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Catalonia

Overview

This riding holiday destination offers a wide choice of programmes including several different trail routes, based stays and weekend or short breaks. These trails are suited to intermediate riders and above, although a beginner riding programme has been introduced for those who wish to learn. The r…

Highlights

  • Offering trails, centre based rides and short breaks
  • Families and group bookings welcome
  • Fast riding on the trails and day rides
  • Riding in an area of cultural and historic interest
  • Great local food and drink!

Essential Facts

  • 6 itineraries available
  • Max 8 riders per group
  • Average of 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90kg / 198 lbs/ 14 stone 2 lbs

Description

This riding holiday destination offers a wide choice of programmes including several different trail routes, based stays and weekend or short breaks. These trails are suited to intermediate riders and above, although a beginner riding programme has been introduced for those who wish to learn. The rides are primarily based out of the farmhouse at Els Masos D'en Coll, with some other accommodations used during the point-to-point trails. Joan is your host at Els Masos and he is a knowledgeable and passionate man with many years of experience in the hospitality industry. He speaks limited English but will be aided in the day-to-day running by Patricia, as well as their experienced trail guides who all speak English fluently.

This beautiful area is full of spectacular towns and villages, surprisingly untouched by the hands of time, and the architecture still reflects the glory of days gone by. Catalonia is full of wild and unspoilt wilderness just waiting to be discovered on horseback. From pretty beaches to meadows and mountain paths, there is a variety of terrain to be explored with the help of knowledgeable guides and a sure-footed horse.

Following the Pyrenees down to the coast brings you to the Emporda region, one of the wonders of Catalonia with undulating fields of olive groves, vineyards, sunflowers and fragrant Mediterranean pine forests. Here you will also find the Alvera wine growing region that produces rich, full-bodied wines that are an absolute delight. The gastronomy of Catalonia is an experience all of its own: the meats, game, fish, fresh fruit and vegetables... all combined to create the most delicious Mediterranean style cuisine. During these trips, you will enjoy authentic local meals accompanied by locally produced red wine. Catalonia is an area rich in history and culture and has a very distinctive feel to it. It remains a relatively unknown corner of Spain and has a strong cultural identity of its own. It's a fascinating place to explore!

There is such a choice of riding programmes that it can become hard to choose! Please get in touch if you are in any doubt or would like some help choosing between the different options below. We can check the availability for these rides and should be able to tell you what programmes and dates are available for you to join or discuss the suitability of an itinerary for you as well.

This destination has been visited by Natalie from Far and Ride, so please get in touch if you'd like to chat with us to get more of a feel for the type of riding available.

NB. Costa Brava beach riding is not available during the peak summer months of June to September. At other times of the year, the beach rides may need to be early in the morning to ensure that you can make the most of empty stretches of sand! However, please note that canters/gallops are subject to local conditions and sometimes tides mean that the sand is too deep and you won't be able to canter on the beach.

Horses & Riding

Tack

The saddles are English or sometimes trekking style, mostly made from synthetic materials as they are light and easy to care for. The majority of the horses are ridden in simple snaffle bridles and again, these are mostly made from a synthetic material with detachable bits. Saddlebags will be provided for each guest to carry items required during the day, such as the picnic lunches.

Horses

The horses here are well-mannered and responsive Spanish and Hispano-Arabians. They have all been carefully chosen for their suitability for the trail and most are between 14.2hh (150cm) and 16hh (165cm). They are generally of a medium build and all are surefooted, fit, forward-going and well adapted to the requirements of the sometimes difficult terrain.

Riding

There are 6 itineraries:

  • Mountain and Sea Trail is a trail ride
  • Tramuntana Trail is a trail ride
  • Tasting the Tramuntana (Sunday - Thursday) is a trail ride
  • Tasting the Costa Brava (Wednesday-Sunday) is a trail ride
  • Catalan Farmhouse Discovery Ride (stationary) is a based ride
  • Beginners/Novice Discovery Programme is a based ride

Ages

Children aged 12 years and older can be accepted on the trails, whilst children from 9 years of age can join the Discovery programme. The Beginners Programme is open from 3 years of age. All those under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult. All children joining the trails must be competent, experienced riders, happy to ride a horse (there are no ponies for the trails).

Health

General good health recommended.

Weight

90kg / 198 lbs/ 14 stone 2 lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

The region of Catalonia produces a high standard of ingredients which is reflected in the quality of Catalan cuisine. Highlights of the region include wild mushrooms and game from the Pyrenees; olives, grapes and wheat from the heartland; fruit, vegetables and nuts from the lowlands; rice and fish from the river deltas and fish and shellfish from the 500km of coastline.

Breakfast at the farmhouse is made using high-quality products from their own orchard and farm or from local producers

Accommodation

Accommodation varies between the centre base, a traditional stone farmhouse and cottages in the Costa Brava, to small hotels and local inns along the trails. These have been carefully selected for their character and comfort, as well as for their cuisine.

The equestrian activities are centred around a traditional farmhouse, a base for all the trails in this lovely region of Empordà. Els Masos d’en Coll is a corner of peace in the heart of the Empordà, on the Costa Brava. From here you can discover medieval villages, fabulous landscapes between fields of sunflowers and the beautiful beaches and coves of crystalline waters only 9 kilometres from the farmhouse.

Els Masos comprises two farmhouses owned by the same family who has cultivated the land for six generations. There are six fantastic rooms at the Masia Can Barnosell or, if you are looking for space, you can choose one of the three apartments instead (each big enough to sleep four people). For larger groups, there are two houses, Mas Llop I and Mas Llop II large enough for five or six people and perfect for family holidays, with children, or with friends. Regardless of where you sleep, you can enjoy your time on the terrace, in one of the two swimming pools, at the simple home gym or just wandering around the farm, meeting the animals. Free Wi-Fi is available through the buildings, and the reception contains some leaflets and tourist information about the area if you need some inspiration. Of course, you can also ask your friendly knowledgeable hosts!

