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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, olive oil, cheese and more!

Essential Facts

  • 4 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. There are holiday programmes mixing riding with sightseeing for those who'd love to explore Florence, Siena or Arezzo, or you can taste local wines, olive oils 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 style tack. Seatsavers are available to borrow.

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.

Riding

There are 4 itineraries:

  • Riding, Dining and Wine-Tasting in the Heart of Tuscany is a based ride
  • Riding, Dining and Sightseeing in the Heart of Tuscany is a based ride
  • A Taste of Tuscany on Horseback is a based ride
  • Inside a Tuscan Winery 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.

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 'Inside a Tuscan Winery' guests stay at Il Belvedere, another Tuscany country house. This is a little more modern but also very charming and has a swimming pool too.

Itineraries

Riding, Dining and Wine-Tasting in the Heart of Tuscany Standard accommodation.

Riding, Dining and Sightseeing in the Heart of Tuscany Standard accommodation.

A Taste of Tuscany on Horseback Standard accommodation.

Inside a Tuscan Winery 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.

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.

For the programme 'Inside a Tuscan Winery', the nearest station is Bucine.

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. On return to the stables you will head out together for a Sunday lunch at a local hostelry before walking back for a cup of tea.

This afternoon your host will give a fun lesson on Italian pronunciation which you can put into practice over the following days. For example you will learn that the "ch" in the Italian word 'bruschetta' is pronounced like a 'k'!

Day 3 - Monday

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

After breakfast you will head out on another morning ride in the surrounding countryside of the Chianti hills. 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).

Day 4 - Tuesday

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today is your first 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 home.

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, all beautiful in their own way and easily reached with a direct train from Montevarchi. Dinner and overnight back at the farmhouse.

Day 6 - Thursday

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

Today begins with breakfast and another beautiful morning ride - there are so many lovely routes available from the house.

After lunch Eraldo will take you to the winery of Cantalici in the Chianti Classico region for a wine-tasting and a visit to its cellars where you can learn about the advanced technology they are using for their wine production. After arriving back at the farmhouse you are welcome to watch (and help) Isabelle whilst she prepares your dinner or she can give you a full-blown Tuscan cooking lesson if you are interested.

Day 7 - Friday

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today's final day ride is around four hours long. Riding along the Chianti hills you will stop at the medieval tower of Galatrona with its spectacular views, then down to visit a 14th century church and the 18th century Villa Petrolo. Here you will be served a light lunch accompanied by the fattoria's award-winning wines. Then you will ride home for a farewell dinner back at the farmhouse.

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.

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 29, 2023 - May 6, 2023

Oct. 14, 2023 - Oct. 21, 2023

Pricing

2023
Rider, sharing a twin or double room
£1730 $2095 €1950
2023
Rider, sharing a twin or double room
£1730 $2095 €1950
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), Italian lesson, wine-tastings and cheese-tasting.
Not included Flights, train tickets, travel insurance (compulsory), lunch on the free day, additional drinks, tips or personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Single Supplement £9 $11 €10 per night
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. On return to the stables you will head out together for a Sunday lunch at a local hostelry before walking back for a cup of tea.

This afternoon your host will give a fun lesson on Italian pronunciation which you can put into practice over the following days. For example you will learn that the "ch" in the Italian word 'bruschetta' is pronounced like a 'k'!

Day 3 - Monday

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

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

Day 4 - Tuesday

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Your last ride will be a day ride with around five hours in the saddle. The route will take you to a lake in the Chianti hills, south of the stables, where you will stop for a picnic lunch. During the ride you will pass by the medieval tower of Galatrona and also the castles of Cennina and Lupinari.

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, all beautiful in their own way and easily reached with a direct train from Montevarchi. Dinner and overnight back at the farmhouse.

Day 6 - Thursday

Riding: 1 - 3 hours

This morning you will take a guided tour of the local town Montevarchi and its famous weekly market which takes place in its leafy town square - this is a great place to pick up a bargain! You will visit a Romanesque church which includes fascinating animal sculptures before taking lunch at a gourmet restaurant in Loro Ciuffenna - this is a medieval village built up around a ravine and located on the other side of the Arno valley.

In the afternoon you will be driven back to the farmhouse for an afternoon ride or a lesson with Eraldo who is also a BHS qualified riding instructor.

