France is ideally suited for riding tours and is the country where the idea got its start and is most highly developed. Horseback riding in Villandry is especially well-suited as the countryside in many places is most attractive and comparatively unspoiled. Rights-of-way have been well maintained so that horsemen can usually find appropriate trails and there is very little necessity to take paved roads.
Spectacular castles, walled towns and ancient monasteries are everywhere. Each region has a unique character with its own history, cuisine, wine, architecture and topography. French food and wine are justly famous and you will have every opportunity to savor them with appetites made keener by a day in the saddle.
In the centuries before the French Revolution the Loire Valley was the scene of an unprecedented flowering of culture where French kings and nobles vied with one another to build the most magnificent structures and to decorate them exquisitely. There are wonderful opportunities for gallops through some of the old hunting preserves of the French nobility, and you follow tracks through bucolic farmland and vineyards. Staying in smaller, private chateaux and manor houses contributes to the spirit of the adventure.