The Loire Valley comprises 800 square kilometres along the banks of the Loire River and is often referred to as the Garden of France due to its abundance of vineyards, fruit orchards and fields of artichoke and asparagus. The central part of the Loire Valley was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000 for its cultural landscape housing historic cities and villages along with great architectural monuments - its famed chateaux. There are more than 300 chateaux in the region, ranging from those built for defence in the 10th century, up to the splendour of those built half a millennium later.
Our partners for this ride base themselves in the region of Sologne where the notable chateaux within riding distance include Chambord, Villesavin, Beauregard, Chaumont sur Loire, Le Clos Luce, Chenonceau and Cheverny. Your lead guide, Ken, has competed in TREC and carriage driving, with a specialism in natural horsemanship techniques. He is also an equine physiotherapist so you can be assured of happy horses. Sophie, his partner, is responsible for the care and training of the horses and is also an instructor, TREC rider and natural horsemanship advocate. They breed many of their horses and are proud to offer multi-skilled, adaptable, well educated and respectful mounts to their guests. They breed Franches-Montagnes horses (Freiberger), which are renowned for their good temperaments but have also crossed some Arabian blood for increased stamina on long rides.
Trails are available from short weekends up to full week-long journeys. This region is not only known for its sensational architecture and magnificent scenery but is also home to delicious wine, beer, cheese and other local specialities - ride a horse, sip chilled AOC Sancerre or Cheverny wine and perhaps taste the 'Crottin de Chavignol' goats cheese in its home village!
Cyclists are also welcome to join the tours if accompanying a horse rider - we can provide bike rental, maps (paper or smartphone) and luggage transfer, following the same routes as their riding companions.