Pyrenees High Mountain Horse Trail

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

Pyrenees High Mountain Horse Trail

1.395 € pp
8 Days / 6 Riding Days

Overview

Short Trail Description

Exciting horse riding trail from the Mediterranean Costa Brava to the alpine mountain peaks of the Pyrenees!

Nowadays herdsmen still pass along the so called "Camino Real" through the north-eastern part of Catalonia. In winter, the herds stay in the mild coastal areas and in summer they make their way up towards the Pyrenees. Round polished, soft, high mountain hills build a contrast to the wild and bizarre rock formations of the Garrotxa mountains. The Mediterranean Costa Brava, deep forests and meadows of the alpine mountains determine the landscape. This diverse trail through quiet and remote herdsmen's land is an extraordinary and unforgettable adventure for sporty and ambitious horse riders.

Duration

  • 8 Days / 7 Nights / 6 Riding Days

Participants

  • 3 - 12 Riders

Scenery

  • Pyrenees

Highlights & Facts

  • Fantastic panoramic views
  • Swimming breaks at turquoise natural pools
  • Alta Garrotxa mountains
  • Mountain pastures of the Pyrenees
  • Accommodation in the picturesque mountain village Beget
  • Ride through medieval villages

Riding Level

  • 3 horseshoes or more (Intermediate)

Recommendation

The Trail of Bandits connects seamlessly with the Paths of Herdsmen Trail. Hence, the Herdsmen and Bandits trail can be ridden in 15 days as a big round trail.

Trail Route

Day 1: Trail ride across the pre-Pyrenees

Arrival in Barcelona or Girona and transfer to Mas Roca. Our friend Bogi welcomes us to his home, an old mill from the 16th century which enchants us with its unique character. The South American style garden is a beautiful relaxing paradise! What a great place to start your exciting horse riding adventure into the Pyrenees mountains…

Day 2: Camino Real/Besalú

We pass through the hilly countryside of the pre-Pyrenees and follow the River Fluvia in the direction of the mountain, a route taken by old herdsmen like Juan the Shepherd.

The pretty villages of the Alt Empordà are an impressive witness of an amazing past. In a glade near the river, our friendly "Catalan Buffalo" meets us with a glass of Cava and a beautifully set table.

After our siesta, we ride quickly to the medieval town Besalú. Our accommodation for tonight is a hotel right next to the beautiful romantic bridge with a view over the River Fluvià and the town. Before having dinner in the enchanting garden of the restaurant, we have the possibility to stroll through the alleys of Besalú.

Day 3: Mountains and swimming

We ride to the wild hilly countryside of Garrotxa, passing through the medieval town of Besalu and crossing the Romanic bridge of Llierca.

We find sparkling turquoise rock pools where we can go for a refreshing swim.

Our agile Andalusian horses then carry us safely over the pass of Santa Barbara. From the top we enjoy the fantastic view of the bizarre rock formations.

Our destination is a small mountain village where we stay overnight.

Day 4: Rocky hills of the Garrotxa

The valley of the Llierca lies in front of us with its strong lime rocks. Only the clapping of the hooves, the splashing of a stream and the calm sounds of the cow bells interrupts the deep quietness of this secluded area.

Birds of prey, reptiles and butterflies accompany us on our way and with a bit of luck we will even see wild pigs or a badger.

We will stop for our picnic under two-thousand-year-old oak trees where the turquoise water of the streams invites us for a refreshing dip.

In the afternoon, we reach the picturesque mountain village of Beget, where we stay for the night. Our four-legged friends find a satisfying evening meal in the green mountain meadows.

Day 5: Trail ride to the realm of the herdsmen realm of the herdsmen

Our horses carry us deeper into the Pyrenees and an ancient medieval merchant's path takes us over the border into France.

We leave the pre-Pyrenees and ride through beech, oak and chestnut forests that cover the hills. Beyond the forests we reach the hilly meadows (the endless realm of the herdsmen) where Buffalo prepares an alpine picnic on the border between France and Spain.

