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from £1,615 or €1,885
The Herdsman Trail / High Mountains – 6 Nights
The Bandit Trail / Volcanoes, Table Mountains & Canyons – 7 Nights
The Andorra & Spain Trail / Beach to Beach – 2 Countries in 11 days
NOTE: On this Andorra ride, quite a lot of lunches and dinners at local restaurants, hostels, hotels are not included. They are paid locally and covered directly, the cost is €200 which needs to be paid at the beginning of the ride.
Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our ‘Terms & Conditions’ for full details.
Included – All riding, full board accommodation, wine with dinner.
Excluded – Flights, transfers, soft drinks & alcohol, coffee at dinner & tips. NOTE There may be some meals that are not included, which we will specify at time of booking.
Herdsman Trail: Dates 2024
9 – 15 June
30 June – 6 July
21 – 27 July
25 – 31 August
8 – 14 September
Bandit Trail: Dates 2024
11 – 18 May, 19 – 26 May
7 – 14 July
4 – 8 August, 11 – 18 August
7 – 14 September
19 – 26 October, 26 October – 2 November
10 – 17 November, 17 – 24 November
Andorra & Spain Trail: Dates 2024
10 – 22 June
1 – 13 July, 22 July – 3 August
26 August – 7 September
International flight to Girona or Barcelona.
Arrival Barcelona Airport
Group transfer at 5:30 pm. It’s in front of the Café TRAMOYA at the Group Meeting Point North located opposite the “Oficina de Turisme” (after the customs on the right) at Terminal 1. If clients arrive at Terminal T2, there is a shuttle bus every five minutes to Terminal T1.
Departure Barcelona Airport
Book flights to depart from 2:30 pm onwards.
Arrival Girona Airport
Group transfer at 6:30 pm. The meeting point at the airport is in front of Café CAFFRICCIO in the arrival’s hall.
Departure Girona Airport
Book flights to depart from 1:00 pm onwards.
NOTE: The Girona Airport Transfer is NOT available for the Andorra Trail.
Transfer cost is €75 each way per person from Girona airport and Barcelona airport.
If the arranged transfer times do not fit, we can easily arrange a private transfer for you. The costs are approximately €80-€120 from Girona, €240-€280 from Barcelona, depending on the trail start/end points.
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.
This is an amazing collection of 3 different trail rides in the North of Spain for the adventurous rider, centring the high mountain ranges of the Pyrenees.
The Herdsman is an exciting ride from the Costa Brava to the alpine peaks of the Pyrenees, which follows the Herdsmen trails called the “Camino Real” through the Eastern part of Catalonia.
The Bandit trail, the story of the “bandolero” Joan Sala Serallongo, is explored by riding through the vast area of mountains, canyons and volcanoes where the gangs of outlaws hid from the King of Spain – he is likened to our own Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest.
The Andorra trail, which is some 350kms long and possibly one of the most challenging European rides in our collection, This outdoor packed trip goes from the Mediterranean coast to the central Pyrenees. It is an impressive trip for adventurous nature enthusiasts. You will sleep out in the wild for 3 out of 12 nights. An altitude difference of 11,000 metres is covered during the trip – a number that is hard to beat on horseback!
You will be riding, fit, Andalucian type horses, which have been selected carefully and well handled by owner Rude Sotlz. Along the way, you can expect to stay in guesthouses, hotels, and farmhouses, all chosen for their warm welcome and charm.
In 1993 Rudi Stolz had the idea to create trail rides in Catalonia and over the years the rides have developed from one-week round trips to a variety of different and challenging trail-rides, covering the Catalan countryside from the mountains to the sea.
Rudi’s trails are captivating as he manages to show the rider the stunning beauty of the country, on trails that are varied in speed and terrain (from small hidden paths and tracks to wide open beaches). With his many years of experience, he is able to take you on a riding journey to explore the culture, scenery and cuisine of the local area and people. Rudi’s rides are safe and balanced, which is attributable to his intensive training and the natural handling of the horses.
Pyrenean Trails Horses – Andalusians & Andalusian Crosses, Arabs & Arabs Crosses. Good endurance type of horses, which are forward going, responsive rides. You are expected to tack and untack your horse each day.
Level of Riding & Pace – Intermediate to Advanced.
There are long days in the saddle, and we would advise a certain level of fitness to enjoy this holiday fully.
Tack – English Style riding, with their own specifically designed trekking saddles, saddle cloths and saddlebags for maximum comfort for you and your horses.
Weight Restriction – 14 Stone / 90 kg / 200 lbs. Heavier riders can be accommodated, please tell us at time of booking and we can check and make sure the bigger horses are made available.
