Paris Olympics & Champagne Ride, France - Horse Riding Holidays and Safaris

Paris Olympics & Champagne Ride, France

10 NightsStrong Intermediate to AdvancedFrom $10,750 AUD

News flash – Globetrotting is heading to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France and YOU are invited to join!

News flash – Globetrotting is heading to the 2024 Olympic Games in PARIS, France! We are SO excited to share this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not only ride in the famous Champagne region, sipping on only the finest drops of bubbly, but also attend the Eventing Dressage and Eventing Show Jumping events at the Olympic Games. This is going to be bigger than Ben Hur, and we want YOU to join us!

Two departures back to back, only 20 saddle seats up for grabs, guided by the two leading ladies of Globetrotting HQ – Kate Pilcher and Laura Rae. This is an opportunity too good to be missed.

But first, the riding…

This week-long riding holiday will take us from the forested slopes and plateaus of the Montagne de Reims to the glorious Marne Valley and across to the chalk-covered ridge of the Côte des Blancs. For those of us who aren’t well-versed in all things Champagne (that’s me!), this translates as a tour through some of THE best vineyards in the region!

Each morning we’ll hit the saddle for an exciting day’s ride over diverse, storybook-worthy landscapes, with plenty of chances to give your horse his head and feel the wind in your hair. Champagne aficionado or not, you’ll be totally enchanted by the region’s fascinating history and colourful characters.

Then it’s off to the Olympic Games where we’ll be engrossed in the electrifying atmosphere. Paris will be buzzing with excitement and anticipation, and we’ll join in the fun as we attend the Eventing Dressage and Show Jumping (sadly no Cross-Country tickets so that day will be free for you to spend at your leisure). Can it get any better? We think not!

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. The horses 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.
  • Weight Limit:A maximum of 90kg / 198lbs.
  • Type of tack:French trail riding saddles (with a gel pad!) equipped with saddlebags, and a poncho. 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’. 1/3 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:July & August
  • Group size:A maximum of 10 globetrotters with 1 Globetrotting guide.
  • Time in Saddle:On average, between 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 in English-style tack. Good physical fitness is essential as you’ll be riding for up to 6 hours each day.
    PLEASE NOTE: A supplement charge of €300 will apply for additional horse transport should you opt to discontinue riding during the week due to lack of fitness or unsuitable riding ability.
     Not sure what your riding ability is? Watch THIS video to find out.
  • Accommodation:You will stay in a selection of 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. The accommodation is two or three 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.
    When in Paris for the Olympics, we’ll be staying at the Mercure Paris Alesia, conveniently located on the south side of the city close to a number of attractions and public transport.
  • Ride Length:11 days, 10 nights (5 full days in the saddle, 4 nights in Paris to attend the Olympic Games)
  • Inclusions:

    The price includes:

    On the ride: All meals, wine with lunch, accommodation in shared rooms with a shared bathroom, riding, horses, tack, experienced guide, translator, luggage transportation, excursions as described in the itinerary.

    At the Olympics: Accommodation in Paris, breakfast each morning, tickets to the Eventing-Dressage on July 27 and Eventing-Show Jumping on July 29. Our entry tickets are part of the Clubhouse 24 package which includes:
    – access to a tiered seat on the competition site during the session (without catering)

    – access to Clubhouse 24 (at the Palais De Tokyo), a place with giant screens, a bar a Parisian market, appearances by former athletes, interactive sports activities etc, with a welcome cocktail.

  • Exclusions:

    The price does not include:

    General: international flights, travel insurance (compulsory), single supplement.

    On the ride: drinks other than wine at lunch, any applicable entrance fees and tips (€10 per person, per day), transfers to/from the train station (these can be paid for directly in person, €20 per person, round-trip).

    At the Olympics: compulsory Parisian bed tax (approx €4 per night) lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks throughout the day, all transfers either to/from the airport or the Games venue at the Palace of Versailles, guided tour and/or entrance to the Palace and its gardens.

 

DEPARTURE DATES & RATES

SHOW ALL NEW! Secure your saddle seat NOW with a 10% deposit - as part of our 10x 10% payment plan!

PLEASE NOTE: A supplement charge of €300 will apply for additional horse transport should you opt to discontinue riding during the week due to lack of fitness or unsuitable riding ability.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?

On the ride: All meals, wine with lunch, accommodation in shared rooms with a shared bathroom, riding, horses, tack, experienced guide, translator, luggage transportation, excursions as described in the itinerary.