Itineraries

Mountain and Sea Trail Standard accommodation.

Tramuntana Trail Standard accommodation.

Tasting the Tramuntana (Sunday - Thursday) Standard accommodation.

Tasting the Costa Brava (Wednesday-Sunday) Standard accommodation.

Catalan Farmhouse Discovery Ride (stationary) Standard accommodation.

Beginners/Novice Discovery Programme Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

Besides riding, there are several great activities to keep you busy in Catalonia. The region is well known for its diversity of outdoor pursuits, including cycling, hiking, mountaineering, watersports and many more. During the riding programmes, interested guests will have the chance to visit several pretty and unique historic sites, including medieval villages, churches, Iberic ruins, necropolis - the region has historically been incredibly industrious and the remains are evident wherever you go.

Non-riding partners and family are also welcome on these programmes. We would recommend taking a hire car if you are coming as a non-rider as lunches will not be provided for you at the farmhouse and this itself is in a very remote location. With access to a car, you will be able to reach many beautiful and interesting places in this region within a few minutes, including the beaches of the Costa Brava, the Pyrenees foothills, several historic villages such as Peratallada and Pals, as well as the museum of Dali, vineyards, olive oil producers and even cider makers.

Our partners can suggest local hire firms for bicycles where keen cyclists can discuss their requirements and have the bikes delivered to the farm ready for their arrival - please ask. Fit cyclists can also join the trail weeks and will be given maps to follow a route to the next accommodation.

Travel

You should fly into Girona which is roughly a 1-hour drive from the farmhouse. Transfers from and back to Girona train station at set times are included in the cost of the set-date trails, but not the centre-based rides which offer more flexible departures. If you are doing one of the stationary programmes, you may wish to hire a car to allow you to explore the area when not riding.

The scheduled group transfers from and to Girona train station are at the following times;

Arrival Girona: Pick up at 19:30 (please do not book a flight landing after 18:00 as you will not have time to get to the meeting point)
Departure: Pick up at Els Masos at 09:30 and drop off at Girona train station at 10:30.

There are regular buses from the airport to the bus station in Girona which is situated beneath the train station. The journey takes about 15 mins.

A private taxi transfer can be booked for you if you would prefer to arrive or leave outside of the above mentioned times, or would like collecting/dropping at the airport. This is an additional cost (see individual itineraries).

Arrival at Barcelona airport is another option for guests as it does offer more flight options. However, the airport is roughly a 2.5-hour drive away from the farmhouse. If you would prefer to fly into Barcelona instead of Girona then we will need to organise a private transfer for you at a supplementary cost (see individual itineraries). If you are travelling alone, then you may prefer to take a train or local bus from Barcelona to Girona in time for the inclusive transfer from the train station at 19:30 pm. This is a far more economical option and we would be more than happy to help you with train and bus times, so please do just ask!

Testimonials

Charlotte R., June 14, 2022

It was brilliant. Great guide. Great accommodation, great food and wine! Lovely, kind and calm horses who are fit and full of energy for the demanding ride. The guide was great at recommending horses according to what our preferences were. Favourite memory? Getting to canter through the waves - the stuff dreams are made of!


Diana W., April 1, 2022

An enjoyable ride over mixed terrain with a cheerful and responsive team supporting us. Some long days in the saddle as expected but each day was very different in terrain and experience. A limited number of long canters but when we did get them they were good and long generally. Horses fit, fun, forward going and well mannered and enjoyable to ride. Favourite memory? Long canters when available. Excellent farmhouse accommodation with fantastic quantity and quality of food. Good picnic lunch as well, much more than average! Hosts were very attentive and generous. My husband (bicycling) had a very good experience as well with bike being delivered before we arrived and of very high standard.


Stina A., Oct. 5, 2021

We have had a fantastic week. It was a great holiday. The guide was very sweet, the horses were easy going, very very used to traffic, they were in good shape/condition. The food was good. The hotels were clean and nice.


Amanda S, May 22, 2019

Some of the most stunning landscapes ever seen on a riding holiday - snow capped Pyrenees one side and sea the other. Great accommodation and food and wonderful horses. Paula the guide was exemplary - she made the ride fun, looked after everyone, was helpful and caring and very attentive with regards to safety. She went the extra mile even going in the evening by car to check a couple of stops to make sure there was adequate mounting places, etc.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

Arrive in Girona with transfer to the farmhouse, a typical Catalan farm called Els Masos d'en Coll located in the middle of Baix Empordà, just a few kilometres from the beach.  You will start your holiday with a delicious dinner, where you will meet the rest of the group and your guides. You can discuss the upcoming ride and reaffirm your horse preferences too.

Day 2 - The Pirate Coast

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Following a delicious breakfast at the farmhouse, you will head out to meet your horses and enjoy your first day of riding. The morning will be a relaxed one allowing you the chance to become accustomed to your mount (and them to you!). You will follow quiet trails along the edge of the Ter river which winds its way through the Baix Emporda region. As you make your way towards the mountain of Montgri, you will pass old fortified farmhouses - fortifications that once defended these coastal inhabitants from marauding pirate attacks! Through the afternoon you will continue the ride passing cider apple orchards, ponds and wetlands until you return to Els Masos for dinner and overnight.

Day 3 - Medieval Villages

Riding: 5 hours

Today set off on your trail ride passing through the most beautifully preserved medieval villages in Spain. You will cross this fertile region, dotted with vineyards and apple orchards, contemplating the fact that this was all once under a vast ocean. Your route will take you through the fortified villages of Peratallada, Canapost, Castell d'Emporda, Monells and Cruilles. In each, you will take time to visit the walled villages of medieval origin that still display well-preserved moats, towers, castles and palaces for you to discover.

