Coastal trail ride by the sea

Wild Coast Pirates Trail

Coastal trail ride by the sea

1.190 € pp
7 Days / 5 Riding Days

Overview

Short Trail Description

The pirates trail is a spectacular ride along the coast which combines steep cliffs, hidden coves, and lovely beaches in an unforgettable top-class riding experience. Every day this marvellous trail leads us through the sensational Mediterranean landscape along the Costa Brava.

History

The gilded age of piracy along the Costa Brava was between the 14th and 17th centuries. One of the most notorious pirates was Barbarossa Khair ad Din (red beard), a Turkish pirate. Along the wild coast he attacked small seaside villages, stole spices, wine, and ceramics, and ran an oppressive slave trade. To forewarn against pirate attacks forts and Moorish towers were built along the coast.

Traditional piracy is surely part of the past, but this beautiful trail ride allows us to discover the wild coast on horseback.

Our "coastal trail ride by the sea" is a paradise for sportive riders, who like to combine adventurous riding through pristine nature with relaxing hours on fine sandy beaches and in lonely coves.

Duration

  • 7 Days / 6 Nights / 5 Riding Days

Participants

  • 4 - 12 Riders

Scenery

  • Coast
  • Mountain & Sea
  • Mediterranean Coastal Area

Highlights & Facts

  • Lonely coves and fine sandy beaches
  • 4 coastal national parks in one trail ride: Cap de Creus, marshland Aiguamolls, the cliffs of Montgri, Medes Islands
  • Climbing with the horses
  • The pearl of the Costa Brava: Cadaques
  • Swimming, riding and relaxing

Riding Level

  • 3 horseshoes or more (Intermediate)

Recommendation

Good hiking boots with profile make it easier for you to descend into the hidden bays. The blue waters tempt to have a fresh bath in the sea: do not forget your bathing clothes!!

Trail Route

Day 1: Coastal trail ride by the sea – the insiders' tip on the Costa Brava

Arrival in Barcelona or Girona and transfer to the starting point of our adventure trail, a little fishing village near the French border. At our first dinner, we meet our fellow riders and our guide.

Day 2: Wild Coast and pirates

After breakfast on a lovely wooden terrace we prepare our horses. Right at the beginning of the day our "new friends" climb safely over rocks and stones. Three mountain ranges make this route an adventurous experience.

Shortly before the picnic we discover the Benedictine monastery Sant Pere de Rhodes. Nestling between the Rhodes mountains the monastery is located at 500 metres altitude – safe from pirates and with a stunning view of the shiny blue sea.

In serpentines, the path twists down to the village Selva de Mar which was built in a valley hidden from pirates. The tower over the village bears testimony to the age of piracy. The terrain is demanding – we lead our four-legged and sure-footed friends by their reins.

We spend the night in a lovely hotel in the small romantic fishing town of Port de la Selva nearby.

Tiny white houses huddle against each other as if they were collectively seeking protection from the pirates.

Day 3: Trail ride to paradise!

Cove trail to the Cap – trail ride to paradise! Cap de Creus – the name itself evokes images of unspoiled nature.

The craggy peninsula descends into the Mediterranean. The sea gnaws at the Cap, has eaten into it and torn chunks out of it. Countless rocky bays remain in which the pirates found good hideouts.

Like mountain goats our „Andalusians“ negotiate the rocky terrain. In a beautiful bay, we have our picnic and go swimming - paradise!

The subsequent part of our trek also has a lot of excitement to offer. High above the sea our trail ride leads us through an untamed cliff top landscape.

Due to erosion caused by the strong Tramontana winds, mystical and bizarre rock formations adorn the Cap de Creus like ornaments.

We spend the night in Cadaques, the jewel of the Costa Brava. The whitewashed fishing village with its old crooked alleys is rightfully considered the most beautiful place on the wild coast.

The village's seclusion led to its inhabitants having to constantly defend it from pirates and their pillaging over the centuries. In the 16th century, the church Santa Maria was ransacked by the pirate Barbarossa and completely burned down.

Day 4: Great pleasure at Cap de Creus

On horseback, we ride through Cadaques. Where the village ends, a wonderful, wild coastal mountain landscape begins, covered with bushes and flowers. Ancient stone walls show us the way.

