Swimming with your horse
mini trail to the sea
Having a break on the morning ride
Splashing in the water
First day before departure on the ride
Stables back at base
Horses resting at lunchtime

A centre based equestrian vacation that offers rides in a different direction each day, including a horseback riding mini trail, while enjoying the comfort the recently converted Can Grau base. Andalusian horses will adeptly guide you on this discovery trail deep into the heart of Catalonia where the horseback riding is as varied as the ever changing landscapes of the region. There are plenty of opportunities to canter along the plains and meadows, over river valleys and through the winding forest trails.

Follow the trail to medieval cobbled and walled villages and enjoy the famous Catalan cuisine and wines from the Empurdan region which are served throughout the vacation. The diverse range of dishes, tapas and picnics make this a gastronomic way to discover the local area with opportunities to take days off or ride every day. A more relaxed experience than the trails, with no pressure to ride each day or pack your bag each night.

Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.

Review received from JP of Kingston upon Thames on 20/04/2022

Ride Summary
What was your overall impression of the holiday
Overall impression
Unicorn Trails sales staff

Riding tour leader

Additional Comments
Meals

Accommodation

Miscellaneous

Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
NO
Please give more details to explain your response:
We discovered that, in Europe, there is no linguistic difference between canter and gallop. The trip was described as being appropriate for riders comfortable in three gaits, but in fact experience of four gaits is required. Our group was also very experienced (either had their own horses or rode multiple times per week) and so I think the trip might be better described as high level intermediate.
Was there anything you should have known and were not told? NO
Please give more details to explain your response:
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
7
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
As above, lots of speed and distance. On a day when we chose not to ride, the rest of the group hit 40km.
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
NO
Any other comments:
Unicorn comments: Thank you for you comments and we are glad you enjoyed your ride.

2004 Itinerary - 6 Days / 5 Nights / 4 x Days Riding (4 - 6 hrs per day)

DAY 1
Arrive in the evening at the equestrian farm of Can Grau, located in the beautiful Empordá region of Catalonia. This 200 year-old, recently renovated farmhouse ('Masia' in local Catalan language), is set deep in the countryside away from the mainstream tourist routes. Over a delicious home-cooked meal, the guides will outline the daily program and discuss the abilities and preferences of each rider so they can match guests with the perfect mount from the school of beautiful Spanish x Arab horses.

DAY 2
After breakfast, prepare the horses in readiness for the trail to Ravós del Terri, known for it's well preserved castle. Enjoy views of the northern region of Girona while crossing the 'Serra'. After a picnic the group take a relaxing ride back to the farmhouse. Relax and freshen up before dinner.

DAY 3
Today's ride explores the beautiful area of Vilademuls. From Cran Grau the trail heads north past the village of Vilafreser and it's Gothic-Renaissance church. The country roads allow for some nice trots and canters, scented by the rosemary and thyme that grows in abundance. Enjoy a picnic near the village of Tarradelles before taking a different route back to the farm house. 

DAY 4
After breakfast and preparing the horses, the route leads through Poplar and Beech forests while following the Ter river, eventually reaching the village of Medinyà where, below its castle, riders have views of the region of Girona leading toward the Gavarres mountains. After picnicking next to the river, the trail leads back to Can Grau on meandering pathways through open meadows and dense forests. Along the way the trail passes the village of Cervià de Ter where the group can tour the local castle before arriving back at the farmhouse to relax before enjoying a home-cooked dinner and re-living the day with fellow riders.

DAY 5
After breakfast head out through the dense Mediterranean forest along a mountain ridge that offers spectacular views. Arrive at the Fluvia River which runs next to the town of Bascara, know for its racecourse. Follow the trail through olive groves and fields to enjoy a chance to enjoy a canter or gallop on the wide roads through an Oak forests. Enjoy our last picnic together at Galliners. On the way back to Can Grau, the route passes through the village of Vilamari. After the horses have been showered and are grazing happily in the meadow, say goodbye to these 4-legged friends with a glass of cava to toast the end of the ride.

DAY 6
After breakfast it is time to say goodbye. We hope to see you again!.

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 horses are mixed breed (some have Spanish blood and are very strong, others have some Arabian blood resulting in fast horses with good long distance endurance). They have all been carefully chosen and most are between 14.2hh (150cm) and 16hh (165cm) and are of a medium build. They are sure-footed, fit, forward going, responsive to ride and well adapted to the requirements of the oftentimes rough terrain.

