Riding in Europe is generally of a high standard and offers great value for money. Travelling on horseback allows one to appreciate the cultural, historic and natural highlights of Europe while staying off the beaten track and meeting the real people who live on the land. There are many protected natural areas, beautifully preserved and well maintained trails not to mention plentiful guest houses and small hotels to choose from. The regions, even within a country, are quite distinct and vary greatly in a small geographical area meaning you can go back again and again and feel like you are still exploring. The opportunity for a city break before or after a ride is very tempting with many of the access cities being destinations in their own right.
Many countries have strong equestrian traditions e.g. Denmark and Finland and very distinctive breeds such as the Icelandic horse in Iceland, the Andalusian of Spain, the Lusitano of Portugal, Irish hunters in Ireland and many more. What better way to discover the country and its roots than from the back of a horse completely adapted to the country.
HORSE RIDING HOLIDAYS in SPAIN
Quite simply, our horse riding holidays in Spain are without doubt among our most popular. Unicorn has been sending riders here for many years and in this time we have aquired great specialist expertise. Our clients love these rides, returning time and time again to Spain and to meet demand we have built up a huge range of horseback riding holidays located in some very beautiful areas of mainland Spain and the island of Majorca, where you can escape the hoards and ride through stunning scenery. Horses play an enormously important role in the culture and history of Spain. The much loved pure Spanish, or Andalusian, horses make the perfect companion on a horse riding holiday in Spain. We have rides in several different areas of Spain:
Horse riding holidays Catalonia
These Catalonian trails are must do horse holidays for good riders and many of our clients revisit year after year. For those wanting a point to point horse riding holiday on the beach then Catalonia trail rides are unbeatable.
Horse riding holidays Andalusia
If you are looking for a beach horse riding holiday then Andalusia is the holiday for you. For point to point trails, both the Alpujarras and in summer, Sierra Nevada, can't be beaten for scenery. Choose from the Alpujarras Trail, Andalusia of the Moors and Tabernas Desert Route trails.
Horse riding holidays Majorca
Majorca, the chosen home to many celebrities, is a beautiful location for an equestrian holiday. Those looking for beach riding or dressage will love this holiday - but to avoid disappoinment remember you'll need to book early to secure a place.
Horse riding holidays Madrid (Castilla & Leon)
If you would like a very traditional look at the roots of Spanish culture take a look at our trails in the centre of Spain, west of Madrid,in the Castilla and Leon regions. Riding on spirited pure Spanish horses, the pace and itineraries of these trails are aimed at enjoyment of food and culture. Try the Roots of Castilla, or Green Mountain Trail.
Horse riding holidays to Santiago de Compostella
For the ultimate challenge we offer our Compostella Route. This is a traditional pilgrimage route. It begins in the French Pyrenees and ends on the west Coast of Spain at Santiago de Compostella. The complete trail takes 3 weeks but each half can be booked separately.
So you will be spoilt for choice with all these wonderful adventures in Spain to choose from. Contact us now for advice on which rides are best for you. Don't forget, we can also arrange extensions such as city stays with a range of diffent accommodation options available.
HORSE RIDING HOLIDAYS in FRANCE
France is the largest country in Western Europe and has a huge diversity of landscapes, cultures and climates just waiting to be discovered on one of Unicorn's many horseback holidays. We have rides in several areas of France:
Horse Riding holidays Languedoc-Roussillon.
This area is quite simply stunning. We are delighted to have some very popular rides in this area. You don't have to go to America for a ranch riding holiday. In the Haute Langeudoc Natural Parc we offer a fantastic ranch with western riding style. There is a mix of trail riding, cattle work and team penning. Lessons in cattle work can be arranged for a small supplement. You'll need to book early though if you want to experience the cowboy lifestyle French style as this is one of our most popular riding holidays in France. We also offer the Carcassonne Pyrenean Trail , a week long trail in spectacular scenery and can be taken either guided or unguided. The short break version of this ride will satisfy both the advanced rider and novices too.
