Follow in the paths the herdsmen created hundreds of years ago and still use today – the so called “Camino Real”. Winding through the north eastern part of Catalonia, in summer these paths make their way up towards the Pyrenees, where the herds graze after wintering in the mild coastal areas.
The round, polished, soft, high mountain hills build a contrast to the wild and bizarre rock formations of the foothills of the Pyrennes mountains. This is the Mediterranean Costa Brava; deep forests and meadows of the alpine mountains determine the landscape and the diverse “Camino Real” continues to wind its way through quiet and remote herdsmen’s land. It is an extraordinary and unforgettable adventure for sporty and ambitious horse riders.
Dates: April 25-May 1, May 10-16, June 20-26, July 11-17, Aug. 2-8, Sept. 5-11, Sept. 27-Oct. 3, Oct. 12-18
Rates: $1,650.00 USD per person in a shared room (Single Supplement: 180€ 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 lunch (wine included)
- Luggage transfers
- All local taxes
- Group transfer at pre set time from Barcelona (120€ round trip, paid in cash on the first night)
- Dinners (80€ 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
Trail ride across the pre-Pyrenees
Arrival in Barcelona or Girona and transfer to Mas Roca. Our friend Bogi welcomes us to his home, an old mill from the 16th century which enchants us with its unique character.
The South American style garden is a beautiful relaxing paradise! What a great place to start your exciting horse riding adventure into the Pyrenees mountains…This is also the time you will pay for your transfers and your evening meals (combined total of 200€).
We pass through the hilly countryside of the pre-Pyrenees and follow the River Fluvia in the direction of the mountain, a route taken by old herdsmen like Juan the Shepherd. The pretty villages of the Alt Empordà are an impressive witness of an amazing past.
In a glade near the river, our friendly "Catalan Buffalo" meets us with a glass of Cava and a beautifully set table.
After our siesta, we ride quickly to the medieval town Besalú. Our accommodation for tonight is a hotel right next to the beautiful romantic bridge with a view over the River Fluvià and the town.
Before having dinner in the enchanting garden of the restaurant, we have the possibility to stroll through the alleys of Besalú.
Mountains and swimming
We ride to the wild hilly countryside of Garrotxa, passing through the medieval town of Besalu and crossing the Romanic bridge of Llierca. We find sparkling turquoise rock pools where we can go for a refreshing swim.
Our agile Andalusian horses then carry us safely over the pass of Santa Barbara. From the top we enjoy the fantastic view of the bizarre rock formations. Our destination is a small mountain village where we stay overnight.
Rocky hills of the Garrotxa
The valley of the Llierca lies in front of us with its strong lime rocks. Only the clopping of the hooves, the splashing of a stream and the calm sounds of the cow bells interrupt the deep quietness of this secluded area.
Birds of prey, reptiles and butterflies accompany us on our way and with a bit of luck we will even see wild pigs or a badger. We will stop for our picnic under two-thousand-year-old oak trees where the turquoise water of the streams invites us for a refreshing dip.
In the afternoon, we reach the picturesque mountain village of Beget, where we stay for the night. Our four-legged friends find a satisfying evening meal in the green mountain meadows.
Ride into the high mountains
Our horses carry us deeper into the Pyrenees and an ancient medieval merchant's path takes us over the border into France. We leave the pre-Pyrenees and ride through beech, oak and chestnut forests that cover the hills. The view of the surrounding 9000 feet high mountains is tremendous.
We ride through the lush flower and gentian meadows and arrive at our destination, the small town of Camprodon on the Pyrenees river Ter. While taking an evening walk through this pleasant place, one of the bars invites us to have a drink...
Pyrenees – the realm of the herdsmen
We have an early start to ascend to the high regions of the Pyrenees. Our horses carry us over the immense cattle fields where we meet cows, sheep, goats and the occasional wild Pyrenean horse.
We arrive at the high regions which have alpine character, with Narcissi, iris, gentian and alpine roses that transform the hilly meadows into carpets of flowers. We reach a mountain pass, an infinite steppe of grass and stone, at 6000 feet. The view is magnificent.
To the west we see the highest peak of Catalonia and in the east the Mediterranean glistens in a deep blue. We take a siesta and observe a vulture family rising into the sky, then ride on secluded paths through this wonderful mountain paradise on our way down to the town of St. Joan de les Abadesses.
We spend the night in a small authentic mountain hotel where we let our unforgettable trip end with a dinner together.
¡Hasta la vista, amigos!
After breakfast we say farewell and transfer to Girona or Barcelona or continue with a trail to the sea.