At the Olympics: Accommodation in Paris, breakfast each morning, tickets to the Eventing-Dressage on July 27 and Eventing-Show Jumping on July 29. Our entry tickets are part of the Clubhouse 24 package which includes:

– access to a tiered seat on the competition site during the session (without catering)

– access to Clubhouse 24 (at the Palais De Tokyo), a place with giant screens, a bar a Parisian market, appearances by former athletes, interactive sports activities etc, with a welcome cocktail.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?

General: international flights, travel insurance (compulsory), single supplement.

On the ride: drinks other than wine at lunch, any applicable entrance fees and tips (€10 per person, per day), transfers to/from the train station (these can be paid for directly in person, €20 per person, round-trip).

At the Olympics: compulsory Parisian bed tax (approx €4 per night) lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks throughout the day, transfers to/from the Games venue at the Palace of Versailles (we will be catching public transport), guided tour and/or entrance to the Palace and its gardens.

Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. Depending on the ride you choose to book and your country of residence, there will be a 1.2% to 2.9% surcharge.

Click HERE to read more about our fees and charges.
Click HERE to read our recommendations on which cards are best to use to avoid international transaction fees.
WHY IS THE PRICE QUOTED IN AUD?
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 (July 20)

    Today you’ll need to make your way to the starting point of the ride. If you’re self-driving, this will be the Patis-Paille Guesthouse in La Neuville aux Larris, and for those catching the train, your hosts will meet you at the TGV train station Champagne-Ardennes at 6pm. This evening is a chance to get to know your guides and fellow globetrotters while enjoying your first taste of Champagne’s regional cuisine – and maybe even a local drop or two!

  • Day 2 (July 21)

    Yippee, it’s ride day! This morning your Globetrotting group will have breakfast at 8am (think croissants, fresh fruit and bread) then get ready to ride. We’ll enjoy some delightful long canters through the woods to the forest of Verzy, where you’ll come across the most extraordinary dwarf beech trees, called the Faux. Unusually shaped, gnarled and fragile, they bring to mind larger-than-life Japanese bonsais. This is the world’s largest concentration of dwarf beech trees, with around 1,000 in total, and you’ll be able to savour their beauty while enjoying a picnic lunch in their shade. Later, you’ll remount and head south to Trepail, a quintessential wine village of the Champagne region, home of the Chardonnay grape variety. Your resting place for the evening is a guesthouse in the nearby village of Bouzy, known for its Pinot Noir grapes.

  • Day 3 (July 22)

    After breakfast, you will reunite with the horses and ride through the vineyards to the village of Mutigny, with plenty of free-spirited canters along the way. Photo op alert: Mutigny offers picture-perfect, sweeping views across the Marne Valley! Lunch today is another scrumptious picnic, this time in the village of Hautvillers, the birthplace of Champagne wines. It was here that the monk Dom Pérignon created the method for producing quality sparkling white wines that ultimately led to Champagne – and Dom Pérignon – becoming world famous.

    Back in the saddle, you’ll head down through the vineyards to the Marne River, crossing at the village of Cumières, where the horses will be able to stretch out into a nice long canter on the riverbank. You’ll wine, dine and rest your head in the town of Epernay, which you’ll get to explore tomorrow.

  • Day 4 (July 23)

    The ride this morning alternates between forests and vineyards, with panoramic views over Epernay. The vineyards here produce the Blancs de Blancs – Champagne made only from white grapes, rather than a blend of red and white. The village of Cramant is well known for this and after picnicking in the sunshine on the edge of town, you’ll visit a local winery to taste what all the fuss is about!

    The horses get a break this afternoon while you explore Epernay. Surrounded by vineyards, Epernay is the epicentre of Champagne, a place where epic quantities of wine are bought and sold and where every famous Champagne brand has its headquarters! The UNESCO World Heritage listed Champagne Avenue is known for the endless kilometres of chalk cellars built beneath the street to house millions of precious bottles of champagne – not to mention the stunning and eclectic architecture at street level! Another delicious dinner awaits at a local restaurant this evening, then you’ll return to last night’s hotel to catch some Zs.

  • Day 5 (July 24)

    After breakfast, you’ll reunite with the horses in Cramant and set off for the slopes above the village of Avize, passing chalk cliffs that provide a glimpse of the unique terroir responsible for the much-loved flavour of the Champagne from these hillsides. The route takes you through the Darcy Valley, where you’ll have a spectacular view of the village of Monthelon, then through Epernay forest and back into the Marne Valley. The banks of the Marne River provide a perfect location for today’s picnic, then you’ll cross the Damery village bridge and ride on along vine-covered slopes. Climbing higher once more, the view over the valley will have you scrambling for your camera.

    Tonight the horses will spend the night in the village of Montigny, while you and your fellow globetrotters return to the Patis-Paille guesthouse in La Neuville aux Larris for dinner and a Champagne tasting.

