Overview

Explore the ancient area of Gevaudan  in the Occitan region of France which was discovered in 1096 by Celtic Gauls. Later conquered by the Romans, the area eventually became inhabited by the Huegonots at the start of the Renaissance period. It is situated within the borders of Massif Central where Mount Lozere is the highest peak of this mountain range in south central France. The Tarn River carves a gorge between the Sauveterre and Mejean limestone plateaus creating a stunning natural vista described by many as one of the most impressive canyons in Europe. Further north, the valley of Le Lot separates the “causses”, or limestoneplateaus of Sauveterre and Margueride. This area is rich in the history and culture of the Camisards, rebellious French Protestants comprised of peasants, craftsmen, and wool trade workers. The dramatic rock formations, deep canyons, and rivers of the Cevennes attract outdoor enthusiasts for rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, and caving.

Key Facts

  • Runs August
  • 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 – 95 kilos / 209 lbs

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

Explore South Central France where the Tarn River carves a gorge between the Sauveterre and Mejean limestone plateaus creating a stunning natural vista described by many as one of the most impressive canyons in Europe. This area is rich in the history and culture with dramatic rock formations, deep canyons, and rivers.

Day 1:
Riders who have their own transportation are welcome to arrive by late afternoon at Châteauneuf-de-Randonor Mende. Riders arriving by train will be picked up at the Mende Train station.

Day 2:
The ride begins by heading south along the limestone plateau of Montbel marked by pastures and precisely transplanted conifers. The trail joins the valley of the Lot and crosses to Chadenet. A picnic lunch is enjoyed in the small village of Allenc. The trail then leads to Bagnols-les-Bain where guests and horses spend the night. Overnight in a guest house or a hotel.

Day 3:
Horseriding this morning with the afternoon free. The next stage of the journey leads through Mount Lozere and its granite summits via the Etang de Barrandon, a historic site set in a severe yet grand landscape. Overnight in aguest house or hotel.

Day 4:
This morning the trail takes the riders southward through vast pastures via the pass of Finiels at 1541m. A lunch picnic is arranged near Mas Camargue, a farmhouse that has been restored and houses an ecomusuem. After lunch, the trail descends to the base of Bouges Mountain and ends for the day in a bastide, or fortified village.  Overnight in a guest house or hotel.

Day 5:
Today the ride takes us through the national forest of Bouges which is filled with impressive panoramas. A variety of natural trees grow on the mountain crests including conifer, beech groves, sweet chestnut, and mixed forests. The more rugged areas consist of heather-covered moors, with the contrast between the fern filled slate of the south and the broom weed covered granite of the north. Clear skies allow for a view of Les Causses, the limestone plateaus and Mount Aigoual. Overnight in a guest house or hotel.

Day 6:
Today the riders leave Florac to explore Mejean Causse. The picnic is set at the edge of the Tarn River in the village of Castelbouc, one of the most famous sites in the Tarn Gorge. The high ruins of the feudal castle dominate the village. In the afternoon, the trail leads back toward the Sauveterre Causse to the hamlet of Nissoulogres. Overnight in a guest house or hotel.

Day 7:
In the morning, riders resume the path northward by crossing limestone fields of the Sauveterre Causse, the domain of sheep breeding. A picnic is served high above the valley of the Lot, which will be crossed that afternoon to arrive at the last destination near Mende. Overnight in a guest house or hotel.

Day 8:
After breakfast, transfer to  Mende Train station. 

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

2020 Dates: 8 – 15 August (Full)

Cost: €1850.00 euros. (Please contact us for the Australian dollar conversion.  We use the ANZ bank sell rate for our conversion).

Single supplement €375.00.  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
Mende to Chateauneuf de Randon area in South central France.

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

Activities
During the ride you will enjoy cultural visits and sightseeing

Languages spoken
English and French

Closest Train Station
Mende 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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