Horse riding in the Dordogne
In the peaceful Dordogne we have several holidays - wonderful trail rides or if you prefer a centre based stay where you can can ride out each day in the glorious countryside.
Horse Riding Holidays Bordeaux
This area has a superb coastline bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Our horse riding holidays in this area of France are quite different. You can choose a fast and exciting Atlantic Coast Trek with beach and forest riding. If you are a wine lover then surely you'll be tempted by the Bordeaux Wine Trail. On this faster than average equestrian vacation you'll tour the famous vineyards, sampling en route.
Unicorn has an excellent riding holiday in the Midi-Pyrenees area. Here Unicorn offers the Armagnac Trail which gives fit riders the chance to ride either accompanied or unaccompanied through beautiful rural France. You must be prepared for long days in the saddle and with rolling hills you'll have plenty of chances for wonderful long canters.
Horse riding holidays in the Loire.
The most outstanding feature of this beautiful region of France is its huge number of castles. Not surprisingly our ride here is called Castles of the Loire. Riding faster than average you'll take the routes of kings from times past. Actually stay overnight in a castle. This is a journey of discovery not to be missed.
Don't forget we can always arrange extensions to your holiday in France, perhaps a city visit to Paris or Lyon, or a relaxing beach stay. Just ask and we will tailor these to your requirements.
HORSE RIDING HOLIDAYS in ITALY
Where better for Unicorn to locate horse riding holidays than in stylish, cultured European Italy with its wonderful sunny climate and good-humoured volatility! Our range of holidays in Italy combine the warm sun with great local food & wine, culture, style and history with wonderful beaches and mountains. We have rides in the regions of Tuscany and Umbria.
Horse riding holidays TUSCANY
Hilly Tuscany in Central Italy borders the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. The area is scenically stunning and not just its countryside, for it's in Tuscany that the beautiful cities of Florence, Siena and Pisa are located. If you are looking for a riding trail you will be spoilt for choice here in Tuscany.
As you would expect Unicorn does not restrict our horseriding holidays in Tuscany to trails. We have a fabulous based ride situated in a peaceful, picturesque valley in the Heart of Tuscany. Here you will receive quality tuition combined with calm riding out in the beautiful countryside, a swimming pool and many other activities that will appeal to all members of the family. Lessons with fully qualified, patient and passionate instructors are available for beginners onwards.
Another based stay in Tuscany is the holiday we call Western Tuition. This ride is aimed at developing and deepening the knowledge of 'natural western', 'collaboration between horse and rider' and 'guidance'. Such a good fun way to get started in western riding as lessons are offered. This horse back holiday has an informal and relaxed atmosphere which makes it highly recommended for those travelling alone.
Horse riding holidays UMBRIA
Our horse riding holiday in Umbria comes highly recommended. This is one of Italy's smallest regions and is less well known and less crowded than it's famous neighbour, Tuscany. You will discover fortresses, castles and monasteries amongst rolling hills, mountains, river valleys, chestnut tree groves and elm tree forests. The base for our very Italian Umbrian Adventure riding holiday is in an unspoilt and beautiful southern corner of Umbria catering for every level of rider - advanced rider to beginner, adults and families and non-riders. It is possible to ride out in all directions but if you prefer, lessons are available and these are appropriate to your riding level. The speciality here is show jumping. Children may also have tuition. Non riding options include a visit to Assissi or for the connoisseur a trip to a local vineyard.
After your wonderful holiday in Italy why not opt for an extension - perhaps to immerse yourself in Italy's wonderful culture. Spoil yourself with a city stay in beautiful Florence, historic Rome or romantic Venice. Whatever your requirement, just ask us and we will arrange it for you.
HORSE RIDING HOLIDAYS in ICELAND
The horses in Iceland make the riding so special. The pure Icelandic horses are small and sturdy but are more than capable of safely carrying their riders, even heavier riders, over the most hostile, rough terrain. They are known for their “tölt”, the unique gait of the Icelandic horse. Unicorn has several excellent horse riding holidays in Iceland to choose from. Accommodation ranges from rustic huts to guesthouses and farms. The trail rides welcome groups, couples, families and single riders and can suit every level of adventurous rider - herding along the other free running horses through the highlands, riding across lava fields and rivers. Thrilling! You change to a fresh horse at least once a day. Different routes explore the coast, the lands of the legendary trolls and elves, and historic upland trade routes through glacial terrain and extinct volcanoes. The better tracks allow memorable, fast rides in the soft tölt for which the Icelandic horses are renowned.
