Catalonia riding holiday in Spain - Far and Ride
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Catalonia, Spain





Reviews



We were very happy with this ride. I would describe it as "eat, sleep, ride", since there really wasn't time to do anything else. We were in the saddle many hours a day, which we expected and enjoyed. There were many opportunities to ride fast each day, with long canters and an occasional gallop, which is what we were looking for in this ride. We enjoyed the variety of scenery, going through mountains, ancient villages and along the sea. We were fortunate in that we had a really nice, sociable group of people to ride with, including our guide, and that made the meals we had together a lot of fun. The meals were excellent; the best we've had on a trail ride. The accommodation ranged from decent to excellent since we changed each night. There were three hotels in the middle of the ride that were high-end hotels. The horses, equipment and tack were good. They gave us a couple of the easiest-going horses. Scott's horse liked to canter and gallop fast when it was time to do that, which he liked. Lia's horse was a bit lazy, but she liked him. Our guide Paula was good. She spent all day with us, from breakfast until the end of dinner and seemed happy to be in our company - not just like she was going a job. She seemed very interested in ensuring we were safe and had a good ride.

Scott & Lia (Mountain and Beach Trail)
We had a good holiday and a lot of fun. The itinerary was a bit different, partly due to bad weather forecast for the last day... we decided to cut short the second loop. We had a brilliant ride up the second beach and then a lovely ride home. Beautiful weather all week. The last day was as foul as promised and Joan (host) gave us 40 euros each to spend in Figueres. They arranged a taxi to the station and we caught the train easily and spent the day in Salvador Dali theatre museum and eating tapas. Excellent! My favourite memory of the holiday was the ride up the second beach from St. Martin D'epuries early on a most beautiful calm morning. Stunning and very lucky to do it. My first horse - and Robert's second - was called Tro and was absolutely brilliant. Would have liked to bring him home. 100% safe and comfortable. The airport transfers were great as we only arranged it when we were at the airport waiting for our plane. I sent Patricia a text explaining aeroplane would be late and she arranged for the taxi to pick us up at the airport as well as the German girl. On the way back the taxi driver agreed to take us to our niece's house on the outskirts of Barcelona... this wasn't easy for him and was greatly appreciated by us.

Barbara & Robert F. (Two Beaches Trail)


















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.

Amanda S (2019)
 

Horses



Type of horses:

The horses are mostly pure Spanish and Hispano-Arabs.

Nature of horses:

Sure-footed, fit and forward-going with good stamina.

Height of horses:

14.2hh - 16hh

Weight limit:

90kg / 200lbs

Tack type:

English and Trekking Saddles. Most horses are ridden in snaffles and saddle bags are provided.

 

Travel Advice



Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.
 

Ride Description

This riding holiday destination offers a wide choice of programmes including several different trail routes, based stays and weekend or short breaks. These trips are suited to intermediate and above riders and are primarily based out of the farmhouse at Masos D'en Coll. Joan is your host and he is a knowledgeable and passionate man with many years experience in the hospitality industry. He will be aided in the day-to-day running by Patricia, as well as by Paloma and Karyn who are your experienced guides.

Paloma Latierro has been riding since she was 4 years old and has worked with horses since she was 16. She has worked as a guide all over the world including Colombia, Dubai, USA, Canada as well as Spain so is a very experienced tourism guide and horsewoman. She speaks excellent English as well as Basque and Spanish.

Karyn Laurence was born in Romania but studied in France and has qualifications in equestrian tourism and veterinarian assistance. She studied dressage with Lucy Rees and is qualified in equine podiatry. She has worked as a guide in France, Andalucia as well as Catalonia. She speaks Romanian, French, Spanish and English.

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 the 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.

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 have up to date availability for these rides and should be able to tell you what programmes and dates are available for you to join very quickly. 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!

This destination has been visited by Natalie from Far and Ride, so please get in touch if you'd like to chat to 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 and 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!

See Programmes.