You will continue through the afternoon until you reach your accommodation for the night - a 13th-century farmhouse located in the foothills of the Gavarres national park. The house has a lovely atmosphere and has been restored and decorated by its present owners, Joan and Marta. You will have time to enjoy the pool or relax before a delicious homemade dinner is served in the large dining room.

Day 4 - The Romantic Costa Brava

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

On today's route, you will move on from Medieval times and discover some of the region's Roman influences instead. Passing through ancient forests of cork oaks and chestnut trees, you will head to the Roman outpost of St Cebria de Llado. From the viewpoint of Els Metges, you will enjoy expansive vistas right the way from the Pyrenees to the Costa Brava coastline. Next on your journey will be a brief stop at the first Romanesque megalith dolmen located at the top of Puig D'Arques mountain. Again, you will witness some phenomenal views from this point before rejoining your horses and descending through the Gavarres mountain range to your accommodation for the night. An early stop today will see you enjoying plenty of rest before the long day of riding tomorrow.

Day 5 - From the Mountains to the Sea

Riding: 6 hours

Today will be a long day in the saddle. Along your route, you will see old ice wells which are abundant here and also the Dolmen Tres Peus which is one of the best-preserved megalithic monuments in the area. There are beautiful views over the plains to the blue Mediterranean as you drop downhill through forests and along Roman trails, stopping at monuments such as the Church of Sta. Coloma de Fitor. Eventually, you reach your accommodation - a more modern hotel complex - which is located only a few metres from the beach. After settling the horses you can take a short walk on the fine sand of Pals Beach before dinner.

Day 6 - Costa Brava's heart

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today you ride a circular route passing old mines and following paths through holm oaks, cork oaks and pines to reach a high point from where you can behold this beautiful landscape. This viewpoint - Queremany - has splendid views of the Pals beach, where some historians claim you could see the departure of Christopher Columbus' ships on his first trip to America. Continue back to your hotel beside the beach to rest for your early start tomorrow.

Day 7 - Between the River, Sea and Rice Fields

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

An early start today as there is the possibility of riding on the beach (this depends on dates as there can be restrictions within the natural park). Follow the entire beach to the mouth of the Ter river where you turn inland and leave the sea behind you to ride past apple orchards and cultivated fields - at certain times of the year there are magnificent rice fields here too. Upon arrival, back at Els Masos d'En Coll, you'll enjoy a rice casserole to celebrate your adventure.

Day 8 - Adios Amigos

Riding: No riding.

You will depart after breakfast.

Accommodation

Nights 1, 2 & 7 spent at Masos d'En Coll in Llabia
3rd & 4th nights at Mas Masaller in Cruilles
5th & 6th nights at Aparthotel Golf Beach in Pals

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate riders and above - must be capable of riding at all paces for long hours and over difficult terrain. Your hosts recommend that you be well balanced, comfortable and secure in an English saddle and able to control a well-schooled horse outside at all paces.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

April 27, 2022 - May 3, 2022

May 15, 2022 - May 22, 2022

June 5, 2022 - June 12, 2022

Sept. 18, 2022 - Sept. 25, 2022

Oct. 16, 2022 - Oct. 23, 2022

Nov. 13, 2022 - Nov. 20, 2022

Pricing

2022
Low Season (April & November); sharing
£1185 $1320 €1350
2022
High Season (May-October); sharing
£1270 $1420 €1450
2022
Non-riders (all seasons); sharing; half board
£580 $650 €665
* Non-riding guests should have access to their own transport during the week as transfers between overnight accommodations will not be provided.
Included 7 nights shared twin or double room accommodation, full board meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, all soft drinks, one alcoholic drink per meal and return transfers from Girona train station at set times.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, tips, other drinks and extras not mentioned. Airport transfers from Barcelona or outside of set times.

Extras

2022 - Barcelona Airport Transfer €240
Paid locally
Each way, for a car of up to 4 passengers.
2022 - Girona Airport Transfer €80
Paid locally
Each way, for a car of up to 4 passengers. Only payable if you cannot join the set-time group transfers which are included.
2022 - Single Supplement €210
Paid locally
* Payable by anyone staying in a single room.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1 - Sunday - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

Arrive at your accommodation Els Masos d'en Coll and settle in. Before dinner, you will have the chance to meet your guide to discuss your horse preferences and the route ahead.

Day 2 - Monday - Unknown Costa Brava

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

After breakfast, you meet your horses and set off riding. Head inland, crossing the alluvial zone of the river Ter, the main river in this area which irrigates the fruit trees, corn, cereals and orchards. Pass through Sant Iscle d'Emporda, a typical example of a settlement constructed in an elevated position to avoid floods. Enjoy some long trots and canters on the dirt roads and continue to pass through small villages with stone houses and medieval ruins.

At about midday, you'll reach the river where you cross over the dam. The dam is about 103m high but only 6m of it shows above the river level! On the far bank, you'll tether your horses in the shade of some trees whilst you have lunch in a local restaurant.

After lunch remount and continue riding through the quiet countryside of this less-known part of the Costa Brava. On arriving at your accommodation you can rest in the garden before dinner.

Day 3 - Tuesday - From the River to the Sea

Riding: 6 - 7 hours

Today's ride through the Emporda landscape offers endless paths through lush crops and small villages with lots of opportunities to trot and canter. Follow the route the river takes to the sea, meeting it several times throughout the day. Stop for lunch and to sample some Emporda wine produced in this area.

