Seeing the Loire Valley between two pricked ears will be an experience to treasure forever. The history here is palpable at every turn, from the cobbled villages to the ancient forests to the castles that seem to appear like magic wherever you look!
Your guides on this ride have a deep knowledge of the people, culture and history of the Loire Valley, so you’ll find yourself fully immersed in this beautiful part of France from day one. You’ll also be treated to guest appearances from castle custodians, who delight in sharing the secrets of these story-laden buildings.
And let’s not forget the horses – a herd of experienced, responsive trail horses, most of which were bred at your host’s equestrian farm. Every day you’ll mount up and ride through new landscapes, savouring the contrast between ancient architecture and ever-changing rivers, between timeless forests where you can almost see the medieval hunting parties flitting past and hamlets where medieval masonry meets modern living.
There will be plenty of chances to trot and canter, as well as meandering walks where you can really savour the unfolding views. And at night you’ll tuck into spectacular French cuisine before retiring to local, boutique guesthouses.
The Loire Valley awaits your discovery!
- 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:Maximum of 95kgs / 210lbs
- 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:June & July
- Group size: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.
- 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 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
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 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.
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.
ItineraryExpand AllCollapse All
*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.
Woohoo, the day has finally come! You’re about to set off across the spectacular Loire Valley on your perfectly matched trail horse! Does it get any better than this, globetrotters? Nope, didn’t think so. If you’re catching the transfer service your hosts offer, you’ll be picked up from Montrichard train station in the late afternoon and driven to your first night’s accommodation in Pontlevoy. You’ll have a group dinner with your French guides and hosts, David and Britta, and get a run-down of the week’s riding. Bring it ON!
Things are starting off with a bang today with not one, but TWO castles (or should we say châteaus) in your sights. After meeting your herd of horses who will transport you safely across the French countryside throughout the week, you’ll ride to Fougères sur Bièvre, a 16th century castle. It may be small as castles go, but packed into its walls are a curtain wall, dungeon, gunboats and some impressive defences. After enjoying lunch beneath the castle, you’ll carry on to Cheverny Castle, which has been lovingly maintained by the same family for more than 600 years! Finally, you’ll ride to a hotel for dinner and some well-earned rest.
After breakfast you’ll mount up for another history-filled day, travelling through a beautiful and ancient forest, stopping in the middle for a relaxed picnic lunch. Then the trees part to reveal the jaw-dropping Château de Chambord, the largest and most architecturally stunning castle in the Loire Valley. After a look inside, you’ll ride on to 16th-century Villesavin Castle, where you can get a sense of how these incredible buildings must have looked and felt back in their heyday. Again, you’ll ride to a hotel and dine on regional cuisine before hitting the hay.
The morning brings yet another delicious French breakfast (pastries, croissants, cheese!) and yet another serene forest ride, where the timelessness of the landscape and the history-filled itinerary will have you feeling like part of an Aristocratic hunting party – who knows, you might even spot a deer flitting away through the trees! Today’s picnic lunch is set in the former hunting farm of Chambord, on the lawns surrounding Beauregard Castle. You’ll step inside the castle and walk through the gallery of 327 portraits before getting back in the saddle to ride to the village of Candé-sur-Beuvron, where more French hospitality awaits to sate your hunger and lull you to sleep.
Today, after breakfast, you’ll ride along the beautiful Loire River to Chaumont-sur-Loire, a charming village and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The village is known for the impressive 15th-century feudal castle that towers over it from a nearby hilltop. You’ll ride up the hill and rest the horses while you enjoy your picnic lunch, then head inside for a tour of the castle. The horses can’t come in, though, or they may never be convinced to leave – the 19th-century stables are some of the most luxurious of their time. In the afternoon, you’ll make your way along sun-dappled paths within Sudais Forest to reach your destination, another quaint French B&B or hotel.
You’ll have breakfast and be in the saddle by 10am, crossing back over the hillside to head towards Amboise, a beautiful town on the banks of the Loire. On your way you’ll pass swathes of vineyards and crops, before picnicking in the grounds of Château d’Amboise, a 15th-century castle famous as the residence of Charles VIII and the location of Leonardo da Vinci’s tomb! Charles VIII wasn’t the only ruler to live in this luxurious castle, and you’ll hear plenty of juicy stories from centuries past before riding on. After passing through Amboise Forest, you’ll arrive in the village of Saint Martin le Beau. Here, the Guestault family will be your hosts, inviting you to taste wines from Touraine and Montlouis, treating you to dinner at the family restaurant, and bedding you down in their hotel.
Your last day of riding is made all the sweeter as it brings you down into the Cher Valley and alongside the Cher River, where you can canter to your heart’s content. Today’s castle, Chenonceau, was built over the river in 1513 and is nicknamed ‘Château des Dames’ thanks to the many women who have owned, lived in, developed and protected it over the centuries. After lunch and a castle tour, you’ll leave the river and ride to your hotel in the town of Pontlevoy.
Today you’ll bid adieu to your trusty steeds and be transported to Montrichard Train Station, where you can farewell your fellow globetrotters and travel onwards as per your plans.
A transfer service is available from Montrichard Train Station on the first and last days of the itinerary for €20 per person round trip. 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 south to Montrichard (you’ll have to change at St-Pierre-des-Corps in Tours) which will take approximately 2.5 – 3 hours. You’ll need to meet the transfer at 6.30pm out the front of the Montrichard Train Station. On the last day, you can book your train tickets anytime from 9.30am.
Self drive to Pontlevoy 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, hotels and any extensions before and after your ride.