 

Food & 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 have 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 for four people.Or if you have more people, they have two houses, Mas Llop I and Mas Llop II for five or six people, perfect for family holidays, with children, or with friends .It is possible to enjoy your time on the terrace, or in one of the two swimming pools, at the gym or just wandering around the farm. You will always enjoy free Wi-Fi, tourist information about the area from friendly knowledgeable hosts and most importantly, a friendly and personal service.

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

 

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.

 

Further Details

Languages: English, Spanish, Basque, French, Romanian

Health requirements: General good health recommended.

Age limit: Children aged 12 years and older can be accepted on all programmes, but those under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult. All children and minors must be competent, experienced riders, happy to ride a horse (there are no ponies for the trails).

Tuition: No.

Included: Accommodation; full board meals; drinking water and table wine; riding as per itinerary. Set-time Girona airport transfers have been included already with the trails as well.

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, gratuities, other drinks and extras not mentioned. Airport transfers from Barcelona.

 

Travel Information

You should fly into Girona which is roughly a 1-hour drive from the farmhouse. Transfers from and back to Girona airport transfers at set times are included in the cost of the trips. 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 transfer from and to Girona airport is at the following time;

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

A private taxi transfer can be booked for you if you would prefer to arrive or leave outside of the above mentioned times. The extra cost for this is 80€ (EUR) each way for a car of up to 4 people.


Arrival to Barcelona airport is another option for guests as it does offer more flight options for guests. However, the airport is roughly 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 of 225€ (EUR) each way, for a car with up to 4 passengers. 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 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!

Airport: Girona

Alternative Airport: Barcelona

 

Programmes


Tasting the Costa Brava Trail



This is a wonderful short trail where you can gallop along a golden sandy beach and enjoy the typical landscape of Emporda on magnificent Spanish horses.  The kilometres of golden sandy beach and the Mediterranean Sea are a delight for any rider. You will be riding through the typical landscapes of  Emporda from inland towards the sea. The Beach ride will begin with a fantastic opportunity to discover the medieval villages where time stands still and you will feel the nature and peace of the inland mountain of Les Gavarres, before finishing off riding on the beach of Pals. Finally, you return to Masos d'en Coll through crop fields and old stone villages.

You can combine this trail with a stay at the farmhouse or maybe a few days in Barcelona so you can enjoy a week in this beautiful area of Catalonia

*Please note that the ride runs Wednesday-Sunday.

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

You will arrive at Masos d'en Coll which is a typical Catalan farmhouse situated in a wonderful location close to the beach. Before dinner, you will go over the programme and sample some of the full-bodied local wines. You will be told about the special characteristics of their Andalusian trail horses. You will be given an introduction to the programme with an opportunity for a one-to-one conversation to ensure that the right horse has been assigned to you. Then, you can enjoy a fantastic dinner!

Day 2: Medieval Villages (Thursday)

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 3:  The Gavarres Park (Friday)

After breakfast, you will begin your ride to the Park of Gavarres. The park has a large network of paths which will allow you to discover the most important Catalonian cork oaks and maritime pine forest. The vegetation here is rich, shaded areas near mountain streams, forests are 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 5 minutes 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 4: Towards the Beach of Pals (Saturday)

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 this lovely beach, 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 Masos d'en Coll. You will have some free time to enjoy the rest of your afternoon at leisure.

Day 5: Adios Amigos

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
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Confident in all paces
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 5-7 hours a day
Departure dates: 2020:
7-21 June, 30 Sept-4 October, 21-25 October, 18-22 November, 2-6 December.

2021:
10-14 February, 3-7 March, 14-18 April, 5-9 May, 13-17 June, 22-26 September, 27-31 October, 17-21 November
 
Pricing: 2020/21:

Prices include shared twin or double room accommodation, full board meals, all soft drinks, one alcoholic drink with each meal and return transfers from Girona airport.

Low Season (Feb-March/Nov-Dec): £695
High Season (April-October): £785

Single Supplement: 120 Euro payable locally (payable unless a sharer is found)

Non-riders: £86 per night, with half board meals, when sharing a room. *Non-riding guests must have their own transport in order to reach the hotels on the trail.

*If you do not require airport transfers, or would prefer to be met at Barcelona airport, please do let us know as we can adjust the above prices for you.

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.



