Dordogne-Perigord riding holiday in France - Far and Ride
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Dordogne-Perigord, France




Programmes


• Purple Perigord

 

Horses



Type of horses:

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

Nature of horses:

Robust, good-natured, calm and confident.

Height of horses:

15 - 16.3 hh

Weight limit:

95kg / 209lbs

Tack type:

Comfortable trail saddles. All horses are ridden in simple bridles with "myler" type bits.

 

Travel Advice



Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.
 

Ride Description

The Perigord region is the most visited area of the Dordogne. Named after the black oak forests which are spread across the valleys of Vezere and Dordogne, the area is rich in beautiful villages, magnificent castles and impressive cave systems.

Some of the most well-known villages and castles in France are contained within this area. Along the Dordogne are the picturesque villages of Beynac, Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, La Roque Gageac, Domme and Sarlat. A little further south is the most beautiful village of Belves. Along this same stretch of river are the magnificent castles of Beynac, Castelnaud and les Milandes, as well the caves at Domme, and the troglodyte dwellings under the main square of Belves.

There are so many fascinating sights to discover both on horseback and on foot. Riding horses between these villages and castles enables you to step back in time and follow medieval tracks and forest pathways as you are seduced by the landscapes and history of the area.

The Perigord is also famous for it's culinary delights, particularly duck and goose products such as confit de canard and foie gras, as well as the infamous black truffles. Both red and white Bergerac and Monbazillac wines are produced in the region, so lovers of both food and wine will not be disappointed! Visits to two well-known restaurants are included in the itinerary to allow connoisseurs to sample these local delicacies.

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.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

You will stay in a mixture of B&B's and small local hotels during these trails. These are a mixture of typical local Auberge and gite, as well as small family-run hotels. The accommodations have been selected for their character, comfort and suitability to the route of the trail.

Breakfasts are always taken at your hotel/B&B and will usually be simple continental style meals, with a choice of bread (sometimes croissant), cheese, cold meats, jams or preserves, fruit and yoghurt.

Lunches are full and tasty picnics out on the trail. You are usually met by the back-up vehicle who brings fresh picnics to you at a set table. The meals may include, bread and cuts of cold meats and cheeses, flans, salads, etc.

Dinners are in local restaurants - sometimes these are restaurants within the hotels, or sometimes stand-alone restaurants. During the week you may visit well-known restaurants serving typical dishes from this South-western area of France.

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

 

Activities

Numerous visits to castles and medieval villages and their bastides are included within the itinerary. Non-riders are welcome to join riding friends and travel in the back-up vehicle, meeting the riders at lunch stops and in the evenings, but there is no specific non-riding itinerary.

 

Further Details

Languages: English, French

Health requirements: General good health

Age limit: 16 years and older.

Tuition: No

Included: Accommodation, meals, some wine with lunches and riding.

Not included: Flights and travel expenses, travel insurance, drinks at hotels in restaurants, snacks or other services.

 

Travel Information

Set transfers are included.

The train system in France is particularly cost-effective and reliable. 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.

Airport: Bergerac

 

Programmes


Purple Perigord



A delight for the senses, this ride will take you through a variety of landscapes, past ancient Bastides, medieval villages and opulent chateau, all whilst discovering delicious regional cuisine. In the heart of the Dordogne, the Purple Perigord and Couze Valley will offer a warm welcome to traditional French life for you.

Itinerary:

Day 1:

Arrival at Bergerac train station or airport in the late afternoon, Guests who require it will be met at approx. 18:30 pm and transferred to the quaint cottages of Ferme Hermance, the home of your equestrian hosts.

Day 2:

You will begin your ride at around 10:00 am following a short presentation and assignment of your horses. This day is devoted solely to exploring the many trails that surround the home farm as you have a chance to become acquainted with your equine companion for the week. Some of the tracks will follow the famous route to "Saint Jacques de Compostelle", the French way of the Santiago de Compostella. Riding through several small medieval villages, you will have a glimpse of the traditional architecture of the Haut Agenais Périgord: dovecotes, farms, character houses dating back to the 16th century. The priory of Mesnil Saint Martin dating from the 13th century is also a great sight to behold. The structure was restored in 1980 by a religious community and is now a private dwelling. You will stop for a tasty picnic in the scenic countryside. Overnight will be back at the cottages tonight and dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 3:

After breakfast today your trail ride takes you on the woodland ridges heading to the village of Castillonnès. Perched atop its rocky spur and overlooking the green Dropt valley, Castillonnès is a formidable 13th-century bastide. After crossing through this bastide, you will reach the charming village of Eyrenville where you will stop for another tasty lunch. through the afternoon you can enjoy some long canters and gallops on the hilly paths and the limestone plateaus of the area. Finally, you will reach the village of Faux where you will leave your horses for the night.

