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Chianti Hills

Overview

Sitting in the hills of the famous Chianti region of Tuscany, this long-established riding centre offers riding and sightseeing holidays based out of their charming farmhouse accommodation. The house lies in the middle of an organic olive farm and gives magnificent views over the valley and its pea…

Highlights

  • Vineyards, castles and Medieval villages from horseback
  • The best of Tuscan cuisine and Chianti wine
  • Charming farmhouse accommodation
  • Chances to visit Florence and Siena
  • Tastings of wine, cheese, jams and more!

Essential Facts

  • 3 itineraries available
  • Max 6 riders per group
  • Average of 3 - 4 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 86kg / 190lbs / 13st 8lbs

Description

Sitting in the hills of the famous Chianti region of Tuscany, this long-established riding centre offers riding and sightseeing holidays based out of their charming farmhouse accommodation. The house lies in the middle of an organic olive farm and gives magnificent views over the valley and its peaceful horse paddocks. The tours are designed to combine the best local sites including castles, churches, vineyards and Medieval villages, plus the chance to experience delicious and authentic Tuscan cuisine and locally produced Chianti wine. The programmes mix riding with sightseeing for those who'd love to explore Florence, Siena or Arezzo as well as tasting some local wines and cheeses. This is also a beautiful region for walking and cycling or you can take a cooking class and learn some tips to take home.

These riding holidays take you on trails through vineyards, olive groves and woodlands and there are places to trot and canter along the way, although this is not fast riding country. There is so much to see from the saddle and your hosts are happy to share their local knowledge with you. The longer tours include a free day for exploring and you will be taken to the local station to fit with your plans and picked up again before dinner.

Horses & Riding

Tack

English saddles. Seatsavers are available to borrow.

Many of the horses wear pelham or kimblewick bits so that you can ride with a very light hand, although one or two wear snaffles.

Horses

The horses are a mix of breeds, around 15hh on average but with options to suit different sizes and needs of riders. They spend most of their time out in paddocks with wooden shelters, but there are stables available too.

Riding

There are 3 itineraries:

  • Discover Valdarno is a based ride
  • Across Chianti Hills is a trail ride
  • A Taste of Tuscany on Horseback is a based ride

Ages

14+ (accompanied by an adult)

Health

General good health recommended.

Weight

86kg / 190lbs / 13st 8lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

All meals are included in these trips and you will be served authentic and delicious Tuscan fare. The riding centre lies in the middle of a small organic farm and produces its own extra-virgin olive oil, as well as having its own vegetable garden. The meals focus around local produce and Chianti wine is included with both lunches and dinners.

Breakfast includes pastries, bread, jams, tea and coffee.
Lunches may be a picnic of cold meats, cheeses, breads, olives etc or a more substantial pasta or main dish if back at the farmhouse.
Dinners always start with pasta, followed by meat and vegetables and something sweet to finish.

Accommodation

The home accommodation, used for most of the riding programmes, is a 17th century Tuscan farmhouse with many charming original features and beautiful views of the Arno Valley. There are seven guest bedrooms, all with an en-suite bathroom, and these are relatively small but well-equipped with art, books and bright bedspreads. Guests have use of the sitting room in the evenings.

During the programme 'Across Chianti Hills' guests spend some nights at the Tuscan villa I Tribbi. This is a little grander but also very charming and has a swimming pool too.

Itineraries

Discover Valdarno Standard accommodation.

Across Chianti Hills Standard accommodation.

A Taste of Tuscany on Horseback Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

Alongside the riding tours, guests here often enjoying sightseeing (especially Florence and Siena), cooking classes, walking and cycling. The owner of the farmhouse, Jenny, is a local expert in history, art and architecture, as well as the wildlife of the Tuscan countryside, and she will be happy to share her knowledge with you if she is available.

One of the village inhabitants is a hiking and e-biking guide, so this is an option for non-riding guests (additional costs and subject to availability).

Travel

Transfers are included from and to the local train stations at specific times - please ask us for the correct times for your trip. For most of the programmes, the local station is Montevarchi-Terranuovo as this is closest to the main farmhouse where the horses live.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

Arrival to Montevarchi-Terranuova station and transfer to the 400 year old farmhouse where you will be staying. There is time to settle in and enjoy a chat with a glass of Chianti Classico wine. Your dinner will be prepared by Isabella and is served with local wine.

Day 2 - Sunday

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

After breakfast you will mount up for your first ride of around two and half hours with your English-speaking guide Eraldo. The ride today takes you through vineyards, olive groves and woodlands, as well as by an 18th century villa and a 14th century church.

In the afternoon you will have a fun and informal cooking lesson with Isabella, preparing dishes such as fresh pasta, ravioli, ragu bolognese, or tiramisu - all of which you'll then sample at dinner!

