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Holiday Report: Catalonia Trails

November 13th, 2013

Holly and Al-HattalCatalonia Trails, Spain, 2013. 

Holly Anthony, Far and Ride. 

From 15 – 22 September 2013 I joined the Mountain to Sea Trail at our Catalonia Trails destination in Spain. I accompanied two clients, both single female travellers, and we were joined by a variety of others from Austria, Sweden, Germany and Holland. A Dutch lady on this trail was visiting this riding set up for the 14th time and goes twice a year! The trail starts and ends at the farmhouse of Can Muni in the small village of Pins and takes you on a wonderful adventure to the beach, fascinating medieval towns, up into the mountains and back again. It is a great ride for the practiced rider, capable of riding at all paces and over difficult terrain, and I would like to share my thoughts on it with you. Forgive me for the length but I didn’t want to miss anything out!

On the departure Sunday I started reasonably early and took a lift to London Luton airport for my flight to Barcelona. These riding holidays have set time group transfers and so I was to be collected at 6pm from Barcelona airport, along with many of the other riders. The meeting point at the airport was easy to find and the driver held a sign for us, ticking off our names from his list to ensure everyone was there. From here we made our way to Can Muni travelling via Girona airport to collect some other riders. After a little over two hours we were safely delivered to Can Muni and shown to our rooms. The farmhouse is owned and run by Juan and Isabel who speak very limited English but were always willing to help us, dashing around to carry bags and make sure everyone was OK. The real part of hostess is played by Birgit who is an experienced horsewoman and former guide (she still guides occasionally but has mostly retired due to injury) – she made sure that everyone knew what time to meet for drinks and dinner and that we all found our rooms. The rooms here are rustic and simple but clean and comfortable, each with their own bathroom. The buildings are in the traditional stone style of the area and there are some communal areas such as the dining room, sitting area and the covered terrace where we sometimes ate. There is also a magnificent pool and the stable yard is just a few metres from the farmhouse buildings, perfect for those who just can’t keep away from the horses!
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Holiday Report: Wellness Weekend, El Bronco Ranch, Hungary

October 31st, 2013

Kiskunsagi (El Bronco) Ranch, Hungary, 2013.

“Hungary for More” by Gemma Fielden. 

Sun, sand, spa… horses? At least three things you can expect to be wowed by at El Bronco Ranch, situated in the beautiful Kiskunsági National Park. The crickets are chirping, the horses are neighing and the jacuzzi is bubbling!

You are free to explore the ranch to your heart’s content and will always find an array of friendly horses (and adorable foals) who will vie for your attention. With their grassy verges, sandy corrals and picture perfect paving, you can discover the hidden gems of the ranch at your leisure. Watch a stallion in his daily training, go hiking through serene forests, gallop along miles of sandy trails or perhaps you’d rather relax with a detox in one of the three different types of sauna available to you all day, every day. Whether you are horsey or not, there’s something for everyone at El Bronco.

If you are taking a trip here for the horses and the Western riding experience you certainly won’t be disappointed. With quaint Quarter Horses, pretty Paint horses and handsome Hungarian half breeds you will be personally matched to the horse of your dreams! Well-behaved and each with their own individual personalities you won’t be able to help falling in love, I know I did. The only bad part is that you can’t bring them home with you… airlines tend to frown upon that sort of thing!
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Escorted Trips for 2013

February 25th, 2013

Escorted Trips for 2013

For 2013 we have organised four group trips (so far!) which you are welcome to join. These ‘escorted’ rides are ones which one of us from the Far and Ride office will join ourselves and they are an excellent option for single travellers looking to make new friends. Single travellers can be accommodated on almost all of our riding holidays (and in fact make up a large proportion of our customers) but we find that there is more and more interest in joining one of our escorted trips. Not only are you guaranteed some likeminded company but these dates are also more likely to gather several bookings, therefore creating a friendly group with the same interests and usually of a similar riding level. We’ve been running these trips successfully for the past few years now and have really enjoyed meeting new people and sharing wonderful riding experiences around the world.

Have a look at the options available so far and get in touch if you’d like to join in. If these dates don’t work for you then please contact us anyway as we can often match you up with other riders in the same boat. Many lasting friendships have been formed this way!
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Holiday Report: Catalonia Trails, Spain

February 20th, 2013

Catalonia Trails, Spain, 2013

Sue Woodbine, Far and Ride. 

