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Equiberia - Uknown views of Menorca: Ave

Uknown views of Menorca

menorca – islas baleares

6 nights – 5 days riding

Magic, inspiring, breathtaking... the most beautiful and unknown views of the Mediterranean Sea, riding along the coast of Menorca. This is a surprisingly unspoilt Balearic island, full of great contrasts in the landscape and in the nature, and with its own local breed of horses: the black Menorquin horse. Menorca is the western island of the Balearic archipelago. This is the second island in term of surface after Mallorca. Menorca surface is 701,84 km2 with a length of 53kms.


The population of the island is 75 000 inhabitants. In 1993, Menorca was given by the UNESCO the distinction of "Reserve of Biosphere", in fact Menorca is a wonderful island, with emerald beaches, and an always blue sky (more than 300 days of sunshine per year).


El Camí de Cavalls is an alternative way to contemplate Menorca’s natural charms. This ancient coastal trail offers the chance to come into contact with one of the island’s most important attractions: its nature. Riding along this trail it is also a privileged way of diving into the history of Menorca: remains of Megalithic, Roman,Vandal, Byzantine and Moslem civilisations, the medieval Christian conquest of 1287, British and French have all left their mark.


The Unknown Views of Menorca ride takes you along this Camí de Cavalls, and it allows a really unique access to the unspoilt Menorcan coast, rather inaccessible from inland. The views of the Mediterranean turquoise waters are breathtaking. When you ride “round the corner” on the Camí de Cavalls and the sea appears in front of you... literally, it does take your breath away!

Trip summary

Slow challenging ride

Best time to visit
May and October.

Trip length
7 days - 6 nights - 5 days riding (from Sunday to Saturday
Distance covered 82 miles / 130kms

Group size
Minimum 6 riders - Maximum 10 riders.
All departures are guaranteed.

Airport
Madrid

Riding ability
Intermediate to experienced
Reasonably fit riders

Horses
The horses are Menorquin and Menorquin crosses, the breed from Menorca. They are beautiful strong, extremely sure footed horses and good natures, with an average size 15hh.

Tack
English general purpose and Wintec saddles
Small saddle bags are provided.

Time in the saddle
From 4 and ½ to 6 and ½ hours

Weight limit
90kgs – 198Ibs

Languages
English, French, Spanish

Climate
Menorca enjoys a classic Mediterranean climate, characterised by mild winters and hot (though not excessive!) summers.
Rainfall in Menorca varies widely, with virtually none during the summer and a lot in winter. The result is a verdant green landscape throughout all but the hottest periods, whilst the island still sees over 300 days of sunshine per year. A special mention to the famous tramontana - a prevailing northerly wind that has given rise to Menorca being called the "windy island", blowing particularly in March. The islanders actually have names for all eight winds (depending on their direction)

Your hosts and guides
The Menorca ride is led by Toni, the owner of the stables in Menorca, and Maria Elena. They are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, qualified, hospitable and terrific travel companions.
The assistant guides and helpers are 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. A level of fitness is required, as the days are 4-6 hours.
Some passages are difficult but only exceptionally riders will dismount and walk.
Horses will be ready for the riders to get on every morning.

Horses
The horses chosen for the ride are Menorquín crosses and Andalusians. Toni is breeding a cross between the Menorquín horse and the Menorquín trotters, both pitch back horses, to create a lighter and more athletic horse, ideal for the rides. The Pura Raza Menorquín horses are stallions who are not ideal for the trail rides, whereas the Menorquín crosses have the right size, character and endurance for the rides.

Pace of the ride
The pace of the ride is slow, very slow at times, but there will be chances for some trots and canters on some of the beaches. The terrain is difficult and some passages can be complicated. This slow pace allows you to dive into Menorca’s diversity, embody all the scents that the breeze carries and feel immersed in the intense colours of its skies and beaches.

Tack
English general purpose and Wintec saddles
Small saddle bags are provided.

