Lot Valley riding holiday in France - Far and Ride
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Lot Valley, France





Reviews



Each day brought a new trail and each trail was a new adventure that makes you want more.

Tabatha R., Read review
The Grottes de Fossac again offers stunning views and scenery, riding through villages where you will find beautiful cottages and relaxed village people.

Emma T., Read review
I just wanted to send a note to thank you for an amazing break! It was absolutely perfect in every way. Great hosts, horses, the rides were amazing, food, drink, location... we couldn’t have had a better break! They went out of their way to ensure we had a great riding holiday and holiday in general. And I looooved the food far too much. Thanks!

Kim B
Cara and I had a fabulous time, the food was brilliant, home made and tasty, lots of wine if you wanted it. The horses were individual and each had a way of being ridden which was explained so you could enjoy the nature of the horse together with the beautiful countryside and amazing views. We had lovely T-shirt weather and no rain so picked a great week. The accomodation was comfy but the hot showers and log fire helped any stiffness disappear. We want to go back next year so thank you for making us welcome. Carrots and kisses to Nelson and Kajoline.......

Alex A. and Cara F.
Excellent riding in a beautiful and tranquil environment. Overall it was very good. My favourite memory was the excellent horsemanship and relaxed manner in which our host organised very safe but exciting rides. The food, hosts and transfers were excellent.

Sheila W.
Fabulous, I fell in love with my horse and our hosr was the nicest riding holiday host I have ever met. Overall it was first class, my horse was amazing, the scenery and diversity of the riding unusually good. Excellent food and wine. My favourite memory was galloping up to the picnic spot on the all day ride.

Liz D.
It was the perfect 'get away from it all' four day break. I arrived feeling slightly apprehensive, but left feeling a huge sense of achievement, just wonderful! As a novice rider the holiday was invaluable for the experience of riding over different terrain. As a lone traveller I felt like part of a little 'family' and was sad to leave. My favourite memory was an exhilarating gallop on my last day, my dream had finally come true.

Barbara K.
The holiday was absolutely amazing. A fabulous experience, beautiful countryside, great hosts, scrumptious food and plenty of it, a wonderful place to meet new people and socialise. The food was wonderful and great care is given to ensure all needs are catered for at a high level.

Denise W
I had the most amazing time, genuinely the best holiday I've ever had! Everyone was so friendly and I instantly felt relaxed and at home. The horses were just gorgeous and I felt safe and happy on them and around them. The rides themselves never failed to impress - such a variety in glorious scenery and the opportunity to canter/gallop as often as willing! I can't thank you enough for helping me find the most amazing holiday!

Roz W.
We had an excellent holiday. Rides/horses tailored to ourselves. Food was amazing. Favourite memory? Galloping together with sister through race field.

Clare B.
This was a fantastic holiday. Lovely people, fab horses, good company, beautiful rides and surroundings.

Jane S.
The horses were wonderful. They were so well mannered and friendly and I love how they live out all year round in a pack. They are such happy animals, and there were such a large mix of personalities, all of which were very capable and sure-footed on the hacks.

Catherine R.
The holiday was lovely! The meals were brilliant and the non-riding days out were fantastic (Derek gave us some brilliant suggestions!). The guide and the trails were perfect for us, and we enjoyed the private rides, it's just what we wanted.

Michael M.
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Mixture of breeds and types - Thoroughbreds, Lusitano x, Anglo, Spanish, Paint, Trotter, Merens and other French regional types.

Nature of horses:

Well-schooled, responsive horses for all personalities and experience. They are all sure-footed and loyal.

Height of horses:

13hh to 16.2hh

Weight limit:

100kg.

Tack type:

English.

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

This destination is the ideal opportunity to enjoy some exciting riding in the beautiful Aveyronese countryside, whilst also relaxing when out of the saddle. The charming surroundings offer both excellent riding terrain and an all round beautiful setting which different levels of rider can explore. The countryside here allows for trekking through enchanting French villages and unspoilt woodlands with an abundance of fascinating wildlife such as deer, wild boar, red squirrel, hares, buzzards and kites. There are rivers and gorges leading down to open valleys where riders can canter over the rolling landscapes or try their hand over the valley’s cross country course of eleven jumps.

