Point to point trail for good riders in the undiscovered farming region of Extremadura, the home of jamon iberico and some astonishingly good white wines. We ride from Trujillo to Guadalupe, an historic town made up of cobbled streets, traditional houses and monuments of great value, such as the Sanctuary Monastery of Guadalupe (XIV century), itself a World Heritage site (UNESCO). This ride also visits other mountain towns such as Cañamero and Logrosan. Canter through an old railway built in the 1920's that was never finished due to the Spanish Civil War. En-route we discover the delicious cuisine of Extremadura, characterised by the excellent quality of its products: migas, very tasty jamón ibérico, excellent cheeses “Torta del Casar” and fantastic “Ribera del Guadiana” wines.
Guadalupe monastery was commissioned in the fourteenth century by King Alfonso XI of Castile, in gratitude to the Virgin after his victory in the Battle of Salado, in the year 1340. Since its founding, it has became one of the major pilgrimage centres of the Ibérica peninsula. It was also the scene of important events, including the audience granted by the Catholic King to Christopher Columbus, granting him the ships that would sail to America.
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Day 1 MADRID – TRUJILLO
You will be met at Madrid Airport at 15:00 and transferred to Trujillo (2.5 hours driving). There will be time to visit to the spectacular town of Trujillo before a welcome dinner at the hotel where you will learn about the ride and region on the map.
Day 2 TRUJILLO- HERGUIJUELA-MADRONERA
After breakfast you transfer from Trujillo to Herguijuela where you will meet the horses. The ride starts off through the Dehesa, the Mediterranean forest considered the habitat most similar covered Extremadura thousands of years ago. Enjoy a relaxed lunch in the countryside with excellent homemade paella, good wines, salad, fresh fruit and coffee or tea. After lunch there is another short ride to Madronera. Dinner and overnight at a local hotel. Riding time approx. 5 hours.
Day 3 MADROÑERA-ZORITA
After breakfast, you will ride by the cattle trail to Zorita. Good trots and canters in the morning through the Dehesa where cattle can be seen everywhere: local cows, sheep, goats and iberic pigs. Dinner and overnight at a local hotel. Time in the saddle 5 hours.
Day 4 ZORITA-LOGROSAN
After Breakfast you will follow the greenway, an old railway built in the 20s that due to the Spanish Civil War was never finished. Along the greenway, we will see objects and buildings that remind us that there would have been a railway. During the ride we can enjoy the view over the impressive Villuercas landscape. Dinner and overnight at a local hotel. Time in the saddle 5 hours.
Day 5 LOGROSÁN-CAÑAMERO
After breakfast, you will go through the vineyard in Cañamero, famous in Spain for good wines and olives gardens. Here the landscape changes to the beauty of Villuercas mountains, where you can see Ruecas river canyons. Again following the greenway.
Dinner and overnight at local hotel. Time in the saddle 5 hours.
Day 6 CAÑAMERO-GUADALUPE
This day is a short day from Cañamero to Guadalupe where you will go through the Cañada Real. You can enjoy the view over the impressive Villuercas landscape. On any day you can observe Vultures, Eagles, Azure-winged Magpies, Red-billed Choughs, Shrikes and Ravens. Villuercas has been declared Geopark because of its Cultural and Natural Heritage and, of course, the great geological value of its relief, with a lot of interesting and visible geological elements. Comfortable Lunch in the countryside, time in the saddle 4 hours.
This isn where you will say goodbye to the horses who will travel by truck back to Trujillo.
In the evening there is visit Guadalupe town and the Monastery. Dinner and overnight at Guadalupe Monastery Hotel. The Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe is located in the province of Cáceres at a location of great beauty, overlooking a valley surrounded by high mountains (Villuercas). The town of Guadalupe, built around the Monastery, whose foundation on 1337, offers in its buildings a unique style with a traditional architecture.
Day 7 GUADALUPE – MADRID
After breakfast, you will depart from Guadalupe at 10 pm, on time for flights. All riders will be transferred at the same time, so if any rider needs to arrive in Madrid before, transfers can be arranged locally. (extra cost).
