8 Days Stationary Horse Riding Holiday in Crete, Greece

Scenic Horse Riding Holiday to Greece

This listing has the most popular offer available in Greece

Stay the week on the unique hillside location in Crete, Greece, with panoramic view to Lake Aposelemis, swimming pool, and restaurant with local products! Here in Avdou, there is unlimited space for horse riding. You will ride through the quietness of nature and Cretan countryside through the olive groves and hills as well as along Lake Aposelemis, visit the ancient site of Lyttos, and climb up the mountains to visit Kera. Set out on a new track every day with Odysseia Stables' four-legged friends!

Key information

  • Tack Type: English tack
  • Horse Breed: Arabian horse, Thoroughbred horse, and Warmblood horse

Meet the instructors

Milou
Read more

Highlights

  • 6 days' panorama horse rides
  • Approximate daily riding time: 2.5 to 5 hours
  • The city of Lyttos and Saint Fotinie church visits
  • Assistance of an experienced and professional guide
  • Riding on sure-footed and friendly horses
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 7 nights' accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


6 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 10
Airport transfer available:
Heraklion International Nikos Kazantzakis Airport (US$57 per person)
Hide all

Accommodation

Check-in Time:
14:00
Check-out Time:
10:30

Facilities

  • Horse riding
  • Swimming pool (outdoor)
  • Café
  • Concierge desk
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Lounge
  • Restaurant
  • Special menu request
  • Terrace
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Tour assistance
  • Patio

You will be accommodated at Odysseia Stables' equestrian hotel, Country Hotel Velani. Every day, there is a service of room cleaning and towel change at the Country Hotel Velani. Every once a week, the sheets are changed as well. You can also have a free use of sunbeds. Reception, café, and restaurant have opening hours. The moment you arrive on the hillside, you will experience the serene quietness and the tremendous panoramic view. Under the hotel, stretches the Langada Valley with the Apposelemis River crossing through.

Above Country Hotel Velani rises the red-colored peaks of the Dikti Mountains. Birds of prey, like the Griffon Vulture, glide along these peaks. The estate is surrounded by protected Kerm Oak forest and olive groves stretching down to the valley. On the estate, many protected trees and flowers can be found like a different type of beautiful orchids. The hotel suits its surrounding as it is built with real natural stones collected from the land it stands on, giving it a robust and natural look. The hotel has a neo-classic style creating a romantic atmosphere for long summer nights.

The main building houses the reception and a café with a large balcony on which you can drink your Greek coffee or rakí. In the main building, you can also find Restaurant Veláni with its large terrace overlooking the riding place and the valley. Next to the main building, lays the naturally formed large swimming pool that is 100 square meters in size (130 to 160 meters deep) with a separate and lower situated children’s pool of 11 square meters (40 centimeters deep).

The 12 hotel rooms are grouped into two bungalows, each housing six rooms. The bungalows lay quietly separate from the main activities. The rooms are large and comfortable and all have a tremendous view over the valley. Each room has a large bathroom with bathtub. The rooms have central heating and air conditioning (both included in the price), a fridge, a flat screen TV with international channels, a hairdryer, a large glass door of two meters, and a private balcony or terrace. Most rooms are equipped with a wood stove (the wood is not included in the price). There are three types of rooms including Grand Comfort room, Panorama VIP room, and Family Luxury room.

Grand Comfort

The Grand Comfort room is a two-person room that sleeps one to three persons. The total room surface is 23 square meters. The room has a terrace with private garden and a bathroom with toilet and bathtub.

Panorama VIP

The Panorama VIP room is a three-person room that sleeps two to four persons. The total room surface is 29 square meters with a balcony. The bathroom has a bathtub and a separate shower cabin. The toilet is housed in a separate room.

Family Luxury

The Family Luxury room is a four-person room that sleeps two to five persons. This room actually comprises two Grant Comfort rooms that are connected with a connecting door.

Program

Panorama rides

In this panorama horse riding holiday, every day, you will enjoy rides in a beautiful trail with the comfort of the hotel for your stay. In the area around Avdou, there is still unlimited space for horse riding in the quietness of nature. Every day, you will set out on a new track with an experienced guide through beautiful landscapes. The trip will include six riding days of 23 riding hours. As Odysseia Stables does not have a standard arrival day, the riding days of this program will be offered in random order. Furthermore, this trip is for experienced and medium experienced riders.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival day

Odysseia Stables will welcome you at Country Hotel Velani. The holiday will start with an evening dinner.

Day 2: Ancient Lyttos ride

You will 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 (meaning high, tall) was a strong town and a rival of Knossos. The army of the city joined the Trojan War and the city was already mentioned by Homer as Lyktos. During the Roman period, Lyttos was an autonomous city with great fame. It had an aqua duct, theatre, and Acropolis. Nowadays, little can be seen of this as excavations of the site has not been done yet. The site has two churches. After the visit, you will ride along the remains of this roman aqua duct.