Your hosts are English but have lived in France for many years. Their knowledge of the area allows them to provide a wonderful experience for both riders and non-riders alike and they can provide excellent communication in English and French. They have a vast experience with horses and whilst their primary focus is great riding out, they also have a well-equipped jumping paddock (in addition to the cross country course mentioned) and can introduce you to playing Horseball or even driving a trap. A local instructor can provide tuition when available and there is a selection of good-natured horses to suit various riding abilities.

The horses here live an enjoyable and natural life. They live out all year round on good, sheltered grazing and all have hard feed and as much hay as they need. They are let loose in temporarily taped off areas during lunchtime stops so that they may enjoy a well-earned rest. Your host is recognised by guests as a talented horseman and there is nothing so invigorating as riding a happy horse through these wonderful landscapes.

This holiday is comfortable and enjoyable with the hosts adding a real personal touch to everything. Food and drinks are included, AnneÂ’s cooking being a delight, and both riders and non-riders are catered for wonderfully. Ride lengths and routes can be tailored to suit the individual members of parties, though all try to meet for the enjoyable lunchtime picnics accompanied by regional wines. This is a destination not to be missed and has been visited by Far and Ride staff to ensure that it really is this wonderful!

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Here you will find traditional gïte accommodation which features a communal kitchen and dining area, two twin bedrooms with a shower room, and two double bedrooms with shower room.

The accommodation here is simple and of traditional country style - light and airy to match the renowned calming ambience of the area. All towels, bed linen and a hairdryer are supplied. There is a beautiful pool surrounded by a tiled terrace with sun loungers and patio furniture. There is also an outdoor shower, toilet, utility area and barbecue.

You will also find wireless internet connection here and laundry facilities.

This destination offers a relaxed and friendly environment where guests can socialise with one another. Your hosts also own some very cute dogs!

All food and drink is provided and as food is a big part of the French way of life, nothing is different here. All tastes and requirements are catered for, including vegetarian and vegan diets, to a good standard. Breakfast is enjoyed in the gîte or perhaps in your own time, either around the big family table in the kitchen or out on the terrace.

Lunch is taken at a leisurely pace to allow time for a rest and some relaxation for both you and your horse before the afternoon ride. It may be served on the terrace or, should you be out riding at lunchtime, it is provided 'en route' in the style of a delicious picnic featuring local foods and wines. The horses also enjoy their own picnic as the sites are chosen so that they may be temporarily fenced off - this allows the horses to have a roll and be fed and watered at their own leisure. Lunch is delivered to the sites by a 4x4 and trailer and chairs, a table and cloth etc. are all brought along. Should the group ride to a restaurant for lunch to enjoy a change, the cost will be covered.

When you return from your day of riding, you are provided with cold drinks and snacks. In the evening, a sumptuous four course dinner with wine is served to bring your day to the perfect end.

 

Activities

For the non-riders or those who want a break from the saddle, there are several available activities. These include mountain biking, fishing, golf, walking and visits to the beautiful surrounding villages.

The pool allows for a gentle swim and those interested may also enjoy watching the variety of local wildlife such as deer, wild boar, red squirrel, hares, buzzards and kites.

 

Further Details

Languages: English and French.

Health requirements: General good health and fitness.

Age limit: None within reason.

Tuition: Tuition with a qualified instructor can be arranged with prior notice.

Included: Accommodation, all food and drink (inc. soft drinks, wines and beers) and all riding. Should the group ride to a restaurant for lunch, the cost will be covered. As a reduction for non-riders is offered, the cost of entry fees to visitor attractions etc is not included.

Not included: Flights. Entry fees to visitor attractions etc for non-riders. Transfers from Toulouse or Rodez airport are available at an additional cost: Toulouse is £150.00 return up to a party of four. Rodez is £50 return for a party of up to four.

 

Travel Information

Airport transfers are available with prices as below - costs should be paid direct in Euro. The nearest airport is Rodez and most guests fly here or to Toulouse. Train station transfers are also possible - Capdenac is the nearest station (just 10 minutes away) and transfers from/to Capdenac is free.

APPROXIMATE AIRPORT TRANSFER PRICES:
From Toulouse: £100 return fare per car (1 - 4 people). Earliest pick-up at 09:30, latest pick-up at 20:30.
From Rodez: £50 return fare per car (1 - 4 people).
From Brive: £100 return fare per car (1 - 4 people).
From Limoges: £200 return fare per car (1 - 4 people).

