Andorra Trail, Spain - Horse Riding Holidays and Safaris

Andorra Trail, Spain

12 NightsStrong Intermediate to AdvancedFrom €3,890 EUR?Tour costs €3,890 EUR which is approximately $6,390 AUD

During this epic 13-day journey from the Mediterranean coast to the heart of the Pyrenees mountains, you’ll traverse two countries on horseback – Spain and Andorra!

Okay, we may have told a white lie: this ride is not entirely Spanish. During your epic 13-day journey from the Mediterranean coast to the heart of the Pyrenees mountains, you’ll also ride through France and Andorra (just casually)! AND let’s not forget the unique identity of Catalonia, the region you’ll be privileged to discover in Spain. That’s three countries in thirteen days!

As one of the most challenging horse riding experiences in Europe, the Andorra Ride is NOT for the faint-hearted: you’ll cover a whopping 350 kilometres (217 miles) of canyons, rivers, mountaintops, cliffside tracks and more, riding for up to eight hours a day. You’ll also spend four nights in tents, packing your gear onto your horse for a few days so you can ride into the otherwise-inaccessible wilderness!

And let’s not forget the horses themselves: noble, courageous Andalusians who tackle the Pyrenees like mountain goats. The beauty of such a long trip is that you’ll develop a deep bond with your horse – forged on mutual trust, heightened with oodles of fast canters across alpine meadows. Seriously, it’s THIS that excites us most about The Andorra Trail: exploring the mountains on a horse of the utmost quality and athleticism, who will take you out of your comfort zone while keeping you safe every step of the way.

If all of that has you champing at the bit, then congratulations! THE most epic ride through the heartachingly-beautiful Pyrenees mountains lies ahead.

Fast Facts

  • Horse Breed:Andalusian and Andalusian-cross. Because of the challenging nature of this ride, the horses chosen are the fittest, most powerful and forward-moving of our ride partners’ herd.
  • Pace:Due to the extremely varied terrain, the riding pace is very mixed. Lively canters and steep mountain climbs mean riders need to be active out of the saddle.
  • Weight Limit:A strict maximum limit of 85kg / 187lbs.
  • Type of tack:Spanish and English endurance saddles.
  • Seasons:June to September.
  • Group size:A minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 riders.
  • Time in Saddle:On average between 6 and 8 hours per day.
  • Riding Ability:Suitable for strong intermediate to advanced riders only. You MUST be very physically fit - not only will you be spending 11 consecutive days in the saddle, sometimes for up to 8 hours per day, but there will be times when you’ll need to dismount and lead your horse on foot, both up and downhill, across challenging mountainous terrain.
    *Please be aware, if you suffer from vertigo you will find parts of this ride VERY challenging.
     Not sure what your riding ability is? Watch THIS video to find out.
  • Accommodation:A variety of accommodation will be enjoyed throughout this ride:
    *5 nights in welcoming family-run hotels/guesthouses with twin share rooms with ensuites or shared bathrooms (depending on the location)
    *4 nights in tents (twin share)
    *3 nights in refuges (multi-person dormitories where all guests share a bunk-bed room, with shared bathrooms down the hall)
    PLEASE NOTE: on the nights you spend camping, facilities will be very limited, with a makeshift long-drop toilet set up, but no access to showers or running water unless from a nearby stream. You need to be prepared to pitch your own tent, help with the food preparation and clean up, and live in more basic conditions. You’ll be rewarded with tranquility and peace beneath a starry sky!
  • Ride Length:13 days, 12 nights, with 11 riding days.
  • Inclusions:

    The price includes twin share accommodation; 11 riding days with half board only (breakfast and saddlebag-packed lunch, including wine), arrival day dinner & departure day breakfast, tax on stays in tourist establishments, and local transfers during the trail.

  • Exclusions:

    The price does not include international or regional flights and travel insurance (compulsory); airport transfers on arrival and departure days; restaurant & catering services during the ride (all dinners apart from arrival day) – a board fee of €330 payable locally IN CASH at the first dinner; alcoholic beverages and soft drinks; coffee/tea at dinner, drinks/food in bars; and staff tips (these are expected, the amount can be decided at your discretion).

