It has always been a dream of mine to ride in Switzerland. The landscape always looks so magical in every video and picture and I’ve always remembered a holiday I took with my family as a kid where we drove through the beautiful Swiss mountains on our way to Italy. That image of riding through that landscape has always stuck with me and I finally got to go on a full day ride in Switzerland! In this post I’ll be telling you all about the ride, accommodation, what you can expect and more.
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When planning my road trip through Switzerland, Austria and Poland, I was checking out some places to ride and a friend of mine and fellow Africa-enthusiast came with the suggestion of San Jon in Scuol. One thing that’s for sure is the ride did not disappoint! At San Jon they have so many different riding options. Besides the outrides, there are horse drawn carriages and sleigh rides, youth riding camps and riding lessons, which makes this place perfect for non-riders as well. They also have 1 to 6 hour day rides, we went on the 6 hour ride and it was mind blowingly beautiful. You’ll be amazed by how many different amazing views you can see on a 1 day ride.
The options for multi-day trails are endless, they offer 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9 day treks. One of their rides is called the 3 country trail, passing through Switzerland, Austria and Italy and it is now at the top of my 2022 bucket list! The landscape at San Jon Ranch is often incredibly similar to Canada, and their multi-day treks also go by historical sites, castles and cloisters. Besides all these amazing options, you also have the opportunity to bring your own horse for a short period of time or for boarding. They offer short vacations such as a combination of a western course with outrides, riding and visiting the thermal baths, skiing vacations, romantic weekends including sleigh and carriage rides and so much more. Last but not least, they also offer some fantastic opportunities to participate in horsemanship workshops. They offer horsemanship lessons, but also weekends and whole horsemanship oriented holidays of up to 6 days. There is something here for every type of horse and animal lover, rider or not!
They offer several types of accommodation. From double and single ensuite rooms to dorms and family rooms, and you can take your dog to stay with you at the ranch as well. Half board is available and they have a restaurant and saloon as well where lunch and dinner is served a la carte with lots of regional specialties. The saloon can accommodate up to 90 people which makes it perfect for weddings, parties, events and other celebrations. They also have a petting zoo and such incredible nature to explore at the ranch, perfect for the little ones.
For non-riders this is an incredible place to stay as well. First of all, you might be wanting to learn how to ride and San Jon has endless opportunities for this. However, if you don’t want to ride at all, there are the options for sleigh and carriage rides, horsemanship lessons or workshops, painting courses and even line dancing lessons! They also offer an agility seminar for dog owners. And don’t forget they offer great ski-pass deals in winter.
We chose to do the 6 hour day ride which includes lunch. Luzi was given an amazing young gelding called Manitu and my horse was called Chicca. Chicca is a 19 year old Criollo mare and she was an absolute pleasure to ride. The horses are incredibly well trained and matched perfectly to their riders. When booking the ride, the staff asked for a very detailed description of our riding experience, and they obviously did a great job matching that description to the best suited horse. The horses are confident but very energetic, alert and forward going, Chicca immediately gave me lots of confidence. To be honest, I had a hard time not taking her home with me at the end of the day…! Our guide Yassi was from Germany and did fantastic during the ride. She was able to tell us so much about the horses, nature and region even though she had only been there for less than 2 months. Besides the horses and guide being great, the views and nature you get to see on the 6 hour ride is absolutely surreal. Mountain tops covered in snow, endless flower fields, deep green forests and mind blowing rivers, in only 6 hours. All in all, I highly recommend going to stay and ride at San Jon as it’s such a great experience, I will definitely be back soon.
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