After a rest, continue riding towards the beach, passing through a beautiful Mediterranean forest with soft dirt paths winding through the trees inviting you to enjoy more trots and canters. On arrival at your accommodation, you can take a walk to the beach to feel the sea breeze before dinner. Your hotel tonight has an unbeatable location being just 500m from the fine sand beach of San Pere Pescador.

Day 4 - Wednesday - The Beach and Tramuntana

Riding: 5 hours

Rising at dawn today you can get excited for a ride on the beach! With the suns rays peeking over the horizon, you ride alongside the sea enjoying some canters and splashing through the foam of the waves. Upon reaching Sant Marti d'Empuries you stop to wash the horses down and have a good breakfast.

Remount and ride towards the Montgri mountain - a majestic massif that separates Alto del Baix Emporda, Medas Islands and the Ter River Natural Park. The Massif is formed of limestone with sea cliffs of over 100m high and is topped by the famous 13th-century castle; this is a unique landscape. Ride through this magnificent place and cross the mountain at its lowest point - the continental dune of sand brought by the strong winds from the north is known locally as Tramuntana. This sand dune has been fixed by the roots of Mediterranean pines and has in turn become a forest.

From the south side of the hill, you will be treated to beautiful views over the Medas Islands and Ter river, with the Gavarres mountains in the background. Continue your ride back to Els Masos d'en Coll where you started - you'll arrive in time for lunch and an afternoon rest due to your early start!

Day 5 - Thursday - the Medieval Villages

Riding: 4 hours

Today set off on your trail ride passing through the most beautifully preserved medieval villages in Spain. You will cross many medieval villages and towns that are mere dots on the map but that become quaint terracotta-coloured settlements, the closer you get. The small Palau-Sator and incredible Peratallada are small walled villages of medieval origin that still display well-preserved moats, towers, castles and palaces for you to discover.

You will continue through the afternoon, past oak and pine forests, until you reach your accommodation for the night - a 13th-century farmhouse located in the foothills of the Gavarres national park. The house has a lovely atmosphere and has been loving restored and decorated by its present owners. You will have time in the afternoon to enjoy the pool or relax before a delicious homemade dinner is served in the large dining room.

Day 6 - Friday - The Gavarres Park

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

After breakfast, you will begin your ride to the Park of Gavarres. The park has a large network of paths that will allow you to discover the most important Catalonian cork oaks and maritime pine forests. The vegetation here is rich, with shaded areas near mountain streams and forests made up of alders, oak, hazel and chestnuts contrasting with the rest of the predominantly Mediterranean territory.

After a full picnic lunch, you will continue your ride passing through the Medieval village of Pals and continuing on to your hotel for the evening. The hotel is a modern complex but is located just a 5-minute walk from the beach. Here you will have time to rest and relax, perhaps enjoy the pool or take a walk to the beach before enjoying dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 7 - Saturday - Towards the Beach of Pals

Riding: 6 - 7 hours

Today you will rise early, have a light breakfast and head out with the horses towards the beach of Pals. The beach is over 3.5 kilometres long and surrounded by dunes and pine trees, it borders the whole rice-growing plains area. The sandy beach has some magnificent views of the Illes Medes. After enjoying a wonderful gallop along the shore, you will stop for a delicious lunch. In the afternoon, you ride to the south through crops and forest and then along the river Ter until you return to Els Masos d'en Coll. You will have some free time to enjoy the rest of your afternoon at leisure

Day 8 - Sunday - Adios amigos!

Riding: No riding.

You will depart after breakfast. Hopefully, you will return for another adventure.

Please note that shorter 4-night versions of this trail are available, riding either from Sunday - Thursday or Wednesday - Sunday. See the "Tasting Tramuntana" and "Tasting Costa Brava" itineraries for further details and prices.

Accommodation

Nights 1, 4 & 7: Masos d'En Coll, Llabia: www.elsmasosdencoll.com
Night 2: Can Sort, Bascara: www.cansort.com
Night 3: Mas del Mar, Sant Pere Pescador: www.masdelmar.com
Night 5: Mas Massaller: www.masmasaller.com
Night 6: Golf Beach Aparthotel: www.aparthotelgolfbeach.com

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate riders and above - must be capable of riding at all paces for long hours and over difficult terrain. Your hosts recommend that you be well balanced, comfortable and secure in an English saddle and able to control a well-schooled horse outside at all paces.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

March 20, 2022 - March 27, 2022

April 20, 2022 - April 27, 2022  (*Wednesday - Wednesday (itinerary may differ))

May 8, 2022 - May 15, 2022

Oct. 9, 2022 - Oct. 16, 2022

Oct. 30, 2022 - Nov. 6, 2022

Pricing

2022
Rider; Sharing (March & April)
£1225 $1370 €1400
2022
Rider; Sharing (May - November)
£1270 $1420 €1450
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, all soft drinks, one alcoholic drink with each meal, 6 days riding and return set time transfers from Girona train station.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, other drinks, tips and extras not mentioned. Barcelona airport transfers are not included.

Extras

2022 - Barcelona Airport Transfers €240
Paid locally
Each way, for a car of up to 4 passengers.
2022 - Girona Airport Transfers (Private) €80
Paid locally
Each way, for a car of up to 4 passengers. Only payable if you cannot find flights to fit the set-time group transfers which are included.
2022 - Single Supplement £31 $34 €35 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
The supplement must be paid by anyone in a single room. Those willing to share will be refunded if a room sharer is found.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

Arrive at your accommodation Els Masos d'en Coll and settle in. Before dinner you will have the chance to meet your guide to discuss your horse preferences and the route ahead.

