Cevennes National Park riding holiday in France - Far and Ride
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Cevennes National Park, France




Programme


• Mount Lozere Trail

 

Horses



Type of horses:

Mixed breeds which include Arabs and paints. Many are home-bred.

Nature of horses:

Kind, energetic and good trail horses.

Height of horses:

15 - 16.3hh

Weight limit:

100kg / 220lbs

Tack type:

English style leather saddles. Some horses are ridden bitless in hackamores whilst others have traditional bitted bridles.

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

The Cevennes national park is located in southern France and was created in 1970. The park became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011 and includes several mountains and plateaus - the highest of which is Mount Lozere at 1,699m.

The Cevennes area is rich in history. The ancient area of Gevaudan was established in the Occitan region of France in 1096 by the Celtic Gauls. Later conquered by the Romans, the area eventually became inhabited by the Huegonots at the start of the Renaissance period. It is situated within the borders of the Massif Central where Mount Lozere towers over the Tarn River, which carves a gorge between the Sauveterre and Mejean limestone plateaus. This stunning natural vista has been described by many as one of the most impressive canyons in Europe.
Further north, the valley of Le Lot separates the “causses”, or limestone plateaus of Sauveterre and Margueride. This area is rich in the history and culture of the Camisards - rebellious French Protestants comprised of peasants, craftsmen and wool trade workers.

The dramatic rock formations, deep canyons and rivers of the Cevennes attract outdoor enthusiasts for rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, horseback riding and caving.

Your guides offer many routes in France and travel their horses between the different regions. They are experienced and knowledgable guides who will delight in introducing this fascinating area to you. There are always two guides on each trail for your safety. Due to the logistics of guiding throughout France, each trail is only available on limited dates, so book early to avoid disappointment. This area is a new addition for 2018.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

You stay in a mixture of B&B's and small local hotels. The following are the planned accommodations, but these are subject to availability and so there may be some changes:

Night 1: Chateauneuf-de-Randon: Hotel de la poste
Night 2: Bagnols les Bains: L'Atelier S
Night 3: Mont Lozere: Le Chalet
Night 4: Pont Monvert: Auberge des Cevennes
Night 5: Florac: Hotel Gorges du Tarn
Night 6: Saint Enimie: Auberge du Moulin
Night 7: Mende: Hotel Urbain V

Breakfasts are always taken at your hotel/B&B.
Lunches are picnics out on the trail - you are usually met by the back-up vehicle who brings fresh picnics to you.

Dinners are in local restaurants - sometimes these are restaurants within the hotels, or sometimes stand-alone restaurants.

All meals are included, but drinks are to your own account so that you can choose from the ample drinks menu's on offer.

 

Activities

This is predominantly a riding trail to explore the glorious landscapes of the region, but if non-riders hired their own car and wished to explore the area themselves, then they could meet the riders each night at the accommodation.

 

Further Details

Languages: English, French

Health requirements: General good health

Age limit: 16 years and older

Tuition: No

Included: Accommodation, riding, transfers at set times

Not included: Flights/trains, drinks, entrance fees to sites, tips

 

Travel Information

The train system in France is particularly good and reliable. Transfers are included from Mende train station to arrive late afternoon.

If you prefer to drive or hire a car then we can provide driving directions - groups with non-riders within them may like the flexibility of a hire car.

The nearest airport is Le Puy-Loudes Airport (LPY) and transfers from the airport can also be arranged at extra cost.

Airport: Le Puy-Loudes Airport (LPY)

 

Programme


Mount Lozere Trail



Explore the beautiful Cevennes national park on horseback, crossing vast pastures and riding through stunning woodlands. Granite peaks and limestone plateaus dominate the landscape, before you drop down into the picturesque Lot valley.

Day One: Arrival

If making your own way, then you should aim to arrive at Chateauneuf-de-Randon by late afternoon. If arriving by train then you will collected from Mende station and transferred to the accommodation.

Day Two:

After breakfast you will meet your horses for the week ahead. Your ride starts by heading along the limestone plateau of Montbel which is marked by pastures and orderly plantations of conifers. Your trail leads into the Lot valley and crosses to Chadenet where a picnic lunch is taken in the small village of Allenc. In the afternoon, your trail leads you to Bagnols-les-Bains where you spend the night in a B&B/hotel.

Day Three:

Your morning ride takes you to Mount Lozere with its granite summits, via the Etang de Barrandon - a historic site set within a grand but severe landscape. The afternoon is free to take in the glorious landscape. Overnight in a local guesthouse/hotel.

Day Four:

A long ride today as you head south through vast pastures and past Finiels at 1541m high. Stop for a picnic lunch near Mas Camargue, a farmhouse which has been restored and now houses a museum. After lunch the trail descends to the base of Bouges mountain until reaching a bastide (fortified village). Here you spend the night in a guesthouse/hotel.

Day Five:

Ride through the national forest of Bouges with lots of impressive panoramas. A variety of trees grow on the mountain crests including conifers, beech, sweet chestnut and mixed forest. The more rugged areas are covered in heather and moorland, with a distinct contrast between the fern-filled slate of the south and broom-weed granite of the north. With clear skies you should be able to see Les Causses, its limestone plateaus and Mount Aigoual. Overnight in a guesthouse/hotel.

Day Six:

Leave Florac behind to explore Mejean Causse on horseback. Your picnic lunch is set on the edge of the Tarn river in the village of Castelbouc, one of the most famous sites in the Tarn Gorge. The high ruins of the feudal castle dominate the village. In the afternoon the trail leads back to Sauveterre Causse and the hamlet of Nissoulogres where you overnight.

Day Seven:

Follow the path northwards, crossing limestone fields of the Sauveterre Causse which are used for rearing sheep. A picnic is served high above the Lot valley which you will cross during the afternoon ride, before reaching your final destination at Mende. Overnight in a guesthouse/hotel.

Day Eight:

After breakfast you depart by car or are transferred to the train station.

NB. Please note that the itinerary is a guide and may have to be adjusted due to weather or other local conditions, but always with your best interests at heart. 

**This itinerary also runs in reverse, with the first week being Mende to Chateauneuf-de-Randon and the second week returning.



Minimum group size: 5
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: You need to be a capable rider who is comfortable in all paces riding outdoors and you should be riding regularly. There are some sections where you will need to dismount and lead your horse.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 8 days / 7 nights / 5.5 days riding (c. 5 hours riding per day)
Departure dates: 2018: 15-22 September, 22-29 September
 
Pricing: 2018:

£1464 per person sharing
Single supplement: £274