Day 7 - Friday

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Your final ride is a day ride into the charming countryside north of the farmhouse, close to the village and castle of Montegonzi. You will be in the saddle for around four hours today and will stop for a picnic lunch.

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.

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

May 6, 2023 - May 13, 2023

Sept. 16, 2023 - Sept. 23, 2023

Pricing

2023
Rider, sharing a twin or double room
£1685 $2040 €1900
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), Italian lesson and guided tours of both Arezzo and Montevarchi.
Not included Flights, train tickets, travel insurance (compulsory), lunch on the free day, additional drinks, tips or personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Single Supplement £9 $11 €10 per night
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. On return to the stables you will head out together for a Sunday lunch at a local hostelry before walking back for a cup of tea.

This afternoon your host will give a fun lesson on Italian pronunciation which you can put into practice over the following days. For example you will learn that the "ch" in the Italian word 'bruschetta' is pronounced like a 'k'!

Day 3

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

After breakfast you will have another morning ride, this time 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 will take a short train journey to the ancient city of Arezzo and you will be given a guided tour of the main sites. Your hostess has made a special study of Arezzo's world famous frescos of Piero della Francesca! After your visit of this fascinating city, there is time for relaxation with a coffee or an aperitif in the picturesque main square, recognisable to many thanks to the film 'Life is Beautiful'. There is a little time for shopping before heading back to the farmhouse for dinner and overnight.

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 to a lake in the Chianti hills, south of the stables, where you will stop for a picnic lunch. During the ride you will pass by the medieval tower of Galatrona and also the castles of Cennina and Lupinari.

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.

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

May 27, 2023 - May 31, 2023

Sept. 12, 2023 - Sept. 16, 2023

Pricing

2023
Rider, sharing a twin or double room
£995 $1200 €1120
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), Italian lesson and afternoon of guided sightseeing in Arezzo.
Not included Flights, train tickets, travel insurance (compulsory), additional drinks, tips or personal expenses.

Extras

Single Supplement £9 $11 €10 per night
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 - Sunday

Riding: No riding.

Arrival to Bucine train station with transfer to the guesthouse Il Belvedere, a traditional Tuscan country house. There will be aperitifs and then your first Tuscan dinner.

Day 2 - Monday

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

At around 9am you will be picked up (after breakfast) and driven to the stables. From there you will enjoy your first ride of around two and half hours, riding the horses from their home to Il Belvedere where you are sleeping.

In the afternoon you will visit Fattoria Casabianca, the winery owned by Aldo who is also your host at Il Belvedere. You will take a short tour of the estate before have a wine and olive oil tasting - this includes their prize-winning vin santo, a traditional dessert wine of the region.

Day 3 - Tuesday

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

At approximately 9.30am you will head out on a day ride to I Tribbi, a 19th century villa overlooking the Ambra Valley. You will stop here for a picnic lunch before riding your way back to Il Belvedere through the hills.

Day 4 - Wednesday

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

Another 9.30am ride through the vineyards of Pianacci, enjoying many canters. Lunch today is back at the guesthouse. Late in the afternoon you will be taken on a tour of a local cheese farm where the owner, Alessandro, will show you how they make pecorino cheese and you can try some of his delicious products.

Day 5 - Thursday

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

At 9.30am you will ride the horses home to their stables, riding from the flatter region of Perelli to the 'Balze of Noferi', enjoying a picnic at Podere Brogi (a villa). There will be a short transfer back to Il Belvedere for your farewill dinner.

Day 6 - Friday

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast you will be dropped off back at Bucine train station.

Accommodation

During this ride you are accommodated in the Tuscan guesthouse 'Il Belvedere'.

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

May 14, 2023 - May 19, 2023

Oct. 1, 2023 - Oct. 6, 2023

Pricing

2023
Rider, sharing a twin or double room
£1590 $1925 €1790
Included Bucine train station transfers, 5 nights of accommodation (twin/double), all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, wine with lunches and dinners, 4 riding days (2 day rides and 2 morning rides) and tastings (wine/olive/cheese).
Not included Flights, train tickets, travel insurance (compulsory), additional drinks, tips or personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Single Supplement £18 $22 €20 per night
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.