  • Day 6 (July 25)

    It’s your last day of riding, boo! Not to worry, though, it’ll be a day to remember with more jaw-dropping views as you climb up above the picturesque village of Chatillon sur Marne. The village is crowned by a huge, 33 metre high statue of Pope Urban II, otherwise known as Odo of Chatillon, who watches over the vineyards below. Riding through the Regional Natural Park of Montagne de Reims (a bit of a mouthful, but a stunning area, as you’ll discover!), you’ll reach the House of the Park, which includes an information centre with interactive exhibitions where you can learn about the geology, geography, nature and human history of Champagne. You’ll also be able to wander through the orchard, garden and botanical trail before choosing the perfect spot for one final French picnic. Finally, you’ll ride back along forest trails to La Neuville aux Larris, with plenty of trots and canters on the way. Tonight’s dinner will be a celebration of your extraordinary week of adventures – a chance to raise your glass to the sparkling magic of Champagne!

  • Day 7 (July 26)

    This morning we’ll take a transfer to the nearby city of Reims, also known as the ‘city of kings’ – since the year 496, all French kings have been baptised here, at what is now the Notre-Dame of Reims cathedral.

    This afternoon we’ll catch the train back to Paris (train tickets not included in the ride price) and settle into our rooms at the Mercure Paris Alesia. If there’s time, we can head out for a stroll around the buzzing neighbourhood before swapping stories and laughs over dinner in a nearby French restaurant (lunch and dinner not included included today).

  • Day 8 (July 27)

    YAY, we’re going to the OLYMPICS! Excitement will be at fever pitch as we board a train bound for Versailles (NB public transport is not included in the price), whose fairytale gardens are playing host to the dressage element of the eventing today.

    Please note, only breakfast is included today, all other meals/drinks are at your own expense. We’ll present you with your entry ticket to the dressage, but you can spend your time as you wish, watching as much or as little of it as you would like (let’s face it, a whole day of dressage is not everyone’s cup of tea). You can depart at anytime and head back into Paris for more exploration – the time is yours to spend as you wish!

  • Day 9 (July 28)

    Sadly we’ve been unsuccessful in our bid for cross-country tickets today, but after our first taste of Olympic fever, a day off will no doubt be more than welcome. It’s totally up to you whether you spend the day back in the hotel watching the live stream or exploring some of Paris’s many wonders (the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and Moulin Rouge, to name but a few).

    Breakfast is the only meal included today.

  • Day 10 (July 29)

    The final, nail-biting phase of the eventing is taking place today: the show jumping. Wear your country colours to support your fellow countrymen globetrotters, personally Kate and Laura will be cheering the Aussies over every jump! After the medal ceremony, we’ll head back to our hotel for some well-earned shut-eye.

    Breakfast is the only meal included today.

  • Day 11 (July 30)

    It’s time for our final farewells as we head off on our respective journeys, on a high after what can only be described as an exhilirating and intoxicating few days in the City of Lights!

  • Second departure - Laura's group

    We’ll start our adventure in Paris at the Olympic Games and finish with the Champagne Ride, so essentially do the itinerary in reverse! You’ll need to arrive in Paris on July 26 and meet at our hotel accommodation (The Mercure Paris Alesia) that evening where we’ll all head out for dinner (not included in the ride price).

  • Ride Transfer Information

    We recommend all guests fly in/out of Paris, or if you’re concerned about flight prices consider flying into London then catching the train across to Paris.

    Group 1 (Kate):

    You’ll need to catch a train from Paris to Champagne-Ardenne TGV Train Station (near Reims, approx 1hr 20mins) on July 20, arriving no later than 6pm in the evening. Our ride hosts offer a transfer service from the train station to the start of the ride or €20 per person round trip (to be paid in cash upon arrival).

    On July 26 we’ll all need to catch the train from the Champagne Ardenne TGV Train Station back to Paris in the afternoon.

    On July 30 you’re free to depart anytime after breakfast.

    Group 2 (Laura):

    You’ll need to arrive in Paris on July 26 and make your own way to our accommodation, the Mercure Paris Alesia.

    On July 30 we’ll have most of the day to explore Paris before catching a train to the Champagne Ardenne TGV Train Station, arriving no later than 6pm. As per previous group’s instructions, our ride partner offers a transfer service from the train station to the start of the ride for €20 per person round trip.

    On August 5 you’re free to depart anytime after lunch and will need to catch a train back to Paris from the Champagne Ardenne TGV Train Station.

    No transfers are included in the package price.

    If you wish to pre-book train tickets, visit the SNCF Connect website.

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