Dinner and overnight will be at a guesthouse.

Day 4:

In the morning, you will ride across the forest to discover the Renaissance castle of Lanquais. Lanquais was constructed and expanded between the 14th and 17th centuries. The castle is nicknamed by locals "the unfinished Louvre of the Perigord" as many of its more modern features (dating from the 16th century) were constructed in the likeness of the Louvre.

Descending into the Couze valley, you will come to a small river that you will ride along until you reach the castle of Bannes. Bannes (which is now a private residence) dating from the 14th century. The castle was destroyed after the Hundred Years' War and rebuilt in the 19th century before being listed as a historic monument in 2002. You will stop for a picnic lunch in the heart of the park of this magnificent private castle. In the afternoon, you will continue your ride through the medieval village of Molières before arriving at your evening stopover in Cadouin. The Cistercian Abbey of Cadouin dates from the 11th and 12th centuries and at its heart hides a treasure in the form of its magnificent Gothic cloister.

Overnight stay in a hostel in the charming town of Cadouin.

Day 5:

Setting off this morning, you will be riding through woods and forests until you reach the village of Montferrand du Périgord where you will stop for lunch. This village, nestled in the Couze valley is located at the foot of a medieval castle. Montferrand is a charming village which has several notable and well-preserved examples of renaissance-era architecture, including a 16th-century home with a covered balcony down the full length of the property and a square pigeonnier constructed half in stone and half in timber. After lunch, you will continue your journey towards Monpazier, a 13th-century bastide town and a jewel of medieval architecture. Monpazier is classified amongst the "Most Beautiful Villages in France" and it remains the most beautiful and best-preserved of the bastides of the Southwest.

Overnight stay and dinner in a guesthouse in Monpazier.

Day 6:

Today will feature a half-day of riding, with the morning free to allow time to visit the bastide of Monpazier.

Following a tasty picnic lunch, you will mount up in the afternoon for a short ride into the neighbouring department of the Lot-et-Garonne. Here you will discover the castle of Biron, a 12th-century construction which was already classified as a Historic Monument by the 18th century. The château occupies a strategic position on top of a hill on the edge of the Périgord and the Agenais. It endured various conflicts and damage, first seized by the Cathars in 1211 and later retaken by Simon IV de Montfort, as well as being held by the Plantagenets at various times between the 14th and 15th centuries. It was eventually bought by the Dordogne department in 1978 and opened to the public.

In the evening you will arrive in Saint Avit where you will leave the horses. Overnight stay and dinner in Monpazier again tonight.

Day 7:

Following the valley of the Lède river, you will arrive at the Bastide de Monflanquin to enjoy a picnic lunch by the lake. Monflanquin is a picturesque bastide dating from the 13th century. It is perched on its "pech" in the hilly region between the departments of Agenais, Périgord and Quercy. On visiting the area, the 19th-century French writer, Stendhal, compared the rolling hills and quaint villages on hilltops to "a little Tuscany". After many canters and gallops through this undulating landscape, you will arrive in the late afternoon back at the home farm to spend the evening.

Day 8:

After breakfast, departure and transfer to the train station or airport in Bergerac.

* Please note that this is an example itinerary and riding days may be adjusted to accommodate changes in weather, security, technical criteria and other unforeseeable circumstances, at your guide's discretion.



Accommodation: 4 nights in guest rooms at the home farm, 1 night in a hostel in Cadouin and 2 nights in a guesthouse in Monpazier.
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. 3-5 hours riding per day)
Departure dates: 2020:
22-29 August
 
Pricing: 2020:

£1432 per person sharing
Single supplement: £320

Price includes 7 nights accommodation, full board meals, some wine with lunches and riding as per the itinerary.

Transfers from Bergerac airport or train station are also included approx. 06:30 pm.

Please note that prices do not include drinks in hotels and restaurants or visits and entrance fees.

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.