Unicorn is always delighted to arrange extensions to your horse riding holiday in Iceland and we suggest whale watching tours and trips out onto the ice-fields, bird watching or a few days to explore Reykjavik. Iceland is a beautiful location to go white water rafting. Give us a call to arrange any of these.
HORSE RIDING HOLIDAYS in GREECE
Greece is a collection of sun-kissed islands surrounded by clear blue sea and spectacular mountains. What a wonderful choice for a horse riding holiday! There is still unlimited space to ride horses in the peace and beauty of nature. Ride in a land dotted with olive groves and ancient sites, way up into the rough mountains with breathtaking views, swim in the clear blue waters and dry at an abandoned beach. In Crete we offer the excellent Lasiithi Trail. Ride, guided or unguided for those with more experience, from coast to coast over mountains. Instruction for the less experienced is available and in the hotter time of the year, shorter hours in the saddle on the Sun and Riding programme allows time for relaxing on the beach.
In Kephalonia, the land of Captain Corelli's Mandolin, we have a wonderful unspoilt location where you can enjoy a riding week or undertake a week long trek around the beaches and mountains. Combinations with 2 days trekking in the course of a week's stay are also possible. This is a highly recommended destination with beautiful weather, welcoming hosts and glorious riding opportunities.
HORSE RIDING HOLIDAYS in IRELAND
Unicorn Trails is thrilled to include a full range of Irish equine adventures in their portfolio. The Irish are passionate about their horses. It is truly a land of horses and horse people. There cannot be better scenery to explore on horseback than in the Emerald Isle. Ireland is a horseman's paradise - lots of wide open spaces, good riding, beautiful scenery and excellent horses. You'll be captivated by the gentle charm of the Irish and their warm hospitality. We have carefully selected some excellent questrian holidays throughout Ireland. Below you'll find details of the various locations.
Horse riding holidays in County Kerry.
County Kerry offers fantastic horse riding holidays as it has the best scenery in Ireland. It is without equal. The Ring of Kerry is a scenic 180 mile route that circles the peninsular. Unicorn's horseback vacation in Co Kerry takes riders through the Killarney National Park, exploring the highlands, riding over mountain passes, beside lakes, galloping along miles of golden beaches and walking over Irish bog lands. The Irish bred horses are willing, reliable and safe allowing you time to take in the sights. Knowledgeable, experienced guides lead all the trails and riders are split by ability so no-one's enjoyment is spoilt. We also offer a short break option, perfect for UK and European riders.
Over three quarters of County Clare is ocean coastline but it's main feature is The Burren - a beautiful limestone area overlooking Galway Bay. The flora and fauna in this region is excellent. Our riding holiday here through this wonderful scenery is aptly named The Clare-Burren Trail. There isn't a better way to explore the region than on horseback.
Horse riding holidays in County Donegal.
County Donegal, argueably the wilest and romantic county, is Ireland in minature - heather moors, mountains, rich farmlands and rugged coastal cliffs. Unicorn has several riding holidays in County Donegal and neighbouring County Sligo. Some are based stays and others are unguided trails, but the trails are easy to follow.
Horse riding holidays in County Sligo.
The coastline is in County Sligo is particularly scenic. We offer the Yeats Trail in one of the most untouched areas of Ireland. As with the Donegal rides you have the choice of several horseriding options - a based stay or different unguided trails to choose from.
Horse riding holidays in County Westmeath.
Here in County Westmeath Unicorn has a special ride which we've called Instruction In Ireland. Come here to improve your cross country technique, showjumping and dressage. Whether you're a complete novice and have never ridden a horse before or a seasoned horseman looking for something more challenging, you will love this holiday.
