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Inns to Castles Horse Trip
Exporing the history and culture of the Spanish Pyrenees on horseback
Spain has long been the destination of traditional tourism for its monumental cities, paintings and Moorish castles. We take you a step further to the Kingdom of Aragons magnificent mountains and small villages, traveling by horseback into a remote part of the Pyrenees. We stay each night in a quality inn or hotel. We offer both a short itinerary concentrating on the horses for those with limited time and funds and the full itinerary which gives you an overview of European history and Spains role in it. ON the full itinerary, well visit the slot canyons world re-known in this region on an optional hike into these limestone canyons which cut narrow chasms 300 feet deep in to an exotic world of light and shadow, falls and pools. Starting in Madrid where the El Prado museum houses the world treasures of Goya, El Greco and Rembrandt and the ancient Visigoth capital of Toledo is a short visit away, we travel northeast to the Sierra de Guara in the Pyrenees to end in Barcelona, home of some of the worlds architectural treasures.
Day 1- Arrive to Madrid in the morning. Transfer to the Hotel Room Mate Alicia. Free day to rest up or explore the El Prado and the Gran Via for dinner on your own.
Day 2- Trip introduction over breakfast. We embark on a tour through Madrid and on to Toledo to walk the ancient streets whose story began in prehistoric times, encompassing the Iberian, Roman, Visigoth, Moorish, Christian and modern Spanish cultures. The standing monuments, many still lived in today, tell the history of Europe. Well return to Madrid for tapas out on the town. B.
FULL ITINERARY WE GET YOU TO ZARAGOZA ON DAY 3, SHORT ITINERARY YOU FLY TO ZARAGOZA AND TRIP BEGINS HERE ON DAY 3:
Day 3: We meet you in Zaragoza and transfer to Nocito ,presentation of the
horses, riding instruction and time to adjust the tack and go for a trial short ride(1/2 h)to test
horses and riders.Night in La Mallata (see description below)
Day 4:We start on the mule paths to the Monastory of San Urbez and the abandoned villages of Abellada and Azpe where we stop for picnic, we join again the main valley by the waterfall of the Cardito and we stop near Bara where we leave the horses for the night. Transfer to Nocito by bus (1/2H) Night in La Mallata
Day 5:Transfer to the horses. After following the river of Used until the entrance of the Cañon of Gorgas Negras, we climb to the plateau of Otin to descend and cross the spectacular Cañon of Mascun to climb again to the village of Rodellar where we stay for the night in a simple guest house with local restaurant in the village of Rodellar)
Day 6: We come back to the Cañon of Mascun to follow the botton of this amazing natural sculpture before climbing on the other edge under the numerous Griffon Vultures , we still explore different view of the Cañon before go back to Bara where we leave again the horses for the night,transfer to Nocito by bus (1/2H) Night in La Mallata.
Day 7:Transfer to the horses.We start a long climb of 900m to join the top of the reach of the Sierra de Guara crossing the largest summer pastures and from where we have a large and spectacular panorama of the snowy Pyrenees before the descent by the gorge of La Pillera to Nocito. Night in La Mallata.
END SHORT ITINERARY WITH TRANSFER BACK TO ZARAGOZA ON DAY 8 AND FLIGHTS HOME. OR CONTINUE FULL ITINERARY:
Day 8 : Departure after breakfast to the small mountain community of Ainsa, where an old walled city where people still have wine bodegas under the stable and their living quarters above lies restored above the newer town. We stay in the 16th century Hotel Los Siete Reyes. We travel in our van up into the lovely Canon Anisclo. Through sculpted rock and narrow towering walls we hike a circular path in this spectacular limestone canyon. Those who would prefer to explore the typical Spanish town of Ainsa and shop in the myriad of stores that are a part of the "new" town located below the ancient walls are free to do so. We gather for an unbelievable 7 course dinner in an 11th century bodega. B. L. D.
Day 9 : Well travel a short ways to Monzon in our van and catch the train to Barcelona (3 hours) located on the Mediterranean coast. A completely different experience from Madrid, Barcelona is known for its fantastic architecture and beauty. After a tour of the sites well meet for tapas out on the town. We stay at the historic Granvia Hotel. B.
Day 10 : After breakfast we transfer you to the airport for your flight home or take off to explore more of Spain! B.
La Mallata: Bertrand Cauchy arrived in the Sierra de Guara in 1980. With his wife Marie and their two children, they gradually melted into the village of Nocito where they now own their inn "La Mallata".
La Mallata, at the heart of Nocito,is a typical High Aragon house. It is named after the resting points used by the Aragonese shepherds in the mountains.
