Ride Overview - Basque Mountain and Ocean Trails
An exhilarating horseback riding vacation in the Basque region between France and Spain! You will enjoy diverse landscapes which includes four days on mountain trails, one day on forest paths and one on the white sands of the Atlantic Ocean shoreline. Your vacation begins at Saint Jean Pied de Port, a hurdy-gurdy major passage of the pilgrims on the Way to Santiago de Compostela. Your trails will include thrilling sceneries of wild valleys framed by rugged peaks and soaring eagles and vultures. Then a relaxing ride on the vast beaches of the Atlantic Ocean will end with an exciting gallop on the white sand of the Aquitaine Coast, and if weather permits, you can swim in the middle of waves. RIDING IN FRANCE
“Thanks Michele and Annette for a wonderful riding holiday. I can’t say enough good things about this trip, the professionalism, the horses, the scenery, the accommodation and food …all 5 star. In addition to having fun I learned so much from Michel that’s helped to improve my riding. I will never forget you and this amazing trip. Thank you!!” R.G.
Ride Itinerary - Basque Mountain and Ocean Trails
You will be transferred from Bordeaux to your 3 stars “Gite de Charme” Amestoia Hotel in St. Etienne de Baïgorry. You will be able to walk around the famous city of Saint Jean Pied-de-Port. You will meet your guide and fellow riders at dinner in a traditional Basque restaurant in the middle of the historical part of the city.
You will ride through the historic village of Saint Etienne de Baïgorry. Your trail will then ascend to the top of the of the Monhoa summit for a panoramic view of the Aldudes valley and the Atlantic Ocean. You will lodge in the Gîte Espila B & B.
Your trail will lead to the mountain summit (altitude: 4,265 feet/ 1,300 meters) for a view of Spain, the ridge line between France and Spain and the pass of Lindus. Next, you will ride through the Aldudes Valley to the picturesque village of Urepel where you lodge in the 2 * Hotel Erreguina for the night.
This is the day to discover the traditional life of the Basque valley people and their local cuisine. Your trail will ascent up the Spanish side of the Harguibel Mountain. Then you will cross through the Spanish virgin forest – an unforgettable moment! You will stay again at Hotel Erreguina. Dinner will feature fresh trout from the Banca Valley River.
Your ascending trail continues to pass of the Elhorrieta Pass. Along the way, you will see the Kromlech prehistoric graves. Your horse will then descend towards the pass of Ispéguy. Lunch will be served in a traditional Spanish restaurant. You will then mount up for a thrilling descent on a smugglers’ path towards Saint Etienne de Baigorry. After you cross through the city on horseback, your group will finish the mountain trail with a Basque wine tasting. You will then be transferred to the Atlantic Coast by bus. Along the way, you will stop for dinner. For the next three nights, you will stay in the 3* Guest House of Mimizan offering a heated swimming pool.
Day 6 and 7:
The rhythm of your pace changes. It is the time of a long and quick gallop in the largest forest of Europe followed by an exhilarating gallop on the white sand of the Aquitaine Coast. The ride may also be on the beach on Saturday at sunset if the tide allows. Dinner will be enjoyed in a nice local seafood restaurant in Mimizan.
After breakfast, you will be transferred back to the Bordeaux Airport.
*The guide reserves the right to change the itinerary based on unforeseen circumstances.
Ride Details - Basque Mountain and Ocean Trails
Dates: May 2nd – 9th, May 16th – 23rd, May 3oth – June 6th, June 13th – 2oth, June 27th – July4th, September 5th – 12th, September 19th – 26th, October 3rd – 10th
Best Months to Ride: April to June and September to November
Airport/Train Station: Bordeaux Airport
Meeting Place: Hall A, Bordeaux Airport
Riding Days: 6
Daily Riding Hours: 6 – 8
Riding Ability: STRONG INTERMEDIATE: Confident and in control at all paces including posting trots, two point canters and gallops in open country, must also be able to hike alongside the horses in a few narrow passes.
Restrictions: Maximum rider weight –209 lbs./ 95 kg
Group Size: 4 – 10
Horses: Anglo Arab
Lodging: 1st night – 3 stars “Gite de Charme” Amestoïa Saint Etienne de Baïgorry
2nd night – Espila Mountain Guest House
3th and 4th nights – 2 stars Hôtel Erreguina**Aldude Valley in Banca.
5th, 6thand 7thnights – 2 stars Riding Center Guest House in Mimizan (see photo gallery)
Non-riding activities: none
*Price: May, June, September, October: $1,835.00 per person, double occupancy, $190.00 single supplement
July: $1,945.00 per person $205.00 single supplement
*This price will fluctuate with the USD/EURO and be fixed at final payment.
**Single occupancy is based on availability.
***Small group fee (200 euros) may apply if total group is under 4 riders.
Included: 8 days, 7 nights’ accommodations, horse, tack, guide, meals (airport transfer is included if arrival pickup is before 1:00 pm and departure drop off is before 1:00 pm)
Not Included: airfare, first-day dinner in St. Jean Pied de Port, the transfer from Bordeaux Airport to Saint Jean – 90 euros per person round trip
Basque Mountain and Ocean Trails: Gallery
Basque Mountain and Ocean Trails