Riding: 2 hours
Guests should arrive at the stables by 14:00 today (transfer from Cape Town available), coming after lunch. The day starts with a welcome ride to ensure that everybody is comfortable with their new horse and the riding procedures - you will be asked to untack your horse each lunchtime and at the end of each day, although they are generally tacked up for you (of course you can help if you like!).
This first ride will be around two hours, traversing the wine farms and orchards surrounding the yard. You will get a taste of things to come! After the ride drinks will be served at the yard before you head to your first accommodation where you will stay for two nights. Tonight is a traditional 'braai' around the table and guests will have the chance to get to know each other, as well as receiving some information about the trail route. At the end of the evening you are transferred back to your accommodation which will be in a local historic farm-style guesthouse.
Riding: 4 - 6 hours
Breakfast is served with departure following at around 08:30. You will be transported by car to Boschendal Farm where the trail officially starts - the horses will be tacked up and ready to go! The morning's ride will take you through the world-famous Boschendal vineyards and on to Plaisir de Merle wine estate where you will stop for a tasting and lunch. Lunch is a platter of cold meats, cheeses and preserves, served alongside the award-winning wines of this beautiful estate which dates back to 1693.
After lunch the trail heads on to Kunnenburgh Farm and offers spectacular views over the Franschhoek and Paarl Valleys which lie below. You will travel along the top contours of these vineyards, crossing more wine estates to reach the overnight rest point for the horses.
After early evening drinks on the patio you are transferred to your accommodation where you can freshen up before dinner. Tonight you will stay in a traditional Cape manor house on one of the oldest wine farms in the Paarl region. Dinner is a meat or venison feast at one of the finest restaurants in Paarl, prepared by local chefs and served with local wines.
Riding: 4 - 6 hours
After breakfast and with your bags packed again, you will be taken back to the horses and will ride out at around 09:30 for another day of adventure. The trail today will head onto the mountainside of Simonsberg, providing sweeping views of the Franschhoek and Paarl Valleys behind you. You'll ride more wine farms and orchards such as Babylonstoren, Backsberg and Niel Joubert. After around 2.5 hours of riding it will be time for another wine stop and a hearty lunch, prepared with local produce at Anura Vineyards. With the wine-tasting this makes for a long, lazy lunch of the sort you would enjoy from a holiday in true wine country!
After lunch your ride continues on through more wine farms such as Marianne, Natte Vallij, Le Bonheur and Mitre's Edge. Your day ends at The Purple Windmill where the horses spend the night. After sundowners you head to your accommodation for the night before having dinner at Mitre's Edge where the owner will entertain you with a hearty home-cooked meal and specially selected wines from the cellar.
Riding: 5 - 7 hours
Today is probably the longest riding day of the week with lots of ascents and descents. The horses are sure-footed and know their jobs well so will keep you safe, but you may have to dismount and lead them for short periods. You will ride over Klapmuts Koppie to enjoy sweeping views over the flatlands stretching towards Table Mountain in the distance. Ride through the vineyards of Warwick Wine Estate before crossing to Kanonkop wine estate - here you will be treated to a private wine tasting in a classic historical cellar before lunching on a traditional platter.
After lunch you ride to Knorhoek where both horses and riders overnight. After unsaddling the horses there is ample time to enjoy a coffee or glass of wine on the patio overlooking the paddock as the sun sets. Tonight will be a traditional South African feast with excellent wines.
Riding: 4 - 6 hours
Today is your last riding day of the week and you will start out with your horses for the final time! The trail heads up the mountainside behind Knorhoek offering views of the famous Stellenbosch, South Africa's oldest town, after Cape Town itself of course. On a clear day you will be able to see as far as False Bay and Cape Point when you look towards the Atlantic Ocean. After some more technical riding you will reach Morgenhof wine estate to enjoy a tasting of their delicious wines which will accompany your lunch.
The route after lunch leads you along the southern side of Simonsberg, passing through Remhoogte wine estate. Almost at the end of your trip - they are keeping the best for last! Lovely views and photo opportunities are the order of the day with champagne or MCC, as it is known locally, to help you to celebrate the end of the trail.
After leaving the horses at the yard you head to your accommodation to freshen up before the final dinner. There is a pool to be enjoyed tonight, weather permitting, and the dinner will be an experience to remember.
Riding: No riding.
After a hearty breakfast you are free to depart for home or to continue your stay in the Cape Winelands. Additional nights can be arranged.
Wine farms traversed during the trail: Boschendal, Plaisir De Merle, Donkerhoek, Uitkomst, Keunenburg, Bloemendal, Le Bonheur, Babylonstoren, Backsberg, Neil Joubert, Anura, Natte Vallij, Mont Destin, Mt Vernon, Marianne, Mitre’s Edge, Warwick, Leibach, Kanonkop, Uitkyk, Remhoogte, Morgenhof, Knorhoek, L’ Avenir and many more.
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.