Accommodation on the ride is in a combination of Paradores and small village hotels that will vary in style, size and character. They are all comfortable and chosen as far as possible for their character and history. Rooms have private en suite bathrooms. Some nights are spent in the Parador of Gredos, an old hunting lodge built by King Alfonso XIII and now an imposing country hotel. 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. The horses spend the night on land adjoining the hotels except at the Parador de Gredos.
A special attention is giving to the meals and quality of your food.
The local cuisine is excellent and much consideration is taken when
planning the meals to provide visitors with a sampling of the many different dishes produced in the area.
Lunch is usually a picnic in the countryside (a table and chairs will be organised). Some lunches will be cooked on the spot, others prepared the village bars or restaurants. Dinner is at the hotels will feature a varied selection of the typical cuisine.
Drinks are included during your meals: white and red wine, sherry, beer, soft drinks. Drinks outside meals - at the hotel bars - are not included.
Vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notice.
Temperatures are strongly influenced by the altitude, with the average of 1400m (the highest point is 1700 m and the lowest is 1000 m ).
The Gredos rides start in April with temperatures that may rise to 15-18ºC. Spring rides are spectacular with beautiful wild flowers and snow in the mountains (May–Early June).
Summer temperatures range from 25-30ºC.
Autumn temperatures average at 18ºC during the day. The weather will normally be sunny with clear blue skies with cool nights. T
The sun can be very intense at this altitude, so a brimmed hat, sunscreen and long-sleeved shirts are highly recommended.
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 comfortable with. Tips should be handed out to Maria Elena who will distribute them as appropriate.
- 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
- 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