This is a unique luxury riding experience that truly includes the best of France, offering prestige accommodations – 4 star hotels and Chateaux – and amazing French Cuisine with fabulous wines at Michelin rated restaurants.
The Dordogne is a famous region in the southwest, known not only for its history, but also its chateaux, bastides, caves, food and wines. The beauty of the landscape, of cliffs overhanging cultivated plains and rivers, of the dense and mysterious forests, verdant farmland and pastures make the area an unforgettable destination for travelers. Our ride takes you through this beautiful and varied region, giving you the opportunity to see medieval villages and fortresses while also taking the path less traveled – to give you a real feeling for the region and its people.
Whether dining in a local restaurant or hotel, meals will be a sampling of amazing French regional cuisine. Breakfast and most evening meals are taken in the hotels where you will be staying. The well-done lunches are usually picnics taken on the outskirts of villages. They may consist of pâté, ham, cold seafood, salads, fresh fruit, cold meats, cheeses, fresh breads, wine, beer, juices and soft drinks. Dinners with fabulous wines will be taken at Michelin rated restaurants.
The mixed breed horses used on this ride are well suited to their environment. These hardy horses stand 14-15.2 hh.
English and Western saddles with 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.
You will be met upon arrival at Brive la Gaillarde Railway Station at 2:00 pm and then driven to the famous Prehistoric Painted Cave of Lascaux in the heart of the Dordogne (45 minute drive). Transfers are also available from Brive la Gaillarde Airport. After a visit of this UNESCO World Heritage site, and its fabulous Cro Magnum paintings, you will be taken to your 4 star hotel with its Spa and indoor heated pool in “Les Eyzies de Tayac” for the evening. Enjoy a wonderful dinner served at the hotel restaurant which has been selected in the Michelin guide.
After breakfast and allocation of the horses, the first day’s ride takes you through the countryside and, from time to time, along the famous Saint-Jacques de Compostelle pilgrimage trail to the Troglodytic City of “La Roque Saint Christophe” built on a cliff face. Before enjoying lunch by the Vézère River, you will have the opportunity to visit this site where men have been living since the Prehistoric time until the Renaissance. In the afternoon you will ride back to the same hotel as the previous night for another delicious dinner and overnight.
This morning’s ride will take you east to the “Chateau de Commarque” built in the 12th century. You will visit this secluded medieval castle, built in a national heritage valley, before enjoying another delicious picnic lunch at the foot of the fortress. The afternoon’s ride continues further east, through the farmlands and forests of the area, before arriving at the “Chateau de Campagnac” where you will leave the horses for the night. You will be transferred to your 4 star hotel, a charming 19th century mansion and genuine haven of peace, in the beautiful medieval town of “Sarlat la Canéda”, an exceptionally preserved city with more than 1000 years of architecture living in the lanes, walls and buildings. Dinner will be at a gastronomic restaurant nearby your hotel.
This morning take a break from riding and wander through the old town center of Sarlat and its market. 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. At the end of the morning you will be transferred back to the Chateau de Campagnac for lunch before your afternoon ride which takes you to the 12th century “Chateau de Beynac” built on top of a cliff overlooking the Dordogne River. After the visit of this fortress, which was the scene of many battles during the Hundred Years War, you will be transferred to your hotel from the night before. We will then spend the evening at the best restaurant in Sarlat, a one star Michelin, to savor a wonderful meal.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the “Chateau de Fénélon”, where the horses will already be waiting for you to start the day’s ride. After getting the chance to explore this remarkable 13th century medieval fortress, classified as an historical monument, you will enjoy another wonderful picnic lunch, before continuing the ride east through the chestnut and oak woods of the Dordogne. Your destination today will be the 4 star hotel “Chateau de la Treyne”. Overlooking the Dordogne Valley, this14th-17th century Château is famous for its refined taste and discreet luxury. Situated on a listed site, the château is surrounded by a French garden, lined by century-old cedars and a large park with rare species of trees. During the evening’s meal at their one star Michelin restaurant you will have the opportunity again to try some of the area’s best specialties and wines.
The ride continues in the morning through the deep valley of the Ouysse River. After a quiet ride stop for lunch at the 12th century fortified village of Rocamadour, hanging on a cliff’s edge. Rocamadour was, and still is, a very famous destination for pilgrims since the middle ages: Henri II Plantagenêt, Aliénor d’Aquitaine, Louis XI and Simon de Montfort are just some of the French and English aristocracy who came there to venerate the statue of the Brown Virgin and the tomb of Saint Amadour. After lunch, ride on through arid lands and a wide variety of trails heading back to our charming hotel, Chateau de la Treyne. The gourmet farewell dinner in this lovely Chateau will be a wonderful end to a great week of riding.
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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