Horse-riding routes around Spain: the new adventure tourism
Would you like to enjoy the experience of discovering Spain on horseback? Then how about taking any of these six organised routes around Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Extremadura and Castile-León? All of them have been endorsed by EQUUSTUR, the European Equestrian Tourism Network, and will enable you to discover all the loveliest parts of these areas in Spain. And as you ride through grazing lands and valleys, you'll come upon mediaeval towns and villages… Pull on your riding boots, join the search for adventure and get ready to enjoy nature at the gallop.
You'll be able to enjoy all these routes (part of a European project consisting of ten itineraries) to the maximum both in summer and in winter, thanks to Spain's great climate. And you have no need to worry about your level, as the itineraries are designed for both amateur and experienced riders. If this idea appeals to you, set aside more than one day, as these routes take place over various days and stop in different places along the way. Here is a brief summary so you can choose the one that interests you most:
The water and holm oak route. Badajoz. 3 days and 2 nights (3 days on horseback). 52.8 kilometres. Average difficulty
This route covers the area around Burguillos del Cerro. You'll be able to see the Roman bridge and the old Celtic and Visigothic settlements located here. And what about a pleasant ride along the old cattle routes, including a visit to the traditional shepherds' encampments known in Spanish as 'majadas'? These are places which provide shelter for shepherds and their flocks.
Route of the wooded pastures and steppes of La Serena. Badajoz. 3 days and 2 nights (2 days on horseback). 46.2 kilometres. Easy
It begins in the village of Castuera, where you'll find a Riding School and where you can visit the Turrón Nougat Museum and the La Serena Nature Centre. You'll be enchanted by the sight of the immense steppe, the Mediterranean scrublands, an Almohad castle, caves with rock paintings…
La Moraña route. Avila. 3 days and 2 nights (3 days on horseback). 77 kilometres. Easy-average difficulty
You're sure to love the area of La Moraña, with its small villages known for their Mudejar art. You'll follow the banks of rivers such as the Adaja, passed by Arévalo castle and the shrine of El Cristo de los Pinares, and ride through landscapes of pine trees and poplar groves, a refuge for the birds of the steppe. A marvel for the five senses.
The green lung of Barcelona. Barcelona. 3 days and 2 nights (2 days on horseback). 57.1 kilometres. Average difficulty
Your route will take you through the Valls del Montcau valleys. You'll be riding through forests of white and red pine and Mediterranean holm oaks, and discover architectural treasures such as the monastery of Sant Benet on the Pla de Bages plain, and the famous Talamanca castle.
Barcelona landscapes. Barcelona. 6 days and 5 nights (5 days on horseback). 111.3 kilometres. Average-difficult
You'll be captivated by the beauty of the landscapes between Barcelona and Montserrat. Trotting between olive and almond groves you'll be able to visit the Sant Llorenç de Munt i l`Obac nature reserve, and enjoy the traditional cuisine of the various charming towns and villages which will transport you back to the Middle Ages. The route starts at a point 45 minutes outside Barcelona, and there is also the option of spending an extra day in the city.
In the Balearic Islands
Route of the Camí de Cavalls. Minorca. 5 days and 4 nights (5 days on horseback). 95.4 kilometres. Average-difficult in some sections.
This route offers the chance to view some of the island's spectacular unspoiled beaches from your horse. This is the ancient Camí de Cavalls, a historic path about 200 kilometres long. Together with the archaeological site of Sanicera, the Cavalleria lighthouse (set on cliffs over 80 metres high) and the S'Albufera des Grau nature reserve, it makes an irresistible offer.
For more details about how to do these routes, the itinerary for each one, and to find out which companies arrange them, the best thing is to visit the official web page of Equustur. This initiative offers the best possible way to combine sport, nature, culture and gastronomy. Treat yourself to an excursion that will linger in your memory.
Things to remember
Some of the routes are led by a guide.
The accommodation and restaurants are generally selected in advance, but there are different options on offer depending on the routes. The establishments selected are all horse-friendly, as they are specially adapted to the needs of this type of tourism.
The printed material with information on these routes is available in Spanish, French and Portuguese, and in many cases in English.
All rights reserved. Turespaña / Segittur © 2013
Website managed by: Sociedad Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, S.A. (SEGITTUR)