The Champagne Ride, France

7 NightsStrong Intermediate to AdvancedFrom €2,150 EUR?Tour costs €2,150 EUR which is approximately $3,283 AUD

The region of Champagne sparkles as brightly as its famous wine, and with countless hillside vineyards, cute-as-a-button villages and magnificent old growth forests, there is NO better way to explore this UNESCO World Heritage listed area than on horseback.

This week-long riding holiday takes you 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 you who aren’t well-versed in all things Champagne, this translates as a tour through some of THE best vineyards in the region! Along the way there’ll be plenty of wine tastings, melt-in-your-mouth French food and captivating cultural experiences.

Each morning you’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. 

Another fab thing about this itinerary is that it’s SUPER accessible and fun for non-riders. With the region being fairly compact, non-riders will be able to explore Champagne at their leisure each day, and catch up with the riding group in the evenings to swap stories over dinner before bedding down in a charming, traditional French guesthouse. 

If you love riding, wining and dining, the Champagne Ride might just be the pick of the bunch!

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, a poncho and 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’. 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 minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 guests.
  • 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. Good physical fitness is essential, as you’ll be riding for up to 6 hours each day.  Not sure what your riding experience is? Watch THIS video to find out.
  • 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 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.
  • Ride Length:8 days, 7 nights with 6 riding days.
  • Inclusions:

    The price includes 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 staff tips (€10 per person, per day). Please note that transfers to and from the train station are not included in the ride price and can be paid direct in person (€20 per person, round-trip).

 

DEPARTURE DATES & RATES

NEW! Secure your saddle seat NOW with a 10% deposit - as part of our 10x 10% payment plan!
Departing FinishingAvailabilityTotal
July 1, 2023July 8, 2023Available
€2,150 EUR ?Tour costs €2,150 EUR which is approximately $3,283 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBooking Request
€2,555 EUR ?Tour costs €2,555 EUR which is approximately $3,902 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own roomBooking Request
€1,495 EUR ?Tour costs €1,495 EUR which is approximately $2,283 AUD - Non Rider?Booking Request
July 9, 2023July 16, 2023Available
€2,150 EUR ?Tour costs €2,150 EUR which is approximately $3,283 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBooking Request
€2,555 EUR ?Tour costs €2,555 EUR which is approximately $3,902 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own roomBooking Request
€1,495 EUR ?Tour costs €1,495 EUR which is approximately $2,283 AUD - Non Rider?Booking Request
July 22, 2023July 29, 2023Available
€2,150 EUR ?Tour costs €2,150 EUR which is approximately $3,283 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBooking Request
€2,555 EUR ?Tour costs €2,555 EUR which is approximately $3,902 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own roomBooking Request
€1,495 EUR ?Tour costs €1,495 EUR which is approximately $2,283 AUD - Non Rider?Booking Request
July 30, 2023August 6, 2023Available
€2,150 EUR ?Tour costs €2,150 EUR which is approximately $3,283 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBooking Request
€2,555 EUR ?Tour costs €2,555 EUR which is approximately $3,902 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own roomBooking Request
€1,495 EUR ?Tour costs €1,495 EUR which is approximately $2,283 AUD - Non Rider?Booking Request

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 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 staff tips (€10 per person, per day). Please note that transfers to and from the train station are not included in the ride price and can be paid direct in person (€20 per person, round-trip).

Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all card payments. Click HERE to read our recommendations on which cards are best to use to avoid international transaction fees.

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 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 (near Reims) at 6:30pm. 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

    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. Once you’re matched up with your trusty steed, you’ll hit the trail for a glorious half-day ride through the forest of Sermiers, also known as La forêt du Chêne à la Vierge, which translates to ‘the woods of Virgin Mary’s oak’. This alludes to a local medieval legend that tells of loggers who found a figurine of the Virgin Mary in the heart of an oak tree! Every year there is a pilgrimage in the local area in honour of this miracle. Your ride through this sacred forest offers up fantastic views over the vineyards of Champagne, and as you pad through the quiet trees, it will be easy to imagine that the centuries have slipped away and a dashing knight or a burly logger might just emerge from the woods!

    After returning to the Patis-Paille guesthouse for lunch, you’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. In the evening, you’ll retire to the guesthouse for a tasty dinner and a good night’s sleep.

  • Day 3

    This morning’s ride begins with 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 4

    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 5

    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 6

    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 7

    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 8

    This morning, you’ll have breakfast at Patis-Paille before packing your bags and either being transferred back to the Champagne-Ardennes TGV train station or, for those who self-drove, departing at your leisure.

  • Transfer Information

    A transfer service is available from Champagne-Ardennes TGV Train Station on the first and last days of the itinerary for €20 per person round trip (to be paid in cash upon arrival). We recommend guests fly into Paris International Airport a day or two prior to the start of the ride. From there you can catch the train across to Champagne-Ardennes, which will take approximately 1hr 20mins. You’ll need to meet the transfer at 6.30pm out the front of the train station. On the last day, you can book your train tickets anytime from 9.30am.

    Self drive to Reims is also an option as you stay in the same accommodation place on the first and last evenings of the ride.

    Globetrotting is happy to provide a competitive quote on international flights, travel insurance (only available for Australian residents), hotels and any extensions before and after your ride. 

  • Non-riders

    This itinerary is suitable for non-riders who have their own car and want to follow the riders and meet up to enjoy meals and share accommodation with them. The non-rider price includes meals and accommodation.

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