We rest in a beautiful bay with fine sandy beach and have a swim in the refreshing sea.

In steep turns the trail twists over a pass. Wild flowers decorate our path and spectacular views of the bay of Roses open up, whilst pines and cork oaks radiate Mediterranean flair. Through an old trading trail, we lead our horses down into the plain on a demanding terrain and stay overnight in a small, family wellness oasis with a heated whirlpool.

Day 5: Trail ride to the bay of Roses

Silvery green olive groves dazzle from the terraced slopes. We head towards Roses and visit the mighty citadel "La Cuitadella". This big fort was built to protect the region from pirate attacks. Behind the impressive walls we find important archaeological artefacts and the remains of the old monastery church.

Behind the battlements we walk across green fields, and amongst the impressive setting of the ruins framed by the mountains and the sea, we feel transported back through the centuries.

With a little luck, we might catch a view of the flamingos, storks, and little egrets, which are native to the wetlands we ride through.

On the boundary of the national park "Aiguamolls" our next lodge awaits us; a comfortable 19th century country cottage. The pool and the beautiful and ample garden invite us to relax after a long and adventurous day.

Day 6: Hoof marks in the sand & cliff line (*)

The waves wash over the fine sand, the horses are wide awake and want to pick up speed. Vamos Galope! Their hooves splash in the water and we draw a fresh trail across the sand. The beach gallop on "Playa Grande" is a dream for every rider.

Then suddenly all is silent. We disappear in the continental sand-dunes. The Mediterranean pine forest and its soft sandy floor absorb every hoof beat.

Leaving the woods, we encounter the most impressive cliffs on the Costa Brava. In a hidden cove we have our picnic, go swimming, and have a relaxing siesta.

Sometimes on stony, root-strewn paths, sometimes on narrow ridges high above the sea our route winds its way through the wild coastal landscape.

This is the end of our trail and after a short transfer to Mas Alba (depending on the time of the year to an equivalent accommodation). During the dinner, we remember the events of the last days.

Day 7: Adéu Coast of the pirates

Transfer to Barcelona or Girona. Departure or continue to another trail.

> Important notice to all customers!

Information & Services

Character

The coastal trail ride 'Wild Coast Pirate Trail' is a very challenging trail for both horses and riders. Nature lovers and sporty riders will be delighted with this trail. To enjoy the pirate trail to the full, you should have some experience riding cross country on horseback and be able to ride at all three paces safely. A natural handling of the horses is very important on this trail ride. The Cap de Creus and the Montgri National Park are particularly challenging and some difficult passages will be covered on foot. You don´t need to have a head for heights but you should be comfortable and safe with hiking through the mountains and bring some adequate shoes.

Included services

  • Riding program as described
  • 7 days with 6 nights in a double room with shower and toilet, of which 1-2 nights' accommodation may be with a shared shower and toilet, 5 riding days
  • Arrival day dinner included/departure day breakfast included
  • 3 Riding days full board including wine (lunch picnic)
  • 2 Riding days half board (dinner at restaurant not included)
  • Tax on stays in tourist establishments
  • Transportation of luggage
  • Local transfers during the trail

Not included services

  • Flight or public transport (on arrival and on departure), taxi
  • Collective airport transfer from/to Girona 30,- Euro/one way; from/to Barcelona 45,- Euro/one way
  • Entrance fees to Museums and Monuments
  • Drinks/food in bars
  • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks
  • Coffee at dinner
  • 2 dinner (at restaurant approx. 15,- Euro/ 30,- Euro)
  • Tips for the team and other services

Notice

  • First day: on arrival dinner is at approx. 9 p.m.
  • Last day: before departure breakfast is at approx. 9 a.m.
  • Due to local conditions, a route change or amendment may be necessary.
  • The Pirates Trail can be ridden in both directions.
  • The tour operator reserves the right to substitute the described accommodations by equivalent if necessary.

Accommodation

Single Room / Double Room / "Half Double Room"

Single rooms cannot always be guaranteed though booked. If a previously confirmed single room is not available, the guest is entitled to a refund of the price paid for those nights surcharge.

