Catalonia Explorer Ride

Catalonia Spain: (PR-CJSR)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/spain_catalonia_explorer_ride.aspx

Introduction
Catalonia Spain
Our philosophy: Lives the tranquility, disconnects from the routine, and connects with nature!

The Catalonia Explorer Ride allows you to decide how long you want to ride... from 4-8 days! Starting and finishing in the same place every day, which means no hotel changes and total relaxation!

The Catalonia Explorer Ride is a lovely and exciting ride with mild weather. Through a land full of historic buildings, exciting civilizations, landscapes of great nature, good gastronomy, and good wine. An unforgettable experience! To make this experience more authentic, we suggest you to ride with our Spanish horses! They will guide you through this  region called 'Costa Brava.' A lot of canters and gallops through the unspoiled nature, idyllic beaches, green valleys, and beautiful medieval villages. We also get to enjoy a bath with our horses in the river- endless opportunities!

We invite you to stay at our hotel and cottages, which is a rural farm with a lot of history of our family, with more than 6 generations cultivating the land. Joining the history of the past and authentic rural tourism with all of the services of today.

Accomodation


Accommodations
This is a stationary ride, so all nights are spent at the same location.

Description
Our property is a corner of peace in the heart of the Empordà, on the Costa Brava. From here discover its medieval villages between fields of sunflowers and the beautiful beaches and coves of crystalline waters only 9 kilometers away. Our property is a set of two farmhouses with a lot of history of our family- more than 6 generations cultivating the land.
Enjoy your time on the terrace, in one of the two swimming pools, at the gym, or visiting our beloved farm. You will always have free WiFi, tourist information in the area, and most importantly, a friendly and close service. There is full cell overage along the routes. Laundry is available for an additional cost.



Double/Twin Rooms

All rooms are decorated in rural and charming style with a private bathroom with bathtub and hair dryer, TV, air conditioning, heating, and comfortable 150×200 beds. Extra beds are possible for children with an extra charge. Rooms are cleaned daily. The rooms have common spaces with books and magazines.



Apartments (4 pax)
On the ground floor you will find the well-equipped kitchen-dining room with a hob, oven, microwave, dishwasher, washing machine, fridge freezer, coffee maker and all the necessary storage. Living room with TV, sofa, wood stove, plus the entire apartment has heating and air conditioning. On the top floor a practical bathroom with shower and hair dryer, two bedrooms, one with a double bed and the other with two single beds, ideal for traveling with children. At the back and with a view to the field there is a private terrace with barbecue, table and chairs.



Meals
All meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on your last day are included.

Breakfast is enjoyed at the farm. 
Lunch is usually a picnic or in a local restaurant. 
Dinners are usually at the farmhouse and always include a Catalan or Spanish home-made food including water and wine, with ecological products, celebrating our farmers and their dedicated work.

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

The whole week is from Sunday to Sunday but riders can arrive any day of the week and do any length they feel like (from 2 to 7 riding days)

Riding Experience
This trip is suitable for low intermediate riders and above. You should be able to mount and dismount unassisted, and capable of applying basic aids. For a better experience, you should feel comfortable and in control at all paces.
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.
Depending on the number of participants, we can do 2 groups, according to the riding level: one group would be for less confident riders and the other would be for the most experienced riders.

Horses
We currently have 21 horses. They are all kept together as a herd so have developed a close bond. They are Andalusian 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.

Pace
We spend on average 4-6 hours on horseback per day. The pace is adapted to the riders. We go at all paces. There are many opportunities to canter and gallop through the unspoiled nature, green valleys and beautiful medieval villages. We might need to cross a river at some point.

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

Sample Itinerary- subject to changes

Day 1- Sunday: Welcome to our farm!
We arrive at the rural village of Llabià in the afternoon. It is located in the heart of the Baix Empordà, in the middle of nature and hidden from passers-by. Our farmhouse with stone walls welcomes you. Here you will meet the family and your guide. We will go over the week’s program, you will be told about the special characteristics of our horses, and you will have the opportunity for a one-on-one conversation with our guides designed to find every rider’s perfect horse.

Day 2- Monday: Up to the hill
Today we will leave Llabià and go to the village of Torroella de Montgrí and through the Castell of Montgrí built in the 13th century, at the top of the Montgrí Massif in Torroella de Montgrí. From up the hill we will be able to enjoy magnificent views over the Mediterranean Sea: the beaches and the trails that we ride with the Mountain and Coast Ride. On our way down, we will stop in a nice spot in the forest to enjoy a sitting-down picnic lunch. We will continue our way to the farm where all the amenities will await you in our accommodation.

Day 3- Tuesday: Ter River
Today the route where we will pass orchards in the area of Ter by following the river, with many birds, ducks and a beautiful fauna. A low landscape that will give us the opportunity to enjoy exciting races of gallop while enjoying the nature’s silence and riding across the narrow streets of all the small cities chiseled in stone. The only thing that we hear is the sound of the horse’s hooves.
We will enjoy of a good lunch in a local Restaurant close to the river with a beautiful views. And we will return to our accommodation by the meadows, and beautiful crops of colours, a landscape with big blue skies and the mountain of Montgrí and its Castle will always accompany us on the horizon, it will become our perfect frame during our entire stay. We will to enjoy a well-deserved rest.