Day 2 - Unknown Costa Brava

Riding: 5 - 7 hours

After breakfast, you meet your horses and set off riding. Head inland, crossing the alluvial zone of the river Ter, the main river in this area which irrigates the fruit trees, corn, cereals and orchards. Pass through Sant Iscle d'Emporda, a typical example of a settlement constructed in an elevated position to avoid floods. Enjoy some long trots and canters along the dirt roads and continue to pass through small villages with stone houses and medieval ruins.

At about midday, you'll reach the river where you cross the 103 m tall dam, but only 6 m of it shows above the river level. On the far bank you'll tether your horses in the shade of some trees whilst you have lunch in a local restaurant.

After lunch remount and continue riding through the quiet countryside of this lesser known part of the Costa Brava. On arriving at your accommodation you can rest in the garden before dinner.

Day 3 - From River Water to Sea Water

Riding: 5 - 7 hours

Today's ride through the Emporda landscape offers endless paths through lush crops and small villages with lots of opportunities to trot and canter. Follow the route the river takes to the sea, meeting it several times throughout the day. Stop for lunch and sample some Emporda wine produced in this area.

After a rest, continue riding towards the beach, passing through a beautiful Mediterranean forest with soft dirt paths winding through the trees inviting you to enjoy more trots and canters. On arrival at your accommodation, you can take a walk to the beach to feel the sea breeze before dinner. Your hotel tonight has an unbeatable location being just 500m from the fine sand beach of San Pere Pescador.

Day 4 - The Beach and Tramuntana

Riding: 5 hours

Your final day sees you rising at dawn to ride on the beach. With the rays of the sun peeking over the horizon, you ride alongside the sea enjoying some canters and splashing through the foam of the waves. Upon reaching Sant Marti d'Empuries you stop to wash the horses down and have a good breakfast.

Remount and ride towards the Montgri mountain - a majestic massif that separates Alto del Baix Emporda, Medas Islands and Down Ter River Natural Park. Formed of limestone with sea cliffs of over 100m high and the famous 13th-century castle atop, this Massif is a unique landscape. Ride through this magnificent place and cross the mountain at its lowest point - the continental dune of sand brought by the strong winds from the north and known locally as Tramuntana. This sand dune has been fixed by the roots of Mediterranean pines and has been turned into a forest.

From the south side of the hill, you will be treated to beautiful views over the Medas Islands and Ter river, with the Gavarres mountains in the background. Continue your ride back to Els Masos d'en Coll where you started - you'll arrive in time for lunch due to your early start!

Day 5 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

Depart after breakfast - or perhaps add the Tasting the Costa Brava trail to make a wonderful "two beaches" adventure.

Accommodation

Masos d'En Coll, Llabia:
www.elsmasosdencoll.com

Can Sort, Bascara:
www.cansort.com

Mas del Mar, Sant Pere Pescador:
www.masdelmar.com

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate riders and above - must be capable of riding at all paces for long hours and over difficult terrain. Your hosts recommend that you be well balanced, comfortable and secure in an English saddle and able to control a well-schooled horse outside at all paces.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

March 20, 2022 - March 24, 2022

April 20, 2022 - April 24, 2022

May 8, 2022 - May 12, 2022

Oct. 9, 2022 - Oct. 13, 2022

Oct. 30, 2022 - Nov. 2, 2022

Pricing

2022
Standard Season Rider, sharing (March/April)
£670 $745 €765
2022
High Season Rider, sharing (May, October, November)
£720 $805 €825
2022
Non-Rider, sharing (all seasons), half board
£330 $370 €380
* Non-riding guests need to have access to their own transport as transfers between different overnight stops is not provided.
Included 4 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, all soft drinks, one alcoholic drink with each meal, 3 days riding and return set time transfers from Girona train station.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, other drinks, tips and extras not mentioned. Barcelona airport transfers are not included.

Extras

2022 - Barcelona Airport Transfers €240
Paid locally
Each way, for a car of up to 4 passengers.
2022 - Girona Airport Transfers €80
Paid locally
Each way, for a car of up to 4 passengers. Only payable if you cannot find flights to fit the set-time group transfers which are included.
2022 - Single Supplement £123 $137 €140
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable by anyone who ends up in a single room.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1 - Welcome to Masos d'en Coll (Wednesday)

Riding: No riding.

You will arrive at Els Masos d'en Coll which is a typical Catalan farmhouse situated in a wonderful location close to the coast. Before dinner, you will go over the programme and be told about the special characteristics of the trail horses. You will be given an introduction to the rides and the chance to ensure that the right horse has been assigned to you. Then, you can enjoy a fantastic dinner!

Day 2 - Medieval Villages (Thursday)

Riding: 5 hours

Today set off on your trail ride passing through the most beautifully preserved medieval villages in Spain. You will cross picturesque villages and towns that are mere dots on the map but that become quaint terracotta-coloured settlements, the closer you get. The small Palau-Sator and incredible Peratallada are small walled villages of medieval origin that still display well-preserved moats, towers, castles and palaces for you to discover.

You will continue through the afternoon, past oak and pine forests, until you reach your accommodation for the night - a 13th-century farmhouse located in the foothills of the Gavarres national park. The house has a lovely atmosphere and has been loving restored and decorated by its present owners. You will have time in the afternoon to enjoy the pool or relax before a delicious homemade dinner is served in the large dining room.

Day 3 - The Gavarres Park (Friday)

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

After breakfast, you will begin your ride to the Park of Gavarres. The park has a large network of paths that will allow you to discover the most important Catalonian cork oaks and maritime pine forests. The vegetation here is rich, with shaded areas near mountain streams and forests made up of alders, oak, hazel and chestnuts contrasting with the rest of the predominantly Mediterranean territory. 

