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Bordeaux Wines

Overview

These rides take place in the wonderful Bordeaux region of France and are exceptional riding experiences. Not only will you enjoy the company of great horses but you will explore the most famous wine lands in the world, crossing prestigious vineyards including the Médoc, Côtes de Blaye, Côtes de Bo…

Highlights

  • Explore the world famous wine lands on horseback
  • Canter through landscapes of forests and vineyards
  • Ride through the Dordogne valley and past castles
  • Stop for wine tastings such as Saint Emilion & Medoc
  • Enjoy glorious lunchtime picnics of cold meats & cheese

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 10 riders per group
  • Average of 4 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90kg / 198lbs / 14st 3lbs

Description

These rides take place in the wonderful Bordeaux region of France and are exceptional riding experiences. Not only will you enjoy the company of great horses but you will explore the most famous wine lands in the world, crossing prestigious vineyards including the Médoc, Côtes de Blaye, Côtes de Bourg, Fronsac, Lalande de Pomerol, St Emilion, l'Entre deux mers, Premières Côtes de Bordeaux, Graves and Sauternes.

There are two itineraries, which both visit Moulis en Medoc.

The usual Great Bordeaux Wines Trail takes you to some beautiful areas of historical and cultural interest such as the Citadelle de Blaye, built in the 18th century by Vauban, the medieval city of St Emilion, the abbey of the Sauve Majeur and the fortified town of Cadillac dating from the 13th century.

The Medoc Beaches Trail takes you through the vast Landes pine forests to the Gironde estuary and the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. You'll pass a succession of lakes (Hourtin, Carcans, Lacanau) and ride across the marsh areas of the lower Medoc as well as the long straight beaches which are perfect for canters (tides permitting).

The ride organisers are responsible for a number of fascinating horseback tours across France and use their own herd of horses for the different trails, transporting them to the different starting points of the rides. You will always be accompanied by a certified guide and, if necessary, a translator.

Horses & Riding

Tack

You will ride in comfortable trail saddles during these trips. Saddlebags are provided to keep personal belongings in during the day. All the horses are ridden in English style bridles with "myler" type bits.

Horses

The ride organisers have a lovely mixed stable of horses including paints, Arabian, Thoroughbred and French warmbloods (both pure and cross-bred). Many of the horses used on these rides have been selectively bred by your guides and hosts for the task. The horses live out in a large herd together during the down season and are well-mannered and well-rounded in their education.

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Great Bordeaux Wine Trail is a trail ride

Ages

16+ for trails.

Health

Riders should be fit and comfortable in the saddle for long hours. Canters may last several minutes at a time and you will be asked to ride in a light/forward seat, throughout.

Weight

90kg / 198lbs / 14st 3lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

Full board meals are included. Dinners are in a traditional French regional style taken in restaurants and hotels along the route. Picnic lunches tend to be buffets involving cuts of cold meats, cheese and various mixed salads (including local wine). Breakfasts are continental style.

Please note that appetisers and drinks are not included with dinners.

Drinking water will be provided during the riding days, but guests are asked to bring their own refillable water bottles as individual disposable plastic bottles will not be available.

Accommodation

You will stay at various hotels and B&Bs during this trip. Price is based around sharing a double or twin room, though single rooms are available for a supplement. Nearly always there are bathrooms joined onto the bedrooms.

Itineraries

Great Bordeaux Wine Trail Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

During the ride you will enjoy cultural visits and wine tasting.

Travel

A set time airport transfer is available from and to Bordeaux airport. Riders meet at Bordeaux airport Hall B, near the snack bar “Brioche Dorée” strictly at 6.30pm. Those arriving in Bordeaux by train will need to take a shuttle to the airport in time for the transfer.

On departure day there is a group transfer back to Bordeaux airport and you will arrive there by 11am at the latest.

The cost for transfer is paid locally on arrival (see individual itinerary). Please note that no alternative transfers will be offered.

Testimonials

Katy S., Nov. 1, 2022

A fantastic Experience - a wonderful riding trail through magnificent French vineyards, sampling delightful wines in beautiful chateaus. (A real highlight) riding into St Emilion - the day was fabulous! The ride, wine tasting, and visit to St Emillion - we had amazing weather too! Lovely forward horses - knew their job (& enjoyed it!) but had personality and their own minds!


Lisa H., Oct. 25, 2022

The whole experience - Perfect


Andrea P., Jan. 25, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was a great experience. The holiday was both exhilarating at times and relaxing at others. It was a great way to build riding confidence and meet new people. The food was very good and the accommodation comfortable. One guesthouse was 'unique' with dated decor, however, it was very French and the owner was delightful - no criticism. I was very happy with my horse which I think was matched perfectly to me. I had great confidence in him. Tack was good and I was very pleased with the rain poncho and water bottle in the saddle bag. (Favourite memory?) There are many:- cantering through the vineyards; riding through the streets of St. Emilion, but also the good food and French hospitality and taking the horses on the ferry.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

Arrival at Bordeaux airport for the set time transfers strictly by 6.00 pm. You will be driven to the Chambres d'Hotes en Vigne in Ruch for your first dinner and overnight. If arriving into Bordeaux train station then you should take the shuttle to the airport (30mins) to meet the transfer there.

NB. Please note that this itinerary sometimes runs in reverse, starting in Molis and ending in Ruch.

