Horseback riding in Loire Valley | Chateaux de la Loire

Trip Code : Equ 08

Trip activity

Guided horseback riding

Location

Montrichard - France

Duration

8 days

Trip grading

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

Departures

June 16 & 23 juin, July 01 & 29, August 18

Capacity

from 5 to 10 riders

Price per person

  • 8 days - 7 nights : 1695 €

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 Montrichard train station

Extra charges

  • Visits fees
  • Drinks for dinners
Tour description

Horseback riding holiday along the Loire Valley to discover the prestigious Loire Castles (Chateaux de la Loire) like Chambord and Chenonceau as well as Unesco villages .This journey across the Loire landscapes and its forest areas is a leap into history, the Middle Ages but mostly the Renaissance. At the time, the royal house of Valois-Orléans-Angoulême had enough power and means to build fancy castles instead of fortresses. But the Loire Valley also offers a mild climate, fertile soils and biodiversity as well as monasteries, cathedrals, and of course, castles.

Itinerary

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

Day 1 Arrivals

Riders with their own vehicle are welcome to arrive in the afternoon in Pontlevoy. For the others, late afternoon arrival at Montrichard train station.

Day 2

After the presentation and distribution of the horses, we ride towards the village of Fougères-sur-Bièvre where lunch awaits us at the foot of its fortified castle, built in the late 15th cent. And late in the afternoon, the Cheverny castle, beautifully furnished, also welcomes us for a visit. This property is owned by the same family for more than 6 centuries. There you’ll discover a fantastic heritage, authentic and still vibrant.
Dinner and night in a B&B or at a hotel.

Day 3

In the morning, we ride to Chambord where we have a picnic. Chambord is the largest castle of the Loire area. Its architectural achievement is unmatched, a wonder of elegance in the heart of an extensive natural forest reserve (5440 ha). We visit the castle after lunch and then keep riding to the Villesavin castle (16th cent), which was almost kept in a perfect integrity through the centuries.
Dinner and night in a B&B or at a hotel.

Day 4

We ride through the forest to have our daily picnic at Beauregard castle. Built under François 1er , this former hunting farm of Chambord has always been famous thanks to its gallery of 327 portraits of well-known characters and other remarquable qualities. Visit of the castle before going to Candé-dur-Beuvron.
Dinner and night in a B&B or at a hotel.

Day 5

We ride along the Loire to Chaumont-sur-Loire. A charming village and UNESCO World Heritage site, Chaumont is also well-known for its feudal castle (late 15th cent) overlooking the valley and the village. We have a picnic next to the castle and enjoy a visit in the afternoon. Not to be missed, its stables built in the19th cent,, considered as the most luxurious in Europe at the time. We then cross the Sudais forest to reach our night stop. Dinner and night in a B&B or at a hotel.

Day 6

Departure at 10 am on horseback. To reach Amboise, we go back over the hillside and discover some areas of vineyards and cereal crops to arrive in Amboise for the picnic and visit the castle. The fifteenth century is the prosperous period of Amboise that the Kings Louis XI, Charles VIII, and François I ° enlarged and embellished . In the afternoon, we cross the forest of Amboise to reach Saint Martin le Beau where the family Guestault, which manages the hotel and the family restaurant, receives us to taste their wines of Touraine and Montlouis. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 7

After breakfast, we go down into the Cher Valley, a river that we run along for long gallops. Thus, we head to the magnificent castle of Chenonceau built on the Cher. Named "Château des Dames" for the history of France, built in 1513 by Katherine Briçonnet, embellished successively by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis, Chenonceau was saved from the rigors of the Revolution by Madame Dupin. It is the flagship of the Loire Valley. We have lunch on the site and we visit the castle. In the early afternoon, we leave the banks of the Cher to arrive the evening stage in the town of Pontlevoy. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 8

Transfer to Montrichard 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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