Sierra de Gredos riding holiday in Spain - Far and Ride
Home  >  Riding Holidays  >  Spain  >  Sierra de Gredos

Sierra de Gredos, Spain





Reviews



A fantastic adventure in Spain and a delight to see the 'real' Spain, mountains, villages and beautiful clear rivers. And all on horseback; perfect holiday. The horses were excellent and so was the tack. Saddles very comfortable for long hours riding. (guide?) The best! (Transfers?) Turned up on time to pick up guests. Nice to stop on route at the walled city and have a drink, stretch legs, etc. (Favourite memory?) Day 4. The beautiful rural inn at Hoyorredondo where the horses were just outside the bedroom windows.

Julie M. (Castles of Gredos, July 2018)
This is a ride packed with luxury and adventure all in one. Having done a number of adventure treks/rides this ride gave the comradeship of the group, connection with our horses and the combination of the wilderness of national park scenery and ancient history of this part of the Iberian peninsula, from abandoned Roman roads and agricultural techniques of the Arabs to the civil war of Franco. Our guide Emilio gave us a chance to climb up some narrow rocky ascents that felt like home to me but was a thrilling experience for others. Mamen had knowledge of the botanicals that grew wild which delighted me as a herbalist from Australia. As a foreign traveller food is a big part of my adventure and exploration. We were treated with style and wonderfully tasty Spanish dishes.

Mary P. (Castles of Gredos, July 2018)
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Andalusian or Hispano Arabs - most are home-bred

Nature of horses:

Well trained, sure footed, good natured and easy to ride

Height of horses:

15.1 - 16.1hh

Weight limit:

90kg / 198 lbs

Tack type:

English saddles with silicone seat savers and small saddle bags. Good quality English bridles.

 

Travel Advice



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

Ride Description

The Sierra de Gredos are a mountain range in central Spain which spans the provinces of Avila, Salamanca, Caceres, Madrid and Toledo. It's highest point is Pico Almanzor at 2,592m and it has five river valleys - Alto Tormes, Alto Alberche, Tietar Oriental, Tietar Occidental and Valle del Ambroz. The Gredos mountains are a stunning natural landscape, with lagoons, gorges, crags and cliffs. The terrain varies enormously as the different facing slopes are home to many species and you'll ride through pine forests, holm oak woodlands, open pastures and clusters of broom. There are medieval villages dotted through the mountains, with Roman bridges and 12th century castles to explore.

These beautiful mountains were the birthplace of your hosts on these trails. Emilio was born in El Barco de Avila and is the grandson of one of the most important Avilan cattlemen in the area. He is a knowledgeable guide and horseman and personally guides every trail. His wife, Mamen, was born in Bohoyo, and assists on all the trails, helping with transfers and the special picnic lunches you'll enjoy each day.

Their horses are home-bred and are well-loved. Mainly Andalucian and some cross-breeds, they live together in a herd with plenty of freedom - roaming through 500ha of pine forests on the Gredos Mountains. The same horses and guides also offer our Extremadura rides and split their year between the two areas.

The mountainous terrain dictates the pace of the rides, with trots and canters possible across the open areas, but walking required for the steep and rocky sections. You'll usually ride for c. 4 hours in the morning and then a further 2 hours in the afternoon, with a chance to relax in the countryside during lunchtimes.

There are four itineraries to choose from in the Gredos Mountains. The Castles of Gredos is a progressive trail in a westerly direction, following the Tormes river valley; whilst the Four Valleys ride heads in a southerly and easterly direction, where the mountains are higher and the pace slower. The Gredos to Salamanca trail crosses from the Avila province into the Salamanca province, and the horses return by vehicle. The Crystalline Waters itinerary is centre-based with one overnight on a trail, so you can unpack and relax, returning to your hotel each night.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

The accommodation varies from charming rural inns to delightful four star hotels. All rooms are clean and comfortable with private bathrooms.

Accommodation has been carefully chosen for quality and also the presence of a neighbouring field for the horses.

Single rooms are possible on request and payment of single supplement.

Food is one of the highlights on this ride!