Single travellers have the option to book a "Half Double Room".

Half double rooms for bookings 60 days prior to departure can only be booked, if at that time a same-gender customer is also waiting for a roommate. If this is not the case, we will book a single room with the regular, advertised surcharge.

  • Single room supplement + 30,- Euro/night

Transfer

Airport Barcelona
  • Collective group transfer at 5:30 p.m., meeting point at the airport is in Terminal T1 in front of the Café LIZZARAN at the Group Meeting Point North located opposite from the "Oficina de Turisme" (after customs on the right).
  • Notice! If you arrive at Terminal T2 all five minutes a free shuttle bus brings you to Terminal T1!
  • Flight on departure from 2:30 p.m. onwards!!


Airport Girona
  • Collective group transfer at 6:30 p.m. The meeting point at the airport is in front of Café CAFFRICCIO in the arrivals hall.
  • Flight on departure from 1:00 p.m. onwards!!

If the arranged transfer times do not fit with your arrival and departure times, we would be happy to organize a taxi for you (about €80-€120 from Girona, €240-€280 from Barcelona, depending on the trail start/end points). Other arrival and departure destinations provided on request.

Notice: The transfer times can vary depending on flight arrival times/delays from other guests/traffic etc. Please be patient in these cases!

Guaranteed departure

With a small group surcharge in case the minimum number of participants is not reached. (only on demand)

Important notice

Important notice to all customers!

All trail itineraries are general guidelines and in order to offer our customers the best riding holiday experience we make occasional changes.

Depending on the number of concurrent trails, the season, the weather and national holidays, we may make alterations to itineraries at short-notice, which could affect the number of riding hours per day, the route we take to any given destination or the use of alternative accommodation. Trails can also be ridden in both directions. All changes are at our discretion but when changes are made, we endeavour to ensure that our high standards of quality are maintained and reflected in the alternatives we choose.

(*) It is specified in the Coastal Law (Law 22/1988, of 28 July) and the regulations surrounding it (Royal Decree 1471/1989, of 1 December), that excursions operated in places of maritime public domain should not be for profit. We would like to advise that we do not charge for riding on any beach and therefore that part of any ride is free of charge.

Presentation, organization, photos and information by Rudi Stolz

Booking

Rideable Months

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

Event-Dates

From: to: Price Booking
Sun, 06.05.2018 Sat, 12.05.2018 1.190 €
Sat, 26.05.2018 Fri, 01.06.2018 1.190 €
Sun, 23.09.2018 Sat, 29.09.2018 1.190 €
Sun, 30.09.2018 Sat, 06.10.2018 1.190 €
Sun, 14.10.2018 Sat, 20.10.2018 1.190 €
Sat, 20.10.2018 Fri, 26.10.2018 1.190 €
Mon, 12.11.2018 Sun, 18.11.2018 1.190 €
Sun, 18.11.2018 Sat, 24.11.2018 1.190 €
Mon, 26.11.2018 Sun, 02.12.2018 1.190 €

Guest opinions

Wild Coast Pirates Trail

April 2018

I would say this was the best horse trekking I ever did. It was extremely well organized, the horses were very forward-going and responsive with soft gaits. I loved both horses I rode: Gitano and huge Vistoso. We also were spoiled with the beautiful landscape of Cap de Creus on our Pirate Coastal Trail and of course with great food (the black Paella at Cadaqués is a Must!). Also the limonada Catalan (Cava) and Manel’s nice picnics and table decorations were very well appreciated by the entire group. And a huge thank you to our great guide Rudi! Vamos galoppe otra vez😄 !!!

Karen

Wild Coast Pirates Trail

March 2017

I would like to thank you very much for the beautiful holiday with you in Catalonia. It was my first adventure on horseback and right from day one a great experience. Rudi has taken good care of all of the girls, and he has guided us safely through the wonderful landscape. Daniel’s service was also a special experience because he was so prudent, affectionate towards the horses and a helping hand whenever he noticed that somebody needed his support. The picnics…we will do this on our yard as well…ABSOLUTELY…we also URGENTLY need saddle bags and, even more important…..CAVA STRAPSs :) Well, and the accommodations…even sensitivities like gluten intolerance have been respected. I felt it was almost embarrassing so that I said to Judith: don’t worry, I will simply endure it…no, they were even prepared for this…I was really touched…This trail is one of the best things I have ever done! My most heartfelt thanks to all those involved who work with so much heart and enthusiasm!