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

Weight limit
90kgs / 198 pounds

Your hosts and guides
The Menorca ride is led by Toni, the owner of the stables in Menorca, and Maria Elena. They are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, qualified, hospitable and terrific travel companions. Toni breeds his own horses and is an expert horseman who has explored many paths in Menorca. He is Menorquí, from a Menorquín family and he is deeply rooted and deeply in love with the island.
Toni’s wife, Catalina is in charge of the support, always charming and attentive to the group needs.
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.

THE “MENORQUÍN” HORSE
Menorca has its own breed of horses.The Menorquina breed or “Pura Raza Menorquina” (P.R.M.) is a relatively young breed because it was just recognized officially as its own breed in 1987. After a field study completed by one of the most prestigious zoologist in Spain, Dr. Antonio Sánchez Belda, it was concluded that the “Menorca” horse met all the requirements to be included, registered and recognized as its own breed.

Despite the recognition in 1987, the Menorquina horse, sometimes also called “Menorquín”, already existed many centuries ago in Menorca. It was confirmed by Cayo Plinio II in his writings about Nature & History of the year 77 AD, that Menorca distinguished itself for having good livestock breeding. Menorca has always been considered a horse-island. The main role of the Menorquina horse in religious and knightly natured festivals, which for us as Menorcans, have been passed down from generation to generation, explains the very existence of the Menorquina horse as it is.

People connected with the rural life (read farm life) of Menorca have always been aware of the existence of an inborn breed called the “Menorca” breed. They knew exactly which horses were known as “Menorcas” and those that were not, without the need for any document or paper to prove otherwise. In those times, words had as much value as a document.

2015 Accommodation and Meals

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

Accommodation
Menorca’s country hotels are excellent, with lots of charm, portraying the characteristics of the local architecture. They are very comfortable, some luxurious 4* country hotels. Nearly all of them have swimming pools.
Single accommodations can be arranged at an additional charge.

Food & Wine
Breakfast, lunch and dinner 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.
Picnic lunches will consist of a sample of the local dishes cooked at the local restaurants.
The Camí de Cavalls is practically inaccessible the car will only meet the rides t lunch time for the picnic.

Dinner at the country hotels where the group stays.
Vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notice.

2015 Dates & Prices

2015 DEPARTURE DATES
View our departure dates here

2015 PRICES
Please get in touch with us.
All our prices are fully inclusive. You will need a very limited amount of money for the week.

o Transfers from/to Mahón 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. You will feel it: they are happy horses.
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 saddles; small saddle bags are provided. Riding hats or helmets can be provided too. Every piece of the tack is in excellent condition.
o All the meals are included: exquisite picnic lunches and aperitifs: 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 to transport the luggage and prepare the lunches, with set tables, chairs.
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

Mahon airport
Mahón ( or Maó) is Menorca’s main airport. Best connections from Barcelona to Mahón.
There are some direct flights from London Gatwick with Easyjet.
We’ll advise you with the best connections if you contact us about booking this ride.

Arrival
Pick-up time will be tailor-made to the group arrival times.

Departure
Departure. Tailor-made for the group.

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
Swimsuit, flip-flops, small towels ( many opportunities to swim in the sea – even with the horses!)
Casual clothes for the evenings
Sunscreen and lip balm

2015 Day-by-day itinerary

The Menorca ride is a 5 day ride, following the “Camí de Cavalls”. The first three days we will ride on the Northern coast, wild and inaccessible, from West to East, and the following two days, we will ride on the Southern coast, from East to West, which is a more sheltered coast, with more human presence, but where we will find some unspoilt beaches and very attractive inland landscapes.

Day 1 MAHÓN - CIUTADELLA SANT IGNASI

Pick at the airport of Menorca, in Mahón. Transfer to the country hotel Sant Ignasi. Depending on the arrival time of the group, this afternoon we will see the horses and have a short ride, to match horse & rider and adjust the tack. Horses will be transferred from their stables to the point of departure of the ride. Dinner in the country hotel or at a restaurant in the beautiful town of Ciutadella.

Day 2 SANT IGNASI - CALA MORELL - SON ANGEL

Transfer to Eugues de Flo, near Torre del Ram, point of departure of the ride. On this first day ride we will discover the arid and dry Menorca, one of the wildest parts of the island, with a very unique landscape. The only traces of human presence we will see are the light houses, remains of shepherds huts and corrals and some archaeological sites. Riding inland and along the cost we will get to Cala Morell. Picnic lunch at the Caves of Cala Morrell, and archaeological site with a necropolis (from 1500-300 b.C.). A short afternoon ride, along the coast and then South to get to Son Angel, home to the horses and our guide, Toni. Transfer to the country hotel Biniatram. Dinner and night at the hotel.

Day 3 SON ANGEL - ELS ALOCS - SANT VICENT (ES MERCADAL)

Transfer to Son Angel. Morning ride in and out the Mediterranean sea, in the part of Menorca called Tramuntana. This territory holds an extraordinarily rich variety of endemic wild plants in the island. Riding along the coast and through beautiful beaches, all of them different: Algaraiens, Plà de Mar, El Pilar, we will get to Els Alocs, for a picnic lunch at the Ermita. Some parts of this ride are quite rough and riders may need to dismount, or we may ride on some alternative inland paths, to avoid the difficult passages. After lunch, the succession of the most attractive beaches and views of the deep turquoise see continues: Cala'n Calderer, Cala Barril, Cala Pregonda. We head inland to the finca Sant Vicent, where we will finish the ride this day, and where the horses with spend the night. Transfer to Es Mercadal. Dinner and night at the hotel Es Mercadal.

Day 4 SANT VICENT - CAP DE CAVALLERIA - SES SALINES

Transfer to Sant Vicent. This day we ride through some dunar formations, in a area rich in birdlife, with a great biodiversity and geological interest. Ride to Binimel là, Cala Mica, and the beach of Cavaleria. Climbing the cliff to Cap Cavaleria, with spectacular views, we will get to the Eco-museum of the Cap, where we will stop for lunch. In the afternoon, ride to Cala Tirant. We will ride on a small road at the end of the day to get to Ses Salines. Dinner and night at the Hostal Port Fornells, with a field for the horses that has great views of the sea and the village of Fornells.

Day 5 SES SALINES (transfer to) TORRE D'EN GALMES - SANT TOMÀS - BINIGAUS VELL

This morning riders and horses will be transferred to Torre d'en Galmes, on the Southwestern part of Menorca, from where we will start our Southern ride. At Torre d'en Galmes we will visit the the largest “Talayotico” site of the island. The Talayots were watch towers built by pre Roman settlers from the 1000 - 123 b.C. From this site, we will ride South to reach the Camí de Cavalls at Llucalari. From Llucalari we will ride around Son Bou, through some cultivated land and discovering different vegetation characteristic of the wet lands. We will continue until Sant Tomas. We will stop at the restaurant Es Bruc for lunch. In the afternoon, we will head inland, visiting the spectacular cave Cova des Coloms, also called the Cathedral, given its dimensions. Ride the stables of the country hotel Binigaus Vell. Dinner and night at Binigaus Vell.

Day 6 BINIGAUS VELL - MACARELLA - MORA NOU

From Binigaus, we will start the morning riding South, bRVEDack to the Camí de Cavalls. We will ride inland around and along deep gorges, called Barrancos, like the barranco de Trebalúger. After riding through Cala Mitjana, and Cala Galdana, one of the few beaches in the island where we you see a big hotel, we will get to the unspoilt Cala Macaralleta. We will have lunch near Macaralleta, at Torralbet, where we will taste a selection of the Menorquín pork products (sobrassada, carn I xua, cuixot) and cheeses. Afternoon through the unspoilt beach of Cala en Turqueta and then inland to reach Morvedra Nou, where we will end the ride. Farewell dinner and night at the country hotel Morvedra Nou.

Day 7 MORVEDRA NOU - MAHÓN

Breakfast and transfer to the airport.
If you would like to prolong your stay, we can help with recommendations.