The view of the surrounding 9000 feet high mountains is tremendous. We ride through the lush flower and gentian meadows and arrive at our destination, the mountain village of Espinavell, at the foot of the magnificent mountain Costa Bona.

Day 6: The high mountains of the Pyrenees

We have an early start to ascend to the high regions of the Pyrenees. Our horses carry us over the immense cattle fields where we meet cows, sheep, goats and the occasional wild Pyrenean horse.

We arrive at the high regions which have alpine character, with Narcissi, iris, gentian and alpine roses that transform the hilly meadows into carpets of flowers.

We reach the high plateau of the Costa Bona, an infinite steppe of grass and stone, at 7000 feet. The view is magnificent.

To the west we see the highest peak of Catalonia and in the east the Mediterranean glistens in a deep blue. We take a siesta and observe a vulture family rising into the sky, then ride on secluded paths through this wonderful mountain paradise on our way down to the small town of Camprodon. While taking an evening walk through this pleasant place, one of the bars invites us to have a drink...

Day 7: Pyrenees – Trail riding without limits!

We ride through meadows and forests passing picturesque Catalan rustic stone houses. Over the tree line the valley opens up and the view is breath-taking. In the remote mountain ranges of the Serra Cavallera we feel the fascinating originality of the wild and romantic nature.

During our picnic on the southern side of the mountain range we can relax before descending into the valley.

In the town of St. Joan de Abadeses we spend the night in a small mountain hotel where we let our unforgettable trip end with a dinner together.

Day 8: Hasta la vista, amigos!

After breakfast we say farewell and transfer to Girona or Barcelona or continue with a trail to the sea.

> Important notice to all customers!

Information & Services

Character

The Path of Herdsmen Trail is something for real mountain lovers who don't want to miss out on tasteful accommodation. You will enjoy a dynamic ride from the Mediterranean lowlands to the alpine mountains of the Pyrenees. Lively canters lead into extraordinary climbing passages. Magnificent views will be our reward for the occasional steep climb. In order to cope with the daily descents easily and safely, we recommend comfortable walking shoes with a grip tread. Most days you spend 5-7 hours in the saddle and on the swimming day it is 3 hours. The mountain trail requires some stamina and your desire to be guided in a magnificent mountain world. We ride through alpine terrain, so good weatherproof clothing and suitable sun protection are needed. You do not need to have a head for heights for this trail.

Included services

  • Riding program as described
  • 8 days with 7 nights in a double room with shower and toilet, of which 1-2 nights' accommodation may be with a shared shower and toilet, 6 riding days
  • Arrival day dinner included/departure day breakfast included
  • 4 Riding days full board including wine (lunch picnic)
  • 2 Riding day 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 dinners (at restaurant approx. 15,- Euro/ 25,- 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 Paths of Herdsmen 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.

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, 29.04.2018 Sun, 06.05.2018 1.395 €
Sun, 27.05.2018 Sun, 03.06.2018 1.395 €
Sun, 01.07.2018 Sun, 08.07.2018 1.395 €
Sun, 22.07.2018 Sun, 29.07.2018 1.395 €
Sun, 12.08.2018 Sun, 19.08.2018 1.395 €
Sun, 09.09.2018 Sun, 16.09.2018 1.395 €
Sun, 14.10.2018 Sun, 21.10.2018 1.395 €

Guest opinions

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

June 2017

I had the most AMAZING trail with Anaïs!
I loved it so much, I will definitely book again in a year or 2!

Best regards,

Joaline

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

May 2017

This was my fourth trail with Panorama Trails and once again you have managed to exceed my expectations. Five days after returning home from the "Paths of Herdsmen" I am experiencing my worst case of holiday blues ever!

