This area on the Normandy coast is well suited for a riding tour with some fine opportunities for beach galloping and history galore.
It has special significance for Americans because it was here at Omaha Beach that our soldiers successfully made the D Day invasion which was a great turning point of the Second World War. Our bloody victory came at a great cost, as some 10,000 American soldiers are buried nearby. As you canter along the beach you can still see the formidable German fortifications built to repel the invasion and the sight cannot fail to fill your heart with pride.
The lodgings on this ride are mostly historic estates and chateaux, each of which is interesting in its own way. You will have a chance to canter on the beach below the Abby/Fortress of Mont St. Michel, one of the most spectacular fortresses in Europe, built on a rocky promontory at the end of a long tidal peninsula. At low tide you can walk there, but at high tide it is surrounded by water, making it almost impregnable against attack.
The mixed breed horses used on this ride are well suited to their environment. These hardy horses are a variety of breeds: Camargue, Arab, Selle Francais, Thoroughbred, French Trotter and Spanish cross horses standing 14-15.5 hh. They are chosen for their temperament, hardiness and comfort. English saddles are used along with a few trekking saddles.
Hardy local breeds, like Camargue, cob, Selle Francais. Arabian, Thoroughbred, draft crosses as well.
AM – Ride about two hours from the cliffs of Omaha Beach to view the famous batter of the second world war.
PM – Ride another two hours ton the beach (according to tide) and visit the American military cemetery. Dinner and night at Hotel La Marine in Port en Bassin.
AM – Ride for about 2 hours over the cliffs or on Omaha beach, depending on the tide.
PM – In the afternoon ride for two hours to a beautiful panoramic view of the Arromanches and the famous Mulberry port. There’s the chance of a canter on the beach. Tonight you’ll have dinner and stay at the hotel La Marine, with wonderful views of the sea.
AM – This morning’s ride will be about 2.5 hrs, on the cliffs above the beach and through the countryside. Lunch in a restaurant in Ryes, and visit the churches there from the XI and XIII century.
PM – Ride another two hours to the old city of Cruelly. Visit the medieval chateau de Cruelly, from which the BBC reported the Normandy battle of 1944. Dinner and overnight at Hostellerie Saint Martin.
AM – Visit the Bayeux cathedral, which houses the famous tapestry from the 11th century listed as a “Memory of the World” by UNESCO. Lunch at Hotel de Bellefontaine.
PM – Trasfer to Haras de Saint Lo, the heart of the famous Selle Francais breed. Visit the farm and perhaps watch a French show jumping lesson. Transfer by car to Manoir du Brion in Mont Saint Michel Bay, dinner and overnight at this gothic manor, where French kings stayed for their pilgrimage to Mont Saint Michel abbaye.
Ride today in the Saint Michel Bay, a UNESCO world heritage site. Some of the biggest tides in Europe occur in this bay, leaving a large part uncovered at low tide. Many birds and harbor seals live in this area, and it is used as a training ground for Thoroughbred and French Trotter racers. Ride for about 4 hours today, with lunch in a local creperie. Tonight is spent again at the Manoir de Brion.
Breakfast and departure. You may visit Mont Saint Michel on your own or transfer to Avranches or TGV Rennes station (transfer not included). You could choose to participate in the early morning horse training in the next door sand track before leaving.
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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!
The ride traverses a region of spectacular scenery considered by National Geographic to be one of the world’s last unspoiled and undiscovered earthly paradises. Experience the culture and history... Read more