This horseback riding holiday in Spain passes through the Valleys of Gredos, one of the most distinctive regions of the Iberian Peninsula. River valleys, surrounded by rugged mountains, are dotted with small villages. Here and there a towering castle perches in austere grandeur on a hill and an ancient monastery lies in a valley.
Lodging is planned in small and very comfortable village and rural hotels, providing twin-bedded rooms and en-suite baths. The accommodations have been carefully chosen for the quality and welcoming to the riders and horses.
A support vehicle will follow the riders during the entire trip, meeting for meals and at night. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included while on the trek. The 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.
The horses are Andalusian, Hispano-Arab, and Lusitano crosses ranging in height from 15 - 16 hh, and selected for their good nature and endurance.
The organizer and guide takes great pride in the quality and the character of the horses and is adept at matching horse and rider. The horses are fun to ride, strong, fit, lots of personality and well-adapted to the terrain. English all purpose saddles are used which have a deep knee roll. Small pommel bags and seat savers are provided.
Meet in Madrid at 3pm and transfer to Navarredonda de Gredos (2 hour drive), a small village in the heart of Castilla 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, and which the Spanish still refer to as “the stone heart of the peninsula”. On the way from Madrid, a stop in Avila for a one hour visit of this medieval historic town is planned. Enjoy a welcome dinner and overnight at the National Parador of Gredos (the first Parador opened in Spain).
Ride through pine woods, open fields and trails towards the mountains, with great views of the Sierra de Gredos. Enjoy an aperitivo stop in the countryside and lunch at an old sawmill by the river, an excellent paella cooked on the spot and other delicacies before riding back to the stable in Navarredonda. This day is a short ride so riders and horses can get to know one another. Dinner and overnight as the previous night. If riders are interested in bird watching an evening walk in the mountains can be organized.
Today you ride through woods and beautiful meadows in the Tormes River valley. Lunch at the Pozo de las Paredes, a magic spot in the gorge of Barbellido, which joins the Tormes River. This spot is ideal for a swim in summer. In the afternoon follow a cattle path to Navalperal the Tormes. Overnight at a small hotel near the Tormes river.
This day will be a long half day ride and its a progressive ride to get to El Barco. Ride along cattle paths in the Tormes River valley, passing the village of Aliseda de Tormes. Enjoy the change in vegetation as you approach the small town of El Barco de Avila where you will spend the night. Your hotel in El Barco de Avila is a luxurious country hotel built as part of a restoration of an ancient country estate. The afternoon is free to visit the village with its 15th century walls and medieval bridge stretching over the Tormes. The hotel has a spa and indoor heated pool where you can relax and refresh before the next day of riding. This evening a special Spanish wine tasting and pairing dinner will be offered in the local wine shop, one of the top ten in Spain.
Ride along cattle paths through holm oak woods and pastures between Barco and Hoyorredondo, arriving in Puente de Congosto, with a XV century bridge and castle for lunch. Picnic near the river – a beautiful spot for a swim in the summer. In the afternoon there will be a short ride to Hoyorredondo where you will spend the night in a beautiful and comfortable rural hotel.
This will be a day of great contrasts in the landscape. In the morning ride in the open flat valleys of the Corneja River to the aperitif stop. Follow the river Corneja to its source, and stop for lunch near one of the water mills along the river. In the afternoon 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. Descend to San Martin de la Vega for the night.
Ride back to Sierra de Gredos, with great views of the peaks of the Sierra en-route. Descend towards the Tormes valley where the ride began.Short day with good canters. Enjoy a special catered lunch with a tasting menu, served by one of the best restaurants in the area, with panoramic views of the Sierra de Gredos, then a short afternoon ride back to the stables through the village of Hoyos del Espino. Enjoy a farewell dinner and overnight at the Parador.
After breakfast transfer to Madrid, arriving there about 12 noon. All riders will be transferred at the same time. If any rider needs to arrive in Madrid prior to noon, all riders will have to depart earlier, or alternative transportation can be arranged at an additional cost.
This itinerary is flexible and changes may occur at the guide's discretion due to weather or 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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