After a full picnic lunch, you will continue your ride passing through the Medieval village of Pals and continuing on to your hotel for the evening, just a 5-minute walk from the beach. The hotel is a large modern complex, but it is in an excellent location near the sea. Here you will have time to rest and relax, perhaps enjoy the pool or take a walk to the beach before enjoying dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 4 - Towards the Beach of Pals (Saturday)

Riding: 6 - 7 hours

Today you will rise early, have a light breakfast and head out with the horses towards the beach of Pals. The beach is over 3.5 kilometres long and surrounded by dunes and pine trees, it follows the whole rice-growing plains area. The sandy beach has some magnificent views of the Illes Medes. After enjoying a wonderful gallop along the sand, you will stop for a delicious lunch. In the afternoon, you ride to the south through crops and forest, along the river Ter until you return to Els Masos d'en Coll. You will have some free time to enjoy the rest of your afternoon at your leisure.

Day 5 - Adios Amigos

Riding: No riding.

You will depart after breakfast. Hopefully, you will return for another adventure.

Accommodation

Masos d'En Coll
Llabia - www.elsmasosdencoll.com

Mas Massaller
www.masmasaller.com

Golf Beach Aparthotel
www.aparthotelgolfbeach.com

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate riders and above - must be capable of riding at all paces for long hours and over difficult terrain. Your hosts recommend that you be well balanced, comfortable and secure in an English saddle and able to control a well-schooled horse outside at all paces.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

March 23, 2022 - March 27, 2022

April 6, 2022 - April 10, 2022

April 23, 2022 - April 27, 2022

May 11, 2022 - May 15, 2022

May 25, 2022 - May 29, 2022

Sept. 14, 2022 - Sept. 18, 2022

Sept. 28, 2022 - Oct. 2, 2022

Oct. 12, 2022 - Oct. 16, 2022

Nov. 2, 2022 - Nov. 6, 2022

Pricing

2022
Low Season (February - 10 April & November); Sharing
£670 $745 €765
2022
High Season (23 April-October); Sharing
£720 $805 €825
2022
Non-rider (All seasons); Sharing; Half board
£330 $370 €380
* Non-riding guests need to have access to their own transport as transfers between different overnight stops is not provided.
Included 4 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, all soft drinks, one alcoholic drink with each meal, 3 days riding and return set time transfers from Girona train station.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, other drinks, tips and extras not mentioned. Barcelona airport transfers are not included.

Extras

2022 - Barcelona Airport Transfer €240
Paid locally
Each way, for a car of up to 4 passengers.
2022 - Girona Airport Transfer €80
Paid locally
Each way, for a car of up to 4 passengers. Only payable if you cannot find flights to fit the set-time group transfers which are included.
2022 - Single Supplement £105 $118 €120
Paid to Far and Ride
* Payable by any single traveller if a room sharer cannot be found.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1 - Sunday - Welcome to Els Masos d'en Coll

Riding: No riding.

You will arrive at the rural village of Els Masos d'en Coll in the afternoon. It is located in the heart of the Baix Empordà and here you will find the welcoming traditional stone-built farmhouse. You will meet the family and your guides. At dinner, you can talk through the week’s programme and be told about the special characteristics of the horses. After dinner, you will have an opportunity for a one to one conversation to make sure you will be riding the perfect horse to suit you.

NB. Please note that the itinerary is just a guide and reflects the riding hours possible during the cooler months of spring/autumn. In summer (June- early Sept) only half-day rides are offered due to the heat and half-board meals are provided (breakfast and lunch only).

Day 2 - Monday - Pirates and Fortified Farmhouses

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

It is time to meet your equine companion and get to know them. Your route today takes you towards the sea with many opportunities for trots and canters.

You start by crossing cultivated fields until reaching the Ter River, which is the longest in Catalonia, starting in the Pyrenees. You ride the last section of the river to its mouth in the Mediterranean Sea. This is a very flat area and allows for some great canters until you reach the fine sandy beach. Just 2km from here are the famous Medes Islands - these seven islands are one of the best marine reserves in the Mediterranean. You will pass through the Emporda Wetlands, a coastal nature reserve of marshes and dunes which is an important refuge for migrating birds, especially in spring and autumn. Continue riding through flat agricultural lands where you stop for lunch.

In the afternoon you pass some of the imposing fortified "masias" farmhouses which were typical of this area and served to defend the inhabitants from pirate attacks in the late Middle Ages. On return to your accommodation, you can relax on the terrace with a drink.

Day 3 - Tuesday - Montgri

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today you leave for the town of Torroella de Montgri, a town of medieval origin that maintains a balance between modernity and traditional rural life. Your ride today is calm, giving you a chance to enjoy the great landscapes. Throughout the day you are guarded by Montgri Castle (12th century) which stands atop the mountain at 315m and is the identity symbol for this territory.

Your ride takes you through Montgri Natural Park where the bare limestone that characterises the massif contrasts with the Continental Dune forest. The forest of pines which is 30m deep sits on a large beach sand dune and has helped to slow the progress of this dune towards the nearby houses. You'll ride in the shade of the Mediterranean pine forest.

As you get closer to the sea you take a central path from Montgri at a good canter to reach the cliffs, where you'll be treated to an exceptional view of the sea and the Medes Islands. Stop here for lunch and, if you wish, you can take a walk down to the intimate Cala Pedrosa for a cooling dip in the sea.

Remount and continue along trails through scrub and limestone, passing dry stone buildings that once served shepherds and their flocks. Drop down to the cultivated fields and rivers and pass by more "masias" farmhouses with watchtowers to protect against pirates. Upon reaching your accommodation you can rest before dinner.

Day 4 - Wednesday - Medieval Villages

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Today's ride will offer an opportunity to discover some of the history of this region, as you will be riding through Fontanilles and Palau-Sator - two small villages of Roman and medieval origin, first established in the 9th century. Between villages, you'll be able to take advantage of the flat landscape once more, trotting and cantering along the paths of fields and olive groves.

