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Horse Riding Holiday

Centre Équestre le Marina will lead you for a week of discovery of the different parts of Aquitain; from fortified castles, jewels of Perigord: Bonaguil, Biron, Gavaudun, to the heart of Gironde, through the vineyard of Sauternes, finishing on the Atlantic Coast to the Landes Forest! Enjoy the sportive trail, culture, and nature in the southwest of France with two endurance days of 40-45 kilometers during the week.

Key Information

  • Tack Type: English Tack
  • Horse Breed: Anglo-Arabs or Race Horses

Highlights

  • 2 days of Grit endurance rhythm making
  • Daily mileage of 40 or 45 to 65 kilometers in ​6 to 7 hours
  • 6 days of riding across 5 French departments of Aquitaine
  • Visit Domaine de Cause (Cahors) and Chateau Filhot (Sauternes) wineries
  • Trips to Europe’s largest forest and in the Atlantic beaches
  • Daily meals are provided on-site and in local restaurants
  • 7 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


6 days with instruction
Group size: 4-9 participants
Airport transfer available:
Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (US$51 per person)
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
12:00
Check-out Time:
01:00
  • 4 nights in a “Gite de Charme (three-star)": The Hameau du Peyrié is a very luxurious manor house with a private pool and a large tennis court.
  • 3 nights in the Centre Équestre le Marina guesthouse (three-star): The center has a private swimming pool and a lounge zone.

Centre Équestre le Marina is offering bedrooms for single, double, twin, and shared bedrooms with three to four beds. There is no single supplement for people alone when they want a shared bedroom if Centre Équestre le Marina does not have riders to share with them. Single bedrooms are available with a supplement charge (prior booking is a must).

Program

Centre Équestre le Marina invites you on this journey back in time, roaming on the back of their brave steeds. Through deeper and deeper, yet thick, harmonious and mellow valleys, go forward through this magnificent forest that served as a refuge for serfs and a maze of ancient paths.

When traveling across New Aquitaine, abounding with breathtaking natural landscapes, be ready for a deep cultural and historical immersion. A noteworthy architectural heritage count hundreds of medieval fortresses with carved ramparts and gorgeous castles sheltering exclusive wineries. Fine wines are served here to meet all tastes, yours inclusively.

Centre Équestre le Marina will bring you to the well-known gems of Perigord: Bonaguil, Biron, Gavaudun, the vineyard of Sauternes, Europe’s biggest forest composed of maritime pines, and France’s longest sandy beach located in Les Landes.

In 1152, the marriage of Eleanor and Henry of Plantagenet drags the Aquitaine region into a long-term conflict, known as the Hundred Year’s war. Numerous walled towns and fortified castles were built during this period to meet different strategic, political, and economic requirements.

Let’s travel back in time on the back of your courageous mounts. Ride across magnificent valleys in gorges and step in a maze of foot prints left by ancient yokels who used to refuge in a lush forest.

First leg

Stationary program of four nights with three days of riding. Coming back every evening at the manor house “Hameau du Peyrié“. This guesthouse is situated at the border of three different departments of France (Lot, Lot et Garonne, and Dordogne) and offers to discover a new ground, new landscape, and new vegetation every day, leading you through the history from Bastides to Fortified Castle.

Every day, you will ride across one of three neighboring French departments, i.e. Lot, Lot et Garonne, or Dordogne, to discover a new landscape, a new castle, a new winery. Every night, you will return to the base camp to enjoy the divine cuisine and fine wines of Périgord, as well as to fodder and water your horses.

Second leg

Lunch and half-day ride through the "Sauternes Vineyard"; group transfer to Mimizan

Third leg

Three nights with two days of riding on the Atlantic Coast with a two-day trip tour. Riders are coming back every evening at the Centre Équestre le Marina guesthouse.

Day 1: Arrival day

  • 12:00 Start from Mimizan to Bordeaux Airport for those who are arriving by plane or train. Group transfer from Bordeaux “International Mérgnac Airport” to Bonaguil and arrive at the beautiful manor house "The Hameau du Peyrié".
  • 18:30 Discovery of the horses, relaxing evening beside the swimming pool
  • 20:30 Medieval dinner at the local restaurant

Day 2: Grit day - The department of Dordogne (Full day ride, 5 to 6 hours)

  • 08:00 Breakfast
  • 08:30 Discovery of the horses for the riders and time to test how they react at the different paces.
  • 09:00 Start for a full day of quick evolution in the chestnut trees forest, wonderful ground for long canters. The main goal of the day is also the preparation at the endurance rhythm for the long horse trek, but also to explore stone and cobble architecture typical for Périgord along the way.
  • 12:00 Lunch at the feet of the Castle of Sauveterre
  • 15:00 More cantering trough the chestnut forest. On the way back to the guesthouse the famous Bonaguil Castle, genuine great work of military architecture, the last of the great fortified castles in France. That castle has never been besieged and stays in a perfect state of preservation.
  • 19:00 Relaxing time beside the swimming pool of Gite de Charme "Le Hameau du Peyrié"
  • 20:30 Dinner

