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These trail rides are south of the region of Castile and León, some 170 kilometres from Madrid, where the granite rocks of the Sierra de Gredos mountains lie.
Ávila, in Castile and León, is the location of these trails. Lakes, gorges, crags, meadows, fountains, rivers like the Tormes with its crystalline waters, and walls of stone, all form part of the Sierra de Gredos Mountains, whose highest peak is Almanzor, at 2,592 metres.
Long hours in the saddle allow you to explore this remote location and journey through the mountain passes. The riding is through very varied scenery; from pine, oak, chestnut and birch forests in the Gredos Mountains, stream and river crossings in the valleys, and climbing high up the hillsides along rocky uplands, taking in the clean air and stunning views. Along the way you come across remote villages, with stone-built houses and streets.
On all trails roadwork is kept to a minimum and the pace is leisurely allowing you to enjoy your surroundings but there should be opportunities for some trots and canters too most days (terrain permitting). The first riding day will mainly be at walk, allowing you the chance to get to know your new horse, but in the afternoon you may get the chance to enjoy a short trot and canter. It is worth noting that this is not a fast paced ride and the pace will mainly be at walk but there are usually opportunities of trots and canters each day.
The main advantage of the Gredos climate, from the outdoor enthusiast’s standpoint, is that overall, it is sunnier and drier than other Spanish ranges such as the Pyrenees, and this means that you can enjoy outdoor activities such as riding in some parts of the Gredos at almost any time of the year.
All the trails are personally guided by the experienced owner Emilio Rodriguez. Emilio is a quiet man and an expert rider and has a special ability to relate well to his horses leading to even tempered, confident and well-mannered horses that are a pleasure to ride and be around. At the front he quietly guides you each day, allowing you the chance to breathe the air, listen to the birdlife and take in the wonderful scenery you pass through.
On the trail rides you could be riding for between four to seven hours a day and so it is important to be as riding fit as possible. The horses are an excellent mix of Hispano-Arab, Spanish, Andalucian PRE and Andalucian crosses ranging in height from 15 to 16.2 hands. They are good natured, confident and sure footed on the stony paths of the hills and willingly forward going on the flat and sandy glens in the valleys, making them a real pleasure to ride.
The horses are happy, loved and comfortable to ride, with an enthusiastic walk and an easy collected canter. They are all ridden in comfortable English GP saddles and bridles. Seat savers and saddle bags are also available. You should be competent at walk, trot and canter outdoors.
Getting involved is one of the key elements of these rides and for most people adds much to their experience. You may be responsible for feeding, grooming, and tacking up your own horse each day, both in the morning before breakfast, and also at the end of the day after you have finished riding - although help and guidance is on hand should you require it.
The accommodation along the way varies from simple, clean and comfortable hostels, pensions and mountain guesthouses to small hotels in towns and villages. All rooms have private bathrooms except for one night on the Gredos to Salamanca ride where you stay in a chapel, and then you might have to share a bathroom.
Single rooms are possible on request and there is a single supplement payable.
The food in here in Spain will be a highlight of your trip and Mamen will delight you with surprise Tapas breaks consisting of olives, nuts, Iberian ham and the cheese of La Mancha.
Lunchtime is a leisurely and social affair with simple home cooked Spanish dishes such as Paella or Tortilla offered, followed by a siesta in the sunshine. As is the Spanish way dinner is late at c. 9pm with a selection of different Spanish dishes.
