Renowned for its sumptuous castles, vestiges of a royal past, the famous Loire Valley is at the same time rich in history and architecture.
Chambord, Chenonceau, Cheverny, the greatest castles of the Renaissance lay like a spring of pearls along the Loire and the Cher rivers.
Nature also plays its part in this region, with the deep forests of Sologne and their high trees and the richness of game, which is known worldwide.
Welcoming host tables invite you to enjoy game, fish and the numerous vegetables of the region washed down with some Gamay or Cheverny wine. Gluttany is not a sin in this wealthy region!
Spend a week with us discovering the beautiful castles on horseback and spend the nights in typical and beautiful guesthouses.
Day 1: Sunday
Meeting with the other riders at the guesthouse "La Rabouillere" in Contres (30 min drive from Blois) around 5pm. Possibility of transfer from Blois train station. Dinner and presentation of the program for the week. Night at the guesthouse.
Day 2: Monday
After breakfast, we meet with the horses. We ride to the castle of Chemery dated from the medieval period. After lunch picnic, we visit the castle. We ride through this beautiful part of Sologne, dotted with woods and ponds, in the afternoon, to reach the Cher river nearby which we spend the night in a comfortable guesthouse in Menthou sur Cher. 5 hours on horseback.
Day 3: Tuesday
Crossing the Cher river in the morning, we leave the heart of Sologne to join the Abbey of Aiguevive for a nice picnic lunch. In the afternoon, we ride through fields and copses and reach the castle of Montpoupon, a middle-age fortress. The 25 rooms of its venery museum keep the bearing witness of an era when the gentlemen hunters were living here. Transfer of the riders by minibus to Faverolles sur Cher. Overnight and dinner in guesthouse. 4.5 hours on horseback.
Day 4: Wednesday
After breakfast, we leave on horseback to the magnificent castle of Chenonceau, the jewel of Renaissance architecture. Picnic lunch on the site. After visiting the castle, we pass through the forest of Amboise to reach late in the afternoon our guesthouse in the countryside. 5 hours on horseback.
Day 5: Thursday
This morning, we ride to the Loire banks for a picnic lunch close to the castle of Chaumont (end of 15th century). The banks of the Loire are a perfect place to have fast canters. In the evening, dinner and night in Chaumont guesthouse. Depending on the time of arrival at the guesthouse, we should have time to visit the castle of Beauregard if we go there by minibus. 4.5 hours on horseback.
Day 6: Friday
Today, we leave on horseback towards the small fortified castle of Fougères sur Bièvre where we stop for a picnic lunch. We continue our ride in the afternoon to reach the castle of Cheverny. This, splendidly furnished castle welcomes us for a visit. Dinner and night in guesthouse. 5 hours on horseback.
Day 7: Saturday
This last day on horseback leads us back to the heart of Sologne. Picnic stop to the castle of Villesavin. We end the trail with a last canter around the castle of Chambord. Overnight in guesthouse.
Day 8: Sunday
Departure after breakfast.
HORSES, TACK AND RIDING EXPERIENCE
Most of the horses (number of 35) were born in our stable and are used
to live together in a herd on our prairies. This way, they enjoy a life
as natural as possible.
Each has its own character but all are gentle and well tempered. There
are different arab cross breeds and pure arabs. They do work in our riding
school as well as on the trail rides.
We use leather trail saddles (French brands, i.e. Forestier,
JMS, Gaston Mercier).
Simple bridles or hackamors, depending on the horse.
This ride is about 5 hours long and 25 to 30 km per day, with long trots, canters and gallops so you should be comfortable at all gaits and have good stamina. Riders will be asked to look after their horses and will be assisted if required by the guides.
Maximum weight : 115 kg
Children are welcome from 14 years old with parental allowance.
Non riders are welcome to follow the ride.
Qualified horse riding guide.
The 7 nights are spent in beautiful guesthouses, typical of the region.
Accommodation is on a double room basis, to be shared.
Single rooms are available at extra cost. Consult the Options section.
Hot lunch meals are served by the logistic team.
Dinner in the guesthouses. Drinks are included for lunch but not for dinner.
DATES AND RATES
Loire Castle Ride - 2013 - from 6 to 12 riders
|June 9 to 16
|September 15 to 22
Supplement does not apply if you are prepared for sharing, even if we do not
find another rider for sharing .
+ 395 €
|Do the trail with your own horse (individual paddock + food twice a day)
- 335 €
For nonrider who would like to follow the ride, a discount
of 390 euros
- trail ride as described on full board basis (except drinks in the evenings), from the dinner of Sunday until the breakfast of the following Sunday,
- Total and unlimited financial guarantee (APS) of all payments made to us (see "why ride with us ?"),
- Protection of the French Law for travel consumers who book through French travel agencies (see "why ride with us ?").
- transport from and to the meeting point (we can organise round trip transfers from and to Blois train station if required : 40 € per person to pay on booking),
- any other service or visit entries, personal expenses,
- a tour to discover other regions of France before or after the trail (castle life, golf training, thalassotherapy spas...), see
our "after ride proposals".
- optional insurances.
BOOKING - MORE INFORMATION
Contact us for any inquiry at (33) 04.37.02.20.00 or send a mail to Claire, your travel consultant for Loire Valley trails.
8 days / 7 nights / 6 days on horseback
English / French speaking guide.
From 6 to 12 riders
Meeting at the guesthouse "La Rabouillère" in Contres (30min drive from Blois).
Last day Departure after breakfast on Sunday.
We can also organize a transfer from and to Blois train station (40 € round trip per person - to pay at the booking)
The Loire valley is situated in western-center France. The climate is usually cold in winter and mild to hot in summer.
There are no specific health formalities and emergency medical treatment is as widely available in the country.
A valid passport is required of all foreigners entering France, except people living from a Schengen agreement country for who a valid ID card is enough.
All foreign citizens who wish to come to France must be able to present regulatory proof of the purpose of their stay, means of support and accommodation. In some cases, they need a visa to enter France. Visas must be applied for before leaving for France at a French consular office.
France is a member of European Union. No visa is required for citizens of other EU states.
No visa is required for US visitors staying less than 3 months.
Please check these informations at your local French embassy.