Day 3: Discovery day - The department of Lot (Day ride, 4 hours)

  • 08:00 Breakfast
  • 08:30 Group transfer (minibus) to the medieval village of Saint Cirq Lapopie, a historical monument voted the most beautiful village of France behind Rocamadour. Straight out of the Middle Ages, this village is partially listed as a historical monument!
  • 10:00 or 10:30 Visit of the village
  • 12:00 or 12:30 Lunch with the horses at the feet of the village along the river with your horses grazing around
  • 13:00 Treck on the bench of the Lot river with one pass; unique in the world. Climbing to the top of the mountain, passing through the forest, coming directly from a Brothers Grimm’s fairytale.
  • 18:00 Visit of the village and way back to Bonaguil, chill time by the pool
  • 20:30 Dinner in the guesthouse

Day 4: Grit day - The department of Lot et Garonne (Trotting or cantering, 7 hours - 45 kilometers)

  • 07:30 Breakfast
  • 09:00 Early start for the endurance day trip of 45 kilometers, passing by the fortified Bastide of St-front-sur-Lémance and Lacapelle Biron. The rythm is changing a lot and makes the way short and exciting. Time will fly as the rhythm will often change.
  • 12:30 Lunch at the "Auberge of Castel" of Biron
  • 14:00 Visit of the fine and noble Castle of Biron
  • 15:30 Long and quick ride in the afternoon, passing by the Bastide of St Avit, then the "Proud Castle" of Gavaudun, later, ride by the deep chestnut tree forest of Cuzorn with some unexpected viewpoints on the Lot valley. Multiple long-distance gallops. Riding in depths of the chestnut forest of Cuzorn. Checking the view over the Lot valley from surprise observation points.
  • 19:00 The group is back to Bonaguil and the manor house.
  • 20:30 Dinner with exchanging about the good feelings of the day, stories, and good vibes.

Day 5: Discovery day: The department of Gironde (“Sauternes” winery ride and wine tasting in Château Filhot, 2 hours)

  • 08:00 Breakfast and time to pack the luggage
  • 10:00 Departure for Sauternes (2-hour drive through Lot et Garonne) and reach a new department, “La Gironde”, internationally known for its Bordeaux white wine.
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 15:00 2-hour ride through the different and famous vineyard: Chateau Ychem, Chateau Trillon, Chateau Giraud
  • 17:00 Visit of Chateau Filhot cellar and wine tasting
  • 18:00 Transfer to Mimizan
  • 19:00 Relaxing time in the new guesthouse around the swimming pool
  • 20:30 Dinner

Day 6: Grit day: The department of Landes (Endurance in St-Julien-Bias-Mimizan, 6 hours)

  • 08:00 Breakfast
  • 09:00 Transfer to the horse’s field, the starting point, saddling horses
  • 10:00 Start for the first full day trail and new endurance rythm. It is time to discover a new surrounding: the supple and sandy ground of the hugest forest of Europe, with some large views on the most beautiful beach of France. It’s also the time of exciting gallops on the white sand of the Aquitaine Coast in the morning or in the evening, according to the tide of the ocean. Ride through Europe’s largest forest composed of maritime pines, with wide views of one of France’s most beautiful beaches. Exciting gallops on the white sand of the New Aquitaine coast!
  • 20:30 Dinner

Day 7: Discovery day: The department of Landes (Mimizan Bourg - Areilhan - Mimizan Beach, 4.5 hours)

  • 08:00 Breakfast
  • 10:00 RIding for fun, more relaxing day ride spending the lunchtime on the pretty shore of the Aureilhan Lake and ending the ride in the evening with sunset on the beach.
  • Lunch by the Aureilhan Lake
  • Evening sunset on the beach
  • 20:30 Dinner

Day 8: Time to say goodbye

  • Group transfer back to the airport of Bordeaux; if you’ve got time before taking off, having a short stopover in Bordeaux is possible depending on the traffic.

Level required

This trek requires a confirmed upper-intermediate level and a good physical condition. With a projected daily coverage of up to 65 kilometers in six to seven hours, en route requires frequent changes in gait and speed.

Passing across accelerated sections requires keeping a distance of 30 meters between each other, on one hand, to give fellow riders room for maneuvering and, on the other hand, to fully enjoy an undisturbed free ride. From time to time, Centre Équestre le Marina will ask you to regroup in pairs or one by one, whether it occurs in the forest, on the plain, in the mountain or on the beach.

