France is ideally suited for riding tours and is the country where the idea got its start and is most highly developed. Horseback riding in Chenonceau is particularly well-suited, as the countryside in many places is most attractive and comparatively unspoiled.
Rights-of-way have been well maintained so that horsemen can usually find appropriate trails and there is very little necessity to take paved roads. Spectacular castles, walled towns and ancient monasteries are everywhere. Each region has a unique character with its own history, cuisine, wine, architecture and topography. French food and wine are justly famous and you will have every opportunity to savor them with appetites made keener by a day in the saddle.
In the centuries before the French Revolution the Loire Valley was the scene of an unprecedented flowering of culture where French kings and nobles vied with one another to build the most magnificent structures and to decorate them exquisitely. There are wonderful opportunities for canters through some of the old hunting preserves of the French nobility, and you follow tracks through picturesque countryside of bucolic farmland and vineyards. The accommodations and food are wonderful, the trails and scenery unforgettable, and the opportunity to do it all on horseback makes this truly unique experience.
The mixed breed horses used on this ride are well suited to their environment. These hardy Arab, Selle Francais, Thoroughbred, French Trotter and Spanish cross horses stand 14-15.5 hh. They are chosen for their temperament, hardiness and comfort. Saddle pads with small pockets are used.
English saddles are used along with a few trekking saddles.
Arrive at Hotel le Relais de Chambord near Cheverny by 6:30 pm. Enjoy an aperitif and discussion of the week ahead precisely at 7:00 pm, followed by dinner at 8:00 pm.
Ride for about 3 hours this morning through the countryside and Boulogne forest, arriving at Château de Chambord for lunch in the stable of the chateau.
PM – Enjoy a visit of this very special chateau. Dinner and overnight back at Relais de Chambord.
AM – Ride to Château de Beauregard by the Boulogne forest where you have the unforgettable experience of riding into the front entrance of the chateau. The ride lasts about 3 hours. Enjoy a visit of the chateau followed by a picnic lunch.
PM – Continue on to Château Cheverny through the countryside and Cheverny vineyards where you will have a visit of the chateau. The afternoon ride is about 1.5 hrs. Transfer to Blois for dinner and night at Cote Loire, a charming guest house by the Loire river. Enjoy a light show at the Chateau de Blois in season.
After breakfast, a free day in Blois, or where you prefer. Your ride organizer/guide can assist with taxi arrangements and suggestions for the day. Transfer to Château de I’Isle near Chenonceau at 6:00 pm. There will be a briefing followed by dinner and night at Château de I’Isle.
AM – A short ride of about an hour from Château de I’Isle to Chenonceau for a visit of the château and gardens. Lunch in Château Chenonceau.
PM – Ride for approximately 3 hrs along the Cher river to Chateau de Nitray. Visit of the caves, cellar and wine museum with wine tasting. Return to Château de I’Isle for dinner and overnight.
AM – Ride about two hours from Château de I’Isle along the Cher River and in Amboise forest to Pagode de Chanteloup. Visit of the Pagode old fashioned outdoor games. Picnic with foie gras in the gardens of the Pagode.
PM – Ride on for another hour to Château d’Amboise where you will have a guided visit of the chateau. Enjoy a wonderful dinner in fantastic Château de Pray of Amboise. Overnight at Château de Pray of Amboise.
Departure after breakfast at Château de Pray of Amboise.
This itinerary is flexible and changes may occur at the guide's discretion due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
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The guide was an excellent leader and host. While our hotels and meals were excellent, he also prepared picnic lunches that were 4-Star! The venue for the trip was both exciting and interesting, stopping to visit castles, chateaus, caves and villages of great historical importance in French history. It was an unforgettable... Read more
The ride traverses a region of spectacular scenery considered by National Geographic to be one of the world’s last unspoiled and undiscovered earthly paradises. Experience the culture and history... Read more