NOTE: On the Andorra Trail there is a maximum weight limit of 85kgs.
Group Size – Minimum 4 – Maximum 12.
All the accommodation is carefully selected, they are charming, clean, comfortable and well run. Please read all the individual itineraries below for each ride to get an idea of the type of overnight stays on the different trails. There is camping on the Andorra Trail.
You can expect a very high quality of Spanish cuisine, the area is known for fresh vegetables, fruit, game and fish. Breakfasts are continental style, lunches mostly packed in the saddle bags and include local cheeses, hams, salads, bread and wine. Dinners are 3 courses and reflect the local ingredients and style of cooking.
Nowadays herdsmen still pass along the so called “Camino Real” through the north-eastern part of Catalonia. In winter, the herds stay in the mild coastal areas and in summer they make their way up towards the Pyrenees. Round polished, soft, high mountain hills build a contrast to the wild and bizarre rock formations of the Garrotxa mountains. The Mediterranean Costa Brava, deep forests and meadows of the alpine mountains determine the landscape. This diverse trail through quiet and remote herdsmen’s land is an extraordinary and unforgettable adventure for sporty and ambitious horse riders.
Arrival in Barcelona or Girona and transfer to Mas Roca. Our friend Bogi welcomes us to his home, an old mill from the 16th century which enchants us with its unique character. The South American style garden is a beautiful relaxing paradise! What a great place to start your exciting horse-riding adventure into the Pyrenees mountains…
We pass through the hilly countryside of the pre-Pyrenees and follow the river Fluvia in the direction of the mountain, a route taken by old herdsmen like Juan the Shepherd.
The pretty villages of the Alt Empordà are impressive witnesses of an amazing past. In a glade near the river, our friendly “Catalan Buffalo” meets us with a glass of Cava and a beautifully set table.
After our siesta we ride quickly to the medieval town Besalú. Our accommodation for tonight is a hotel right next to the beautiful romantic bridge with a view over the river Fluvià and the town. Before having dinner in the enchanting garden of the restaurant, we can stroll through the alleys of Besalú.
We ride to the wild hilly countryside of Garrotxa, passing through the medieval town of Besalu and crossing the Romanic bridge of Llierca.
We find sparkling turquoise rock pools where we can go for a refreshing swim.
Our agile Andalusian horses carry us safely over the pass of Santa Barbara. From the top we enjoy the fantastic view of the bizarre rock formations. Our destination is a small mountain village where we stay overnight.
The valley of the Llierca lies in front of us with its strong lime rocks. Only the sound of hooves, the splashing of a stream and the calm sounds of the cow bells interrupts the silence of this secluded area.
Birds of prey, reptiles and butterflies accompany us on our way and with a bit of luck we will even see wild pigs or a badger. We will stop for our picnic under two-thousand-year-old oak trees where the turquoise water of the streams invites us for a refreshing dip.
In the afternoon we reach the picturesque mountain village of Beget, where we stay for the night. Our four-legged friends get to fill their bellies in the green mountain meadows.
Our horses carry us deeper into the Pyrenees and an ancient medieval merchant’s path takes us over the border into France. We leave the pre-Pyrenees and ride through beech, oak and chestnut forests that cover the hills. The view of the surrounding 9000 feet high mountains is tremendous.
We ride through the lush flower and gentian meadows and arrive at our destination, the small town of Camprodon on the Pyrenees River Ter. While taking an evening walk through this pleasant place, we make a pit stop at a local bar to have a drink…
We have an early start to ascend to the high regions of the Pyrenees. Our horses carry us over the immense cattle fields where we meet cows, sheep, goats and the occasional wild Pyrenean horse.
We arrive at the high regions which have alpine character, with Narcissi, iris, gentian and alpine roses that transform the hilly meadows into carpets of flowers.
We reach a mountain pass, an infinite steppe of grass and stone, at 6000 feet. The view is magnificent.
To the west we see the highest peak of Catalonia and in the east the Mediterranean glistens in a deep blue. We take a siesta and observe a vulture family rising into the sky, then ride on secluded paths through this wonderful mountain paradise on our way down to the town of St. Joan de les Abadesses. We spend the night in a small authentic mountain hotel where we let our unforgettable trip end with a dinner together.
After breakfast we say farewell and transfer to Girona or Barcelona or continue with a trail to the sea.