  • Time in the saddle: 4 hours with a visit to Lyttos

Day 3: Olive Ride

You will make an active trip in the north direction and ride up the hills of Sfendili. You will cross the Byzantine church of Avdou, then ride quick over the plateau of Mochos and have an excellent view of the Psiloritis Mountains which is the highest peaks of the island (two and a half kilometers).

  • Time in the saddle: 4 hours

Day 4: Lake Aposelemis

In the winter of 2015, the Langada Valley was closed by a man-made dam filled with water, creating a three kilometers long lake. The water attracts all kind of birds and animals creating a very special biotope. You will follow the lakes edges and ride along the abandoned village of Sfendili which is now half sunken into the surface of the water.

  • Time in the saddle: 4 hours

Day 5: Red Rock ride

You will have a steep climb up on the mountain, giving you an excellent view over the stables and the Langada Valley. You will ride through kerm oak forest to visit the mysterious church of the Saint Fotini which is hidden deep in a cave.

  • Time in the saddle: 2.5 hours with a visit to the Saint Fotini church

Day 6: Vulture Gorge ride

You will ride through the gorge of Gonies to start the spectacular climb to the Greek village of Kera at 800 meters. Here, you will make a lunch break in Restaurant Niki before you start the descent along the springs of Kera.

  • Time in the saddle: 5 hours

Day 7: Cypress ride

In the last day, you will ride out through a very quiet beautiful valley full of olive groves. You will ride along a small cypress forest and make some steep descends with the horses which we now fully trust.

  • Time in the saddle: 3 hours

Day 8: Departure day

You will have breakfast and departure.

Note: On the arrival day, you will be welcomed the whole day but the rooms are ready at 14:00. On the departure day, the room must be left before 10:30 but you are welcome if you want to spend your last day in the hotel.

The stables

Odysseia Stables is a small friendly stable giving home to 18 horses. Due to the small character of Odysseia Stables with a maximum of 10 horse riders a week, they are able to maintain a close and personal contact with the guests. The stables are designed in a way to be as close as possible to the physical needs of horses. The facilities of the stable include:

  • 14 stables connected behind turnout paddocks giving the horses themselves the chose to go inside or outside
  • Outdoor arena (42 x 20 meters) with an all-weather proof floor and a small tribune
  • Outdoor arena (15 x 12 meters) for lunging
  • Tack room
  • A horse shower
  • Bathroom / changing-room and toilets for the guests

Odysseia Stables has high standards for their horses, facilities, and equipment. They use English saddles. Space, outside air, and contact with other horses are what give Odysseia Stables' horses’ joy, health, and peace. That is why not only the horses enjoy a large stable with an open turnout paddock, but also they have the possibility for social contact. Most of Odysseia Stables' horses are stabled in pairs in one large stable of 6.2 x 3.2 meters and the separations in between the stables are half open. The roof all around is openly giving the horses a constant flow of fresh air. Also, the top of the roof has an open construction leaving hot air to travel out.

The horses

You will ride on Arabic, Thoroughbreds, and warmblood horses. These breeds have long breaths and never tired in a long distance riding. They are beautiful and well-trained holiday horses that always eager to go and have a very relaxed mind. The horses are also sure-footed in the mountains and human orientated. Special for a novice rider, you will use reliable and easy horses to give them the trust and safety that you need. For the children, Odysseia Stables has a Welsh B pony - a real children’s pony. It is very sweet, safe, and with speed. All of the horses are friendly, well cared, good fed, regularly trained and they all have an excellent condition for the long distance riding. The horses are ridden in English riding style but are easily handled with long rains.

Included excursions

  • Visit to the archaeological site of the ancient city of Lyttos
  • Visit to the mysterious Church of the Saint Fotini

Instructors

Milou Hinssen
Milou Hinssen is always happy and assisting with good knowledge of the terrain, the horses, and Crete. She guides the group with safety and pleasure to make your holiday a dream come true.

Location

You will ride to various places in Creete, Greece, including Lyttos, Avdou, Sfendili, Mochos, Lake Aposelemis, Gonies Gorge, and Kera. The city of Lyttos (meaning high / tall) was a strong Minoan town and a rival of Knossos. Lyttos was already mentioned by Homer as Lyktos. During the Roman period, it was an autonomous city with great fame. The city also had an aqua duct, theater, and Acropolis as well as excavations of two Byzantine churches sites that have not been done yet.

