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Brittany and Normandy

Overview

The Northwest coast of France is full of history, culture and natural landscapes. Endless long coastal sections are characterised by beautiful beaches, charming villages and dramatic cliffs. During these trails you will discover two of the most famous regions of this corner of France; Brittany and …

Highlights

  • Explore the history, culture and landscape on horseback
  • Enjoy plenty of long canters and along the coast
  • Watch for a myriad of sea birds on the cliffs
  • Toast the setting sun with a glass of local cider
  • Dine on local specialities such as crepes & seafood

Essential Facts

  • 2 itineraries available
  • Max 12 riders per group
  • Average of 5 - 6 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 95kg / 210 lbs / 15 stone

Description

The Northwest coast of France is full of history, culture and natural landscapes. Endless long coastal sections are characterised by beautiful beaches, charming villages and dramatic cliffs. During these trails you will discover two of the most famous regions of this corner of France; Brittany and Normandy. These iconic regions are well reputed for their fantastic food and drink culture, including fine cheese, butter, orchard fruits, cider, calvados, crepes, a host of pastries and a veritable symphony of seafood including the famous oysters of the salt fed marshes surrounding Mont Sant Michel. Alongside all this, you will discover charming French towns and historic villages complete with cobbled streets, cosy back alleys and ample little markets, as well as the beautiful weather, sandy beaches and stunning countryside for lovers of the outdoors and nature. Both regions are also well-known for the part they played during the war and relics of the great, pivotal battles fought on these shores can still be found today.

During these rides, you will be led by partners Jean and Amelie, both competent horse-people with years of experience in the field of competitive horse riding and equestrian tourism. Jean is a qualified equestrian "guide de Tourism" but holds the majority of his early riding experience in the sport of TREC, for which he has won many world titles over the years. He believes that horses who have good basic training in the discipline of TREC also make phenomenal trail horses as they are intelligent, adaptable, brave and trustworthy. Amelie is also a qualified equestrian guide and has worked for several years in the industry. She brings her passion for horses and great knowledge of their care with her.

Jean and Amelie offer two trails in these regions, one in Normandy and one in Brittany, which run just once a year and are usually back-to-back. Adventurous individuals may choose to book both trails for an incredible two-week discovery of these regions.

Horses & Riding

Tack

The horses are ridden in endurance or trail saddles which are lighter and more comfortable for long days in the saddle. Bridles are simple leather English style, or lightweight synthetic endurance ones and feature either a traditional bit (snaffle, gag, etc) or are bitless, with a setup similar to a hackamore.

Horses

The horses are predominantly Anglo Arabs and part-bred Arabs. They are all endurance-trained and are, therefore, incredibly fit for the purpose of these long-distance rides. Their incredible stamina coupled with their level-headedness and comprehensive training means that you are guaranteed to experience a truly pleasurable ride with plenty of long canters and easy gallops, rarely found anywhere else in the world. When they are not taking part in these trails through Normandy and Brittany, the horses are stabled at Jean and Amelie's home stables in Morvan - from where the pair operate a further trail. The horses will be transported from the stables to the start point of the trail prior to your arrival for the ride.

Riding

There are 2 itineraries:

  • Brittany - The Coasts of Armor is a trail ride
  • Normandy Coast to Mont Saint Michel is a trail ride

Ages

18 years or older

Health

General good health and fitness

Weight

95kg / 210 lbs / 15 stone

Food & Accommodation

Food

Typical French cuisine including local specialities.

Breakfast is usually tea/ coffee with fresh bread and jams.
Lunch is a picnic of typical French produce such as breads, cheese and salads.
Dinner is a three course affair and includes local highlights such as seafood.

Drinks are included with lunch but are payable locally in the evenings.

Accommodation

You stay in a mixture of rural hotels and quaint, cosy guesthouses in double/twin rooms.

Single rooms are possible on most nights on payment of a supplement, but on one night you must be prepared to share.

Depending on group sizes you may be split between two neighbouring hotels/inns.

Itineraries

Brittany - The Coasts of Armor Standard accommodation.

Normandy Coast to Mont Saint Michel Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

Non-riders are welcome but would need their own car to explore the area whilst you are riding.

Travel

If travelling from the UK then you may find it easier to arrive by ferry than plane for these rides, particularly if you have non-riders in your group who may wish to have a car to explore the area.

The Normandy ride starts from Cherbourg and ends at Caen, which are both ferry ports. The Brittany ride starts from Saint Malo and ends at Saint Brieuc, which is only a short drive from Saint Malo ferry port.

The small regional airport of Rennes is the closest airport if you wish to fly, and transfers are possible for the Brittany ride.

However, the best option for long-haul travellers is to fly to Paris and take a train from there.
Normandy: arrival train station is Cherbourg and departure station is Caen.
Brittany: arrival train station is Saint Malo; departure station is Saint Brieux

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

Transfer at 7pm from Saint Malo train station to Saint Samson sur Rance, a beautiful village situated on the river Rance. If self-driving then you can arrive from 4pm to explore a little. Dinner with your group and guide to discuss the upcoming adventure.

Day 2

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Meet your horse and set off along the river Rance which meanders through the landscape. Stop for a typical French picnic lunch in an idyllic spot before continuing to ride north in the afternoon. Your destination is Pleslin Trigavou where you can celebrate your first day of riding with a glass of cider.

Riding c. 35km

Day 3

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

This morning you transfer to the seaside resort of Saint Cast le Guildo to ride along the Breton coast. By the afternoon you will have reached the charming hotel Matignon near the harbour. Here you will enjoy a typical Breton meal such as fish/seafood as well as galettes and crepes, with another local glass of cider.

