Spanish Beaches Adventure

Catalonia Spain: (HT-SPCA06)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/Spanish_Beaches_Adventure.aspx

Introduction
Catalonia Spain
This trip lets you ride through the Costa Brava from North to South, enjoying the best that it has to offer!

We will ride two loops from our farmhouse; allowing us to discover the beautiful beach of Pals, as well as natural parks and incredibly well-preserved medieval villages. Catalonia is full of spectacular towns and villages, surprisingly untouched by the passing of time, but it is also full of wild and unspoiled landscapes waiting to be discovered.
We will be riding through the typical landscape of Empordà. Our journey starts with the discovery of gorgeous medieval villages, continues with the peaceful mountainous landscape of Las Gavarras, and finally ends with a fantastic ride on the beach.

This beach ride will be without doubt one of the highlights of the trip! Kilometers of golden sandy beach by the Mediterranean Sea are the delight of any rider.
If you do not have a full week for your horseback holidays and you want to enjoy the beach and the mountains: this is the perfect ride for you!

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a progressive ride so you will be staying in different locations each night. There is full cell overage along the routes.

8-day trip Accommodation Itinerary

Night 1, 4, & 7: Farmhouse in Llabià  

Night 2: Hotel Riomar in Sant Marti d'Empuries

Night 3: Can Muni in Vilopriu

Night 5: Mas Masaller in Cruilles

Night 6: Aparthotel Golf Beach in Pals Beach


5-day trip Accommodation Itinerary


Night 1 & 4: Farmhouse in Llabià

Night 2: Mas Masaller in Cruilles

Night 3: Aparthotel Gold Beach in Pals Beach


Meals
All meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on your last day are included. Breakfast is enjoyed at the hotel. We will have a picnic for lunch, including local homemade food and drinks (including wine). As for dinners, they will be in the hotels where we sleep and always include a Catalan or Spanish home-made food including water and wine.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to dietary restrictions if given prior notice.

This trip includes some wine with dinner and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Experience
You should be well balanced, comfortable and secure in the saddle and able to control a well-schooled horse outside at all paces. Riders are expected to be able to cope with a variety of different going and different types of terrain. All the rides are aimed at reasonably capable riders, who are also fairly fit and riding regularly.
Participants are expected to ride regularly in the months before they go to ensure they can cope with the hours in the saddle. There are also places on the rides where you will need to dismount and lead your horse - if the ground gets rough or steep, and for a short time to warm the horses up and cool them down each day.
Riders are expected to tack up their own horses. Our guides will show you how if you are unfamiliar and will double check that tack is properly placed every day before you ride.

Horses
We currently have 21 horses. They are all kept together as a herd so have developed a close bond. They are Andalusians and Spanish-Arabian crossbreds, well-trained and cared for. We work with them daily by techniques of natural dressage and Parelli to improve horse-rider communication and thus ensure a good development of the trail.
The horses naturally adapts well to the rhythm of a trail ride, traveling up to 30km a day from place to place as a wild herd would do when looking for food and water. A great deal of time has been spent selecting and training the horses for these trekking routes. Not too boisterous to be difficult for lower level riders, yet with enough spark to make an enjoyable ride to experienced riders.

Pace
We spend on average 4-6 hours on horseback per day (6 or 3 riding days total – depending on the program chosen). The pace is moderate with plenty of opportunities to canter and gallop.

Weight Limit
Max 90 kg (~200lbs). We reserve the right to exceptionally check on riders weigh. Riders far over this weigh will not be able to ride.

Guides
We have 4 guides (1 per every 8 riders) who have the necessary qualifications and experience guiding groups and horses. Guides are first aid trained and always carry a first aid kit with them. Our guides are all fluent in English. If you are interested in another language, do not hesitate to ask. We may have a German or French speaking guide available.
Guides always carry a mobile phone while riding and coverage is available throughout the route.

Note: A travel insurance is required to take part in this trip!

Itinerary

8-day Sample Itinerary 2019 - subject to changes

Day 1- Sunday: Welcome!
You will arrive at the farmhouse and before dinner, we will go over the week's program. You will be told about the special characteristics of our Andalusian trail horses and will be given an introduction to the week´s program with an opportunity for a one-to-one conversation designed to find every rider’s perfect horse (this individual conversation could take place on Thursday morning instead). Then, you will enjoy a fantastic welcome dinner!

Day 2- Monday: Galloping with Emotions
This first day will allow us to get used to our travel companion. We will leave the farmhouse and go to the Natural Park of Montgrí, where we will go around the mountain. We will pass by the Escala and arrive at the fantastic village of San Martí d'Empúries. This is a beautiful little village, perfect to walk around and discover its history. Our hotel is very close to the beach, so we can also enjoy a swim at sunset.

