Greece - Velani Country Retreat, Crete
A gorgeous idyllic retreat in rural Crete, trail riding through the glorious countryside or if you are a beginner, learn to ride, finishing the days cooling off by the infinity pool - the perfect riding holiday!


We GUARANTEE you won't find the same horse riding holiday at a lower price through any other source... and if you do, we promise to refund the difference!

from £920 or €1,075

Horse Riding Holidays Greece – Velani Country Retreat, Crete


Velani Country Retreat, Crete: Prices 2024

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High Season – 17 March – 3 November & 14 December – 11 January
Low Season – 4 November – 13 December

Panorama Ride 7 Nights – Available 17 March – 1st July & 1 September – 31 December

  • Low season $1,500
    • GBP: 1,175
    • EUR: 1,381
  • High season $1,576
    • GBP: 1,235
    • EUR: 1,451
    per person sharing

Sunny Ride 7 Nights – Available 18th June – 10th September

  • Low season $1,302
    • GBP: 1,020
    • EUR: 1,198
    per person sharing
  • High season $1,378
    • GBP: 1,080
    • EUR: 1,268
    per person sharing

Learn To Ride 7 Nights – Available 17th March – 31st December

  • Low season $1,174
    • GBP: 920
    • EUR: 1,081
    per person sharing
  • High season $1,251
    • GBP: 980
    • EUR: 1,152
    per person sharing
  • Single Supplement – There is no single supplement if you are willing to share, otherwise $268
    • GBP: 210
    • EUR: 247
    per week to guarantee a single room.

Room Upgrades

  • Deluxe Suite $498
    • GBP: 390
    • EUR: 458
    per room per week.
  • Panorama Wellness Suite $996
    • GBP: 780
    • EUR: 917
    per room per week.
  • Superior Wellness Suite $1,149
    • GBP: 900
    • EUR: 1,058
    per room per week.

Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our ‘Terms & Conditions’ for full details.

Included – All riding, accommodation in a room with terrace; meals (from dinner on the first day to breakfast on the last day); riding as per the itinerary (no riding on arrival or departure day).

Excluded – International flights, drinks, deserts & ice cream, transfers & tips.

Crete Velani Country Retreat: Dates 2024

Open all year round except 8th January to the 14th March & 25th November to the 21st December
NOTE: The Panorama Ride is not available during the very hot months of July and August.

Getting There
Heraklion is the closest airport, 40km away from the hotel. You can also fly to Chania which is a 3-hour drive.

Transfers 2023
From the airports you can either rent a car, we can arrange transfers and there’s also option of public transport.

From Heraklion airport we can organise transfers for €55 each way per vehicle.

From Chania you can take a bus to Hersonissos and from here a transfer which costs €30 each way.

Remember our Horse Riding Holidays GUARANTEE. You won’t find these Horse Riding Holidays (or any of our Horse Riding Holidays) at a lower price through any other source… and if you do we will refund the difference.


A stunning boutique type hotel run more like a personal guest house at the foot of the Dikti Mountain Range in Crete. With onsite stables and fabulous horses to suit all types of riders this is a little slice of horsey heaven if you want fun riding, or want to learn to ride too, nice accommodation, sun, gorgeous food and drink and time to chill…really you can’t go wrong!

Competent riders can explore the surrounding area on the Panorama Rides. Novice riders can choose the Learn to Ride programme. Sunny Rides offer shorter rides in the cool of the morning or evening. There is plenty of time to spend either visiting the beach or heading into the mountains and the Lassithi Plateau. Children are welcome all year round with riding programmes for all ages.


Horses – There are 20 horses, a mix of Arabs, Thoroughbreds and Warmbloods, plus a Section B pony for the kids. They mostly range from 14.2hh to 16.2hh.

Level of Riding & Pace – Beginner to Intermediate riders. If you need help choosing the program to suit your level, please ask.

Tack – English style

Weight Restriction – 90 kg / 14 st / 200 lbs.

Group Size – Maximum 11.


Velani Hotel
The country hotel Velani run by your hosts is perched high on a hillside overlooking the Lake Aposelemis in the foothills of the Dikti Mountains. It is a secret haven hidden in a rocky wilderness of ancient stone and protected Kermes oak forest. It is these oak trees with their evergreen leaves and ‘Velani’ fruits that gave the hotel its name.

A charming hotel in a serene quietness, with spacious and comfortable rooms. All rooms have a breath-taking view and give you a feeling of relaxing with nature on your doorstep.

With a 4-hectare estate, there is onsite pasture for the horses to roam and also various gardens for fruit, vegetables, herbs, and flowers as well as an olive grove for the production of their own olive oil.

The rooms are gorgeous with 3 different room types and options to upgrade at an extra cost just ask. With a fantastic infinity pool, a jacuzzi (extra charge) and a yoga area with mats available for hire there is always some relaxing to be done.

Meals are taken en-group at the hotel and the food is delicious.

The Velani restaurant uses its own fruit and vegetables to prepare the famous healthy Cretian diet; their kitchen utilizes their home-grown produce as well as that of the local farms and surrounding villages. Try typically Greek dishes with extra virgin olive oil, Cretian wine made from ancient grape species, meat and cheese from the free-ranging sheep and goats of the neighbours, honey from the local beekeeper and eggs from the hotels own free ranging chickens.

Most dietary requests are accommodated – Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Intolerant etc, please just ask.

Please Ask About

  • Hiking trails
  • Mountain biking
  • Paragliding
  • Golf (7km from hotel)


There are 4 different programs you can chose from:

Panorama Rides: Each day you ride out from the stables, returning to Veláni Country Hotel. The rides are from three to five hours long and all are within the Langada Valley. Most days you will return to Veláni Hotel for a late lunch and a leisurely afternoon, whilst on other trails you may have lunch at a local taverna.
The pace on the ride is varied, depending on the terrain, with opportunities for trots and canters on the rural tracks. You should be a competent rider, capable at all paces over uneven terrain. Over a seven night stay you ride on six days for a total of about 22 hours. The Panorama Rides do not run during the hot summer months of July and August. Children aged 12 years and over, who are experienced riders, may be accepted on the Panorama Rides, subject to an assessment.

Sunny Rides: The Sunny Rides itinerary offers a more relaxing holiday with two-hour hacks either in the morning or in the evening. Rides are split according to ability; a slower ride with generally only one short canter, and the other being more challenging. For these rides you should be happy at walk, trot and canter. Over a seven night stay you ride on six days for a total of about 12 hours. Additional riding can be arranged and paid for locally, subject to availability. Children aged 12 years and older (and exceptionally aged 11 years and under) who have the required experience, may join the Sunny Rides, subject to an assessment.

Learn to Ride: There are two different instructional programmes available all year round. The Beginner Course is for riders who have never ridden before, whilst the Starter Course is aimed at riders who have had some riding lessons, or have ridden in the past, and are keen to improve their basic riding skills. The holiday includes a combination of private and group lessons together with hacks in the area. Lessons in horse care (grooming and tacking up) are also included. Over a seven night stay you ride on six days for a total of about six hours. Children aged 12 years and older are welcome on this programme.

Children’s Programme: This programme is for children aged 8 to 11 years, who are able to walk and trot. Children from the age of 4 can enjoy ten-minute pony rides, whilst from 6 years old they can have half hour lunge lessons in the arena.


Zara’s Planet Horse Riding Holidays Guarantee:

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

If you are having trouble finding exactly the right horse riding holiday for you from our horse riding holidays collection, please contact us directly using the form below and tell us in your own words what you would like to do and we will use our extensive knowledge to make sure we find that perfect horse riding holiday.


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