* END OF THE RIDE *

History and Nature

History
Menorca is the western island of the Balearic archipelago. This is the second island in term of surface after Mallorca. Menorca surface is 701,84 km² with a length of 53kms.
The population of the island is 75 000 inhabitants.
In 1993, Menorca was given by the UNESCO the distinction of "Reserve of Biosphere", in fact Menorca is a wonderful island, with emerald beaches, and an always blue sky (more than 300 days of sunshine per year).

El Camí de Cavalls is an alternative way to contemplate Menorca’s natural charms. This ancient coastal trail offers the chance to come into contact with one of the island’s most important attractions: its nature.
This 179-km trail, which completely encircles the island of Menorca, was built to defend the island. It is not known exactly when the road was created and the oldest written documentation found until now dates from 1682, although the origins of some stretches appear to go back to the fourteenth century. This trail was used to safeguard the coast and communicate with battlements, watchtowers and other fortifications.
A long recovery process that began in 2000 with the Balearic Parliament’s passage of Act 13/2000 culminated on May 12, 2008 with the latest bureaucratic procedures to re-establish the free public use of El Camí de Cavalls.

The Unknown Views of Menorca ride takes you along this Camí de Cavalls, and it allows a really unique access to the unspoilt Menorcan coast, rather inaccessible from inland. The views of the Mediterrannean turquoise waters are breathtaking. When you ride “round the corner” on the Camí de Cavalls and the sea appears in front of you… literally, it does take your breath away! Riding along this trail it is also a privileged way of diving into the history of Menorca: remains of Megalithic, Roman, Vandal, Byzantine and Moslem civilisations, the medieval Christian conquest of 1287, British and French have all left their mark.

Nature
The Menorca Biosphere Reserve was created in 1993 as a result of the Island status as a Natural Park. Sixteen years ago this was a bold step but one which has been instrumental in the Island managing its development as a major holiday destination without succumbing to the worst excesses of mass tourism. The Island is unique in that although small its varied landscape offers the diversity of habitats that virtually represents the whole of the Mediterranean region in miniature.
The scheme encompasses gullies, caves and wetlands together with a dunes system, coastal areas and small islands. Menorca is home to 220 species of birds and a 1000 species of plants. The wetlands provide nesting sites for aquatic birds and birds of prey who nest water sources. These wetlands comprising ponds lagoons and marshes and their associated dunes systems are spread throughout the Island from Albufera de Es Grau in the east to Son Bou on the south coast and from Puerto Addaia, near Fornells in the North to L'arenal de Son Saura in the south west corner of Menorca near to Cala en Bosch.
The Menorcan landscape is criss crossed by gullies winding their way towards the coastal areas offering an ideal habitat for a diverse variety of flora and fauna as well as some breathtaking scenery.
The rocky coastline of Minorca is biologicaly important as it is home to a rich in species exclusive to the Island. The coastline also contains underwater caves where animals not known elsewhere in the region have made their home. Caves are not exclusive to the coast with many inland caves having their own unique species.
In the open Menorcan countryside non agricultural vegetation compriseing groves and woods made up of f Oaks, Pines and wild olive trees completes this unique variety of Mediteranean environments in a compact and picturesque .

“Hi Just got home safe and sound and wanted to say a very big thank you for a most amazing week. I enjoyed every moment of it. You and Toni did a wonderful job. I can't come up with a best bit, it was all best bits!! The horses - the challenging riding over some of the most amazing terrain, it was a first for me to ride up and down steps and to negotiate near vertical slopes, but I had complete confidence in my horse - the views, the food, the beaches and the swimming, the wonderful people we met along the way, I truly mean it when I say I think this was my best riding holiday ever, The days were filled from start to finish with different experiences which I will never forget - the colour's of the sea and sky, the rugged terrain, the scents of herbs and flowers as you rode along. the gorges and caves, you name it I loved it. I also loved all the different accommodation along the way and I felt it was a privaledge to meet the menorcan farming family on the last day and having a wonderful lunch and couple of hours with them, such nice people. Best wishes,” Helen, UK

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