During the day you will be surprised by tapas breaks with serrano ham, manchego cheese, olives, nuts etc. Lunch is then a relaxed affair with delicious home-cooked Spanish dishes such as paella, tortilla, BBQ and salads, followed by a siesta in the peaceful countryside.

Dinner is usually around 9pm and will include a choice of different dishes served at your accommodation. Local Spanish recipes and specialities will be on offer.

Drinks are included with meals, including red or white wine, beer, canned drinks and water.

Special diets such as vegetarian, gluten free etc can be accommodated with advance notice.

 

Activities

Non-riders are welcome to travel in the support car and meet the group at mealtimes and in the evenings. You may prefer your own car if you wish to explore more of the area.

 

Further Details

Languages: Spanish, English

Health requirements: General good health and fitness.

Age limit: Minimum 10 years but children must be competent riders and happy on horses as there are no ponies.

Tuition: No

Included: Sharing accommodation, all meals, wine with dinner, riding, airport transfers (if 4+ riders)

Not included: Flights, alcoholic drinks (other than wine with dinner), massages, tips, airport transfers (if less than 4 riders)

 

Travel Information

Flights to Madrid are offered by a number of different airlines.

Transfers from Madrid are included at set times, provided there are at least four riders booked. If there are less than four riders then transfers are an additional cost (50 euro each way if 3 riders; 75 euro each way if 2 riders).

On the arrival day you will be collected at 3pm, so must book a flight which arrives before 2pm. On departure day your flight should depart 2pm or later.

The transfer takes c. 2 hours. All riders are transferred together so if you book flights outside these times then you will have to pay extra for a private transfer.

Airport: Madrid

 

Programmes


Four Valleys of Gredos



Ride through the highest parts of the Gredos mountains, crossing four different valleys with beautiful views. This is mountainous riding so the terrain dictates a slower pace, but the stunning landscape more than makes up for it. 

Day One:

You will be transferred from the airport to Navarredonda de Gredos, via the walled medieval town of Avila, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a welcome dinner with your group and guide in this mountain village at 1,600m.

Day Two: Navarredonda de Gredos - Cuevas del Valle

After being introduced to your horse for the week, set off across the mountains through Puerto del Arenal, following a very old path which was once used as a commercial route from north to south in the mountains. There are amazing views of the Tietar river valley from the top of the mountains. Spend the night in a rural inn in Cuevas del Valle - 'El Rinconcito de Gredos'. 

Riding c. 6 hours

Day Three: Cuevas del Valle - San Martin del Pimpollar

Ride along a Roman road to join the Canada Real - important medieval paths that drovers used for the transhumance of their merino sheep. Following this path you reach Puerto del Pico with magnificent views of the Tietar river valley. After a tapas break, continue riding along the Alberche river valley and stop for lunch beside the river. Continue riding to reach San Martin del Pimpollar to spend the night at a rural house 'Las Cuatro Calles'. 

Riding c. 5 hours

Day Four: San Martin del Pimpollar - San Martin de la Vega

Follow the Alberche river valley through the wild landscapes of the northern side of the mountains - in spring this area is especially beautiful with the broom in flower. Stop for lunch with great views to the highest peaks of Gredos and then continue riding to San Martin de la Vega to overnight in a rural inn. 

Riding c. 6.5 hours

Day Five: San Martin de la Vega - Navacepeda de Tormes

You are still riding in the mountains, passing through pine forests, broom and stone walls - this is the summer pastures of the Avilan cattle. Ride close to the source of the Alberche river and stop for lunch beside a lagoon. In the afternoon, ride to Navacepeda de Tormes across open landscapes with glorious views. Overnight in a hotel 'Capra Hispanica'. 

Riding c. 6 hours

Day Six: Navacepeda de Tormes - Navarredonda de Gredos

An easy but beautiful day of riding through the Tormes river valley, stopping for lunch at a fishermans hut beside the Tormes river, where you can swim if the weather is warm enough. The afternoon ride is shorter but has some opportunities for some fast canters to finish the trail. Overnight in a hotel in Navarredonda. 

Riding c. 5 hours

Day Seven: 

After breakfast you are transferred to the airport for your flight home. 

NB. Please note that the itinerary may vary depending on weather and local conditions, but always with your best interests at heart.



