Mountain & Sea Ride

Catalonia Spain: (IT-SPCA06)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/spain_catalonia_mountain_sea.aspx

Introduction
Catalonia Spain
This progressive ride will allow you to explore the Baix Empordà and the Costa Brava: two beautiful natural areas. The mountains and sea will accompany us all along our ride.

During this trip, you will learn about the history of the region from the Megalithic era to present times.

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.
Wi-Fi is available at all accommodations.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Nights 1, 2 & 7: Farmhouse in Llabià  
Nights 3 & 4: Mas Massaller in Cruilles
Nights 5 & 6: Hotel in Pals



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.

Mas Massaller in Cruïlles
Reformed in 2010, Mas Masaller has 6 spacious bedrooms, all equipped with en-suite bathroom, heating and fan, TV with USB connection and free Wi-Fi.

Aparthotel Golf Beach in Pals
This hotel is located just outside of Pals, only a few hundred meters away from the beach. The rooms are simply decorated and all feature a TV, private facilities and free Wi-Fi access. There is also an outdoor pool where guests can cool off.

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, mainly Andalusians and Spanish-Arabian crossbreds. They are all kept together as a herd so they have developed a close bond. All our horses live together in semi-freedom, in an area of more than 60,000 m2, featuring different environments (holm oak forest and fields with forage). 
They are 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 5-6 hours on horseback per day. The pace is moderate with plenty of opportunities to canter.

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 the weight limit 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

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

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival
Pick up at the airport (depending on travel conditions) or by your own means to our rural farmhouse and equestrian center. Once you arrive, you will receive all the information about the routes, points of interest, as well as other points that may have relevance for a good development of your holidays on horseback.
Dinner will be with all the other riders so that everyone has their first contact and we can start feeling like a team.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at the Farmhouse in Llabià


Day 2 (Monday): Route of the Pirates & Fortified Masias
It is time to make contact with our companions and become familiar with them. Then we start our ride along a quiet and calm route to the Ter River. We ride towards Montgrí, passing by fortified farmhouses. You will be able to see how theses farmhouses were able to defend their inhabitants when there were pirate attacks. Then, we will continue passing by the bottom of Montgrí, until we get to the beach. Later on, we will cross the river and make our way back to the accommodation. On our way, we will go through apple crops and fields that used to be ponds and wetlands.
Riding time: 5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Farmhouse in Llabià


Day 3 (Tuesday): Medieval Villages of Catalonia
Today we are going to make our way to the mountains, getting closer to some medieval villages. In Peratallada, Canapost, Castell d'Empordà, Monells, Cruilles we will see stone constructions from the medieval period. Then, we will arrive at the Mas Masaller accommodation where after setting up the horses, we can rest in a quiet environment. In the evening, we can savor some traditional dishes prepared by Joan and Marta.
Riding time: 5.5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Mas Masaller in Cruilles


Day 4 (Wednesday): "Romantic" Mirador of Costa Brava
Today’s route takes us through cork oaks and chestnut trees, passing through St Cebriá de Lladó, "Els Metges" of Romanesque times. We enjoy unbeatable views from the Pyrenees to the Costa Brava. Next, we find the first megalithic vestige, a dolmen at the strategic viewpoint of “Puig d'Arques”. Then, we make our way to our accommodation for tonight. We will go through narrow paths and we will find the hermitage of Sta Llucia d'Arboç, another example of Romanesque construction.
Riding time: 5.5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Mas Masaller in Cruilles


Day 5 (Thursday): Ride through History
After a good breakfast, we will head to the beach. On the way, we will be able to see old ice wells (abundant in the vicinity), the Dolmen "Tres Peus" (one of the most well preserved megalithic monuments of the area) and then we will enjoy the wide views over the whole plain with the blue Mediterranean Sea to accompany us. We will stop at some monuments such as the church of Sta. Coloma de Fitor, dating from the 10th century. We ride through forests and Roman trails, surrounding the medieval village of Pals, where we will be accommodated tonight, just a few meters away from the beach. Once the horses have been fed, we can have a nice rest in the cozy accommodation or go for a walk to the fine sand beach of Playa del Racó.
Riding time: 5.5 to 6 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at a Hotel in Pals


