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This listing has one of the 10 most popular offers available in France
This is an exhilarating trail with lots of thrilling sceneries over wild valleys framed by rugged peaks, as eagles and vultures soar overhead! Consider this trek as a four-day getaway from civilization. If not, where else could you bump into herds of wild horses grazing freely in the high mountain pastures? Named “Potokka”, a breed of pony or horse native exclusively to the Basque Country, these proud animals in the wild are fiercely safeguarded by a brave stallion!
You will be staying in single, double, double twin, and shared (from three persons) bedrooms. There is no single supplement for people who come alone when they want a shared bedroom. Single, double, and twin bedrooms are available everywhere, excluding the Mountain Guesthouse, if the group is bigger than eight riders.
Single rooms are available upon prior reservation, except for overnight stays in the mountains, where all participants are accommodated in a spacious common room for one night.
Four days far away from the civilization, taking advantage of all the opportunities to approach herds of horses, "Savage of the Basque country", the Pottocks, protected by their proud and brave stallion! Four days discovering the culture of the Pays Basque people and the reason why they want to protect themselves and wanted a few of them living apart from France.
This trek is really exciting and requires a real fit intermediate rider confident at all paces, able to ride six to seven hours each day over varied and sometimes challenging terrain. All the opportunities to trot or to canter offered by the landscape are taken. The trail in very few occasional and difficult sections will ask the rider to walk near his horse. But the horses are fit, willing, and sure-footed over this rugged terrain.
With a daily mileage exceeding 30 to 35 kilometers in six to seven hours, be ready for an exciting and yet challenging trek that requires a good level of fitness and much confidence. While moving on varying terrains, there will occur few rugged sections difficult to ride on, so that Centre Équestre le Marina asks equestrians to dismount from their horse and to cover such spans of route on-foot with the horse by the bridle.
For the rest of the trek, you can feel free to canter or to trot at your will, as the horses are fit, willing, and sure-footed. Feel blessed! On the way, as you stop in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, a picturesque town strategically located on Santiago de Compostella, a famous pilgrim route.
Worth visiting by walking, its cobbled streets with the main artery running from the 15th century Porte St-Jacques to the Porte d’Espagne offer a handful of shops selling anything you might have ever dreamed to buy and restaurants with decent pilgrim menus. One of such will be chosen as a dinner place.
Cooled by flavorsome breezes, the endless coast of New Aquitaine invites a gallop along the sandy beach at full throttle or a dip in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. The riding level required is upper-intermediate to advanced. For two more restful days, riding on endless beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, ventilated by the marine breeze. It’s also time for exciting gallops on the white sand of the Aquitaine Coast, and sometimes, if weather conditions are with you, bathing in the middle of waves.
Moderate in the mountain with some fast sections each time when/where possible. Fast and long gallops in the Landes pine tree forest and on the beach.
English speaking guide, having a good knowledge of the mountain ride and Landes. He will be concerned about making you discover his lovely country in the South West of France
Standard safety rules must be followed around horses at any time. Participants can benefit from 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 & Spain (French professional certification: A.T.E., CQP ASA or BPJEPS Tourisme Équestre).
There are 35 horses, with a majority of Anglo-Arabs. They are safe, brave, and easygoing; well-trained, very well-balanced as they live in herds and outside. They have nice and friendly connections with the man. The majority of the horses ate kept in an outdoors herd. These perfectly trained, safe-to-ride horses put riders at ease in no time, establishing a friendly bond with them along the way. They are fitted with quality English horse tack. Saddlebags are at your disposal on-site upon a simple request.
Transfer from Bordeaux Airport to Mimizan with clients arriving by plane or train, and then from Mimizan to Saint Etienne de Baïgorry. Spend the night in a three-star bed-and-breakfast. Visit this old and famous city. Dinner is common to a typical Basque restaurant in the middle of the historical part of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port (not included in the total price).