Pyrenees to Sea Trail



This is a circular trail which takes you up the Catalan Pyrenees and down to the Mediterranean sea, where you can enjoy an incredible gallop on the Roses beach. With their magnificent horses, you can ride through the fantastic scenery of the Alt Empordà, their Mediterranean forests, stunning coastline and long sandy beaches. You will discover the little medieval villages, like Báscara  or Crespià.  Pass by wheat fields, poppies and sunflowers. Discover pine forests and cork trees, filled with aromatic herbs to arrive at the end of the Pyrenees, where the mountains meet the sea. You leave the foothills of the Pyrenees and ride through the Alvera wine growing region, olive groves and vineyards, intense natural beauty. You will leave the mountains behind you because the rolling plains of the Empordà region wait for you and at the end, in the long curve of the Bay of Roses, miles of beach to gallop on! You will continue along the coastline, enjoying the sea, the cliffs and the breeze, to return to the farmhouse through fields and orchards.

 Day 1: Arrival

Arrival in Girona (or Barcelona) with transfer to the farmhouse, a typical Catalan farm called 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 your group and your guides and you can talk about your expectations and the horse you are hoping to ride.

 Day 2: Trail to Can Sort

The first day of riding gives you the opportunity to make any adjustments to the tack and you can get to know the horse and your guide as well. You will pass orchards in the Ter area following the river. The landscape is inviting and there is the opportunity to enjoy some fast paced canters through this unspoilt peaceful countryside. Tonight you will stay at Can Sort - a lovely traditional Catalan farmhouse nestled in a small hamlet.

Day 3: To the mountains

You will start today's journey from here and ride through the countryside where you will pass many small traditional villages as well as pine woods and oak forests. Today you will alternate the pace between trot and canter. You will arrive at Pontos at the "Tower of the Angel" for a sit down picnic lunch. After lunch and a rest you will continue your journey to Vilanant. You will spend the night in a history building that once belonged to the Count Rocaberti.

Day 4:  Crossing the Pyrenees

Today your route follows across the Mediterranean Pyrenees to where the mountains meet the sea. Firstly there are opportunities for some fast canters and gallops. The route takes you through a region of ancient wine growing orchards, olive groves and rustic buildings. You will continue the journey by following the trail of the Muga river discovering forests by the banks as well as flood plains. Next to the river, you will enjoy a picnic and, if the weather is kind, it might be possible to take a refreshing dip and perhaps an afternoon siesta. Later on you will proceed to the mountains crossing many regions of fabulous landscape marked by small villages. Finally you will arrive at Cantallops which is located in the Mediterranean Pyrenees. Here you will be staying at one of the finest hotels in the area.

 Day 5:  Alt Empordà

Today is a pure mountain route - a spectacular landscape which will show you step by step, the beauty of the Empordà. The pace will be much slower as dictated by the terrain. You will slowly make your way through the mountains until you get to see the sea. The cork oaks will surround you and you will pass by the castle of Recasens, an impressive fortress dating from the 11th century which has been renovated over the years. At the peak of the mountain you will enjoy another picnic and afterwards you will descend to the most oriental part of the Pyrenees. From here you will have one of the most beautiful views across the the coast of Cap de Greus. You will spend the night in a small traditional hotel where you will have a delicious dinner.

Day 6: The Beach

Today you will leave the mountains and move to the beautiful plain of Empordà because today's programme will lead you to the beach. You will gallop across vineyards and olive groves and pass small towns like Garriguella, Perelada and Valanova de la Muga. You will enjoy a lunch break in the Castello de Empuries, a small city that used the be the old capital of Empordà . The city has a rich medieval past that you will will be able to explore and appreciate in every single small corner and  in the square of this town. Later on you will ride at a  fast pace to Mas de Mer, a historic house at the beach of Sant Pere Pescador.  

