Alsace with Alice riding holiday in France - Far and Ride
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Alsace with Alice, France





Horses



Type of horses:

A mix of breeds, from a large pony for children or small adults through to a heavy horse.

Nature of horses:

The horses are sure-footed and well-trained trail horses to suit different types of riders.

Height of horses:

14 - 17hh

Weight limit:

Potentially up to 120kg (264lbs). There are two horses available for larger riders: 1 horse for riders over 80kg and one horse for riders over 90kg. Please contact us if you are more than 80kg so that we can check availability of these horses.

Tack type:

Western, trail and English saddles.

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

This is a small, friendly set-up offering riding through Alsace, one of France's most beautiful regions. Guests are personally guided by Alice on these relaxed adventures through the Alsatian countryside, sampling local food and wine, enjoying magnificent scenery and exploring the region's hidden treasures including castles, chapel ruins and red cliffs of sandstone. Alice is passionate about trail riding and loves to share this with her guests by taking them out on one of her experienced trail horses.

Alsace lies on France's eastern border, on the west bank of the river Rhine, and is famous for its picturesque villages as well as beautiful churches and castles. This combined with its charming countryside, including the Vosges mountains, makes it a wonderful area for horse riding. Of course the region is also known for its vineyards and the fine wines produced there. During your holiday you can sample typical food and wine from this area, enjoying restaurant visits or picnic lunches depending on your route.

Alice came to riding as an adult and soon fell in love with it, going on to purchase her own horses, ponies and even a cart horse. Her favourite thing is to pack up her saddlebags and escape to nature on horseback, so she has designed several riding programmes to share with guests who would like to discover the delights of Alsace from the saddle. The riding groups are generally small with a maximum of seven riders but a preference for around four or five plus Alice.

If the programmes below don't quite suit what you're after, please get in touch with us to see what we can do for you. Alice is happy to tailor make rides when she is free outside of her set departure dates.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

During the star rides you will be accommodated at 'Auberge des Sept Fontaines', a beautiful old mill house which has been owned and run by the same family for several generations. It offers comfortable farmhouse style rooms and excellent food, including typical Alsatian dishes, made with homegrown and locally sourced produce as much as possible.

During the trail rides you will stay in charming hotels and guesthouses along the way.

On these trips you will be well fed with good Alsatian cuisine. Lunches, picnics and drinks are not included in the price but can be organised and paid for locally depending on what you like. You will have the opportunity to try excellent food in local restaurants and pubs.

If the ride includes a 'panorama picnic' then these are organised by Alice's sister-in-law and guests can pay her directly. If the ride includes a 'saddle-bag picnic' then guests pay Alice directly for their sandwiches and drinks.

 

Activities

Other activities available:

- carriage driving
- indoor swimming pool 200m from the Auberge des Sept Fontaines for star rides
- plenty for non-riders: hiking, castles to explore, Maginot Line bunkers, open-air pool with spa facilities in Dahn (Germany), tree-top climbing path in Fischbach, visits to wine cellars, outlet shopping in Ropenheim, visit to Strasbourg with its world-famous cathedral

 

Further Details

Languages: Fluent English, German and French is spoken. Alice also speaks a little Russian and Polish.

Health requirements: Good fitness recommended.

Age limit: 12+ (when accompanied by an adult), 16+ if riding without adult guardian.

Tuition: No.

Included: Accommodation, breakfasts, dinners and riding as per the itineraries.

Not included: Travel, insurance, lunches (or picnics), drinks, tips or extras.

 

Travel Information

Alsace is surprisingly easy to reach thanks to the shuttle services offered from the major airports surrounding Alsace.

The nearest airport is Frankfurt Hahn (Germany) followed by Basel Mulhouse and then Frankfurt International and Luxembourg. Paris is around 4.5 hours by car. You could fly to these cities or travel by train if coming from the UK or nearby in Europe. The nearest train station is Wissembourg.

We recommend car hire to make the most of your experience but for additional cost we can provide a shuttle service from the airports of Stuttgart, Basel-Mulhouse, Strasbourg, Baden-Baden, Frankfurt (International) and Frankfurt Hahn. Transfers also possible from the train stations of Strasbourg, Karlsruhe and Wissembourg.

Airport: Frankfurt Hahn Airport

Alternative Airport: Basel Mulhouse Airport

 

Programmes


Star Rides (Based Programme)



This lovely five night programme runs from Sunday to Friday and is the perfect way to explore Alsace from horseback. You will stay in the same guesthouse each night and spend the days riding out with Alice on one of her beautiful routes. The different rides explore points of historical interest, charming villages or just wonderful countryside. The specific routes you take each day will be decided according to the weather and what your riding group prefers.

Guests arrive on Sunday in time for a short introductory ride and a chance to get to know their allocated horse. You will head up to a mountain viewpoint for your first look over the Rhine Valley, to the Vosges mountains in the west and to the Black Forest in the east. From Monday to Thursday you will enjoy the full day rides (see below), enjoying a final short ride on Friday morning before heading home. 

Some of your full day riding routes may include:

Climbronn Chapel - this ruined 13th century chapel lies in Climbach and features a "healing spring". This is a lovely location offering views over the North Vosges and the perfect spot for a panorama picnic. Following lunch you will ride up into the forest with the route home taking you through vineyards and past fields of fruit trees. Riding time is approximately 5 hours. 