Accommodation: You spend each night in a different rural inn/hotel.
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: You should be at least an intermediate rider, comfortable in all paces. The terrain dictates the pace and this trail has fewer trots and canters - the pace is mainly walk allowing time to take in the breathtaking views.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 6 nights / 5 days riding
Departure dates: 2018:
16-22 September, 11-17 November, 25 November-1 December

2019:
15-21 September, 10-16 November
 
Pricing: 2018:

£1118 per person sharing

Single supplement: £110

2019:

£1162 per person sharing

Single supplement: £110

Small group supplement if less than four riders confirmed - payable locally. 50 euro each way per person for the transfer (2 pax) or 33 euro each way per person for the transfer (3 pax).



Gredos to Salamanca trail



Ride from the Gredos mountains to the charming town of Salamanca - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You ride through landscapes where the famous black bulls are raised and visit the picturesque medieval town of Sierra de Bejar.

Day One:

You are transferred from the airport to Navarredonda de Gredos, stopping at Avila for a short visit of the walled medieval town which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Have dinner with your guide and group in this village situated at 1,600m with views of the mountains. 

Day Two: Navarredonda de Gredos - Angostura de Tormes

After meeting your horses you set off riding along the Tormes river valley with fabulous views of the mountains. Have a picnic lunch in the countryside and then ride downhill to Angostura de Tormes where the horses spend the night. Transfer by road to El Barco de Avila for dinner and to overnight in a 4 star hotel for two nights. 

Riding c. 6 hours

Day Three: Angostura de Tormes - El Barco de Avila - Becedas

Transfer back to the horses and follow an old cattle trail to the medieval village of Barco de Avila, which has a roman bridge and castle. Stop for lunch beside the bridge over the Tormes river. In the afternoon, ride to Sierra de Bejar and Becedas, the last village in Avila province. The horses spend the night here whilst you are transferred back to your hotel in Barco de Avila for a second night.

Riding c. 7 hours

Day Four: Becedas - Candelario

A short, half day ride from Becedas to Candelario, passing through quaint little villages.

The afternoon is free to visit Candelario which is one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. Visit the church, walk up the steep streets and along the channels which collect water from the mountains - there's some beautiful architecture to admire too. 

Spend the night in a charming rural inn 'Artesa' in the centre of town and have dinner in an excellent restaurant where you can sample traditional Castilian cuisine. 

Riding c. 4 hours

Day Five: Candelario - Neila de San Miguel - Guijo de Avila

Ride northwards to Salamanca through Puerto de la Hoya, to stop for a tapas break at a special church in Neila de San Miguel. Continue riding to Medinilla where you stop for lunch. In the afternoon the landscape is open and flat and you join the Occidental Canada Soriana, one of the main routes through Spain during medieval times. 

You spend the night in Guijo de Avila at a rural complex with comfortable cabins and nice views of the Tormes river. 

Riding c. 6.5 hours

Day Six: Guijo de Avila - Horcajo Medianero

Cross the Tormes river by Santa Teresa's dam and a huge reservoir. Today you will be riding through the dehesas of Salamanca with holm oak woods and pastures of black bulls and Iberian pigs. Stop for lunch by a small river. In the afternoon there are opportunities for fun canters through the dehesa and holm oaks to reach Horcajo Medianero. Have dinner and spend the night at the monastery of Veldejimena where the horses stay close to you. This is a special place but you may have to share a bathroom.

Riding c. 6 hours

Day Seven: Horcajo Medianero - Alba de Tormes

In the morning you ride along the eastern lands of the province with beautiful landscapes including the Tormes river. Stop for lunch near Alba de Tormes, which is linked to the life and death of Santa Teresa and her body rests in one of the convents. You end your ride here and the horses transfer home by truck. 

In the afternoon you are transferred c. 20mins to Salamanca town where you can walk through the streets of this historical town and visit the important monuments such as the Plaza Mayor with its impressive arcades. Have dinner in a restaurant in Plaza Mayor and then overnight in a 4 star hotel in the heart of Salamanca.

Riding c. 4 hours

Day Eight:

After breakfast you are transferred to the airport for your flight home, which must depart later than 2pm.

NB. Please note that the itinerary may vary depending on weather or local conditions, but always with your best interests at heart. 



Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: You should be at least an intermediate rider, comfortable in all paces outdoors. Much of the ride is at a walk due to the terrain, but there are opportunities for trots and canters.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 7 nights / 6 days riding
Departure dates: 2018:
17-24 June, 2-9 September

2019:
16-23 June, 8-15 September
 
Pricing: 2018:

£1321 per person sharing

Single supplement: £132

2019:

£1453 per person sharing

Single supplement: £132



Crystalline Waters



Base yourself in Navarredonda de Gredos and ride in different directions each day through varying landscapes, with a mini one-night trail mid-week. Running in summer only, there are opportunities to swim in fresh water rivers and pools at lunch stops. This trail is an ideal option for families or groups with a mix of more and less experienced riders as you do not have to ride every day. In this case, the trail can be booked privately.

Day One:

You will be collected from the airport and transferred to Navarredonda de Gredos, stopping en-route to visit the amazing walled medieval town of Avila, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy dinner with the group and your guide in this mountain village with views of the Gredos mountains. 

Day Two: San Martin del Pimpollar

An easy day of riding to introduce you to your horse and the area. Ride through summer pastures and stop for lunch beside the river near San Martin del Pimpollar, with an excellent picnic cooked on location. In the afternoon, ride through pine woods with some good trots and canters until reaching the stables. 

Riding c. 5 hours

Day Three: Laguna Canada del Gallo

Ride to Canada del Gallo lagoon with great views of the Gredos mountains and great canters across the open landscape. Continue down into the Tormes valley for a picnic paella and the chance to swim. After a relaxing break, return to the stables along a different route with some good canters. 

Day Four: Navarredonda - Barbellido - Navacepeda de Tormes

Head towards the highest mountains with stunning views and up to Puente de las Juneas before riding downhill to Barbellido gorge. Stop for lunch of Avilan beef BBQ at a fishermans hut where you can swim in the crystalline waters of the gorge. In the afternoon, ride through pine woods with some great canters before reaching Navacepeda de Tormes where you spend the night in a rural hotel. 

Riding c. 6 hours

Day Five: Navacepeda de Tormes - Navarredonda de Gredos

Follow the Tormes river through Navacepeda until reaching the historic mountain town of Navalperal where you stop for tapas. Continue to Pozo de las Paredes, a 14th century bridge over the Barbellido gorge. Stop for lunch with opportunities to swim and then continue riding along the Tormes river until returning to the stables. 

Riding c. 6 hours

Day Six: Hoyos del Espino

A fast mornings ride to Hoyos del Espino where you stop for lunch and swimming. The afternoon ride is another fun one with canters through the pine forests, back to the stables. A farewell dinner tonight. 

Riding c. 5 hours

Day Seven: 

After breakfast at your hotel, you are transferred to the airport for your flight home. 

NB. Please note that the itinerary may vary depending on weather or local conditions but always with your best interests at heart. 



Accommodation: Five nights in a rural hotel in Navarredonda de Gredos, and one night in a rural hotel in Navacepeda de Tormes.
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: You should be at least an intermediate rider, comfortable in walk, trot and canter in open spaces.
Type of ride: Centre based
Total riding time: 6 nights / 5 days of riding
Departure dates: 2018:
8-14 July, 15-21 July, 29 Jul-4 Aug, 5-11 August, 12-18 August

2019:
7-13, 14-20 July; 4-10, 11-17 August.
 
Pricing: 2018:

£1012 per person sharing

Single supplement £110

2019:

£1101 per person sharing
Single supplement £110

Small group supplement if less than four riders confirmed - payable locally. 50 euro each way per person for the transfer (2 pax) or 33 euro each way per person for the transfer (3 pax).



Castles of Gredos



A progressive trail ride through the medieval villages and valleys of the Gredos mountains, to reach the town of Barco de Avila, where your guide was born and grew up. Beautiful mountains, scenic rivers and constantly changing landscapes makes this a a beautiful trail ride.

Day One:

You will be collected from Madrid airport at 3pm and transferred c. 2 hours to Navarredonda de Gredos. Along the route you will stop to visit the walled medieval town of Avila which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On arrival at your hotel in Navarredonda de Gredos, a mountain village at 1,600m with stunning views of the sierras, you will have a welcome dinner with your group and guide.