Finally, you will arrive at the medieval village of Peratallada, one of the most important and best-preserved historical centres in Catalonia, originally built between the 9th and 13th century. Time will seemingly have halted in this small village, where you will stop for drinks followed by some free time to take pictures and have a look around. You'll spot houses with Gothic and Renaissance influences, as well as intricately carved arched doorways mounted with shields.

Remount and continue to Els Clots de Sant Julie - a peaceful place steeped in history. Here you stop for lunch in this emblematic and mysterious ancient quarry that dates back to the pre-Romanesque period.

On the way back you make a brief stop at the village of Canapost to view the well-preserved necropolis located here. Once safely returned to the farmhouse you will be able to enjoy some time to relax in the gardens at Els Masos d’en Coll or perhaps by the pool with a cool glass of Catalonian wine!

Day 5 - Thursday - Empordanet Landscape

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Following breakfast this morning you will set out with the horses to discover the so-called "Empordanet". This is the name that locals give to the collection of small medieval towns in the interior of the Costa Brava. You will enjoy ample trots and canters along the flat trails of the area which offers beautiful views, fresh air and tranquillity. Passing through the little villages which show the typical Catalan architecture of the region, you'll finally arrive at the small town of Monells. Here you will have time to eat, rest and take a walk around the quiet cobblestone streets.

In the afternoon, you will remount and ride through Monells, past the walls of the old castle and the spectacular square surrounded by cobbled streets. Continue past Castell d'Emporda, an impressive 13th-century palace that has been converted into a luxury hotel.

Towards the end of the trail, you discover the pearl of the region - the ancient ruins of the fortified Iberian city of Ullastret. These are some of the most important and largest ruins in all of Spain. The Iberian people remain somewhat of a mystery as they did not leave much to document their day to day life. The settlement at Ullastret dates from the 6th century BC and remained until the Romans invaded the area several centuries later during the Second Punic War (between the years 218-201 BC). Return to the farmhouse in the afternoon to enjoy the sunset from the terrace.

Day 6 - Friday - Daro River to Pals

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Today is a very long day so you start early with an active morning of long canters followed by a calmer afternoon.

Ride along the bank of the Ter River to reach the sea and wetlands again, but continue along agricultural paths to Les Bases d'en Coll, a protected area formed by the mouth of another river - the Daró. Wetlands have been created along with paddy fields of rice. Stop here for lunch before continuing through pine forests. You will ride inland through a patchwork of fields, dotted with small rural settlements where you will have opportunities to enjoy trots and canters along the open paths. Eventually, you will reach the historic village of Pals, where you will dismount your horses and enjoy the opportunity to wander through the village's historic centre.  Pals will offer a flavour of the 9th to the 15th century, with cobblestone streets decorated with flowers. From its high vantage point, you will be able to appreciate some incredible views of the territory you have been riding through.

On your way back to the farmhouse it may be possible to sample some cider or apple juice from the orchards you pass through.

(Please note that sometimes this day runs in reverse).

Day 7 - Saturday - River Tel

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Today you can enjoy some more long canters as you discover the medieval villages alongside the Ter River. The agricultural roads will invite you to trot and canter as you pass the small towns such as Gualta with its medieval bridge. Cross the river at Torroella de Montgri over the bridge and then head west towards Canet de la Tallada where you'll find a Spanish republic anti-aircraft bunker from the Spanish civil war. Continue to the village of Verges which is surrounded by forest and stop for lunch under the shade of some poplars.

In the afternoon you cross the river again and discover more small villages such as Sant Roma de Sidilla and Sant Iscle d'Emporda before returning to the farmhouse to say farewell to your horse.

Day 8 - Sunday - Goodbye friends

Riding: No riding.

Breakfast and departure... Hopefully, you will want to come back again soon! (Or why not continue with another ride - perhaps a week trail in the mountains?)

NB. Please note that the itinerary is just a guide and reflects the riding hours possible during the cooler months of spring/autumn. In summer (June- early Sept) only half-day rides are offered due to the heat and half-board meals are provided (breakfast and lunch only).

* Please note that it is possible to enjoy the Discovery Programme for a minimum of three nights and riders will join the programme of riding at that time.

Accommodation

Each night is spent in twin/double bedrooms with private bathrooms at the main farmhouse Els Masos d'en Coll.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Novice to experienced riders welcome. Guests wishing to take part in this ride should be comfortable at walk, trot and canter in an English saddle for long periods of time.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

At any time during: Feb. 1, 2022 - March 20, 2022  (Programme can be booked for any dates within this period, minimum 3 nights stay.)

At any time during: April 10, 2022 - April 20, 2022  (Programme can be booked for any dates within this period, minimum 3 nights stay.)

At any time during: April 27, 2022 - May 8, 2022  (Programme can be booked for any dates within this period, minimum 3 nights stay.)

At any time during: June 12, 2022 - Sept. 4, 2022  (Programme can be booked for any dates within this period, minimum 3 nights stay. HALF DAY RIDES only offered in the summer)

At any time during: Sept. 4, 2022 - Sept. 14, 2022  (Programme can be booked for any dates within this period, minimum 3 nights stay.)

At any time during: Nov. 6, 2022 - Nov. 13, 2022  (Programme can be booked for any dates within this period, minimum 3 nights stay.)

At any time during: Nov. 20, 2022 - Dec. 23, 2022  (Programme can be booked for any dates within this period, minimum 3 nights stay.)