Crete is a sunny island surrounded by a clear blue sea blessed by a warm Mediterranean climate, gorges and fertile plains, as well as mountain peaks rising up to two and a half kilometers (8,000 feet) and a coastline with a length of 1,000 kilometers (650 miles). This island is situated between three continents (Europe, Africa, and Asia) and conquered by many invaders, creating an island rich in history with influences in food and culture. Heraklion (the ancient site of Knossos) and the Minoan culture are the cradles of the European continent.

Together with the pleasant Cretans and the Greek filotimo (hospitality), this is an island worth a visit. Odysseia Stables is located in a unique hillside location with an excellent view over the Langda Valley and Lake Aposelemis near the village of Avdou on Crete Island in Greece, a rural area dotted with olive trees, small villages, next to the nature reserve “Natura 2000”, and kermes oak forest with plenty of space for endless horse riding. In addition, the traditional Greek village of Avdou lies at one kilometer in distance. The village has 250 inhabitants. Here, the time has stood still.

Nearby places

  • 18-hole golf course, 7 kilometers
  • Avdou, 1 kilometer
  • Different water sports, 15 kilometers
  • Heraklion International Airport (HER), 40 kilometers
  • White sandy beach of Anissaras, 15 kilometers

Features

Activities

  • Cooking classes
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Massage
  • Mountain biking
  • Swimming
  • Swimming pool (outdoor)

General

  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Balcony
  • Beach
  • Café
  • Concierge desk
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Lounge
  • Restaurant
  • River
  • Special menu request
  • Terrace
  • Patio

Services

  • Bicycle rental
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Hair dryer
  • Room cleaning
  • Tour assistance

Food

The stay is on a basis of a full board in Restaurant Velani, starting with dinner on the first day until breakfast on the last day. Breakfast and lunch are served in between standard hours. Dinner includes a free choice from the menu and includes a starter, main dish, and salad. On the sixth day of the panorama ride, you will eat at Niki Restaurant. Please note that drinks and desserts are not included.

Restaurant Velani

The restaurant serves the Cretan diet which is famous for being healthy and the use of olive oil. The olive oil is Restaurant Velani's own produce by the olive grove of the estate. The restaurant serves all fresh home cooking with organically grown vegetables and fruit from their own gardens and makes use of local products from nearby farmers. Restaurant Velani welcomes everybody who wants to experience the local healthy Cretan diet or Greek cuisine with home cooking from fresh ingredients and local products. You can enjoy a refreshing drink or Greek dinner after the ride at the terrace with a view of the riding arena.

Every Sunday afternoon, chef Manolis heats up the outdoor oven by burning wood from the restaurant's olive trees. When the oven reaches the right temperature, the wood is removed and the food trays are placed inside, then the door is closed with a paste of ash and water. The food is slowly cooked for hours, making them soft and juicy. For vegetarians, the Cretan kitchen offers a wide range of possibilities. The Restaurant Velani opens all year from spring to autumn and on a daily basis when they have guests staying in the hotel. In winter, the restaurant opens on Saturdays and Sundays. If you follow a special diet, please inform Odysseia Stables with your reservation so Restaurant Velani can cater for you. Moreover, for groups, it is possible to make arrangements outside normal opening hours.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Aqua Fun Park visit
  • Birdwatching on the Lake Aposelemis
  • Caving
  • Greek cooking learning
  • Hiking
  • Mountain climbing and biking
  • Knossos and the archaeological museum in Heraklion visits
  • Lassithi Plateau visit
  • Minoan Palace of Malia ancient site visit
  • Organized group speleology (caving) and mountain climbing
  • Paragliding for the experienced flyers
  • Sea aquarium visit
  • Sightseeing tours
  • Spinalonga Island visit
  • Sun and riding in July or August
  • Swedish massage by a professional physiotherapist
  • Traditional village of Amariano visit
  • Village of Krasi visit
  • Village of Mochos visit
  • Walking or biking in the surrounding area to see Crete

What's included

  • 6 days' panorama horse rides
  • Visit to the ancient city of Lyttos
  • Visit to the mysterious church of Saint Fotini
  • Horse riding on good horses with a professional guide
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • All taxes and service costs on accommodation

What's not included

  • Airport transfers
  • Holiday insurance
  • Drinks and desserts

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions from Agios Nikolaos

  • Take the national highway in the direction of Heraklion at Agios Nikolaos.
  • Take the exit Kastelli or Lassithi Plateau (Oropedio).
  • Turn left to Lassithi Plateau or Golf Course at the end of the exit.
  • Drive past the golf course. Please do not take the exit ‘Mochos’ from the highway as this route to the hotel will take much longer time due to the mountains.
  • Follow Lassithi Plateau when the road is split in directions to Lassithi Plateau (Oropedio) and Kastelli.
  • Follow this road until you drive into Avdou.
  • Drive past a large supermarket and the Lake Aposelemis.
  • Follow the signs Country Hotel Velani and Odysseia Stables in Avdou.
  • Turn to the right into a small street after ‘Avdou Restaurant’. The road becomes an unpaved rural road.
  • Drive uphill until you meet the hotel entrance.

