Mountain & Coast Ride

Catalonia Spain: (IT-SPCA05)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/spain_catalonia_mountain_coast.aspx

Introduction
Catalonia Spain
A circular trail that takes you up the Catalan Pyrenees and down to the Mediterranean Sea, where you can enjoy an incredible gallop on Roses Beach. With our magnificent horses, we ride through the fantastic nature of the Alt Empordà with its Mediterranean forests, stunning coastline and long sandy beaches.

Discover the little medieval villages, like Báscara or Crespià. Pass by wheat fields, poppies and sunflowers. Discover pine forests and cork trees, filled with aromatic herbs to arrive at the end of the Pyrenees, where the mountains meet the sea. We leave the foothills of the Pyrenees and ride through the Alvera wine growing region: olive groves and vineyards, intense natural beauty. We leave the mountains behind us because the rolling plains of the Empordà region are waiting for us, and at the end, in the long curve of the Bay of Roses, miles of beach gallop! We continue along the coastline, enjoying the sea, the cliffs and the breeze, to return to Can Muní through fields and fruit trees.

Coast, beach and Catalan Pyrenees... a perfect formula to enjoy your holidays with excellent horses.

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.

Description
the trail during the week you will be accommodated at specially selected small, high quality rural hotels/inns characteristic of the area (at one of the inns, the rooms are not all en-suite) for an authentic Catalonian getaway.
There is full cell overage along the routes and Wi-Fi is available at all accommodations.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1 & 7: Farmhouse in Llabià  
Night 2: Can Sort near Bàscara
Night 3: Mas Jonquer in Vilanant
Night 4: Can Xiquet Hotel in Cantallops
Night 5: Mas Vivent in Vilamaniscle
Night 6: Mas del Mar in Sant Pere Pescador

Farmhouse in Llabià  
Stay in a lovely 17th century stone farmhouse located deep in the heart of the countryside and which has been recently restored to a very high standard, incorporating all the modern conveniences. All rooms are decorated in rural and charming style and they have 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.
There are common spaces with books and magazines to rest, read or chat. The property also has 2 outdoor pools, a gym and free Wi-Fi access.

Can Sort near Bàscara
Tonight, you will sleep in an imposing former farmhouse that has been classified as heritage building due to its traditional construction featuring meter wide stone walls. The house has recently been renovated and includes all modern amenities: TV, washing machine and free Wi-Fi in public areas. Bedrooms are private but bathrooms may be shared depending on the size of the group. There is an outdoor swimming pool and a beautiful garden with palm trees, where guests can relax.

Mas Jonquer in Vilanant
This stonewall countryhouse has 8 ensuite rooms with air conditioning. There are also some common rooms with board games, a TV and free Wi-Fi access. Amenities include a tennis court, soccer field, table tennis and an outdoor swimming pool.

Can Xiquet Hotel in Cantallops
This elegant hotel offers amazing views of the Alt Empordà. It offers 27 modern bedrooms; all fitted with air conditioning and heating, a satellite TV, free Wi-Fi access, private facilities and large windows. Guests are welcome to use the many hotel facilities including the outdoor swimming pool, paddle tennis court and a gym.

Mas Vivent in Vilamaniscle
This country house offers 8 tastefully decorated guestrooms, all equipped with air conditioning, a flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi access and a private bathroom. There is also a lounge, where guest can relax and enjoy the view of surrounding hills, covered with cork oaks, olive trees and vineyards.

Mas del Mar in Sant Pere Pescador
This small hotel was built during the 17th century and recently been refurbished. It is located in an idyllic location, just a few meters away from the sea, surrounded by nature. The finely decorated bedrooms all have their own bathroom. In addition, there are shared areas and a game room, which guests are welcome to use. There is also an outdoor swimming pool and a small garden with a terrace. Free Wi-Fi is available in common areas.

Room Occupancy
If we are unable to find you a roommate, the single supplement fee will need to be paid locally.


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

Catalonia produces an extraordinary variety of food including wild mushrooms and game meat from the Pyrenees, olives, grapes and wheat from the hilly heartland, all kinds of fruits, vegetables and nuts from the irrigated lowlands, rice and fish from the river deltas and a great variety of fish and shellfish from the coastline. During this trip, we try to make you discover as much local food as possible.

Breakfast is enjoyed at the hotel and is usually buffet style (sausages, cheese, bread, pastries, cereals, juice, tea & coffee...).
We will have a picnic for lunch, including local homemade food and drinks (including wine).
As for dinners, they will be in the hotels and always include a Catalan or Spanish home-made dish with 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 5-7 hours on horseback per day (6 riding days total). 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

Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Day 1 (Saturday): Welcome!
Make your way to our farmhouse, a typical agricultural Catalan property. It is located in a middle of Baix Empordà, just a few kilometres to the beach. The environment, the pool, the meadow and the landscape procure a lovely ambience. We will go through the week’s program and we will have the chance to talk to our guides about our expectations, horse experience, etc., so they will be able to give the right horse to every rider.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at the Farmhouse in Llabià


Day 2 (Sunday): Ride to Can Sort
After a good breakfast, we meet with the horses, tack them, and we go for our first ride. We will leave towards the interior, crossing the alluvial zone of the Ter River: the main artery of this territory that facilitates the irrigation of the fields of fruit trees, corn and cereals. We will pass along Sant Iscle d'Empordà, a typical example of construction of settlements in elevated areas. The most arid terrain awaits us once we have crossed the river. We have lunch in Colomers, close to the river, before making our way to Can Sort. The terrain is ideal to get to know our travel companions. After leaving our friends at the paddock, we can rest and taste the delicacies that Cristina will prepare for us.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Can Sort near Bàscara


