Two nights are spent at the National Parador of Gredos, an ancient hunting lodge built by the king Alfonso 13th, the first Parador opened in Spain. Other nights will be in comfortable rural hotels with excellent cuisine. The last night in Avilais will be spent at the luxurious Parador of Avila, a 16th century Palace in the historical centre, backing onto the majestic city walls. Hotel rooms are twin bedded, but single rooms can be arranged at a supplement. Your luggage is transported from hotel to hotel by back up vehicle. Breakfast and dinner each day will be eaten at the hotels. Lunches are very rustic picnic style whilst out riding.
A special attention is giving to the meals and quality of your food.
All picnics are taken at the table and dinners are taken at the hotel.
Drinks are included: white or red wine, sherry, beer and soft drinks.
The summers in Madrid can get very hot and are usually very dry. During July and August, the hottest months, the daytime temperature will sometimes get above 35 °C. It is not uncommon to have temperatures above 40 °C.
The rainiest months are November and December.
Guide and local team
Maria Elena is the owner and lead guide on certain dates. She is a qualified trail leader certified by the Spanish Riding Federation. After many years spent working for the Marketing department of an American corporation, she decided to change careers and to dedicate herself to her passion for travels and horses. She speaks fluent French and English. She has ridden in several countries herself, including Tunisia, Argentina, the USA, Australia and Botswana.
On other dates, the ride will be guided by Danish-born guide Selma, who loves the variety that working with horses brings and especially enjoys breaking in young horses and improving more established ones. She loves guiding and spend time getting to know the people who come and share this beautiful part of the world with her.
Tips are welcome and recommended - usually 10%, but you should tip what you feel confortable with.
- Riding helmets are mandatory and we recommend that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana for protecting your neck and face from the sun and dust
- Thermal long-sleeved tops are a lightweight way of providing extra warmth, particularly in spring/autumn
- Long sleeved shirts to provide protection from the sun
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm polar fleece or equivalent
- Waterproof jacket - rain can be difficult to predict and it's better to be prepared.
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Waterproof over trousers
- Casual clothes for the evenings (jeans or walking trousers)
- Thermal leggings
Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps or long boots.
- Lightweight shoes for the evenings
- Several pairs of socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding
- Pyjamas etc
Other useful items
- Swimsuit - there are pools on some nights
- Small backpack for accessing items required during the day (carried by support crew)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)
In your luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag.
- Swiss army knife or equivalent
In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided with a capacity of 60-80 litres.
- 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 (passport, camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- 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!
- Any liquids in your hold luggage, such as shampoo, moisturiser, over 100ml should be decanted into small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- In your hand luggage take any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals