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Equiberia - Segovia: History at a canter

The Rides

Equiberia - Segovia: History at a canter: Ave

Segovia: History at a canter

segovia – castilla y león

7 nights – 6 days riding

What makes this ride unique is the exceptional combination of remarkable historic sites, accessible on horseback, with the open and unspoilt Castilian countryside, ideal for riding, with some exhilarating canters and gallops!


The province of Segovia is in Central Spain, in the Meseta, the great high plateau of the Iberian Peninsula. It is situated between the provinces of Madrid, Guadalajara, Soria, Burgos, Valladolid and Avila, in the region of Castilla y Leon.


The Segovia ride is a journey back in history, through open landscapes, ancient woods, and river valleys. What makes this ride unique is the exceptional combination of historic sites accessible on horseback with the open and unspoilt Castilian countryside ideal for riding. History at a canter! You will explore on horseback some jewels of the Spanish history: the castles of Pedraza and Castilnovo; the Romanesque churches of Sotosalbos and Sepulveda; the royal site of La Granja de San Ildefonso, with its grand baroque palace and its beautiful gardens. This ride will take you through very diverse natural landscapes, from the alpine views of the Sierra de Guadarrama, to the old transhumance trails and the open grazing fields; the ancient Valsain forests of pines, oaks, holm oaks and holly bush, where the Spanish kings used to hunt bears and wild boars; and through the vast grain fields, the Eresma river valley and the gorges of the Duraton river nature reserve.


The terrain is excellent for riding and the horses are very fit. There are plenty of opportunities for long trots and canters, so this can be quite an active ride if the riders wish to go for it! The ride starts and ends in the medieval city of Segovia, World Heritage Town by the UNESCO, which boasts a magnificent cultural heritage including the colossal Roman Aqueduct from the 1st century AD, one of the greatest in Europe, with 163 arches and 29m at its highest point, and the Alcazar Fortress with its stunning views of the city, among other great attractions.

Trip summary

Moderate inn-to-inn ride

Best time to visit
Set dates in April-May-September.
This ride can be organised for groups of 8-10 riders at other times in the year

Trip length
8 days - 7 nights - 6 days riding (from Sunday to Sunday)
Distance covered 110 miles / 180kms

Group size
Minimum 4 riders - Maximum 10 riders.
All departures are guaranteed.

Airport
Madrid

Riding ability
Intermediate to experienced.
Reasonably fit riders

Horses The horses are Andalusian crosses, mainly Anglo-Hispanos (Andalusian & Thoroughbred cross), ranging in height from 15-16 hh, and selected for their good nature and endurance. They are very well trained for the rides and for school work, dressage and jumping. They are very fit, very willing and they are fun to ride.

Tack
English general purpose saddles
Small saddle bags are provided. Seat savers can be provided.

Time in the saddle
From 4 and ½ to 6 hours

Weight limit
90kgs – 198Ibs

Languages
English, French, Spanish

Climate
Dry continental climate.
Temperatures are strongly influenced by the altitude, with the average of 1000m.
The temperatures in April and May are very pleasant, about 20-22ºC in the middle of the day.
September is a dry month.
April max 26º C (78º F) - min 2ºC (36º F). Average days of rain: 10 days/month
May max 28º C (82º F) - min 1º C (34º F). Average days of rain: 6 days/month
September max 31º C (87ºC) - min 4º (39º F). Average days of rain: 3 days/month
October max 28º C (82º F) - min 2º (36ºF). Average days of rain: 7 days/month

Your hosts and guides
The Segovia rides are led by Enrique, the owner of the stables in Segovia – Hipica Eresma, and Maria Elena. They are knowledgeable, qualified and hospitable and terrific travel companions..
The assistant guides and helpers are enthusiastic, motivated, attentive and charming.

Out attention to the detail is outstanding. We go as far as we can to anticipate all the little things that can make a difference. We have a lot of repeat guests that come back every year. We can give you direct references of riders from many different parts of the world.

Bookings
Please contact us equiberia@equiberia.com

Horses and Riding

Riding ability
Intermediate to experienced. Reasonably fit riders.
It is not necessary to be an expert rider but it is essential that riders have trail riding experience, can easily manage a horse at all paces and be familiar and comfortable handling a horse on the ground.
The fitter you are the more you will enjoy this ride! Riders can assist in taking care of their horses if they wish - but it is not necessary. Horses will be ready for the riders to get on every morning.

Horses
The horses are Andalusian crosses, mainly Anglo-Hispanos (Andalusian & Thoroughbred cross), ranging in height from 15-16 hh, and selected for their good nature and endurance. They are very well trained for the rides and for school work, dressage and jumping. They are very fit, very willing and they are fun to ride.

Pace of the ride
The pace of the ride varies with the terrain. Overall this can be quite an sportive ride, with long trots and canters, and even some small cross-country jumps if the riders want to go for it. The pace will be adapted to the riders’ abilities and desire. The average riding time is five to six hours per day. The total distance of the trip is about 115 miles.

The pace of course will be adapted to the ability of the riders, but in this programme riders can enjoy some exciting rides and the Segovia ride can be quite a sportive week.

Tack
Excellent leather English general purpose saddles
Seat savers and small saddle bags

Time in the saddle
From 4 and ½ to 6 hours (one day)

Weight limit
90kgs / 198 pounds

Your hosts and guides
Maria Elena organises this ride with some excellent stables from Segovia.
This ride will be guided by Enrique and Maria Elena. Enrique is the owner and trainer of the horses, an excellent horseman, with a show-jumping and cross-country background. He is passionate about Segovia, the nature and the history of the region. Maria Elena

Out attention to the detail is outstanding. We go as far as we can to anticipate all the little things that can make a difference. We have a lot of repeat guests that come back every year. We can give you direct references of riders from many different parts of the world.

2015 Accommodation and Meals

The selection of the accommodation and the service in every aspect of the ride is of outstanding quality.

Accommodation
The accommodation chosen for this ride is excellent and of special interest in this ride, including some historic sites which are very unique hotels nowadays.
Therefore riders will be stayin at some luxurious palces, with character, and some small and charming country hotels, providing double or twin-bedded rooms and en-suite baths.

First and last night will be spent at the Hotel Convento de San Antonio el Real, a luxurious and charming 4* hotel. It was built in the cloisters of an ancient monastery from the 15th century, in the heart of the city of Segovia, a 5 min walk from the Roman Aqueduct.
One night will be spent at the National Parador of La Granja 4*, ancient residence of the King’s infants, in a great location near the Royal Palace of La Granja.
Another highlight of this ride is one night spent at the castle of Castilnovo ( new accommodation for this 2015 ride). This castle is a historic site, a medieval castle, built on some arab remains, which chontains some very interesting collections of armours and a very rich library. Nowaday it hosts a Hispano-Mexican foundation. He rooms are magnificent, with al the modern comfort but with the atmosphere of medieval suites.
Other accommodations will be comfortable and charming rural hotels, like the Hotel de la Villa 3* , in Pedraza, built in an ancient noble house; the Posada del Acebo, in Pradena, a typical country style house from 1752; or the Posada Molino del ¨Rio Viejo, an ancient water mill converted into a charming small hotel.
Single accommodations can be arranged at an additional charge.

Food & Wine
Breakfast, aperitifs, lunches and dinners are included while on the trek. The local cuisine is excellent and much consideration is taken when planning the meals to provide visitors with a sampling of the many different dishes produced in the area. Lunches are exquisite picnics in the countryside with set tables, chairs... a small feast everyday! Dinners at the hotels will feature a varied selection of the typical cuisine.
All the drinks are included during the meals. Spanish red& white wines; beer, juices, soft drinks and water.

Vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notice.

2015 Dates & Prices

2015 DEPARTURE DATES
View our departure dates here
These are the dates programmed for 2015.
This ride can be organised for groups of 8-10 riders at other times in the year

NEW RIDE: Segovia and Gredos ride
May 27-June 3; June 10-17; September 30-October 7
This new itinerary will be ready in February 2015.

2015 PRICES
Please get in touch with us
Special offers for early bookings confirmed before the end of February and small groups of 4 or more riders.
All our prices are fully inclusive. You will need a very limited amount of money for the week.