 

DEPARTURE DATES & RATES

NEW! Secure your saddle seat NOW with a 10% deposit - as part of our 10x 10% payment plan!
Departing FinishingAvailabilityTotal
June 10, 2024June 22, 2024Available
From: €3,890 EUR ?Tour costs €3,890 EUR which is approximately $6,390 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

From: €4,285 EUR ?Tour costs €4,285 EUR which is approximately $7,039 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

July 1, 2024July 13, 2024Available
From: €3,890 EUR ?Tour costs €3,890 EUR which is approximately $6,390 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

From: €4,285 EUR ?Tour costs €4,285 EUR which is approximately $7,039 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

July 22, 2024August 3, 2024SOLD OUT!
From: €3,890 EUR ?Tour costs €3,890 EUR which is approximately $6,390 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender
From: €4,285 EUR ?Tour costs €4,285 EUR which is approximately $7,039 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room
August 26, 2024September 7, 2024Limited
From: €3,890 EUR ?Tour costs €3,890 EUR which is approximately $6,390 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

From: €4,285 EUR ?Tour costs €4,285 EUR which is approximately $7,039 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price includes twin share accommodation; 11 riding days with half board only (breakfast and saddlebag-packed lunch, including wine), arrival day dinner & departure day breakfast, tax on stays in tourist establishments, and local transfers during the trail.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price does not include international or regional flights and travel insurance (compulsory); airport transfers on arrival and departure days; restaurant & catering services during the ride (all dinners apart from arrival day) – a board fee of €330 payable locally IN CASH at the first dinner; alcoholic beverages and soft drinks; coffee/tea at dinner, drinks/food in bars; and staff tips (these are expected, the amount can be decided at your discretion).

Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. Depending on the ride you choose to book and your country of residence, there will be a 1.2% to 2.9% surcharge.

Click HERE to read more about our fees and charges.
Click HERE to read our recommendations on which cards are best to use to avoid international transaction fees.
WHY IS THE PRICE QUOTED IN EUR?
With our riding destinations, the currency is dictated by our ride partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.

Itinerary

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*Please note, this is a suggested itinerary only and subject to change at the discretion of your guides due to weather and other influencing factors.

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  • Day 1

    Bienvenido a España, globetrotters! Welcome to Spain, and welcome to day 1 of what will quite possibly be one of the most exciting, immersive holidays of your life! You’ll arrive in Barcelona today and be transferred to your accommodation, a converted 16th-century mill surrounded by tranquil gardens and bordered by the River Fluvià.

    As your riding group gets acquainted, you’ll dine al fresco on a wonderful Spanish meal (think tapas – delicious!) but please be advised this won’t be served until approximately 9pm. The afternoon ‘siesta’ is one of the most famous aspects of Spanish life – that dead period in the late afternoon when everything shuts down. Because of this, dinner is eaten later at night, so we definitely recommend eating a rather large lunch before you are picked up, so you can make it to 9pm without your stomach grumbling like a bear!

  • Day 2

    The holiday begins in earnest this morning with a long, lavish breakfast. Then it’s time to meet the beautiful Andalusians who will carry you across the Pyrenees! Once everyone is comfortable in the saddle, your guides will lead you along old shepherds’ paths, following the River Fluvià over the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains. You’re traversing Alt Emporda, a region that somehow has an African vibe despite its orderly rows of grapevines and cork oak forests.

    A saddlebag-packed lunch of Catalan fare will be enjoyed in a peaceful clearing beside the river, whose natural melody will no doubt lull you into an afternoon siesta. Then, back in the saddle, you’ll ride past picturesque villages and idyllic meadows to the town of Besalú. Filled with medieval architecture, Besalú sits on the banks of the Fluvià, where a beautiful, romantic bridge sends arched reflections across the water. There’ll be time to explore the town before reconvening at your hotel, located right beside the bridge. At night, you’ll head to a restaurant in the town square for a delicious dinner of paella, tapas, or other regional cuisine. Then it’s time to rest up for another big day in the saddle!

