HORSEBACK TRAIL RIDE IN CATALUNIA
INDICATIVE ITINERARY *
You can choose: from 2 nights and 1 day riding up to 7 nights and 6 days riding:
DAY 1 – ARRIVAL
Meeting in the afternoon at your rural accommodation. It is located in the heart of Baix Empordà, in the middle of nature and far from the noise. Make yourself at home! Here you will ﬁnd all the comforts in a rural environment. Before enjoying dinner, we will review the program of the week. We will do an introduction of the whole program, having the opportunity to talk one by one to ﬁnd the perfect horse for each rider. Then, relax and enjoy a fantastic welcome dinner.
DAY 2 - ROUTE OF THE PIRATES AND FORTIFIED FARMHOUSES “MASIAS”
It is time to meet your equine companion and to get acquainted with him or her. Today, your route takes you to the sea, we will have an active morning and afternoon, with many trots and canters. You will start crossing cultivated fields, until we find the Ter river, the longest river in Catalonia that starts in the Pyrenees, you will ride in the last section until its mouth in the Mediterranean Sea, a very flat area, which will allow us to enjoy good gallops until you reach the fine sandy beach, where just 2 kilometers inland, are the famous Medes Islands, 7 islands, one of the best Mediterranean Marine Reserves. From here, youe will return, passing through the Empordà Wetlands, a coastal natural reserve of marshes and dunes, with areas for bird watching, it is an important refuge for migratory birds especially in spring and autumn. You will continue your route through the agricultural flat where we will stop to eat and rest; Along the way, you will cross some of the imposing fortified “Masías” farmhouses, typical houses of this area that served to defend its inhabitants from pirate attacks in the late Middle Ages. Once back at your accommodation, you can relax on the terrace with a drink.
DAY 3 - TOURING THE MONTGRÍ
Today, you will leave for the town of Torroella de Montgrí, a town of medieval origin, which currently maintains a balance between modernity and traditional rural life. The pace of today's route will be calm, enjoying great landscapes. Throughout the day, you will be guarded by the Montgrí Castle (12th century) at the top of the mountain at 315m high, a unique castle, which is the identity symbol of this territory. You will continue your way entering the Montgrí Natural Park, Medes Islands and Lower Ter River. The bare limestone that characterizes the massif contrasts with the Continental Dune forest, a dune-shaped forest up to 30 meters deep, it is a large beach sand dune, which was entered the mountain because of winds since the end of XIX century, currently it is a pine forest that helped to fix this great dune and slows its progress towards the nearby houses. We will ride under the shade of the Mediterranean pine forest. To get closer to the sea, you will take the central path of Montgrí, and with a nice canters, you will be located a few meters from the cliffs. From this point, at the eastern end of the natural park, you will have an exceptional view from above, of the sea and the Medes Islands, an image to remember. You will take advantage of this idyllic point to replenish energy with a delicious meal. You will take a break and take the opportunity to walk down to the intimate Cala Pedrosa, where we can take a bath. The ride continues along trails surrounded by scrub and limestone, passing by small dry stone buildings that used to serve as pastors and their flocks. You will go down to the cultivation fields and the river, along the way we will identify some “masías” farmhouses with watchtowers, previously used as protection against Pirates. You will arrive at your accommodation, where all the comfort awaits you. On this route, you will have been able to have a broader vision of the entire Lower Ter River territory.
DAY 4 - MEDIEVAL VILLAGES
Your destination today is to discover places with history and a lot of charm, first passing through Fontanilles and Palau-Sator, two small towns of ancient Roman origin and medieval history from the 9th century. You will take advantage of the path to the village of Peratallada to enjoy trotting and cantering along the fields and olive groves paths. You will arrive at Peratallada, one of the most important and best preserved village of medieval Catalan architecture, from the 8th to the 13th centuries. A village with beautiful streets carved in the stone itself and totally walled, here, time seems to have stopped. You will have the chance to have a drink and walk through its streets. Once on horseback, you will continue to Els Clots de Sant Juliá, a truly mysterious place. It is a very emblematic and mysterious ancient quarry that dates back to the pre-Romanesque period, a place little known to tourists, where we will have lunch immersed in the ancient silence. On the way back home, you will make a stop in the village of Canapost, to see the very well preserved necropolis. You will arrive at our accommodation. You will untack your horse, shower him and give a ration of food before releasing him free in the field; to then enjoy the pool or a cocktail on the terrace until dinner time.