2019: If there are 3 riders transfer cost will be €50 per rider each way. If there are 2 riders transfer cost will be €75 per rider each way, payable locally. Groups of 4 or more riders transfers included.
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.
Homebred PRE, Pure Hispano-Arab, Anglo-Arab and cross horses with English saddles and tack are utilised. The horses are responsive, well behaved and good natured, ranging from 15 - 16 hands. Most have been bred at home by your host so are adapted to the area in a natural way. They are perfectly groomed and well shod. The saddles have silicone seat savers and there are 2 light saddle bags attached to the front of the saddles.
The ride is at a reasonable pace with some long trots and canters. The terrain is mostly pasture and woodland, though there may be some rougher ground. There may be occasion when the terrain becomes steep to lead the horses and walk alongside.
Riders should be able to walk, trot and canter confidently and have experience of riding over varied terrain. It is an advantage to be able to mount and dismount unaided but not essential as help is usually at hand. There is a minimum age of 10 for children who must be competent riders.
The weight limit for this ride is 14 st/198 lb/90 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
Rural hotels in very remote villages are part of this trail. All rooms are twin with extra beds available if arranged in advance. The hotels offer beautiful views in really peaceful locations and some have swimming pools.
Meals are a highlight of this ride and are of a Mediterranean flavour including paella, excellent Avilan beef, salads, fish, iberic ham and sheep cheese. Excellent red and white local wines and aperitifs are included in the price with your meals. The back-up vehicle will meet the ride at around 12pm for some delicious tapas which includes jam, manchego cheese, olives, nuts and cold drinks. The ride then continues until 2pm when the ride will stop for lunch. The comfortable lunches in the countryside have tables and chairs and there is always a starter, main course, fresh fruit, coffee/tea with chocolate and biscuits, good wines and cold refreshments.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
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.
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 Consulate in Madrid is at the Calle de Fernando el Santo 16, 28010 Madrid. Tel: +34 91 7008200. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.ukinspain.com.
The Spanish Embassy in the U.K can be found at 39 Chesham Place, London SW1X 8SB. Tel: (020) 7235 5555.
Extremadura has a continental climate with cool, mostly damp winters and hot, dry summers. From June to September the summers are warm to hot. After September temperatures fall back to average values. It freezes only little in Extremadura. Thanks to the many hours of sunshine you can easily be outdoors even in the winter months and enjoy the splendid scenery and the omnipresent quiet.
No special health precautions are required for visits to Spain, 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
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.
230V 50HZ with a two pronged round pin plug
There is electricity in the hotel rooms and camera equipment can be recharged each night.
It is recommended to take a riding helmet or broad rimmed hat which must stay on firmly and sunglasses with string. There are a number of riding helmets available for use on-site.
Short riding/ walking boots
Half chaps (recommended)
Warm jacket (depending on time of year),
Long trousers (for evenings)
Long sleeve shirts,
Trainers/shoes for the evening
Sarong or wrap
This is a 7 days/6 nights programme with 5 days riding on set dates. Extra dates can be arranged for groups of 4 or more.
2019: 17 Feb; 17 March; 7 April
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`The New Spaniards’ –John Hooper, ‘Driving over Lemons’- Chris Stewart, ‘The Story of Spain’- Mark Williams, ‘South of Granada’ – Gerald Brenan, ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ – Ernest Hemmingway, ‘As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning’- Laurie Lee and ‘Don Quijote de la Mancha’ – Miguel de Cervantes. For the equestrian traveller who would like to see what is possible on horseback visit www.thelongridersguild.com also a fantastic place to acquire your equestrian travel books is www.horsetravelbooks.com
Storks, eagles, swallows, vultures, eagles, azure-winged magpies, red-billed choughs, shrikes and ravens.
Non-riders can travel in the support car and join the riders at meal times and join in any other activities. Or if they wish, they can rent a car in Avila and explore on their own and join the group for the evening meals.
Castilla y Leon is very historical region. Riders can visit, before or after the ride, very interesting towns like Toledo, Salamanca, Segovia, Avila... All are towns full of history.
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.