Smugglers Trails

Catalonia Spain: (PR-CJSP04)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/Spain_Smugglers_Trails.aspx

Introduction
Catalonia Spain
This progressive ride through the majestic Pyrenees Mountains, allows you to discover the local gastronomy as well as the beautiful Romanesque villages of Catalonia.

Follow remote trails through the mountains that were once used by local contrabandists to cross the border to France.

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a progressive ride so you will be staying in different locations each night.

Description
The accommodations while out on the mountain trail are in charming local inns and small hotels, specially selected for their character and comfort as well as for their cuisine.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Apartments L’Abella
Night 2: Forn de Beget
Night 3: Hostal El Quintà
Nights 4, 5 & 6: Hotel La Cabanya

Apartments L’Abella
This is a former manor house dating from 1730 with classic rural architecture. It was fully restored in 2002 and converted into a charming and quiet residence. Today it has 4 independent apartments. Each are fully equipped with one double bedroom, one triple bedroom, one bathroom, a living room, a fully equipped kitchen, TV, and fireplace.

Forn de Beget
This accommodation is located in a remote mountain village with typical stone houses. It offers simply decorated rooms equipped with a TV and private facilities.

Hostal El Quintà
This rural guesthouse provides guest with a comfortable bed and private bathrooms. The view over the surrounding mountains is stunning!

Hotel La Cabanya
A quaint hotel in the village of Setcases where you can enjoy nature in the middle of a quiet and familial atmosphere. Depending on your room, you will have views on the mountains, the Valley of Camprodon, the Valle del Ter, or Setcases village. All rooms contain private bathrooms and a TV.

Room Occupancy
Single supplement is not charged for those willing to share.


Meals
All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 7.

The meals on this trip represent the great delights of the Catalan cuisine! Lunches will vary, sometimes you start early and return in time for lunch or you will picnic along the way. Catalonia produces an extraordinary variety of foodstuffs: wild mushrooms and game from the Pyrenees, the trinity of olives, grapes and wheat from the hilly heartland, all manner 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 Catalonia's 500 km of coastline.

Enjoy a delicious pairing of wine with your meal.

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

Tack
The tack is English and trekking style and most horses are ridden in snaffles. Saddle bags are provided to carry items required during the day and for picnic lunches.

Horses
The horses used are well schooled Spanish, Hispano-Arabians, Arabians, Anglo-Arabian, and Quarter horses. They have all been carefully chosen and most are between 14.2hh (150cm) and 16hh (165cm) and are of a medium build. They are sure-footed, fit, forward going, responsive to ride and well adapted to the requirements of the sometimes rough terrain.
The horses are all trained using natural horsemanship techniques, which helps to create an enthusiastic, good natured horse that is keen to collaborate with its rider, and really enjoys its work.
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. The horses live outside all the year round in a herd to helps to create a psychologically balanced animal well adapted to the necessities of trail riding and group riding. The herd of 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.

Pace
There are many opportunities for long gallops, canters and trots. On average, we spend 4-8 hours in the saddle per day. We will be riding for 5 days.

Guides
The main guide will be Xavi, an experienced and talented rider, always accompanied by an English speaking back up guide.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival
You will arrive to your accommodations on the Pyrenees, in a typical and small Catalan village in the middle of the mountains, with stone houses. You will learn about the special characteristics of our Andalusian trail horses. After, you will be given an introduction to the week’s program with an opportunity for one-to-one conversations designed to find every rider their perfect horse. Then, you can enjoy a fantastic dinner!
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at L'Abella


Day 2 (Monday): From the Pyrenees to Alta Garrotxa Natural Park
We will make our way towards the Pyrenees, in the direction of Salarsa valley. This valley offers panoramic views and is populated with many centenarian oaks. We will then descend to Sant Valenti de Salarsa church (Romanesque architecture), and continue downhill in a valley to Pont de Bolassell, a Romanesque cottage. In this picturesque and quiet place, we will have our picnic.
We will continue on horseback on uphill and narrow paths through a dense forest until we reach Coll de Salomó, where is located the highest peak of the day (850 m). Then, we continue for 6 or 7 kilometers to Sant Andreu de Bestacrá, and discover a hundred-years-old holm oak stuck between rocks. After a brief stop, we continue downhill to Oix.
Riding: 6-8 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Forn de Beget


Day 3 (Tuesday): Espinavell Valley, Rocabruna & French border
We will leave Beget after breakfast direction Rocabruna mountain village, a small town with 70 inhabitants and with the very charming Romanesque church of Sant Feliu. We cross the ruins of the old castle to start climbing up to 1600m and arrive at the French border before going back to Riutort Valley to finish the day at Espinavell. In Espinavell is held one of Spain's most important cattle fairs.
Riding: 6-8 hours

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hostal El Quinta


Day 4 (Wednesday): Costabona Mountain
We get up very early to prepare for our long ride. Today's route features a spectacular high mountain landscape, with peaks of 2600m and 2800m. We leave the horses in Vallter 2000, from where we transfer to Setcases.
Riding: 6-8 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel in Setcases


Day 5 (Thursday): Pic de L’infern and Carança
After breakfast, we are transferred back to Vallter 2000. We continue our itinerary through the “Inferm peak”, where we have breathtaking views over the Pyrenees. Later, we cross the Carança lakes and Ter River, on our way down to Setcases.
Riding: 6-8 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel in Setcases


Day 6 (Friday): Puig de Sastre, Vall de Ripoll and L’Abella
After breakfast, we will be crossing meadows and forests to enjoy a last ride through the Ripoll Valley, on our way to l’Abella (passing by Puig de Sistre). Tonight, we enjoy a farewell dinner.
Riding: 6 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel in Setcases


Day 7 (Saturday): Departure
After breakfast, it is time to say goodbye. We hope see you again on one of our trails!
Meals included: Breakfast


Rates and Dates for Smugglers Trails

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals & 5 riding days
Helmets can be provided

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20207 day trip, AP (High)€1435$1625
  • B
    20207 day trip, AP (Low)€1250$1415
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.13

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2020 Transfer from Barcelona Airport, return, pp 170 $195
2020 Single supplement (if requested) 215 $245

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
B 2020 04/12 - 04/18 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Low) 4 /10 Expired
B 2020 04/26 - 05/02 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Low) 4 /10 Expired
B 2020 05/10 - 05/16 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Low) 4 /10 Expired
B 2020 05/24 - 05/30 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Low) 4 /10 Expired

Dates Note: Custom dates departures can be arranged in August for groups of 2+ pax

Rates do not include:

Transfers from/to Barcelona airport & Gratuities

Other Info
Meeting: Setcases
Airport: Girona-Costa Brava Airport (GRO)
Transfer: Girona-Costa Brava Airport (GRO) or Barcelona–El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport (BCN)

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:
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.
Helmets are 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. 
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 is recommended 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.
Good sun protection - gloves, sunscreen, and hat with a chin strap, sunglasses with straps!
A swimsuit, towel, shorts, and a windbreaker. 
A belt pack in which to carry your camera and other small valuables during the ride.
Bring your own toiletries.
Camera, memory cards, and chargers.
Don’t forget your Passport!