|Holiday||Experience LevelExp Lvl||Arrive - DepartArr - Dep||Price||Itinerary||Availability|
|Castles of the Gredos Mountains||4 Jun 2023 - 10 Jun 2023||6 nights 6 ngts||$1,751.60||Book|
|Castles of the Gredos Mountains||11 Jun 2023 - 17 Jun 2023||6 nights 6 ngts||$1,751.60||Book|
|Castles of the Gredos (long)||18 Jun 2023 - 25 Jun 2023||7 nights 7 ngts||$2,029.36||Book|
|Crystalline Waters of Gredos||2 Jul 2023 - 8 Jul 2023||6 nights 6 ngts||$1,677.91||Book|
|Crystalline Waters of Gredos||9 Jul 2023 - 15 Jul 2023||6 nights 6 ngts||$1,677.91||Book|
|Castles of the Gredos Mountains||16 Jul 2023 - 22 Jul 2023||6 nights 6 ngts||$1,751.60||Book|
|Crystalline Waters of Gredos||30 Jul 2023 - 5 Aug 2023||6 nights 6 ngts||$1,677.91||Book|
|Crystalline Waters of Gredos||6 Aug 2023 - 12 Aug 2023||6 nights 6 ngts||$1,677.91||Book|
|Castles of the Gredos Mountains||13 Aug 2023 - 19 Aug 2023||6 nights 6 ngts||$1,751.60||Book|
|Castles of the Gredos Mountains||27 Aug 2023 - 2 Sep 2023||6 nights 6 ngts||$1,751.60||Book|
|Gredos to Salamanca Ride||3 Sep 2023 - 10 Sep 2023||7 nights 7 ngts||$2,188.09||Book|
|Castles of the Gredos Mountains||10 Sep 2023 - 16 Sep 2023||6 nights 6 ngts||$1,791.28||Book|
|Castles of the Gredos Mountains||17 Sep 2023 - 23 Sep 2023||6 nights 6 ngts||$1,791.28||Book|
|Castles of the Gredos Mountains||15 Oct 2023 - 21 Oct 2023||6 nights 6 ngts||$1,791.28||Book|
|Castles of the Gredos Mountains||22 Oct 2023 - 28 Oct 2023||6 nights 6 ngts||$1,791.28||Book|
|Crystalline Waters of Gredos||12 Nov 2023 - 18 Nov 2023||6 nights 6 ngts||$1,677.91||Book|
|Crystalline Waters of Gredos||19 Nov 2023 - 25 Nov 2023||6 nights 6 ngts||$1,677.91||Book|
|Four Valleys||26 Nov 2023 - 2 Dec 2023||6 nights 6 ngts||$1,751.60||Book|
INCLUDES Accommodation; full board (including wine with meals); airport transfers at a set time from Madrid airport.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT The single supplement is always payable but it is refunded if you are willing to share and we can find you a sharer for you. Single room requests are subject to availability and not guaranteed. The single supplements are as follows:
$188.96 for Castles of the Gredos Mountains; Crystalline Waters of Gredos and Four Valleys.
$220.44 for Castles of the Gredos (long) and Gredos to Salamanca Ride.
SMALL GROUP SUPPLEMENT
The progressive trail rides require a minimum of three people to run. If there are less than three people confirmed, the itinerary will be changed to the Crystalline Waters of Gredos or similar (mainly centre based with a mini trail).
In addition, if any week ends up with just 2 or 3 people a small group supplement is payable locally and costs:
€100 per person (two people in the group)
€70 per person (three people in the group)
PAYABLE LOCALLY Entrance fees to Museums and Monuments; drinks/snacks in bars; alcoholic beverages and soft drinks; tips (c. €35 - €50).
NEAREST AIRPORT Madrid.
TRANSFERS Shared transfers (set time only) are included from Madrid airport. If you cannot meet these shared transfer times taxis can be arranged at an additional cost (payable locally).
The meeting point is in Madrid Airport at 15:00 and so your flight should be scheduled to arrive before 14:00.
You will be transferred to your first night's accommodation.
The transfer back to the airport will arrive at Madrid Airport at about 12:00 so flights should depart after 14:00.
The Sierra de Gredos are around two hours west of Madrid.
The climate in this region of Spain is continental with hot, dry summers and mild winters.
Emilio and Mamen have great love, respect and abilities with their horses and it is therefore extremely well-behaved horses and very lovely and good animals we see and ride. It has been a pleasure to be on this holiday, a beautiful holiday that challenged me personally on the terrain, but at the same time was a fun ride with many many hours in the saddle. If you are looking for fast ride, this it not the one. But you get full value for the money because of beautiful nature, the horseback riding through varied landscapes and through mountains, valleys and beautiful scenery.
Emilio is a very silent guide, do not expect long conversations, but at the same time is Mamen the sweetest and most sweethearted during the breaks and meals. There is no doubt that they both love their jobs and animals and that they work hard every to make a wonderful holiday for you.
Charlotte ,Overall rating: 4/5
Be prepared to take a suitcase large enough to sneak your horse back home with you.
In The Saddle says
This little known area of Spain is incredibly beautiful and remote, and certainly worth a visit on horseback.