Day Two: Navarredonda de Gredos - Navacepeda de Tormes

After breakfast you will meet your horses and set off on an introductory ride. Today is a short and comfortable day to allow you to settle in and get to know your horse. You'll ride through the Tormes valley and pine forest and across open fields with great views of the Gredos mountains. Stop for lunch at a fisherman's hut where you will be served excellent paella cooked on location besides the Tormes river - in summer it is possible to swim here. A short afternoon ride takes you to Navacepeda de Tormes for dinner and to overnight in a local hotel. 

Riding c. 4 hours

Day Three: Navacepeda de Tormes - Barco de Avila

The longest day of riding with some of the most beautiful views of the mountains, as you ride down the valley through small, medieval villages. Stop for lunch at Aliseda de Tormes besides a medieval bridge over the Tormes river. In the afternoon, ride down the open valley with lots of trots and canters to reach El Barco de Avila. Cross the river on the Roman bridge to enter this 12th century village with its castle. Dinner and overnight in a 4* hotel.

Riding c. 6.5 hours

Day Four: El Barco de Avila - Hoyorredondo

Ride to the province of Salamanca which is a beautiful, flat, dry area with incredible granite formations. This is a really rural area with fields bordered by stone walls where you may see farmers riding donkeys. The landscape changes as you ride through holm oak woods and pastures, crossing the village of Puente del Congosto with its 15th century bridge and castle. Picnic next to the river - another spot for a summer swim. The afternoon offers fun riding with some canters to Hoyorredondo, where you spend the night and have dinner at a rural inn. 

Riding c. 6 hours

Day Five: Hoyorredondo - Navacepedilla de Corneja

The morning ride is across the flat and open Corneja river valley so there are opportunities for some good trots and canters before reaching Bonilla de la Sierra - another medieval town with a beautiful church. Lunch is taken in a private garden with a swimming pool and is a chance to sample the local steak cooked on the BBQ. In the afternoon, start climbing back into the mountains and spend your night in Navacepedilla de Corneja.

Riding c. 6 hours

Day Six: Navacepedilla - Navarredonda

A magnificent day of mountain riding through three different valleys. In the morning, ride up to the highest point of the ride, Puerto de Chia (1,800m) with fabulous views of the Corneja river valley and Alberche river valley. Have lunch at San Martin de la Vega and then cross the Alberche river and continue to the Tormes river valley where the stables are situated. Night and farewell dinner in Navarredonda de Gredos.

Day Seven: 

After breakfast at your hotel, depart at 10am for the airport.

*On three dates in July/August, the ride is one day longer. On this extra day, you do a circular ride with lots of trots and canters through the pine forest and along the Tormes river valley, stopping for a picnic before riding back to the stables.

NB> Please note that the itinerary may vary depending on local conditions but always with your best interests at heart.



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: You should be at least an intermediate rider, capable of riding in all three paces across varied terrain. The landscape does not allow for lots of canters, but there will be opportunities to trot and canter where the terrain allows.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 5 days riding (4-7 hours per day), except in July/August where there's 6 days riding
Departure dates: 2018:
10-16 June, 24-30 June, 1-8 July*, 22-29 July*, 19-26 August*, 26 Aug-1 Sept, 9-15 September, 23-29 September, 7-13 October, 21-27 October.

*These dates are 7 nights with 6 days of riding

2019: 9-15 June, 30 June-7 July*, 21-28 July*, 18-24 August, 25 August-1 September*, 22-28 September, 20-26 October.

*These dates are 7 nights with 6 days of riding
 
Pricing: 2018:

6 night ride: £1118 per person sharing (June, Sept, Oct)
7 night ride: £1321 per person sharing (July, August)

Single supplement: £110 for 6 night ride or £132 for 7 night ride

2019:

6 night ride: £1162 per person sharing
7 night ride: £1365 per person sharing

Single supplement: £110 for 6 night ride or £132 for 7 night ride


Small group supplement if less than four riders confirmed - payable locally. 50 euro each way per person for the transfer (2 pax) or 33 euro each way per person for the transfer (3 pax).