Ampurdan and Costa Brava Discovery Ride

Catalonia Spain: (IT-SPCA07)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/spain_catalonia_ampurdan_ride.aspx

Introduction
Catalonia Spain
We offer you two options: a long ride (5 riding days) or a short ride (3 riding days).

Whatever option you choose, our riding program includes lovely and exciting rides around the Baix Empordà territory: a beautiful place with a temperate climate. You will have the opportunity to discover a land full of historic buildings, exciting civilizations, stunning landscapes, good food, and good wine. An unforgettable experience!

Our Spanish horses will make the experience even more authentic and will guide you through the 'Costa Brava'! A lot of canters and gallops through the unspoiled nature, idyllic beaches, green valleys, and beautiful medieval villages await! You will also have the opportunity to bathe with the horses in a river.

During this trip, you will be staying in our rural farmhouse full of history, every night, which means that you can fully relax and enjoy your time here.

Accomodation


Accommodations
During the stationary ride, all nights are spent at the same location: a beautiful farmhouse near Llabià. 

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 (dating back to the 18th century) with a lot of family history - over 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.

The 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.

We also have an apartment that can accommodate up to 4 people. 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.

Room Occupancy
We only charge a single supplement fee for solo riders who wish to have their own private room.



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

Breakfast is enjoyed at the farm.
For lunch, we will have a picnic or go to a local restaurant.
As for dinners, they will be 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

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. 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. Experienced riders over this weight might be able to ride (please inquire).

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: Arrival
In the afternoon, arrival at our rural farmhouse. It is located in the heart of Baix Empordà, in the middle of nature. Before enjoying dinner, we will review the program of the week. We will talk about our horses and have the opportunity to talk one by one to find the perfect horse for each rider (this individual conversation can also take place on the next day in the morning). Then, you can relax and enjoy a fantastic welcome dinner!
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at the Farmhouse in Llabià


Day 2: Torroella de Montgrí & Montgrí Natural Park
Today we will leave Llabià and go to Torroella de Montgrí, a town of medieval origin, which currently maintains a balance between modernity and traditional country life. It is guarded by a Castle built in 13th century, perched 322 meters above sea level. We will then continue on our way into the Montgrí Natural Park. The bare limestone that characterizes the massif contrasts with the Continental Dune area, populated by pine trees to fix the sand terraces. Halfway along the route, we will enjoy an exceptional view of the sea and we will take advantage of this idyllic point to replenish energy with a delicious meal.
We will take some rest and go down on foot to Cala Pedrosa, where we can take a bath.
To get back to the horses, we go through paths that are surrounded by scrub and limestone. Once we are back in the saddle, we continue towards farm fields and the Ter River, identifying some masies with guard towers (previously used as protection against pirates) along the way.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Farmhouse in Llabià


Day 3: Medieval Villages
Today’s route will have us passing through Fontanilles and Palau-Sator, two small towns of ancient Roman origin and medieval history (9th century). However, we will always be surrounded by nature. This region is famous for its flat and natural terrain as well as its beautiful light. We will also visit Peratallada, one of the most important and best preserved centers of medieval architecture in Catalonia (from the 9th to the 13th centuries). Here, time seems to have stopped. We will take time to visit and enjoy the architecture of the houses with Gothic and Renaissance windows and arched doors with carved shields. We will stop for a drink, before making our way to Els Clots de Sant Julià, where we will have lunch.
Once back at the farmhouse, we will enjoy a relaxing moment in the gardens or in the company of the horses as they wander in the farm’s fields.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Farmhouse in Llabià


Day 4: Along the Ter River
This morning, we make our way places to Torroella, in order to cross the Ter River. Fields of apple trees, corn and cereals (depending on the season) will escort us. The terrain is practically flat throughout the whole route, which will make it easier for us to increase the pace.
We will arrive in Verges, cradle of the Catalan singer-songwriter Lluis Llach, and continue among fields. This region is highly productive thanks to the proximity of the Ter River. When we arrive in Colomers, we will have lunch to regain strength. Under the shadow of the poplars and with the singing of the water, we will relax to soon make our way back to the farmhouse.
We will pass through Sant Romà de Sidilla an abandoned medieval town where there are remains of a church and also Sant Iscle d'Empordà, an example of how the inhabitants of past eras built the settlements in high elevation to prevent flooding caused by the Ter River.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Farmhouse in Llabià


Day 5: L'Empordanet
After a complete breakfast, it is time to prepare our four-legged friends and go out to enjoy together the so-called Empordanet (name that the locals give to the area of small towns of medieval origins, located in the interior of the Costa Brava). Our first stop will be at Monells: a small town very well preserved, with a lot of charm (the walls of the old castle are preserved). We will take a well-deserved lunch, rest and stroll through the quiet cobbled streets. On the way back to our farmhouse, we will pass near Catalan masies and the Castell d'Empordà. We will also discover the Iberian ruins of Ullastret, the most important and largest ruins in all of Catalonia.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Farmhouse in Llabià