For the riders who did not practice any horse riding for a few months, it is advised to recover on horseback in the week preceding the stay. Finally, it is strongly advised for you to provide Arnica homoeopathic for consumers without moderation along the way for a better enjoyment of the stay.

This trip is for experimented to advanced riders. This ride requires riders with good physical condition. The speed of this trail is sustained and the sequences of trots and gallops are frequent; it is important to be able to cover 40 to 45 kilometers a day in an average time of six to seven hours riding. To give more comfort and to avoid dust, the evolution with trotting or galloping is generally individually or by group of two, whether it is in forest or on the beach. Some group gallops on the beach are of course available.

Horses and tack

There are 35 horses at the equestrian center and the majority are Anglo-Arabs or racehorses. They are safe horses, brave, and easygoing; well-trained, very well-balanced as horses living in herds and outside. They affect nice and friendly connections with the man. Tack is an English saddle of very good quality, adapted for the trail.

Monitoring and safety rules

Standard safety rules must be followed around horses at any time. Participants can benefit of quality guidance from duly certified monitors/tour guides speaking French, English, German, and Russian, specially trained to go along with partakers during many-hour trails and introduce them to the stunning nature of the Atlantic coast of France, Les Landes, and Périgord (French professional certification: A.T.E., CQP ASA, or BPJEPS Tourisme Équestre).

Leader supervision and security

You will be having an English-speaking guide, having a good knowledge of Landes and Perigord as well; he will be concerned about making you discover his lovely country in the southwest of France.

Included excursions

  • Visit and wine tasting of two famous vineyards of Aquitaine: Domaine de Cause (Cahors) and Chateau Filhot (Sauternes)
  • There will be two day trips in the biggest forest of Europe and on the Atlantic beaches

Location

Distances

  • Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (BOD) to Bonaguil, 100 miles - 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • Bonaguil to Sauternes - 2 hours
  • Sauternes to Mimizan - 1 hour
  • Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (BOD) to Mimizan, 70 miles - 1 hour 30 minutes

Food

Traditional food is provided during the whole stay. Please mind, that while staying in Périgord, on the arrival day only, the dinner at the restaurant (held at the Bonaguil Castle) is not included. Participants choose their meal “à la carte”. For the rest of the trek, all meals are included and served by the center.

While staying in Mimizan, with all meals served by the center, wine and soft drinks are an open bar. Taste a new bottle of famous wine from the southwest of France every evening. A regular menu at any restaurant in Mimizan Plage, besides a traditional meal based on seafood or meat, comprises a quarter of wine.

In Perigord

The first evening, the dinner taken in one restaurant at the feet of the Bonaguil Castle is not included in order to leave customers to appreciate the large choice of the card or to test the medieval main course! The other dinners are organized by the riding center and shared in the guesthouse.

Wine and soft drinks are provided at all lunches and dinners organized by the riding center. Customers will have the opportunity of tasting various wines of Aquitaine every evening. 1/4 of wine or soda and tea or coffee are included. Centre Équestre le Marina offers special meals for vegetarians, gluten-free, but not vegan.

In Mimizan

Dinners are cooked and served onsite at the guesthouse. 1/4 liter of wine, soda, tea, or coffee is included in lunches or dinners. All extra drinks have to be paid for by the client at the end of the week.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 6 days of horse riding
  • Full board meals and drinks
  • Services of an English-speaking guide
  • Use of horses and tack
  • 2 wine tastings

What's not included

  • Additional drinks and meals
  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Personal expenses
  • First-day dinner

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please arrange your flight to arrive at Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (BOD). The transfer fees for this airport are 45 EUR per person for one way or 90 EUR per person for a return trip. The transfer from and to the airport is every Sunday from 2 to 8 riders. The meeting is at the guest house on 11:30 in 55, Route de Baleste, Mimizan Bourg. The bus starts from Mimizan at 12:00 p.m. where it will also pick up the riders arriving at the railway station.

  • Arrival Time: For people arriving by train or plane to Bordeaux, the meeting is at the Airport Hall A at the place called “MEETING POINT" on 14:00, then in front of the railway station at 15:00.
  • Departure Time: You are kindly asked to plan your flight departure time from Bordeaux after 13:00. Departure from Mimizan at 8:30 means arrival at the airport at 11:00.
Airport: Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport Airport transfer available: Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (US$51 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 21 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Tour information

The tour may push through with a minimum of three participants with a supplement of 200 EUR per rider.

Centre Équestre le Marina reserves the right to cancel this holiday if the minimum number of riders is not reached 21 days before the starting date. For more information, please send an inquiry

Pricing information
  • The prices for May, June, and September are slightly higher than the other dates.
  • No single supplement for the people alone when they want a shared bedroom.
 
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 4 participants

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