Riding in Cyprus

The Ranch in Protaras


   It was a very hot August day when we drove to Protaras to "inspect" the Horse Riding Ranch, moonshine ranch.JPG (30261 bytes)
And it was with trepidation that I approached the gates, the position was spectacular, the views stunning, the buildings themselves were low key and in keeping with the landscape. I was worried because I have seen many horses in Cyprus, and I usually feel like rescuing them, not recommending that anyone actually goes there to ride the poor creatures. So it is with great enthusiasm that I can say "Wow, nice one,  happy well kept horses under the supervision of someone who obviously knows what he's doing." And he has quite a vision.

The owner is doing a brilliant job not only with his animals, which as you can see are breeding happily, but also with the place which has taken him 6 years to build. Originally from Greece he is an ex-jockey with a mission.
"To do it as it should be done !"

A horses friendly muzzle  Stabled pair of horses at the ranch in Protaras

Green grass in the drought in Cyprus

Riding holidays in some of the best countryside in Cyprus, as yet unspoilt by the encroachment of tourism. Cantering along sandy beaches and trekking into the hills. If it appeals to you then come and try it.

Riding with a view of Cape Grekko and the national park area in Cyprus

Cyprus Donkeys in search of hay

 

Keep the donkeys off the grass, they wouldnt know what to do with it anyway)

Click the pictures to enlarge

I wish I was a better photographer, as this is the only vaguely ok photo that came out of the donkeys. There are some 50 of them , he said "They were skins and bones when I got them and this winter I am building them their own stable block" They were in a large walled paddock, with shade enough for them all, the hay that was there was fresh, good quality and sweet. They work for a living taking holidaymakers out on treks with a very nice packed lunch. He is proud of the food he offers his guests." Real food" he calls it. Well we were invited to stay for an unplanned lunch and he was right. Proper food cooked by men...beans.. but what delicious homemade beans they were.

One of the things that surprised me was the absence of flies....I didn't see one...how does he do that ? Also in the middle of the hottest drought for 40 years....he has green grass lawns.....and a 300 foot borehole to water them with......my lawn looks like a ginger biscuit.

And here is the man himself watering those luscious lawns, when you have finished your riding for the day there is a gazebo type bar for you to enjoy your cocktails at whilst soaking up the glorious sunset

Other facilities include a cafeteria, sunbathing area,  tack room with hats , a dozen horses and a man with a very inviting dream.*

If you want further information about the Riding holidays, the options are 1 or 2 weeks, with accommodation ranging from 5* comfort to budget utilitarian.

Please enquire further here
or to book tel. (+357) 24 665408

.

To see fully inclusive riding holidays in Cyprus near Larnaca,  or Horse Riding in Paphos  and the surrounding area, then  Cyprus riding holidays in the area between Larnaca and Limassol near Kalavassos,  and again in the Limassol region there are riding holidays in Cyprus with accommodation packages in Agro tourism. Very chique.

*Update July 2008

Re: The Ranch,

I am writing to you with regards to my horse riding booking on Wed 18th June. I am not very happy with this as having booked it with you for 10.00am, I arrived to find the place deserted. After having found the man that runs the horse riding I was told that he didn't do morning rides as it was too hot for the horses! and after spending 5 (cyp pounds) on a taxi this was not a very good start.

Although he offered to give us a lift back to our hotel which was very kind of him, we had to make another appointment for that afternoon. Before we got up to leave he then asked us to leave a deposit which he was very insistent on having. We did not think was necessary but he wouldn't let us leave without paying him 15 (cyp pounds) first.

Another thing which annoyed my partner and myself was we were told the horse riding would cost 12 each, he was not very happy with us being told this and kept telling us we were wrong and it should be 15. I found that what started out as a nice day was ruined and a waste of time and money. I found this man's attitude intimidating. His behaviour and insistence on having the money was upsetting and I found him quite threatening. This was the reason why we never went back that afternoon. Both me and my partner would like something done about this as soon as possible. We shouldn't have had to pay a deposit and have lost 20 (cyp pounds) in all due to this.
Please feel free to phone me if you need to.

Regards  (name witheld)

We spoke with the chap at the ranch who categorically denied that they had been there and asked for her phone number - we wrote to he again.... The reply was...

Thank You for dealing with this so quickly, although he didn't give us his name I can give you a very good description. He was quite short about 5'4", Scruffy looking, shoulder length black hair (very tight curls), small build, and he came across as very strange.

He also told us about how he looked after the horses and lived up there on his own, also that he has employed people in the past but is currently the only person there and he is the owner. Also the only vehicle that was at the site was the jeep that he took us back to the hotel in, there was no sign of any other people there.

I wouldn't like my telephone number given to him as it is my works line, but not only that, I wouldn't like to speak to him again because he made me feel very nervous on holiday.

We didn't take any photos, and to be honest it didn't enter our heads to ask for a receipt because we just wanted to leave ASAP. I actually got out of his jeep shaking, and to think my partner wasn't even going to come horse riding, I was actually planning on going up there alone.

I don't know if it is worth me going further with this on trying to get my money back, it seems very unlikely that I will and it isn't a big amount to make a fuss over, I just glad I wrote let you know! 

Thanks Again (name witheld)

Well we have posted this on the site, as it is certainly a description of the chap who runs it, and yes he does have a jeep, and no we don't believe him, but you decide ! 

Then we had another e mail, which we have been asked not to post, so we haven't.

It is now 2008 and we haven't had any more dreadful stories, so we can but presume it was a one off, which is not bad in 5 years I suppose.

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