The main accommodation (5 nights) is at Velani country hotel. The 12 en-suite rooms are spacious, with beautiful views over the valley. All rooms have a large private balcony or patio with garden. There is a large infinity pool as well as a separately located children’s pool. WiFi is available. Laundry service is available but there is a charge for this.
Two nights are spent in separate hotels. Those are simple with more basic amenities, but remain comfortable and adequate. Your luggage is transferred by vehicle.
This is a great trail ride for those who want to experience the local healthy Cretan diet or Greek cuisine.
The restaurant at the main hotel only uses fresh ingredients and local products. The restaurant has its own vegetable, herb and fruit gardens providing guests daily with new seasonable ingredients. Some of the local produce used in the restaurant also includes meat from free-ranging goats and sheep from neighbouring farms, cheese made by the local shepherd, homemade raki and honey from a local beekeeper.
Lunches are picnic lunches carried in your saddlebag - lunches on day 1 and 2 are taken in restaurants.
Crete, the largest Greek island, has a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, sunny summers.
The bulk of the rain falls from October to March; in summer, it almost never rains. In winter, but also in spring, it can snow in the mountains, the highest of which is Mount Ida, 2,456 meters (8,058 feet) high.
In winter, from December to mid-March, temperatures are generally mild. For its southern location, Crete is less exposed to cold spells than other Greek islands, however, the temperature can drop at night. Springs and summers are warm to hot (up to 30°C), and very sunny with virtually no rain.
Guide and local team
Sabine (of Dutch descent) and Manolis Fragkakis (Greek), are the owners of the stables and have been welcoming guests on riding holidays since 1997, building the hotel in 2006. V ladimir and Beau complete the team. Your guides will speak English (and Dutch, if led by Sabine).
Safety and horse welfare is their priority - the stables are an ISO 9001:2008 certified yard, with a standardisation for safety and stable management.
Tips are left to your discretion and are not mandatory. We recommend around €40/£35 per rider for the week, to be divided between the team.
- A riding helmet: we recommend that you take your own to ensure a correct fit. Helmet makers (GPA, HKM, LAS Helmets, Lamicell, Troxel, Equithème) now offer horse-riding helmets that are ventilated, strong, light and comfortable.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun or extra warmth
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- In the spring and fall: waterproof jacket (made from Goretex or equivalent) waterproof and breathable
- 2 pairs of lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Casual clothes for the evenings (jeans or walking trousers)
- A swimming costume
- Non-irritant cotton or synthetic underwear
Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Lightweight shoes or trainers for the evenings
- Several pairs of warm socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding
Other useful items
- Water bottle (1.5 litres or 2 equivalent)
- Protein or cereal bars for the longer stretches of riding
- Small plastic bags for you rubbish
- Ear plugs (may be useful)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
Make sure any allergies (to medication or otherwise) and clearly stated in your medical kit
- Any medication you regularly take
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhea medication
- Vitamin C tablets
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Eye drops
- Hydrating/ soothing cream
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc..
- 10cm wide bandage
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera, sunscreen, lip balm etc)
- A soothing cream may be useful to treat areas irritated by long hours in the saddle
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- Keep a copy of your passport and insurance details with you.
In your hold luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant over 100 ml and all bottles can be decanted into small, clear, plastic Ziplock bags. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- In your hand luggage carry any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.