Best regards from Austria, Ottensheim an der Donau!

A guest

Wild Coast Pirates Trail

March 2015

I really, really, really enjoyed my week in Spain with Panoramatrails!!!! I did the beautiful Barbarossa Pirates trail. The horses are great and very well taken care of! Our horses were all very forward, energetic and surefooted!! I loved them! Denise and Anais were our guides on the trip and they are so nice and wonderful with the horses and with the guests. Rudi joined us for two days as well and we had lots of fun with all three of them!! The places we stayed are very good. Some simple, but always clean! At one place I even had a jacuzzi in my bathroom!! :-) I also enjoyed the food! The picnics, brought by ourselves or prepared by José are great as well. Even Cava or wine was served at the picnicsl! I would recommend this place and these trails to everyone who loves nice horses, beautiful trails, friendly people and good food!! I would love to go there again!!!

Bregje Willems

Wild Coast Pirates Trail

March 2015

We were a cheerful group of 4 riders, including 3 "repeat visitors". The trail was new to all participants and every one of our group marvelled at the challenging terrain. I've been riding for almost 40 years and have seen and experienced a lot and I've ridden all over the world, but nowhere have I ridden through such rocky and steep terrain as on this trail! Unbelievable and a real adventure! On steep downhill climbs the horses were led - safety first! I learned to trust horses more, they can accomplish much more than we dare to imagine!! Extremely sure footed they climbed like mountain goats up and down! The landscape gave us lots to see. The scenery from the cliffs was of lovely bays and we even had the opportunity to picnic in two of those beautiful bays. As we rode through Cadaques in bright sunshine, the hooves of our horses echoed in the streets - a very special place. Our guides were excellent and together with the best horse sense and good management, they contributed to equally good chats and great entertainment - keep it up!! Thanks Denise, Anais, Rudi and all other helpers, caterers and hosts. Not to forget... the horses! See you again soon...

Claudia Nagel

Wild Coast Pirates Trail

June 2014

I was there in June and it was the best trip ever! Rudi's trails are pure adventure and well organized! The horses are sooo lovely and wear one safely through the terrain! The food is very good and tasty! I will back return next years!!!!!

Nicole

Wild Coast Pirates Trail

June 2014

Best horseriding ever! Have just been on the Barbarossa Pirate Trail, it was fantastic. Great horses, everyone in the group got a horse suited their personality, mine was energetic and had a lot of stamina. Rudi takes very good care of the horses. Food was great and plentiful, I gained two kilos on the trip, even if we spent about 5-6 hours in the saddle each day. Views were spectacular, we were riding in the mountains along the sea, I even had a swim on a secluded small beach, in april. The hotels we stayed at was nice, some of them more personal with a lot of ambiance, I liked them best, some were more of standard hotels. This was a wonderful week, spent it the open with nice horses, beautiful nature and good food, I strongly recommend it!

Karin A.

Wild Coast Pirates Trail

May 2014

For all horse trail fans ... I've been here before with the Coast to Coast and the Bandits trail. This time I participated with the Barbarossa Pirates trip. It was super. Our funny guide Nacho, a great guy wearing shorts, knee socks and a Gaucho cap gave all his attention to the horses and his guests. Ladies who needed some support to get on the horse were well looked after.
Nacho makes a healthy picnic, made with love, decorated with flowers and stacks nicely little stones on the corners of the tablecloth. (do not tell anyone … he does not want to be called a sissy) We had a mixed group , this time all participants aged over 50, very nice people. The ride is relaxed, yet challenging, the scenery changes every day and we were off between 5 and 6 hours a day.
We slept in good hotels. The hotels outside the villages are more luxurious and original as I love the old stone-built farmhouses. Picnics go with wine and dinner includes a three-course menu where you can choose from the card.
The horses are well cared for, some in the beginning of the trail are quite spicy, but as long as you keep in line no unexpected things will happen. They are very strong in the mountains and they know very well how to place their feet on difficult rocky paths. When the climbing is very steep, I do give relief to the horse, but mostly I trusted my horse Carinyoso.
The nice thing about this trip was that it is so varied. Mountains, forest, beach, white villages and vast hilly landscape. The was riding also varied, long gallops, climbing and sometimes hiking. Definitely recommended for people who are good in the saddle and want a relaxed, yet challenging holiday. Nacho: " Digo ... stay in line! "

