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Active, self-guided cycling and walking holidays in unexplored Spain

Sustainable tourism watermarkdonkey trekking in central spain landscape

Donkey trekking holidaysDonkey trekking family trail, 7 days

A very special family walking holiday through the Guadarrama National Park in Segovia, Spain. Let your kids fall in love with their furry friend while you enjoy pleasant walks and great hotels!

From 634 € per person

Difficulty level gauge

Difficulty:Easy

Details ...

Duration:6 nights, 7 days

Dates:April to 31st October

Start:Any day of the week

Location on map of Spain

The route is almost exclusively through valleys and along rivers with no significant ascents.

Average daily distance:7 miles (12 km)

Description

There are tears at the end of the tour when saying one last farewell to your donkey! This is all about bringing kids back to Earth and away from technology and about spending some quality family time together.

  • A unique walking holiday tailor-made for families, a chance for you to have a fun adventure together, make lasting memories and enjoy your family while we take care of the logistics.
  • Let us make this a stress-free holiday for you all! All meals included (daily picnic lunch), transfers to and from Segovia and luggage move daily. It couldn't be easier!
  • Well-trained, docile donkeys with saddle and bridle so that the kids can ride when they get tired. You also have panniers for carrying your picnic... So that you can travel light!
  • You'll all fall in love with your equine friend! The kids will walk happily for miles beside their donkey. They won't want to say goodbye...
  • Family-friendly hotels all with, or near, swimming pools!
  • A carefully hand-picked route following ancient drove roads through idilic pastoral countryside on the Northern slopes of the Guadarrama National Park.
  • Discover centuries old villages with narrow cobbled streets and the timeless beauty of Romanesque churches and Moorish castles as you walk.
  • Unmissable opportunity of extra nights to visit Segovia, Unesco World Heritage Site. An enchanting city where the kids will love the Roman Aqueduct and the turreted castle the 'Alcazar', reputedly the inspiration for Walt Disney's Cinderella's castle!

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Navafria

Once you arrive to Navafría, in the foothills of the Guadarrama Mountains, you, you will have time for a swim in the local natural pool where you can enjoy an aperitivo in the little river-side bar under the pine trees or have a walk around this pretty village before dinner.

Day 2: Circular route in Navafría

Distance: 5 miles (8 km)

This morning you'll meet your friendly donkey and will be shown how to handle and look after him! You then set off on your family adventure! You'll walk towards the mountains on an excursion into the aromatic pine woodland of Navafria and its famous waterfall "el Chorro". Don't forget your swimsuit today. On your return, you'll put your donkey into his asigned field and the kids can give him his dinner.

Day 3: Navafria to Requijada

Distance: 9 miles (15 km)

The kids will be eager to say good morning to their donkey and get him ready as you all head towards the quaint hamlet of Requijada. Today’s walk takes you along the River Cega and through the picture postcard village of Valle de San Pedro. There'll be lots of pretty picnic possibilities along the way! You will pass the ancient church of San Justo y Pastor. From here, an old drovers’ trail will lead you into Requijada. Your four-legged friend will spend the night in the grounds of the hotel.

Day 4: Requijada to Pedraza

Distance: 9 miles (14 km)

A tiny country lane which takes you across the same valley as you head up into the hills and towards 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!!

Day 5: Pedraza to Gallegos

Distance: 7 miles (12 km)

As you leave Pedraza you will pass an ancient monastery and two quaint limestone villages 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 hamlet of Gallegos, the kids will probably want to jump straight into the pool as you relax in the shade with a chilled drink in hand!

Day 6: Gallegos to Navafría

Distance: 5 miles (8 km)

Pack your picnic in your panniers one last time and set off towards the mountain village of Navafría, where the adventure began! You’ll have another opportunity for a dip in the natural river pool! Make sure the kids get plenty of time to say a loving farewell to their treasured companion and newest best friend, before local farmer and donkey enthusiast, Luis comes to take the donkey home!

Day 7: Departure or extra nights

Return home today?? Make sure you take the opportunity of extra nights in Segovia, the kids will love it! Or, why not visit Madrid and get to know our capital city

Travel

Frequent questions:

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 (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 Navafria to Segovia for free so that you can catch an AVE (High Speed Train) back into Madrid (takes 25mins).

Useful links:

Hotels

Four family-friendly, small rural hotels (two with their own small swimming pools and two near pools, subject to seasonal opening times and are weather dependent).

Hotel in Navafría

Nights 1, 2 and 6: Navafría

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.

Requijada hotel

Night 3: Requijada

Traditional building in an isolated village. 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 outdoor swimming pool.

Hotel in Pedraza

Night 4: 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.

Hotel in Gallegos

Night 5: 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.

Donkeys

Our donkeys are very experienced trekking companions who live in the Guadarrama Mountains to the south of Segovia.

They are tall donkeys of a Spanish race called Zamorano: docile, tranquil animals of a rare and surprising intelligence!

You will be pleased at how well they keep a good pace and how they carry the smaller children without complaint!

Zamorano donkeys

Galindo, Ligoncete, Marina, Gordito and Madrileño are their names.

Prices

Basic price:

Per person in double or family room634 €

This includes:

  • 6 nights' accommodation. 6 breakfasts.
  • 5 picnic lunches.
  • 5 dinners.
  • Free private transfer between Segovia train station and the walking area (30mins).
  • Free private transfer from walking area back to Segovia train station.
  • 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.