Day 3 - Monday

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

After breakfast you will head out on another morning ride with breathtaking views of the Valdarno valley and frequesnt canters through the vineyards. Lunch is served at the farmhouse.

In the afternoon Eraldo will take you to visit the farm of his friend Alessandro where you will learn how pecorino cheese is made. There will be a cheese-tasting before Eraldo drives you on to Fattoria Casabianca where the owner, Aldo, produces top-quality wine and his award-winning vin santo (an Italian dessert wine/liqueur). Return to the farmhouse for dinner.

Day 4 - Tuesday

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today is your first full day ride with around five hours in the saddle. You will ride by the medieval village of San Leolini, the Castle of Cennina and a scenic lake before stopping for a picnic nearby. The way home brings you past the Castle of Lupinari and you can enjoy many canters on the way. Dinner back at the farmhouse.

Day 5 - Wednesday

Riding: No riding.

Today is a free day for you to relax or to make your own arrangements for sightseeing, although you will be dropped off at the local train station and picked up again before dinner to suit your plans. Florence is a popular choice and your hostess Jenny, who knows it well, may be available to go with you and give you a guided tour of the main sites. Alternatively you may like to visit one of the hill towns of Cortona, Assisi or Orvieto or head to Arezzo, all beautiful in their own way and easily reached with a direct train from Montevarchi.

Other activities can also be arranged such as guided hiking or e-biking with their neighbour Francesco; a workshop with Isabella to paint a personal pottery mug; a truffle hunt with a neighbour and his dog.

Dinner and overnight back at the farmhouse.

Day 6 - Thursday

Riding: 1 - 2 hours

After breakfast you visit a local street market with typical Italian food such as porchetta, cheese and fresh vegetables which will be brought back to the farmhouse for your lunch.

In the afternoon you have a short ride (1-2 hours) followed by a short walk to a local farmhouse to sample some homemade jams and visit the "Museo della Civilita Contadina" (museum of rural culture). Return to the farmhouse for dinner.

Day 7 - Friday

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today's final day ride is around five hours long and includes a stop to visit the typical medieval village of Montegonzi with a light lunch at a local "osteria". A leisurely ride back to the farmhouse in the afternoon before a farewell dinner.

Day 8 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

Breakfast is served before you take a transfer of around ten minutes back to Montevarchi station to begin your journey home.

*Please note that the itinerary may change subject to local conditions such as the grape harvest or weather events, but always with your best interests at heart.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate and above - riders must have experience at walk, trot and canter in open countryside.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 6
Departure windows

April 13, 2024 - April 20, 2024

April 20, 2024 - April 27, 2024

May 25, 2024 - June 1, 2024

Sept. 14, 2024 - Sept. 21, 2024

Oct. 19, 2024 - Oct. 26, 2024

Pricing

2024
Rider, sharing a twin or double room
£1815 $2300 €2150
2024
Non-rider, sharing a twin or double room
£1255 $1590 €1485
Included Montevarchi-Terranuova train station transfers, 7 nights of accommodation (twin/double), all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day (except lunch on free day), wine with lunches and dinners, 5 riding days (2 day rides and 3 morning rides), cookery lesson, wine and cheese tastings as described.
Not included Flights, train tickets, travel insurance (compulsory), lunch on the free day, additional drinks, tips or personal expenses.

Extras

2024 - Single Supplement £169 $210 €200
Paid to Far and Ride
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 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

Arrival to Montevarchi-Terranuova station and transfer to the 400 year old farmhouse where you will be staying. There is time to settle in and enjoy a chat with a glass of Chianti Classico wine. Your dinner will be prepared by Isabella and is served with local wine.

Day 2 - Sunday

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

After breakfast you will mount up for your first ride of around two and half hours with your English-speaking guide Eraldo. The ride today takes you through vineyards, olive groves and woodlands, as well as by an 18th century villa and a 14th century church.

After lunch and a rest, take a short walk to a local farmhouse to sample homemade jams and visit the Museo della Civilta Contadina (museum of rural culture) before heading back for dinner.

Day 3 - Monday

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

After breakfast you will have another morning ride, this time perhaps in the valley which lies east of the nearby village of Rendola. This area is home to small hamlets and traditional Tuscan farmhouses.

In the afternoon you will have a fun and informal cooking lesson with Isabella, preparing dishes such as fresh pasta, ravioli, ragu bolognese, or tiramisu - all of which you'll then sample at dinner!

Day 4 - Tuesday

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today you set off on a mini-trail with around five hours in the saddle which heads towards "I Tribbi", a beautiful country villa overlooking the neighbouring valley of Valdambra. Stop for a picnic lunch near the village of San Leolino in the Chianti hills to the south of Rendola.