Start from Saint Jean Pied de Port or Saint Etienne de Baïgorry to Banca according to the weather. Have breakfast at 8 a.m. and depart at 10 a.m. Discover the famous village of Saint Etienne de Baïgorry by horse. The goal is to get to the top of the Monhoa summit to get a 360-degree magnificent view of the surroundings, on the Aldudes valley and the ocean. Spend the night in the mountain guesthouse, Gîte Espila.
The rhythm of the ride is changing, it is the time to enjoy long and fast gallops in the hugest forest of Europe, with sometimes 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 and the most beautiful beach of Europe. The ride may be also on the beach on Saturday evening, with the sunset on the beach if the tide is late in the evening. Traditional dinner will be at the guesthouse
Transfer back to Bordeaux Airport with crossing the city center if you have time before taking off.
This quoted hurdy-gurdy, the major passage of the pilgrims on the "Way to Santiago de Compostela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is worth to be discovered by foot on the arrival day. There, the clients will find plenty of little shops and will choose a typical restaurant for the evening with the group.
With 30 years of experience in teaching horse riding in harmony between horse and rider, Michel provides a huge experience of instructing the quality of the communication between horse and rider in dressage and show jumping. Showing up with successful own competing until the age of 45, he followed up with giving classes to his students who provided various placements at the national level (French championships). In love with his horses and nature, he is a guide who established itineraries with exceptional views and picknick spots in the region of Aquitaine, Perigord, Basque Mountains.
Located along the Atlantic coast, split between France and Spain, the Basque country offers you a stunning combination of lush forests, verdant hills and slopes, windy beaches, and rocky cliffs plunging into the Atlantic Ocean. A horse trek with a bird's-eye view over the stunning scenery is very handy to discover this area proudly perched on the coastline, sporadically embellished with traditional fishing villages.
Deemed one of the oldest nations on Earth, barely changed over centuries, the Basques are often misunderstood because they have been openly reclaiming their independence from France and Spain since, forever, it seems. Get to know the nation remaining true to their identity, their rich culture, delicious cuisine, and you will forever be in love with them.
During the stay in the Pays Basque, dinners are taken at the hotel you are staying for the night. You’ll taste Basque specialties. Dinner in the restaurant or hotel includes two glasses of wine or two soda, tea, or coffee. Lunches are organized by the riding center, soda and wine without restrictions are provided. Dinners at Mimizan are prepared and taken at the guesthouse on the terrace beside the swimming pool.
Lunches are leisurely and relaxed, often followed by a short siesta. Lunches and dinners are made from typical food from Pays Basque and prepared by the owner of the two-star accommodations. When in Rome do as the Romans do; when in the Basque country, after a lavish meal in an unfettered atmosphere, have a short siesta. You will be served local specialties generously cooked by the owners of the two-star accommodations that you come across the route.
A meal in the guesthouse, restaurants, or hotels with traditional local meals or seafood comprises a glass of wine or a soda, tea, or coffee inclusively. A typical lunch served by the equestrian center also includes soft drinks and wine.
Transfer available for additional US$48 per person
Centre Équestre le Marina offers transfers for 45 EUR per person for one way or 90 EUR per person for return transfers. Transfers from and to the airport are every Sunday from two to eight riders. The bus starts from Mimizan at 12 p.m. with going to pick up the riders arriving at Bordeaux or to the railway station.
For people arriving by train or plane to Bordeaux, the meeting is at the airport Hall A at the place called “MEETING POINT" at 2 p.m.Centre Équestre le Marina kindly asks all partners to plan the flight departure time from Bordeaux after 1 p.m. on departure day. Departure from Mimizan is at 8:30 a.m., which means arrival at the airport is at 11 a.m.
There is a shuttle from Bordeaux airport to the railway station (15 EUR, 45-minute trip), then, clients should find a train to Labouheyre (21 EUR, 50-minute trip). Please make sure to arrive before 3:30 p.m.
Take the RDTL Bus from Labouheyre to Mimizan: 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. all year (5 EUR, 40-minute trip)
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