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I visited the South Rhodes Trail in October 2018. I was fortunate in being able to get a direct flight from Birmingham to Rhodes and was then collected from the airport; the transfer from the airport to the ranch taking around 1.5 hours. You can read my blog here.
There is a small selection of horses – 7 in total – a mixture of Arabian, Appaloosa, Haflinger and Andalucian crosses. They are trained using natural horsemanship methods and I found them to be calm and sure-footed on the trail including on the beach.
The riding style is western and you are given a demonstration on how to mount, turn left, right and stop. After this, you have a short lesson in the outdoor ring so that you get the feel of your horse. You are encouraged to ride two handed on the first day and after that you can ride one handed if you want. It is not necessary to have ridden Western before as long as you are open to learning a new style.
Some days you ride for about 3 hours; other days it can be as much as 5.5 hours. The pace is varied and includes trots and steady canters depending on the terrain.
Breakfast is typical continental. Lunch can either be at a local cafe or a saddlebag picnic and is for around 45 minutes to an hour. On some days there a chance to relax in a hammock after lunch if you are in the countryside. The food is good and typical Greek. Most evenings your hosts will order on your behalf and the meal is served tapas style.
Your guide Elpida is very safety conscious and passionate about her horses. She also is very knowledgeable about the local area and attractions that you come across and accompanies you on visits to local historical sites such as monasteries, churches and castles.
The accommodation is simple and on occasions quite basic as you stay in local hostels and hotels along the route but these are the only places to stay. This does add to the overall sense of adventure as you are in a less touristy area.
Overall, this is a great trail which combines riding, culture and local food. Your hosts are wonderful and such fun. I think it’s definitely one not to miss.