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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

  • 2 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 2 itineraries:

  • Sierra de Gredos is a trail ride
  • The Valleys of Gredos 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

Sierra de Gredos Standard accommodation.

The Valleys of Gredos 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

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 Parador of 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. You will enjoy a welcome dinner and overnight at the Gredos National Parador.

Day 2

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

Today you will enjoy a pleasant circle ride from Navarredonda, as an easy introductory day. You will ride through open fields, pine woods and trails, heading towards the mountains with amazing views of the Sierra de Gredos. At midday you will enjoy picnic lunch with the group and in the afternoon you will ride back to the stables in Navarredonda. You will return in time for a tasty dinner and overnight as the previous night. Today's ride allows guests to become accustomed to their horses and request any change of horse if necessary.

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 Navacepeda de Tormes and then descend from the hills, towards the Tormes river and the Gorge of Barbellido. Lunch will be taken at a beautiful 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 paths 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. 

Dinner and overnight at Hotel Rural La Dehesilla with excellent cuisine.

Day 5

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Ride towards the heights of the Sierra de Gredos with magnificent views. You will climb to Covacha gorge and descend towards the gorge of Barbellido. There is a picnic lunch by the river today with an another excellent spot for a swim. In the afternoon you will climb to the heights of Siete Fuentes and then come back down to the pinewoods of Hoyos del Espino, before riding back to the stables of Navarredonda de Gredos. 

Dinner and overnight at Hotel Rural La Dehesilla.

Day 6

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

This morning's ride is a climb to the heights of Cañada del Gallo, crossing open fields and riding through areas of dense broom with great panoramic views of the Alberche river valley and the Sierra de Gredos. Aperitifs and a picnic lunch are enjoyed in the open countryside before riding back towards Hoyos del Espino and the stables. 

Dinner and overnight at Hotel Rural La Dehesilla.

Day 7

Riding: No riding.

The morning will see all guests transfered 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 one of the following hotels in 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 1pm. 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

March 28, 2021 - April 4, 2021

April 18, 2021 - April 25, 2021

May 30, 2021 - June 6, 2021

June 13, 2021 - June 20, 2021

July 4, 2021 - July 11, 2021

July 18, 2021 - July 25, 2021

Aug. 1, 2021 - Aug. 8, 2021

Aug. 8, 2021 - Aug. 15, 2021

Pricing

2021
Sharing
£1790 $2490 €2100
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

2021 - Single Supplement £171 $235 €200
Paid to Far and Ride
Supplement will be implemented if there is no one to share with
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 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. Todays 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 magic 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 a 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 oaks 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, 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 4, 2021 - April 11, 2021

April 25, 2021 - May 2, 2021

May 9, 2021 - May 16, 2021

May 23, 2021 - May 30, 2021  (FULL)

June 6, 2021 - June 13, 2021  (FULL)

Aug. 29, 2021 - Sept. 5, 2021  (FULL)

Sept. 12, 2021 - Sept. 19, 2021

Sept. 26, 2021 - Oct. 3, 2021

Oct. 10, 2021 - Oct. 17, 2021

Oct. 24, 2021 - Oct. 31, 2021

Pricing

2021
Sharing
£2215 $3080 €2600
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

2021 - Single Supplement £171 $235 €200
Paid to Far and Ride
Single supplement will be implemented if there is no one to share with
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.