Highlights of the trip
Fantastic panoramic views
Swimming breaks at turquoise natural pools
Alta Garrotxa mountains
Mountain pastures of the Pyrenees
Accommodation in the picturesque mountain village Beget
Ride through medieval villages
The Path of Herdsmen Trail is something for real mountain lovers who don’t want to miss out on tasteful accommodation. You will enjoy a dynamic ride from the Mediterranean lowlands to the alpine mountains of the Pyrenees. Lively canters lead into extraordinary climbing passages. Magnificent views will be your reward for the occasional steep climb. In order to cope with the daily descents easily and safely, we recommend comfortable walking shoes with a grip tread. Most days you spend 5-7 hours in the saddle and on the swimming day it is 3 hours. The mountain trail requires some stamina and your desire to be guided in a magnificent mountain world. We ride through alpine terrain, so good weatherproof clothing and suitable sun protection are needed. You do not need to have a head for heights for this trail.
The Herdsmen Trail connects seamlessly with Bandit Trail below, therefore you could make this into a 15 day round trip trail.
The Bandit Trail is based on the biography of the famous “bandolero” Joan Sala Serrallonga, the Catalonian Robin Hood. In north-east Spain, the bandit Serrallonga wandered around the mountains of Guilleries and Garrotxa during the 17th century. The vast pathless area of woodland offered good hiding places to outlaws. Canyons, table mountains and volcanoes rise up in this wild landscape. Rivers, lakes, and waterfalls provide pleasant swimming opportunities. In the picturesque villages, there are still stories told about the gangs of thieves and the Catalan rebels. Today we find an incredible riding paradise where outlaws once hid. The trail of bandits is an extremely diversified horse-riding trek through massive canyons, table mountains and volcanoes.
The transfer brings us into the mountains. Deep in the Spanish Pyrenees, at the foot of the mountain range of Cavallera, there is the small mountain village of St. Joan de Abadesses. This is the starting point of our trail of bandits. During our first meal, together we get to know our guide and chat about the upcoming horse-riding trek.
The horses are saddled, and we mount up. The trail weaves through a marvelous mountain landscape which appears rugged or soft depending on the season. The air is pleasantly aromatic and there is peacefulness with only the sounds of nature. High above on a mountain range a small roman church enjoys an incomparably beautiful position where we stop for a picnic. In a little mountain village, we stay overnight in a cozy guesthouse, where Joan serves us the ‘best’ Paella.
We are riding to the high plateau of Collsacabra, where we can see the merging of the north and south, Mediterranean Sea and high mountains. Lush meadows and dense beech forests cover the land. Ferns spread over, the jungle sprawls and seems to be impermeable. The temperatures are pleasantly cool, with springs and calm brooks refreshing us on the way. In the heart of the high plateau there is the remote but very cozy riding farm of Jordi. Here we can only hear the wind in the trees, the singing of the cicadas and the splashing of the brook. In the evening, we enjoy a bandit’s menu and a glass of wine at an old wooden table, while Joan tells Catalonian stories of the desperados.
Brilliantly our agile “Andalusians” climb over difficult terrain. In spring and summer, the deep green beech forests blink through grey rock mountains, and on the ‘Indian Summer’ days of autumn the forests shimmer like gold – the ambience reminds us of Canada. Vast cattle meadows give us amazing views over valleys and mountains, and we stop for a picnic in the ‘open air restaurant Panorama-Trails’.
Speedily in trot and canter we approach the abundant table mountains. Here we see canyons and waterfalls and hear the calling of birds of prey that sail above. Like an eagle’s nest the small village of Tavertet is located majestically on the edge of a Table Mountain, where we have a beautiful view looking down at a canyon lake that shines deep green below us.
High on top of the edge of the table mountains we ride to the mountains of Guilleries, home of the bandit Serrallonga, the Catalonian Robin Hood. The view from the ‘roof top of Catalonia’ over the green mountains is unique. The evergreen and moist landscape is in contrast to the red, brown and silver-grey rocks of the table mountains.
In the middle of this fascinating mountain landscape, we discover lonely chapels and twisty natural stone villages dating back to Serrallongas’ times. At a clearing, we rest and feel like ‘Outlaws’ from long ago, then we continue our trek through a mystical jungle like area with ferns that cover the path.
At the highest point of the Table Mountain the monastery ‘El Far’ rises up majestically. It is one of the most beautiful viewpoints of Catalonia. We stay here overnight and wake the next morning to the sun rising up over the sea.
We leave the Guilleries and emerge into the land of volcanoes. The landscape is well cultivated but also has a wilderness about it. The extinct volcanoes lie there resting until the end of time.
The last eruption was some thousand years ago and only the black lava and some craters remind us of the explosions. In the mediaeval village Santa Pau, we find cosy accommodation.
We trot and canter along the brook “Ser” and leave the area of Garrotxa. The brook leads into the river “Fluvia” which points us towards the Costa Brava. Stone oaks and pines are the dominant trees here and under their pleasant shade we enjoy our bandit’s picnic.
