Santiago de Compostela riding holiday in Spain - Far and Ride
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Santiago de Compostela, Spain





Horses



Type of horses:

Cross breeds including both Spanish and Arabian types

Nature of horses:

Gentle and sure footed

Height of horses:

c. 15hh

Weight limit:

120kg

Tack type:

There are many saddle options including English, Spanish, Australian - please notify us if you have a preference.

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

Santiago de Compostela is the capital city of the region of Galicia in northern Spain. The city's cathedral is a shrine to Saint James the Great and the city's old town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985.

Saint James preached the teachings of Jesus Christ in Spain and it is believed that the Virgin appeared before him on the river Ebro. He later returned to Palastine where he was beheaded by Herod Agrippa in 42 AD and was the first apostle martyred for their faith. His disciples shipped his body to Galicia and buried his body in a spot which later became the site of the Santiago cathedral.

In 859 AD, during the Arab occupation of Spain, a small army prayed to Saint James before going to battle and defeated a large army comprising many thousands of Aran men. Since then St James became the protector of Christian forces in the conquest against the Moors. Saint James therefore became a major patron of the Spanish Kingdom and a series of pilgrimage routes sprang up across the country, leading to Santiago de Compostela.

The pilgrimage is known in English as The Way of Saint James, and in Spanish as the Camino de Santiago. It is still popular today and reaching Santiago on horseback is a special event for many. As pilgrims on horseback you will live the history of this ancient route as well as discovering some of the best protected natural reserves in southern Europe.

Our partners in Santiago offer a number of different routes by which to approach Santiago de Compostela, with the French Route being the most popular.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

You stay in a mixture of hotels and guesthouses along the route, with twin or double rooms and bathrooms.

Some of the hotels have very high standards, such as the Posada of Portomarin; others are more traditional, but all are clean and comfortable.

Due to the popularity of this pilgrimage, we cannot guarantee which hotels will be used in advance but they will be confirmed closer to your departure.

Breakfast is always taken at your hotel/guesthouse.

Lunches are taken whilst out on the trail, but as you pass many villages, you often dine in a local bar or restaurant. On one day you have a typical countryside lunch and barbecue whilst another is at a simple family restaurant.

Dinners are taken in the evening and may be at your hotel or in a local restaurant. Some of these may be social occasions with other pilgrims. Specialities of the area are served and drinks are included at mealtimes.

Throughout the day you may also stop at bars for refreshments - these drinks are to your own account.

 

Activities

There are many interesting visits included in this ride and as the whole trip is a pilgrimage, non-riders are welcome to follow the route on foot. As you approach Santiago, you will meet other pilgrims also on foot and so it can be a sociable affair.

Sites visited include the monastery at Sarria, monastery of the Knights of Santiago, Melide's cathedral, Santiago Monte del Gozo and Santiago's cathedral.

 

Further Details

Languages: Spanish, English

Health requirements: General good health

Age limit: Teenagers and older

Tuition: No

Included: Accommodation, riding, all meals, drinks with meals, airport transfers on arrival/departure day

Not included: Flights, drinks not with meals, insurance, airport transfers if extending your stay

 

Travel Information

You will be collected from the airport at 3pm on the first day of the ride and transferred by road c. 3 hours. You need to book a flight which arrives by 2pm at the latest to allow time for luggage collection.

The ride ends in Santiago de Compostela and we recommend spending an extra few days in this city and making your own way back to the airport. If you decide to leave on the final day of riding then your flight must be in the evening as you are still riding/journeying on this day.

Airport: Santiago (SCQ)

 

Programme


The Pilgrim Trail (French route)



Travel the historical Pilgrims route into Santiago de Compostela on horseback along the French route. This route has been used by travellers for thousands of years who arrived over the Pyrenees and is still in use today. This French route accesses Galicia via the Sierra de Los Ancares and the green cathedral of Caruel. Along the route you will meet other pilgrims and discover new experiences and friendships.

