Bandit Trail, Spain

7 NightsIntermediate to AdvancedFrom €1,590 EUR?Tour costs €1,590 EUR which is approximately $2,470 AUD

This ride is for globetrotters with a rebellious streak and an appetite for adventure!

As the name suggests, The Bandit Trail sees you ride in the footsteps of the famous 17th-century ‘bandolero’ Joan Sala Serrallonga, Catalonia’s very own Robin Hood! Serrallonga roamed the Pyrenees mountains in northeast Catalonia with his gang of bandits, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. And once you’ve set eyes on these mountains, you’ll understand how he evaded the king’s men for so long!

Amidst the rugged canyons, the cliff-edged table mountains and the outlines of long-extinct volcanoes lie crumbling castles, thundering waterfalls and fairytale villages. And weaving through this phenomenal landscape are whispers of kings, rebels, saints and damsels, made immortal by their legendary deeds.

But let’s not forget the real heroes: the majestic Andalusian horses! Spain’s pride and joy, these agile and beautiful steeds are legends in their own right. Prepare to be spellbound as you ride up above the clouds to a kingdom poised between myth and reality.

Each day brings new discoveries, and each night you’ll enjoy the hospitality of a traditional Catalan guest house or hotel. There’s plenty of comfort, but plenty of wilderness, too. Oh, and the mountaintop canters will take your breath away!

Fast Facts

  • Horse Breed:Andalusian and Andalusian-cross.
  • Pace:The trail includes mountainous and flat terrain in the valleys and plains. For this reason the riding pace is very mixed. Lively canters and steep mountain climbs mean riders need to be active out of the saddle. For example, at two points of the itinerary the horses have to be led on foot due to the terrain. Comfortable walking shoes are very helpful for the ~30 minute descents.
  • Weight Limit:A maximum of 90kg / 198lbs.
  • Type of tack:Spanish and English endurance saddles.
  • Seasons:May to November.
  • Group size:A minimum of 4 and a maximum of 12 riders.
  • Time in Saddle:On average between 4 and 6 hours daily.
  • Riding Ability:Suitable for intermediate to advanced riders only. Not sure what your riding experience is? Watch THIS video to find out.
  • Accommodation:A mixture of country guest houses, pensións (boarding houses) and welcoming family-run hotels. Please be advised the accommodation varies each night from twin-share rooms with ensuites to twin-share rooms with shared bathrooms depending on the location.
  • Ride Length:8 days, 7 nights, with 6 riding days.
  • Inclusions:

    The price includes twin share accommodation; 6 riding days with half board only (breakfast and picnic lunch, including wine), arrival day dinner & departure day breakfast, and tax on stays in tourist establishments.

  • 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 €90 payable locally IN CASH at the first dinner; alcoholic beverages and soft drinks; coffee/tea at dinner, drinks/food in bars; entrance fees to museums and monuments; and staff tips (these are expected, the amount can be decided at your discretion).

 

DEPARTURE DATES & RATES

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Departing FinishingTotal
May 8, 2022May 15, 2022
€1,590 EUR ?Tour costs €1,590 EUR which is approximately $2,470 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBooking Request
€1,800 EUR ?Tour costs €1,800 EUR which is approximately $2,797 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own roomBooking Request
May 29, 2022June 5, 2022
€1,590 EUR ?Tour costs €1,590 EUR which is approximately $2,470 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBooking Request
€1,800 EUR ?Tour costs €1,800 EUR which is approximately $2,797 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own roomBooking Request
July 17, 2022July 24, 2022
€1,590 EUR ?Tour costs €1,590 EUR which is approximately $2,470 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBooking Request
€1,800 EUR ?Tour costs €1,800 EUR which is approximately $2,797 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own roomBooking Request
July 31, 2022August 7, 2022
€1,590 EUR ?Tour costs €1,590 EUR which is approximately $2,470 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBooking Request
€1,800 EUR ?Tour costs €1,800 EUR which is approximately $2,797 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own roomBooking Request
October 30, 2022November 6, 2022
€1,590 EUR ?Tour costs €1,590 EUR which is approximately $2,470 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBooking Request
€1,800 EUR ?Tour costs €1,800 EUR which is approximately $2,797 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own roomBooking Request

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price includes twin share accommodation; 6 riding days with half board only (breakfast and picnic lunch, including wine), arrival day dinner & departure day breakfast, and tax on stays in tourist establishments.

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 €90 payable locally IN CASH at the first dinner; alcoholic beverages and soft drinks; coffee/tea at dinner, drinks/food in bars; entrance fees to museums and monuments; and staff tips (these are expected, the amount can be decided at your discretion).

Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all card payments. 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. This particular trail can also be ridden in either direction. The direction you take will be decided at the discretion of your guides just prior to departure.

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  • Day 1

    Today is the day, globetrotters – you’re off to explore the rugged Pyrenees Mountains of Catalonia on the back of a powerful Spanish horse! If you’re flying into Barcelona or Girona today, you’ll have plenty of time to get your bearings before meeting the group transfer at Barcelona Airport at 5:30pm or Girona Airport at 6:30pm. Travelling deep into the Pyrenees, you’ll arrive at the foot of the Cavallera mountain range, where the small village of St. Joan de Abadesses lies nestled beside the River Ter. As the shadows lengthen across the mountains, you’ll settle into your accommodation and get acquainted with your hosts and fellow guests.

    Thanks to the famous afternoon ‘siesta’ – that dead period in the afternoon when everything shuts down in Spain – dinner is eaten later at night. We definitely recommend eating a large lunch today so you can make it to 9pm!