Adults or children in single room (per person)747 €

First child in family room421 €

Second and other children in family room291 €

Children in their own double room (price per child)455 €

Children in their own triple room (price per child)444 €

Child sharing double room with single parent (price per child)550 €

Supplements:

Solo traveller supplementHelp button202 €

For those travelling by themselves. Do not choose the "Single room supplement" as well in this case.

Extras:

Donkey hire (5 days)175 €

Transfers:

Taxi Madrid to Navafria (1-4 persons)150 €

Taxi Navafria to Madrid (1-4 persons)150 €

Other options:(Prices on request)

Extra night(s) in Segovia 

Extra night(s) in Madrid 

If interested, please contact us with your plans, requirements and queries,

or simply use the "Get a quote" section, which we would recommend.

Get a quote

Calculator

Basic price:

Per person in double or family room
634 €plusminus
Adults or children in single room (per person)
747 €plusminus
First child in family room
421 €plusminus
Second and other children in family room
291 €plusminus
Children in their own double room (price per child)
455 €plusminus
Children in their own triple room (price per child)
444 €plusminus
Child sharing double room with single parent (price per child)
550 €plusminus

Supplements:

Solo traveller supplement
202 €plusminus

Extras:

Donkey hire (5 days)
175 €plusminus

Transfers:

Taxi Madrid to Navafria (1-4 persons)
150 €plusminus
Taxi Navafria to Madrid (1-4 persons)
150 €plusminus
 
Total: *

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 Extra night(s) in Segovia
 Extra night(s) in Madrid

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Reviews

Gordito was lovely and very docile

We had a great time. Our donkey Gordito was lovely and very docile carrying my lazy daughter Annie most of the way.

Away from the Crowds were great, helping us to recover our luggage when it didn't appear at Madrid airport and taking us to buy essentials, and all the transfers and hotel stays were very well organised.

I would have no hesitation in recommending this company if you want a holiday that is a little out of the ordinary.

Thanks,

Jo Bamford, UK.

an incredible family holiday

We have just had an incredible family holiday with Away from the crowds, donkey trekking in the Sierra de Guadarrama, near Segovia.

The organisation of the holiday was seamless; Away from the crowds staff were fantastic; the landscapes were beautiful; the hotel accommodation and food were excellent, and the donkeys were lovely.

The holiday was ambitious for us, as I have Multiple Sclerosis and have very limited mobility, and we also have two small children (5 and 2).

But from the moment we first made contact with Jaime, nothing was too much trouble. Jaime, Jorge and Sylvia did everything within their power to help us manage the holiday and make it a huge, fun success.

They gave us all the extra support we needed, from booking ground floor bedrooms, to helping us figure out a system to get me up on the donkey, to meeting us out on the road if a day's trek was too far for us.

Jorge was only ever a phone call away if we needed assistance. In fact, our 2 year old son is still missing Jorge, and keeps asking for him!

My husband had downloaded the IGN Mapas de España app before we went, and downloaded hiking maps and aerial photos of the Navafría area using the app. We would recommend anyone doing the donkey trek to do this. The maps are an excellent resource, and are free to download.

Away from the crowds supplied us with the file containing the GPS track/route map of the donkey trek, and we were able to view this on the IGN app. This meant that, using a smartphone, we were always able to see where we were on (or off!) the route, and this was certainly a big help for any patches that were tricky to navigate. It was also a crucial tool for a family travelling with only one able bodied adult!

I would highly recommend this holiday to other families, especially those who enjoy getting off the beaten track and seeing rural Spain.

We hope to return another year for some more donkey adventures!

Sarah Conroy, Ireland.

Thanks Sarah and family. It has been an absolute pleasure to make this possible for you. You are always welcome.

Jaime, AFTC.

exceeded our expectations

We all had a fantastic time and have been recommending the holiday to our friends.

It probably exceeded our expectations and I can't think of anywhere it fell down.

One suggestion I would make is to make it clear when the donkeys would be taken away on the last day – I think they would have liked to see them again.

Liam Flavelle, UK.

The walks were very scenic and interesting

Myself and my family would like to thank you all for a wonderful walking holiday. We have thoroughly enjoyed our week in beautiful Spain and the arrangements, both before and during our holiday, were well organised and went very smoothly.

We all fell in love with Galindo the Donkey and had a lot of fun with him. The walks were very scenic and interesting. We especially enjoyed our time in Navafria, Pedraza and Requijada where the accommodation, food and hosts were all particularly good.

We would also like to thank Jaime and Vanessa who were both extremely efficient and charming.

We will have some lovely memories of our holiday and will not hesitate to recommend your company to our friends.

All the best,

Leanda, Robert, Louis and Christian. UK.

wonderful holiday - recommended

We has such a wonderful holiday in the summer, and have recommended you to all our friends.

Our daughter Jemima, continues to pine for Galindo (her bedroom wall is adorned with his photos) so we may return for another donkey walking holiday.

Sharon Richenberg, UK.

Everything was so well organised and clear we really felt taken care of

We had a fantastic time on our donkey trekking holiday. We really loved it. To be honest I don't think there is a thing we would change about the whole experience. Everything was so well organised and clear we really felt taken care of. We had such a good time we are thinking of returning next year and trying out the family cycling holiday.

We have left a review on facebook and once I sort out my photos I will enter some into the photo competition as I have some really lovely ones.

Many thanks again,

Amani Lesley, UK.

CO₂ footprint offsetting

This holiday produces a carbon footprint of 0,4228 tonnes of CO₂. This includes taxis, luggage transfers and accommodation for every traveller.

We will compensate the CO₂ footprint for each booking through tropical reforestation projects in collaboration with the CeroCO₂ platform.

Additionally, you can also offset your own flight emissions by visiting myclimate. See the link below.

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