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Gredos Mountains

Overview

This is a superb opportunity for intermediate and experienced riders to explore the Northern and Southern valleys of the Gredos mountains. This is excellent terrain for riding, mostly open fields with magnificent views and paths that follow the course of rivers. The small villages along the trail d…

Highlights

  • Explore beautiful rolling rural landscapes
  • Enjoy delicious fresh meals and tasty local wines
  • High class hosting from experienced local guides
  • Ride beautiful home bred and highly trained horses
  • Civilised and comfortable riding in the saddle

Essential Facts

  • 3 itineraries available
  • Max 10 riders per group
  • Average of 4 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90kg / 198lbs / 14 stone 1 lb (with riding gear on!)

Description

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

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

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

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

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

Horses & Riding

Tack

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

Horses

Hispano-Arab, Andalusian, Lusitano and Arab.

Riding

There are 3 itineraries:

  • The Valleys of Gredos is a trail ride
  • Sierra de Gredos is a trail ride
  • Long Weekend Programme is a trail ride

Ages

Riders should be aged 18+ for these trails.

Health

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

Weight

90kg / 198lbs / 14 stone 1 lb (with riding gear on!)

Food & Accommodation

Food

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

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

Vegetarians can be catered for with prior notice.

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

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

Accommodation

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

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

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

Itineraries

The Valleys of Gredos Standard accommodation.

Sierra de Gredos Standard / Luxury accommodation.

Long Weekend Programme Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

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

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

Travel

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

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

Testimonials

Debbie R., Sept. 25, 2023

Perfect. Wonderful hosts, the best at making sure all needs were met. Had a wonderful mare to ride; all horses, equipment and facilities were in great shape. It was obvious they were well taken care of. Even the weather was perfect!


Judith R. (Second visit), Oct. 17, 2017

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


Graham P., Dec. 3, 2014

Great scenery, friendly guide, riding enjoyable.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

You will be transferred from Madrid (Pick up at 3pm) to Navarredonda de Gredos, a small village in the heart of Castile with a splendid view of the Sierra de Gredos. This is a region steeped in history, where the Moors and Christians fought, where Romans built roads that have lasted for centuries. Time allowing you will also stop enroute at Avila to visit this medieval historical town which is UNESCO World Heritage recognised. Welcome dinner and overnight at the Gredos National Parador.

Day 2

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

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

Day 3

Riding: 3 - 5 hours

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

Day 4

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

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

Day 5

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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

Day 6

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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

Day 7

Riding: 3 - 5 hours

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

Day 8

Riding: No riding.

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

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

Accommodation

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

First, second and last nights are spent at the National Parador of Gredos***, an ancient hunting lodge built by the king Alfonso 13th, and the first Parador opened in Spain. One night is spent at Hotel Puerta de Gredos (4*) built in a grand XVIth century country estate. Other accommodations will be in comfortable rural hotels, like La Trocha de Hoyorredondo where the horses sleep in the backyard and come to the windows to wake the riders in the mornings.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate and above, capable of riding at all paces, handling a horse on the ground and with trail riding experience. The pace of the ride will vary but includes walks, trots, canters and gallops depending on the terrain. Guests can assist in taking care of their horse but this is not necessary, horses will be ready for riders to get straight on every morning.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

April 21, 2024 - April 28, 2024

May 5, 2024 - May 12, 2024

June 2, 2024 - June 9, 2024

Sept. 8, 2024 - Sept. 15, 2024

Sept. 29, 2024 - Oct. 6, 2024

Oct. 13, 2024 - Oct. 20, 2024

Pricing

2024
Sharing
£2440 $3040 €2850
Included 7 nights shared accommodation in comfortable and charming hotels including the luxurious Parador of Gredos, 6 days riding, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, beer and wine with meals, aperitifs, a support vehicle and airport transfers from and to Madrid at set times.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, extra drinks, tips and personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Single Supplement £171 $210 €200
Paid to Far and Ride
Single supplement will be implemented if there is no one to share with
2023/2024 - Small Group Supplement £255 $320 €300
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable to confirm the ride for 2 or 3 riders. Will be removed once group reaches four riders.
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.

On arrival, you will be transferred from Madrid (Pick up at 3pm) to Navarredonda of Gredos, a small village in the heart of Castile with a splendid view of the Sierra de Gredos. The transfer takes about 2 hours. This is a region steeped in history, where the Moors and Christians fought, where Romans built roads that have lasted for centuries. You will enjoy a welcome dinner and overnight at the Parador de Gredos.

Day 2

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

Today you will enjoy a pleasant circle ride from Navarredonda, as an easy introductory day enabling you to get used to your horse. You will ride through open fields, pine woods and trails, heading towards the mountains with amazing views of the Sierra de Gredos. You will stop for a mid morning aperitif and after another hour of riding , you will enjoy a picnic lunch with the group. After a little siesta you will ride back to the stables in Navarredonda. In the village there is a spa where you can arrange for a massage or you may enjoy an evening birdwatching walk. You will return in time for a tasty dinner and overnight as the previous night.

Day 3

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

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

Dinner and overnight will be at a country hotel in the village, Cruz del Gallo.