After a siesta, we ride at good speed towards the medieval town Besalú. Our accommodation for the last night is a hotel right next to the beautiful romantic bridge with a view over the river Fluvià and the town. Before having dinner in the enchanting garden of the restaurant, we can stroll through the alleys of Besalú. During our farewell dinner, we discuss the adventures of our horse-riding trek.
After breakfast, we say goodbye. Transfer to Girona or Barcelona or continue to a coast trail.
Andorra & Spain – 2 countries in 11 days – along a 350km trail the Andorra Trail offers probably the most challenging horse-riding adventure in Europe. This outdoor packed trip goes from the Mediterranean coast to the central Pyrenees. It is an impressive trip for adventurous nature enthusiasts. You will sleep out in the wild for 3 out of 12 nights. It is not only the longest trail we offer, but at the same time one of the toughest trail rides worldwide. An altitude difference of 11,000 metres is covered during the trip – a number that is hard to beat on horseback! Highlights include –
After a transfer from the airport, we spend the first night in an old 16th century mill that has its own special charm. Here we are welcomed by our friend Bogi, who lives in this typical Catalan stone house. The South American style garden is a wonderful paradise! What a wonderful place to start our trail ride into the Pyrenees Mountains. We will meet up with our guide and fellow riders over a delicious evening meal in a cosy atmosphere.
In the morning we get to know our horses. The adventure begins! Following old shepherds’ paths, we cross the hilly landscape of the foothills of the Pyrenees and follow the course of the river Fluvià towards the mountains. The pretty villages of Alt Empordà are impressive witnesses to a grandiose past. We enjoy our packed lunch in a clearing next to the river. After a siesta, we ride at a leisurely pace to the medieval town of Besalú. Our accommodation for the night is in a hotel next to the beautiful Romanesque bridge overlooking the river Fluvià and the town. Before dinner we have the opportunity to stroll through the old streets of Besalú. In a restaurant in the square, we will enjoy a delicious paella or other typical dishes and tapas.
In the morning we ride up the river at a fast pace, then follow mountain paths and enjoy some relaxed cantering. In a beautiful river valley, we stop for a picnic, which our horses also enjoy. A small river beach near the Roman Bridge invites us to swim, jump and dive. The babbling of the water tempts us to have a little siesta. Now we are ready to climb up step by step. A mountain path takes us into the solitude of the Garrotxa Mountains. An atmospheric tipi in a gorge, surrounded by mighty rocks, will be our sleeping place for the night. The acoustics, the solitude and the murmur of the mountain river will inspire us with happiness!
The mountainous landscape begins to change as we ride through the area of the old Garrotxa, with its deep valleys, rugged cliffs and dense forests of oak trees. At lunchtime we enjoy a delicious saddlebag picnic in a lovely spot by the river. After lunch and a siesta, we take a refreshing dip in the mountain stream before continuing at a brisk pace. In the evening we reach our accommodation for the night. With its beautiful stone houses and its picturesque Romanesque church, this small medieval town is rightly considered one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. We enjoy a delicious regional dinner at the hotel.
The route of the trail takes us deeper and deeper into the Pyrenees. Following an ancient trade route dating back to the Middle Ages, we will reach the border region with France. We are leaving the foothills of the Pyrenees behind us. The mountains are now covered with forests of beech, oak and chestnut. The views of the surrounding three thousand metre peaks are breath taking. Crossing the lush meadows of flowers and gentians, we approach our destination, the mountain town of Camprodón, on the banks of the Pyrenean River Ter. During an evening stroll through the pleasant town, there will be plenty of opportunities for a drink in one of the many bars…
Today we will get up early, because we are going to climb high up in the mountains. Across the wide pastures, our horses ascend towards the summit. We meet happy cows, sheep and mountain goats. Here and there wild Pyrenean horses greet us.
We are in the high mountains of the Pyrenees with their alpine character. Flowers such as narcissi, irises, gentians and mountain roses transform the meadows into carpets of flowers. At 1800 metres we reach a pass, an endless steppe of grass and stone. The panorama is magnificent. In the west we can see the highest peaks of Catalonia and in the east the blue of the Mediterranean Sea. We stop for a siesta and observe a family of vultures circling in the sky. Over an elongated mountain pass, we ride on lonely paths through this beautiful mountain paradise down to a small Pyrenean village. We spend the night in a former farmhouse in the valley.