Horse riding holidays at Castle Leslie.
In County Monaghan we offer a horse riding holiday from our premier range. Castle Leslie has welcomed many a celebrity and it was here that Sir Paul McCartney was married. This is an idyllic setting for an equestrain vacation - over a thousand acres of low rolling hills, parkland and lakes to explore on horseback. Tuition is also available - there are frequent clinics by top competition riders . This is truly the perfect setting for a luxury horse riding break in Ireland.
In summary - Ireland offers some of the best horse riding holidays in the world, togther with the warmest hospitality. If you'd like to extend your holiday we have several suggestions such as a few nights in trendy, lively Dublin. Give us a call to discuss options.
HORSE RIDING HOLIDAYS in PORTUGAL
Portugal is a wonderful country for a horse riding holiday. Often unjustly overshadowed by Spain, Portugal has a wonderful warm and sunny climate, ancient traditions, a unique form of architecture, and a distinctive culture all of its own. Although tourism has grown recently, large areas remain quite undiscovered by tourists and it is one of the least spoilt corners of Europe - ideal for Unicorn horse riding holidays.
Unicorn offers numerous riding holidays in Portugal and there really is something for everyone - beginners to advanced riders, trails to based stays, natural horsemanship, western riding, riding on the beach, ranch holidays, luxury to more basic accommodation, dressage tuition, rides that welcome singles and rides perfect for a winter sun break. See a selection of these rides below:
Horse Riding Holiday, Algarve
If you think that ranch holidays are limited to the USA then think again! Here in the Algarve we offer a fabulous and very popular ranch holidays with the wild west on your doorstep. We call this our Western Style Algarve ride. All the horses are schooled in western riding using natural horsemanship. Ride out daily on glorious trails without seeing another soul. Should you fancy a trip to the beach, then no problem, it's close by. This riding holiday caters for all level of riding, beginners to advanced riders.
Horse Riding Holidays, Costa Azul - Blue Coast
This is a region that is ready to be explored by riders who would like to see an unknown area of traditional Portugal. What better way to discover this jewel than on the back of a first class Lusitano. The Bottlenose Trail is so called because around the mouth of the Rio Sado is a sanctuary where dolphins play. Our trail suits advanced riders and goes south where 36 miles of deserted beaches are peppered with lagoons and tiny fishing villages. Ride from the coastal mountains to the fabulous beaches and turquoise sea. For something more luxurious we offer the Dolphin Coast Trail which is a member of our premier horse riding holiday range. Our third riding holiday in the Costa Azul region is the Blue Coast Trail. This ride is extremely popular with Unicorn clients and many return to experience manificent horses and above average accommodation. Again you will ride through stunning deserted scenery on magnificent Lusitano horses. Discover beaches and forests of eucalyptus and cork trees.
Horse Riding Holiday - Alentejo
In this region of Portugal Unicorn offers our Alentejo Estate Trail Ride, a premier riding holiday. Your fabulous accommodation is beautiful renovated private estates that were once the homes of nobles. Perhaps you prefer to combine the wonderful Portuguese climate and natural beauty with dressage lessons. Our Dressage holiday is based in a guest house with horse riding centre set in 25 acres. this equestrian holiday falls into our premier range. Riding lessons are taken in the two outdoor arenas. Beginners are catered for and single riders are welcomed.
You may have difficulty choosing from these wonderful adventures in Portugal. Contact us now for advice on which rides are best for you. Don't forget, we can also arrange extensions such as city stays, maybe Lisbon, with a range of different accommodation options available.
HORSE RIDING HOLIDAY in TURKEY
Our equine vacation in Cappadocia, Turkey offers a truly unique trai through totally bizarre scenery. This is a different world and Cappadocia is one of the most spectacular regions of Turkey with a history stretching back 3000 years. Thousands of years of wind and rain erosion on a landscape of soft volcanic stone topped with hardened larva caps has created a fascinating landscape of rock cones and pinnacles that are known as ‘fairy chimneys’. This is a spectacular trail horse riding holiday for competent riders and exploring these formations on horseback is an unforgettable journey experienced by so few people. We visit the caves and even take dinner in one. This is a riding holiday like no other.
