Ride Overview - The Trojan Trails
A breathtaking horseback riding vacation in Greece! The mystical Isle of Crete offers almost limitless horseback riding in the peace and quiet of nature surrounding Avdou. Your trails will lead near impressive mountain views of clear blue waters and secluded beaches. Destinations include the ancient city of Lyttos and a Roman aqueduct. The restaurant uses homegrown or locally produced fruit and vegetables to prepare the famous healthy Cretan diet. Cretan wine is made from ancient grape species. Meat, cheese and eggs are produced free-ranging sheep, goats and chickens. Meals are prepared in a traditional wood fired oven and grill.
The country hotel is perched high on a hillside overlooking the Lake Aposelemis in the foothills of the Dikti Mountains. It is in the middle of the protected “Kermes Oak” forest and next to the nature reserve “Natura 2000.” The rooms offer a serene quietness with spacious, comfortable rooms and breathtaking views. You can enjoy an infinity pool, jacuzzi, yoga and massages. What could be better? RIDING IN GREECEI can’t say enough good things about the whole experience, I really think it was the best equestrian tour I have done, and that means the best of eight at this point. One part was just the luck of the draw, since you never know who else will be riding, but all the riders were wonderful women. There were only two doing the day tours that I did. Another woman was taking lessons for two weeks, and several others were doing self-guiding tours and only spent a few nights with us. All were great fun to spend time with, we sat for hours by the pool and at the table after dinner, just talking and laughing. Luckily all spoke quite good English, and were kind enough to always use English when I was around. They were from Holland, Switzerland, and Germany, so I definitely had no ability to speak their languages. The Velani was exceptional, my room was very comfortable, the bathroom amazing, and the view down into the valley beautiful. Manolis, Sabine, and all of the staff were very friendly. Again they all spoke excellent English, though they appreciated our efforts to speak at least a bit of Greek. The food was out of this world. I think my only complaint would be that I must have gained several pounds while there, because it was all so good that you didn’t want to ignore any of the many dishes they served at each meal. It was all traditional Greek food, and SO delicious. They paid careful attention to any food likes/dislikes/allergies and made a point of serving dishes that followed those requests, while also serving the same dishes with the normal ingredients for other people at the table. Our guide, Vladimir, from the Ukraine, was also great. He ate meals and spent time with us as well as leading the three of us on beautiful tracks each day. Vladi helped me with saddling up, since my back isn’t up to lifting and turning like that. He helped as much or as little as each rider wished. We all enjoyed washing our horses down after each ride, esp. since the weather was so good. The horses were all very sure-footed (necessary on those trails) and active. Whenever it was possible we got to enjoy long canters. I could go on and on, but I wanted to let you know haw much I loved the whole experience. Thank you for offering it! J.L.
Ride Itinerary - The Trojan Trails
You will be transferred from the airport to your hotel (4****). After you unpack, you can dive into the pool and then enjoy an evening dinner in the Restaurant Velani. Check-in to the hotel is 2:00 PM.
Ancient Lyttos Ride: Ride up to visit the archaeological site of the ancient city of Lyttos giving an excellent view over the valley of Kastelli. The city of Lyttos was a strong town and a rival of Knossos. The army of the city joined the Trojan War. The city was also mentioned by Homer as Lyktos. During the Roman period, Lyttos was an autonomous city with great fame. It had an aqueduct, theatre, and Acropolis nowadays little can be seen of this as excavations of the site have not been completed. After the visit to the city, ride along the remains of the Roman aqueduct in the area.
Olive Ride: Start off to the north at a quick pace, up to the hills of Sfendili. The group will pass the Byzantine church of Avdou, then a ride over the plateau of Mochos and have an excellent view of the Psiloritis Mountains, the highest peaks of the island.
River Ride: Ride along the Aposelemis River. This man-made lake attracts all kinds of birds and animals. After lunch under the shade of olive trees, you will ride to the abandoned village of Sfendily which has sunk into the water.
Red Rock Ride: A steep climb up the mountain leading to an excellent view over the stables and the Langada valley. Ride through Kerm Oak forest to visit the mysterious Church of the Saint Fotini which is hidden deep in a cave.
Vulture Gorge Ride: Ride through the gorge of Gonies to start your spectacular climb to the Greek village of Kera at 800 meters. A lunch break in Restaurant Niki, before starting a descent along the springs of Kera.
Cypress Ride: The last day will be spent riding through a very quiet and beautiful valley olive groves. Ride through a small cypress forest and make some steep descends with the horses which the group now fully trust.
Breakfast and departure. Hotel check-out is noon.
Ride Details - The Trojan Trails
Dates: Available weekly January 1st – July 4th, August 29th – January 9th, 2023
Best Riding Months: late April – early November
Meeting Place: Heraklion Airport
Riding days: 6
Daily Riding Hours: 2 – 5
Riding ability: INTERMEDIATE Confident in riding hill and mountain trails.
Horses: Arabic, Berber, Thoroughbred, Dutch Warm Blood and Greek Warm Bloods
Group size: 3 – 10
Non-riding activities: Paragliding (experienced only), golf, hiking, caving, swimming, mountain biking and mountain climbing
Low Season: $1,185.00 per person, double occupancy
High Season: $1,270.00 per person, double occupancy
$235.00 single supplement
Upgrade to larger room or suite: $235.00
Low Season: November 11th through December 13th & January 11th through March 21st
High Season: March 22nd through November 10th & December 14th-January 10th
*This price will fluctuate with the dollar/euro exchange and will be fixed at your final payment.
Includes: 7 nights accommodations, breakfasts, lunches and dinners, luggage transfer, horse, tack and guide
Not Included: airfare, drinks, desserts, transfers to and from the airport (50 euros each way)
The Trojan Trails: Gallery
The Trojan Trails
Isle of Crete, Greece