Day 7: Baix Emporda

As your horses gallop along the beach, you will hear the roaring of the waves in your ears. Later you will arrive at La Escala and continue your journey to Montgri Massif, a mountainous zone which separates Alt Emporda from Baix Emporda, two areas that remain very well protected. Here you will have picnic stop at the entrance of the protected area of the dunes and the Medes Islands.  Here you will discover a rocky reef that sinks into the Mediterranean, creating a spectacular landscape. The vast horizon will spread out in front of you, over the Mediterranean Sea. Thanks to its protected location, some very rare types of plants are able to grow in this landscape. In the afternoon, you will descend again in order to get to Masos d'en Coll where you began your wonderful week.

Day 8:  Good bye / Hasta pronto

After you have enjoyed a wonderful holiday together with your horses the time has come to say goodbye.

Due to local circumstances, the programme may occasionally vary.



Accommodation: Masos d'en Coll
Llabia -www.elsmasosdencoll.com

Can Sort Farmhouse
Bascara - www.cansort.com

Mas Jonquer
Vilanant - www.masjonquer.com

Can Xiquet Hotel
Cantallops - www.canxiquet.com

Mas Vivent
Vilamaniscle - www.masvivent.com

Mas del Mar
Sant Pere Pescador - www.masdelmar.com

Hotels may occasionally change
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: 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. Riders are expected to prepare their own horses and to be used to riding regularly and for long hours.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 6 days (approx 5-7 hours per riding day)
Departure dates: 2020:
19-26 September, 10-17 October (Confirmed), 7-14 November, 12-19 December.

2021:
22-29 May, 5-12 June, 11-18 September, 15-23 October
 
Pricing: 2020/21:

Prices include shared twin or double room accommodation, full board meals, all soft drinks, one alcoholic drink with each meal and set-time airport transfers from Girona.

Low Season: (Jan-March/Nov-Dec)£1226
High Season (April - October): £1362

Single Supplement: 210 Euro payable locally (payable unless a sharer is found)

Non-riders: £86 per night, with half board meals, when sharing a room. *Non-riding guests must have their own transport in order to reach the hotels on the trail.

*If you do not require airport transfers, or would prefer to be met at Barcelona airport, please do let us know so that we can adjust the above prices for you.

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.



Mountain and Sea Trail



The Catalan Coast and Culture trail will see you riding through two of the Baix Emporda's best known natural parks, Gavarres and Montgri, as well as along the breathtaking Costa Brava coastline. Explore the beautiful natural landscapes and ever changing terrain of the region, whilst also learning about the area's historical medieval past and more recent culture too. The ultimate trail for lovers of history, culture and nature!

Day 1: Arrival

Arrival in Girona (or Barcelona) with transfer to the farmhouse, a typical Catalan farm called 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 your group and your guides and you can talk about your expectations and the horse you are hoping to ride.

Day 2: The Pirate Coast

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 he 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 farmhouse - 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

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 in the afternoon to enjoy the pool or relax before a delicious homemade dinner is served in the large dining room.

Day 4: The Romantic Costa Brava

On today's route you will move on from the 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 view point at Els Metges, you will have unbeatable views expanding 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

Today is a long day. 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 wide views over the plains to the blue Mediterranean as you drop downhill through forests and along Roman trails, stopping at some monuments such as the Church of Sta. Coloma de Fitor. Eventually you reach your accommodation which is only a few metres from the beach. After settling the horses you can take a short walk on the find sand of Pals Beach.

Day 6: Costa Brava's heart

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 contemplate 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

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 year there are magnificent rice fields. Upon arrival back at Masos d'En Coll you'll enjoy a rice casserole to celebrate your adventure.

Day 8: Adios Amigos

You will depart after breakfast. 



Accommodation: 1st, 2nd and 7th night: Masos d'En Coll in Llabia
3rd and 4th night: Mas Masaller in Cruilles
5th and 6th night: Aparthotel Golf Beach in Pals
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 7
Ability description: 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.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 4-6 hours a day - 160 km
Departure dates: 2020:
6-13 September, 25 October-1 November, 27 December-3 January 2021

2021:
14-21 February, 21-28 March, 25 April-2 May, 26 September - 3 October, 31 October-7 November, 26 December - 2 January 2022
 
Pricing: 2020/21:

Low Season (Feb-March/Nov-Dec): £1226
High Season (April-October): £1362
Supplement for New Year ride: £91 per person (includes special dinner)

Prices include shared twin or double room accommodation, full board meals, all soft drinks, one alcoholic drink per meal and return transfers from Girona airport.

