Bordeaux Wine Trail, France

7 NightsIntermediate to AdvancedFrom €1,795 EUR?Tour costs €1,795 EUR which is approximately $2,874 AUD

Get ready to trot and canter over rolling hills and endless rows of grape-laden vines, admiring the beautiful scenery this part of France has to offer. Whatever your taste, Bordeaux does not disappoint. Allez!

Here are a couple of reasons why I fell in love with the Bordeaux Wine Trail and believe it’s the PERFECT fit for our riding portfolio.

It’s a point- to-point ride, so every day you’ll wake up, leap into the saddle and move to a new destination in the famous grape-growing region of Bordeaux. From day one to six, you’ll be tip-toeing through the dreamy French countryside on perky trail horses, exploring landscapes ranging from treeless grassy knolls to ancient forests to row upon row of vineyards to fields of lavender.

You will be entertained by your French guides and hosts, David and Britta, who are a wealth of knowledge about the region, the wine and the history. It’s in the saddle, through your horse’s ears, that you’ll get an intimate understanding, appreciation and grasp of this ancient wine region.

On a daily basis, you’ll stop for sunshine-filled picnics beside crumbling castles or in lush mountain meadows, where your horses are tied up nearby as you sip on regional wines.

What also excites me about this ride is the change of pace: because of the open landscapes that you explore, there are plenty of opportunities to trot and canter on a daily basis, which is why we love to ride!

Whether you’re a wine aficionado (you’ll sample a range of white, red and rosé wines: Médoc, Côte de Blaye, Côte de Bourg, Bordeaux Supérieur, Lalande-Pomerol, St Emilion, Entre-Deux-Mers, Graves and the famous sweet and strong white in Sauternes) or looking to immerse yourself in a different culture, this ride aims to please. You’ll also get the chance to explore the historic Citadel of Blaye, the Medieval City of St Émilion, the feudal Castle of Rauzan and the medieval fortified town of Cadillac.

SO that’s why the Bordeaux Wine Trail is a Globetrotting match made in heaven.

Fast Facts

  • Horse Breed:You’ll be riding pure or cross-bred Paint, Arabian, Thoroughbred and warmblood horses varying in height from 15.3hh to 17hh. Most of the horses were bred at our host’s equestrian farm. They are level-headed, experienced trail horses that connect with all types of riders.
  • Pace:The pace varies depending on the trail, with long periods of walking and plenty of opportunities for trotting and cantering. The riding landscape varies on a daily basis from rolling hills to vineyards to French farmlands and woods.
  • Weight Limit:Maximum of 100kg/220lbs.
  • Type of tack:French trail riding saddles (with a gel pad!) equipped with saddlebags, a poncho and a water bottle. Horses are ridden in ‘Myler’ bits - this style of bit is one of the kindest available. It spreads the rein pressure exerted by the rider over several different areas. Initially, it acts on the nose, poll and back of the jaw, with the mouthpiece ‘floating’. A third of the total pressure will be felt in each of these three areas. Only if the rider continues to pull on the reins will the mouthpiece engage.
  • Seasons:May through to October.
  • Group size:A minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 guests.
  • Time in Saddle:On average, 4 to 6 hours per day.
  • Riding Ability:Strong intermediate to advanced. All riders must be comfortable and confident at all gaits (including gallop) over varied terrain.
  • Accommodation:You will stay in a selection of boutique, quintessential French B&Bs and Hotels. There are double and twin rooms available. At some of the accommodation houses you’ll need to share a bathroom. Please take note that the accommodation is 2 or 3 stars, but is comfortable and clean. Oh and it’s Europe, so be prepared to stay in modest-sized single beds in a twin-share room. If you prefer your own privacy and a double bed, we highly recommend investing in the single supplement.
  • Ride Length:7 days, 7 nights with 6 riding days.
  • Inclusions:The price includes all transfers from the meeting points at set times, all meals, wine with lunch, accommodation in shared rooms with shared bathroom, riding, horses, tack, experienced guide, translator, luggage transport and excursions described in itinerary, water bottle on day 1, which must then be looked after and filled up for consecutive days.
  • Exclusions:The price does not include international flights, travel insurance (compulsory), single supplement, drinks other than wine at lunch, any applicable entrance fees and tips (€10 per person, per day). Please note that transfers to and from the airport are not included in the ride price and can be paid direct in person for €20 per person, round-trip.