The tack is English and Trekking style and most horses are ridden in snaffles. English saddles and Trekking saddles are utilised. Saddle bags are provided to carry items required during the day and for picnic lunches. You will be paired with a suitable horse based on your experience and preferences, but if for any reason after the first day you feel that you are not well matched, just let your guide know and you will be given another horse.


Rider requirements

To participate in this trip you must be a reasonably competent rider (English style) and be well-balanced, comfortable, secure in the saddle and able to control a well-schooled horse at all paces. Riders are expected to be able to cope with a variety of different going and different types of terrain. All the rides are aimed at reasonably capable riders who are also fairly fit and ride regularly.

We recommend that you ride regularly in the months before departure to ensure you can cope with the hours in the saddle. There are areas on the rides where you will need to dismount and lead your horse if the ground gets rough or steep, and also warm the horses up and cool them down each day. You are expected to groom and tack up your own horse each day in preparation for rides.

Your guide will go over the week's programme when you first arrive (usually at dinner on the first night), explaining the special characteristics of the Andalusian trail horse and of the tack used, then discussing each rider's ability, experience and their preference as to the kind of horse they would like to ride. The minimum age for this ride is 14 years.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 198 lb/90 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

Masaia la Palma hotel or Can Grau guesthouse (or similar). Can Grau is a large farmhouse and the 'logistical' home to the Catalonia Trails team and their horses. It is situated on the slopes of a hill overlooking the extensive plains of the Ampurdán and the Bahia de Rosas. The snowy peaks of the Pyrenees can also been seen in the distance. The atmosphere at the recently renovated Can Grau is tranquil and relaxing and you can enjoy the extensive gardens, the friendly staff and of course, the traditional Catalan cuisine! Bedrooms are spacious with en-suite bathrooms and some have terraces or open out directly onto the garden.



The horses are turned-out in the large green meadows surrounding the farmhouse and the stables are on your doorstep.



The meals are plentiful and contain many typically Catalan fare as well as regular European dishes. Breakfast is substantial, lunches are either saddle-bag picnics (extensive with quiche/salted cakes/chorizo/Catalan cured meat/fruit/cheese/ham/wine/biscuits/chocolate) or sit-down lunches at a table prepared by the back-up team (hot food/mixed salads/cheese/biscuits/fruit). Dinners are 3-4 course and accompanied by good local wines.



A bottle of local cava is never far away and the atmosphere is very welcoming. The team always tries to showcase their regional and Catalan products resulting in beautifully prepared meals for all to enjoy!



Please note that, subject to availability, the hotels named here may be changed for another hotel of similar standard


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements within reason can be accommodated with advance notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests before booking.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip.

NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures

Passport and Visa 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 should you need a visa.

In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain

In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Spain.html

In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/spain

Climate Summary

Due to the interaction of Mediterranean and mountain climate in this region, you will find ideal conditions for horse back riding the whole year round. In spring the climate is mild, summer is not too hot, the autumn pleasantly warm and winter with its clear air, not too cold. Especially recommended are March and April as well as November!

Climate Chart

Health

COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.

You should always bring any regular prescription drugs you may need with you.

Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Spain and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.

Electricity



In Spain the supply voltage is 230V. If the appliance is a single voltage rated appliance, it will need to operate at the same voltage as the supply voltage of the country i.e. 230V. If this is not the case it should be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly


Mobile, WiFi and charging

Batteries (normal, alkaline and lithium) are easily available. There is electricity available each night to recharge cameras and batteries. There is good mobile reception in some part of most days. At the base the mobile reception is variable but there is free wifi.

Packing List

- Riding Helmet - we strongly recommend that you wear a properly fitted riding helmet of the current standard which is PAS015 or BSEN1384
- Gloves
- Jodhpurs - jodhpurs, breeches or other comfortable trousers (jeans may rub and can also be quite hot). You may find a light-weight, cotton pair, more comfortable during the summer months
- Riding Boots - it is important to have correct shoes or boots for horse riding. Jodhpur or ankle boots with a rubber sole are recommended but sturdy shoes with a definite heel are acceptable (such as walking boots)
- Half Chaps - these are great when worn with ankle boots and help prevent the stirrup leathers rubbing against your legs
- Long-sleeved shirt is recommended for protection against the sun and against scratches when riding through undergrowth
- Waterproof jacket and trousers
- Light cotton scarf can help to avoid breathing in too much dust in dry areas
- Bum bag to contain your camera and any other items you may need during your ride
- Swimsuit
- Sunglasses - also to protect your eyes from dust
- Sunscreen
- Lip balm
- Personal Items - toiletries, any medicines you require and please be sure to take insect repellent
- Camera, spare Batteries/Chargers - an absolute must! It is also a good idea to take a camera case you can strap around your waist or onto a belt for whilst you are riding
- Refillable Water Bottle - it's very important to drink a lot of water when it's hot, especially when doing physical activities
- Photocopy of your travel insurance certificate