Hope to see you on my next trip,

Eva

Wild Coast Pirates Trail

March 2014

Que vivan los Piratas ! I am back from a spectacular and exciting Trail.
We were the "guinea pigs" for the first Pirates Trail; new itinerary, new hotels and new challenges. I really enjoyed this challenge (good footwear is essential) and breath-taking trail through the varied landscape of Catalonia. Our horses climbed up like mountain goats, we usually lead the horses for the steep descents into secluded bays. Beautiful picnic areas were chosen with love. The hotels offered all the comforts you need after a busy day. Delicious food, including lamb from Miquel ... just a real pirate's meal. Fast gallops on the beach make this trail an unforgettable experience for all experienced riders. Super organisation, great horses, everything as always was perfect for a relaxing and adventurous vacation.....
Thanks to Rudy, Simon, Denise, Nacho, Big José and Little José for the great picnics and of course to Daniela.... And last but not least to Paquito who carried me safely throughout the week. I like being with you and I'm also guaranteed to come back for the sixth time.

Katja

Wild Coast Pirates Trail

March 2014

Have being riding with Panorama Trails twice a year, every year for the last 16 years and have always had a fantastic time. The horses are always excellent as are the guides and the trails. I have ridden all the available routes and have just ridden the Pirate trail, which is an exciting, adventurous trail, but the sure footed horses mean that is superb.

I am 75 years of age and still enjoy joining Rudi and the others for exciting and enjoyable rides, and am already planning my next trip out there. I whole heartedly recommend Panoram Trails and the Pirates Trail to anyone who enjoys horse riding adventures.

Sue

Wild Coast Pirates Trail

March 2014

Thank you for a very exciting ride! This was the toughest riding we have ever done but we are both very happy to have succeeded in completing it ands glad to have ben part of the first Pirate Trail for customers. The views were spectacular, food at picnics, hotels and restaurants all great. Wine and cava also very good and welcome after a hard day riding. It was lovely to meet your guides Nacho, Simon and Denise and big thanks to them for their company and help and for their patience with us. And thanks, of course, to Rudi, we couldn't have done it without him. I will remember always his comment to me "you can do more than you think you can". We had fun and I am glad the sea was warm! Hope to see you again one day.

Linda Parker

Wild Coast Pirates Trail

March 2014

The Barbarossa Pirates Trail is excellent for adventurous riders and hiking friends. The horses were as safe as mountain goats as they took us safely to the top of challenging steep mountain peaks. Here we enjoyed the fantastic views and treated the horses with a well-earned break. If we went up steeply , we also had to come down again steeply. So we dismounted and lead on the way down. Here's my tip - leave the flat soled riding boots at home and pack your hiking shoes with a grip sole . Every day after descending into another bay, we enjoyed a carefully prepared picnic.
In the evening we revived ourselves in cozy hotels with very good typical Catalan food. We ended the days socializing with a glass of wine and we fell into bed. After four days of exciting and sometimes very steep climbing we reached the beach and stayed in a lovely little "finca". After a delicious meal we fell into bed. The next day we went for a gallop along the beach and then we rode to one of the typical coastal towns. This was the first "flat land" day without hiking . The next day we rode along the river Ter through endless orchards and forests with long canters on our way back home.
My conclusion: For me it was a fantastic experience - we were a great group and ... where Rudi is, there is a way!.

Sixtina v. Proff-Kesseler-Riemer

Wild Coast Pirates Trail

March 2014

Hi Rudi! Thank you and all your staff for a wonderful adventurous trail ride! I am hoping to do one more before to long!.

Sue