Horseback riding in Crete, Greece

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Equestrian tours in Greece, Crete
Crete Mountain Explorer Ride

Itinerary for Crete Mountain Explorer Ride

Sample itinerary - subject to changes

Note: There is a Self Guided trip Option available any time with 2+ riders from March-May and Sept to Dec - suitable for Experienced riders ONLY. The route for the unguided trek is exactly the same as the route of the guided trek.

This is an adventurous trail of 160 km through the mountains. We make a quick canter over the Lassithi high plateau and meet the biggest colony vultures of Europe in the high mountains. We sleep on the south coast where we eat fresh fish and swim with the horses. The trail has 3 days over mountainous area where we travel slowly as we decent and ascent over rocky paths and 3 trail days we ride over the flat plateau or through the country side with its villages, olive groves, and wine yards.

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival
Arrival in Heraklion (also known as Iraklion) and transfer to the four-star equestrian resort, Country Hotel Velani****, located near Chersonissos.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at  Country Hotel Velani****

Day 2 (Monday): Ride to Sfendili hills
Today we take an active trip in northerly direction. We ride up the hills of Sfendili, cross the Byzantine church of Avdou, ride quickly over the "Plateau of Mochos" and have an excellent view of the Psiloritis Mountains, the highest peaks of the island.
3 hours in the saddle.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at  Country Hotel Velani****

Day 3 (Tuesday): Ride through the Gorge of Gonies
Today the trail starts with a spectacular climb, riding through the Gorge of Gonies up from sea level to 1100 meters high, over the old and narrow donkey route. In the past, it was the only possible path to the Lassithi Plateau. We enjoy the breathtaking views and eat a lunch cooked in a traditional Greek oven. At the end of the day, we ride over the Lassithi Plateau. This fertile Plateau between the tops of the Dikti Mountains is known for its white windmills irrigating the land and the locals still working with their donkeys. Here, we will have a quick canter over the nice, flat plateau.
6 hours in the saddle.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in either Magoulas, Hotel Dionissos or in Dzermiado Hotel Kourites (subject to availability)

Day 4 (Wednesday): Ride across the Dikti mountains
Today, we cross through the Dikti mountain range in a southern direction and you will experience the unique feeling of being truly alone with the horses, the mountains, and unspoiled nature. A good kind of loneliness. We may come across some rough, but friendly shepherds as well along the way. Transport to Country Hotel Velani **** for overnight, while the horses stay in the mountains 
5 hours in the saddle.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at  Country Hotel Velani****

Day 5 (Thursday): Ride to the Libyan Sea
Today, we ride downhill through desert lands dried by the southern winds out of the very close continent of Africa. We will eventually meet the clear blue waters of the Libyan Sea and go for a refreshing dive. We can normally also go swimming with our horses, but only if sea conditions are safe to do so. Tonight, we will sleep next to the great sea and, of course, here we shall dine on fresh fish from the wood-fire.
6 hours in the saddle and swimming with the horses.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Finikas Rooms in Keratokambos

Day 6 (Friday): Ride along the Anapodaris River
Today, we start with a ride along the sea and coast before we will turn inland again. We follow the Anapodaris River which has cut out an impressive 5-km long gorge. Still now, the water continues to cut the gorge deeper. Careful you may grow dizzy from the incredible depth! Suddenly the land will become more friendly and accessible again; softer hills with many olive and wine yards. We cross through villages and let the horses drink in Lake Ini.  Transport to Country Hotel Veláni**** while horses stay on trail
6 hours in the saddle.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at  Country Hotel Velani****

Day 7 (Saturday): Ride back to Avdou
We ride back to Avdou through the typical Greek countryside. We pass Greek villages where time has stood still. Feel welcome to stop and drink an Ouzo with the Cretans at one of the village squares. Next to our path rises the Dikti Mountains, which we will never forget. 
5 hours in the saddle.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at  Country Hotel Velani****

Day 8 (Sunday): Departure
Breakfast and departure.
Meals included: Breakfast

Non Riders
There are many activity options available - from Para-gliding to Caving, Mountain Biking and Hiking to Golfing (5 miles away), and Massages.
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Crete Mountain Explorer Ride
Tour Code: IT-GR-LAS
8 days / 7 nights ~$1,535.00
Dates : March to November (except July & August)

Trip Rating :
Difficulty : Riding Level
Riding Level Explained
Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
Novice A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
Intermediate A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
D Strong Intermediate
Strong Intermediate An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handlinga spirited horse in open country.
Lodging: Standard
Lodging Level Explained
= Facilities in lodges, estancias, haciendas, resorts, etc.
Basic lodging - some with shared bathroom facilities, usually no AC or room service.
Regular standard room - usually with private bath.
 Accommodations with superior comforts.
 = Trips with nights in tent camps. Sometimes the first and last night are in hotels.
Basic tent camping - everyone helps out with camp chores.
Regular standard with some camp amenities and camp cook.
Camping facilities with superior comforts like camp shower, bathroom facility..
 = Trips that combine nights in hotels and camping.
Basic accommodation and basic camping facilities can be expected.
Regular standard with some nicer amenities.
Only assigned to hotel and camping facilities with superior comforts.

Online Reservation

Check here for details and availability
Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2021 03/14 - 03/21 8d / 7n 8 day ride, AP (High) 3 /10 Reserve
A 2021 04/11 - 04/18 8d / 7n 8 day ride, AP (High) 3 /10 Reserve
A 2021 05/09 - 05/16 8d / 7n 8 day ride, AP (High) 3 /10 Reserve
A 2021 05/23 - 05/30 8d / 7n 8 day ride, AP (High) 3 /10 Reserve
A 2021 06/06 - 06/13 8d / 7n 8 day ride, AP (High) 3 /10 Reserve
A 2021 09/12 - 09/19 8d / 7n 8 day ride, AP (High) 3 /10 Reserve
A 2021 09/26 - 10/03 8d / 7n 8 day ride, AP (High) 3 /10 Reserve
A 2021 10/10 - 10/17 8d / 7n 8 day ride, AP (High) 3 /10 Reserve
B 2021 11/07 - 11/14 8d / 7n 8 day ride, AP (Low) 3 /10 Reserve
Day to Day Itinerary
Rates | Dates
Crete General
Tack: English - Wintec
Horses: Arab, Berber, Thoroughbreds, Warmblo...
Pace: Moderate with trots and canters. Occas...
Walk, Trot, Canter,
Airport: Heraklion International Airport
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