Gascogny riding holiday in France - Far and Ride
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Gascogny, France





Horses



Type of horses:

Paint, Arabian, Thoroughbred and warmbloods (both pure and cross-bred)

Nature of horses:

Robust, good natured, calm and confident.

Height of horses:

15 - 16.3hh

Weight limit:

100kg / 220lbs

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

In the heart of Armagnac, Gascogny was a region dear to the heart of King Henri IV. Essentially situated in the department of Gers, its vineyards extend to Albret (south of Lot and Garonne) and into a portion of Le Landes. Gascony enjoys a pleasant climate and is mainly agricultural with fields of crops, rolling hills and a variety of rivers. There are around 50 historical bastides (fortified) towns, some dating to the 13th century, within this region, including Tenareze, Bas-Armagnac and Haut-Armagnac. These bastide towns and villages which dot the area take you back to times gone by and riders will see some fascinating architecture during their holiday, ranging from impressive châteaux and fortresses to traditional stone farmhouses. It is said that "Armagnac happiness is in the meadows"; the Landes forests and rolling terrain of l'Albret offer some amazingly diverse trails to explore on horseback.

Your guide on these rides will be David Delbourg, a seasoned French trail guide. David has been leading horseback tours in France for over 15 years, as well as in a wide range of other destinations such as in Argentina, Canada and Morocco. He also trains apprentices for the challenging Equestrian Tourism qualification in France. He is always accompanied by a second guide who will usually ride at the back of the group.

If you love France. French food and wine, as well as the opportunity to discover a part of history then this is a wonderful experience for you.

See Programmes.

 

Food & 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.

Breakfasts are always taken at your hotel/B&B.
Lunches are picnics out on the trail - you are usually met by the backup vehicle who brings fresh picnics to you.

Dinners are in local restaurants - sometimes these are restaurants within the hotels, or sometimes stand-alone restaurants.

 

Activities

There are some visits to chateau, fortified villages and a wine tasting as part of the route. The trail is not suitable for non-riders.

 

Further Details

Languages: French and English

Health requirements: None specific

Age limit: None specific. Older children can be accommodated if they are competent, experienced riders, travelling with their parents and capable of riding a large horse (there are no ponies available).

Tuition: No

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

Not included: Flights and travel expenses, travel insurance, group set-time transfers, other drinks or snacks, tips

 

Travel Information

The train system in France is particularly good and reliable. Transfers are available from the train stations at Agen.

There is a group set-time transfer from the station late in the afternoon on arrival day and then a group transfer on departure day as well (usually departing at approx. 9 am).

The cost for transfer is 20€ per person, return fare, paid on arrival. Please note that no alternative transfers will be offered.

If you prefer to drive or hire a car then we can provide driving directions.

Airport: Bordeaux

Alternative Airport: Toulouse

 

Programme


In the Hoofprints of Henri IV and the Musketeers



Explore this region of Armagnac and discover its welcoming culture and traditional gastronomy on this circular horseback trail from l'Auvignon.

Day One:

Transfer from the train station in Agen in the late afternoon (payable locally) and arrive at your guesthouse. Meet your guide and the rest of the group at dinner.

Day Two:

After breakfast you meet your horses and set off riding. Leave the valley of l'Auvignon behind and climb the hills of d'Espiens to the vineyards of Gueyze (trade name of Buzet), which dominated the valley of the Garonne. Stop for a picnic lunch. In the afternoon you stop at the Chateau de Salles for a wine tasting of Buzet wines before visiting Vianne, a magnificent fortified village of the 13th century. Dinner and overnight in a guesthouse.

Day Three:

Ride through the vineyards of Buzet and the oak woodlands of Xaintrailles to arrive at Chateau d'Ambrus. Stop for lunch at its highly rated and charming church. In the afternoon, cross the Landes forest to Lac de la Lague at Fargues/Ourbise. Dinner and overnight in a guesthouse.

Day Four:

Another day of riding through the Landes forest takes you to the banks of the Gelise river for your picnic lunch. Pass the Chateau de Lisse before descending to Mezin, a small fortified village dating to the 13th century. Dinner and overnight in a guesthouse.

Day Five:

Ride by Mezin and through the forest to the village of Poudenas and its chateau overhanging the valley of Gelise. On a clear day you can see the Pyrenees mountain chain from here. Descend into the valley of Fources for your picnic lunch near the only known circular bastide. In the afternoon you ride to the village of Montreal. Dinner and overnight in a guesthouse.

Day Six:

Follow the pathway of Saint Jacques de Compostella to the village of Larresingle, the site of a chateau, fortified church and your picnic lunch. Later ride to Moncrabeau, the 'village des Menteurs' on the banks of the Baise river. Dinner and overnight in a hotel.

Day Seven:

Having crossed the fertile hills of l'Albret, where sunflowers, corn, melons, grapevines and more, grwo on this very hilly terrain, you reach the small village of Calignac for your lunch at the Chateau of Cazal du Bosc. In the afternoon, descend into the valley of l'Auvignon where you follow the little river until arriving in Moulin de Berguefave. Dinner and overnight in a guesthouse.

Day Eight:

After breakfast you are transferred to the train station.



Accommodation: Night 1: Chateau Saint Loup
Nights 2 & 3: Le Pavillon du Moulin a Lavardac
Night 4: Le Relais de Gascogne a Mezin
Night 5: La Ferme de Couloume
Nights 6 & 7: Hotel Henri IV
Minimum group size: 5
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Intermediate and above, capable of riding at all paces.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 7 nights / 6 days riding
Departure dates: 2019: 4-11 May
 
Pricing: 2019:

£1420 per person sharing

Single supplement: £314

Transfers are an additional 20 euro return to be paid locally.