Day 4- Wednesday: Amazing Medieval Villages
Today's destination is discovering the Great Middle Age History, passing through Fontanilles and Palau-Sator, two small villages of ancient Roman origin and medieval history of the 9th century. We will always be surrounded by nature, the green color of the fields, and practically a blue sky all year round; this region is famous for its flat terrain, very natural and its precious light. Then we will arrive to Peratallada, one of the most important and best preserved medieval architecture centers in Catalonia, 9th- 13th century. The time here seems to have stopped. We enjoy of a cowboy picnic and free time for take pictures and walk around the village and see houses with Gothic and Renaissance windows and arched doorways with carved shields. We will return to our accommodation, upon our arrival, we will enjoy a relaxing moment in the gardens or in the company of the horses as they wander in the farm’s fields.

Day 5- Thursday: Gallops and more medieval history
Today we will enjoy long canters, olive trees fields, and beautiful paths between pastures and crops. You will experience tranquility and good gallops in a landscape dotted with villages, until you reach Pals. If you liked Peratallada and its great history, you will enjoy of her sister Pals, with history from the 9th to the 15th, cobblestone streets and decorated with flowers. Its more mountainous surroundings will give us incredible views of the territory. We will have a meal in a traditional restaurant. Afterwards we will calmly savor the sky and the landscape.

Day 6- Friday: Iberic Ruins
Today we will have a very interesting day, we will leave after a good breakfast, as every day and we will go towards Ullastret through beautiful landscapes, we will pass through this gothic town, we will continue a little more until we meet the Iberian ruins of Ullastret, the most important and largest ruins in all of Spain. Nearby, we will stop and enjoy a while for a cowboy picnic, then we will go back through Foixá until we reach Els Masos for enjoy a moment or go to visit the area.

Day 7- Saturday: Gallop through crops and fruit trees
Today we will have the opportunity to enjoy a longer and more active ride that will take us to Verges, along the natural park of the Ter river, with a rich nature. We will see apple fields and the poplars plantation. You and your horse will enjoy a goods canter and gallops. Then we will have a good lunch in a traditional restaurant. In the afternoon we will continue through the Natural Park of Montgri, with the Castle on the top, offering beautiful views. This area is very flat, and when climbing a little the ground you can enjoy a incredible panoramic view.
**Today’s lunch will be together with the trail group in case there is one**

Day 8- Sunday: L'Empordanet, beautiful scenery and history  
After a full breakfast, it's time to prepare our four-legged friends and go out to enjoy together the so-called Empordanet, a name that the locals give to the area of small towns from the medieval era, in the interior of the Costa Brava. We can enjoy the freedom of trotting and galloping on flat trails with beautiful views, fresh air and tranquility. We will pass by small villages with stone houses, until we reach the star place of the day, Monells, a small town very well conserved, with a lot of charm. We will take a well-deserved time to eat, rest and be able to walk the quiet cobblestone streets. We will return to our accommodation through Mediterranean pine forests, vineyards, fields and farmhouses.

Day 9- Monday: Goodbye friends
Breakfast and departure.... We hope to see you soon again! (Or why not continue with another week trail in the mountains?)

Note: sometimes changes may apply to the program due to weather conditions or special situations beyond our control always under our guides’ responsibility and trust.


Rates and Dates for Catalonia Explorer Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations at farmhouse, all meals, riding, tourist tax

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20194 day trip, AP- 2 days riding€520$625
    • Single supplement (if not willing to share)€100$120
  • B
    20195 day trip, AP- 3 days riding€700$840
    • Single supplement (if not willing to share)€135$165
  • C
    20196 day trip, AP- 4 days riding€885$1065
    • Single supplement (if not willing to share)€165$200
  • D
    20197 day trip, AP- 5 days riding€1075$1290
    • Single supplement (if not willing to share)€200$240
  • E
    20198 day trip, AP- 6 days riding€1160$1395
    • Single supplement (if not willing to share)€230$275
  • F
    20199 day trip, AP- 7 days riding€1245$1495
    • Single supplement (if not willing to share)€260$315
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.2

Rates Note:

** Sunday is non-riding day

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Rates Note:

** Sunday is non-riding day


Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2019 Transfer from Barcelona airport (6:00pm), pp, return 110 $135
2019 Transfer from Girona airport (7:30pm) or train station 70 $85
2019 Discount for children from ages 12-17 years- please inquire 0 $0
2019 Non-rider rate pp, per night (half board - sharing room with rider) 85 $105
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 Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
A 2019 01/01 - 12/31 4d / 3n 4 day trip, AP- 2 days ridin... 2 /12 Reserve
B 2019 01/01 - 12/31 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP- 3 days ridin... 2 /12 Reserve
D 2019 01/01 - 12/31 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP- 5 days ridin... 2 /12 Reserve
C 2019 01/01 - 12/31 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP- 4 days ridin... 2 /12 Reserve
E 2019 01/01 - 12/31 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP- 6 days ridin... 2 /12 Reserve
F 2019 01/01 - 12/31 9d / 8n 9 day trip, AP- 7 days ridin... 2 /12 Reserve

Dates Note: Confirmed departure: Mar 10 and May 4

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.

This list is only a general HT trip guideline for you...
 
Travel documents and Voucher
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)
 
RIDING GEAR
Normal riding boots, no rubber boots, please
Light pants without any strong seams
Ankle-high paddock boots with flat heels and chaps
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
Pyjamas
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

SPECIFICALLY FROM OUR PARTNER IN CATALONIA:
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 is recommended 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. There will be NO  opportunity to have laundry done while on the ride.
It is best to pack in soft sided luggage rather than suitcase styles.  It is much more efficient for the staff to handle and transport!

THERE ARE HELMETS AVAILABLE FOR RIDERS TO BORROW, HOWEVER, WE CAUTION THAT IF YOU WISH TO GUARANTEE YOU COMFORT AND FIT, YOU SHOULD BRING YOUR OWN!