  • Day 2

    After breakfast this morning, you’ll pack your bags and head out to meet the horses. Once you’ve been matched with the majestic Andalusian who will carry you across Catalonia, it’s time to set off on the first leg of the journey. Depending on the season, the alpine scenery could be covered in flaming autumn leaves or spring blossoms, or unveiled in all its rugged, rocky glory. The fresh mountain air will soon impart a great sense of peace as you head further away from civilisation.

    A few hours later, you’ll spot a small Roman church perched high above on a mountain – that’s your lunch spot! A picnic with a fabulous view awaits, after which you’ll have time to look around or take a siesta.

    The afternoon ride brings you to a small mountain village, where you’ll stay in a cosy guesthouse and savour some of the best paella in Catalonia.

  • Day 3

    Today you’re riding to the high plateau of Collsacabra. Located just 50 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea, the views from the ocean to the high Pyrenees mountains are a very special sight. Along the way, lush meadows and dense beech forests cover the land. Ferns sprawl across the ground and vines climb in every direction. At times your surroundings look more like an impenetrable jungle than a temperate alpine forest! The temperature at this altitude tends to be pleasantly cool, with springs and calm brooks inviting you and your horse to make a splash.

    Ascending the plateau, you’ll ride on with cliffs and forested slopes both above and below until, in the afternoon, you reach a remote and beautiful horse farm. The tranquility here is unreal – the only sounds are the wind in the trees, the singing of the cicadas and the splashing of the nearby brook.

    In the evening, you and your fellow globetrotters will enjoy a meal fit for a bandit. Wine in hand, you’ll sit back while your guide regales you with Catalan stories of damsels and desperados.

  • Day 4

    Canyons and table mountains dominate the scenery today, and your Andalusian will astound you with his agility and surefootedness.

    In spring and summer the deep green beech forests blanket the grey stone of the mountains, and in autumn they transform the slopes into shimmering gold. Vast meadows dotted with cattle offer spectacular views over the ranges and plenty of chances for long, free-spirited canters.

    You’ll catch your breath over another tasty picnic followed by your new favourite ritual, the afternoon siesta, then the trots and canters resume! As you near the table mountains, you’ll ride past magnificent canyons and tumbling waterfalls, with birds of prey soaring overhead.

    Then, at the flat top of a mountain, the village of Tavertet will appear, perched like an eagle’s nest on the edge of the plateau. From here, tree-covered mountains stretch all the way to the horizon and a deep turquoise lake shimmers below the cliffs. Be sure to make the most of your evening in this unique village, globetrotters.

  • Day 5

    Your ride today takes you to the Guilleries Massif, a mountain system that was once home to the ‘Catalan Robin Hood’, a bandit known as Serrallonga. Your guide will tell you stories of this Catalan hero as you ride along the very edge of the table mountains. Whether there’s cloud filling the void below the clifftops or a clear view for hundreds of miles, the dizzying vista will have you feeling like you’re literally on top of the world! Hidden amidst this fascinating landscape are lonely chapels and time-worn stone villages dating back to Serrallonga’s day. It would come as no surprise if a group of bandits thundered around the bend astride snorting Andalusians, swords at the ready!

    In the afternoon you’ll traverse a jungle-like forest where ferns cover the path and eerie birdsong echoes through the canopy. At the highest point of the day’s last ascent, crowning a table mountain, stands El Far Monastery. I know we’ve harped on about the views a lot, globetrotters, but seriously: the monastery boasts one of the most breathtaking views in Catalonia. And you’re lucky enough to be spending the night here!

  • Day 6

    Waking up to an unforgettable sunrise over the far-away sea, you’ll enjoy a filling breakfast at the monastery before greeting your noble steed and setting off for another day of alpine adventures. Leaving the Guilleries Massif behind, you’ll ride into Garrotxa, the land of volcanoes. Here the land is well cultivated, but the sense of freedom remains strong. Extinct volcanoes shaped the landscape long ago and now lie still, their fertile soils feeding verdant crops. The last eruption was some thousand years ago; only the black lava and the occasional crater hint at the region’s explosive history. You’re still high up, and the snow-covered peaks of the Pyrenees loom on the horizon as you canter across grassy meadows. Finally you’ll ride into the medieval village of Santa Pau, where your cosy accommodation awaits.

  • Day 7

    This morning, you’ll trot and canter alongside the picturesque River Ser and splash through the crystal-clear currents. The River Ser meets the River Fluvià as you turn towards the distant Costa Brava. Between you and the ocean are sun-dappled forests of stone oak and pine, picture-perfect farmland and ancient stone villages.

    In the shade of the trees you’ll savour one last bandit’s picnic and afternoon siesta, then the pace picks up as you ride 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 you return to your hotel, which is located right beside the bridge. A farewell dinner will be served in the garden as you and your fellow globetrotters reminisce over your unforgettable holiday.

  • Day 8

    After breakfast, you’ll say your farewells and catch your chosen transfer back to either Girona or Barcelona Airport for onward travel.

  • Transfer Information

    A collective airport transfer service is available at Barcelona and Girona Airports on arrival and departure days only. Please note, the price is payable in cash direct upon arrival.

    FROM BARCELONA AIPORT – €60 pp, one way.

    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.

    FROM GIRONA AIRPORT – €60 pp, one way.

    Pick up time is 6:30pm on arrival day (please ensure your flight arrives no later than 6:00pm). Please meet in front of CAFE CAFFRICCIO in the Arrivals Hall. Departing flights on the final day can be booked from 1:00pm onwards.

    SELF DRIVE – €60 pp, total.

    The other option is self-driving to the start of the ride. Our local hosts will inform you of the exact address of the ride starting point closer to departure (the trail can be ridden in either direction – this is decided closer to departure) where you can leave your car for the duration of the ride. Please be aware that the trail starting point and end point are NOT the same and therefore there is an additional transfer cost of €60 in order to get back to your car on departure.

STORIES FROM THE SADDLE

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