HORSEBACK TRAIL RIDE IN THE SPANISH PYRENEES
INDICATIVE ITINERARY *
Day 1: Arrival at the end of the afternoon at your hotel in Anciles. Presentation of the team and of your week before dinner. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: After breakfast, transfer to Anciles to meet the horses and get ready for the ride. Today's ride passes through a mix forest with a lot of variety of trees; ash trees, birchs, oaks, red pines, wild cherry trees,...until arriving in Cerler. This village is at 1540m of altitude and it's the highest village of the Pyrenees. After Cerler the forest changes and it becomes a forest of high mountain with the typical black pine and firs, and if we are lucky we could meet capercaillie, endangered animals and other animals like the bearded vulture. We arrive at alpine meadow around 2000 m. of altitude and we can see beautiful view from the valley. You leave the horses to return to your hotel by car .
Day 3: We cross to the south of the valley, El Solano (sunny area). Today we go up a ski slope until we see the south side of the Aneto (3404m), the king of the Pyrenees, and the Massif of the Maladeta. We will have a spectacular scree slope and a path until 1000 metres below. The landscape is spectacular, and we discover how glaciers chiseled and eroded the mountains creating the valley millions of years ago. From there we will change the view and the massive of Turbón will be in front of us. Transfer to your hotel.
Day 4: Today is the day for discovering different villages, singular architecture of the Benasque valley and Romanic churches and hermitages. We are riding traditional tracks which join different villages. We are crossing Ésera river, drinking natural water of the depths of the mountains, and looking at the best Romanic hermitage of the valley, Virgen de la Gracia. It’s a Romanic lombard style building of the 12th century. This kind of construction has its origin in Lombardy, Italy, and they rose up to shelter the pilgrims who went to Santiago de Compostela in the "Camino". History of the village, the style life of their population, their constructions, hermitages, laundromats, fountains, take us back many years ago. Transfer to Anciles, guided tour of the medieval village before dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 5: El Collado of Sahún is a mountain pass of 2.025 m. of altitude and it connects two valleys of the Pyrenees, Benasque and Plan. We are in the middle of a great alpine meadow and we enjoy the silence, breathe fresh and pure air, look at incredible landscapes,... but going down we found a great surprise, two magnificent waterfalls that come down to Barbarisa lake, there we rest and cool off. A long narrow path going through a mixed forest that guide us until Sahún, known for its traditional descent of fire torches, "Las Fallas", celebrating the summer solstice. A pre-Christian festivity. In the last part of the trip we cross the Ésera river to get back to Anciles. Transfer to your hotel.
Day 6: We go to Benasque from Anciles, the main village that gives its name to the valley. After a few miles we can find some remains from the civil war. In the Benasque Valley there are other valleys created by glaciers 40 millions of years ago. One of them is the “Estós Valley”. In the Estós Valley the farmers carry their cattle in transhumance from the high meadows at different seasons of the year. There are cows that freely graze in large areas of meadows and forests bathed by river Estós. El Perdiguero, one of the most beautiful and unknown mountain of the Pyrenees of 3222m., you can't take your eyes off it during our journey going through the Estós Valley. Transfer to your hotel.
Day 7: The last stage of the trip is in the bottom of the valley, where there is the massif of the Maladeta, the highest mountains of the Pyrenees with the spectacular Aneto summit of 3404 m. It’s the scene that we see continuously on the track to the Portillón de Benasque of 2444 m. and gateway to France. Portillón de Benasque is one of the most iconic places in the valley for its beauty and history. For many years and in extreme conditions many of the population of the Benasque Valley used the Portillon to sell and buy their merchandise in Luchon, a village of France. At this stage we ride through the heart of the Natural Park Postes-Maladeta. Transfer to your hotel.
Day 8: End after breakfast and departure.
* The itinerary is indicative, it can be modified in the event of weather imperatives or other imponderables.