Single Supplement: 210 Euro payable locally (payable unless a sharer is found)

Non-riders: £86 per night, with half board meals, when sharing a room. *Non-riding guests must have their own transport in order to reach the hotels on the trail.

*If you do not require airport transfers, or would prefer to be met at Barcelona airport, please do let us know as we can adjust the above prices for you.

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.



Catalan Farmhouse Discovery Ride (stationary)



A lovely based programme which caters for all your family's wants and needs! Choose to explore the beautiful scenery of the Catalonian mountains from the back of a well mannered and sure-footed horse.

Each day you will ride out from the farm, enjoying a delicious picnic in a specially selected destination. All the horse riding trails will be lead by an enthusiastic and helpful guide.

Each evening, tired riders will return to the farmhouse to enjoy a delicious evening meal. Or you may wish to enjoy some down time, maybe relaxing by the swimming pool, or taking a visit to some of the nearby beaches. This is the perfect time to create some wonderful holiday memories with your family or friends; memories you will never want to forget.

Day 1. Welcome to Els Masos d'en Coll

You will arrive at the rural village of Els Masos d'en Coll (Llabià) in the afternoon. It is located in the heart of the Baix Empordà and here you will find the welcoming traditional stone built farmhouse. Here you will meet the family and your guides. At dinner, you will talk through the week’s programme, you will be told about the special characteristics of their 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.

Day 2. Medieval Villages

Today's ride will offer an opportunity to discover some of the history of this region, as you ride 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, immersing into the green nature of the region and enviable good climate. 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 stopped in this small village, where you will enjoy a picnic lunch 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.

You will take lunch in a secluded spot at Els Clots de Sant Julie - a peaceful place steeped in history. On the way back, a brief stop at 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 3. Montgrí

Today you will set out from the farmhouse and begin your trail riding day by heading to the village of Torroella de Montgrí. This yet busy little town is watched over by the imposing outline of the Castle of Montgrí, built atop the Montgri Massif in around the 13th century. 

The area surrounding the mountain is a well preserved natural park and where you will be spending the majority of your day today. You will ride first through an area of coastal pine forest interspersed with sandy tracks, perfect for long trots and canters. From the top of the Massif, you will be able to enjoy magnificent views over the cliffs to the Costa Brava and the Mediterranean Sea. This is also the perfect spot to stop for a tasty picnic lunch and a rest with the sounds of the sea all around you! The afternoon will see you continue your way back to Els Masos d'en Coll, with perhaps a little free time to spend by the pool in the late afternoon.

Day 4.  Ter River

Today your ride will take you past fruit orchards along the river banks of the Ter. A chance to spot an array of local wildlife in this verdant area along the banks of the river, including many species of birds and waterfowl as well as beautiful plants and flowers. The flat landscape will offer up many opportunities to enjoy exciting canters and gallops, while also relishing nature’s silence. You will wind your way through the narrow streets of some small villages, including Verges - the home of well-known Catalan singer-songwriter, Lluis Llach - and finally arrive in the village of Colomers where you will stop for lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, you will visit the town of Sant Romà de Sidilla - now abandoned, this village is a very good example of how the original medieval settlers of this area built their homes on high ground to avoid the Ter river in flood. You will return to the farmhouse through the meadows; a landscape with blue skies, ripening crops and the imposing outline of the massif of Montgrí and its Castle on the horizon.

Day 5. Empodanet Landscape

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 return to the farmhouse via a 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 the farmhouse in the afternoon, through Mediterranean pine forests, vineyards and fields.

Day 6. Historic Wetlands

Today we will follow the course of the Daró river, past seemingly endless olive groves, as well as scenic paths between low lying pastures and paddy fields with their crops of rice. The landscape in 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 this morning. Lunch will be taken in a traditional restaurant in Pals. 

