Twin room

You'll be staying at an authentic Greek Western ranch deep in a wooded valley and far from the usual tourist sights of this impressive Greek island. You'll be taken out on different rides each day, one day discovering ancient Byzantine monastries and another taking a refreshing dip in a natural dam. The riding time is between 2-4.5 hours per day so ideal for those not wanting to spend long days in the saddle.

As well as riding you can spend time relaxing on the beach, or sightseeing. There are stunning beaches just 15 minutes drive from the ranch, making this the ideal destination for those seeking a relaxing holiday with riding, friendly hosts and excellent Greek food. You'll be staying in a pretty whitewashed guesthouse close to the ranch and as well as riding can relax in a hammock, practise archery or learn some natural horsemanship techniques.

With almost guaranteed sunshine, anyday arrivals, mouthwatering food and some of the friendliest hosts on the island you'll be sure to enjoy this Greek island escape.

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Day 1
Arrive on the sunny island of Rhodes and transfer to the ranch. Get settled in, explore the local area and meet your friendly hosts.

Day 2
Today, you'll meet the horses and saddle up for a 2.5 hour ride where you can admire panoramic views across the valleys of southern Rhodes valleys. You'll discover the Byzantine Thari Monastery whch dates from the 9th century. This ancient church sports medieval frescos painted between the 12th -14th century.

Day 3
Today you'll be exploring a hidden side of Rhodes on a 4 hour ride. You'll travel through forests and valleys, you may well see wild deer on todays ride. There are opportunities for some exciting canters along the trails today. Dependant on the weather, you can potentially visit the local donkey sanctuary.

Day 4
Today is a non-riding day where you can go exploring or just simply relax. There is the opportunity to rent a motorbike or a car and discover more of the island. Alternatively your hosts can drive you to a splendid beach where you can stay for the whole day and relax. Other activities that can be booked (not included) for your day off are: a catamaran tour, a private tour of Rhodes Town, or a relaxing massage at the ranch.

Day 5
Today you'll be taught the Tellington Jones TTouch with the horses. You'll be shown how you can help a nervous horse to become relaxed and calm. Part of the technique includes understanding how to create the steps towards a more confident horse, how to take away the horses' pain and how to make the horse more focused. After the tutorial you can put your new-found skills into action by trying the techniques in the roundpen and riding bareback (the entirety of the programme is around 4 hours). If you do not want to ride bareback you can just have a little go in the round pen and afterwards tack up the horse before heading out. If you already know about TTouch, natural horsemanship and so on or are not interested, you can arrange to ride out for 4 hours instead.

Day 6
Today you'll ride to the dam of Laerma, where you can swim, discover the lake by canoe and chill out in the hammock. After you've spent enough time relaxing, you can visit the stone graves which date from 300 B.C. From here on we will ride back to the ranch to finish the day. The total riding time today is approximately 4.5 hours.

Day 7
You'll be spending 3 hours in the saddle today and ascending up to heights of 400m, which allow you to admire the fantastic view of the dam below. Once you return to the ranch you'll be welcomes with a well-deserved, authentic Greek BBQ.  

Day 8
After one last Greek breakfast, it's time to pack up, say goodbye and head back to the airport.

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

The ranch is home to a variety of horses ranging from 14.2-16hh. A variety of breeds are used from Thoroughbreds up to Crossbreeds between Arravani, Arab, Andalusian, Appaloosa and Haflinger. All the horses are trained in Western style riding. You will be given a short lesson before riding out on the first riding day so you can become accustomed to riding Western if you haven't done it before.



You'll be riding either in the mornings or afternoons to avoid the hottest part of the day. The riding is mainly on hilly terrain so there are around two or three trots and canters throughout the ride. You should be comfortable riding on reasonably steep trails. The horses have all been trained using natural horsemanship methods and are calm and responsive. You'll be riding in Western tack and steering your horse using neck-reining. If you have never ridden Western, don't worry, you'll be given instruction before setting out on a trail.


Rider requirements

Riders must have a secure seat at walk, trot and canter for this ride but there are quieter horses for more novice riders. However, you must be comfortable to canter for short periods and on hilly terrain. You should preferably be able to mount and dismount unaided but assistance can be arranged if necessary. Riders are requested to help with grooming and saddling their own horse and will be given assistance if necessary.

The minimum age is 12 years old although there are 2 ponies available for riding - children can sit on the ponies and be led around the round-pen or ranch.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 16 st/220 lb/100 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

You'll be staying in traditional, simple whitewashed rooms, located 1km from the ranch and 3km from the village of Laerma. Transfer to/from the ranch each day is included. The guesthouse is made up of 2 houses, each with 2 double or twin rooms, a family room which sleeps six is also available. Each room has a private bathroom, a fridge, kettle, stove and a fan. Bath towels are provided but you will need to bring your own beach towel if you want to hit the beach.

The guesthouse also includes a breakfast room/lounge where meals are served each day and this room can also be used to relax, read a book or play cards. The guesthouse is just 200 metres from the famous Thari Monastery of Rhodes. The rooms are provided by the local church and the money generated from having guests goes towards the church's children's charity.



All meals are included at this destination. You can expect home-cooked Mediterranean fare making wide use of vegetables, olive oil, grains, fish, wine and meat. Other common ingredients include olives, pasta, cheese, lemon juice, herbs, bread and yogurt. Meals are usually served in the breakfast room at your accommodation but some evenings your hosts may take you out to a local taverna for dinner instead (included in price). Each meal includes one drink per person (beer, wine or soft drink). If you would like more than one drink these can be bought from your hosts.