Day 4

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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

Day 5

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After breakfast you will ride towards the heights of the Cañada del Horno with its magnificent views. You will ride through open fields with areas of dense broom in spectacular colours. You will get panoramic views of the Alberche river valley. Lunch will be at a bar in the village or at tables set up in a shady spot in the countryside. Your ride will continue so can enjoy great views of the Sierra de Gredos before descending again towards Barajas de Gredo and the stables in Navarredonda. You will be transferred a short way back to the Hotel Rural la Dehesilla for dinner and bed at the Hotel Rural La Dehesilla.

Day 6

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After breakfast you will meet the horses for your final day of riding. Your route will take you on a route to the heights of the Sierra de Gredos with its magnificent views. You will climb to the Covacha gorge and down towards Barbellido. You will enjoy lunch by the river where you might wish to have a swim. In the afternoon you will ride up to the heights of Siete Fuentes then down to the pinewoods of Hoyos del Espino before riding back to the stables. There will be short transfer to the Hotel Rural la Dehesilla for dinner and bed.

Day 7

Riding: No riding.

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

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

Day 8

Riding: No riding.

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

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

Accommodation

Nights 1 & 2 in National Parador of Gredos***, night 3 Hotel Rural Cruz del Gallo, nights 4, 5 & 6 Hotel Rural La Dehesilla, night 7 in National Parador of Avila****.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate and above, capable of riding at all paces, handling a horse on the ground and with trail riding experience. The pace of the ride will vary but includes walks, trots, canters and gallops depending on the terrain. Guests can assist in taking care of their horse but this is not necessary, horses will be ready for riders to get straight on every morning.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

April 28, 2024 - May 5, 2024

May 12, 2024 - May 19, 2024

May 26, 2024 - June 2, 2024  (Spring Broom in Blossom)

June 9, 2024 - June 16, 2024  (Spring Broom in Blossom)

July 14, 2024 - July 21, 2024  (Summer Ride)

July 28, 2024 - Aug. 4, 2024  (Summer Ride)

Sept. 1, 2024 - Sept. 8, 2024  (Summer Ride)

Oct. 6, 2024 - Oct. 13, 2024

Oct. 20, 2024 - Oct. 27, 2024

Pricing

2024
Sharing
£2095 $2610 €2450
Included 7 nights shared accommodation in comfortable and charming hotels (including the luxurious Parador of Gredos), 5 days riding, 1 day guided sight seeing in Avila (lunch not included this day), full board meals, beer and wine with meals, aperitifs, a support vehicle and airport transfers from and to Madrid at set times.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, lunch in Avila, extra drinks at hotel bars, tips and personal expenses.

Extras

2024 - Single Supplement £171 $210 €200
Paid to Far and Ride
Supplement will be implemented if there is no one to share with
2024 - Small Group Supplement £255 $320 €300
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable to confirm a ride for 2 or 3 riders - removed once group reaches four riders.
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.

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

Day 2

Riding: 3 - 5 hours

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

Day 3

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Morning through the pine woods following the river Tormes until Hoyos del Espino. Climb up to the village of Hoyos del Collado, where riders will stop for an aperitif. Following an old cattle track, descent towards Navecepeda the Tormes, with a rich vegetation of oaks and poplar trees. Following the course of the Tormes River, riders will get to the picnic lunch stop, by a fisherman’s hut. Near the Tormes River. It is an ideal spot for an invigorating swim in the summer. Afternoon back to Navarredonda, following the course of the Tormes River, with great views of the valley.

Day 4

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Ride towards the heights of Cañada Lengua, through a yellow ocean of broom in springtime. Following the ancient cañada, we will get to the heights of Los Cervunales, open fields of summer pastures at 1700m altitude. We will discover the beautiful Laguna (lagoon) of Cañada El Gallo, full of life in springtime. The views of the Sierra de Gredos from these alpine plains are overwhelming. Gourmet picnic lunch near the lagoon. Descent towards the village of Hoyos del Espino and ride back to the stables in Navarredonda de Gredos.

Day 5

Riding: No riding.

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

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

Accommodation

Four nights' accommodation in Parador or similar comfortable hotel

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

It is a great ride for “rusty” riders to get back in shape or for less confident riders to gain experience for the long week rides. It is not necessary to be an expert rider but it is advisable that riders have some trail riding experience, can manage a horse at all paces and are comfortable handling a horse on the ground. A level of fitness is required, as the days are 4-6 hours in the saddle. Overall, it is a moderate pace, with some slow parts due to the mountainous terrain.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

April 10, 2024 - April 14, 2024

June 26, 2024 - June 30, 2024

July 10, 2024 - July 14, 2024

Aug. 7, 2024 - July 11, 2024

Sept. 25, 2024 - Sept. 29, 2024

Oct. 30, 2024 - Nov. 3, 2024

Nov. 6, 2024 - Nov. 10, 2024

Nov. 13, 2024 - Nov. 17, 2024

Pricing

2024 £1155 $1440 €1350
Included 4 nights of shared accommodation in a comfortable and charming hotel, 3 days riding, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, beer and wine with meals, aperitifs, a support vehicle and airport transfers from and to Madrid at set times.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, extra drinks, tips and personal expenses.

Extras

2024 - Single Supplement £103 $128 €120
Paid to Far and Ride
2024 - Small Group Supplement (less than 4 riders) £128 $160 €150
Paid to Far and Ride
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.