I chose November for a trail ride this time (first time at this time of year) and it was absolutely wonderful. The weather was warm and sunny. The trees were dressed in their autumn colours, reds, yellows, etc.with the sun reflecting the beautiful colours. We stayed in some rustic houses in historical villages with cosy rooms and excellent food. Some were in rural settings on river banks, some with sea views. The horses were all strong and reliable as ever and the beach was quiet at this time of year, meaning it was possible long safe gallops along the edge of the sea. A truly wonderful experience from start to finish that I would recommend to all.
Giddy-Up! This was my fourth trip with Panorama Trails in five years. The ride I joined this time was called the Trabucaire Trail which winds through the mountains, takes you into France and then finishes with a gallop on the beach. This particular ride required long hours in the saddle (sometimes 8hrs), which I enjoyed though I wish I had been riding more frequently beforehand -- *cough* and I'm getting older. I enjoy traveling with Panorama because I always know they're going to take care of me. I only need to make my way to Barcelona and they'll take care of the rest. For me, that is a true luxury. The food is always superb and the wine and cava free flowing! While I've only done the week-long rides, I know Panorama can accommodate day trippers. Note: they're not kidding when they say you must be comfortable at all gaits. As a bit of a closeted adrenaline junkie, I love the gallops. Coming from Chicago, we just don't have the land where you can let a horse run like that. It's a thrill. What to bring: Be sure to bring insect repellant, sometimes a small headlamp would be helpful. For the most part, Panorama has you covered.
For every horse-loving girl or boy, a lifelong dream is a fast ride on a beautiful steed through incredible countryside, along beaches, and over mountains. Panorama Trails makes that dream come true with its many trails in Catalonia. At age 66, it was surely time for me to make this trip, and the choice of the Catalonian Coast Trail was perfect. The horses exceeded my expectations -- steady, forward, totally trustworthy and responsive. Most were Andalusian crosses, with several other breeds, such as French trotters, in the mix. My trekking saddle was fitted with a soft seat pad that made it comfortable for riding three to six hours each day, with much of the ride at a trot, canter or gallop. Our guide, Denise, was unfailingly fun, appropriately concerned with safety, but not a nag, and cared for horses and riders with competence and good humor. Her assistant, Jose, also had a perpetual smile, and clearly loved his equine charges. The value of this ride, with all accommodations and excellent meals, is superior. Your really get a lot for the money, including a stay at an Andalusian stud, cooking by David, chef supreme, at several meals, and gourmet picnics from Nacho, the Panorama Trails cook. The team makes the logistics seamless, which is no easy task, with ten horses and people traveling close to 100 miles in 6 days. This is not a trip for inexperienced riders, as the pace is far faster than that generally experienced on US trail rides. You will care for your horse while on the trail, but the routine allows for plenty of rest for horse and rider. Generally, breakfast is at 9; to horses by ten; ride two or three hours; stop for a picnic and siesta and rest for the horses for a couple of hours; ride again for one to three hours; stop for the night, with dinner around 8 or 8:30. There are other activities, too, including a winery visit, a museum visit, a tour of the stud farm, swimming in a pool or in the sea. I traveled with friends, but would also recommend this trip for the solo traveler. The group connects quickly, and the multi-lingual guide crosses language barriers. We had three friends, a mother/daughter/friend trio, and three solo travelers in our group of five Americans, one Austrian, and three Swiss. Our ages ranged from 16 to 66. All were women, as are about 75--80% of the riders overall. This was an excellent experience and a great value!
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!
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.
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!
