- Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
- Category: Donkey trekking, self-guided
- Duration: 6 nights, 7 days
- Recommended time of year: 1st April - 31st October
Self-guided, easy-moderate level donkey trekking trail for the family.
- Walking in the company of a donkey will make the children go a lot further without complaints!
- Delightful walks along beautiful countryside in Guadarrama National Park.
- Stunning traditional villages.
- Area of special protection for wildlife.
- One night in medieval town of Pedraza.
- Possible extension to visit Segovia, World Heritage Site or Madrid.
In the footsteps of shepherds.
Five days walking as a family, with a donkey, along ancient drove roads... as shepherds have done in Spain since the middle ages.
All this along the northern slopes of the Guadarrama Nature Reserve, an area renowned for its wildlife and stunning scenery. We move your luggage between our hand-picked hotels, so you can travel light.
EXCELLENT HOTELS FOR FAMILIES WITH OR NEAR SWIMMING POOLS!
"One of the great things about this trip was that we could go for a long walk with two young children, as they can get on the donkey when they get tired. This means you are not limited to paths where a buggy can go, or condemned to carrying them around. Our three-year-old was a little concerned when it was first suggested he get in the saddle on what for him was a giant. When he got up, it quickly became clear he wasn’t going to give up this comfortable mode of travel. He then started to complain about the adjustment of his stirrups and asking for a sword; knowing all mounted knights need to have a sword… "
Simon Lynch, Just Landed
This holiday takes place in the province of Segovia, one of the 9 provinces that make up the autonomous region of Castile and Léon. Just an hour north of Madrid by car, the area is heavily influenced by the proximity of the capital; Madrileños come here to relax, eat out and unsurprisingly, purchase second homes in some of the prettiest villages.
This route links 4 different but typical villages of the Sierra; the mountain village of Navafria, gateway to the pine-clad Sierra de Guadarrama; Requijada – a sleepy village of the central meseta where many of the streets are still unpaved, Pedraza, a perfect example of a mediaeval Castilian village, and Gallegos, a quiet village in a strategic position. The route is very varied; crossing open expanses of granite strewn tablelands, grass covered steppes, stands of juniper and oak forest, through delightful wooded river valleys and between honey coloured limestone outcrops. The whole journey is framed by the soft peaks of the Guadarrama mountain range - often snow-capped until mid-May
Which airport should I fly to? Madrid International Airport.
How do I get to the Starting Point? Catch an AVE (High Speed Train) from Madrid to Segovia (12,20€, takes 25mins). From here we take you to the starting point for free (30 min private transfer)
How do I get back? Again, we´ll include the final transfer from Gallegos to Segovia for free so that you can catch an AVE (High Speed Train) back into Madrid (12,20€, takes 25mins).
Day 1: Arrival to Navafria
Arrival at the quaint mountain village of Navafría on the foothills of the Guadarrama Mountains. This being Spain, you will have time for a swim in the local natural pool and a walk before dinner.
Day 2: Circular route in Navafria
You meet your donkey and are shown how to handle and look after him and then set off towards the mountains in an excursion to the wonderful pine woodland of Navafria and its famous waterfall "el Chorro". Activities for the children at “De Pino a Pino” with an obstacle course in the trees. (breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner included).
Day 3: Navafria to Requijada
A lovely walk along the "Cañada Real Segoviana", ancient drove road towards the small village of Requijada. Today’s walk takes you along & above the River Cega, crossing it at a lovely old bridge to pass through the village of Valle de San Pedro. You rise up to the ruined church of San Justo y Pastor, standing alone on a hill to then drop down through the tiny hamlet of La Mata. From here an old drovers’ trail will lead you along a very picturesque route into Requijada.
Day 4: Requijada to Pedraza
A tiny country road drops you down in just 2km to the river valley you crossed yesterday. From here you wind along a flat shelf of land to regain yesterday’s pretty bridge. (The only other bridge – north of Requijada - would mean more kilometres on a busy road.) A second bridge over a tributary leads you winding up into the hills, where you pick up a drovers’ trail to reach a large cattle ranch. By dirt road you are greeted with outstanding views of the honey coloured hill village of Pedraza, before descending to cross the River Vadillo beneath the limestone cliffs. A short ascent brings you to this perfectly preserved village.
Day 5: Pedraza to Gallegos
One more day of gentle walking along the drove road, with spectacular views of the nearby Guadarrama Mountains to the South until you reach the quiet village of Gallegos. Leaving Pedraza past the old monastery, today’s walk follows newly built tracks in stunning landscapes, offering excellent views of Pedraza in the distances and the villages on the foothills of the Guadarrama Mountains ahead of you. You will pass through two very quaint villages with bar/restaurant where you will be able to stop for a drink or some food along the way.
Day 6: Gallegos to Navafria
A final day walking along the shepherds drove roads along the foothills of the Guadarrama National Park finishing back at Navafria, the village where you started for one final night. (breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner included).
Day 7: Departure or extra nights
Return home or extra nights in Segovia or Madrid.
A mountain village house, renovated in rustic style. 14 magnificent bedrooms decorated with love. Restaurant, gardens, comfortable living rooms. A friendly Spanish family from the village run this hotel very well indeed. Nearby natural swimming pool in the river Cega.
Traditional building in an isolated village of extraordinary beauty. Only four double rooms with all the creature comforts and decorated to a high standard with a lot of attention to detail. Own restaurant and outdoor swimming pool. English spoken.
Located in the beautifully preserved medieval town of Pedraza, this rural hotel combines comfort with old Castilian rustic style. Ten very comfortable rooms and dining room, beautiful inner courtyard and bar. English not spoken, but friendly staff very willing to understand.
Small rural hotel full of character. Eleven comfortable bedrooms imaginatively decorated. Common areas include dining room, living room, terrace and gardens. Excellent host who speaks English. Small outdoor swimming pool.
- Price: 634€ per adult.
- Adults or children in single room: 747€ (per person)
- Solo traveller price: 836€
- 1st child in family room: 421€
- 2nd child in family room: 291€
- Child sharing double room with single parent (price per child): 550€
- 2 children in their own double room: 455€ per child
- 3 children in their own triple room: 444€ per child
- Donkey Hire: 175€
- 6 nights’ accommodation in family-friendly small rural hotels (2 with own swimming pools and two near pools).
- Free transfers between Segovia and the walking area (30mins)
- 6 breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches and 5 dinners.
- Luggage transfers between hotels.
- Detailed maps with your trail clearly marked.
- Itinerary description, full of recommendations for things to do and places to visit, advice and suggestions and information about your accommodation, etc.
- Emergency support.
- Activity insurance.
- Donkey hire (5 days).
Galindo, Ligoncete, Marina, Gordito, Madrileño… Our donkeys live in the Guadarrama Mountains and are experienced trekking companions. They are tall donkeys of a Spanish race called Zamorano: docile, tranquil animals of unexpected intelligence! You will be surprised at how well they keep a good pace and how they can carry the children without complaint!