Overview

This is an amazing horseback ride.  Walk through the Villandry gardens, admire the Azay-le-Rideau Castle as well as the Fontevraud Abbey with its medieval architecture. See the impressive Royal fortress of Chinon which overlooks the city and is classified as the City of Art and History. Stroll about Montsoreau, one of the most beautiful villages of France and at the heart of the Natural Parc Loire-Anjou-Touraine.  Learn and taste various wines from the region with Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine’s delicious goat cheese. The highlight is a very special visit to, Saumur, the city of the French National Riding School named the “Cadre Noir” where we enjoy a riding demonstration.

Key Facts

  • Runs August – September
  • Set departures and private groups
  • Minimum 5 / Maximum 10 riders
  • Trail with progressive riding
  • 8 Days / 7 nights (6 days riding)
  • 5 hours riding per day
  • Suits competent riders
  • Weight limit – 100 kilos

Riding Level and Horses

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 kilos.

The 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.

The height of horses vary from 15.3hh – 16.3hh

The saddles are comfortable trail saddles, saddlebags, poncho, and water are provided and all horses are ridden in simple bridles with “myler” type bits.

Helmets are strongly recommended and a packing list will be provided when you book the ride.

Itinerary

Visit the amazing French Riding School “Cadre Noir” and watch a riding demonstration.  Explore the stunning Villandry gardens, admire the Azay-le-Rideau Castle and the Fontevraud Abbey.  Stroll about the beautiful village of Montsoreau and savour delicious french food and wine and so much more.

Day 1
Arrival Day. Riders with their own vehicle are welcome to arrive in the afternoon at the B&B in Saint-Georges-sur-Cher.  For others a late afternoon arrival at Chenonceaux train station.

Day 2
After introductions and assignment of the horses, we leave the “Pierres d’Aurèle”to ride to Montpoupon Castle, where we have a picnic lunch. We enjoy the time to visit this fortress from the Middle Ages and its hunting museum, a testimony of the gentlemen’s way of life before getting back on the road to Reignac-sur-Indre. Overnight stop for the horses.  Dinner and overnight at Le Manoir de Chaixin Truyes.

Day 3
Leaving Reignac-sur-Indre, we ride across the valley of the Indre River to reach our picnic spot in Cormery, acarolingian city with its famous abbey founded by ITHIER, abbot of Saint-Martin de Tours. We enjoy a visit of the abbey after lunch before riding through villages and typical landscapes of the area to finally stop in Truyes. Dinner and overnight at Le Manoir de Chaixin Truyes.

Day 4
After breakfast relocation of riders and horses in the morning. We visit Villandry castle before lunch.  The Villandry castle, was completed in 1536, and is one of the last castles built during the Renaissance in the Loire Valley. The last owners rehabilitated the grounds as they were originally and the magnificent gardens are a must-see. After the picnic lunch, we leave Villandry to ride through forests and vineyards to get to Azay-le-Rideau. Built on an island in the middle of the Indre during the reign of François 1er (between 1518 and 1528), it still has a remarkable unity of style. Dinner and overnight at the Hôtel des Chateauxin Azay-le-Rideau.

Day 5
In the morning we visit Azay-le-Rideau Castle and after leaving Azay-le-Rideau behind us, we ride in the middle of the Natural Parc of Loire-Anjou-Touraine to reach our picnic spot in St-Benoit-La-Forêt. After lunch, we head towards Chinon, a city overlooked by its medieval castle which is an approved City of art and history with its beautifully preserved historical centre.  Dinner and overnight at the Hôtel Le Plantagenetin Chinon.

Day 6
In the morning, we visit and watch a presentation of the Cadre Noir in Saumur. Discovery of the work of the young jumping horses and the young horses of Manège, the training with the obstacles and the long reins, and the principles of academic riding. Lunch at Saumur.  As the starting point for the Saint Jacob of Compostella pilgrimage, the Touraine has many impressive religious buildings. Riding along the Vienne, we stop and visit the Fontevraud Royal Abbey which is from the 12th to the 18th century, Dinner and overnight at the hotel La Croix Blanchein Fontevraud-L’Abbaye.

Day 7
After breakfast, enjoy a visit of the Abbey. Then, we ride to Montsoreau, one of the most beautiful villages in France and a UNESCO world heritage site. There we’ll enjoy its castle, wines, mills, caves and pehaps a mushroom farm. We then go to Turquant, the village with colourful alleys in the valley of the Saumuroise coast. We enjoy the long gallops along the banks of the Loire.  Dinner and overnight at the hotel La Croix Blanchein Fontevraud -l’Abbaye.

Day 8
After breakfast, transfer to Saumur train station.

Please note that this program is for information only and the itinerary may be modified according to the availability of the hotels, the weather, any other local conditions.

Accommodation and Food

You will stay at various hotels and B&Bs during this trip. Price is based around sharing a double or twin room, though single rooms are available for a supplement. Nearly always there are bathrooms joined onto the bedrooms.

Full board meals are included. Dinners are in a traditional French regional style taken in restaurants and hotels along the route. Picnic lunches tend to be country meals involving cuts of cold meats, cheese and various mixed salads (including local wine).

Please note that appetisers and drinks are not included with dinners.

Dates and Prices

2018 Dates: 25 August – 1 September  2 saddles left

2019 Dates: To be released in August 2018

Cost: €1695.00 euros. (Please contact us for the Australian dollar conversion.  We use the ANZ bank sell rate for our conversion).

Single supplement €307.00.  Please advise when booking.

Rates are based on the Euro and subject to currency fluctuation, so please contact us for the most up to date pricing for your riding holiday.

Includes

  • All accommodation in twin or double share.  Single available with supplement
  • All meals from arrival dinner to departure breakfast,  Includes continental breakfasts, cold buffet picnic lunches including wine at lunch only
  • 6 full days of riding on horseback, including horses and riding gear
  • One certified riding guide and an English translator
  • Support vehicle and transfers to all riding locations during your stay

Not included

  • International flights and transfers to start of ride paid locally
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Entry to sights, tastings and other activities
  • Drinks not included with meals, additional incidentals and tips
  • Transfers are not included, set time transfers paid locally
  • Single room supplement on application

Other Information

Location
Cher Valley, Loire Valley and Saumur

Weather
Weather website: http://www.holiday-weather.com/

Activities
During the ride you will enjoy cultural visits with wine tastings

Languages spoken
English and French

Closest Train
Arrival train station Chenonceaux and departure Saumur train station

Terms and conditions and terms apply to this riding holiday

Please contact Snaffle Travel for further information, booking terms and conditions to info@snaffletravel.com.au

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