart of Castile. Riding takes place in the stunning mountains and the valleys of this mountain range, with Gredos Regional Park in the centre. The Gredos Mountain range is a beautiful area, comprising of various terrains and ecosystems which offer habitats to an assortment of wildlife, some of which is unique to the region. This ride offers wonderful views and diverse landscapes, all at a pace which alters depending on the particularly ground of the area. Riding tends to be between five to six hours per day.

The following are 4 sample day riding itineraries (you will receive 3 riding days in total, during your stay).

Day of arrival: Transfer Madrid - Navarredonda de Gredos

Meet in Madrid (Pick up at 3pm at the airport) and transfer to Navarredonda de Gredos (2 hour drive), a small village in the heart of Castile with a splendid view of the Sierra de Gredos. This is a region steeped in history, where the Moors and Christians fought, where Romans built roads that have lasted for centuries. Riders will enjoy a welcome dinner and night at the National Parador of Gredos (comfortable country hotel).

Day ride 1: Navarredonda de Gredos. Sierra de Gredos Regional Park

Circle ride from Navarredonda, an easy introductory day. Riding in the woods and towards the source of the Tormes River and the mountains of the Sierra de Gredos. Ride through pine woods, open fields and trails, towards the mountains with great views of the Sierra de Gredos. Picnic lunch in the countryside, near the river. In the afternoon ride through the pine woods to Hoyos del Espino and back to the stables in Navarredonda.

Day ride 2: Navarredonda – Pozo de las Paredes

Morning through the pine woods following the river Tormes until Hoyos del Espino. Climb up to the village of Hoyos del Collado, where you will stop for an aperitif. Following an old cattle track, descent towards Navecepeda the Tormes, with a rich vegetation of oaks and poplar trees. Ride through the village of Navacepeda and descent to the river valley. Lunch at the beautiful Poo de la Paredes, the spot with a 14th century bridge (the access to the high pastures in medieval times). It is an ideal spot for a swim in the summer. Afternoon back to Navarredonda, following the course of the Tormes river, with great views of the valley.

Day ride 3: Navarredonda de Gredos – San Martin de la Vega

In the morning climb to the heights of Cañada del Horno, through open fields and dense broom areas, with a great panoramic view of the Alberche river valley. Lunch at a bar in the village. Afternoon with great views of the Sierra de Gredos. Descent back towards Barajas de Gredos and the stables in Navarredonda. Dinner and overnight at the Parador of Gredos (or at a hotel rural in the village).

Day ride 4: Navarredonda de Gredos – Barbellido Mountain Gorge

Ride towards the heights of the Sierra de Gredos with magnificent views. Climb to the Covacha gorge and descent towards the gorge of Barbellido. Lunch by the river, excellent spot for a swim. Afternoon climb to the heights of Siete Fuentes and descent to the pinewoods of Hoyos del Espino. Ride back to the stables in Navarredonda de Gredos. Dinner and overnight at the Parador of Gredos (or at a hotel rural in the village).

Day of departure: Transfer Navarredonda de Gredos – Madrid

After breakfast transfer to Madrid, arriving there about 12 noon. All riders will be transferred at the same time, so if any rider needs to arrive in Madrid prior to noon, all riders will depart earlier - or an alternative transfer will be arranged (at an extra cost).



Accommodation: Four nights accommodation in Parador or comfortable hotel
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Intermediate to Experienced.
Type of ride: Based with trails.
Total riding time: Three days: between 5 - 6 hours per day
Departure dates: 2018: 28 March-1 April; 4-8, 11-15, 25-29 April; 9-13, 23-27 May; 11-15, 26-30 July; 1-5, 8-12 August; 29 August-2 September; 12-16 September; 10-14, 24-28 October; 31 October-4 November; 8-12, 15-19 November.
 
Pricing: 2018:

Price is dependent on your chosen hotel:

Four nights in Parador de Gredos: £982 per person
Single supplement £89

Four nights in the Hotel Rural La Dehesillain: £848
Single supplement £54

Price includes three days riding with knowledgeable, English speaking guides, all meals, excellent gourmet picnic lunches, dinners in the hotels, all drinks during meals and aperitifs, as well as airport transfers from and to Madrid at set times.

Price does not include flights, travel insurance or drinks outside of meal times or at hotel bars.