Day 3- Tuesday: Our First Beach
This day we start a bit earlier to enjoy our gallop on the beach. Six kilometers of beach await, to let us enjoy long gallops and a swim with the horses! We will take a break at the village of Sant Pere Pescador and we will use the opportunity to take a well-deserved coffee! We still have some hours riding left. This is a quite long and active day that will allow us to see rice fields, apple tree, orchards and much more, before arriving at our accommodation in the interior. 

Day 4- Wednesday: Baix Empordà
Today, the trail takes us back to the farmhouse, through cereal fields, fruit trees and a fantastic agricultural landscape. We will cross to the other side of the river Ter by a bridge and follow the riverbed with a lush flora. We will ride between meadows and rice fields accompanied by ducks and migratory birds from the Medes Islands. We will enjoy a very active day and a last gallop along the riverbed. In the afternoon we will arrive at the farmhouse and we will have time to rest before our delicious homemade dinner!

Day 5- Thursday: Medieval Villages
The ride takes us through the best preserved medieval towns in Spain. You will cross beautiful medieval villages that will become quaint terracotta colored settlements the closer you get tot hem. One of the most beautiful are the small villages of Palau-Sator and Peratallada, villages of medieval origin completely walled in order to preserve the defensive pit, tower, castle and palace. We will continue through fields of oaks and pines until we reach our accommodation, it is a country house of the XIII century located at the foot of the hills of Gavarres, where we can enjoy the pool and the pleasant atmosphere of a good homemade dinner with local products.

Day 6- Friday: The Gavarres Park
Today we will cross the mountains of the Gavarres towards the beach of Pals. The Gavarres park has an extensive network of trails that will allow us to discover the most important cork oaks and pine forests of Catalonia. The vegetation here is rich, shaded by mountain streams, the forests are made up of oak, hazel and chestnut trees, in contrast to the rest of the predominantly Mediterranean territory. We will have time for a complete meal and be able to recover some strength. After lunch, we will continue the trail passing through the beautiful medieval village of Pals, with history dating back to the 9th-15th century, with charming stone houses and small cobblestone streets decorated with flowers. It is on the top of a small hill where we can see the sea in the distance, offering spectacular views. We will then continue a little further, until we reach our hotel, just 5 minutes walk from the beach, where we can relax, rest or walk along the beach.

Day 7- Saturday: Beach of Pals
Today we will start early. Shortly after sunrise and after taking breakfast at the hotel, we will prepare our horses and we will go to the beach along a flat territory, wetlands and of rice plantations. We will arrive at the long beach of Pals, surrounded by dunes and pines, this beach has magnificent views over the Medes Islands, one of the most photographed panoramas of the Costa Brava. We will prepare for the gallop, and together with our four-legged friends, we will play with the waves and the foam. We will continue all the way back to the farmhouse, with the river Ter as a companion and through paths of crops.
To finish and before arriving at our accommodation, we will climb the hill to say goodbye with the best possible panorama: the sea in the distance with the three Medes Islands. We will have time to relax, talk, sunbathe or swim in the pool.

Day 8- Sunday: Departure
Departure after breakfast. We hope to see you soon in another adventure!

-------------------------------------------

5-day Sample Itinerary 2019 - subject to changes

Day 1- Wednesday: Welcome
You will arrive at our farmhouse where you can make yourself at home! Here you will find all the comforts in a rural and traditional environment.
Before dinner we will go over the week's program. You will be told about the special characteristics of our Spanish and Arab trail horses. You will be given an introduction to the riding program with an opportunity for a one-to-one conversation designed to find every rider’s perfect horse (this individual conversation could take place on the next day in the morning instead). Then, you will enjoy a fantastic welcome dinner!

Day 2- Thursday: Medieval Villages
The ride takes us through the best preserved medieval towns in Spain. You will cross beautiful medieval villages and the cities that will become quaint terracotta colored settlements the closer you get to them. The small Palau-Sator and incredible Peratallada, are villages of medieval origin completely walled in order to preserve the defensive pit, tower, castle and palace. We will then continue our ride through fields of oaks and pines until we reach our accommodation. It is a country house of the XIII century located at the foot of the hills of Gavarres, where we can enjoy the pool and the pleasant atmosphere of a good homemade dinner with local products.