Riding c. 39km

Day 4

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

On today's ride you get to experience the rugged nature of Cap Frehel - this headland on the Cote de Emeraude is the northernmost point of the promontory which juts out into the Gulf of Saint-Malo. Admire the different coloured cliffs of reddish sandstone, black slate and pink-coloured granite. These cliffs slope steeply to a height of 70m and are a natural spectacle - in spring countless flowers such as wild hyacinths, daffodils and carnations bloom in the meadows on top. Cap Frehel is also a bird sanctuary and home to many breeding birds such as herring gulls, oystercatchers, kittiwakes, puffins and fulmars. Two lighthouses complete the picture. You'll enjoy many fast canters on your horse before you reach the coastal town of Erquy to overnight in a comfortable gite - there are fine sandy beaches which invite you to walk and stretch your muscles. 

Riding c. 35km

Day 5

Riding: 6 - 7 hours

The sea is your constant companion today as you ride along the coast to reach the village of Hillion in the bay of Saint Brieuc. In this partially declared nature conservation bay you should find many species of birds and a diverse fauna. Dinner and overnight at the Hotel au Bon Saint Nicolas.

Riding c. 42km

Day 6

Riding: 6 hours

If the tides are in your favour then you can ride through the bay of Saint Brieuc. Even your horses enjoy the gallops through this coastal landscape! Eventually you reach the coastal town of Binic with its harbour where you can watch cormorants. Overnight at Brit Hotel Galion.

Riding c. 40km

Day 7

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

A fast morning of riding, both inland and along the coast until stopping for a celebratory traditional French lunch with wine. Your afternoon ride takes you to the charming town of Lanloup with its long history. Here you leave your horses and say your goodbyes. 

Transfer to Saint Brieux train station, or you can choose to add an extra night to depart more leisurely in the morning. 

Riding c. 35km

Experience Experienced

Riders should be comfortable and experienced in all paces, over varied terrain, with an independent seat and hands. You should be riding fit for some long trots and canters.

Minimum group size 8
Maximum group size 12
Departure windows

July 2, 2022 - July 8, 2022

Pricing

2022
Rider; Sharing
£1430 $1980 €1700
Included 6 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on arrival day to lunch on departure day, drinks with breakfast and lunch, 6 days of riding, set time transfers from Saint Malo.
Not included Flights, train tickets, personal travel insurance, drinks with dinners, tips and personal expenses

Extras

2021 - Extra Night (at the end of the ride) £67 $93 €80
Paid to Far and Ride
Based on shared twin/double rooms, with breakfast only.
2021 - Single Supplement £250 $345 €300
Paid to Far and Ride
* Please note that there is one night with no single room option and so you must be willing to share.
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.

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

You'll be collected from Cherbourg at 7pm and transferred to your accommodation where you'll have dinner with your group and guide to chat about the coming week's adventure.

Day 2

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Meet your horse and set off riding along the north-eastern coast between Cosqueville and Reville. You'll pass rocky coastlines and white beaches, the headland of Barfleur and the ports of Flicmare and Crabec before reaching the small and shallow Bay of Brevy. Lunch will be taken at a scenic spot beside the sea before continuing to Reville where the horses stay at stables whilst you transfer to the Hotel Au Moyne de Saire for dinner and to overnight.

Riding c. 28km

Day 3

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

After breakfast set off on horseback to discover more beautiful landscapes and typical Norman villages as the follow the eastern coast of Cotentin. Enjoy the sandy beach and the tip of Saire and Cul du Loup which is famous for shellfish and continue through forests and along rocky shores to discover little-known areas of Normandy. Overnight at the inn Chez Bouguillon or nearby hotel in Saint Martin de Audouville. Fresh seafood is the order the day - a real treat.

Riding c. 30km

Day 4

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

A memorable day as you ride along the Allied landing beaches of the east coast. When the tides allow you can gallop on the beach and feel the wind in your hair! This is where local trotters are trained for their races. At the end of the day you are transferred for about 50 mins to the western coast of Cotentin to overnight in Montchaton and the inn and neighbouring hotel. 

Riding c. 35km

Day 5

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Today's ride takes you from Montchaton to Brehal on the west coast, along a varied coastal landscape which includes les Salines de la Vanlee with its harbour and the beach of Hauteville. Dinner and overnight in La Lande.

Riding c. 35km

Day 6

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Follow white coastlines and the typical landscape of northwest France to reach Saint Jean le Thomas. Accommodation is in either Hotel Des Bains or La Villa des Dunes by the sea.

Riding c. 35km

Day 7

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

Depending on tide times you may have an early start today so that you can cross the bay to Mont Saint Michel! Enjoy a gallop against the backdrop of Mont Saint Michel on which lies the Abbey of the same name, which was inhabited by Benedictines until the 1960's. The mount is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Wadden Sea of Normandy. Ride back to Vains where you have a farewell lunch and say goodbye to your horses. 

Transfer to Caen train station or stay an extra night to depart at leisure in the morning.

Experience Experienced

Riders should be comfortable and experienced in all paces, over varied terrain, with an independent seat and hands. You should be riding fit for some long trots and canters.

Minimum group size 8
Maximum group size 12
Departure windows

July 10, 2022 - July 16, 2022

Pricing

2022
Per person, sharing
£1430 $1980 €1700
Included 6 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on arrival day to lunch on departure day, drinks with breakfast and lunch, 6 days of riding, set time transfers from Cherbourg port on arrival and to Caen station on departure.
Not included Flights, train tickets, personal travel insurance, drinks with dinners, tips and personal expenses

Extras

2022 - Extra Night (at the end of the ride) £67 $93 €80 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Based on shared twin/double rooms, with breakfast only.
2022 - Single Supplement £250 $345 €300
Paid to Far and Ride
* Please note that there is one night with no single room option and so you must be willing to share.
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.