- Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
- Category: Donkey trekking, self-guided
- Duration: 7 nights, 8 days
- Recommended time of year: 1st April - 31st October
Live your own adventure on this very special walking holiday through the foothills of the Guadarrama National Park, in the company of a well-trained adorable donkey!
- A very special walking holiday tailor-made for adults looking for a unique adventure, a truly unforgettable experience!
- Well-trained, docile donkey accustomed to walking distances and carrying light loads. The only problem will be that you’ll fall in love with your equine friend and won’t want to say goodbye to him!
- A carefully hand-picked route following ancient drove roads in the footsteps of Castilian shepherds through an idyllic pastoral setting on the tree-lined northern slopes of the Guadarrama National Park.
- Carefully selected, charming rural hotels along your route with an obliging field nearby for your donkey to rest in each night.
- Picnic lunch provided for you to pack into your waterproof panniers along with your luggage (we’ll take care of your suitcase). Let your loveable friend carry your load while you enjoy the adventure!
- Look out for deer, wild-boar and even the elusive iberian wolf as eagles, kites and rare black vultures spiral overhead in this protected haven for wildlife.
- Discover centuries old villages with narrow cobbled streets and the timeless beauty of Romanesque churches and Moorish castles as you walk.
- Visit the Unesco World Heritage city of Segovia, an enchanting city full of architectural jewels: its beautifully preserved Roman aqueduct, the ornate fairy-tale ‘El Alcazar’ castle and the impressive cathedral situated on the historic ‘plaza mayor’…. Endless photo opportunities!
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 30 mins). From here we take you to the starting point for free
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 30mins).
Day 1: Arrival to Segovia
This walking tour begins in the monumental city of Segovia. Declared a World Heritage Site in 1985, you will spend the first night in the city and have a chance to explore its many historic jewels. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy a cool drink in the Plaza Mayor at night and absorb the atmosphere of this stunning city.
Day 2: Casla to Arcones
This morning you will have a private transfer to the little village of Casla, nestled in a forest of juniper trees. You’ll meet your donkey and be shown how to load the luggage and look after your new friend (we’ll take your suitcase), then you set off along the foothills of the Guadarrama National Park to the tiny village of Arcones. You adventure begins...
8,3 miles (13,4 km)
Day 3: Arcones to Navafria
After giving breakfast to your donkey and getting him ready, you’ll head along a track through an aromatic forest of juniper and pine on the northern slopes of the Sierra. You’ll enjoy getting to know your donkey and finding your pace as you head to the mountain village of Navafria. Give your donkey his dinner and take a dip in the natural river pool in the village, then enjoy a cool drink in the shade of the pines beside the river….heaven!
10 miles (16 km)
Day 4: Navafria to Requijada
After saying good morning to your four-legged friend pack your picnic into your panniers and set off along the ancient drovers’ trail ‘La Cañada Real Segoviana’ towards the picturesque village of Valle de San Pedro. There'll be lots of pretty picnic possibilities along the way! You pass the ancient church of San Justo y Pastor and walk through the tiny hamlet of La Mata where there is a little park for the kids. From here, an old drovers’ trail will lead you along a very picturesque route into Requijada. Your donkey will spend the night in the grounds of the hotel an you can have a dip in the pool before dinner.
9'3 miles (15 km)
Day 5: Requijada to Pedraza
After breakfast, you’ll collect your picnic and get your donkey ready. Then you’ll take a tiny country lane which takes you across the same river valley as yesterday. Then you head up into the hills where you’ll pick up a drovers’ trail past a local cattle ranch. See who can be first to spot the hill-top village of Pedraza in the distance with its honey-coloured city walls and medieval castle. As you enter this beautifully preserved monumental village through its ancient stone archway, you’ll be transported back in time to a by gone era of knights and maidens! With a donkey as your trusty steed!!
8,7 miles (14 km)
Day 6: Pedraza to Gallegos
After given your donkey some breakfast in his little enclosure beside the hotel, it will be time to set off on the next step of your adventure. This morning, you’ll leave Pedraza, passing an ancient monastery and take a new agricultural track with delightful views of the distant mountain villages nestled in the foothills of the ‘Sierra de Guadarrama’ before you. You’ll pass through two very quaint limestone villages today where you can enjoy a snack and a cold drink in the terrace of one of the local bar/restaurants. When you reach your destination, the tiny hamlet of Gallegos, you probably want to relax in the shade with a chilled drink in hand!
7,4 miles (12 km)
Day 7: Transfer Gallegos to Segovia and city walks
Today we take you by private transfer from Gallegos to Segovia, declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1985. You will have a chance to explore its many historic jewels like the towering Roman Aqueduct, a veritable marvel of ancient civil engineering which still provided water to the city only last century. Take time to enjoy a chilled glass of wine in the exquisite 'Plaza Mayor' while contemplating the magnificent cathedral, then take a stroll to the fairytale, ornate Alcazar, where queen Isabel sent Christopher Columbus on his exploration of the Americas.
Day 8: Departure or extra nights in Segovia or Madrid.
Why not treat yourself to an extra night or two to really get to know Segovia or to visit the nearby palaces of RioFrio and San Ildefonso. Alternatively, visit Madrid and get to know our capital city!
One 3*** city hotel and five high quality small rural hotels (3 or 4 stars).
Day 1 and 7 Segovia
Situated in the very heart of Segovia, next to the Main Square and the Cathedral. This 15th century building was turned into a Hotel & Spa in 2005 incorporating many arqueological remains to up-to-date comfort.
Day 2 Arcones
A family-run small rural hotel with traditional style castillian home-cooking by Toñi, real genuine local! A warm welcome awaits you in this rustic hotel.
Day 3 Navafria
A mountain village house renovated in rustic style. 14 cosy bedrooms traditionally decorated. Restaurant, garden, a comfortable living room, run by a local family. Nearby natural swimming pool in the river Cega.
Day 4 Requijada
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. In-house restaurant and small indoor and outdoor swimming pool. English spoken by your friendly hosts.
Day 5 Pedraza
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.
Day 6 Gallegos
Small rural hotel full of character. Eleven comfortable bedrooms, imaginatively decorated. Common areas include dining room, living room, terrace and garden. Small outdoor swimming pool.
- Price: 538€ per adult.
- Solo traveller price: 779€
- Single room supplement: 182€
- Half Board / dinners: 140€
- Donkey Hire: 175€
- 7 nights’ accommodation.
- Free transfers between Segovia and the walking area.
- 7 breakfasts.
- 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.
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!