Overview

This horseback riding holiday is in the vast Medoc area near Bordeaux in Southwest France, between Gironde Estuary bank and Atlantic Ocean Coast.

This trip is by the ocean side with mythical wine Châteaux, vast forests, a place redolent of history and famous food.

On one side the Atlantic Ocean and the other, the Gironde Estuary with the immense Landes forest.  The Médoc is about a third of the Gironde department (its North-West). Surrounded by world renowned vineyards and wine cellars. The landscapes provide much variation, from the marsh areas of Lower Médoc to the large straight beaches of the Atlantic with the ocean breakers; going by the Graves headlands where the waters of the Gironde and those of the Atlantic Ocean merge, the Landes forest the largest maritime-pine forest in Europe with pine woods as far as the eye can see with a succession of lakes (Hourtin, Carcans, Lacanau) from North to South.

Key Facts

  • Runs May & October
  • 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

Ride long beautiful beaches of the Atlantic coastline, visit world renowned wineries and explore the biggest Estuary in Western Europe.  There is plenty to see with varied landscapes on this riding holiday as well as savouring delicious french food and wine.

Day 1:
Arrival Day.  The group transfer will meet at 6:30 pm at Bordeaux Airport. Riders arriving at the Bordeaux train station please take the shuttle service from the Bordeaux train station to the airport.

Day 2:
After breakfast depart from Moulis through the vineyards of the Listrac and Moulis Appellations. Picnic and wine tasting today at Château Lannessan. In the afternoon we finish the horseback ride in Pauillac. Overnight in a hotel or B&B.

Day 3:
This morning we ride through the Pauillac Appellation  vineyard, we pass close to the Lafite Rothschild (first Grand Cru Classé Pauillac).  This vineyard dates from the XVII century, or Cos d’Estournel (Saint Estephe appellation) dating from 1811. Then, we’ll ride to Brion for a visit and picnic at the archaeological dig site of Brion where there used to be a Gallo-Roman villa. In the afternoon ride through more vineyards, before we reach Begadan (Bordeaux, Bordeaux superior appellation). Overnight in a hotel or B&B.

Day 4:
Today we head northward on the Palus to get to the banks of the estuary. “Palus” are land ridges between marshes and streams of water. We ride towards the picturesque seaport of Goulée and enjoy a picnic lunch and visit the Richard lighthouse. From its top (18 m high) we’ll have a beautiful view on the river. Overnight at the hotel near the ocean.

Day 5:
Today we ride westward to Soulac. The landscape looks like the Camargue; with vast expanses of lakes, filled meadows and horses on the range. We visit the church of Our Lady at Land’s End. Then to the beach which is very large in L’Amélie with a picnic lunch. We travel the same route in the afternoon, with long canters on the beach to Montalivet (depending to the tides, the program may change). Overnight in a hotel or B&B.

Day 6:
Today we ride southward, beach or forest depending on the tide and a picnic lunch at the Pin Sec. In the afternoon on the Gironde moors we’ll make it a day at Hourtin, a small yachting harbour. Overnight in a hotel or B&B.

Day 7:
Today the ride goes eastward, the forest promises us long canters on sandy lanes where we may spot deer or stags. The fragrance of the pine trees is inebriating, the forest is engulfing us. Picnic in the hamlet of Bernos. In the afternoon we’ll go southwards to our starting point. Dinner and overnight in a hotel or B&B.

Day 8:
After breakfast, depending on train and flight schedules, transfer to Bordeaux airport. The riders taking the train will take the shuttle from the Bordeaux airport to get to Bordeaux train station. Only one transfer to Bordeaux Airport is planned.

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

2019 Dates: 22 Sep – 29 September 2019

Cost: €1795.00 euros. (Please contact us for the Australian dollar conversion.  We use the ANZ bank sell rate for our conversion).

Single supplement €360.00.  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
Bordeaux, Medoc and Gironde Estuary area

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 or Airport
Bordeaux Airport or Bordeaux 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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