Day 3- Friday: The Gavarres Park
Today we will cross the mountains of the Gavarres towards the beach of Pals. The Gavarres Park has an extensive network of trails that will allow you to discover the most important cork oaks and pine forests of Catalonia. The vegetation here is rich, shaded by mountain streams, and the forests are made up of oak, hazel and chestnut trees, in contrast to the rest of the predominantly Mediterranean territory. We will have time for a complete meal and be able to recover strength. Then, we will continue the trail passing through the beautiful medieval village of Pals, with history dating back to the 9th-15th century. It is one of the stars of the area with charming stone houses and small cobblestone streets decorated with flowers. It sits on the top of a small hill where we can see the sea in the distance, offering spectacular views. We will continue a little further, until we reach our hotel, just 5 minutes walk from the beach, where we can relax, rest or walk along the beach.

Day 4- Saturday: Beach of Pals
Today we will start early. Shortly after sunrise, after taking breakfast at the hotel, we will prepare our horses and we will go to the beach along a flat territory, wetlands and of rice plantations. We will arrive at the long beach of Pals, surrounded by dunes and pines. This beach has magnificent views over the Medes Islands, one of the most photographed panoramas of the Costa Brava. We will prepare for the gallop, and together with our four-legged friends, we will play with the waves and the foam. We will continue all the way back to the farmhouse, with the river Ter as a companion and through paths of crops.
To finish and before arriving at our accommodation, we will climb the hill to say goodbye with the best possible panorama: the sea in the distance with the three Medes Islands. We will have time to relax, talk, sunbathe or swim in the pool.

Day 5- Sunday: Departure
Departure after breakfast. We hope to see you soon in another adventure!

-------------------------------------------

5-day Sample Itinerary 2020 - subject to changes

Day 1- Welcome
You will arrive at our farmhouse. Before dinner, we will go over the week’s program and learn more about the special characteristics of our horses. You will be given an introduction to the week’s program with an opportunity for a one to one conversation designed to find every rider’s perfect horse (this individual conversation could take place on the next day in the morning instead). Then, you will enjoy a fantastic welcome dinner!

Day 2- Medieval Villages
The ride takes us through the best preserved medieval towns in Spain. You will cross beautiful medieval villages and the cities that will become quaint terracotta colored settlements the closer you get to them. The small Palau-Sator and incredible Peratallada, are villages of medieval origin completely walled in order to preserve the defensive pit, tower, castle and palace. We will then continue our ride through fields of oaks and pines until we reach our accommodation. It is a country house dating back to the 18th century, located at the foot of the hills of Gavarres. Here, we can enjoy the pool and the pleasant atmosphere of a good homemade dinner with local products.

Day 3- The Gavarres Park
Today we will cross the mountains of the Gavarres towards the beach of Pals. The Gavarres Park has an extensive network of trails that will allow you to discover the most important cork oaks and pine forests of Catalonia. The vegetation here is rich, shaded by mountain streams, and the forests are made up of oak, hazel and chestnut trees, in contrast to the rest of the predominantly Mediterranean territory. We will have time for a complete meal and be able to recover strength. Then, we will continue the trail passing through the beautiful medieval village of Pals, with history dating back to the 9th-15th century. It is one of the stars of the area with charming stone houses and small cobblestone streets decorated with flowers. It sits on the top of a small hill where we can see the sea in the distance, offering spectacular views. We will continue a little further, until we reach our hotel, just 5 minutes walk from the beach, where we can relax, rest or walk along the beach.

Day 4- Beach of Pals
Today we will start early. Shortly after sunrise, after taking breakfast at the hotel, we will prepare our horses and we will go to the beach along a flat territory made out of wetlands and rice plantations. We will arrive at the long beach of Pals, surrounded by dunes and pines. This beach has magnificent views over the Medes Islands, one of the most photographed panoramas of the Costa Brava. We will prepare for the gallop, and together with our four-legged friends, we will play with the waves and the foam. We will continue all the way back to the farmhouse, with the Ter River as a companion and through paths of crops.
Before going back to our accommodation, we will climb the hill to say goodbye with the best possible panorama: the sea in the distance with the three Medes Islands. In the evening, we will have time to relax, talk, sunbathe or swim in the pool.

Day 5- Departure
Departure after breakfast. We hope to see you soon in another adventure!