This trail has everything; breath-taking views, amazing food, outstanding horses, cosy hotels and lovely people. I cannot recommend it enough! The Paths of Herdsmen gives you a great opportunity to see the real Catalonia while making new friends and getting an amazing riding experience. Just like on my previous trails, safety was paramount, we were given tasteful food & wine, concerns and questions were always answered, horses were well taken care of and the atmosphere was relaxed and welcoming.

Thank you, Manel & Dani, for handling our stuff and making sure we had a great experience :) Thanks Daniela for help with booking and everything you do "behind the scenes". Rudi, thank you so much for all the laughters, for your patience, for creating this trail (and the rest of them) and for letting me ride your "super horse". I'm honoured, he is truly amazing!

As a certain someone pointed out on the last day of the trail, I still have many trails left before I have done them all. Sorry, you're not getting rid of me yet ;) Time to start planning the next one, see you soon!!

Erika

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

May 2016

Once again thank you Panorama Trails. Having just returned from the Paths of the Herdsmen trail I just wanted to say how much I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the mountains again. My horse Calderin was a superstar. He was an absolute dream of a horse, loved him!!!! Again I met some lovely people who were a pleasure to ride with. Denise guided us with patience, knowledge and a sense of humour and showed a real passion for the area and the horses. Thank you too Anais for your help and support. It was very much appreciated. Can't wait to come back again!

J.H.

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

May 2016

Thanks for the brillant organization that carachterized all the trek. You deserve my congratulations about that. Let me thank you again for the superlative scenaries, my beloved Mowgli, lovely boy and perfect gentleman when ridden, for your well trained horses, nice and carefull Denise. You'll see me again I'm afraid!!! Saludos

Cinzia

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

August 2014

Just a quick note to say a big thank you for a wonderful week riding in the Pyrenees. Millie and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and thanks to our guide and horses we visited some beautiful villages and had amazing views in the mountains.

We had such fun with our group. It was a true holiday - I did not have to make any decisions and there was delicious food and lovely places to stay around each corner!

Many thanks to our guide Niki who was brilliant. She matched us to wonderful horses and took excellent care of us all.

Many thanks again.

Best wishes

Tania and Millie

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

July 2014

Best Holiday Ever!!!
I am from Germany, but due to an international clientel I will write this in English. A horseback-riding trail through Spain has always been a dream of mine, and this year it finally came true! After careful selection me and a friend of mine decided to book a trail over Panorama Trails. We were warned by friends that many organization in Spain are not real, but Panorama Trails is absolutely reliable. The first thing that gives it an air of professionality is the fact that you are only asked to pay a certain percentage of the whole price, the rest to be payed a few weeks before the trip starts. There are many things included in the price, such as free transportation from and to the airports of Barcelona and Girona. The communication with the team of Panaroma Trails was easy, the person that coordinated our trail was able to talk English, Spanish and German fluently. She was open to any question we got and answered within 24 hours at most. When the trail we booked originally could not take place, because the were not enough people who booked it, we were offered either the possibility to book the same trail at another time, or another trail, that cost more than double the price, that took place at the same time for a minor charge. We booked the other trail and within a day we had the affirmation. The transportation to the first hotel room happened without any problems, and once we met the rest of the group, we knew that the holiday would be fun! We were a group of 9 persons. We were a nice mix of nationalities and age. Some were from Canada, some from France, some from Sweden and some from Germany. We were able to communicate in English, and our guide, Nacho, was the best guide I could have hoped for. He learned our names within an hour and was careful to select the horses fitting to our descriptions of our ability to ride. We started in the early morning, and after we had suficient time to get to know them,we started. It was an unique experience. Nacho made sure that everyone had understood the rules and the need for the rules in order to be able to gurantee a safe trip for everyone. Still he stayed frienldy at all times. A true professional, he knew when to be funny and when to be serious, so that everyone could enjoy the trip without injuries. The horses were well fed and well taken care of. When one horse lost one of his shoes, he was transported back and other horse was brought in, so that he would not hurt himself. When my horse developed pain in his back, Nacho massaged him so long, until the pain was gone and made sure that the pain stayed gone. Right before the ride along the beach, he made sure that everyone understood which rules to follow. It was important to him that everyone had fun during the trip, but safety came first for him! He was good with everyone in the group and his ability to make everyone feel welcome was amazing! Time just seemed to flew by and when the week was over everyone was stunned that this was supposed to be the end. We enjoyed amazingly good food and the most beautiful views. It was the perfect mix of taking care of the horses, riding and having free time to relax. During dinner, everyone engaged in interesting converstation and it was hard to say good night. In the end, it was hard for everyone to say goodbye, because we found good friends in everyone. This might have been my first trip with Panorama Trais, but certainly not my last! Even though it cost considereable money, it was worth every cent! In our group there were persons who did their third trip with this company and they bred their own horses, therefore knew how to treat horses right and they enjoyed the ride just as the rest of us did. If someone is thinking about doing such a trip in Spain, Panorama Trails in the company you should choose and put their trust in. For them, safety is as important as fun and no unreasonable risks are taken. The horses are really looked after and the guide took care of everyone of us. I will certainly come back next year!

a guest

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

July 2014

What a Fantastic Holiday - by far the best riding experience I've had! The trail its self was challenging in parts with steep terrain but extremely fun with plenty of opportunities for fast canters. My horse 'Conejo' was awesome - very sweet and a total gentleman, forward going but responsive and I felt safe at all times. All the horses are extremely well looked after and fit. Our guide NACHO was amazing - he made the holiday!...

What a Fantastic Holiday - by far the best riding experience I've had! The trail its self was challenging in parts with steep terrain but extremely fun with plenty of opportunities for fast canters. My horse 'Conejo' was awesome - very sweet and a total gentleman, forward going but responsive and I felt safe at all times. All the horses are extremely well looked after and fit. Our guide NACHO was amazing - he made the holiday! - Nacho is extremely experienced and professional with all the horses and always happy to help out - he made us feel safe whilst ensuring we had lots of fun! Nachos assistant - Danny was also great - i looked forward to the lunch picnics nearly as much as the riding! I will definitely be returning soon!

Colette Mitha

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

June 2014

I did the Path of Herdsmen with Nacho. He is a very experienced guide and a really horseman. Food was delicious and the hotels fantastic. Amazing riding!

a guest

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

May 2014

For the third year in a row we have had the opportunity to participate in Catalonian trail rides. The Mediterranean trail, the Bandit trail and this year we brought our daughters to the Paths of Herdsmen trail. As earlier, well organised, well kept horses, fantastic trails passning old villages and high mountains. Good food and charming lodging. Thank you Simon, (the guide), for treating us and the horses in a very good way.

Ingegerd & Hasse & Kajsa & Ebba

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

June 2013

We have just finished our trail in the mountains, and we had an amazing time. Every place we went was better than the last one. The horses are top athletes. They climbed the mountains like goats and ran like the wind. Albert, our guide, was a real horseman and gave us the time of our lives. Buffalo and Judith brought us lunches to die for! They made everyone feel special and they laughed at our jokes. We rode for many hours every day, went hiking in the middle of the night, went swimming, played volleyball, danced in the disco, and still managed to put on weight!!!!. Our feet and buttocks are sore, but it is nothing compared to the stomach-ache from all the laughing. We made friends for life, and cared for each other. We learned that staying together as a group is essential. Finally, we borrow Albert's words: we don't say good bye, we will meet again.

Love

Lise and Ingrid

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

May 2012

This was my first ride with Panorama Trails and I look forward to more in the future. The ride took us through beautiful Catalan country side with incredible views. We stayed in quaint B&B's that were in unique towns that I never would have found on my own. The ride took us up into the Pyrenees, the steep terrain meant that our wonderful horses had to work hard and occasionally we had to walk on foot too. The varying terrain and great horses are much more suited to experienced riders, which is exactly what I was looking for. Our guide (Rudi) ensured that we could enjoy food, cava and vino tinto that was made locally. The organization of the whole outfit really ensured that the whole trip went perfectly. In a word it was fantastico! I know that I will be returning for another trip if I am so lucky with Panorama Trails.

