French Alps riding holiday in France - Far and Ride
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French Alps, France




Programme


• Seven Peaks Trail

 

Horses



Type of horses:

French pure breds crossed with local mountain horses.

Nature of horses:

Comfortable, calm, sure-footed and easy to ride.

Height of horses:

14.2 - 16hh on average.

Weight limit:

95kg

Tack type:

Western and English saddles available.

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

The beautiful French Alps, between Chamonix and Geneva, are more commonly recognised as ski destinations through the winter months. Our new ride in this area starts from the town of Samoens, which has a ski resort with a new lift (Grand Massif Express) linking it to the Plateau des Saix. The town is part of a five town Grand Massif which also includes Flaine and Morillon and is the only winter sports resort to be classified by Caisse Nationale des Monuments Historiques. It carries a "ville fleurie" designation distinguishing it as one of the most beautiful towns in France.

From this unrivalled mountain location, you ride local cross-bred horses on a circular trail through mountains and valleys, staying in remote gites and guesthouses along the way. A stationary programme is available on request and we can also organise weekend stays in some cases.

This ride is operated by Emmanuelle, who runs our rides in Jordan, Oman and Abu Dhabi during the winter months. French by birth, this stunning new route traverses the homeland where she spends her summers. The horses are safe and sensible so you do not have to be an amazing rider, and families with children (eight and older) are welcome, but there are opportunities to canter. As most of the trails are at 1,000m or higher your general fitness is important.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

You stay in a selection of local guesthouses, gites and hotels.

Whilst in Samoens, you stay in a 3 star hotel.

In the smaller villages you stay in local guesthouses or gites, some of which have three beds in each room, so you should be prepared to share.

During the ride you will enjoy typical French cuisine (including the delicious local cheese!) and local drinks too, of course French wine will be available to purchase.

 

Activities

Non-riders are welcome to stay in the same hotels, but will need their own car to truly explore the area.

Alternatively, we can arrive mountain bike tours using the same hotels if they prefer an active stay.

 

Further Details

Languages: English, French

Health requirements: General good health and fitness - you will be riding at an altitude of at least 1,000m.

Age limit: 8+

Tuition: No

Included: Accommodation, meals (except lunch on day one) and riding.

Not included: Flights, insurance, alcohol, tips, airport transfers, lunch on Day One.

 

Travel Information

The closest airport is Geneva in Switzerland, which is only 70kms from Samoens.

We can arrange airport transfers (at extra cost) or you may wish to hire a car, particularly if you have non-riders in your group.

Airport transfer costs are as follows. The price will be split between the number of people arriving on each flight:
140 Euro: 2 passengers
155 Euro: 3-4 passengers
165 Euro: 5-6 passengers
175 Euro: 7-8 passengers

Airport: Geneva

 

Programme


Seven Peaks Trail



Ride through the mountains and valleys of the French Alps, amongst the spectacular scenery around Mont Blanc and immerse yourself in fresh air, French cheeses and local wines. The villages you ride through are ski resorts in winter but the summer is equally beautiful. This is also a great option for families as the riding is not too challenging for children and they have sensible horses. 

Day One:

On arrival at Geneva airport you are transferred c. 45 minutes to the small town of Samoens, which literally means Seven Peaks. 

Depending on the time of your arrival you can explore the town and visit the botanical gardens "La Jaysinia".  These 3.5 hectares of gardens specialise in alpine flowers and are open every day (except when there's snow on the ground) and admission is free. The gardens contain about 8,000 plants from around the world, including 4,500 alpines and 500 varieties of trees and shrubs. The gardens are at an altitude of 700-800 metres above sea level and are situated on a steep, south-facing limestone slope overlooking the old village. The gardens also feature the ruins of Tornalta castle (12th century), a chapel (1687) and fountains and cascades. 

You meet your horse guide for dinner in the evening where you will be briefed for the week ahead. Overnight in a three star hotel.

Day Two:

After breakfast you meet the horses and set off riding towards the natural reserve of Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval, which has been named as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval has many attractions including the Cascade du Rouget waterfall, which is one of about thirty waterfalls in the area. You ride along tracks through the mountains and alongside the Giffre river, which are perfect for some trots and canters. 

Overnight in a guesthouse/gite in Salvagny

Day Three:

Today's ride takes you to Gers Lake which is situated on a scenic plateau at 1,534m. The ride takes c. 4 hours and your destination is a guesthouse owned by a lovely French couple, Claire and Arnaud. They will delight in providing you with a delicious home cooked meal at the end of the day. Some of the rooms here contain three beds. 

Day Four:

After breakfast, set of riding back towards Samoens through the mountains, crossing the Giffre river and allowing the horses to cool their legs.

Overnight in a 3 star hotel.

Day Five:

Set off early to ride to Gollese pass at 1,784m. You will ride along the well-known GR5 route, passing the village of Les Allamands and stopping for lunch at Sebastian Baud guesthouse. After lunch it's just a short ride to your guesthouse at 1,400m.

Day Six:

Leave the gold mining villages behind and ride to the village of Morzine and then onto the village of Gets. This traditional village at 1200m is located at the Col de Gets, which separates the valley of the Alps in the north from Taninges in the south.

Overnight in a local hotel.

Day Seven:

Ride up to Les Chavannes and then continue up to the Col de Joux where you stop for lunch in a local restaurant with lovely views of the mountains. After lunch you ride downhill to Samoens to finish your journey. 

Many of these villages have been labelled "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France", denoting villages which are picturesque with quality heritage. As of 2015 there were 155 villages in France with this label.

Overnight in a 3 star hotel.

Day Eight:

Transfer to the airport for your flight home. 



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 7
Ability description: Strong novice and above, able to rise to the trot and canter. The riding is not particularly challenging although there are opportunities to trot and canter. It is more important to be fit and in good health for riding at altitude.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 7 nights / 6 days of riding (c. 4 hours riding per day)
Departure dates: 2018:
16-23 June, 7-14 July, 14-21 July, 4-11 August, 11-18 August, 1-8 September.
 
Pricing: 2018:

£1513 per person sharing
Single supplement: £223 per person