Gredos valley Castle ride

Join a relaxed riding holiday in rural Spain. On horseback, you will follow the Tormes river in the Gredos Valley, discovering different landscapes everyday. Your hosts Emilio and Mamen will offer you a taste of true Spanish hospitality, complete with gourmet meals and comfortable accommodation. This is a moderately paced ride, ideally suited to riders looking for a relaxed and authentic trail riding experience in Spain.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Trail Riding
7 days/ 5 days riding
From £1,557

Itinerary

Highlights

- The ride is guided by owner Emilio and all logistics are operated by his wife Mamen. They are the heart and soul of this holiday and always go above and beyond for their guests
- Ride across the ever-changing scenery of the Sierra de Gredos, a mountain range in central Spain known for its pristine rivers and beautiful meadows.
- All horses on this ride are home-bred and superbly looked after by Emilio and Mamen.
  • Day 1 1: HOME - MADRID-NAVARREDONDA DE GREDOS

    Fly to Madrid – flights are not included but can be booked on request.

    Your guide will meet you at Madrid airport (please see dates and prices for transfer times). Transfer to Navarredonda de Gredos, a 2 hours drive with a break in Avila town for a short visit. Avila is an amazing walled medieval town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – a first taste of what is to come! Enjoy your welcome dinner at the hotel with the guides in Navarredonda de Gredos, a quaint mountain village (1,600 m) with beautiful views of the highest peaks in Sierra de Gredos.
  • Day 2 2: NAVARREDONDA DE GREDOS-NAVACEPEDA DE TORMES - 4 hours riding

    Today is a shorter day, as you get used to the horses and get to know the team. You will ride through the Tormes valley and its pine forest and open fields, enjoying great views of Gredos Mountains. Lunch will be at fisherman´s hut with an excellent home-cooked paella beside the river Tormes (for those travelling in the summer, it will be possible to go for a swim). After lunch and a siesta, you will join the afternoon ride to Navacepeda de Tormes. Night and dinner at a local hotel.
  • Day 3 3: NAVACEPEDA DE TORMES-BARCO DE AVILA - 6-7 hours riding

    The longest day in the saddle enjoying the most beautiful views of the Gredos Mountains! You will ride down the valley, through the small and remote medieval villages dotting the area. Lunch at Aliseda de Tormes, beside the Tormes river and its medieval bridge. In the afternoon, you will ride across the wide valley, enjoying different landscapes with steady trots and canters to El Barco de Ávila. You will then ride over the river Tormes, using the Roman bridge in El Barco de Avila, a 12th century village. Night and dinner at a 4* hotel.
  • Day 4 4: EL BARCO DE AVILA-HOYORREDONDO - 6 hours riding

    Another day on horseback in Spain! Today will reach the province of Salamanca, a beautiful flat and dry area, with incredible granite formations. It is a very rural region, and you will see many stone walls and farmers riding donkeys. The landscape today changes again, and you will ride through holm oak woods and pastures. You will arrive at Puente del Congosto, another medieval village with a 15th century bridge and Castle. Picnic today is a lovely affair near the river, in a very beautiful spot for swimming in summer! In the afternoon, you will ride to Hoyorredondo where you’ll spend the night. Night and dinner at a charming rural inn, La Trocha de Hoyorredondo – you can see the horses grazing from your bedroom window!
  • Day 5 5: HOYORREDONDO-NAVACEPEDILLA DE CORNEJA - 6 hours

    Enjoy some lovely trots and canters in the morning as you ride across the flat and open Corneja River Valley to Bonilla de la Sierra, a medieval town with a beautiful church. Lunch today will be a BBQ outside town.
    In the afternoon you will make your way back to the mountains. Night and dinner at a hotel in Navacepedilla de Corneja
  • Day 6 6: NAVACEPEDILLA-NAVARREDONDA - 5-6 hours riding

    A gorgeous mountain ride today that will take you through 3 different valleys. In the morning you will ride to the highest point of the ride, Puerto de Chía (1,800 m), with a magnificent view of the Corneja river valley behind you, and the Alberche river valley ahead. Lunch at San Martin de la Vega with views of the Gredos Mountains. After lunch you will cross the Alberche river and continue to Tormes River valley until you reach the stables. Night and farewell dinner at the hotel in Navarredonda de Gredos.
  • Day 7 7: DEPARTURE

    Departure from the hotel at 10 am – arrival in Madrid airport around 12:00 noon.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights or transportation to your destination (international/domestic) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin or double room during the ride.

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 4 riders and a maximum of 10 international riders, plus guides.

- Please note: the ride will also confirm for 2 riders on payment of a supplement of c. €150/$170/£130; for 3 riders the supplement is €100/$110/£90. Please note that if the group size remains at two, the itinerary will be adjusted to a more centre-based option. Once the group has reached 4 people we will remove this supplement from your invoice and refund you if you have already paid it.

- If you sign up to the ride as a solo rider and there are no other riders likely to share your room, you will be charged a single room supplement of approx. €180/$200/£155. You will then be reimbursed if a sharer is found for you at a later date.

- Transfers from Madrid are included at set times (extra costs for groups with less than 4 riders may apply).
> Pick up at 15:00. Your flight should arrive sufficiently early for you to be at the meeting point on time.
> Drop off in Madrid for flights departing after 14:00.
If your flights do not match the requirements, you may be required to pay for a private transfer (taxi).