last week i completed my sixth riding holiday .which was the bandit trail led by NACHO who I consider the best trail leader I have had .He was most helpful in helping us to get on being both over sixty.We rode an interesting trail over the escarpements of the southern pyranees through woods and along the cliff edges with wonderful views,staying in small hotels and farm houses enroute.Nacho kept us amused all evening over supper with his wonderful stories of life in spain,One must be fit to lead ones horse down very rocky terrain and gallop along flat sandy roads.when required.In all an excellent holiday where horses welfare and care comes first,
A friend and I have recently returned from the Barbarossa Pirates Trail along the Costa Brava coastline. It was not our first trip with Panorama Trails and it was certainly not our last!We love the friendliness of the people, the wonderful Catalonian landscape that offers everything from snow - covered mountains to endless beaches and everything in between. But the very best thing are - of course - the horses.The guide Rudi and his crew always do a very good job in matching horses and riders - there are horses to satisfy everyone, from advanced beginners to experienced riders. Mine was spirited and forward - going but really gentle and easy to handle on the ground. All the horses are really well trained and incredibly sure - footed - there are some very steep, rocky and somewhat adventurous climbs on the Pirates Trail where we had to lead the horses downhill (good trekking shoes pay off!) but I could always trust my horse even in the most difficult terrain. It's amazing what these horses can do!The scenery changes almost every day along the way, the first half of the trail goes through the Cap de Creus region with high cliffs, beautiful views and lovely picknick breaks on the beach in small, hidden bays. During the second half of the week we reaches the flat plains of the Gulf of Roses hinterland with several opportunities for fast galloping and a nice long canter along the beach.Once again, we enjoyes the (much too short) trip, the great food, good company, relaxed atmosphere and the wonderful, hard - working horses!
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!!!!!
For all horse trail fans ...I've been here before riding the Bandits trail and the Transpirenaica - "Beach to Beach" trail. This time I participated the Barbarossa Pirate 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 riding is 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
Dear Yvonne! Thank you so much for your feedback! As we already mentioned in our previous e-mails to you we are always happy to receive constructive criticism. We want to explain our view of the points you have mentioned.For almost 20 years now we have organised quality and safe horse riding holidays. We have also ridden at many different places all over the world and have gathered a wealth of different experiences. In general we think it is very important to be patient and open to accept different procedures and be keen to adapt to them. Procedures are worked out to guarantee the most important point for everybody: Safety for riders and horses!! Our horses are athletes, walking more than 80.000 kilometres a year. They are extremely well trained in climbing mountains, cantering through the plains and on the beach. Our horses also pass through busy villages and traffic situations. Horses are routine animals and they have learned over the years to do a good job. If we change the procedures abruptly and ride without respecting the established order, horses get confused and unsatisfied. As a possible consequence they might start to kick and bite in order to express their confusion. This brings a lot of unrest into the group and it makes it very difficult to control the horses in slowing down the pace. The result could be that horses end up galloping uncontrolled and this puts riders and horses in an extremely dangerous situation. Our horses are used to and specially trained to go in line. In our wide experience this way has been confirmed to be the safest. Only on a few occasions it can turn out that rider and horse do not connect and then of course we try to find a solution and if necessary we change the horse. In this case it would be helpful if guests are not afraid to ask us to change the horse. We always want the best for our guests and horses. There's a lot of work "behind the scenes" which may not always be perceived by our guests. We really work hard to give a good service and make these holidays unforgettable for all. The fact that we have a lot of returning visitors speaks for itself and it is the best evidence that we are doing things well. Thanks again for your review and we wish you and your friends all the best!
I had a amazing time during this absolutely fabulous trail!I was the "green one" in the group but every thing exceeded my expectations and I had a blast! Horses were so well trained and sweet, international group was funny and helpful, and of course the trail it self was the most beautiful with changing landscape from poppy fields to seaside and everything between. Most important thing for the successful trail was our great guide Nacho, who made us feel safe by showing great horsemanship and knowledge of human nature :) I really lived my dream!I'm sure to attend next year again!KInd regardsSusanna
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!
This was my fifth trail in Catalonia, I keep coming back to this wonderful area. Have done 20 trails so far and I think Rudi and his staff is doing an excellent job organizing the trails. Our guide on the Herdsman trail was Denise, she was very sweet, helpful and polite. The trail started in the lower parts of the terrain slowly moving up in the mountains. We were so lucky with the weather, blu sky with 22-26c the whole week - perfect riding conditions. Being seven riders it was a midsized group that worked very well. The scenery in Pyrenees was amazing I found it hard to believe - what a beautiful place on earth! For those who has been on the Bandido trail, this is your next trail. Accomodation is good to excellent with lots of food. The breakfast was, well, modest compared to a scandinavian meal in the morning but we survived. Have posted my pics at Facebook - search for Tom Oiestad. Next trail in the future, the Transpirenaica trail... :-)
I did the La Pasion Trail, I think it has to rate as one of the most exciting holidays I have ever had. Amazing views and the food "oh the food!!!" fantastic.The people at Panorama couldn't of done more to make sure you have the best holiday. As a novice the riding was challenging but at the same time exciting, but never at the expense of safety.