A romantic way to visit some of Europe’s most interesting castles is on horseback.
It is a real thrill to ride your horse into a castle courtyard like one of the knights of ancient times. It is certainly an appropriate way to stay in the spirit of ancient history. On the Malbec Ride in southwestern France you can do exactly that. Inside the sheltered courtyards of many castles, which are surrounded by high walls on the outside, there are fruit trees and gardens. The stables, kitchens, banquet rooms, libraries, bedrooms and living rooms are often open to the public as are the dungeons deep in the basement. One can have fascinating tours of the inside of many castles which give a vivid glimpse of life in those perilous times.
The Atlantic Coast Ride in Ireland is another classic example of a memorable castle visit for those who have an interest in history. In Italy the Castello de Tocchi is your base for the entire ride. It has been completely refurbished for modern comfort while preserving its huge historical appeal. The Castle of Chenonceau in France (built for beauty and prestige rather than defense) is thought by many to be one of the world’s most beautiful buildings in a class with the Taj Mahal in India. One can have a dazzling view of this castle as one gallops up toward it along the Cher River.
Our rides all over Western Europe in Spain and Portugal as well as France, Italy and Ireland offer wonderful opportunities to view castles and learn about their history in a leisurely fashion. Visiting these places on horseback has infinitely more appeal than driving up to them in a crowded tourist bus.