Check out these romantic settings for your next riding vacation, whether it's a honeymoon, wedding anniversary or romantic getaway.
by Darley Newman
Horseback riding around the world, I've traveled to many locales that are a perfect setting for romance–– a beautiful sunset ride in Botswana's Okavango Delta, riding into the Green Mountains of Vermont, or through olive groves in Andalucia. Whatever the occasion, here are four wonderful riding vacation destinations for your romantic escape.
Cortijo Uribe in Andalucia, Spain
Best for: Equestrian Couples looking for a romantic equestrian vacation where they can fine tune their dressage and jumping skills.
If riding through olive groves isn't romantic enough for you, how about staying in lovingly restored historic hacienda in Andalucia? It's all at Cortijo Uribe, a centrally located hacienda and riding school, offering scenic trail rides, dressage training vacations, from complete beginners to Alta Escuela (piaffe, passage, Spanish walk), and show jumping. Best of all, the cortijo is located 45 minutes from Malaga, 1 hour from Cordoba and 1 hour 15 minutes from Granada and Sevilla, some of our favorite travel destinations in Spain.
Riding amid wildflowers in Andalucia with Cortijo Uribe.
Castellare di Tonda in Tuscany, Italy
Best for: Western riders who dream of trotting through Tuscany, an area known for with its scrumptious food, beautiful scenery and laid-back lifestyle.
While many European travel destinations cater to English style riders, this gem in Tuscany welcomes riders to saddle up on Western/ Endurance saddles for trail riding through shady Mediterranean forests, rolling golden grain fields, vineyards and olive groves on Quarter and Paint horses. Castellare di Tonda is located near Florence above the medieval village of Montaione. The owners of the estate Stefano and Alessandra are passionate about their horses and riding, and have invested extensively in the facilities, including the equestrian center and spa.
Riding Quarter and Paint horses in Tuscany, Italy.
Mountain Top Inn & Resort, Vermont
Best for: Riders looking for a Northeastern escape amid the mountains of Vermont.
Located amidst Central Vermont’s picturesque Green Mountain National Forest, this mountain resort welcomes guests year round for trail rides with breathtaking views, lessons in English or Western, introduction to cross-country jumping and dressage and more. Couples may also enjoy the Resort’s private lakeside beach for relaxation or adventure. Guests can take to the water on kayaks, canoes, scenic pontoon boat rides or go swimming. Guests may choose from a variety of dining options, including The Highlands Dining Room, The Highlands Tavern and The Terrace for seasonal outdoor dining. The Chef takes advantage of the freshest ingredients from Vermont area farmers and vendors.
A luxury room overlooking the lake at the Mountain Top Inn.
The Okavango Delta Horse Safari, Botswana
Best for: Adventurous travelers and good riders seeking an exotic safari in Africa.
Imagine sleeping in your own private tree house above Botswana's Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world. Travelers on these riding vacations explore a mix of labyrinth channels, palm fringed islands and fertile floodplains with some of the most outstanding wildlife viewing in Africa. Macatoo Camp is situated in a 500,000 acre private concession in the Delta. Trapped within the desolate sands of the Kalahari desert, this area draws wildlife who depend on the delta's life giving waters. More than 400 species of resident and migrant birds, lions, elephant, hyenas, wild dog, buffalo, hippo and crocodiles congregate with a variety of antelope and smaller animals - warthog, mongoose, genets, monkeys and bush babies to name a few.
Honeymooners can spend a night in their own private tree house overlooking the Delta.
Check out more great ranch and global horseback riding vacations in the Equitrekking Vacation Guide.