Dharam Friedberg

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

October 2011

I got so many fantastic impressions that it's really difficult to say what I liked most. I enjoyed the landscape, the pretty villages, the food and meeting new peoples from different countries. What I really miss is my faithful partner "Zeus" who was carrying me safely during the Herdsmen Trail. Please say hello to him. Hope to see you in spring again!

Vanessa Reinicke

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

September 2011

Dear Daniela and Rudy,

We really really had a great time at the Herdsmen trail at the beginning of September. Rudy you were fantastic in so many ways, we loved our horses and the beautifull Mountains. Also the sleeping places, the lunches from Buffalo, the weather… we had a great time! Thank you for everything!!! Maybe we come back next year for the Bandit Trail or the coast trail (we also like going fast J).

I have a question to you Rudy, you made beautifull pictures in the Mountains! We want to make a photobook so we can't wait to receive them. I know you're busy but is it possible to sent the pictures to us?! You can use my mailadres!

Thank you again for the great time we had and maybe see you next year!

Greetings,

Joop, Fons, Roeland, Jan, Marieke and Charlotte

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

August 2011

Of Rudi's varied trails, this must be the trail for amazing panoramas which got more stunning each day. Mufassa scrambled up the rocky mountainsides with much greater enthusiasm than I scrambled down on my own 2 feet. Fully functional ankles, knees, and hips are an asset as are non-slip boots.
There were good opportunities for canters the first day, we all enjoyed lovely refreshing swims in mountain pools the 2nd &3rd day. as we climbed higher into the Pyrenees, we looked over ridge after ridge of mountains, green meadows, carpeted with wild flowers and herds of wild horses with their foals. A stallion came to check us out, which Mufassa eye-balled, but luckily Rudi has no mares-- only the 2 legged kind! There were also hundreds of cows with bells ringing around their necks, that for sure ''The hills were alive with The Sound of Music'' in this film like setting.
Muscle man Nachos kept us safe, helped by a great bunch of fellow riders, including 3 nurses, a horse vet and a Padre---in case things got desperate----no Caroline, we did not need your services this year! My 5th trail with Panorama-trails, an unforgettable week, my thanks to all and fellow riders.

Pat Harper

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

September 2009

Hello Rudi and Buffalo

Thank you for a very very lovely week with lot of fun. Mambito was a wonderful horse and especially Friday the 13th was very exciting. Don´t forget save the frogs and drink wine!

I am looking forward to visit you again.

Maria from Denmark

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

May 2009

Hi Rudy!
Many thanks for an absolute fabulous vacation and a most beautiful ride in wonderful Catalonia.
You have a great country down there. Reactions from the rest of the group, coming home, has been overwhelming.

Thanks a lot!

Cheers from Øivind Gryteland (Norway)

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

September 2008

Rudi
Thanks alot for the photos, they are great. Tim and I had a great time. The horses were lovely (especially Alazio) the places we stayed and the food was fantastic. I hope that we see you very soon again.

Colin

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

June 2008

Hello Rudi,

Thank you for the oh so very good pictures,
So nice of you to send them this quickly.
I miss you and everything what comes with that.
Give Codul a big kiss on its nose.
A big hug for you, and all the people that were so nice to us (Petra and Buffalo)>br> Hope to see you soon,

Jessica

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

June 2008

Hi Rudi!

Thank you for a super holiday - both Amy and I had so much fun!

Thanks,

Sacha

Paths of Herdsmen Trail

July 2007

Scotty and I would like to thank you for the exceptional time we had on Path of the Herdsmen ride. It was without doubt an adventure that we will never forget. The ride, the horses, the scenery, the accommodations, the food, the Cava, and the experience were outstanding. Please thank Buffalo, Anne and Joana for helping to make our ride the best experience possible.

a guest