Day One:

You will be collected from the arrivals hall of Santiago airport at 3pm and transferred to the small village of O Cebreiro, aiming to arrive at c. 6pm. O Cebreiro is an important pilgrimage town on the border of the provinces of Lugo and Leon and c. 230km east of Santiago de Compostela. It is famous for its chapel where an important miracle occurred and its Pallozas - ancient Celtic buildings. The town is set on a hilltop overlooking an impressive landscape of mountains and lowlands. You have dinner and overnight in mountain chalets with comfortable rooms - the mountain lodge will also be housing many other travellers and pilgrims who are on their way to Santiago de Compostela.

Day Two:

After breakfast you meet your horses who will be all tacked up and waiting for you. Your first day of riding is through rolling hills and woods to the town of Samos, which you will reach in about 7 hours.There are regular stops along the route at bars for resting and refreshments. Lunch is a typical Spanish three course meal served in a restaurant in Triacastella. On arrival at Samos, famous for its medieval monastery, you settle the horses and are transported to a local hotel where there is time to rest before a late dinner of local specialities.

Day Three:

After breakfast you re-join the horses and set off riding. You pass the town of Sarria and stop for a refreshment - if time allows you can visit the ancient monastery. Continue on to a typical Galician farm which is famous for its countryside lunches prepared on an open barbecue. After lunch you follow a trail to Portomarin which you should reach in the early evening. Leave the horses at the old stables of the Portuguese national police and spend the night in the Posada of Portomarin - a hotel with high international standards. Portomarin is situated on the banks of a large, man-made lake and is famous with pilgrims from all over the world - if you wish you can attend mass or socialise with other pilgrims overnighting in this village. Dinner will be served later in the evening.

Day Four:

Today's ride takes you to Palas del Rey by following the river and then a trail over a hill which allows for a beautiful view of the whole area. Lunch is taken in a small, simple family restaurant which provides typical local lunches. After resting for a while, you continue to Palas del Rey and, time allowing, visit the ancient headquarters/monastery of the Knights of Santiago. Dinner and overnight in a local hotel.

Day Five:

After breakfast, set off riding along an ancient trail which includes old Roman roads and bridges until reaching the town of Melide. Here you will meet many other pilgrims and enjoy a special pilgrim lunch. If time permits you can visit the local cathedral and headquarters of the Order of Knights and Ladies of the Order of the Road to Santiago. Your ride continues along a road through forests and over hills to the town of Arzua which is famous for its cheeses and hams. There is a traditional Spanish saddle maker and tack shop in town which you may wish to visit. Dinner and overnight in a hotel with Swiss owners.

Day Six:

Your final day of riding takes you to the city of Santiago de Compostela. The road will be filled with pilgrims of all nationalities on their final day of travel. Everyone is full of expectation and excitement. You follow a medieval trail through dense woodland and after a stop for coffee and refreshments you arrive for lunch near to Santiago Lavacollos. After lunch you ride to the monument of Santiago Monte del Gozo from where you will see the city of Santiago for the first time. You have to leave the horses here as traffic density and safety concerns mean you cannot ride on horseback into the city, so after fond farewells you continue your trip on foot with a guided visit into Santiago. Visit the cathedral and the Roman Catholic Bishops office to obtain your Compostelana - an official documents from the Roman Catholic Church (in Latin) which states you have accomplished your pilgrimage.

Your guided ride ends here. We strongly recommend spending a few more days exploring the historic town of Santiago, visiting the Pilgrims mass in the cathedral or simply socialising with other pilgrims (we can help you with hotel bookings). If you prefer to fly straight home then you will need an evening flight to ensure you can reach the airport in time and do not miss the end of the ride.



Minimum group size: 6
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: You need to be an intermediate rider, capable in all three paces and fit enough to cope with the trail.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 6 days / 5 nights / 5 days riding
Departure dates: 2017:
19-24 March, 9-14 April, 21-26 May, 18-23 June, 9-14 July, 20-25 August, 3-8 September, 8-13 October.
 
Pricing: 2017:

£2235 per person sharing
£289 single supplement

Non-rider: £1674 per person sharing