Meal timings vary according to the time of year but in general are breakfast around 7.30am, lunch at around 12 or 1 and dinner at around 8pm.


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.

General information:

Visa are not required for U.K. or other European nationals. In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on travel insurance, passport and visas, health and vaccinations, legal issues and emergency issues. They can be reached on 0207 008 0232/0233 or at www.fco.gov.uk.

The British Embassy is at 1 Ploutarchou Street, 106 75 Athens. Tel: (30) 210 727 2600 Email: information.athens@fco.gov.uk.

The Greek Embassy in the U.K is at 1A Holland Park, London W11 3TP. Telephone: (020) 7229 3850. Email: consulategeneral@greekembassy.org.uk.

Climate Summary

Summer on the island begins during May and carries on right through until October. In the peak of summer during July and August, the barometer can peak at 35°C to 40°C. The temperature will often see days reaching above 30°C in the middle six months of the year.The heat in the height of summer can sometimes be oppressive, so if you like heat but don’t want to live in a dry sauna then plan to visit the island in May/June or September/October. The heat is not as stifling and there is the added benefit of lower prices.

May and June see average temperatures of 20°C and 24°C respectively, while July and August each see an averages of 26°C before falling to 23°C in September. Keep in mind that these averages are misleading as the island gets scorching in the day and is cooled in the evenings by the sea breeze. This evening sea breeze brings a welcome break from the sometimes unbearable summer highs. Sunshine levels are immense, peaking at 14 hours per day in July. May sees 10 and October seven – still very sunny.

Rain during the months of June to September is basically nonexistent, with only about 23 mm precipitation recorded across the four months. May and October see 21mm and 38 mm respectively.

Climate Chart

Health

No special health precautions are required for visits to Greece, for further details please see your local doctor. We do advise taking plenty of sunscreen!

For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org

Health (ride specific)

No specific health requirements - just bring plenty of suncream!

Electricity

Voltage is the same as in the UK and most appliances such as battery chargers for videos, hair dryers etc. can be plugged in with appropriate adapters. These are available for purchase at most airports and travel shops.

Film and Camera Equipment

Electricity is available each evening in your accommodation but there is no Wifi available.

Packing List

Riding hat (available to borrow)
Riding boots
Long trousers for riding or jodhpurs.
Riding clothes - long sleeve shirts give good protection from the sun
Mosquito repellant
Sun screen
Sunglasses
Sunhat
Water bottle
Beach towel
Casual clothes for evening
Sandals
Swimwear
Camera
Toiletries

Programmes

This is an 8 day/7 night based stay with 5 days of riding available with anyday arrivals between April and October.

Departure Dates

2019: Any day arrivals between April-October

Pricing
No single supplement is charged if the rider is willing to share with someone of the same sex, and a sharer can be found.
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
2019 - 7 nights8d/7n5double pp1,009
2019 - 7 nights8d/7n5single supplement145
2019 - 7 nights8d/7n5non-rider785
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2019 - 7 nights8d/7n5double pp1,069
2019 - 7 nights8d/7n5single supplement149
2019 - 7 nights8d/7n5non-rider829
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
2019 - 7 nights8d/7n5double pp1,269
2019 - 7 nights8d/7n5single supplement179
2019 - 7 nights8d/7n5non-rider985
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2019 - 7 nights8d/7n5double pp11,795
2019 - 7 nights8d/7n5single supplement1,655
2019 - 7 nights8d/7n5non-rider9,149
Additional Night Pricing
  No of days/nights Product item description £
Additional night - inc. 2 hours riding and mealsper nightdouble pp109
  No of days/nights Product item description
Additional night - inc. 2 hours riding and mealsper nightdouble pp115
  No of days/nights Product item description $
Additional night - inc. 2 hours riding and mealsper nightdouble pp135
  No of days/nights Product item description SEK
Additional night - inc. 2 hours riding and mealsper nightdouble pp1,269
Recommended Reading

Reading List

We're avid readers here at Unicorn Trails and have selected several books connected to this ride. If you're interested in reading more about the area before you travel, or want to get into the cultural background, here are some suggestions that may inspire you. Click on the links for more information.



Last Temptation and Zorba The Greek - Nikos Kazantzakis

The King Must Die and The Bull From The Sea - Mary Renault


Other Activities

When not riding, your host is happy to drive guests to the local town or to the beach and can recommend nice things to see and do in the area. Some people hire a car but it's not a necessity.
The ranch has a paddling pool to cool off in which guests are welcome to use and the beach is 15 minutes drive away.

Other Country Information

Greece is located in south-eastern Europe bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. Greece shares borders to the east with Turkey and to the north with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Bulgaria and Albania. The climate is temperate, with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers.

Modern Greece, as an independent national entity, came into being in 1829 after a protracted independence struggle against the Ottoman Empire. Greece has been fighting for territory with Turkey ever since, continuing in their battle over the split island of Cyprus.

Ancient Greece has given the world democracy, the Olympic Games, theatre and a high literary culture through great works by Homer and some of the greatest philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato. However this was not just a world of sobriety and high academia. The Greek god of wine for example, Dionysus, was a hell raiser who encouraged the local townswomen to dance naked through the street in his honour. Hugely debauched festivals were held in his honour and some of that spirit has definitely been passed down through the generations and has found itself still celebrated in the tavernas across the country.

Greece is two hours ahead of GMT and they use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram. The international dialling code for Greece is +30.


Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Rhodes International Airport (RHO)
Transfer:
2019: Transfer from/to Rhodes airport is €60 each way per booking, payable on-site.
Flight Guide:
London - Rhodes return from £250
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