Horse riding from Vaux le Vicomte to the Chateau de Versailles – Louis IV tour

Trip Code : Equ 10

Trip activity

Guided horseback riding

Location

Versailles Fontainebleau Paris - France

Duration

8 days

Trip grading

  • 30  km / 5 hours per day
  • Being at ease at 3 paces

Departures

  • July 14* & 21
  • * Journey in the opposite way

Capacity

from 5 to 10 riders

Price per person

  • 8 days - 7 nights : 1765 €

Including services

  • 7 overnights with breakfast in Hotel 2*, 3* and charming guesthouses (in double / twin room)
  • 7 dinners (drinks not included)
  • 6 cold buffet lunches
  • 1 english speaking horse riding guide
  • The horse and saddlery
  • Transfer first and last day from and to the closest train station

Extra charges

  • Visits fees
Tour description

Surprising horseback trips to the south of Paris, through the story of Louis XIV know as “Le Roi Soleil” and Nicolas Fouquet his superintendent. This horseback ride takes us from the Château de Versailles to Vaux-le-Vicomte via Courances, Chamarande and Breteuil. This region, right in the regional park of the Haute Vallée de Chevreuse, offers horseback rides in beautiful and unexpected landscapes, immense forests, magnificent castles surrounded by their gardens. We forget the tumultuous life of Paris a few kilometers away. The terrain and space are conducive to long gallops.

Itinerary

This route may be altered, depending on room availability in hotels, weather conditions and time spent visiting

Day 1:

Rendez-vous at Melun train station around 2 pm.

Reception and transfer to hotel Germenoy. During the evening, we visit Château de Vaux le Vicomte. This castle built by Nicolas Fouquet in 1615 was used by Louis XIV as a model for the Château de Versailles. Dinner at the hotel at about 8 pm.

Day 2:

Breakfast at 8 am, transfer to the horses at 9 am. Departure on horseback at about 10 am towards the Fontainebleau forest. Ride through semi-wooded area to the picnic spot on the beach of the river Seine at Fontaine le Port. Then ride through the Fontainebleau forest, following a varied track which allows you to discover the particularities of the forest (landscape, rocks, sand, birch, oak, beech…). Towards the end of the afternoon, we arrive at Franchard canyon. Night at Le Richelieu hotel (near Fontainebleau castle).

Day 3:

Breakfast at 8 am, transfer to the horses at 9 am. Departure on horseback at about 10 am. Following a track suitable for galloping, we will discover varied and unique landscapes of the Fontainebleau forest. Picnic at Courances castle, visit of the 17the century gardens (one of the most beautiful examples of renaissance water gardens). In the afternoon: travel through farmland, great planes and forest, including a passage on an ancient Roman road. Night at the Ile de Saussay hotel at Itteville.

Day 4:

Breakfast at 8 am, riders meet at the horses at 9 am. Departure on horseback at about 10 am. We leave towards Courson, a hilly region with sparse forests, where beautiful trails lead us up to the Chamarande castle. Picnic and visit of Chamarande castle, built in the 17th century in Louis XIII style. This domain is known for supporting modern art. Passing Chamarande Forest, we will see the church Saint Sulpice de Favière. This sanctuary is known as the most beautiful of its kind in the entire region. The church was built in 1245 in gothic style. The day ends at Courson Castle, where we spend the night at Château de Fontenay les Briis or another hotel.

Day 5:

Breakfast at 8 am, transfer to the horses at 9 am. Departure on horseback at about 10 am. This slightly hilly region features beautiful forests here and there, as well as great plains with distant horizons. We pass near Marais Castle, which was the joy of a society of writers and important politicianshosted by Mme Labriche in the 19th century. Picnic near the Rambouillet Forest at the golf Rochefort Castle. Afternoon: Crossing of the Rambouillet Forest up to the Tour Pond. Dinner and night at the hotel.

Day 6:

Breakfast at 8 am, transfer to the horses at 9 am. Departure on horseback at about 10 am. We leave Tour, riding through fields and forest, pasing close to the Vaux de Cernay abbey, which was founded in the 12th century by Cistercian monks. Nowadays, the ancient abbey hosts a luxury hotel. Picnic and visit of Breteuil Castle. Built in the 16th century in Louis XII style, the castle features marvellous furniture. The visit is led by 50 wax figures from the Grévin Museum. Exposition of the counts of Perrault. Afternoon: In the Chevreuse Valley, we circumvent the city and its 11th century castle. Night at a bed and breakfast at Magny les Hameaux.

Day 7:

Breakfast at 8 am. Departure on horseback at about 9:30 am. It is difficult to conceive that we are so close to Paris. Today, we are riding only a couple of kilometres away from the turbulences of the huge cities. We leave Magny les hameaux and ride towards the forest of the Versailles domain, then the Queen’s portal of the Versailles castle - majestic, impressive, huge; we enter the park of the castle of the greatest king ever, Louis XIV. We follow the Grand Canal and pass near the Grand Trianon. Picnic at the Saint Antoine garden center. Afternoon: return to our bed and breakfast at Magny les Hameaux. We ride over the parade grounds (place d’arme), the pièce d’eau des suisses water basin, as well as the Versailles domain forest. Dinner and night at Magny les Hameaux.

Day 8:

Transfer at about 10 am to Saint Rémy les Chevreuse train station.
Practical details

Riding ability

Our rides are for the experienced rider who has mastered all 4 paces (walk, rising trot, canter/gallop in a forward seat) on a varied terrain, in open spaces. The experienced rider rides regularly, has good physical fitness, has good soft hands, a good attitude, and self-confidence. He controls the speed and direction of the horse in all circumstances. He can ride long distances including gallops of several minutes in open terrain.

Horseback riding

Riding groups have a minimum of 5 and maximum of 10 riders , plus the Guide and the Translator. The itinerary may be modified at any time for security reasons, meteorological or other events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes, and local holidays. We will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed. The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Horses

Our horses are pure- or cross-bred Paint, Arabian or Thoroughbreds and warmbloods. They live in a 70 acre field with the herd all year long, and most of them were born at the equestrian farm. They are well-behaved and suitable for all types of rider.

Minimum riding ability

Riders must be at ease at all 4 paces across varied, uneven terrain and be in good physical condition. You must be secure in the saddle and be comfortable riding for long hours.
Rider weight limit: 220 lbs - 100 kg

Pace

The pace is varied depending on the terrain, with long periods of walk and plenty of opportunities to canter and gallop.

Tacking ability and participation

Our team prepares the horses.

Trip conditions and requested experience

Previous experience of trail rides over a number of days would be beneficial but is not required.

Equestrian equipment

Comfortable trail riding saddles, saddlebags, poncho, and water are provided. Horses are ridden in “Myler” bits. Helmets are not mandatory but are strongly recommended.

Logistics

The support van follows the horseback riding trail to prepare your arrival for lunch and dinner. The ride assistant prepares the lunch buffet and is at your service if you have a special need. The luggage is transported in the vehicle and transferred to each accommodation.

Confort

Accommodation is in B&B or hotels. Double or Twin room, possibility of single but with supplement. We try our best to match you with a roommate, but if this is not possible you may be placed in single room with a supplement to be paid.

Meals

Continental breakfasts served at your accommodation. The lunches are buffets with a wide choice (adapted to particular diets) with wine, coffee and water, organized by the support assistant. Dinner in the bed and breakfast, restaurant or hotel (wine not included and other extras).

Guide and local team

Our guide is a qualified equestrian tourism guide. He speaks and knows equestrian technical terms in English. Britta is a translator: English, German, Dutch, Spanish and loves to share her knowledge of the history and culture of France as you traverse the countryside.

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