Day 3 (Monday): Ride through History
After a good night’s sleep and a tasty breakfast, we are ready to go. Today's route runs between farmlands and forests, passing through several towns of historical interest. We arrive in Bascara, where there are writings dating from the 9th century. Later on, we pass the river Fluvià and cross Pontós with its archaeological site of the 6th century. We will stop in Torre del Ángel, a historic tower from where we will enjoy a panoramic view. Here, with the horses in the shade of the pines, we will take a delicious meal, nap and rest before continuing on our way to our accommodation for the day.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Mas Jonquer in Vilanant


Day 4 (Tuesday): Ride to Cantallops
Today’s route takes us between vineyards and olive trees. We go north, passing through Vilanant and Llers, until we reach the Muga River, in a small dam with waterfall. If weather allows, we can bathe with the horses (the water is always very fresh!). We enjoy a good meal in the shade of some willow tree, and after some well-deserved rest, we continue towards Capmany. In the evening, we arrive in Cantallops (dry stone buildings listed as a world heritage site). From the hotel, we can see the bay of Rosas and treat ourselves to a relaxing massage (reservation required – not included in the package). Tonight we have a typical dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Can Xiquet Hotel in Cantallops


Day 5 (Wednesday): Mediterranean Pyrenees
Today a beautiful mountain route awaits us through the Sierra de la Albera. During the first section we will pass near the impressive castle of Requesens (from the 11th century) now fully restored.
We marvel at the landscape of the Mediterranean Pyrenees, and go on tracks between cork oaks and holm oaks with intermittent views of the sea. We will stop in an enchanted village to replenish energy and rest a little. In the afternoon, the trail will be going across vineyards and olive trees.
We reach Vilamaniscle, where we can see high above the ruins of an old castle. As we are in a wine production area, we will allow ourselves to make a tasting in a “Celler”. Then, in the evening, we enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by Chef Montse.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Mas Vivent in Vilamaniscle


Day 6 (Thursday): Aiguamolls de l’Empordà Natural Park
We leave the Pyrenees behind to go to the beach. We can still see olive trees and vineyards all around us, giving life to villages. Once we reach Garriguella, the terrain becomes flatter and we can increase our pace until we reach Castello d'Empuries. We will pass by Vilanova de la Muga where we will have lunch by the Muga River. We rest under the trees if there is a lot of sun or on the shores of the river if we want to be under the sun. Then, we move on to Castelló d'Empúries and visit this place full of history. The city retains many vestiges of the medieval period. After our visit, we will continue to our destination: the Aiguamolls de l’Empordà Natural Park. Once in installed in our hotel, we can take a walk to the beach to feel the sea breeze while we wait for dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Mas del Mar in Sant Pere Pescador


Day 7 (Friday): Ride back to the farmhouse
Today will be our last full day together.  We will start early so that just when the sun rises we are on the beach. On horseback, next to the sea and with the sun's rays peeking over the horizon, the indescribable feeling of freedom will take us to Sant Martí d'Empúries, where we will stop to shower the horses and have a good breakfast. We will then continue towards the majestic massif of Montgrí. These mountains will have watched us throughout our entire route from the Alt del Baix Empordà. After contemplating the panoramic view at the top, we will cross to reach the southern face, where we will find beautiful views over the Medes Islands, the Ter River and the Gavarres in the background.
We continue to our farmhouse, where we will arrive just in time to eat.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Farmhouse in Llabià


Day 8 (Saturday): Departure
After spending a wonderful vacation together with our horses, the time to say goodbye has come. We hope to welcome you again very soon !
Meals included: Breakfast

Note: Sometimes changes can be made to the program (always under the responsibility and trust of our guides), due to weather conditions, and / or exceptional situations that are beyond our control.


Rates and Dates for Mountain & Coast Ride

Rates include:

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

Packages and Options




Rates Note:

Beach Rides are not possible during the high season (July to September)
No single supplement if willing to share.

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Rates Note:

Beach Rides are not possible during the high season (July to September)
No single supplement if willing to share.


Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2019 Transfer from Barcelona airport (6:00pm), pp, return 170 $205
2019 Transfer from Girona airport (7:30pm), pp, return 70 $85
2019 Single supplement (if requested) 250 $300
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 (3 pax), pp 180 $215
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

Dates Note:
Ask about custom tour dates between March to November

Rates do not include:

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

Note:

Due to COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic and certain travel restrictions we are applying some temporary policy changes to some of our tours.

For Mountain and Coast Ride (IT-SPCA05):
If your booking is affected by the coronavirus pandemic, we offer you the possibility to postpone your trip to a later date. In case you wish to move your 2020 vacation to 2021, this change will be possible at no extra fee (no need to pay the price difference).
Security measures against Covid-19 in our services:
  • We follow all the indications and recommendations, so that customers keep their distance, which is the main thing, but above all we require responsibility.
  • As for the routes, it is not necessary to wear a mask during the ride, but it is necessary when there is no safety distance.
  • We take special care of cleaning and disinfecting all the material and spaces used by our clients.
  • Our breakfasts continue to have a buffet, which can only be accessed after a hand wash and using a mask, then there are different spaces where to have breakfast, in the dining room, outside or on the terrace of the room if they have contracted this type of room and if they wish.
  • At lunches, dinners, whether they are cowboy or in a restaurant or in our accommodation, we have the disinfection guidelines set at all times.
  • In the common spaces and pool, we follow the spacing guidelines of 2 meters.
The important thing is that the space is very wide and coincidences with other clients can be easily avoided, a safety distance can be maintained at all times.

For more information please visit our COVID-19 Updates page at https://www.hiddentrails.com/article/covid19update.aspx

Other Info
Meeting: Llabià
Airport: Girona
Transfer: 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