Day 2

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

After breakfast you meet the horses and set out riding through the Entre-deux-Mers region with its varied hilly, wooded landscapes and beautiful vineyards. Pass the 13th century Chateau de Rauzan before arriving at your picnic spot. In the afternoon, continue riding through the Bordeaux vineyards, returning to Chateau du Courros (Bordeaux Superieur) for a tasting. Built on the grounds of a pre-6th-century religious community dedicated to Saint Vincent (said to be the patron saint of winegrowers), Chateau du Courros lies a few kilometers south of St. Emilion.

Dinner and overnight for a second night in Ruch.

Day 3

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today you head along the Dordogne to Merlande, passing through vineyards to reach St. Emilion in time for lunch. You'll see Chateau de Pavie (Premier Grande Cru classe A) before taking your picnic at Chateau Franc-Mayne (Grand Cru Classe). Backing onto the slope of Franc, from which it takes its name, the chateau boasts 7 hectares of vines. The ancient Gallo-Roman road runs alongside the vineyard and an old coaching inn bears witness to the passage of pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Tasting and discovery of the 2 hectare underground cellars. In the afternoon, take in the famous estates of Chateau Petrus, Cheval Blanc and Chateau Figeac before arriving in the Pomerol appellation where you leave the horses.

Dinner and overnight in a hotel.

Day 4

Riding: 3 hours

The morning is free for you to enjoy Saint Emilion. This unusual medieval town opens its doors all year round to adventurers, wine lovers and the simply curious. A city steeped in history and perched on a rocky promontory, Saint Emilion and its vineyards draw their originality from the limestone that has shaped their identity. This is evidenced by the 200km of underground galleries that provided the limestone needed for the construction of many of the regions buildings, including Bordeaux. Picnic where you left the horses yesterday (on the Chateau Le Gay property) and in the afternoon ride through vineyards interspersed with small woods to reach Chateau Mayne-Veil (Fronsac) where you leave the horses.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Libourne.

Day 5

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Todays ride heads for Mouillac through varied landscapes of vineyards, meadows and forests. Picnic at Mouillac's little Romanesque church, where you'll have time to find the canonic dials. Continue to Cubnezais - the landscape here is divided between the vineyards of the Blaye-Cotes de Bordeaux appellation and the forests of pines and hardwoods. At the end of the day you leave the horses at Domaine de la Gravette and overnight at a B&B in Civrac de Blaye.

Day 6

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Ride through the rolling hills of the Cotes de Bourg stopping for a picnic and tasting at Chateau Lamothe (Cote de Bourg). Departure around 3pm for the Citadelle de Blaye where you enter the 18th century Vauban citadel on horseback. With its 1.5km of ramparts, gates and underground passageways the citadel has preserved intact the defensive system designed by Vauban, as well as the buildings necessary for the proper functioning of a garrison: former convent, prison, barracks and powder magazine.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Blaye.

Day 7

Riding: 3 hours

After breakfast, cross the Gironde on the ferry with your horses to reach Lamarque and the Medoc (40min). Then ride through the Medoc vineyards to your picnic at Moulis en Medoc. Here you say farewell to the horses. The afternoon is at leisure with a tasting at Chateau Maslescasse (Haut Medoc). Located in Lamarque, between Margaux and Saint-Julien, Chateau Malescasse was built in 1824 in the purest neo-classical style.

Dinner and overnight in a B&B in Moulis en Medoc.

NB. Please note that this itinerary sometimes runs in reverse, starting in Molis and ending in Ruch.

Day 8

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast, it's time for your transfer back to the Bordeaux airport. There will be one group transfer today with no possibility for later transport. If you are departing by train then you should take the shuttle (30mins) from the airport to the train station.

* Please note that this itinerary may run in reverse!

Experience Experienced

You need to be capable in all four paces (walk, rising trot, canter and gallop in a forward seat) across varied terrain in open spaces. You should ride regularly and be fit to canter for long distances, with soft hands. You should also be a confident rider. Those who are assessed to not have the required level for the ride may be asked to stop riding and will be charged additionally (c 300€ euros) for the transport of your horse back to base. No refunds will be given in this case.

Minimum group size 5
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

Sept. 28, 2024 - Oct. 5, 2024  (Ruch - Moulis)

Oct. 6, 2024 - Oct. 13, 2024  (Reverse Trail (Moulis - Ruch))

Oct. 19, 2024 - Oct. 26, 2024  (Ruch - Moulis)

Oct. 27, 2024 - Nov. 3, 2024  (Reverse Trail (Moulis - Ruch))

April 20, 2025 - April 27, 2025  (private group)

May 3, 2025 - May 10, 2025  (Ruch - Moulis)

May 11, 2025 - May 18, 2025  (Reverse Trail (Moulis - Ruch))

Oct. 11, 2025 - Oct. 18, 2025  (Ruch - Moulis)

Oct. 19, 2025 - Oct. 26, 2025  (Reverse Trail (Moulis - Ruch))

Pricing

2024
Sharing
£1920 $2495 €2285
2025
Sharing
£2140 $2775 €2545
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, wine with lunches and 6 days of riding as per the itinerary.
Not included Flights, train tickets, personal travel insurance, group set-time transfers, drinks in hotels and restaurants, entrance fees to museums and castles, tips and personal expenses. The wine tastings will also require guests to pay a small fee to take part. The cost for these totals approx. 30€ (EUR) per person.

Extras

2024 - Bordeaux Airport Transfer €20
Paid locally
Set time return transfers, payable locally.
2025 - Single Supplement £385 $500 €460
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable by anyone requiring a single room.
2024 - Single Supplement £370 $480 €440
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable by anyone requiring a single room.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.