Dinner and overnight at the villa I Tribbi.

Day 5 - Wednesday

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

In the morning you ride to visit the village of Montebenichi with its two restored medieval castles before heading back to I Tribbi for lunch.

Spend the afternoon relaxing at the estate, taking a dip in the swimming pool or reading in the garden. In the evening enjoy a typical Tuscan "grigliata" (BBQ) with top quality Casabianca wine made by Aldo, your host at I Tribbi.

Day 6 - Thursday

Riding: No riding.

A day of rest for the horses whilst you head to Siena for some shopping and time to discover the city at your leisure. Return to I Tribbi in the late afternoon to rest before dinner.

Day 7 - Friday

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Your final ride is a day ride back to Rendola with a picnic in the valley below the Castle of Cennina at "Podere Il Lupo". Your host Talita will treat you to samples of their wines during lunch. Mount up and ride back to Rendola in the afternoon for a farewell dinner.

Day 8 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

Breakfast is served before you take a transfer of around ten minutes back to Montevarchi station to begin your journey home.

*Please note that the itinerary may change subject to local conditions such as the grape harvest or weather events, but always with your best interests at heart.

Accommodation

Four nights at Rendola farmhouse and three nights at I Tribbi

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate and above - riders must have experience at walk, trot and canter in open countryside.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 6
Departure windows

May 18, 2024 - May 25, 2024

Sept. 21, 2024 - Sept. 28, 2024

Oct. 5, 2024 - Oct. 12, 2024

Pricing

2024
Rider, sharing a twin or double room
£2080 $2635 €2460
Included Montevarchi-Terranuova train station transfers, 7 nights of accommodation (twin/double), all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day (except lunch on free day), wine with lunches and dinners, 5 riding days (2 day rides and 3 morning or afternoon rides), cookery lesson, visit to Siena.
Not included Flights, train tickets, travel insurance (compulsory), lunch on the free day, additional drinks, tips or personal expenses.

Extras

2024 - Single Supplement £210 $265 €250
Paid to Far and Ride
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.

Arrival to Montevarchi-Terranuova station and transfer to the 400 year old farmhouse where you will be staying. There is time to settle in and enjoy a chat with a glass of Chianti Classico wine. Your dinner will be prepared by Isabella and is served with local wine.

Day 2

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

After breakfast you will mount up for your first ride of around two and half hours with your English-speaking guide Eraldo. The ride today takes you through vineyards, olive groves and woodlands, as well as by an 18th century villa and a 14th century church.

In the afternoon you will have a fun and informal cooking lesson with Isabella, preparing dishes such as fresh pasta, ravioli, ragu bolognese, or tiramisu - all of which you'll then sample at dinner!

Day 3

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

After breakfast you will have another morning ride, this time perhaps in the valley which lies east of the nearby village of Rendola. This area is home to small hamlets and traditional Tuscan farmhouses.

After lunch you visit the farm of Alessandro to discover how Tuscan pecorino cheese is made (and to taste it of course!) followed by a wine tasting at Fattoria Casabianca to sample Aldo's top quality wines and award-winning Vin Santo. Return to the farmhouse for dinner.

Day 4

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Your last ride will be a day ride with around five hours in the saddle. The route will take you into the Chianti hills south of Rendola, passing the medieval village of San Leolino, the Castle of Cenina and a pretty lake. Lunch will be a picnic along the route. The afternoon route passes the Castle of Lupinari and offers frequent canters.

Dinner back at the farmhouse.

Day 5

Riding: No riding.

Breakfast is served before you take a transfer of around ten minutes back to Montevarchi station to begin your journey home.

*Please note that the itinerary may change subject to local conditions such as the grape harvest or weather events, but always with your best interests at heart.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate and above - riders must have experience at walk, trot and canter in open countryside on a sensible horse.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 6
Departure windows

April 29, 2024 - May 3, 2024

May 13, 2024 - May 17, 2024

June 3, 2024 - June 7, 2024

Sept. 30, 2024 - Oct. 4, 2024

Oct. 15, 2024 - Oct. 19, 2024

Oct. 26, 2024 - Oct. 30, 2024

Pricing

2024
Rider, sharing a twin or double room
£1055 $1335 €1250
2024
Non-Rider, sharing
£705 $895 €835
Included Montevarchi-Terranuova train station transfers, 4 nights of accommodation (twin/double), all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, wine with lunches and dinners, 3 riding days (1 day ride and 2 morning rides), cookery lesson and cheese/wine tastings as described.
Not included Flights, train tickets, travel insurance (compulsory), additional drinks, tips or personal expenses.

Extras

2024 - Single Supplement £127 $161 €150
Paid to Far and Ride
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.