Day 6: Ride to Pals
Our destination for the day is Pals. Following different sections of the Daró River, we reach El Molí de Pals (15th century), a symbol of the rice culture in the area. When approaching Pals, we must set foot and visit its historic center, taking the opportunity to eat, relax and immerse ourselves in the atmosphere of its cobbled streets.
We will pass through Sant Feliu, Sant Julia de Boada and Sant Pau de Fontclara (a former Benedictine monastery with original paintings dating from the 11th century).
Just before going back to the farmhouse, we go up to the Mirador de la Font Pascuala, yo enjoy a spectacular view over the Montgrí, the Mediterranean Sea, the Medes Islands, Pals and Begur. At the viewpoint, we can also see the remains of an Iberian settlement. In the past, this was a prime location due to the elevation (giving good visibility) and the presence of water.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Farmhouse in Llabià


Day 7: Ride to the Mediterranean Sea
Today, we start early as a long day awaits us. On our way to the beach, we visit two medieval towns and explore a Mediterranean forest. Our ride follows the Playa Grande until the mouth of the river Ter "La Gola" to the Mediterranean Sea. Here, we have an excellent view over the Medes Islands. On the way back, we follow the Ter River.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Farmhouse in Llabià


Day 8: Departure day
Breakfast and departure.... We hope to see you soon again! (Or why not continue with another week trail in the mountains?)
Meals included: Breakfast

NOTE: Beach rides are not possible during the high season (July to September). However, we can always enjoy ocean views on our horse, and we can walk on the beach without the horses.


Rates and Dates for Ampurdan and Costa Brava Discovery Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals with water and wine, riding days according to program, Luggage transport, Tourist tax & Group transfers to/from Girona
Non-riders: All breakfasts and dinners & Accommodations. Must bring own car!
Helmets can be provided

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20207 day trip, AP (High) - 5 days riding€1175$1330
    • Single supplement (if not willing to share)€180$205
  • B
    20205 day trip, AP (High) - 3 days riding€760$860
    • Single supplement (if not willing to share)€120$140
  • C
    20207 day trip, AP (Low) - 5 days riding€1075$1215
    • Single supplement (if not willing to share)€180$205
  • D
    20205 day trip, AP (Low) - 3 days riding€700$795
    • Single supplement (if not willing to share)€120$140
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.13

Rates Note:

** Sunday is non-riding day
For single person willing to share: if we are unable to find another person to share the room with you within 15 days of trip departure, you must pay the single supplement fee (to be paid locally).

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Rates Note:

** Sunday is non-riding day
For single person willing to share: if we are unable to find another person to share the room with you within 15 days of trip departure, you must pay the single supplement fee (to be paid locally).


Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2020 Transfer included from Girona airport or train station at set times 0 $0
2020 Non-rider rate pp, per night (half board - sharing room with rider) 95 $110
2020 Private transfer from Barcelona, per car (up to 4 pax), one way
This is a "Group Rate"
245 $280
2020 Private transfer from Girona, per car (up to 4 pax), one way
This is a "Group Rate"
85 $100
2020 Discount for children from ages 12-17 years- please inquire 0 $0
2020 Discounts for groups from 7 to 12 pax - please inquire 0 $0

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
D 2020 02/05 - 02/09 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (Low) - 3 day... 2 /8 Expired
C 2020 02/09 - 02/15 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Low) - 5 day... 2 /8 Expired
D 2020 03/04 - 03/08 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (Low) - 3 day... 2 /8 Expired
C 2020 03/08 - 03/14 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Low) - 5 day... 2 /8 Expired
D 2020 03/22 - 03/26 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (Low) - 3 day... 2 /8 Expired
C 2020 04/05 - 04/11 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Low) - 5 day... 2 /8 Reserve
D 2020 04/22 - 04/26 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (Low) - 3 day... 2 /8 Reserve
C 2020 05/10 - 05/16 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Low) - 5 day... 2 /8 Reserve
D 2020 05/20 - 05/24 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (Low) - 3 day... 2 /8 Reserve
C 2020 10/04 - 10/10 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Low) - 5 day... 2 /8 Reserve
C 2020 11/01 - 11/07 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Low) - 5 day... 2 /8 Reserve
C 2020 11/22 - 11/28 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Low) - 5 day... 2 /8 Reserve
C 2020 12/06 - 12/12 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Low) - 5 day... 2 /8 Reserve

Dates Note: Available any time from June 21, 2020 to September 5, 2020 (high season rates)

Rates do not include:

Private transfers, Extra drinks & Gratuities
Non-riders: Lunches

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

Climate:
                                                    Girona 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