Reviews
21 reviews   
Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   30 October 2019

The terrain was harder than I expected but the horses were obviously used to it.

Ideally it would have been nice to ride at the beach. (Claire from In The Saddle comments the hotel is too far from the sea to offer beach rides on the centre based option but on the Lassithi trek there is the opportunity to swim with your horse at the beach but it is too stony for riding on)


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   30 October 2019

There was a wide variety of rides, with stunning scenery and good opportunities for canters.


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   10 October 2019

I was a complete beginner and so had one to one lessons with Fleur at Velani. She was great, very patient and encouraging and I made good progress in the week. Unfortunately I fell off the horse on my last day when out on a trek and so arrived home somewhat battered and bruised. In hindsight I suspect the horse I was riding on the trek was not good enough with other horses for me, as a beginner, to be able to control. Despite this, I really enjoyed the holiday and would like to continue riding back home, when I have recovered.


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

4 star rating   7 October 2019

We were only riding 2 days, so it is hard to comment properly. The first days riding was short and sadly only walking, so I did feel a little short changed. especially as my friend was ill the following day and this was the only ride she got. (ITS comment: your introductory ride is generally at a slower pace)

The staff were lovely, when we arrived they asked about what we liked to ride, however this did seem to be a little dismissed as we were put on exactly the type of ponies we both said we preferred not to ride! I.e. small ponies with no withers. we did ask why, and were told this was because we showed better riding ability, However we found the ponies to be lovely easy rides, not challenging at all.

The second ride was brilliant, it was a shame my companion was unwell.


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   8 September 2019

Our riding was limited (our fault entirely!) but undoubtedly it would have lived up to expectations as was confirmed by the other riders who were very much enjoying themselves and one of these had returned to ride at Velani many times.


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   1 September 2019

My friend and I had to share our group ride with two riders who were much less experienced and who thus struggled to control their horses. This impacted on both the behaviour of the horses I rode, who hated the horse one of these other ladies was riding and who she was not able to stop from getting close to my horses, and I suspect we had a few less canters on some days to accommodate these other two ladies.

I liked two of the horses I rode more than one, who kept bucking and pulling, although one of the ones I liked was slow and reluctant to canter the second time I rode her as it turns out she was pretty knackered from continual treks/injured.

But overall, loved the views, enjoyed the fast canters/gallops when on a non-bucking or non-injured horse and felt well-looked after by the guides Vladimir and Fleur.


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   25 August 2019

Excellent


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   4 August 2019

Their riding tack was not at the top, the saddle I rode with was cracked. However, their bridles were fine enough. It's of course also limited how good quality you can get when you have many horses.
But they all had their own saddle and bridles, however, the numnahs however were used mixed between the horses.
The riding was fantastic, quiet and calm, and once the guide got a sense of where you were, in terms of experience, after a day or two, more cantering and trotting also was offered. But otherwise it all went very calm, you got to experience a lot of beautiful scenery.


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   27 July 2019

When I arrived I was the only one on the Sunny Rides program, so after 2 days we made changes
My sons got one private lesson with each riding instructor so I agreed with one riding instructor to try a little dressage so it became 10 days dressage instead as it suited us all better. I learned a lot


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   6 July 2019

Lovely selection of horses to suit ability and age. Some riding experience is necessary but the guides are very happy to adapt the rides to suit the group. Horses were all very well behaved out on the rides but also responsive. Instruction excellent with private lessons often available on request after the evening ride.


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   6 July 2019

Lovely horses & great instructor/leader - Vladimir.


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   2 July 2019

The riding guide at Velani was great. We were able to go out in a small group of just me and two friends all of similar riding ability. This meant we could explore more terrain and had some great challenging rides.


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   23 June 2019

My horse was an Andalusian called Laboriosa. I speak Spanish and this isn't a flattering name basically the translation is laborious and it would be used for a worker who needed a lot of pushing. Actually I though the name a little unfair, after the first hour of the first ride we got along just fine.
The weather was very hot, hotter than normal for June and 4 hours a day in the saddle with no shade (lots of olive trees but they are not tall so provide no shade) was a struggle for all of us. I actually skipped the third day when we due to ride for over 5 hours as I already felt beaten up by the sun. Only two people actually went out the third day and they came back after just over two hours.
Lively rides plenty of cantering and galloping where it allowed.
Horses well cared for, their backs were covered in talcum powder before saddling and after the ride they were washed down and their coats treated with a water and tea tree mix.


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   17 June 2019

Great selection of well cared for horses to suit riders ability. Lots of quiet trails with varied paces each day. Vladimir was a great leader


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   16 June 2019

Being in a mountainous area, there was necessarily quite a lot of walked ascents and descents, a few leading the horses. However, opportunities for canters were always taken, some quite lively. Vladimir and Sabine took good care of us all and all riders seemed satisfied with the horse allocated. Most riders tacked up their own horses, but I couldn’t and this didn’t feel awkward.


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   17 May 2019

Excellent


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   10 May 2019

I didn't know what to expect!
I knew nothing about Velani or its horses before leaving England but any doubts were dispelled very quickly.
I was given the same kind and foreward going gelding to ride for the whole week that I was at Velani. He was foreward going, sure - footed, well up to the long rides in mountainous terrain and phased by nothing. The saddle was very comfortable.
Having only ridden my own horses for the last 30 odd years I did have a few moments of apprehension before getting on for the first time. My apprehension disappeared within minutes, I felt completely at home on this genuine little horse. Individual attention given to all riders was equal to none. Sabine gave as much consideration to the riders as she gave the well cared for and happy horses. The scenery in the mountains had to be experienced to be believed.


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   24 April 2019

I think I slightly underestimated what I would be able to do and so felt I could have been stretched more. I also wasn't 100% sure about what the cost of my holiday permitted in terms of riding. I thought I would be given an assessment at the beginning and then would be told what I could do. But that didn't really happen, and I had to ask for more challenging faster paced rides. I did get this but it would have been better to know from the beginning… My daughter's experience did satisfy her and because we were often riding together I was happier that she was happy & safe. But I really needed the ride I had on the last day or I would have been feeling slightly underwhelmed!


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   15 April 2019

The horses were a joy, well looked after with good tack and very forward going on quite challenging terrain. The rides were varied and interesting, with the only issue being that the location dictated either steep up or down hills on very rocky tracks at the beginning and end of every ride which did slow things down a bit on a 2 hour ride.

They matched us up well with our horses and we all rode a few different horses which was good. Our abilities and likes were quickly assessed and accomadated.


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   14 April 2019

It was great to be offered such a variety of horses , some of them lively and forward going and others more steady and slow. The rides are , to an extent , tailor-made, so you can have fast rides or slow (depending also on the terrain).


Veláni Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   31 December 2018

The horses were all extremely well cared for, in good condition and obviously loved. They all had sweet natures and were all very well trained with very soft mouths. The horses were all fit, forward going but extremely responsive; they were all happy to ride in the position they had been given in the line and got along well with each other so there wasn't any attempt at biting or kicking the other horses. It meant you could truely sit back and enjoy your surroundings and company. The tack was well cared for and the saddles extremely comfortable Wintecs - something I was very grateful for, having been out of the saddle for a while!

The rides were all varied and interesting and the pace appropriate for the terrain.

The guides were both very friendly, interesting and knowledgeable.


21 reviews