Don't forget, apart from horseback holidays we can also arrange extensions to other areas of Turkey. Istanbul is particularly recommended with a range of diffent accommodation options available.
HORSE RIDING HOLIDAYS in the UK
Unicorn Trails offers several horse riding holidays in the UK which is well known for its excellent horses and horsemanship. The United Kingdom is Unicorn's home territory so naturally we are the experts! As many of our clients are also based in Great Britain our numerous short riding breaks here are particularly popular but we offer longer holidays as well.
We have UK riding holidays to suit everyone, from beginners and novice riders to experienced riders who like fast riding. Some rides will welcome single riders and others are great for children and families. We have trail rides and based stays. If you want tuition in the basics or something more specific then we have the perfect equestrian holiday for you. Read below for a taster of our UK riding breaks.
Wales is a stunning country for a riding holidays. In the Brecon Beacons National Park we offer an ultimate, exclusive, exploratory trail riding holiday The Brecon Beacon Trail - UK. Single riders are most welcome, and if you choose to share a room then there is no additional cost. Whether you are a native Brit or a foreign visitor, you will love this week long horseback vacation.
If you don't have time to escape for a full week then come for a few days on the Brecon Short Break - UK . This short break ride is a 3-day/ 3-night cut down version of the week's trail.
Over the border into England we have a short horse riding break that has been a firm favourite with our clients for years. We call it quite simply our Cambridgeshire ride. The emphasis here is very much on tailoring the break to your needs: a relaxing weekend in nature, gaining riding fitness or skills, confidence building for lapsed riders or beginners. Clients often come here to brush up their skills before heading off on a longer holiday.
So there's no excuse not to escape from stresses and strains of life - just come on one of our excellent riding holiday short breaks in the UK - (England and Wales). Or maybe you have more time on your hands and can fit in a longer UK horseback break. Come and discover what makes Great Britain so great!
HORSE RIDING HOLIDAYS in SWEDEN
If you want to ride deep in nature at her best then come on a Unicorn horse riding holiday in Sweden. We can offer you a trail ride with camping or a based stay and can accommodate the heavier rider, single riders, families and mixed groups of riders and non riders. We are delighted that one of the Swedish rides focusses strongly on natural horsemanship, even including tuition.
Unicorn has a superb selection of horse riding holidays in Sweden to offer you.
Forest and Lakes Trail - Sweden
This is a farm-based equestrian holiday in the Sámi region of Sweden with daily trails. Natural Horsemanship features extensively on this riding holiday and it is essential therefore that riders must either believe in, be willing to learn about or be open-mided to the principles of Natural Horsemanship. You will receive tutorials, demonstrations and lessons in the methods used. This horseback holiday offers many other outdoor activities suitable for non-riders such as canoeing, cycling, swimming, walking, wildlife watching. Therefore it is an ideal vacation for mixed groups of horse riders and non riders.
Lapland Summer Trail - Sweden
This Swedish horseback holiday is even further north than the Arctic Circle. It is a magical trail ride in the Kebnekaise mountains of Lapland - in the far north of Sweden and Norway. This holiday is perfect for adventurous riders, happy to camp out in the amazing nature that will surround you. Sit around a campfire, learn about the Sami culture and sleep in a lávvu which is a Sami tent. Ride up in the mountains with great views. You will ride mainly in pathless terrain or on small paths which means the riding is quite slow. If you would like a day of riding faster then we can offer the Grand Lapland Summer Trail - where we have added an extra day to the Lapland Summer Trail. So if you don't mind foresaking luxury for true adventure and exquisite nature then this equine holiday in Sweden is waiting for you.
Winter Wonderland - Sweden
Spend an adventurous and varied week on your hosts beautiful farm near lake Kalix, in the pristine natural landscape just west of Kiruna. This is the land of the Sami people, with whom you will spend part of the week as they guide you through their homeland and share with you their culture and knowledge passed down by their forefathers. We also offer this ride as a short break.