 

DEPARTURE DATES & RATES

PLEASE NOTE: solo globetrotters will be required to pay the single rider rate if we do not have another guest willing to share.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price includes all transfers from the meeting points at set times, all meals, wine with lunch, accommodation in shared rooms with shared bathroom, riding, horses, tack, experienced guide, translator, luggage transport and excursions described in itinerary, water bottle on day 1, which must then be looked after and filled up for consecutive days.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price does not include international flights, travel insurance (compulsory), single supplement, drinks other than wine at lunch, any applicable entrance fees and tips (€10 per person, per day). Please note that transfers to and from the airport are not included in the ride price and can be paid direct in person for €20 per person, round-trip.

Accepted payment is by credit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all credit card payments.

Why is the price quoted in EUR?
With our riding destinations, the currency is dictated by our ride partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.

Itinerary

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*Please note, this is a suggested itinerary only and subject to change at the discretion of your guides due to weather and other influencing factors.

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  • Day 1

    Today is the day, the day you’ve been waiting for! You’re in France, tick, you’re in Bordeaux, tick, and you’re about to embark on a six day riding adventure through the French countryside on forward-moving horses, hopping from one vineyard to the next and staying in charming French accommodation houses. Does it get any better than this, globetrotters? I think NOT.

    If you’re catching the transfer service your hosts offer, you’ll be picked up from Bordeaux International Airport at 6.30pm and be driven to your first night’s accommodation, Quittignan Brillette Estate in Moulis-en-Médoc. Moulis, as it’s commonly known, is the smallest of the Médoc appellations and is the main artery to the world-renowned wine region of Bordeaux.

    You’ll have a group dinner at the guest house with your French guides and hosts, David and Britta, and get a run-down of the week’s riding.

  • Day 2

    HIP, HIP HOORAY – you get to meet your horses today! You’ll have breakfast (please note, the majority of your French breakfasts will consist of bread and croissants, there will NOT be a cooked breakfast) at around 8am before meeting the horses that will walk, trot and canter you through the charming landscapes of Bordeaux. This morning, your knowledgeable hosts will guide you through vineyards that merge into forest glades.

    For lunch you’ll picnic on the banks of the Gironde before sampling a fine Médoc at the wine museum of Maucaillou (remember, you may have to pay a small entry fee of approximately €10 per person). You’ll cross the Gironde with your horses on a ferry towards Blaye (crossing time of 40 minutes). Once ashore you’ll ride to Citadel Vauban (an 18th century fortress).

    Your home for this evening is the Porche Hotel, a boutique guesthouse in the city of Blaye.

  • Day 3

    After breakfast you’ll get back in the saddle by 10am and ride through the Côtes de Blaye and the Côtes de Bourg, known for its sleeves of rolling hills. After a full morning of riding, you will have worked up an appetite just in time to picnic at a wine producers’ establishment at Castle Lamothe and taste the Côte de Bourg (the region you just rode through!).

    After lunch you’ll ride towards Cubnezais, where the landscape opens up and you can enjoy a change of pace, feel the wind in your hair and give the horses their head. This evening you’ll be guests at Domaine de la Gravette, a 19th century bourgeois (think stone walls and exposed timber beams), home to a sprawling garden.

  • Day 4

    After breakfast (homemade jams and pastries – oh how I love French cuisine!) you’re back in the saddle for another pinch-yourself day exploring Bordeaux from between your horse’s ears. Today you’ll explore a region where vineyards give way to a forest trail that leads to Castle Mayne Veil. On the castle estate you’ll have a sunshine-filled picnic and a tasting of Fronsac wine.

