The varied topography of France offers diverse horseback riding vacations. Beautiful bridle paths lead across everything from the sandy Mediterranean beaches to the French Alps. What’s more, 80% of France is countryside. Distinctive in architecture, the natural charm of the French abounds in the medieval hamlets and villages. Some itineraries include riding to the foot of breathtaking Gothic churches and Renaissance castles. Dordogne with its hills, deciduous trees and mellow stone buildings offers relaxing horseback vacations. The Camargue, known for its wild rugged coastal lands, provides invigorating trails. Provence is splendid with the lingering pungent smells of herbs and flowers. The Basque regions offers mountain to Atlantic ocean trails and visits to Aquitaine Castles. The south central Cevennes Mountain boast an impressive succession of mountain crests and deep mysterious valleys to ride across.
The country is rich in history. Riders can follow royal footsteps in Loire; Van Gogh’s paths in Provence ; the soldiers’ march in Normandy; and author Peter Mayle’s wanderings in the Luberon. Renown wines are found not only in the Bordeaux region but also other regions in France. Riders may have the option to include wine tastings at notable vineyards.
French horses are mostly of Arab cross with light bone. The guide are well qualified by completing trail leading courses and exams. Western saddles are sometimes available.
The French enjoy matching meals with the right wine. In every corner, riders will find a celebrated specialty dish using local produce and spices. The best months to ride are April to June and September to November.