Italy is a paradise for horse lovers. There are many horse trekking routes in Italian national parks and equestrian centres that offer anything from one-hour rides to a week-long breaks on a horseback. Here I pick the top five holiday ideas that a responsible traveller could enjoy:
1. A week in the mountains, Abruzzo. Horse Mountain Adventures takes small groups from 2 to 6 people on a 6-day journey in the magnificent Majella National Park in Abruzzo to see small mountain villages. During the mornings the horse riders can explore the area and continue their journey to the next village late in the afternoon. The tour is suitable for all levels: from average to experts. Accommodation is in local farmhouses (agriturismo). The price of €950 includes insurance, guide, accommodation and all meals.
3. Relax on a budget in Puglia. A weekend in the Alta Murgia National Park in Puglia will take you to away from the buzz of touristy beaches and cities. It is suitable for beginners, romantic couples or families. The price is €135 per person and includes a 2-nights stay in an agriturismo with breakfast, one dinner to sample the delicious local food, a 2-hour horse-ride in the park.
- 4. Renaissance and the sea in Campania. The agriturismo ’I Moresani’ has 12 wonderful horses in their stables that can take their guests on the trails in the Cilento National Park, surrounding medieval and Renaissance towns, magnificent castles and centure0old olive groves. On the 15 hectares of land that belongs to the farm there oak trees, olives and vineyards, a small cheese factory where delicious goat cheese is made and a swimming pool. One week at the farm costs €665 half-board and includes 14 hours of short rides (about 2 hours each), and a one-day excursion.
5. Ride a rescued horse in Sardinia. The non-profit organisation Boia Chi Lo Mangia (loosely translated as ‘hung the one who eats it’) rescues horses and ponies from slaughterhouses and organises relaxing rides on the spectacular beach as well as short rides in the area. They have 12 rescued horses and 5 ponies for kids and can help to book a local agriturismo. A two- hour ride by the sea or in the mountains costs €45. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org, call: +39 3461839316, +39 349 5795664.