Costa Brava Getaway

Catalonia Spain: (IT-SPCA08)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/Spanish_Costa_Brava.aspx

Introduction
Catalonia Spain
Ride through the landscapes of the Alt Empordà, a land full of fields, ideal to enjoy many trots and canters in a rural setting.

Discover small villages, frozen in the past and varied landscapes, that change at every season. 
While riding along the coast, enjoy the sea breeze, and beautiful views from the cliffs of the Montgrí Natural Park.

It is also possible to extend your program in order to explore the

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
On the trail during the week you will be accommodated at specially selected small, high quality rural hotels/inns characteristic of the area (note: at one of the inns, the rooms are not all en-suite) for a most authentic Catalonian trip.

5-day trip Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1 & 4: Farmhouse in Llabià
Night 2: Can Sort in Bàscara
Night 3: Mas del Mar in Sant Pere Pescador

Accommodation Itinerary with extension - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Farmhouse in Llabià
Night 2: Can Sort in Bàscara
Night 3: Mas del Mar in Sant Pere Pescador
Night 4: Farmhouse in Llabià
Night 5: Mas Masaller in Cruilles
Night 6: Aparthotel Gold Beach in Pals Beach
Night 7: Farmhouse in Llabià



Farmhouse in Llabià 
This charming farmhouse is over 200 years old and provides comfortable rooms, uniquely decorated with objects from the farm. The rooms all come equipped with Wi-Fi, air conditioning, heating, flat-screen TV and private bathroom with bath. It is possible to add extra beds for children with an extra charge. There are common areas where guests can relax, have a chat or read a book.  There is also an outdoor swimming pool and a garden.



Can Sort in Bàscara
This farmhouse with beautiful views is located on the side of a hill and made up of several buildings. Each room is unique but all feature private bathroom, a TV, free Wi-Fi access, wooden beams and careful decoration. They are distributed in different areas, some of them have a terrace or direct access to the garden, and others have excellent views.
The main house has a spacious living room with large windows, fireplace, comfortable sofas and a library. In the evening, guests can relax in the garden.



Mas del Mar in Sant Pere Pescador
This lovely hotel by the sea offers spacious bedrooms with ensuite facilities and Wi-Fi Internet. There is a beautiful garden as well as an outdoor pool where guests can relax after a long day in the saddle.



Mas Masaller in Cruilles
Renovated in 2010, this is a former farmhouse with 6 spacious rooms, all equipped with private bathroom, heating / fan, TV with USB connection and free WIFI. The property also has a big garden with an outdoor pool.



Aparthotel Gold Beach in Pals Beach
Recently renovated (2010), this rural accommodation provides tastefully decorated bedrooms, featuring antiques, en-suite bathroom, heating and fan, a TV and free Wi-Fi. The old vegetable garden is now home to a children’s playground, a Ping-Pong table and an outdoor pool. Guests are also welcome to relax in the shared areas. Aparthotel Golf Beach in Pals Beach
This hotel is surrounded by a forest and is only meters away from Pals beach. The rooms all come equipped with satellite TV, air conditioning, a kettle, a private bathroom and a small terrace or balcony. The hotel also has an outdoor free Wi-Fi access, an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts and a mini golf.


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.

Breakfast is enjoyed at the hotel. 
We will have a picnic for lunch, including local homemade food and drinks (including wine).
As for dinners, they will be in the accommodations where we sleep and always include a Catalan or Spanish home-made food including 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 4-6 hours on horseback per day (6 or 3 riding days total – depending on the program chosen). 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: Welcome

You will arrive at our farmhouse. Before dinner, we will go over the week’s program and learn more about the special characteristics of our horses. You will be given an introduction to the week’s program with an opportunity for a one to one conversation designed to find every rider’s perfect horse (this individual conversation could take place on the next day in the morning instead). Then, you will enjoy a fantastic welcome dinner!
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at the Farmhouse

Day 2: Unknown Costa Brava
After a good breakfast, we will meet the horses, we get ready. We then start making our way towards the interior, crossing the alluvial zone of the river Ter.
We pass through Sant Iscle d'Empordà with its 11th century wall and rectory. This village is a typical example of settlement constructed in somewhat elevated spaces to avoid floods. We will ride on long dirt roads, which will allow us to trot and canter. Along the way, we pass through small villages with stone houses and ruins of medieval origin.
At noon we will reach the river where we will cross a dam. On the other bank of the river we will find a wooded area where our horses will rest while we eat at a local restaurant.
After a good rest, we will continue riding on the way to our next accommodation. Once there, you can relax in the garden before dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Can Sort


Day 3: From River to Sea
This morning we head to the coast, through the Empordà. We ride between lush crops and small villages with many opportunities to ride at a faster pace. We will follow the river up to the sea. During the day we come into contact with water and at several occasions.
After our lunch break, we will continue riding to our beach destination. On the way, we pass through a beautiful Mediterranean forest, with soft dirt paths winding through the trees, a perfect place to enjoy long trots and canters,
Once settled in our new accommodation, we can take a walk to the beach while we wait for dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Mas del Mar


