Day 1 - Sunday
Riding: No riding.
You are welcome to arrive at the farmhouse from 17:00 where your hosts will be ready to greet you and show you to your room. It's possible to take a short walk out to the nearby lakes, frequented by storks, before stopping in the ancient apple orchard for a welcome glass of sparkling wine. Your first gourmet dinner is served with the group, accompanied by local wines.
Day 2 - Monday
Riding: 3 hours
Your day begins with a typical French breakfast, served outside under the old walnut trees if the weather is warm enough. Fresh coffee accompanies cheeses, croissants, eggs and juice. You will collect the horses, saddle up and drive out to Westhalten in the Vallée Noble region for a ride through the 'Grand Cru' vineyards of Pfingstberg - there are beautiful views over the valley and town of Orschwihr. It is wine paradise!
In the afternoon you will ride up the peak at Bollenberg to 'Domaine Bollenberg' for an exquisite gourmet lunch, with wine included. Then it's time for your first tasting at the farm of Camille Braun down by the town - they make wonderful Riesling and Pinot Noir, don't forget to buy some to have with your dinner. Your new friends can help you choose! From the farm you'll ride back to the trailer before driving home to relax and enjoy a light dinner. Coffee and cake for dessert.
Day 3 - Tuesday
Riding: 3 hours
After another helping of croissants and delicious cheeses it's time to head back to the Vallée Noble, trailering the horses to the same start point as yesterday. Today you ride across a different valley towards the town of Pfaffenheim, arriving there after about an hour and passing by the medieval church 'Eglise Saint-Martin'. Your ride continues through vineyards to the ancient town of Gueberschwihr, taking you back in time to the Middle Ages. The horses are watered at the fountain in the old square before you follow the winding streets to the monastery of Notre-Dame du Schauenburg, founded in the 15th century and offering magnificent views of the Rhine Valley. This is today's lunch stop and drinks are included.
After lunch you will ride behind the monastery and along the 'route spiritualité' which is said to have magical powers. This leads you down through a forest, vineyard and small groves of fruit trees before you reach the mountain peak and make your way back down to Westhalten to the trailer. Along the way home you will stop at the wine farm 'Domaine Boesch' whose wines feature at several Michel-starred restaurants - here you can choose and purchase the wine to accompany your dinner tonight. On arrival back at the farm there is time for a game of pétanque, with a glass in hand, before dinner and your chosen wines.
Day 4 - Wednesday
Riding: No riding.
Today is a rest day for the horses. You will drive up to Grand Ballon (1500m) where there is a beautiful hike through the alpine terrain to reach a welcoming farm for lunch (drinks today are at your own cost). After another great meal you will drive down behind the mountain to the vineyards for a tasting with the wine farmer Marc Humbrect, a maker of world-class wines. Having enjoyed these good wines it's time to head back to the farm to relax with some pétanque, archery or perhaps just another good beverage. Dinner and overnight with dreams of tomorrow's ride.
Day 5 - Thursday
Riding: 3 - 4 hours
Another breakfast begins in this magnificent setting. After the last croissant has been eaten, you will collect the horses from down by the apple orchard, stopping to pick a few juicy apples for your horse (of course!). The horses will be saddled up and you will ride out to Chateau Ollwiller, the second oldest vineyard in France, and through the vines. This area is home to many storks. The ride today is through both forest and open country. Lunch is at the 'Ferme des Moines' restaurant (drinks at own cost), after which there is some time to relax and a visit to the church of Notre-Dame de Thierenbach. You will drive home to the farmhouse for some relaxation before dressing up a little for an evening at Restaurant Le Gare!
Le Gare is around a five minute drive from the farm and is reported to have one of France's best wine cellars - your menu has been adapted to match the wines selected by the head sommelier, concentrating on Alsatian wines. Sometimes they have vintages which can no longer be bought elsewhere! This is an unforgettable evening.
Day 6 - Friday
Riding: 2 hours
Breakfast today is a little later and is followed by a two hour ride around Le Lac Michelbach. This ride, starting directly from the farm, brings beautiful and final views of the Vosges mountains. After your ride there is time for a shower or bath before a last lunch together.
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.