Horseback Riding in France

On the King’s Trail in Périgord

Overview

Located in the Périgord and Dordogne regions in southwest France, the 18th century country house where you are based for the week is the perfect way to get away from it all.

Its central location in the picturesque hills and rolling countryside between the Dordogne and Lot rivers offers a variety of trails to ride and sites to visit.  In addition to being a wonderful location for an equestrian holiday in France, it is ideal for an accompanying non-rider with a swimming pool, bikes to rent, and a golf course nearby.

The area is known not only for its natural beauty, but also for its history, chateaux, bastides, caves and fine cuisine, which make it an unforgettable and little-known destination. The architecture dates mostly from the medieval ages and Hundred Years War. You will have the opportunity to see many of the area’s sites while taking the path less-traveled – giving you a real feeling of the region and its people.  This is surely rural France at its best.

You will be staying in a tranquil, charming 18th century guesthouse with flower-filled gardens and a swimming pool. The welcoming rooms are tastefully furnished with en-suite bathrooms.

Your meals will be a sampling of wonderful French regional cuisine featuring home grown and local produce. Special dietary needs can be arranged with advance notice.

  • Overview:
    The mixed breed horses used on this ride are well suited to their environment. These hardy horses stand 14-15.2 hh. English, Western, and MacClellan type saddles with sheepskins, saddlebags, and bridles with curb, or snaffle bits and hackamores are used. Most horses neck rein. The tacking and un-tacking of the horses is taken care of by the staff.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Mixed breeds
  • Trip Pace:
    Moderate
  • Tack:
    English, Western, and MacClellan type saddles
  • Weight limit:
    190 lbs

Non-riders are welcome on this itinerary and must have their own vehicle. Accommodation and meals with riders is included, and they can independently explore the region and accommodation during riding time.

Bergerac

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

You will be met at Bergerac railway station at 3:30pm and taken to your accommodations for dinner and the evening. This charming and welcoming guesthouse is your base for the week.

Day 2

After breakfast and allocation of the horses this half day of riding will be through quiet woodlands and countryside, circling north and coming back to the Moulin for a wonderful lunch. After a short rest in the afternoon, wandering around the gardens of this 20 hectares property, or relaxing at the pool with a nice drink, you will be transferred to the medieval village of Monflanquin, built in 1256 by Alphonse de Poitiers, brother of the French King Louis IX (more commonly known as King St Louis). Enjoy a visit of this 13th century bastide, before dinner at a local restaurant, where you will have the opportunity to try some of the area’s wonderful cuisine.

Day 3

Today’s 4 hour loop ride will take you north, walking, trotting and cantering along fields of plum trees, hazelnut trees and sunflowers. At the end of the ride you will enjoy your lunch back at the Moulin. Then you can relax around the pool or on the terrace before the evening’s meal at your accommodation’s restaurant. An optional visit of the nearby medieval village of Villeréal, with its fortified church, also built by the Alphonse de Poitiers in 1267, can be organized before dinner.

Day 4

Today you take a break from riding and enjoy a day of sightseeing in the Dordogne. Your first stop will be at the beautiful medieval town of Sarlat on market day, an exceptionally preserved city with more than 1,000 years of architecture living in the lanes, walls and buildings of the old town. Growing up around a Benedictine Abbey, Sarlat has more medieval, Renaissance and 18th century facades, carved doorways, fountains, turrets, gables and unusual roofscapes than can be photographed in a week of fine days. The local shops provide a good hunting ground for souvenirs, particularly the gastronomic products of the region. After a morning wandering through the old town center and its market, you can enjoy some of the local specialties during lunch at one of the many restaurants in town. After lunch, drive to Beynac Castle built on top of a cliff in the 12th century by the Barons of Beynac and owned for a short period by the King of England, Richard the 1st (well known as Richard the Lion Heart). Visit this medieval fortress, classified as a Historical Monument, and used in many movies, like “Joan of Arc” from Luc Besson. Return to the guesthouse at the end of the day, followed by dinner in one of the gastronomic restaurants of the region.

Day 5

Heading east today on another 4 hour ride which will take you through the countryside and, from time to time, along the famous Saint James Pilgrimage Trail of Santiago de Compostela (originating in the 10th century). You will arrive at Biron Castle, whose architecture spans eight centuries and is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Europe. Lunch will be in a restaurant at the foot of the fortress and followed by a visit to the castle. In the mid-afternoon you will be driven back to your guesthouse. Later, you will be taken to Monpazier, a bastide famous for its superb architecture, founded in 1284 by Edward the 1st, King of England. You will have the chance to visit this medieval village before enjoying another wonderful diner at a gastronomic restaurant in the village. Return to your accommodation for overnight.

Day 6

During this 6 hour day ride in the south-west direction, you will traverse woods and farmland, before stopping for lunch at the golf course of Castelnaud where you will appreciate a relaxing lunch at the course’s restaurant. After lunch, you will continue on, with trots and canters back to your charming guesthouse for a farewell dinner and wonderful end to a most enjoyable week.

Day 7

After breakfast transfer to Bergerac railway station, arriving about 10:30am.

Itinerary Addendum

This itinerary is flexible and may be modified at your guide's discretion due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

2021 trips booked before January 1, 2021 will receive 2020 pricing. The Secluded Manor trip is offered on the same dates, and either itinerary can be chosen by the first to book.

Departure Dates

Trip Starts
Trip Ends
Jul 12, 2020
Jul 18, 2020
Aug 16, 2020
Aug 22, 2020

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $2,910
  • Non-rider Rate
  • $1,890
  • Single Supplement
  • $320

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Contact Megan Barrett

The guide was an excellent leader and host. While our hotels and meals were excellent, he also prepared picnic lunches that were 4-Star! The venue for the trip was both exciting and interesting, stopping to visit castles, chateaus, caves and villages of great historical importance in French history. It was an unforgettable trip!

Pastore, 2019