A spectacular ride on the coast with steep cliffs, hidden coves and lovely beaches – every day this trail leads you through rugged and legendary Costa Brava.
The gilded age of piracy along the Costa Brava was between the 14th and 17th centuries. One of the most notorious pirates was Barbarossa Khair ad Din (red beard), a Turkish pirate. Along the wild coast he attacked small seaside villages , stole spices, wine and ceramics and ran an oppressive slave trade. To forewarn against pirate attacks forts and Moorish towers were built along the coast.
There are three versions of this itinerary – two in Catalonia and one in Andalusia.
2023 Dates: March 26-April 1, April 10-16, Sept. 11-17, Nov. 19-25, Nov. 26-Dec. 2, Dec. 10-16
Rate: $2,380.00 USD per person in a shared room, Single Supplement: $345.00 USD ***Note: All dates require that the transfer fee and some meals (€300,00) be paid in cash on the first night.
- 6 nights accommodation with ensuite bath, of which 1-2 nights' accommodation may be with a shared shower and toilet
- 5 days of riding
- Daily breakfast and either packed or restaurant lunch (wine included)
- Luggage transfers
- All local taxes
- Group transfer at pre set time from Barcelona (150€ round trip, paid in cash on the first night)
- Dinners (150€ total for the week, paid in cash on the first night)
- Entrance fees to Museums and Monuments
- Drinks/food in bars
- Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, Coffee at dinner
- Gratuities for the team at the end of the stay
Day 1: Coastal trail ride by the sea – the insiders' tip on the Costa Brava
Arrival in Barcelona or Girona and transfer to the starting point of our adventure trail, a little fishing village near the French border. At our first dinner, we meet our fellow riders and our guide. This is also the time you will pay for your transfers and your evening meals (combined total of 200€).
Day 2: Wild Coast and pirates
After breakfast on a lovely wooden terrace we prepare our horses. Right at the beginning of the day our "new friends" climb safely over rocks and stones. Three mountain ranges make this route an adventurous experience. Shortly before the picnic we discover the Benedictine monastery Sant Pere de Rhodes. Nestled into the Rhodes mountains the monastery is located at 500 metres altitude – safe from pirates and with a stunning view of the shiny blue sea. In serpentines, the path twists down to the village Selva de Mar which was built in a valley hidden from pirates. The tower over the village bears testimony to the age of piracy. The terrain is demanding – we lead our four-legged and sure-footed friends on foot. We spend the night in a lovely hotel in the small romantic fishing town of Port de la Selva nearby. Tiny white houses huddle against each other as if they were collectively seeking protection from the pirates.
Day 3: Trail ride to paradise!
Cove trail to the Cap – trail ride to paradise! Cap de Creus – the name itself evokes images of unspoiled nature. The craggy peninsula descends into the Mediterranean. The sea gnaws at the Cap, it has eaten into it and torn chunks out of it. Countless rocky bays remain in which the pirates found good hideouts. Like mountain goats our „Andalusians“ negotiate the rocky terrain. In a beautiful bay, we have our picnic and go swimming - paradise! The subsequent part of our trek also has a lot of excitement to offer. High above the sea our trail ride leads us through an untamed cliff top landscape. Due to erosion caused by the strong Tramontana winds, mystical and bizarre rock formations adorn the Cap de Creus like ornaments. We spend the night in Cadaques, the jewel of the Costa Brava. The whitewashed fishing village with its old crooked alleys is rightfully considered the most beautiful place on the wild coast. The village's seclusion led to its inhabitants having to constantly defend it from pirates and their pillaging over the centuries. In the 16th century, the church Santa Maria was ransacked by the pirate Barbarossa and completely burned down.
Day 4: Great pleasure at Cap de Creus
On horseback, we ride through Cadaques. Where the village ends, a wonderful, wild coastal mountain landscape begins, covered with bushes and flowers awaits. Ancient stone walls show us the way. We rest in a beautiful bay with a fine sandy beach and have a swim in the refreshing sea. Afterward, in steep turns the trail twists over a pass. Wild flowers decorate our path and spectacular views of the bay of Roses open up, while pines and cork oaks radiate Mediterranean flair. Through an old trading trail, we lead our horses down into the plain on a demanding terrain and stay overnight in a small, family wellness oasis with a heated whirlpool.
Day 5: Trail ride to the bay of Roses
Silvery green olive groves dazzle from the terraced slopes. We head towards Roses and visit the mighty citadel "La Cuitadella". This big fort was built to protect the region from pirate attacks. Behind the impressive walls we find important archaeological artifacts and the remains of the old monastery church. Behind the battlements we walk across green fields, and amongst the impressive setting of the ruins framed by the mountains and the sea, we feel transported back through the centuries. With a little luck, we might catch a view of the flamingos, storks, and little egrets, which are native to the wetlands we ride through. On the boundary of the national park "Aiguamolls" our next lodge awaits us; a comfortable 19th century country cottage. The pool and the beautiful and ample garden invite us to relax after a long and adventurous day.
Day 6: Hoof marks in the sand & cliff line
The waves wash over the fine sand, the horses are wide awake and want to pick up speed. Vamos Galope! Their hooves splash in the water and we draw a fresh trail across the sand. The beach gallop on "Playa Grande" is a dream for every rider. Then suddenly all is silent. We disappear in the continental sand-dunes. The Mediterranean pine forest and its soft sandy floor absorb every hoof beat. Leaving the woods, we encounter the most impressive cliffs on the Costa Brava. In a hidden
cove we have our picnic, go swimming, and have a relaxing siesta. Sometimes on stony, root-strewn paths, sometimes on narrow ridges high above the sea our route winds its way through the wild coastal landscape. This is the end of our trail and after a short transfer to Mas Alba (depending on the time of the year to an equivalent
accommodation). During the dinner, we remember the events of the last days.
Day 7: Adéu Coast of the pirates
Transfer to Barcelona or Girona. Departure or continue to another trail.