Day 4: Beach and Mountains
For our last riding day, we will get up at dawn so that we can ride on the beach when the sun rises. With the sun's rays peeking over the horizon, we will ride next to the sea with an indescribable feeling of freedom. We will enjoy trotting and cantering, playing with the foam of the waves, until we reach Sant Martí d'Empúries. Here, we stop to shower the horses and have a good breakfast.
We then continue towards the Montgrí mountains, a majestic massif that watched over us throughout the last few days. It is formed of limestone, with sea cliffs over a hundred meters high and is home to a famous 13th century castle. We will ride through this magnificent place.
We will enjoy beautiful views over the Medes Islands, the Ter river and, in the background, the Gavarres mountains.
We should arrive back at the farmhouse in time for lunch.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Farmhouse


Day 5: Departure
Departure after breakfast. We hope to see you soon in another adventure!
Meals included: Breakfast



Optional Beach Extension - 4 days and 3 nights


Day 5: Medieval Villages
The ride takes us through the best preserved medieval towns in Spain. You will cross beautiful medieval villages and the cities that will become quaint terracotta colored settlements the closer you get to them. The small Palau-Sator and incredible Peratallada, are villages of medieval origin completely walled in order to preserve the defensive pit, tower, castle and palace. We will then continue our ride through fields of oaks and pines until we reach our accommodation. It is a country house dating back to the 18th century, located at the foot of the hills of Gavarres. Here, we can enjoy the pool and the pleasant atmosphere of a good homemade dinner with local products.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Mas Masaller in Cruilles


Day 6: Gavarres Park
Today we will cross the mountains of the Gavarres towards the beach of Pals. The Gavarres Park has an extensive network of trails that will allow you to discover the most important cork oaks and pine forests of Catalonia. The vegetation here is rich, shaded by mountain streams, and the forests are made up of oak, hazel and chestnut trees, in contrast to the rest of the predominantly Mediterranean territory. We will have time for a complete meal and be able to recover strength. Then, we will continue the trail passing through the beautiful medieval village of Pals, with history dating back to the 9th-15th century. It is one of the stars of the area with charming stone houses and small cobblestone streets decorated with flowers. It sits on the top of a small hill where we can see the sea in the distance, offering spectacular views. We will continue a little further, until we reach our hotel, just 5 minutes walk from the beach, where we can relax, rest or walk along the beach.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Aparthotel Gold Beach in Pals Beach


Day 7: Beach of Pals
Today we will start early. Shortly after sunrise, after taking breakfast at the hotel, we will prepare our horses and we will go to the beach along a flat territory made out of wetlands and rice plantations. We will arrive at the long beach of Pals, surrounded by dunes and pines. This beach has magnificent views over the Medes Islands, one of the most photographed panoramas of the Costa Brava. We will prepare for the gallop, and together with our four-legged friends, we will play with the waves and the foam. We will continue all the way back to the farmhouse, with the Ter River as a companion and through paths of crops.
Before going back to our accommodation, we will climb the hill to say goodbye with the best possible panorama: the sea in the distance with the three Medes Islands. In the evening, we will have time to relax, talk, sunbathe or swim in the pool.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Farmhouse


Day 8: Departure
Departure after breakfast. We hope to see you soon in another adventure!
Meals included: Breakfast

-----------------------------------

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 Costa Brava Getaway

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals including water and wine, 3 riding days, Tourist tax & Group transfer from/to Girona
Helmets can be borrowed at the farm
Non-riders: All breakfasts and dinners, Accommodations, Tourist tax & Group transfer from/to Girona
Non riders must bring own car.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20235 day trip, AP€1040$1070
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.03

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$
2023 Transfer from Girona train station included at set times 0 $0
2023 Private transfer from Barcelona airport, per car (up to 4 pax), one way 295 $305
2023 Private transfer from Girona airport, per car (up to 4 pax), one way 105 $110
2023 Discount for children from ages 12-17 years- please inquire 0 $0
2023 Discounts for groups from 7 to 12 - please inquire 0 $0
2023 Extra cost for private groups of less than 8 pax – please inquire 0 $0
2023 Single supplement (if requested), per night 35 $35
2023 Non-rider rate, pp (half board - sharing room with rider), per night 95 $100
2023 Optional 4-day Beach Extension (based on double occupancy), pp 850 $875
2023 Small group supplement for 5-day tour (2 pax only), pp
- to be paid locally
150 $155
2023 Small group supplement for 5-day tour (3 pax only), pp
- to be paid locally
100 $105
2023 Small group supplement fo tour + extension (2 pax only), pp
- to be paid locally
300 $310
2023 Small group supplement fo tour + extension (3 pax only), pp
- to be paid locally
200 $205

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2023 03/12 - 03/16 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP 4 /8 Reserve
A 2023 04/16 - 04/20 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP 4 /8 Reserve
A 2023 09/13 - 09/17 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP 4 /8 Reserve
A 2023 09/24 - 09/28 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP 4 /8 Reserve
A 2023 10/25 - 10/29 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP 4 /8 Reserve
A 2023 11/15 - 11/19 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP 4 /8 Reserve

Dates Note: 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 from Barcelona or Girona, Extra drinks, Gratuities & Insurance (mandatory)
Non-riders: Lunches, Private transfers from Barcelona or Girona, Extra drinks, Gratuities & Insurance (mandatory)

Other Info
Meeting: Llabià
Airport: Girona
Transfer: Girona train station

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.
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