The base of the Dali Coast Trail is built around the so-called Dali-triangle that consists of the villages Cadaques, Figueres and Pubol. Here you can experience authentic horse riding in Spain while aboard fine Andalusians.
The trail connects the charm of the Empordanet region with the long sandy beaches of the Bay of Roses and the wild coast of the Cap de Creus. It will bring you closer to this wonderful artist; through its diverse countryside where you will begin to feel his strong, local roots. Experience for yourself Catalonia’s wild beauty that attracted painters like Dali in the mid 19th century who drew inspiration from the spectacular coastline, the intense green fields and forests, the deep blue Mediterranean Sea and sky, and the reddish brown and black tones of the lava stones.
Lodging is planned in small, very comfortable village and rural hotels, providing twin-bedded rooms, most with en-suite baths (on 1-2 nights the bathroom and shower could be in the hallway), though they may be small in size. When available, places with character and history have been chosen. Single accommodations can be arranged at an additional charge which is to be paid locally.
A support vehicle will follow during the entire trip, meeting for meals and at night. Breakfast, aperitifs, lunch and dinner are included while on the trek. Local cuisine is excellent and much consideration is taken when planning the meals to provide visitors with a sampling of the many different dishes produced in the area. 2 dinners and 1 lunch are not included in the cost and there is a 80 Euro fee payable locally in cash to the outfitter at the first dinner to cover those 3 restaurant meals.
The horses are Andalusian and Spanish horses, typically mountain bred, and range in height from 15 - 16 hh. They are selected for their good nature and endurance, and are well-suited to the terrain and safe in difficult areas, quick and powerful in canter and gallop, intelligent and reliable, and are fun to ride. The outfitter is very adept at matching horse and rider. Occasionally you will be riding on rural paved roads and on cobblestone streets through villages.
English trekking and Spanish saddles are used. Saddle bags are provided.
Barcelona or Girona.
You will be met at the Barcelona International Airport at 5:30pm or the Girona airport at 6:30pm on the first day of your ride.
You will be returned to Barcelona airport at about 1:00pm, or Girona airport at about 11:00am, on the last day of the ride.
Arrive in Barcelona or Girona and be picked up in the late afternoon to transfer to Mas Alba, which is a typical Catalan natural stone house dating back to the 16th century and has been in the same family since that time. From here you can overlook green meadows, forests and horse pastures. The unique light transforms the surroundings into a picturesque painting. What a beautiful place to begin your holiday.
From Mas Alba you will sink into the magic of the Empordanet. From its rolling hills and soft countryside you can see hundred-year-old villages in the distance. These magical villages were built of honey-coloured stones. Their narrow alleys, gardens and planted fields give you an idea of the strong inheritance of farming roots in the area. Enjoy a picnic near the river Ter. In the afternoon you gallop through the Mediterranean forest towards a nice village at the foot of the Gavarra mountains where you will overnight in lovely restored guest house.
This hidden area of yellow, brown and green tones with centuries old villages is magical to ride through. In their narrow streets you can hear the clattering of hoofs rebounding off the walls as you ride through. Visit Gala’s castle of Pubol. Dali gave this 14th century building to his wife, Gala, as a gift. Stop for lunch in the village and afterwards continue to the beautiful village of Peratallada.
This morning enjoy a brisk canter through the plains of Ullastred, which was a large lake in the Iberian times. A sandy trail leads you through undulating sand dunes and Mediterranean pine forests, up to the rough looking mountain of Montgri. On top of the cliffs enjoy the magnificent view overlooking the endless sea. To the west, you discover the snowy peaks of the Pyrenees. Sea birds glide with thermal winds over the coast and the lovely fragrance of rosemary, thyme and lavender are in the air as you sit down to have a “Cowboy Picnic”. After lunch follow the path leading through sand dunes to the sea. Overnight at a hotel right on the Playa Grande.
Vamos a la playa – a dream comes true! Early in the morning you can smell the coast, the wind and the salty air. You are right next to the sea with your horse, and in front of you are miles of sandy beaches. With the sunrise you will gallop through the breakwater and your horse may play with the waves –
they love the refreshing water. Through the rice fields of the nature park you reach your domicile for the night: the oldest Andalusian P.R.E Stud of Catalonia. Here not only wonderful horses and their history await you but also charmingly furnished rooms.
Have lunch in Figueres and visit the theatre-museum of Dali. According to the painter, anyone who wanted to be up to date with the latest culture must come to Figueres. Dali built his museum over the charred remains of the city’s old main theatre. His idea was to convert it into a centre of Western and European spirituality. Going shopping (or just window shopping) in the late afternoon was a common activity for Salvador Dali. After the visit to the museum you can enjoy the city too.
Changing between walk, trot and canter, you will cross sunflower and rice fields. Canter through the marshland of the Aiguamolls. Enjoy lunch at the base of the hills of Rodas. Continue your journey and in the evening, reach your accommodations, a restored mansion dating back to 1582, surrounded by nature with a view of Alt Emporda and the Bay of Roses. Before dinner refresh with a dip in the pool or relax with a massage.
Ride along an old merchant lane which winds its way through stony terrain, until you reach the home of Salvador Dali, located in the bay of Port Lligat. Climb over a pass to Cadaques, the pearl of Emporda. The whitewashed fishing village with its old winding streets is rightly considered the most beautiful village on the Costa Brava. The clear colors of the sky and sea, the excavated rock formations, the luminous bays and deep ravines all inspired Dali for his works of art. Enjoy a typical dinner in the fishing village for your farewell dinner.
Transfer to Barcelona or Girona after breakfast. You will be returned to Barcelona airport at about 1:00PM, or Girona airport at about 11:00 AM, on the last day of the ride. Please make flight arrangements no earlier than mid-afternoon on that day.
This itinerary is flexible. Changes may occur at the discretion of the guide due to weather and other unforeseen circumstances.
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Epona November 2018: Super trip! Fernando and team were terrific, accommodations were great, fun riding (dressage lessons and trail rides) and extra activities, excellent food. THANKS
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