Popular flights from the UK:
Ryanair:
London Stansted - Rodez
London Stansted - Brive
East Midlands - Limoges

EasyJet:
Bristol - Toulouse
London Gatwick - Toulouse
British Airways:
London Heathrow - Toulouse

Air France:
London City - Brive
Jet2:
Manchester - Toulouse

Airport: Rodez

Alternative Airport: Toulouse

 

Programmes


Based Programme



A destination that is not to be missed! The riding here is fantastic and they have horses for all abilities and personalities. The terrain is interesting and fun for the experienced rider or beneficial to the novice rider as it helps to find a more balanced and secure seat.

You will enjoy seeing a lot of the stunning countryside, local culture, farms and charming villages on horseback but should you prefer sightseeing, visiting local places of interest or just a change one day, this is offered as well.

The time spent riding here can be catered to suit the guests but a typical day is as follows:

The group may ride for between two or three hours in the morning, exploring the stunning Aveyronese countryside and wandering through the forests and perhaps down into the river valley. There are opportunities for the more adventurous to have a canter along the paths or open fields before it is time for the gourmet picnic lunch, consisting of home cooked food using fresh local produce and regional wines. When the horses and riders are feeling rested and refreshed, the ride continues with enthusiasm on into the afternoon.

Rides can include a visit to their homemade cross country course, adventure rides, moonlight rides or even learning some horseball!

Tuition from a qualified instructor can also be arranged.

On one week of the year, a special Adventure Week is planned - this is for more experienced riders and includes longer day rides, a spot of orienteering and little competitions involving the Le Trec and cross country courses. Please contact us for more details.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: All abilities are provided for.
Type of ride: Based programme.
Total riding time: Up to 5 hours per day.
Departure dates: All year round with flexible dates to suit. **NB. Lot Valley is also open during the festive period; see our Christmas and New Year programme for more details

2017 Adventure week: 15-22 April
 
Pricing: 2017:

Prices are per person, per night. Generally speaking guests are asked to arrive after lunch on arrival day and to depart before lunch on departure day, though earlier and later times can be organised on request.

Adults: £165 per person, per night
Discounted 7 night stay (adults): £1090 per person
Children (under 16 years old) and non-riders: £145 per person, per night
Discounted 7 night stay (children and non-riders): £985 per person

Please note that the price is generally based around shared rooms but sometimes single rooms are available on request.

Prices include accommodation, all meals (including beer and wines) and riding. Flights and travel insurance not included.



Najac Trail



This is a great opportunity to enjoy a trail ride with these wonderful hosts in Lot Valley.  The Najac trail is a lovely ride for experienced riders happy to ride at a varied pace around the south of the Aveyron region bordering with the Tarn. The trail covers 6 days riding and covers around 180km.

Day One:  Guests arrive and will enjoy a dinner at the gite. Time to relax before the trail. 

Day Two (35km): You will set off from the stables to the beautiful Bastide town of Villeneuve, arriving in time for lunch. The afternoon trail takes you past the Alzou river through the gorges of the Aveyron. Tonight you will stay in a beautifully restored gite in the hamlet of Gaudies with panoramic views over the Pont de Vezis valley.

Day Three (26km): After a delicious breakfast, you will get your horse ready and the trail will take you down the beautiful valley of the Aveyron, winding your way southwards to enjoy a picnic adjacent to a beautiful farmhouse in Aupinhac. The afternoon's ride takes you to Les Aleils which will be your home for three nights, in a country gite, with the horses next to you in the paddock. The nearest small town is La Fouillade.

Day Four (26km): After a good night's sleep your trail will start off crossing La Serene river, and then you will enjoy one of their favourite day rides following the Banks of the Viaur river to an idyllic picnic spot where you can dabble your feet in the river. Sip a beer after some lovely canters in the Valley, with perhaps some logs or ditches to jump.

Day Five (25km): Your trail will take you once again through the Gorges du Viaur, to the small hamlet of Saint Andre de Najac where you will enjoy a wonderful typical lunch in a local restaurant. If the sun is shining you will be able to sit outside and people watch the locals.

Day Six (33km): Today you will head north to enjoy a picnic near the Moulin de las Cassanis, and then back across the Aveyron to leave the horses at the Cross. You will spend the night in Hotel Barrau in Lanuejouls. Hope that the Gratin Dauphinoise is on the menu tonight as it’s a speciality of the chef!

