Our “Trail of Bandits” is based on the biography of the famous “bandolero” Joan Sala Serrallonga, the Catalonian Robin Hood who wandered around the mountains of Guilleries and Garrotxa during the 17th century.
The vast pathless area of woodland offered good hiding places to outlaws. Canyons, table mountains and volcanoes rise up in this wild landscape. Rivers, lakes and waterfalls provide pleasant relief and relaxing lunch spots. In the picturesque villages stories are still told about the gangs of thieves and the Catalan rebels.
Dates: May 8-15, May 29-June 5, July 17-24, July 31-Aug. 7, Oct. 30-Nov. 6
Rates: $2,005.00 USD per person in a shared room (Single Supplement: 210€ paid in cash on the first night))
***Note: Transfer fee and some meals to also be paid in cash on the first night.
- 7 nights accommodation with ensuite bath, of which 1-2 nights' accommodation may be with a shared shower and toilet
- 6 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 (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
Pyrenees riding tour
The airport transfer brings us into the mountains. Deep in the Spanish Pyrenees, at the foot of the mountain range of Cavallera, there is the small mountain village of St. Joan de Abadeses.
This is the starting point of our trail of bandits. During our first meal together, we get to know our guide and chat about the upcoming horse riding trek. This is also the time you will pay for your transfers and your evening meals (combined total of 200€).
High mountains of the Pyrenees
The horses are saddled and we mount our steeds. The trail weaves through a marvelous mountain landscape which appears rugged or soft depending on the season.
The air is pleasantly aromatic and there is peacefulness with only the sounds of nature.
High above on a mountain range a small Roman church enjoys an incomparably beautiful position and invites us for a picnic.
In a little mountain village we stay overnight in a cozy guesthouse, where the hostess serves us traditional Paella.
We are riding to the high plateau of Collsacabra, where the merging of the north and south, Mediterranean Sea and overlooking high mountains is a very special sight.
Lush meadows and dense beech forests cover the land. Ferns spread over, the jungle sprawls and seems to be impermeable. The temperatures are pleasantly cool, with springs and calm brooks refreshing us on the way.
In the heart of the high plateau there is the remote but very cozy riding farm of Jordi. Here we can only hear the wind in the trees, the singing of the cicadas and the splashing of the brook.
In the evening we enjoy a bandit's menu and a glass of wine at an old wooden table, while Joan tells Catalonian stories of desperados.
Canyons and table mountains
Brilliantly our agile "Andalusians" climb over an overwhelming landscape. In spring and summer the deep green beech forests blink through grey rock mountains, and on the 'Indian Summer' days of autumn the forests shimmer like gold - the ambience reminds us of Canada.
Vast cattle meadows give us amazing views over valleys and mountains and we stop for a picnic in the 'open air restaurant Panorama-Trails'.
At a brisk pace of trot and canter we approach the abundant table mountains. Here we see canyons and waterfalls and hear the calling of birds of prey that soar above.
Like an eagle's nest the small village of Tavertet is located majestically on the edge of a table mountain, where we have a beautiful view looking down at a canyon lake that shines in a deep green below us.
Home of Serrallonga
High on top of the edge of the table mountains we ride to the mountains of Guilleries, home of the bandit Serrallonga, the Catalonian Robin Hood. The view from the 'roof top of Catalonia' over the green mountains is unique. The evergreen and moist landscape is in contrast to the red, brown and silver-grey rocks of the table mountains.
In the middle of this fascinating mountain landscape we discover lonely chapels and twisty natural stone villages dating back to Serrallongas’ times. At a clearing, we rest and feel like 'Outlaws' from long ago, then we continue our trek through a mystical jungle like area with ferns that cover the path.
At the highest point of the table mountain the monastery 'El Far' rises up majestically. It is one of the most beautiful viewpoints of Catalonia. We stay here overnight and wake the next morning to the sun rising up over the sea.
Garrotxa, land of the volcanoes
We leave the Guilleries and emerge into the land of volcanoes. The landscape is well cultivated but also has a wildness about it.
The extinct volcanoes lie there resting until the end of time. The last eruption was some thousand years ago and only the black lava and some craters remind us of the explosions.
In the mediaeval village Santa Pau we find our comfortable accommodation.
We trot and canter along the brook "Ser" and leave the area of Garrotxa. The brook leads into the River Fluvià which points us towards the Costa Brava. Stone oaks and pines are the dominant trees here and under their pleasant shade we enjoy our bandit's picnic.
After a siesta, we ride at good speed towards the medieval town Besalú. Our accommodation for the last night 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.
During our farewell dinner, we discuss the adventures of our horse riding trek.
Adiós y hasta la vista!
After breakfast we say goodbye. Transfer to Girona or Barcelona, or continue to another fun coastal trail.