  • Day 3

    A hearty breakfast will be served at your hotel this morning (hopefully al fresco!) then the ride continues upstream, with plenty of chances for long, relaxed canters along the mountain paths. At lunchtime you’ll dismount in a gorgeous valley for a ‘cowboy picnic’ beside the river. Then, after diving into the water for a heavenly swim, it’s siesta time.

    The afternoon’s ride takes you via the ‘jungle trail’ into the Garrotxa Mountains, where time seems to stand still. Dismounting at a beautiful, atmospheric stone chapel surrounded by towering rocks, you’ll set up camp (in a big, beautiful dome tent!) for the night. Before tucking into dinner inside the chapel, be sure to take a moment to sit and watch the horses grazing peacefully against a backdrop of panoramic peaks and valleys.

  • Day 4

    Today the environment changes yet again as you ride further into the Garrotxa Mountains, with their deep valleys, rugged cliffs and dense oak forests. Dismounting by an alpine stream for another saddlebag-packed lunch, you can enjoy a refreshing dip or follow the horses’ lead and snooze in the shade of a tree.

    The afternoon ride is faster-paced, with stunning canters through forests and along high plateaus leading to your destination, a postcard-worthy village speckled with medieval stone houses and crowned by a Romanesque church. Bedding down at a hotel, your hosts will serve up a moreish evening meal of local specialties (maybe even some Garrotxa cheese!).

  • Day 5

    Travelling away from the Garrotxa region on an ancient trade route, you’ll ride right alongside the French border. Between groves of beech, oak and chestnut trees, the views of the surrounding 3,000-metre-high peaks are breathtaking. Free-spirited canters across lush, wildflower-filled meadows are the highlight of today’s riding. Finally, an isolated track on a long mountain ridge leads you to the small town of Camprodon on the banks of the River Ter. After setting up camp, an evening stroll through the town could very well end at a local bar…

  • Day 6

    Waking up early, you’ll mount up to climb high above the clouds, passing through green mountain pastures and shady forests. This is the High Pyrenees, and you’re heading straight for the summit. Semi-wild Pyrenean horses, cows, sheep and mountain goats graze on sweet meadowgrass, out of which pop colourful flowers including mountain roses, irises, narcissi and gentians. The urge to channel your inner actor and start singing ‘The Sound of Music’ will be hard to resist!

    Coming to a mountain pass, you’ll suddenly be engulfed by a 360-degree vista of mountains stretching all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. Here you’ll dismount for a well-earned lunchtime siesta, watching vultures surfing the wind. Further down the track, a pretty mountain village offers a chance to pause and enjoy a refreshing drink before the climb continues over another long, otherworldly mountain pass. Yet another Pyrenean village sits in the valley at the end of this trail, and you’ll spend the night in a family-run guesthouse, horses grazing outside.

  • Day 7

    Today brings more unbelievably scenic riding through the High Pyrenees. The sense of remoteness here is staggering – it feels more like Mongolia than Catalonia! And yet as you emerge from dense boxwood forests this morning, you’ll find a tiny mining town perched among the peaks. Yet more high alpine pastures invite spirited canters today, the ding-dong of bells on the free-roaming cows and horses announcing your presence. Reaching the summit of today’s ride, another panoramic view awaits: 3,000-metre peaks to the north, the stony mountains of the pre-Pyrenees to the west, the Mediterranean coast to the east and the remarkable jumbled pillars of the Montserrat mountains to the south.

    In the afternoon, moss-covered forests will muffle the horses’ hooves as you descend to a sheltered valley, where a charming mountain hotel offers refuge and comfort for weary two- and four-legged travellers.

  • Day 8

    After filling up on another hearty breakfast, you and your majestic Andalusian will journey onwards through the forest before emerging once again onto the open meadows. If you’re lucky, you might see chamois (a species of goat-antelope) leaping nimbly across the cliff faces. A series of uphill trots and canters culminate in a thrilling gallop to the top of a ridge, where the views are absolutely jaw-dropping.

    Arriving at a well-managed hikers’ hut in the evening, you’ll savour a Pyrenean meal prepared by the caretakers while watching the ever-stunning sunset over the surrounding mountains. Finally, tired but oh so content, you’ll retire to your cosy bed in a dormitory shared with your fellow globetrotters.