Day Seven (27km): Reluctantly today you will be heading back to the stables but you can still savour a last picnic at Claunhac. There will be a pretty fast special ride in the afternoon back to Mas De Clamouze. Tonight you can relax with a celebratory dinner and the horses will enjoy a well earned rest!

Day Eight: Guests depart after breakfast.

Your luggage will be transported from place to place by the backup vehicle, which will also meet you at lunchtimes. We do ask you to minimise luggage and where possible use soft sided luggage.

NB. Itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances or for improvement purposes. 



Accommodation: Rural domaine, gite, 2* hotel
Minimum group size: 6
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Intermediate riders with good trail riding experience. You will ride at all paces and cover some challenging terrain. WEIGHT LIMIT: 14 and a half stone (92kg).
Type of ride: Trail ride.
Total riding time: Approximately 5 - 6 hours per day, with a 2 hour lunch break.
Departure dates: 2017: 25 February-4 March, 30 September-7 October
 
Pricing: 2017:

£1350 per person.

Price includes airport pick up/drop off at Rodez for the flights from Stansted (Ryanair) on arrival and departure day, accommodation (twin/double basis), all meals, drinks with meals (including beer and wine) and 6 days of riding as per the itinerary.

Other airport transfers cost extra.



Belcastel Conques Trail



The Belcastel Conques trail covers around 190km of charming French countryside. During the course of this ride you will explore some of France's most enchanting villages and travel alongside four different rivers - the Alzou, the Aveyron, the Dourdou and the Lot. The route has been well-researched by the organisers so as to offer you the best of the region and follows a circuit to the east of Asprieres where they are based. The ride mainly follows the 'Grand Randonnee' paths known as GR62 and GR65, the latter of which is the famous route of the pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. The trail also passes through the Marcillac wine region where the grape harvest takes place in October. Marcillac is a red wine, 90% of which is made from the Mansois grape, featuring a hint raspberry to its flavour.

Itinerary

Day 1 (Saturday): Guests arrive in time for dinner and overnight at the main farmhouse. 

Day 2 (Sunday) - approximately 34km in the saddle: This morning you will enjoy breakfast at the farmhouse before meeting your horses and setting off towards the Bastide town of Villeneuve, your lunch spot for the day. The afternoon ride takes you past the Alzou River and through the gorges of the Aveyron where you will stay in the rather luxurious 'Domaine la Broutie' with views over the Pont de Vezis valley. Tonight's dinner is a special affair, prepared by Pascal who is a Paris-trained chef (keep your fingers crossed for the chocolate fondant!). Pascale and Barbara specialise in breeding Spanish horses. 

Day 3 (Monday) - approximately 28km in the saddle: Today's ride heads down to the Aveyron River, following on tracks through the forest, and then along the back of the GR62 path to Previnquieres. From here you continue on the GR62 route to Le Luc Haut, a charming 18th century hamlet which lies just above Belcastel. You will spend the night here in a rural auberge. 

Day 4 (Tuesday) - approximately 33km in the saddle: Today you will ride through Belcastel which is often named as one of the country's most beautiful villages. It lies at the bottom of the valley and is home to a restored castle, an ancient bridge and streets which are paved with pebbles. A real taste of old France! All morning the ride will follow along the Aveyron on the GR62B route, turning north after lunch to head for Clairvaux, via Marcillac wine country. The paths today are challenging but the views are incredible! La Fregiere is an equestrian centre where you can keep the horses for the night. Your accommodation this evening overlooks a small lake which is home to black swans and surrounded by ducks and peacocks. In October this will also be the time of the local grape harvest. 

Day 5 (Wednesday) - approximately 36km in the saddle: This morning you will ride north towards your third river, the Dourdou, and onwards to St Cyprien. You will meet up with the GR62 path again and eventually finish your day enjoying a special view of the spectacular village of Conques. This is home to the romanesque Abbey of Saint Foy and the 'Bridge of Pilgrims', both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Here you are following in the footsteps of thousands of pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela as this has been a stop-off point for them since the 11th century. Tonight you will stay in a charming hotel... watch out for the parrot! 

