July 11, 2016

Horse-Riding-Holidays-in-France-hero Experience France on horseback. - Flickr user ReflectedSerendipity

Horse riding is a favourite pastime of mine. From pony rides as a young boy to wild horse riding adventures in more recent years, it’s always been an important part of my life. I love nothing more than saddling up and exploring the great outdoors, whether that means trotting through the countryside or galloping along the coast. France is one of my favourite places to go horse riding, as the terrain is so varied and there are so many places which are perfect for riding. In this blog post, I’m taking a look at a few of the best horse riding holidays in France. Giddy-up!

Weekend in Lyons Forest

How long is it: 3 days, 2 nights

Level: Beginner

There are plenty of tour providers to choose from, Ride in France is just one. They offer horseback tours all over the country, varying in length and difficulty, so there’s something for everyone. This three day, two night tour takes place in Normandy, in northern France, which is just a few hours’ drive from Calais. You’ll spend three days amidst uninterrupted beauty, trotting and cantering through Lyons Forest, and, on the second day, you’ll stop at picturesque Lyons-la-Forêt for lunch. Classified as a Plus Beaux Villages de France (one of the most beautiful villages in France), you’ll fall in love with Lyons-la-Forêt’s charm.

The Weekend in Lyons Forest horse riding holiday is available from June to December.

Loire Castle Trail

The Loire Valley’s châteaux

The Loire Valley’s châteaux are not to be missed. © Flickr user Dennis Jarvis

How long is it: 7 nights, 8 days

Level: Intermediate

The Loire Valley is best known for its impressive châteaux, which are dotted throughout the region. They display the finest French architecture and most beautiful gardens, surrounded by rolling green hills – perfect for horse riding! This In The Saddle ride begins and ends in Blois, the capital of the Centre-Val de Loire region, and takes riders on a seven-night tour through woodlands, forests and vineyards, past pretty towns, along rivers and, of course, to the region’s châteaux. You’ll stay at BnBs and hotels along the way, and picnics full of delicious local produce will be provided daily.

The Loire Castle Trail horse riding holiday is available from April to September.

From Mont Saint-Michel to Cancale’s Bay

How long is it: 4 days, 3 nights

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Another tour by Ride in France, this time from Mont Saint-Michel to Cancale’s Bay, takes you west along the coast to explore Mont Saint-Michel Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the Mont Saint-Michel island commune – Cancale’s Bay and the surrounding areas. The ride starts at the guesthouse in Normandy, setting off through the Sée Valley. You’ll ride through lovely woodlands, meadows and villages, followed by a group meal at a local restaurant. Over the following two days, you’ll head to the beach to explore both bays and visit the breath-taking Mont Saint-Michel.

The From Mont Saint-Michel to Cancale’s Bay horse riding holiday is available from July to November.

The Lavender Trail

The beautiful lavender fields

The beautiful lavender fields in Provence. © Flickr user decar66

How long is it: 6 nights, 7 days

Level: Intermediate and above

If you’re willing to travel a little further – and I’d highly recommend you do – In The Saddle offers great rides in the South of France. This particular horse riding holiday takes place in Provence, an area which is known for its Mediterranean weather, Camargue nature reserve and many colourful lavender farms. This seven-day ride starts in Lauris, heading south through Rustrel, Saint-Trinit and several other places, before finishing up in Saint-Auban-sur-l'Ouvèze. The trail winds through valleys and forests, up hills and past lavender fields, stopping at guesthouses along the way.

The Lavender Trail horse riding holiday is available from January to October. 

Explore France on horseback with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

Travel from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes and, from there, you can start your horse riding holiday adventure.

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