- Maximum rider weight : 90kg/198 lbs with equipment on.

- Accompanied young riders aged 10+ are welcome to join provided they match the riding requirements.

- These rides are suitable for accompanying non-riders. They can travel in the support car and join in meals, dinners and others activities, or if they wish can rent a car in Madrid and arrange their own programme.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

English-speaking horse guide (Emilio, the owner)

Logistic

1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle
1 vehicle and driver
Chairs and table for the picnic at lunchtime

Inland transports

Airport transfers to/from Madrid at set times

Accommodation

Double or twin room in hotel of good standards

Meals

Full board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on the final day
Drinks in reasonable quantity

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverage and personal extra

Transport

International flights

Extras

Tips to the local team

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation

Optional

Accommodation

Single room supplement
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    26/05/2024 01/06/2024 £1,557 €1,790 $1,931
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    02/06/2024 08/06/2024 £1,557 €1,790 $1,931
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  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    21/07/2024 27/07/2024 £1,557 €1,790 $1,931
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    11/08/2024 17/08/2024 £1,557 €1,790 $1,931
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    18/08/2024 24/08/2024 £1,557 €1,790 $1,931
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  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    08/09/2024 14/09/2024 £1,557 €1,790 $1,931
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    22/09/2024 28/09/2024 £1,557 €1,790 $1,931
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    13/10/2024 19/10/2024 £1,557 €1,790 $1,931
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    20/10/2024 26/10/2024 £1,557 €1,790 $1,931
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Equestrian info

Horses

All of Emilio’s and Mamen’s horses are excellent PRE or Hispano-arabs. They are homebred and have an excellent life at home with them: they are part of their family and well looked after. They are personally trained by Emilio who shapes them to be good-natured and easy to ride.

Guide & local team

All the trails are personally led by owner Emilio. Emilio is an excellent guide and native to the area (he was born in Barco de Avila, home the “Castles of Gredos” ride). He is a qualified riding instructor and equestrian guide, with over 30 year’s experience! He takes great pride in his herd and has a special bond with each of his horses – he has bred many of them himself in his home, and makes sure they are trained to very high standards.
His partner Mamen is in charge of the logistics and is a delightful lady, always attentive to the happiness of her guests.
Their Border Collie “Brasas” accompanies most of the rides!

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

This ride is open to intermediate and experienced riders. You should be able to ride at all paces over a variety of terrain and in open spaces.

Rider weight limit: 90 kilos / 14,1 st / 198 lbs

Pace

The riding is relaxed with all three paces possible (walk, trot, canter), but this is not a fast ride. Due to the mountainous nature of the terrain, most of the ride is at a walk with some relaxed trots and canters. The pace is overall moderate, allowing guests to take in the scenery and enjoy Emilio’s stories!

Tacking ability and participation

You are not expected to help with grooming/tacking-up, however this is possible should you wish to be involved.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

The riding is moderate and very safe, ideal for intermediate + riders looking for a more relaxing experience on well-behaved horses. Please note that the riding hours are however long (from four to seven hours every day) and you should therefore be riding fit and a confident rider.

Equestrian equipment

Quality English saddles and tack with silicon seat savers and small saddle bags.
We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Helmets are mandatory. We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Travel info

Comfort

You will stay in a variety of accommodations from charming rural Inns in villages to delightful 4* hotels in towns. Rooms are en-suite. WiFi is available everywhere.

Meals

The food is a definite highlight of this trip. Mamen is an excellent cook and takes great care in selecting local produce.
Continental breakfasts.
A mid-morning tapas break typically consisting of olives, nuts, ham and cheese.
Lunch is a sit-down meal with delicious home cooked dishes, including Paella or tortilla.
Dinner is a selection of different Spanish dishes.

Drinks in reasonably quantity are included during the meals, excellent Spanish red and white wines, canned drinks and water.

Special diet (vegetarian, gluten free, allergies, etc) can be arranged with advance notice.

Climate

The summers 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.

Tips

Tips are welcome and recommended – we recommend around €50-€60 for the week, given to Emilio who will share with the rest of the team, but you should tip what you feel confortable with.

Packing list

Head
- 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

Upper body
- 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
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm polar fleece or equivalent
- Waterproof jacket - rain can be difficult to predict and it's better to be prepared.

Legs
- 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)
- 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

Nightwear
- Pyjamas etc

Other useful items
- Swimsuit in the summer
- 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, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat

Medical kit
- 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

Our Recommendations
- 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). Small saddlebags are provided.
- 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

Sustainable tourism

  1. Travel light. It's a little known fact, but the lighter you pack, the better for the environment as heavy bags will produce higher emissions (when flying a plane or driving a car!).
  2. Reduce plastic waste. Take your favorite reusable bottle with you. Avoid single-use bags, cups, or straws.
  3. Preserve nature. Always take your rubbish with you during the ride and recycle them. Leave all the flowers or plants as you found them, and never get too close when observing wildlife. Make sure to use eco-friendly products such as body wash or laundry detergent (if camping) to protect both your skin and the environment.
  4. Choose your experiences carefully. Respect animal life by not participating in any activities that abuse wild animals (shows, elephant rides, etc.).
  5. Support local populations. Buy local handicrafts, be respectful of customs, and learn about the culture of local communities.
  6. Share! Raise awareness among your family and friends about sustainable tourism.

For more information please see this page.