o Transfers from/to Madrid are included in the price
o Accommodation in comfortable and charming hotels, all carefully selected for their character and welcome to riders and horses
o Beautifully trained horses, in excellent condition and very well looked after in every aspect: feeding, grooming, veterinary care, and general well-being.
o The days riding as described in the programmes, with itineraries carefully selected to make the best out of every day ride
o Knowledgeable, qualified and hospitable guides, the owners of the stables lead the rides personally, accompanied by attentive and charming support guides
o Excellent leather saddles; small saddle bags are provided. Riding hats or helmets can be provided too.
o All the meals are included: exquisite picnic lunches; aperitifs and tapas; fresh salads and fruit of the season everyday; selected dinners in the hotels; all the drinks are included during the meals: tasting of different red & white wines with the picnics; beer, juices, soft drinks.
o A support vehicle meets the riders with 1 or 2 helpers, to transport the luggage and prepare the lunches, with set tables, chairs.., and to assist the riders when necessary.
o Out attention to the detail is outstanding. We go as far as we can to anticipate all the little things that can make a difference. We have a lot of repeat guests that come back every year. We can give you direct references of riders from many different parts of the world.
o The company is fully insured and legally registered in every department, tourism, equestrian and agriculture.

Travel

MEETING POINT

Madrid
Riders will be met at the Madrid-Barajas International Airport.
Terminal 4, arrivals gate 10, at the cafeteria Medas (by gate 10). At 3pm, on the first date of the chosen week (always a Sunday).

Arrival
Any flight in time for the pick- up time at 15:00 pm of the first Sunday of the ride

Departure
Transfers on the Sunday of departure will be organised at the most convenient times for the riders.
Preferably, any flight after 1:00pm
Please contact us before booking the flights.

Before/After the ride
Equiberia can help with suggestions, hotel bookings, and other arrangements before or after the ride. Please contact us.

Packing list
The principle of “layers” is always very convenient, any time of the year.
We suggest the following

Riding

• Jodhpurs or riding breeches
• Half chaps and short riding boots with a good sole (don’t try new boots for a riding holiday)
• Long sleeve shirts and T-shirts
• Waistcoat (warmer or lighter (depending on the time of the year)
• Warm or light fleece (depending on the time of the year)
• Light rain jacket
• Sun hat with a brim and sun glasses
• Riding helmet (a few helmets are available at the riding centre). Not mandatory but advisable.
• Riding gloves
• Small saddle bags are provided to carry only small things while riding
• Seat savers can be provided

Other
Casual clothes for the evenings
Sunscreen and lip balm

2015 Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 MADRID – SEGOVIA

Transfer from Madrid (pick up at 3pm) to Segovia, about 1 and a half hour drive. Accommodation at the Hotel San Antonio El Real (4*), a luxurious and charming hotel. It was built in the cloisters of an ancient monastery from the 15th century, in the heart of the city of Segovia, a 5 min walk from the Roman Aqueduct. Transfer to the Equestrian Centre to see the stables and the horses. After meeting the horses, panoramic visit of the city of Segovia by car and a welcome drink in the Segovia main square. Welcome dinner and night at the hotel Sna Antonio el Real, which has an exquisite cuisine.

Day 2 SEGOVIA – LA GRANJA DE SAN ILDEFONSO

Morning ride from Segovia to the forest of Valsaín. We will follow transhumance trails, such as Cordel de Santillana and the Cañada Real Soriana to get to the source of water to of the Roman aqueduct, following the reservoir waters and the Acebeda stream. Then following the Eresma river valleys, we will get to the forest of Valsaín for a picnic lunch. These forests were traditionally hunting reserves for the kinds of Castile and nowadays they are protected nature parks. In the afternoon ride to La Granja de San Ildefonso, where we will stay at the luxurious National Parador of La Granja 4*). Visit of the baroque palace and the gardens of this royal site, built in the times of Felipe V. Dinner and night at the Parador.

Day 3 LA GRANJA DE SAN ILDEFONSO – PEDRAZA, VILLA MEDIEVAL

From La Granja we will rejoin the Cañada Real , at the Caserio de Gamones. We will ride on the slopes of the Sierra de Guadarrama, until we get to Sotosalbos. Aperitivo stop and visit of the Romanesque church from the 13th century. Riding through countryside of holm oaks, through the small village of Requijada, we will get to our picnic stop, near the river Cega. In the afternoon, we will ride by the Ermita de Las Vegas, and follow the Cega river to Pedraza.
This is a beautiful medieval village, with an imposing castle, charming cobbled streets and a charming main square. Dinner and night in the Hotel de la Villa, a 3* hotel in the heart of the village.