The Battlefield of Woerth - this fascinating spot is the site of the final battle in the Franco/Prussian war which took place in August 1870. This ride offers fantastic views of the Alsatian countryside - on a clear day you can see all the way to Strasbourg cathedral. The lunch stop is in a beautifully situated restaurant, and the trail back to the Auberge passes through the forest. The monuments to the battle and gravestones that you will see along the way are a tragic reminder that Alsace was not always as peaceful as it appears today. Approximate riding time is 5 hours. 

Castles Aplenty - on this ride Alice will lead you up into the hills of the North Vosges directly behind the Auberge. You will be riding on sandy forest trails which are ideal for cantering and offer splendid views of the castles perched on top of the surrounding hills. Lunch is at a charming restaurant at the edge of the forest and which offers stunning views of Fleckenstein castle. The ride back home is a wonderful creek-side trail before returning over the Col du Pfaffenschlick (a passway). This is the longest ride of the week with riding time of around 8 hours, however there are plenty of breaks included for the horses and riders. 

Picturesque Villages - Alsace is well-known for its pretty villages with half-timbered homes and wonderful floral displays. This ride leads you through the rolling hills at the foot of the North Vosges and through many lovely villages. Approximately 5 hours. 

Paysage d'Alsace - this ride leads through Birlenbach and on to Schoenenburg with the Maginot Line bunker in the heart of the forest. The horses can rest whilst you tuck into a delicious lunch in a French restaurant in the forest. After lunch you will mount up again and make your way home through Alsatian villages and rolling hills. Approximately 5 hours. 



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 7
Ability description: Riders should be able to ride at walk, trot and canter in open countryside and be fit for full riding days.
Type of ride: Based stay.
Total riding time: 4 full day rides and a short ride on both arrival and departure day (if time permits).
Departure dates: 2017: 14 - 19 May, 18 - 23 June, 30 July - 4 August.

Many other dates are available to suit, please contact the office for more information.
 
Pricing: 2017:

The price is £834 per person.
Single supplement: £126 per person.

Price includes 5 nights of shared twin/double room accommodation, breakfasts, dinners and riding (4 full days and also a short ride on arrival and departure day).

Lunches and drinks are paid directly when there.




Springtime in Alsace



Alsace in the springtime is truly beautiful - the fresh green of the forest, the trees starting to blossom, the air filled with birdsong. Just thinking about it makes your spirits soar! This centre-based ride offers spacious accommodation for the riders, a convivial atmosphere on the first evening, where the group meets for the first time to get to know each other and to enjoy some delicious “tarte flambée”, an Alsatian specialty, and three days of riding through the forests of the North Vosges mountains with all they have to offer: kilometres of sandy trails, magnificent scenery, castle ruins, amazing rock formations, and of course plenty of good French food and wine.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 7
Ability description: Riders should be able to ride at walk, trot and canter in open countryside and be fit for full riding days.
Type of ride: Based Stay.
Total riding time: 3 days of riding.
Departure dates: 2017: 8 - 12 May.
 
Pricing: 2017:

The price is £421 per person.

Price includes 4 nights of double/twin room accommodation, dinners, breakfasts and 3 days of riding.

Lunches and drinks to be paid locally.



La Frontière



This five day ride follows the French/German border along the northernmost edge of Alsace, taking you through vineyards, past magnificent castle ruins and cliff formations, alongside burbling brooks - not forgetting a few magnificent canters along the sandy forest trails that are one of this region’s unforgettable characteristics for riders.

You will be spending the evening in charming accommodation, enjoying the local food and wine every evening. The crowning glory of the ride is the last day when you ride to the “Altschlossfelsen”. This magnificent series of 20-meter high sandstone “mushrooms”, connected at their caps, form a ridge of around 1.7 kilometres in length. The caves in the rocks were used by the Celts, and items from the Roman period have also been discovered there. The bright red sandstone of the cliffs offers a stark contrast to the surrounding forest, and the view from the picnic site at the top of the cliffs is stunning.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 7
Ability description: Riders should be able to ride at walk, trot and canter in open countryside and be fit for full riding days.
Type of ride: Based Stay.
Total riding time: 5 days.
Departure dates: 2017: 20 - 24 May. 23 - 27 August.
 
Pricing: 2017:

The price is £737 per person.

Price includes 4 nights in a double/twin room, dinners, breakfasts and 5 riding days.

Lunches and drinks to be paid locally.



Across Rhineland Palatinate



This eight day, international ride starts in Germany, in the middle of the “Hunsrück” region and leads you down to France, passing through three very different regions, each with their own characteristic landscape. The Hunsrück is known for being Germany’s “Wild West” with its wide open spaces, fairy-tale like valleys and streams and tiny villages. This is followed by the hills of the North Palatinate, where the valleys start to deepen and you catch your first glimpses of the Palatinate Forest on the horizon. The lush green Palatinate Forest has “biosphere reserve” status and offers sandy trails, castle ruins and forest chapels. This whole region of Germany is well-known for its excellent white wines. As you will be following on the trail of “Schinderhannes”, Germany’s “Robin Hood”, you certainly won’t be going hungry either!



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 7
Ability description: Riders should be able to ride at walk, trot and canter in open countryside and be fit for full riding days.
Type of ride: Trail riding.
Total riding time: 8 days riding.
Departure dates: 2017: 13 - 21 August.
 
Pricing: 2017:

The price is £1180 per person

Price includes 8 nights of twin/double room accommodation, dinners, breakfasts and 8 days of riding.

Lunches and drinks paid directly.