Pricing

2022
3 nights / 2 full riding days, sharing (Feb-May & Sept-Dec)
£500 $555 €570
2022
Non-Rider, sharing with rider, half board (breakfast and dinner)
£83 $93 €95 per night
* Non-riding guests are advised to have access to their own transport as off-site trips are not provided
2022
4 nights / 3 full riding days, sharing (Feb-May & Sept-Dec)
£660 $735 €755
2022
5 nights / 4 full riding days, sharing (Feb-May & Sept-Dec)
£825 $920 €940
2022
6 nights / 5 full riding days, sharing (Feb-May & Sept-Dec)
£980 $1095 €1120
2022
7 nights / 6 full riding days, sharing (Feb-May & Sept-Dec)
£1150 $1280 €1310
2022
3 nights / 2 half days riding, sharing (12 June-4 Sept)
£465 $520 €535
2022
4 nights / 3 half days riding, sharing (12 June-4 Sept)
£590 $660 €675
2022
5 nights / 4 half days riding, sharing (12 June-4 Sept)
£720 $805 €825
2022
6 nights / 5 half days riding, sharing (12 June-4 Sept)
£855 $955 €975
2022
7 nights / 6 half days riding, sharing (12 June-4 Sept)
£985 $1100 €1125
Included Prices include accommodation in twin/double rooms, full board meals (half board in summer), all soft drinks, one alcoholic drink with each meal, full days of riding as per the itinerary.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, airport/train station transfers, gratuities, drinks and extras not mentioned.

Extras

2022 - Private Girona Airport Transfer €80
Paid locally
Private transfers at any time of day. Cost is each way, for a car of up to 4 passengers.
2022 - Single Supplement £31 $34 €35 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Must also be paid by single travellers if a room sharer is not found.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

You will arrive at the rural farmhouse of Els Masos d'en Coll in the afternoon. The farm is located in the heart of the Baix Empordà and you will be welcomed as a friend to this traditional stone-built farmhouse. On arrival, you will be able to meet your host family and your guide for the next week. You will have some time to settle into your room and then decide what you would like to do for dinner this evening. The farmhouse is always happy to provide meals by prior arrangement or for those who have a car, you may wish to head to one of the small villages nearby to try out a local restaurant.

Day 2

Riding: 3 hours

Following breakfast today you will meet your horses at the yard and begin your first lesson. This session will cover the basics of riding including; general care, handling, preparation for riding and saddling. Once you have gotten your horse and yourself ready, you will head to the riding arena to begin your tuition on the rider's position, the basic aids to move forward and stop, maintaining balance in the saddle and turning whilst walking. This will be followed by a short ride in the countryside (walk only).

Day 3

Riding: 3 hours

After breakfast today, you will have a recap of your session on handling, grooming and saddling your horse in preparation for riding as well as how to take care of the tack. Your lesson in the arena will include the starting point for learning how to rise to the trot. This will again be followed by a short ride out (usually walk only).

Day 4

Riding: 3 hours

Today's arena lesson will include a session on improving your techniques whilst trotting, practising turning at the increased pace and performing changes of direction across the arena space. Once this skill has been achieved, you may also have the opportunity to test your balance in the saddle by practising standing in your stirrup whilst trotting. This is an essential skill for riding out on the trail as it helps your horse to be able to negotiate difficult terrain more easily. This will be followed by a short ride out (walk only).

Day 5

Riding: 3 hours

You'll want a good and hearty breakfast this morning! Your arena lesson today will include more opportunities to practice your turning and control of balance whilst trotting, as well as the introduction of canter. This speedy yet comfortable pace can often feel daunting for new riders, but the past few days will have given you a great foundation on which to build up to this moment. A gentle ride in the countryside will see your riding session come to an end for the day (walk only)

Day 6

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

Today will be your last day of the programme and to celebrate you will head out for a longer trail to explore some of the pretty medieval villages of the area. You will follow ancient routes that were once travelled by Iberian or Roman armies and their horses several thousand years ago. The trail will lead you - eventually - to the beautiful walled town of Peratallada, riding through fields, past dry stone walls and with spectacular views of the sea, the Medes Islands, the natural park of Montgri, Pals and Ullastret. You will be able to enjoy quality time spent with your horse who will have shown you the wonders of the equine/human partnership over these past few days.

Day 7

Riding: No riding.

Depart after breakfast today.

Accommodation

Each night is spent in twin/double bedrooms with private bathrooms at the main farmhouse Els Masos d'en Coll.

Experience Beginner

This programme has been designed to cater to beginner riders and those who have never ridden previously.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

At any time during: Feb. 1, 2022 - March 20, 2022  (Dates available to suit, depending on availability.)

At any time during: April 10, 2022 - April 20, 2022  (Dates available to suit, depending on availability.)

At any time during: April 27, 2022 - May 8, 2022  (Dates available to suit, depending on availability.)

At any time during: June 12, 2022 - Sept. 14, 2022  (Dates available to suit, depending on availability.)

Nov. 6, 2022 - Nov. 13, 2022

At any time during: Nov. 20, 2022 - Dec. 23, 2022  (Dates available to suit, depending on availability.)

Pricing

2022
Rider; Sharing
£790 $880 €900
2022
Non-rider, sharing, half board
£500 $555 €570
* Non-riding guests are advised to have access to their own transport as off-site trips are not provided
Included 6 nights accommodation in twin/double rooms, breakfast each morning, 5 half days of riding as per the itinerary and set-time transfers from/to Girona train station.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, other transfers, lunches and dinners, drinks, tips and other personal expenses.

Extras

2022 - Barcelona Airport Transfers €240
Paid locally
Each way, for a car of up to 4 passengers.
2022 - Girona Airport Transfers €80
Paid locally
Private transfers at any time of day. Cost is each way, for a car of up to 4 passengers.
2022 - Single Supplement £184 $205 €210
Paid to Far and Ride
* Payable by anyone in a single room.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.