In the morning we cross an old mining village and ride through dense boxwood forests. During the day, some spectacular ascents over endless high alpine pastures await us! We pass herds of cattle and mountain horses that eye us curiously at the sound of their bells. Above us, vultures and eagles circle, their huge wingspan is incredible! Once at the top, we are offered a magnificent panoramic view in all four directions: In the North, the high three-thousand-metre peaks rise, in the West we look at the towering stone mountains of the pre-Pyrenees, in the East the view reaches as far as the Mediterranean coast and in the South, we discover the bizarre mountain range of Montserrat. Satiated by this magnificent landscape, which reminds us of Mongolia, we descend into the valley. The forests and the moss-covered ground swallow the clatter of our horses’ hooves. In the evening we reach our domicile for today, a charming mountain hotel.
On the way again, we emerge from the shadows of the forest into the wide-open spaces of the mountain meadows. We observe the silhouettes of chamois on the horizon, jumping over the rocks with breath-taking speed. Today we have plenty of opportunities for trotting and cantering uphill until we finally reach the mountain ridge in a stunning final spurt. What a magnificent view we are presented with here! Tonight, we sleep in a nicely managed hikers’ hut. The sunset over the surrounding rocky mountains is a unique natural spectacle. After a tasty dinner from the hosts, we stretch out comfortably in the sleeping room.
With the sunrise we leave our night camp. In the morning atmosphere we ride through the overwhelming nature park Moixeró. We arrive at a mountain hut and fortify ourselves with a snack and a cold drink. As we descend, we catch a glimpse of the impressive Cerdanya plateau before cantering to our picnic spot with views of the Sierra de Cadí. Tonight, we are accommodated “luxuriously”. In a nice natural stone village, cosy rooms with a hot shower await us. In the lovely bar of the country house, we are treated to a savoury dinner.
We ride briskly through the lush plains of the Cerdanya. The numerous meadows and grain fields offer the opportunity for trotting and cantering. While crossing the river Ter, our horses fight against the water current. We are entering the land of the Cathars. In an enchanting Pyrenean valley, we set up our camp. The turquoise pools of the torrent serve us as “bathtubs”. High up on a rock, the ruins of a Cathar castle remind us of days gone by. Our horses peacefully savour the nourishing, lush green high mountain grass. In this ambience we come to rest and gaze at a twinkling starry sky before falling asleep.
Today we set off on a challenging climb to Andorra. It is an exciting day as we have everything we need for the next two days in our luggage! We are amply rewarded for the effort of the ascent: the view over the high mountain landscape is unique. Here we are: at an altitude of 2500 m and in only 11 days of riding we have ridden across 2 countries! Our horses graze in a pretty pasture by the river while we dangle our feet in the stream gump and enjoy the soothing refreshing water! In the evening, we reach a beautiful spot in the middle of the high Pyrenees, where we set up our camp. We prepare a rich dinner from our pack bags and come to rest sated, while the bells of the alpine cows spread their calming sound around us.
On the way across beautiful mountain meadows and through river valleys, we keep a lookout for marmots. After some challenging climbs we cross the pass and reach the highest point of our journey: We are at an altitude of 2600 m! From here we have a spectacular view of the Serra de Cadí and the highest mountain in Catalonia, the Pica d’Estats. We carefully make our way down through this enchanting landscape to a shining mountain lake. We have reached our destination! We are back in Catalonia. In a nearby guesthouse, we enjoy a well-deserved hot shower and a farewell dinner together, during which we review our adventure. What a wonderful time we had!
After breakfast, farewell and transfer to Barcelona.
This route is an incredible and unforgettable experience. However, to get the most from this unique adventure trail ride, you must be aware of a number of factors and come prepared and able to adapt to the conditions.
The riding is through challenging terrain and the days are long – often with up to 8 hours in the saddle, covering up to 50 kilometres in one day. The Andorra packing trip is known as the most challenging trail ride in Europe! Only experienced riders will be able to enjoy this route and you must be comfortable and safe at all paces. Furthermore, you should be able to mount and dismount on both sides of your horse without assistance in difficult terrain.
Where the route is particularly challenging, we have to dismount and lead the horses. You should therefore be fit and able to hike both up and downhill in mountainous terrain. In addition, you should not attempt this route if you are afraid of heights.
Being in the mountains means that conditions can change quickly and unexpectedly. You should therefore come willing to be patient, flexible and understanding when plans change due to unforeseen circumstances.
Sleeping outside in the mountains allows you to really experience the freedom and nature of this beautiful area. However, you must understand that most nights are spent at campsites without facilities such as toilets and hot showers. Instead, you should be prepared to pitch your own tent, help with the food and live in more basic conditions. You will be rewarded hugely, with peace and tranquility below a starry sky. This route has a maximum rider weight limit of 85kg.
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.