The Crete Star Ride radiates out from your friendly hosts’ very comfortable hotel to visit different parts of the island each day. There are fascinating archaeological sites to visit which are some of the best Greece has to offer.
The trails vary from steep mountain paths to fertile agricultural valleys where there are olive groves, citrus fruits and other crops. Your sure-footed horses will take you to the tops of mountains, giving you stunning views of the picturesque landscape and a glimpse of the Mediterranean Sea sparkling in the distance. After a day in the saddle you will appreciate the best cuisine and wines Greece has to offer.
The Crete Star Ride is for those who would like to relax in one location for a week and take guided tours each day from a fixed location. It saves the hassle of packing your bag all the time and getting installed in a new place. From this one location you can still see much of the surrounding countryside which offers such varied trails for horses. The central location of your hotel allows interesting trail rides at varied paces in every direction so that you are seeing totally new country every day.
Meals are included from dinner on the first day through breakfast on the last day. Local ingredients create the delicious and healthy meals Crete is known for. Special dietary needs can usually be arranged with advance notice.
The horses are Arabs, Thoroughbred and Thoroughbred crosses, and Dutch and Greek warm bloods. They are fit and well suited to the countryside, with good posting (rising) trots, two-point canters, and some hand-gallops when permitted by the occasional steep and rocky terrain. They each have their own personalities and must ride in a certain order on the trail. All purpose English saddles are used.
Thoroughbred and Thoroughbred crosses, warm bloods and a local breed
While riders are on horseback, there are no separate activities planned for non-riders, who can enjoy the accommodations and region independently. From the hotel, non-riders can enjoy routes for walking and biking and for extra cost cycling, bird-watching with guide, paragliding, massages and wellness treatments.
For groups your hosts can also organize speleology (caving), as well as mountain climbing.
Beyond the hotel, a 18 hole golf course only 7 km away, and different water sports can be found along the coast. The hotel can also assist with rental car arrangements.
Arrive and take arranged taxi (out of pocket expense) to the stables in Avdou where you will have time for a swim before orientation and description of the ride. Dinner and overnight at the equestrian hotel with swimming pool and restaurant which will be home base for the week.
Ride to the archaeological site of the ancient city of Lyttos with views over the valley of Kastelli. (The army of the city joined the Trojan War.) During the Roman period Lyttos was a city with great fame and a rival of Knossos. It had an aqueduct, theater and acropolis. Lyttos was mentioned by Homer as Lyktos. Nowadays little can be seen of this as excavations of the site have not as yet been completed. After your visit, ride along the remains of the Roman aqueduct, returning to your hotel. (4 hours riding).
Ride up the hills of Sfendili and cross near the Byzantine church of Avdou, then ride briskly over the plateau of Mochos. The Psiloritis Mountains in the distance are the highest peaks of the island (8,200 ft.). (4 hours riding).
In 2015 the Langada Valley was turned to a lake by man-made dam in the Aposelemis River. The water created habitat for a variety of animals, which you may glimpse as you ride around the 3 km lake’s edge. Ride to the abandoned village of Sfendily, which is now half submerged beneath the lake’s surface. (4 hours riding)
A steep climb up the mountain with excellent views over the stables and the Langada valley below. Ride through Kerm Oak forest to visit the mysterious Church of the Saint Fotini which is hidden deep in a cave. (2.5 hours riding).
Ride through the gorge of Gonies to start your spectacular climb to the Greek village of Kera at 800 meters. Here you have a lunch break in the Restaurant Niki. After lunch ride down along the springs of Kera and return to your lodgings for another peaceful night. (5 hours riding)
Your final ride takes you out through a quiet beautiful valley of olive groves, and along a small cypress forest. Make some steep descents before returning for a swim or relaxation in the serene setting before your farewell dinner. (3 hours riding)
High Season of March 14-November 5 and December 15-January 8, 2024
Low Season of January 10-March 14 and November 6-December 14.
Transfers to and from Heraklion Airport or Ferry Station cost around 60 euro each way and are to be paid directly in Crete.
Additional Pricing Information:
It is possible to arrange cooking classes at additional cost on some of the free afternoons.
Riding lessons are also available.
Prices are based on the dollar/euro exchange and are subject to change.
Ride price is set, guaranteed, and final at the time deposit is paid.
Tell us more about your riding experience and trip preferences below so we may find the perfect options to meet your needs. We will research availability and get back to you with a booking confirmation detailing suggested departure, cost and extended ride itinerary.
Do you have questions about this ride itinerary? Do you want to make sure that this it is the right ride for you? Or are you ready to book? Please call or email our experienced and friendly ride consultants for more detailed information. With first-hand knowledge of the exciting tours we offer, the ride consultants at Equitours look forward to answering any questions you might have
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The facilities during the Crete Star Trail are some of the nicest I’ve stayed at. Important things like the bathroom having both a tub and a shower, and good water pressure made it really comfortable. And that had to be the cleanest, best lit and most organized tack room I think I have EVER seen anywhere!!! Of course, the hosts were perfect at what they do. I really need to stress how good the food was. It was probably the best food we had in Greece.
Fran & Craig Gander, Oct 2008
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