Standing in a field surrounded by long inquisitive faces nibbling at my t-shirt isn’t quite what I was expecting from horse riding in Menorca.
We trotted into what looked like a scene from Jurassic Park, an expansion plain lined with palm trees and surounded by huge imposing cliffs. We stopped staring out into the distance admiring the view. As I steadied myself from fumbling around for my camera in my back pack, my guide, Alex unexpectedly whistles. Suddenly, out from behind bushes and trees around ten horses trot excitedly towards us with ears pricked and dust kicking up from their hoofs.
“around ten horses trot excitedly towards us with ears pricked and dust kicking up from their hoofs”
Now, I’ve been horse riding before but I’ve never experienced what happens when ten energic horses come bounding towards you at speed, I wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen or how Violeta (my trusty steed) was going to react. Thankfully very little happened… the horses circled around and seemed extremely pleased to see us. After dismounting I was introduced to “Brad Pitt” the horse (although I’m pretty sure it was actually a male horse). The horse was given the nickname for it’s beautiful blonde flowing mane that sweeps across it’s eyes.
Brad and I had an instant connection, whenever I tried to distance myself to take some photos, he/she would trott straight back towards my lense (see the shot in the video). Although my horse riding experience in Menorca was brief (I wish I’d had more time to ride down the beaches or take one of the many coastal trials) it was less about the riding itself and more about getting to meet such beautiful animals.
Menorca a Cavall have a range of horses that are matched with their riders to make sure they have a comfortable experience. My horse, Violeta was an older horse, experienced, calm and reliable. Just the type of horse you want when you’re not too experienced and a little nervous.
The Riding Experience
Before heading to Menorca I nearly cancelled my horse riding experience. I’ve never been that keen, maybe a little nervous of horses (plus I don’t look great in a riding hat either). Whatever the reason, I wasn’t looking forward to riding but wanted to give it a chance.
Having done so it’s so obvious why it’s such a popular way to see the island. It’s about the whole experience, not just the geniue passion, knowledge and care taken by guides such as Alex in educating you about horse riding and showing you the island but also getting to meet these beautiful animals.
The Riding Trails
If you want to find the some of the most stunning beaches of Menorca then taking the 186 km “Cami de Cavalls” or “Horse Road” by foot or horse back is your best bet. The coastal path that stretches right around the island was historically used by soldiers to move between outposts and transport artillary for defending the island. Today it’s been restored and reopened by the government after being owned by numerous private properties. This opens up parts of the island that you couldn’t once reach, coastal outlooks, deserted beaches, coves and woodland.
Menorca a Cavall offer trail rides on Cami de Cavalls from half a day all the way up to a full five day tour around the whole island.
There’s no doubt, if I had more time I’d be looking to ride the Cami de Cavalls in Menorca.
Disclosure – I travelled to Menorca as part of a project between iAmbassador and Visit Menorca.