The afternoon will see you riding through several lesser historic villages, including Sant Feliu, Sant Julia de Boada, Fontclara with its Benedictine monastery. The monastery's church still contains frescos and paintings dating from the 11th century. Once safely returned to the farmhouse, you will be able to take a drive to the Mirador de la Font Pascuala to watch the sun set. This is a seemingly innocuous raised ridge which overlooks and offers speculator views of Montgri, Pals, the Medes islands and the Mediterranean sea beyond. 

Day 7. Goodbye friends

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?)

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

** During the summer months of July and August the daily schedule will be altered due to the intense heat. You will usually ride out early, when the day is cooler, and finish before lunch with the afternoon free to enjoy the pool or explore the local beaches.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Novice riders should be comfortable riding at walk, trot and canter in an English saddle for long periods of time.
Type of ride: Based stay
Total riding time: Full days riding - 4-6 hours per day
Departure dates: 2020:
4-10 October, 1-7 November, 22-28 November, 6-12 December.

2021:
24-31 January, 21-28 February, 29 March - 5 April, 18-25 April, 16-23 May, 9-16 October, 29 November - 5 December, 5-12 December.

From the 20th June to the 4th September, this programme can be booked for any dates. Please enquire!
 
Pricing: 2020:

Standard season: £976 per person (sharing)
High Season (July & August): £1067 per person (sharing)

single room supplement: £163 - must also be paid by single travellers if a room sharer is not found.

Prices include 6 nights accommodation in twin/double rooms, full board meals, water and wine with meals and 5 full days of riding as per the itinerary.

Non-riders: £86 per night, with half board meals, when sharing a room.


2021:

4 nights/3 days: £613 per person
5 nights/4 days: £763 per person
6 nights/5 days: £908 per person
7 nights/6 days: £1062 per person

High Season supplement (for all stays taken in July & August): £27 per person, per night.

Single room supplement: £27 per night - this must also be paid by single travellers if a room sharer is not found.

Prices include accommodation in twin/double rooms, full board meals, all soft drinks, one alcoholic drink with meals and full days of riding as per the itinerary.

Non-riders: £86 per night, with full board meals, when sharing a 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.



Beginners/Novice Discovery Programme



This programme has been designed specifically to introduce beginner and learner riders to the wonders of horse riding whilst also enjoying the wonderful scenery of Catalonia. Guests will be able to learn in a safe and controlled environment, each day perfecting a new technique before embarking on a short trail ride in the local area to put these newly found skills in to practice. 

Outline itinerary:

Day 1 : 

You will arrive at the rural farmhouse of Els Masos d'en Coll (Llabià) 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 in to 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 : 

Following breakfast today you will meet your horses at the yard and begin your first lesson, to learn 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).

c. 2.5-3 hours of riding. 

Day 3 : 

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

c. 2.5-3 hours of riding.

Day 4 : 

Today's arena lesson will include a session on improving your techniques whilst trotting, practicing turning at the increased pace and performing changes of direction across the arena space. Once this skill ahs been achieved, you may also have the opportunity to test your balance in the saddle by practicing 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).

c. 2.5-3 hours of riding. 

Day 5 : 

You'll want a good and hearty breakfast this morning! Your arena lesson today will including 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)

c. 2.5-3 hours of riding.

Day 6 :

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.

c. 3 hours of riding.

Day 7 :

After breakfast, you will be transferred back to Girona airport for your flight home.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: suitable for beginner riders and those who have never ridden previously.
Type of ride: Tuition
Total riding time: 2.5 - 3 hours of riding each day
Departure dates: 2020:
4-10 October, 1-7 November, 22-28 November, 6-12 December.

2021:
24-31 January, 21-28 February, 18-25 April, 16-23 May, 9-16 October.

From the 20th June - 4th September & 28th November - 12th December, this programme can be booked for any dates. Please enquire
 
Pricing: 2020/21:
Standard season: £817 per person (sharing)
High Season (July & August): £981 per person (sharing)

Single room supplement: £163 - must also be paid by single travellers if a room sharer is not found.

Prices include 6 nights accommodation in twin/double rooms, breakfast each morning and 5 half days of riding as per the itinerary.

Non-riders: £54 per night, with breakfast, when sharing a 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.