    After lunch you will head towards Libourne, and pass through the famous region of Pomerol. It’s here where you’ll tether the horses and make your way to Castle Belles Graves to sample the famous wine, Lalande-de-Pomerol. You will spend the evening at the La Tour hotel in Libourne.

  • Day 5

    Today, my globetrotting friends, you head towards Saint Émilion, where you’ll meander through the famous properties of Château Pétrus, Cheval Blanc and Château Figeac. You’ll have a picnic in Saint Émilion while tasting the local wine, followed by a free stroll of the city.

    Saint Émilion is a charming medieval village where world-famous wineries, fine wine, beautiful architecture and great monuments sit side-by-side. In 1999, Saint-Émilion became the first vineyard landscape to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List as a Cultural Landscape – that is to say a historical landscape that remains intact but is still carrying on with its modern activities.

    This afternoon, you’ll ride through the large valley of Dordogne and arrive near the Château Courros to sample some more wine. From here you’ll leave the horses and transfer to Saint Jean de Blaignac for a much-anticipated evening meal. You will spend the night in a bed and breakfast.

  • Day 6

    Day six of your French riding escapades sees you exploring the l’Entre-Deux-Mers region. With its changeable landscapes, you can expect to traverse treeless hills, woodlands and captivating vineyards. You’ll pass the 13th century castle of Rauzan and ride through hilly landscapes where rows of grapevines transcend to enchanted forests, leading to the Castle of Broustaret (which also happens to be a bed and breakfast).

    Your castle accommodation is on a 40-hectare estate situated in the heart of Girondist Tuscany – a mythical region of hillsides dotted with vineyards. You’ll have dinner in the city of Cadillac, where you’ll sip on another great wine – Premières Côtes de Bordeaux. At night you’ll explore this charming village before returning to your accommodation.

  • Day 7

    Today you pass through the valley of Garonne to reach the vineyards of Graves and Sauternes – another iconic grape growing region of Bordeaux. Today’s picturesque picnic spot is at Castle Myrat, where the Count of Pontac will give you a personal tour of his castle while you sample his gold-coloured wine.

    In the afternoon, you’ll give the horses their head and gallop through row upon row of vineyards and ancient forests that lead you to Sauternes. For your evening meal, your French cuisine will be teamed with the wine of Graves.

  • Day 8

    After a farewell breakfast, your Bordeaux Wine Trail experience comes to an end. Transfers are available back to Bordeaux International Airport, departing the guesthouse at around 9.30am. Please ensure you do not book departing flights before 2pm.

  • Transfer Information

    We recommend guests fly into Bordeaux Airport and take advantage of the transfer service your hosts offer (€20 per person, round-trip, payable upon arrival). You’ll need to meet the transfer staff at 6.30pm at Hall B at the ‘Brioche Doree’ snack bar in the airport. Please give yourself time to clear customs, get your luggage and be on time for the 6.30pm transfer so as not to keep other guests waiting. It’s a 40 minute drive from Bordeaux to Moulis-en-Médoc. We don’t recommend you self-drive simply due to the fact that the ride starts and finishes in a different location, which makes it hard to return to your car. Also, please don’t book your departing flights until 2pm or later on the final day of the ride.

Tricia Huerta

‘You’ll think “it can’t get better” and then it does. This ride will have you looking for real estate in the south of France before the week is out.’

Margie Baldock

‘This ride was endless fun. Being able to trot, canter and occasionally gallop through vineyards and the French countryside was thrilling and a real privilege.’

Debbie Tate

‘From the first minute to the last this trip was an absolute joy. The horses were much loved and very well cared for. The guides were fabulous and couldn’t have done more for us.’

Stories from the saddle

Meet a Globetrotter: Margie Baldock

Margie Baldock fell in love with horses as a child but wasn’t able to pursue her passion until later in life. Now she’s making up for lost time, riding as much as she can, getting into polo and planning as many Globetrotting trips as her schedule allows! With three already under her belt, read on […]

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