Day 6 (Thursday) - approximately 22km in the saddle: The riding today starts on the GR65 route and brings the privilege of riding through the stone-flagged streets of Conques, following the formal 'Chemin de Saint Jacques de Compostelle'. Then you will follow the Dourdou River up to Grand-Vabres where this river and the Lot meet and where the Midi-Pyrenees meets the Auvergne. You will ride west, at some points following the Lot, on your way to Flagnac to stay in a lovely gîte next to a château.

Day 7 (Friday) - approximately 21km in the saddle: After crossing the Lot river at Port d'Agres you will head to the area Montredon. After a last picnic you will ride south towards the farmhouse where you started, following on some paths which will be familiar to those who have ridden here before! Dinner and overnight is back at home, the trail now complete. 

Day 8 (Saturday): Departure after breakfast. 

NB. Itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances or for improvement purposes. 



Accommodation: During the trail you will stay in 2* - 3* rural auberges, gîtes and hotels.
Minimum group size: 6
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Intermediate riders with good trail riding experience. You will ride at all paces and cover some challenging terrain. WEIGHT LIMIT: 14 and a half stone (92kg).
Type of ride: Trail ride.
Total riding time: Approximately 5 - 6 hours per day, with a 2 hour lunch break.
Departure dates: 2017: 11 - 18 March, 14 - 21 October.
 
Pricing: 2017:

£1500 per person.

Price includes airport pick up/drop off at Rodez for the flights from Stansted (Ryanair) on arrival and departure day, accommodation (twin/double basis), all meals, certain drinks with meals and 6 days of riding as per the itinerary. For 4 nights you will eat dinner in a restaurant and wine will be provided with the meal, but you may want a little extra money for extra wine or drinks from the bar during the course of the meal. For other meals (provided by the ride organisers), beer and wine will be provided, as will drinks after riding and also aperitifs/nightcaps.

Other airport transfers cost extra.



Mini Trail



Day One: Arrive at the farm and enjoy dinner with your hosts.

Day Two: After breakfast, meet the horses and set out riding east alongside the Riou river, through woods and past the beautiful Mill La Bastidie. Ride up to a superb view point at Millagues and stop for a picnic lunch. Then turn downhill, overlooking the Lot river and with amazing views until reaching Flagnac which is your home for the next three nights.

Day Three: Set off riding through the pretty village of Flagnac and then along the ridges overlooking St Parthem and the Lot valley. Drop down through forests to a picnic in the charming hamlet of La Roux where you rest in a field by the river bank where the horses graze around you. After lunch there is a lovely 3km canter back to the gite.

Day Four: Set off to the north and cross the Lot river by the bridge at Port d'Agres. Your ride passes through fields with views of Montredon which is perched on top of a hill. Continue through the forest, with plenty of opportunities to canter, until reaching the banks of the river Cele and on up to La Domerguie where you stop for a picnic. The owners here breed Arab horses and will join you in the afternoon to show you quiet paths which are not marked on maps.

Day Five: Head back to Mas de Clamouze via the beautiful woods and paths of the JVC ride - a route which will be familiar to those who have ridden here before! Paddle the horses in the Lot river and stop for a picnic lunch. It's a fast ride home as the horses know where they are going! Celebrate with a drink on the terrace followed by dinner and a drop of fizz.

Day Six: Depart after breakfast for the airport.

Your luggage will be transported from place to place by the backup vehicle, which will also meet you at lunchtimes. We do ask you to minimise luggage and where possible use soft sided luggage.

NB. Itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances or for improvement purposes.



Accommodation: You spend the first and last night at the farm (Mas de Clamouze) and three nights in a beautiful country gite which sleeps 15 people in 7 rooms. There are 2 bathrooms and 2 seperate toilets. The gite has an open plan kitchen diner, with terraces at the front and back, surrounded by fields where you can watch the horses graze. There are outside tables for dining in fine weather.
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: You should be an intermediate rider with plenty of experience riding outdoors (hacking). Riding is on varied terrain in open countryside and there are plenty of canters.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 6 days / 5 nights / 4 days riding - 5-6 hours per day
Departure dates: 2017: 6-11 April
(Extra dates may be possible for groups - please enquire)
 
Pricing: 2017:

£950 per person
No single supplement (subject to availability)

Price includes airport pick up/drop off at Brive or Toulouse on arrival and departure days, accommodation, all meals, drinks with meals (including beer and wine) and 4 days of riding as per the itinerary.

Other airport transfers cost extra.