The Sierra of Gredos is one of the most characteristic regions of the Iberian Peninsula and the heart of Castile. It is situated between the provinces of Avila, Caceres and Salamanca, crossed by the Duero and Tajo rivers. The Gredos rides will take you through a very representative part of the Sierra in the province of Avila. This isolated region is one of the wildest and less populated areas of Spain. It is an excellent terrain for riding, and offers a great diversity of landscapes. It is a land full of light and colour, where wild nature shows its splendour. Through the Tormes, Corneja and Alberche river valleys, you will follow ancient cattle tracks; gallop across pastures and open fields with magnificent views; ride up slopes of oaks, pines and chestnut trees; cross rivers of pristine waters; overlook rocks to discover wild goats. The small villages show their architecture, their traditions and the way of life of their people, isolated in this inaccessible nature that shapes their unique character.
ABOUT THE HORSES:
The horses are Andalusian and Arab crosses ranging in height from 15-16 hands (1,50 - 1,65m). All the horses have been carefully selected for their good nature and endurance. The trainer takes great pride in the quality and the character of the horses and is adept in matching horse and rider. The horses are docile, strong, and well-adapted to the land. Riders requirements. It is not necessary to be an expert rides but it is essential that riders have trail riding experience, can easily manage a horse at all paces and be familiar and comfortable handling a horse on the ground. The pace of the ride will vary, but the ride includes walks, trots, canters and gallops depending on the terrain. One endurance riding competition is held in this region each year. A level of fitness is required, as two of the days (day 4 & 7 in the itinerary) are quite long - about seven hours- depending on the pace, of course. Tack. English saddles with seat savers. Small saddle bags available.
For intermediate and experienced riders who want to travel on horseback to discover the diversity of the Gredos river valleys and the traditions of this hidden Spain.
Day by Day Itinerary:
8 Days / 7 Nights
DAY 1: SUN Madrid - Navarredonda de Gredos Meet in Madrid and transfer to Navarredonda de Gredos (2 hour drive),
a small village in the heart of Castilla with a splendid view of the Sierra de
Gredos. En route there is a stop in Avila, a charming historic place surrounded
by 13th century walls. This is a region steeped in history, where the Moors and
Christians fought, where Romans built roads that have lasted for centuries.
Riders will enjoy a welcome dinner and night at the Gredos National Parador. D
PARADOR DE GREDOS 3*
DAY 2: MON Sierra de Gredos Ride through, open fields and trails, climbing to the Gredos
mountains, reaching the top - Puerto del Arenal - for a picnic with magnificent
views of the peals of the Gredos mountains. In the afternoon ride through pine
woods and fields, returning for dinner and overnight as the previous night. This
day is a short ride so riders and horses get used to each other. If any change
of horse is necessary it can be done, before leaving the next day and for the
rest of the ride. B, L, D
PARADOR DE GREDOS 3*
DAY 3: TUE Navarredonda de Gredos - Barbellido -
Navacepeda de Tormes Morning through woods and beautiful meadows, excellent for exciting
gallops. Ascend towards the mountains - La Covacha. Lunch at a fishermen hut, by
the river, where Emilio will cook an excellent paella. This spot is ideal for a
swim in summer. Afternoon off-track with magnificent views of the valleys. Then
following a path by the river , riders will get to Navacepeda de Tormes for the
night. B, L, D Hostal Capra Hispanica
DAY 4: WED Navacepeda de Tormes - Aliseda de Tormes
- Barco de Avila Ride along the Tormes River valley through fields and along cattle
paths, passing beautiful small villages. Picnic by the river at Aliseda de
Tormes. Afternoon to Barco de Avila with a 15th century walled village with a
medieval bridge stretching over the Tormes. Riders will see a castle with only
the walls preserved that characterizes this region. Overnight in this village
with ancient stone buildings and friendly country people. B, L, D Hotel Manila 3*
DAY 5: THU Barco de Avila - Puente del Congosto -
Hoyorredondo Today´s ride proceeds through holm oaks woods and pastures,
following the cattle track between Barco and Hoyorredondo, arriving in Puente
del Congosto for lunch picnic by the river. In the afternoon there will be a
short ride to Hoyorredondo. Night at a beautiful and comfortable rural hotel. B, L, D La Trocha de Hoyorredondo
DAY 6: FRI Hoyorredondo - Bonilla de la Sierra -
Piedrahita Ride through holm oaks and agricultural land to Bonilla de la Sierra,
and old village (14th century) with a beautiful church, and ruins of a castle
and its walls. After an aperitif, ride on to Piedrahita for lunch at a typical
restaurant. In the afternoon there will be time to visit the town, the former
capital of this region and birthplace of the Duke of Alba. Dinner and overnight
in this quiet town, with a beautiful and lively square with an air of days gone
by. B, L, D Hotel La Casona
DAY 7: SAT Piedrahita - San Martín de la Vega -
Navarredonda de Gredos In the morning ride through a fertile land of fruit trees and
orchards. Old mills along the river used to produce most of the flour consumed
in this part of Castile. Follow a Roman road up to the Puerto de Chía (5686
feet) for a panoramic view of the Corneja Valley on one side, and the Alberche
River on the other. Lunch at a bar restaurant for the well known "judias"
- white beans - of Barco de Avila. In the afternoon ride through open fields
with a panoramic view of the Gredos mountain range. Dinner and overnight at
Navarredonda de Gredos - National Parador of Gredos. B, L, D
PARADOR DE GREDOS 3*
DAY 8: SUN Navarredonda de Gredos - Madrid After breakfast transfer to Madrid, arriving there about 12 noon. All
riders will be transferred at the same time, so if any rider needs to arrive in
Madrid prior to noon, all riders will depart earlier - or we will arrange an
alternative transfer (at an extra cost). B
END OF TOUR SERVICES
Group Size: Minimum 4 - Maximum 10 Riding for day: 5 - 6 hours Riding experience: Intermediate Pace: Moderate, with trots and canters Track: English general purpose saddles Horses: Andalusian and Arab cross Weight limit: 220 Ibs / 95 kgs EATING SCHEDULE AND CUISINE INFO
Lunch is usually a picnic in the countryside - some meals will be cooked on
the spot; others prepared and packed in the saddle-bags. Some lunches at local
bars. Some of the menus are: paella (cooked on the spot), T-bone steak -
barbecue (beef produced in the area of Avilan cows); white beans (label Barco de
Avila - from the region); green beans; lamb chops; and suckling pig. Aperitifs
consist of ham, different kinds of sausage, and exquisite sheep cheese.
Dinners are at restaurants that feature typical cuisine.
Drinks are included during meals: red wine - excellent Spanish wine "reserva
1993 o 1995" from Castille-La Mancha, and local red wine from Cebreros
(Avila); white wine (Rueda from Castille - Valladolid); beer; water; and
The usual schedule for meals: Breakfast 9.00 - 9.30am. Lunch at around 2.00 -
2.30pm followed by a siesta.
Dinner is usually served at 9.00 - 9.30 p.m.
Vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notification.
A support vehicle will meet the riders at lunch and at the hotels in the
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