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France Horse Riding Adventure

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!

Key Information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 209 pounds / 95 kilograms
  • Tack Type: English saddle of very good quality and adapted for the trail. The riding center provides saddlebags.
  • Horse Breed: Pottokka, Anglo-Arabs

Meet the instructors

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  • 4 riding days in the mountains
  • Approximate daily riding time: 6 to 8 hours
  • 2 riding days in the forest and along the beach
  • 6 horse riding days with a daily mileage of 30 to 35 kilometers
  • Discover Saint Jean Pied de Port on foot
  • Daily full board meals with drinks
  • 7 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


6 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: German, Russian, Spanish
Group size: 4-9 participants
Airport transfer available:
Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (US$48 per person)
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Check-in Time:
Check-out Time:

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.

  • Night 1: Saint Etienne de Baïgorry - Gite de Charme (three-star) , Amestoïa, or Manechenea (two-star hotel)
  • Night 2 - Bed-and-breakfast mountain lodge
  • Nights 3 and 4: Aldude Valley in Banca - Hôtel Erreguina (two-star)
  • Nights 5, 6, and 7: Mimizan - Guesthouse of the riding center (three-star)

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.

Riding pace

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.

Leader supervision and security

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

Monitoring and safety rules

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).

Horses and tack

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.

Day 1: From Bordeaux to Mimizan

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).

  • Group transfer to Saint Etienne de Baïgorry
  • Night visit of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port
  • Dinner at a downtown typical Basque restaurant (Not included in the price)
  • Night at a three-star bed-and-breakfast or a two-star hotel (“Manechenea”)

Day 2: From Saint Jean Pied de Port/Saint Etienne de Baïgorry - Banca (6.5 hours with riding)

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.

  • 08:00 Breakfast
  • 10:00 Getting started. Visiting the famous village of Saint Etienne de Baïgorry (horseback). The aim is to reach the top of Monhoa Mt. with a magnificent 360-degree view of the Aldudes valley and the ocean.
  • Spend the night at the top of Banca Mt. in the mountain lodging, Gîte Espila.

Day 3: From Banca via Roncevaux to Lindus and Urepel (6 hours with riding)

  • 08:00 Breakfast
  • 10:00 Getting started, the ridge between France and Spain: the longest and the most breathtaking trail of the whole week. Departure for the summits of mountains and view on Spain! Stay for two hours at the top of a ridge-line between France and Spain, pass of Lindus, a new magnificent 360-degree view on the surroundings: "Quint country and Spain”. You are at 1300 meters of altitude and may see at more than 100 kilometers around you!
  • 14:00 Lunch in the wild in Spain
  • 18:00 or 18:30 Arrival to Urepel, the pictorial village of the Aldudes Valley, and night at the “hotel Erreguina”.

Day 4: From the Aldudes Valley to Banca (4 hours with riding)

  • 08:00 Breakfast
  • 10:30 Getting started; time to discover the traditional life of the Basque people in the valley and the black and white porc Kintoa saved 20 years ago from extinction.
  • 12:00 Lunch in a restaurant testing the Basque specialty and the local wine.
  • 14:30 Climbing and ascent of the Harguibel mountain and the Spanish side. Then crossing of the Spanish virgin forest, an unforgettable moment! Enjoy the magnificent view of Spain’s virgin forests.
  • 18:30 Spend the night in Banca in the hotel, Erreguina. Dinner with testing the famous trouts of the Banca Valley River.

Day 5: From Banca via Ispeguy and Erratzu (Spain) to Lesperon

  • 08:00 Breakfast
  • 10:00 Getting started, ascent and crossing the pass of El Elhorrieta. Discovery of “Kromlech“, prehistoric graves from 22000 years before JC. New 360-degree view of the French Aldudes valley, Spain, and the ocean. Descending to Ispéguy.
  • 12:00 Descent towards the pass of Ispéguy.
  • 12:30 or 13:00 Lunch at a typical Spanish restaurant
  • 15:00 or 15:30 Thrilling descent by smugglers path toward Erratzu Spain village. Crossing the picturesque countryside and the nearest city on horseback.
  • 17:30 It’s time to put all the horses in the truck and start to the Atlantic Coast and Mimizan by minibus. There's also a town visit (horseback). The mountain part is officially over. Group transfer to the Atlantic Coast
  • 20:30 Dinner on the way to Mimizan or at the guesthouse
  • 21:00 Settlement in the guesthouse of Mimizan with an 11x7-meter swimming pool, an outdoor lounge, and a sheltered dining zone in closest proximity for three nights.

Days 6 and 7: Lesperon - Contis - Bias - Mimizan (2 riding days, 5 hours with riding per day )

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

  • New rhythm: From one of the biggest forests to one of the longest coastlines in Europe, spoil and indulge yourself with a long gallop on the white sandy beach of New Aquitaine.
  • Depending on the tide, you can also stay longer in the night to admire a superb sunset.
  • Last day's dinner will be served at one of the nicest restaurants in Mimizan (seafood and traditional local meal).

Day 8: Departure

Transfer back to Bordeaux Airport with crossing the city center if you have time before taking off.

  • Get packed.
  • Group transfer to the Int’l Airport of Bordeaux.
  • Depending on the traffic, a stop in Bordeaux downtown is possible

Included excursions

Saint Jean Pied de Port

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.


Michel Girard Mille


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.


  • Bordeaux International Airport (BOD) to St. Jean Pied de Port, 130 miles - 2 hours and 45 minutes


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.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda
  • Alcoholic beverages

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

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • 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 full riding days (4 mountain riding days and 2 forest and beach riding)
  • Use of riding equipment and horses
  • All transfers during riding days
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Wine, coffee, tea, and soda
  • Services of an English-speaking guide

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Dinner on the first night
  • Airport transfers
  • Mimizan Beach transfers on Monday and Saturday
  • Personal expenses

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by shuttle

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.

Arrival by train

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.

Arrival by bus

Take the RDTL Bus from Labouheyre to Mimizan: 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. all year (5 EUR, 40-minute trip)

Airport: Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport Airport transfer available: Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (US$48 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% 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
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. In that case, guests who have reserved will be offered to switch to the 6 days trek at the Atlantic coast with a reimbursement according to the price difference between the two treks.

Pricing information
  • The prices for July are slightly higher than the other dates.
  • No single supplement for the people alone when they want a shared bedroom.
Special discount

There will be a 30% discount on the 6th rider from one group on all week-long treks. For group bookings and to avail of this discount, please send Centre Équestre le Marina an inquiry.

Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 4 participants

Sunday September 11, 2022
(8 days / 7 nights)

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