  • Day 9

    This morning you’ll have an early start, leaving the hut before sunrise to saddle up the horses and ride into the forest. The magic of the pine trees in the first light of day will transport you to another realm. Emerging from the forest into the stunning Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park, you’ll pause at a mountain hut for morning tea. Beyond this point, the path slopes downwards, until another windswept canter brings you to your picnic spot overlooking the Sierra de Cadi mountains.

    In the afternoon, the trail brings you to a village built entirely of local stone, where a beautifully-appointed farmhouse awaits. After settling into your cosy rooms and savouring a hot shower, your group will rendezvous in the bar or the garden for dinner.

  • Day 10

    The fertile Plains of Cerdanya await on this morning’s ride. You’ll trot and canter your way to the River Ter, where the horses will forge powerfully through the strong current. The land you cross today was once inhabited by the Cathars, and your guides will explain their history as you ride past ruined castles.

    A pristine alpine valley serves as tonight’s campsite, with turquoise pools within the wild river inviting you to wash off the day’s dust. As the horses graze happily on green meadowgrass, you’ll sit back and watch evening fall softly over the ruins of a Cathar castle perched high on a rocky outcrop. With the campfire smoke billowing towards the glittering stars, your cosy tent beckons.

  • Day 11

    This morning you’ll be buzzing with excitement as you pack everything you’ll need for the next two days on your trusty horse, leaving your support crew and venturing deep into the wilderness! The ride begins with a short but challenging climb into Andorra, where you’ll be rewarded by the sight of a lake that wouldn’t seem out of place on a tropical island. This is it, globetrotters – you’ve reached the promised beach, way up here in the clouds! Letting your horses enjoy the fresh pasture, you’ll relax on the ‘beach’ with your lunch before having a siesta, or maybe even another swim. You’ve earned it, riding through two countries in 10 days!

    The afternoon ride is good fun, with pure alpine streams to splash through and views across the remarkable principality of Andorra. Arriving at a magnificent campsite in the middle of the High Pyrenees, you’ll unsaddle your horses and pitch in to set up camp. You’ll be able to bathe in the nearby river if you like, then everyone will help conjure up a simple but hearty meal using the contents of their saddlebags. The camaraderie will be next level after tonight, globetrotters! Finally, bellies full, you’ll be lulled to sleep by the soft sound of cow bells.

  • Day 12

    After packing up camp this morning, you’ll ride through spectacular alpine meadows and river valleys, keeping an eye out for marmots and their burrows. There will be a few tricky climbs as you ascend to your lunch spot, a hidden lake that shimmers enticingly in the midday sun. If you’re not tempted by a siesta after lunch, swimming is definitely an option.

    Back in the saddle, the ascent continues until you reach the highest point of the entire route: 2,600 metres, or around 8,500 feet! The views from this point will make you gape, with the Serra de Cadi and the Aneto, the highest mountain in the Pyrenees, seemingly at eye-level. From here, your horse will pick out a path down to another gorgeous alpine lake, and guess what? You’re back in Catalonia!

    At a nearby guesthouse, your globetrotting group will savour hot showers and a farewell dinner, reminiscing over the unforgettable journey you’ve all shared.

  • Day 13

    After breakfast, you’ll say farewell to your beloved horse and your amazing guides and support crew, then take a transfer back to Barcelona for your onward travels.

  • Transfer Information

    A collective airport transfer service is available at Barcelona Airport on arrival and departure days only for €150 per person round trip. Please note, the price is payable in cash direct upon arrival.

    Pick up time is 5:30pm on arrival day (please ensure your flight arrives no later than 4:45pm for T1 and 4:15pm for T2). Please meet in Terminal 1 at the Group Meeting Point North in front of the CAFE LA TRAMOIA, which is situated opposite the ‘Oficina de Turisme’ (tourism office) – on your right after you clear customs. If you land at Terminal 2, there’s a free shuttle bus departing every 5 minutes that will bring you to Terminal 1.

    Departing flights on the final day can be booked from 2:30pm onwards.

    Due to the large distance between trail starting and ending point, self-driving is NOT an option.

STORIES FROM THE SADDLE

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