Programmes

This ride is available on set dates with 6d/5n/4 days riding and can be confirmed online. Shorter stays are available from 5 days upwards. Please let us know if you wish to book another date, we can confirm new dates on request for 4 or more riders between February and November.

Departure Dates

2024: 4, 18 Feb; 11, 18, 24 Mar; 22 Apr; 6 (Full), 13 May; 10, 17, 24 Jun; 21, 28* Jul; 4*, 11*, 18*, 25* Aug; 2, 9, 16 Sep; 7, 21 Oct; 11, 18 Nov
(*denotes high season)

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 £
2024 High Season 28 Jul - 25 Aug6d/5n4double pp1,055
2024 High Season 28 Jul - 25 Aug6d/5n4single supplement155
20246d/5n4double pp975
20246d/5n4single supplement155
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2024 High Season 28 Jul - 25 Aug6d/5n4double pp1,225
2024 High Season 28 Jul - 25 Aug6d/5n4single supplement179
20246d/5n4double pp1,129
20246d/5n4single supplement179
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description US $
2024 High Season 28 Jul - 25 Aug6d/5n4double pp1,389
2024 High Season 28 Jul - 25 Aug6d/5n4single supplement199
20246d/5n4double pp1,279
20246d/5n4single supplement199
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2024 High Season 28 Jul - 25 Aug6d/5n4double pp14,435
2024 High Season 28 Jul - 25 Aug6d/5n4single supplement2,089
20246d/5n4double pp13,289
20246d/5n4single supplement2,089
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Wildlife

The flora and fauna in this region is plentiful and varied. On the plains you'll come across plenty of livestock such as herds of sheep and cattle as well as wild boar, deer and many species of birds. As you climb higher into the mountains you may be lucky to see mountain goats and eagles soaring. The flora is really special. Meadows of sweet smelling and colourful wild flowers such as, lavender, thyme and sunflowers. Walnut groves, beech and oak forests make for cool riding and provide perfect shade for a relaxing picnic.

Other Information

Non-riders can easily join this holiday while their travelling companions ride. At Can Sort non-riders can relax by the pool or in the gardens or perhaps have a horse riding lesson? The area surrounding Can Sort has a wealth of opportunities, from visiting the Dali Museum in Figueres to visiting the beaches near l'Escala or taking in the sights and sounds of Gerona.
Car-hire is recommended although taxi's can be easily booked and are not very expensive. It is usually possible to find the riders for a picnic lunch too. Please note that lunches are not included in the non-rider price.

Other Country Information

Spain is a beautiful and diverse country, the second largest in Europe. The official language is Castilian Spanish but Catalan, Galician and Basque are also spoken. Territory includes two island archipelagos – the Balearics and the Canaries – and two enclaves on the North African coast, bordering Morocco – Ceuta and Melilla. The African influence can be found throughout Spain but especially in the south, for example the guitar was invented by the Spanish when they added a sixth string to the Arab lute. Music and art permeates Spanish culture, most obviously displayed in the fire and passion of the Flamenco and the stunning modern architecture found in the cities.

The famous siesta is still enjoyed by the majority of Spaniards, most shops close at lunchtime for two or three hours so everyone can escape the often scorching afternoon sun. Evening meals are served late into the evening with plenty of wine or sangria. Often meals can last two or three hours, especially if your host is serving Tapas, small and varied dishes of meats, bread, vegetables. Paella is also a delight and very popular across the country.

Spain is one hour 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 Spain is +34.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Barcelona (BCN) or Girona (GRO) Airports
Transfer:
2024: payable locally - €120 pp return from Barcelona (18:00 pick-up, 12:00 drop-off, or from Girona €60 pp return(19:3 0 pick-up, 10:00 drop-off, 45 min).
Flight Guide:
London - Girona or Barcelona from £50 return. Please see "getting there" for flight information
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