Day 4 PEDRAZA VILLA MEDIEVAL – CASTILLO DE CASTILNOVO

Half-day ride.
From Pedraza, and we will follow ancient bridle paths. Through nearly abandoned rural villages, with a typical architecture in stone and timber. We’ll stop for an aperitivo in the country. Riding through open farming land, we will reach the plains where stands the fortress of the Castle of Castilnovo, where we will finish today’s ride and have lunch. In the afternoon visit of the Castle and drive to the Duraton river gorges and the jewel Ermita de San Frutos. Dinner and night at the grand castle of Castilnovo, which has restored 10 bedrooms with all the comfort, and the atmosphere of medieval times.

Day 5 CASTILLO DE CASTILNOVO - PRÁDENA

This day we follow the Duraron river, riding in the valley and the hill of los Cortos. We will stop for an aperitivo at the Duraton villlage. We will ascent towards the Sierra to rejoin the Cañada Real (wide and open transhumance trail). Picnic lunch near Enebralejo. In the afternoon we will pass Enebralejo, where we can stop to visit the prehistoric caves. Ride on to Pradena a typical mountain village. Dinner and night at the Posada del Acebo (“The Holly bush Inn”, typical house from the 18th century.

Day 6 PRÁDENA – COLLADO HERMOSO

We will ride in the slopes of the Sierra de Guadarrama, in the Cañada Real, and thourhg the oak forest of Pradena. Aperitif stop in the Cañada, which we will follow until we get to Navafría, a mountain village with a timber production tradition. Picnic lunch by the river Cega.
In the afternoon ride to Collado Hermoso. Dinner and night at the Posada Molino del Rio Viejo

Day 7 COLLADO HERMOSO - SEGOVIA

Morning ride passing through Santo Domingo de Pirón and Torrecaballeros. Early picnic lunch at the well preserved remains of an old ranch, where shepherds use to stop with their flocks to sheer the sheep, during the long transhumant journeys. Short afternoon back to the stables in Segovia. Transfer to the hotel in Segovia. Afternoon free in Segovia. Dinner and night at a restaurant in Segovia. Night at the Hotel San Antonio el Real 4*.

Day 7 COLLADO HERMOSO - SEGOVIA

Morning ride passing through Santo Domingo de Pirón and Torrecaballeros. Early picnic lunch at the well preserved remains of an old ranch, where shepherds use to stop with their flocks to sheer the sheep, during the long transhumant journeys. Short afternoon back to the stables in Segovia. Transfer to the hotel in Segovia. Afternoon free in Segovia. Dinner and night at the Hotel San Antonio el Real 4*.

Day 8 SEGOVIA - MADRID

After breakfast transfer to the Madrid airport, arriving there about 12 noon. All riders will be transferred at the same time. Transfer can be arranged at a different time is that is more convenient for the group.

* END OF THE PROGRAMME *

History and Nature

Moderate inn-to-inn ride

About Segovia
Towers, Romanesque churches, squares, steps, mansions and Renaissance palaces, synagogues, porticoes, convents, gardens… Segovia boasts a whole host of monuments and an almost endless list of places of interest. You will see one monument that predominates over everything else: the spectacular Roman Aqueduct, an engineering achievement dating back almost 2,000 years and whose colossal appearance is still intact today. The best view of it can be obtained from the popular Plaza Azoguejo square: the huge blocks of granite stand 29 metres tall, seeming to dwarf everything in the vicinity.

A stroll through the streets of Segovia is a pleasant and very interesting way of gaining an insight into the history of Spain. Over the centuries, various civilisations (Romans, Arabs, Jews and Christians) have left an artistic heritage that is difficult to match elsewhere. This will become obvious as you stroll through its old town, whose streets still boast the medieval structure and civic and religious buildings of various architectural styles. Many of them were built during the Middle Ages, the heyday of this city. One example from this period is the Cathedral, the last Gothic building constructed in Spain; another is the Alcázar, the impressive fortress with its stunning views of the city. And then there is the unique Casa de los Picos House, the Alhóndiga corn exchange market, with a façade that leaves no-one unmoved, and the tower Torreon de los Lozoya, originally a 14th century defensive structure, which are now used to hold cultural exhibitions.

More information at:
www.segoviaturismo.com
www.segoviaturismo.es
http://whc.unesco.org
www.spain.info/tourspain

"We had a wonderful time on this ride. Everything was great: the horses are fit, forward going and beautifully mannered; the trail is stunningly beautiful, varied and ideal for long canters. We were expertly guided by Enrique and Maria Elena, and everyone we met along the way made us feel so welcome. The top notch accommodation, food and overnight stays in beautiful hilltop towns and villages were an added bonus. Thoroughly recommended." JS (UK)

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