Driving directions from Heraklion

  • Follow the signs at the airport or port of Heraklion to the national highway in the direction of Agios Nikolaos.
  • Stay on the highway for about 25 kilometers.
  • Take the exit Kastelli or Lassithi Plateau (Oropedio).
  • Turn right direction Lassithi Plateau or Golf Course in the end of the exit. The road will split when you drive past the golf course in directions to Lassithi Plateau (Oropedio) and Kastelli.
  • Follow Lassithi Plateau until you drive into Avdou.
  • Drive past a large supermarket and the Lake Aposelemis.
  • Follow the signs of Country Hotel Velani and Odysseia Stables in Avdou.
  • Turn to the right into a small street after ‘Avdou Restaurant’. The road becomes an unpaved rural road.
  • Drive uphill until you meet the hotel entrance.

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Heraklion International Airport (HER). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request.

Transfer from or to the airport, port, or Heraklion is organized. Odysseia Stables will be waiting in the arrival hall with a sign mentioning your name. It is not included in the price but arrivals and departures are included in Odysseia Stables' 24-hour service. However, they need to be informed about your arrival time and flight number. Transfer from Heraklion International Airport (HER) to the hotel is 50 EUR one way. Guests can also share a transfer. Odysseia Stables will inform you and you can share the price per person. Moreover, the transfer from Heraklion center is 55 EUR one way and transfer from Hersonissos is 25 EUR one way. The prices are for one car with maximum four persons.

From Heraklion International Airport (HER), you can also reach Odysseia Stables by renting a car. Odysseia Stables advises you to rent a car in case you like to see more of Crete since the location is remote and public transportations to Avdou is scarce. For several years, Odysseia Stables has happily worked together with a small family business who rents good cars. You can pick up and return the car at Heraklion International Airport (HER), Heraklion city, or the port. Please send an inquiry for more information and the prices. Furthermore, there is another airport which is Chania International Airport (CHQ) with a three-hour drive away from Odysseia Stables. You may need a rental car to travel from there. If your arrival and departure times are during the day, you can travel by bus from Chania to Hersonissos.

Arrival by bus

If you want to arrive by public bus to Avdou, you need to be aware that bus only goes twice a week. You can make a phone call from the village and Odysseia Stables will pick you up at the bus stop for free. Avdou is not easily reachable by bus. Buses drive in between Heraklion and the Lassithi Plateau on Monday and Friday only with Avdou as the bus stop. Departure from Heraklion is at 2.15 p.m. and departure from Lassithi Plateau is at 5.45 a.m.

There is also a regular bus service in between Heraklion and Hersonissos in the summertime for every half hour. Odysseia Stables can organize a transfer from Hersonissos at the bus station of Spar Supermarket for 25 EUR (one way). For regular bus service from Agios Nikolaos to Hersonissos, Odysseia Stables can also meet you at the bus station of Spar Supermarket.

Arrival by taxi

If you organize your own transfer, you have to be aware that most taxi drivers don’t want to drive the last two kilometers over the unpaved road to the hotel or they will count extra money for this. However, please make sure that the driver does not charge you 10 EUR extra for the last two kilometers of dirt road from Avdou to the hotel.

Airport: Heraklion International Nikos Kazantzakis Airport Airport transfer available: Heraklion International Nikos Kazantzakis Airport (US$57 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 21 days before arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Availability

This horse riding holiday is available from January 1 to July 1, 2019, and from September 1 to December 31, 2019. Please select an arrival date below.

 

Low season
  • January 1 - March 17
  • September 1 - December 14

 

High season
  • March 17 - July 1
  • December 15 - December 31

 

Pricing information

 

  • Non-rider: 525 EUR (low season) / 595 EUR (high season) per person
  • Non-rider of 0 to 3 years old: Free of charge
  • Non-rider of 4 to 7 years old: 205 EUR (low season) / 275 EUR (high season) per person
  • Non-rider of 8 to 11 years old: 245 EUR (low season) / 315 EUR (high season) per person
  • Single room supplement: 175 EUR per person
  • Upgrade to a luxury room: 175 EUR per person

Select your package:

For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookHorseRidingHolidays.com. All major credit cards supported.

Why choose BookHorseRidingHolidays.com

Largest Selection
Friendly Customer Service
Offers for every budget
Best Price
Don't miss out, join our mailing list and get updates & special offers!
Served by www02:8001

Logging out

of Tripaneer websites