El Cid - Arlanza Valley

Central Spain Spain: (PG-BUT8)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/spain_elcid_arlanza.aspx

Central Spain Spain
A trip for nature lovers, the horse enthusiast, the gourmet who enjoys tasting the flavor of a new country, or for the curious traveler ready to experience the lifestyle and traditions of a different people!

This trip explores a changing landscape of mountains and vast plains, rivers and valleys, forests and plateaus. A land celebrated by poets and exalted by past travelers- here you can follow the tracks of "El Cid" the Spanish hero from centuries long gone. This is the cradle of the Spanish language, its history is the legend of conquests. Here the center of Spanish medieval history is at your fingertips. The area's importance during that particular epoch is still evident in its cathedrals, monasteries, castles and fortified towns, many of which are preserved in unbelievably perfect state. We have established an extraordinary two week holiday or you can ride a one week segment, both lead by Jose Manuel, who has lived all his life in the region and is proud to share his knowledge with you. He does not speak English, but somehow everyone understands him very well- Of course it helps that he is always accompanied by an interpreter and a horse guide!
The trip starts following the tracks of “El Cid”, the Castilian hero of medieval times. We ride along the Arlanza River, starting from the historic town of Llerma all the way up to the river’s origin. The area is one of transition where vast wild plains and pleasant valleys alternate, with natural occurring great beauty. It is an original Spanish landscape in the heart of Castile, once a kingdom reaching from the Bay of Biscay in the north to Andalusía in the south. The valley of Arlanza offers an extraordinary heritage; Lerma, San Pedro de Arlaza, Covarrubias and Silos, all especially significant in the history of Castile. One thousand year old churches prevail and villages with 500 year old houses accompany your riding trail. You will be lead through isolated karst scenery to the medieval city Covarrubias. Passing the monastery of Sto Domingo de los Silos, you ride through light oak forests, cross beautiful rivers and vast pastureland, along lakes, through wild canyons and mountain paths until you reach Sierra de Neila. The picnic lunches are all well prepared with all the trimmings. Dinners are in local restaurants with delicious and authentic local menus. A medieval style banquet ends this first week on the footsteps of “El Cid”.


This is a progressive ride so nights will be spent in different accommodations.

Overnight accommodations on this ride are in comfortable hotels with en-suite bathrooms. Wi-Fi connection is available in all accommodations.
There are no laundry facilities available on this trip.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Nights 1 & 2: Hotel in Covarrubias (2 options)
Night 3: Hotel in Santo Domingo de Silos
Night 4: Hotel in Navas del Pinar
Night 5: Hotel in S. Leonardo de Yagüe
Night 6: Guesthouse in Quintanar de la Sierra (2 options)
Night 7: Hotel in Covarrubias (2 options)

Hotel (option 1) in Covarrubias
This charming hotel offers 45 bedrooms in the heart of Covarrubias. The rooms feature a Castilian décor with beamed ceilings and wooden furniture. All rooms come equipped with private facilities, free Wi-Fi, a TV and air conditioning.

Hotel (option 2) in Covarrubias
This rural hotel displays the typical architecture of the region (featuring old stones and wood) and has a small garden where guest can relax. The rooms are decorated with warm colors and all include a fan, heating, a TV, free Wi-Fi access, a private bathroom and a balcony with nice views of the surroundings. There are common areas (living room with fireplace, books and games & garden) which guests are welcome to use.

Hotel in Santo Domingo de Silos
This hotel was built during the 18th century and features a typical Castilian architecture, with beautiful stonewalls. Nowadays, the hotel welcomes guest in 16 tastefully decorated bedrooms, all fitted with a TV, internet access and a private bathroom.

Hotel in Navas del Pinar
This accommodation is located in a big stone house built with in Serrano style. It has 6 double bedrooms (all with ensuite bathrooms), a kitchen and a big living room with a TV and a fireplace.

Hotel in San Leonardo de Yagüe
This rural hotel benefits from great views thanks to its ideal location, on top of a hill. The rooms are simply furnished and come equipped with a TV, free Wi-Fi access and a private bathroom. There is a small terrace garden and a lounge where guests can have a chat or just relax.

Guesthouse (option 1) in Quintanar de la Sierra
This guesthouse is set in a beautiful stone building and features a rustic décor. The rooms are tastefully decorated and all have a flat screen TV, a safe box, air conditioning, a private bathroom and free Wi-Fi access. Common areas include a lounge with a fireplace and a terrace.

Guesthouse (option 2) in Quintanar de la Sierra
This guesthouse features a traditional mountain architecture with ashlar stones and typical conical chimneys. The 34 air-conditioned rooms are all fitted with a TV and private bathroom. Free Wi-Fi is available in public areas.

Room Occupancy
If we are unable to find another rider to share the room with you, the single supplement fee applies.

All meals are included with this trip.
We serve mainly Spanish dishes.

The picnics are prepared fresh daily and feature local products.
Dinners are in local restaurants with delicious local specialties.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to all dietary restrictions with prior notice.

This trip includes some wine with dinner and can accommodate special dietary requests.


We currently have around 20 horses, mainly locally Andalusian, Andalusian crosses and Spanish breeds. They average between 15hh and 16hh and are a forward going, responsive and thoroughly enjoyable ride. They are also good natured, nimble and sure-footed.
The stables where horses live are fully equipped and designed for the comfort and well-being of our horses.


Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Day 1 (Saturday): Arrival
Arrival at Madrid Airport and transfer to the first night's hotel in Covarrubias. Here we enjoy a fine dinner and have the chance to learn a little about the history of El Cid, a medieval Castilian hero in the fight against the Moorish occupation of 10th century Spain. On this horse riding holiday, we follow in his footsteps and the dramatic events of those times, visiting the monasteries and villages he did 1000 years ago.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Hotel Nuevo Arlanza or Hotel Doña Sancha or similar in Covarrubias

Day 2 (Sunday): Ura Valley Ride
We start our adventure. Leaving beautiful Covarrubias, one of the first areas to be reconquered from the Moors in the late ninth century and the birthplace of the Castilian language, we go for a ride to the Ura Valley, a small canyon that crosses the river Mataviejas. This circular ride returns us once again to Covarrubias where we enjoy another wonderful supper in this historic village before retiring for the night.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel Nuevo Arlanza or Hotel Doña Sancha or similar in Covarrubias

Day 3 (Monday): Covarrubias to Santo Domingo de Silos
We continue on along El Cid's banishment route, crossing the Arlanza river near Covarrubias. Then we take the road to Retuerta and later to Contreras, also know as the “town of the one hundred fountains”. Finally we reach Santo Domingo de Silos, a well known Village due to its Romanic Monastery of the XI century, one of the most beautiful in all Spain. 
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel Coronas II or similar in Santo Domingo de Silos

Day 4 (Tuesday): Santo Domingo de Silos to Navas del Pinar
We leave Santo Domingo de Silos traversing Alto de Peñacoba , Marmolar and Tierra de Pinares (land of pines). Then we get to Navas del Pinar at the entrance of Parque Natural del Cañón del Río Lobos. We walk surrounded by pine groves and cross deserted mountain towns where all the inhabitants have left for the cities.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Casa Rural La Fuente or similar in Navas del Pinar

Day 5 (Wednesday): Navas del Pinar to S. Leonardo de Yagüe
Today, we ride through the spectacular Parque Natural del Cañón de Río Lobos, protected land and a sanctuary for birds. This is a 16 km canyon, made by Río Lobos that runs through the provinces of Burgos and Soria, surrounded by steep cliffs on both sides, lush vegetation underfoot and ancient trees and poplars. There are also many caves and wells. At the end of this canyon, we emerge in Casarejo, in the province of Soria.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel Manrique de Lara or similar in S. Leonardo de Yagüe 

Day 6 (Thursday): S. Leonardo de Yagüe to Quintanar de la Sierra
We leave Cañón del Río lobos, riding through the pinewoods of Pino Valsain and get to Canicosa de la Sierra and Quintanar de la Sierra in the Province of Burgos. Here we will visit the Necrópolis de Revenga, craved into rock and very imaginative medieval cemetery. You can also admire rocks marked with dinosaur tracks. Dinner and lodging in Posada las Mayas or Casa Ramón or similar.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Posada las Mayas or Casa Ramón or similar in Quintanar de la Sierra

Day 7 (Friday): Quintanar de la Sierra to source of river Arlanza
We leave these beautiful mountain towns and begin our last day riding through pine woods in our way to the source of river Arlanza. After a lunch here, we return at last to Covarrubias where the adventure began.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel Nuevo Arlanza or Hotel Doña Sancha or similar in Covarrubias

Day 8 (Saturday): Departure
Departure and transfer to Madrid after breakfast when we must bid farewell to Spain.
Meals included: Breakfast

Please note: This itinerary is given for your guidance only and it may be altered in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organizing team.

Rates and Dates for El Cid - Arlanza Valley

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals, 6 riding days & Transfers from/to Madrid Airport at set times
Helmets can be provided

Packages and Options

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:

2020 Transfer from/to Madrid airport included at set times 0 $0
2020 Single supplement 160 $185

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:



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

For El Cid Arlanza Valley Ride (PG-BUT8):

We are open again since May 2020 with the following rules:
- Number of participants per lesson is limited to 5.
- In the event of quarantine, symptoms of illness, or contact with an infected person, do not come into the stable under any circumstances.
- Maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 - 2 meters. No handshakes and no hugs.
- Only enter narrow spaces such as the saddle room and toilet rooms individually.
- If possible, only ONE person per horse (exception youth with parents).

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

Other Info
Meeting: Madrid
Airport: Madrid
Transfer: Madrid Airport- usually at 17:30.

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Source: NOAA

The overall climate of Castilla is similar to Southern California. It benefits from a continental Mediterranean climate with hot summers, pleasant and moderate temperatures in the spring and fall, and fairly cool temperatures in the winter.

Rain is possible anytime of the year, but rare in summer. The main rainy season is from the end of October to of May.

What To Bring:
Rain gear suitable for riding should be carried along, particularly during the months from November through April.
A belt pack in which to carry your camera and other small valuables during the ride is handy.
Attire is strictly informal throughout, though if you are planning to visit other cities on your own later you may wish to bring a jacket and tie. Regular film can be obtained locally, but special sizes may not be available-bring plenty. It is a good idea to bring your own soap, since not all hotels supply it.
Also, please bring comfortable walking boots as you have to walk with the horses downhill on a rocky surface at times.

This list is only a guideline for you


Travel documents and Voucher
Flight tickets
Visa (check with your consulate)


English or Western riding attire
Comfortable/riding boots
A hard hat is not required, but recommended for safety
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection
Rain coat/Wax jacket


Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Underwear and socks
Light summer jacket
Warm jacket
Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for the emergency)
Sewing kit
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and enough extra films
Belt pack
Sun glasses with strap
Sun tan lotion and lip balm
Small bar of soap