DAY 5 - LANDSCAPE, HISTORY AND MEDIEVAL ARCHITECTURE, IN “THE EMPORDANET”
After a complete breakfast, it is time to prepare your horse and go out together to enjoy the so-called "Empordanet", the name that the locals give to the area of small villages in the interior of the Costa Brava, of medieval origin and still they retain the charm of their roots. The pace of this route will be with long trots and gallops, with an active morning and a more relaxed afternoon enjoying beautiful landscapes. You will ride through the flat agricultural area full of fields, forests and a great feeling of spaciousness, being able to trot and gallop without difficulty. It is time for a delicious meal in the countryside, which will fill you with energy to continue on your way. You will arrive at Monells, a small town very well preserved, with a lot of charm, where the walls of the old castle are preserved and a spectacular square with a nerve center of bygone days. You will have time to stroll through the quiet cobbled streets. You will return to the path passing by the Castell d’Empordà, a small nucleus where an impressive 13th century castle-palace is preserved, today converted into a luxurious hotel. Near the end of the trail, you will find the pearl of the region. The Iberian ruins of Ullastret, the most important and biggest ruins in all of Catalonia; The Iberian civilization is now a mystery, since no writings are preserved, this settlement dates from the 6th century B.C. until the Roman invasion. And from the past to the present, we return to your accommodation, where you will let the horses rest and will be able to enjoy the sunset from the terrace.
Note: The name of Iberians comes from the Greek word "iberoi". This is how in ancient Greece of the 6th century B.C. They called the inhabitants of the Levant and the south of the Iberian Peninsula. These towns dominated the eastern half of Spain until the arrival of the Romans.
DAY 6 – MOUTH OF THE RIVER IN THE SEA AND THE BEACH
Today, the ride takes us to the beach, a very complete day. You will start early before an active morning, enjoying long gallops, and then have an afternoon with a calmer pace. You will ride along the entire bank of the Ter river until reaching its meeting with the sea, called "La Gola del Ter", a beautiful beach of fine sand with the delta of the Ter river, and in the sea, the famous Medes Islands. The combination of fresh and salt water and the small marshes and wetlands that form, offer a very rich environment of fauna and flora, of peace and relaxation. You will have time to enjoy and feel this privileged natural setting. In this environment you can see a great diversity of birds, it is a famous destination for ornithologists. From there, your route continues along agricultural paths to Les Bases d'en Coll, a protected area formed by the mouth of another smaller river, the Daró River, with wetlands creating rice paddies that make up an area of great natural interest. You will make a stop to eat and rest, before continuing your way through pine forests. You will ride inland leaving the coast and changing the landscape, passing through the foot of the Quermany mountain until we reach the impressive village of Pals, one of the jewels in the area, located on top of a hill, it was built around to a fortress and has managed to preserve its splendid medieval spirit. Already on the way back along the paths of cultivated fields full of fruit trees, there will be the possibility of making a stop in some apple fields where the Mooma cider house is located, where you can taste cider or apple juice. Shortly after, you will arrive at your accommodation, where you can rest until dinner time served by your hosts. Depending on the time and the group, this route can be reversed, you can always enjoy 6 beautiful landscapes, river, sea, crops and wetlands, mountains and medieval villages. Only the Empordá - Costa Brava can offer you this. Depending on the time of year, horses will not be able to enter the beach, but you can always enjoy great sea views on your horse, and enjoy the beach on foot.
DAY 7 - THE RIVER TER, A VITAL ARTERY
You will enjoy long paths and long walks, which will give you the possibility of having longer gallops. Today's ride will discover the places that surround the medieval villages on the left and right sides along the Ter River, having continuous contact with water, river, irrigation, recluses and mills. All along agricultural roads, which will make us feel free with our horse, giving you the opportunity to vary paces, trotting and galloping. All this landscape dotted by small towns, such as Gualta and its medieval bridge from the XVI-XVII century, shortly after you will arrive at the town of Torroella de Montgrí where we will cross the river, by one of the few bridges that the region enjoys. Heading west, towards Canet de la Tallada, you will find a republican anti-aircraft bunker from the Spanish civil war, where there was also an airfield, now a farm field. Very close to here, in the river, you will find Canet Island, a lock where the water accumulates and has become a protected reserve for wildlife, especially seabirds. You will continue until we reach the village of Verges, famous for the Catalan singer-songwriter Lluis Llach and for the procession of "The Dance of Death" for Easter Week. From here, you will ride a wide path to Colomers, a small town surrounded by forest. At this point, you will have lunch to regain strength. And under the poplars shade and with the song of the water, you will relax to embark soon on the way back. A bridge will allow to cross the river again; also with one of the best perspectives of the Ter. You will continue to the other side of the river, where you will discover small charming villages such as Sant Romá de Sidilla, an abandoned medieval village where there are remains of the Church and some houses; You will also come across Sant Iscle d'Empordá, an exponent of how the inhabitants of past times, built the settlements in high areas to avoid flooding caused by the Ter river. With a light pace and the satisfaction of a great day on horseback, you will return riding until your accommodation. After this complete route, you will give the last care to your horse, with which you have enjoyed so much these days. A farewell and a magnificent dinner with local products awaits you.
DAY 8 - ADEU AMICS! SEE YOU SOON
End of your stay after breakfast. Free transfer to Girona airport at set time.
* Indicative program that can be modified if necessary.