Day 6 (Friday): In the Heart of the Costa Brava
Today, we are going to make a circular ride passing through old mines and paths with holm oaks, cork oaks and pines, going to a high viewpoint where we can contemplate this beautiful landscape: Queremany. This viewpoint has splendid views of the beach of Pals, where some historians say that you were able to see the departure of Christopher Columbus’s ships on his first trip to America. With this beautiful scenery surrounding us, we will continue our way to Pals and our accommodation.
Riding time: 5.5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at a Hotel in Pals


Day 7 (Saturday): Between the Ter River, the Sea & the Rice Fields
We depart very early. There is the possibility of riding on the beach but we have to keep in mind that we are inside a natural park and there may be restrictions. We follow the entire beach to the mouth of the Ter River and we leave the sea behind, riding through apple trees and rice crops, where, depending on the time of year, we can enjoy magnificent rice fields: the Arrós of Pals. Tonight, we will taste a good rice casserole to close this magnificent trip.
Riding time: 5.5 hours 
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Farmhouse in Llabià


Day 8 (Sunday): Departure
With the memory of having shared amazing times together, everyone will head back home after breakfast.
Meals included: Breakfast,

Beach Rides are not possible during the high season (July to September)




Non Riders
Non-riding companions are welcome to join this trip. It is best to have a car in order to do some sightseeing while the rest of the group explores on horseback. 


Rates and Dates for Mountain & Sea Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals with water and wine, 6 riding days with multilingual guide, 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




Rates Note:

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:

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$
2021 Transfer from Girona train station included at set times 0 $0
2021 Non-rider rate, pp (half board - sharing room with rider) 665 $795
2021 Discount for children from ages 12-17 years- please inquire 0 $0
2021 Discounts for groups from 8 to 12 - please inquire 0 $0
2021 Extra cost for private groups of less than 5 pax – please inquire 0 $0
2021 Single supplement (if requested)
- to be paid locally
210 $250
2021 Private transfer from Barcelona, per car (up to 4 pax), one way 250 $300
2021 Private transfer from Girona, per car (up to 4 pax), one way 90 $110

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
C 2021 12/26 - 01/02 8d / 7n 8 day Trip, AP (Holiday Spec... 2 /8 Expired

Dates Note:
The 8-day program can be organized at any time of the year ( high season is from April to October)
There is the possibility of expanding your stay before or after the program - inquire for price (to be paid locally)

Rates do not include:

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

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 Sea Ride (IT-SPCA06):

If your booking is affected by the coronavirus pandemic, we offer you the possibility to postpone your trip to a later date. We would need to know at least one week in adavnce in order to make the change.

Covid prevention measures:

  • all riders must wear their own equipment (helmet, boots, gloves, etc.)
  • take temperature daily before starting the route
  • all materials are disinfected daily as well as areas for preparing horses
  • the use of a mask is mandatory during the preparation of the horses provided that it is not possible to keep the safety distance,


On itinerant routes:

  • individual hydroalcoholic gel jar always available.
  • each rider will be responsible for being the only person manipulating the riding equipment.
  • the measures established at each accommodation must be observed.
  • at the lunch stops the necessary measures of distance and hygiene will be maintained.
  • at restaurant, the rules of each establishment will be respected and in case of restriction of the number of guests per table, if the group is higher than the established maximum, it will have to be divided.
  • the reservation of single rooms is recommended in case of not being people of the same bubble, if you choose to share a room, it will be at your own responsibility.
  • it may be that some of the measures forced to reduce the number of participants in some route, this will be verified according to the circumstances and sanitary recommendations

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 train station

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