Trip 11. “Trashumancia”. The Spanish cowboys.

Difficulty level: high (ONE OF OUR TOUGHEST TRIPS!)

Duration: 4 horse-riding days and 1 day for resting or for alternative activities

Time on horseback: 6-9 h daily

When: from 11th to 15th November 2017

No. participants: min 3 – max 5

Printable version: TRIP 11_TRASHUMANCIA_The Spanish cowboys.pdf

The first day we ride from Villafranca del Cid town (Castellón province) to Mosqueruela town (Teruel province) following a cattle path. There are many cultural and natural attractions in Villafranca del Cid worth to see, as the “Dry Stone” architecture or the town itself. We´ll ride through awesome landscapes while crossing a mountain range at 1.100-1.200 m above the sea level.

The second day, very early in the morning (6.00 am), we drive a herd of migrating beef cows from Mosqueruela to Vistabella del Maestrazgo area (Castellón province). We ride at a slow pace, following and guiding the cattle from the summer pastures to the winter ones. Our horses are used to work with cattle in the countryside. This is a unique opportunity for experiencing this tough and ancient tradition, riding through rough trails and beautiful landscapes.

The cattle belong to the Fernando Robres ecological livestock farm: Fernando Robres farm. This farm focuses on the welfare of the animals, on keeping the local traditions and on producing very high-quality meet. The cows are reared in freedom, born and raised in the mountains and fed on grass and ecological pastures without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. The winter pastures of the farm are in Vistabella (Castellón), while the summer ones are located in Mosqueruela and Linares de Mora (Teruel).

Fernando Robres farm also owns a store where they offer products made with the meet of the cattle they rear, as well as other ecological products produced in the area. We´ll have the opportunity of visiting the store and tasting their healthy and delicious products.

The third day we will stay in Vistabella area, relaxing and resting from the long previous ride. We will stay in the vicinity of Penyagolosa Nature Park. The Penyagolosa mountain is the highest mountain in the area (1,813 m), providing a magnificent panorama over the province. It is covered by a well-preserved and diverse forest. There are also many cultural and architectural attractions worth to visit. This day, one can just relax in town or join the activities we have prepared.

Activity day: organized by our collaborators Itinerantur: Hiking on the Penyagolosa Nature Park, possibility of reaching the very top of the mountain; guided visit in Vistabella town, possibility of purchasing ecological local products. Included: guides-interpreters, insurance, local products lunch (bread, olive oil, cheeses, cold meat, wine, juices, seasonal fruit …), needed materials (educational, binoculars, compasses…) and quality photo report.

The fourth day we will ride from Vistabella to Adzaneta del Maestrazgo town. Our route runs along the slopes of the Penyagolosa mountain, following the route of the millenary Useres pilgrimage in some stretches. We ride through one of the most beautiful landscapes of the province. In this route, we´ll meet some riding challenges since the paths are quite incline (we start the riding at 1246 m altitude and finish at 400 m).

The fifth day we take the route from Adzaneta to the Vall d’Alba area. The route runs eastwards to the coastline. We will ride across two mountain ranges and an agricultural valley, where we will learn about the different farming traditions of the area. We finish the riding tour in a rural inn and restaurant called Pou de Beca, a “Slow Food” philosophy restaurant where will have a tasteful dinner accompanied by very good local wines.

Summarizing, we will ride through a wide range of altitudes (from 1471 m above the sea level in Mosqueruela to 300 m in Vall d’Alba) and therefore, a wide diversity of natural landscapes, from high mountain forests and pastures to the rich agricultural valleys at lower altitude.

In addition, the area is full of innumerable architectural, historical and cultural attractions, which will take us back to distant epochs (village of Mosqueruela, for example). We will also tell you exciting stories and interesting traditions of the area, as the ancient Useres pilgrimage. And last but not least… we guarantee a great gastronomic and wine experience!

You cannot miss this extraordinary riding trip, where you will live so many diverse and enriching experiences!!!

Total price for 5 days:

Horse-riding, cattle driving and activities: 690 € per person. Included: horse, riding equipment, native guides + translator Spanish-English, accident insurance, cattle driving activity, horse and person transport, one rustic meal per day, activities on the third day.

Others: Accommodation and meals (breakfast and dinner): Prices can vary depending on the accommodation type (single or double rooms are available). In total, for 6 nights, the price would be around 410 € (price estimated for single room).

 

Check the following links for inspiration:

Villafranca del Cid

Villafranca del Cid_nature

Villafranca del Cid_Dry Stone

Mosqueruela – arteguias

Mosqueruela – tourism

Penyagolosa

Penyagolosa Nature Park

Penyagolosa trails

Vistabella del Maestrazgo

Adzaneta del Maestrazgo

Practicalities:

Weather and temperature: between 5 and 15 degrees. Some probability of raining. Maybe some wind.

Equipment you should bring:

  • Comfortable clothes for riding: regular riding trousers, chaps, boots/shoes comfortable (and safe) for riding and maybe some hiking.
  • Riding helmet (optional for adults but recommendable).
  • Rain jacket and wind clothing (just in case).
  • Small plastic bottle with water for the day (should fit inside a small saddlebag).
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses and hat or cap.
  • Small binoculars and camera.

No need to bring towels or linens.

Meals: Local dishes and possibility of vegetarian food (tell us if you eat eggs, milk and/or fish).

Travel info:

We are well connected by plane, train, bus or car.

The nearest airports to Benlloch – the meeting point – are:

  • Castellón airport (CDT) (the nearest – 15 km).
  • Valencia airport (VLC) (107 km).
  • Reus airport (REU) (175 km).

Flights from Scandinavia to these airports with 1 connecting flight in European cities. Several airlines, including SAS, Norwegian and Ryanair.

Other airports with direct flights from Oslo:

  • Alicante airport (ALC) (285 km): Norwegian, Ryanair, SAS.
  • Barcelona airport (BCN) (250 km): Norwegian, SAS.

We will pick you up at the Castellón or Valencia airports. From other airports, you could take the train or the bus to Valencia or Castellón. We will pick you up at the train or bus station. You could also rent a car and drive to us.

 

Experience Spain from horseback