Note: Beach rides are not possible during the high season (July to September)


Rates and Dates for Spanish Beaches Adventure

Rates include:

Accommodations, meals, 6 riding days, tourist tax
Non-riders: breakfast, dinner, and accommodations included, but must bring own car.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20198 day trip, AP (high)€1320$1585
    • Single supplement (if requested)€250$300
  • B
    20198 day trip, AP (low)€1130$1355
    • Single supplement (if requested)€250$300
  • C
    20195 day trip, AP (high)€725$725
    • Single supplement (if requested)€250$300
      Single supplement (if requested)€145$175
  • D
    20195 day trip, AP (low)€625$750
    • Single supplement (if requested)€145$175
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.2

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2019 Transfer from Barcelona airport (6:00pm), pp, return 110 $135
2019 Transfer from Girona airport (7:30pm), pp, return 70 $85
2019 Non-rider rate, pp (half board - sharing room with rider) 595 $715
2019 Discount for children from ages 12-17 years- please inquire 0 $0
2019 Small group supplement on 8-day program (3 pax), pp 180 $215
2019 Small group supplement on 5-day program (3 pax), pp 150 $180
2019 Private transfer from Barcelona, per car (up to 4 pax), one way 245 $295
2019 Private transfer from Girona, per car (up to 4 pax), one way 85 $105

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2019 10/13 - 10/20 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (high) 4 /12 Expired
C 2019 10/16 - 10/20 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (high) 4 /12 Expired
A 2019 10/27 - 11/03 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (high) 4 /12 Expired
D 2019 10/30 - 11/03 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (low) 4 /12 Expired
B 2019 11/10 - 11/17 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (low) 4 /12 Expired
D 2019 11/13 - 11/17 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (low) 4 /12 Expired

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Non rider rates do not include lunches Single travellers: No single supplement if willing to share. Transfers from Barcelona airport, Extra drinks.

Other Info
Meeting: Llabià
Airport: Girona
Transfer: Barcelona airport or Girona airport

Climate:
                                        Torroella de Montgrí area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

57

59

63

67

73

81

87

87

80

72

63

58

Average Low Temperature (°F)

35

36

40

44

51

59

63

64

58

51

42

37

Average High Temperature (°C)

14

15

17

19

23

27

30

30

27

22

17

14

Average Low Temperature (°C)

2

2

5

7

11

15

17

18

15

11

6

3

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

4

4

5

6

7

5

3

4

5

5

4

3

Source: NOAA


Seasons

The overall climate of Catalonia is similar to Southern California. It enjoys a balmy, year-round climate; not too steamy in summer and with a few cold days in winter. July and August are the warmest months and December, January and February are the coldest months.

What To Bring:
*Send us a copy your travel insurance policy - with your reservation (or shortly after). All non-insured riders will not be allowed on the trail -- bring along a copy as well
  • Helmets are mandatory and available to borrow but we highly recommend bringing your own if possible; there is no guarantee otherwise for your fit and comfort!
  • We recommend wearing jodhpurs, as these protect your legs from soreness of jean seams, and you will find a light-weight, cotton pair the most comfortable during the summer months.  You may want to bring two pairs.
  • Your riding boots should have a sole with a safe tread and be comfortable for walking, as you are certain to lead your horse on some occasions.  Paddock boots and half-chaps are the most flexible combination for comfort and leg protection than tall riding boots.
  • A long-sleeved shirt for protection against the sun and against scratches when riding through undergrowth.
  • A light cotton scarf can help to avoid breathing in too much dust in dry areas.
  • Bring sunglasses, also to protect your eyes from dust.
  • We strongly recommend bringing a water-bottle which can be refilled en-route; these can be carried in the saddle-bags provided.
  • Rain gear suitable for riding should be carried along, particularly during the months from November through April. It is essential that you bring good wet weather gear.  Although it rains very little, when it does it is normally a heavy downpour, consequently a jacket or cape and waterproof trousers are a good idea.
  • Good sun protection - gloves, sunscreen, and hat with a chin strap, sunglasses with straps!
  • A swimsuit, towel, shorts, and a windbreaker should also be taken. 
  • A belt pack in which to carry your camera and other small valuables during the ride is handy.
  • Attire on the ride daytime and evening, is strictly informal throughout, though if you are planning to visit other cities on your own later you may wish to bring dressier evening clothing.
  • Regular film can be obtained locally, but special sizes may not be available - bring plenty.  And make sure you have plentiful batteries.
  • It is a good idea to bring your own soap, since not all the hotels supply it.
Don’t forget your Passport!
 
This list is only a guideline for you
 
Travel documents and Voucher
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)
 
RIDING GEAR
Normal riding gear, no rubber boots, please
Light pants without any strong seams
Ankle-high solid shoes with flat heels
Long sleeved cotton shirts (sun protection)
Riding helmet (recommended for all trips)
Light gloves, if wanted
Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection
 
PERSONAL CLOTHING
Lightweight jacket or vest
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Pyjama
Bag for dirty clothes
Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
Swimsuit
 
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for the emergency)
Sewing kit
Handkerchiefs
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and enough extra films and batteries
Address book and pen (for pictures postcards!)
Sun glasses with strap
Sun tan lotion and lip balm