Welcoming and comfortable, with double-bed rooms, la Mallata offers riders and occasional hikers simple comfort in this lovely remote village.
Hearty breakfasts and delicious meals are cooked by Marie, the hostess.
Bertrand offers an original approach to horse-riding in which he develops a close relationship with the horses, built on the observation and respect of the social rules of the herd. By integrating himself into the hierarchy of the group, Bertrand replaces authority, submission and stress with respect, trust and sharing. Here, no bit, no spur, no crop. Everything is meant to make the horses and their riders lives as comfortable as possible.
For 30 years, his observation of horses and his experience in riding tourism, increasingly appreciated, have been recognised against his will in the first documentary showing his relationships with horses, which was awarded the first prize at the Epona International Documentary Festival in Cabourg (France).
Suitability: This itinerary is appropriate for beginners and families, there is always the option to not ride for the day when we are staying at La Mallata, and hike or bike or relax with a book instead. We can offer a more challenging itinerary for a group of more experienced riders. Bertrand and his wife run a small but highly professional horse outfit with responsive and reliable horses that they train themselves. As they keep very busy the horses are very experienced in this mountain terrain and with all types of riders. Although on any itinerary, you do not need to be an expert rider, we recommend some previous riding experience and confidence around horses. You should be in good physical fitness as there will be times we need to walk. We give instruction and attention to the less experienced as we travel.
This is a well researched itinerary which we make every effort to follow. However, the trip is subject weather, landslides and many events beyond are control, which may cause changes and delays. We may also change the route for other good reasons. Please come prepared to cheerfully accept the unexpected!
We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance when you book. This can reimburse you if you need to cancel last minute due to sickness or other emergencies. One company is Travel Guard 1-800-826-7488 or compare prices at www.insuremytrip.com.
Air Travel: We recommend our agent Earl Fox, 800-732-3023, 719-473-9800, fax 719-473-9921,
firstname.lastname@example.org for great quotes on air.
Inclusions: All accommodations, land transportation, ,gentle responsive horses, European tack, and saddle bags. Meals as indicated: B- breakfast, L- lunch, D- dinner.
Exclusions: Not included are airport taxes, air travel, bottled drinks and alcohol, gratuities, entry fees to museums, churches, etc., personal expenditures, meals not listed, costs resulting from illness or injury and emergency evacuation, program changes and delays beyond our control.
Call or e-mail us to answer your questions or make a reservation. Carefully read the application/contract form for details about payment, cancellation, refunds and legal responsibilities. You can reach us at the following numbers:
Bear Basin Ranch -phone 719-783-2076, toll free fax 866-244-4691.
As we are frequently outdoors and leading trips, we do not maintain a regularly staffed office. We do however, check the answering machine and will promptly return your call or e-mail.
EQUIPMENT AND PREPARATION LIST:
Passport __Credit cards and cash for tips, shopping etc. _Airline tickets _Travel Insurance to include emergency medical, trip cancellation etc. available any travel agency __Suitcases of your choice for the majority of your gear__ Day Pack or Fanny Pack for daily items and camera + plastic bag to protect. Its good to have a day pack in addition to saddle bags as you may be doing a combination of hiking and riding _Leisure clothing for travel and dining out. _Long Underwear helps prevent saddle sores __Lightweight waterproof hiking/riding boots well broken-in __Waterproof gaiters or half chaps for riding/hiking. _Leisure Shoes _ Warm outer coat or parka or shell jacket __ Polar fleece type pullover for layering _ Rain gear: we like 100% waterproof jackets and pull over rain pants __Hat with a Brim...essential for sun and rain protection __ Warm cap and gloves (it can snow or rain) __ Assortment of light expedition clothes: pants, shirts, socks, underwear _ Toiletries: sun block (#30 or more), lip balm & personal items __ Insect Repellant __ Personal medications
_ Quality sun Glasses_ Flashlight - We like headlamps. __ Pocket knife __Water Bottle __Camera __Binoculars.
HEALTH: We ask that you consult your family doctor concerning what medications, shots or inoculations he or she may recommend. We eat in only the best restaurants and our own cooks are carefully sanitation trained.
WEATHER: This is a trip of great contrasts. In the mountains, it can get very chilly, even into the 30's at night and then zoom into the 70's during the day. We expect mild fall temperatures. Remember this is further north than Colorado but more temperate due to the surrounding oceans but it is late enough that it could snow. Please come prepared.
Have A Great Trip!
horseback trips, horse trips, wine tour on horses, Spain horse trek, trail ride Pyrenees -A deluxe vacation on horse back to the best of Spain and the Pyrenees, fine wines, great horses in a historical setting