In January 2013 our Managing Director, Sue, visited our Catalonia Trails riding destination in Spain. These horseback holidays were formerly known as ‘Can Jou’, an extremely popular outfit with an excellent reputation. The trails have now been revamped and are better than ever! Here is Sue’s report…

“I have recently returned from a short trip to Catalonia to see the new base for the horse riding holidays which were formerly known as ‘Can Jou’. The trail routes, team and horses have now moved to a different farmhouse called Can Muni in the Costa Brava – a traditional Catalan farmhouse situated in an area which is easier to access than the original farmhouse and with plenty of wonderful trails on the doorstep. Rather than joining one of their set trails, I was just making a short visit, out of season, to learn more about the destination for our clients.

I flew into Barcelona and was met by Anna in the new minibus that is going to be used for transferring the guests. The drive to the farmhouse is scenic and I was very happy to settle down and take in the sights and the sunshine. Set time transfers are available from Barcelona or Girona airports – there are more flights into Barcelona but Girona is closer to the farmhouse. We arrived at Can Muni which is situated in a tiny hamlet in the heart of the countryside. The accommodation is based around a 17th century farmhouse surrounded by stone cottages which have been converted from ancient barns. Catalan architecture remains at the forefront but the renovated barns have modern facilities, whilst still retaining all the characteristics of the original buildings. I was shown to my room which is based in one of the cottages adjoining the main farmhouse – the cottage has two double bedrooms, each with a modern ensuite shower room. There is a comfortable lounge area with a wood burning stove and TV which extends into a large kitchen area with a welcoming table.
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Holiday Report, Aquitaine Adventures, France

November 13th, 2012

Sarah and Helios galloping on the beachAquitaine Adventures, France, 2012.

Sarah Ritchie, Far and Ride.

From 7th – 14th October 2012, Sarah from Far and Ride escorted a group of clients on the ‘Atlantic Coast Experience’ at our Aquitaine Adventures destination in France. This is a programme for experienced riders and combines trails in the pine forests with excellent beach riding. In the warmer summer months it also includes the chance to swim with your horse in the sea, a special experience for everyone.

Below is Sarah’s report on her French adventure:

“I met two Far and Ride clients, Sue and Jules, at Luton Airport before our departure on an empty one and a half hour flight to Bordeaux. We met another client Katie at arrivals before heading to meet out driver who would take us to the riding centre where we would meet Michel, the owner of the stables and the organiser of rides at this destination. After a quick introduction he drove us to our accommodation, Hotel Mermoz, which is a mere five minute drive from the stables (an easy walk in fact) and situated in the coastal town of Mimizan-Plage. After check-in we spent our free afternoon eating lunch in a restaurant overlooking the beach before exploring the town. Mimizan is a quaint little seaside town full of restaurants and shops with miles and miles of almost deserted beach, though it’s busier during peak season when tourists come to experience the silver coast and the good weather. Before dinner we greeted Adrian, another Far and Ride client (who had travelled from Biarritz airport), and were taken to a local restaurant called Chez Jean Paul for dinner along with other guests. We enjoyed a delicious first dinner of salad, bread and cold meats to start, beef kebabs and ‘pomme frites’ for main course and then a selection of desserts. Drinks are not included with the dinners but they do not cost much here.
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Riding Holiday Destinations for Christmas and New Year

October 23rd, 2012

Riding Holiday Destinations for Christmas and New Year 2012

We are often contacted by riders looking for somewhere to spend Christmas and New Years and it is certainly a lovely way to spend the festive period. For the single traveller it is also a great way to make friends and to join others in a similar situation. Here we have listed some of the programmes that we have available during this time – some are New Years programmes only whilst others include Christmas itself. The list is not exhaustive as other destinations are also taking guests at Christmas but just do not have a set programme.

If you are interested in any of these options, have any questions or are looking for something specific then please do get in touch and we’d be happy to help you! Send us an email to [email protected], call us on 01462 701110 or get in touch via the website and we’ll get right back to you.

Photos represent the destination generally as opposed to Christmas time specifically!

 

Christmas and New Year Special, Algarve Coast, Portugal

This equestrian centre, one of the Algarve’s most well-known and prestigious, is situated in an upmarket holiday area. It is an ideal location for enjoyable riding, with an abundance of sandy tracks, open land full of wild flowers and herbs as well close to golden beaches and a nature reserve. This is the perfect place for single ladies to enjoy Christmas and New Year at this wonderful destination. This well established riding centre offers friendly companions and the best riding tuition around. Trails in the sunshine will be part of the package!

Riding near the coast
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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.

“Galoppo!”

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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