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Trail riding in the Pyrenees

Languedoc Roussillon - Pyrenees High Mountain Trail

8 days / 6 days riding from 1064€

Riding levels

Each of our trips is assigned a minimum level of riding ability required. This reflects whether there is technical riding required; the terrain to be covered; the liveliness of the horses; the length of the riding days and the riding fitness required.




For novice riders, these riding holidays will give beginners the chance to get used to being in the saddle. In general, a beginner/ novice hasn't learned how to canter and has not yet mastered rising trot. They are able to mount safely and to control a horse at a walk. 



For intermediate riders who are at ease at 2 paces (walk and rising trot and are starting to canter in a forward seat) out in open countryside. The intermediate rider is able to mount and dismount their horse unassisted, use basic riding aids, ride at a rising trot for at least 10 minutes, to change and control the pace from a walk to a trot and comfortably canter over short distances.



For experienced riders who have mastered all 3 paces (walk, rising trot, canter in a forward seat) over uneven terrain. The experienced rider rides regularly, has a good seat and is confident of their own ability. They are able to control the horse at speed and change direction of their horse at any pace and in any circumstance as needed.



For advanced riders who have mastered all 4paces (walk, rising trot, canter gallop in a forward seat) over uneven terrain on all types of horses including those that are very spirited. The advanced rider rides regularly has good physical fitness, has good soft hands and has the ability to gallop for long stretches without getting tired.



For all riders, whether they are novices, intermediate level, experienced or advanced. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance training, natural horsemanship, trail riding orcentre based safaris.



For beginners and intermediate level riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capability of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For beginners, intermediate level  and experienced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For intermediate level and experienced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtraining,endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For intermediate level, experiencedand advanced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtrainingendurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For experiencedand advanced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtraining,endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.

Comfort

Each of our rides has been assigned an expected level of comfort

Nights in basic shelter such as a mountain hut/cabin. Usually dormitory beds with shared bathrooms.

 

EQUUS JOURNEYS Fingerpost Cottage
Hopton Wafers
Shropshire, DY140NA. UK
Phone : +44 (0) 1905 388977
INFO@EQUUS-JOURNEYS.COM

Imprimer

LANGUEDOC ROUSSILLON - CEVENNES-Languedoc Roussillon - Pyrenees High Mountain Trail

8 days / 6 days riding from 1064€


Activity :

Level :

Comfort :

This trail ride takes you high onto the Aillou plateau deep in the Pyrenees. Ride past mountain lakes and along crystal clear streams through the wild landscapes of the high mountains, far from civilisation. The soft, green turf invites you to canter as you pass the remains of Cathare castles.

Strengths

- Discover the Meren and Casillon horses
- Explore the small villages in the Pyrenees high altitude and the plateau of Aillou
- The chance of seeing wild chamois goats along the way, and vultures riding the thermals

Itinerary

Day 1 : LONDON - CAMURAC - No riding

You will fly into Toulouse airport where you will be collected and transferred to your gite. To arrive in time for the transfer, your flight needs to land before 14:00.

Once at the gite, there should be just enough time for you to meet the horses before having dinner with your guide and discussing the programme for the days to follow.

Alternatively, you can travel by train to Ax-les-Thermes from where you will be collected at 17:30.

Day 2 : CAMURAC - BELVIS - 4-5 hours riding

Your day's ride will start out in a westerly direction, leaving Camurac behind and crossing the Boum plains. Passing Pas de l'Ours, you will be able to see the chateau of Montsegur as you climb up above the gorges of Frau.

From the peak of Langarail, you will stop for your picnic lunch and take in the magnificent views down the valley. You will ride down to the Sault plateau and canter across the lush green turf before reaching your gite for the night.

NB. Please note, this itinerary may run in reverse.

Day 3 : BELVIS - D'OURTISSET - 4 hours riding

There will be plenty of opportunities for canters in the morning as you cross the Sault plateau before riding down to the small valley of Rebenty. You will then climb up to the village of Rodome, from where you will set off into the high mountains, passing the summer grazing pastures at Mazubi where you may be able to see your guide's mares and foals enjoying the sunshine.

In the evening, your ride will come to an end just below the peak of Ourtisset (1,993m) where you will find your cabin in the middle of lush meadowlands. Relax and take in the stunning views from the cabin before turning in for a well-deserved night's sleep.

Day 4 : D'OURTISSET - CHIOULA - 5-6 hours riding

The pace will be mixed and includes walking, trotting and cantering. There are some good opportunities for fast canters across the plateaus. You will also have to dismount and lead your horse downhill for some difficult sections in the mountains.

Leaving the cabin behind, you will take paths through the open pastures home to grazing flocks of sheep and towards the pass at Paillheres at 2,000m.

From Paillheres, you will follow a ridge offering splendid views of the Dent d'Orlu (2,222m) and the whole Ariegeoise mountain chain. After summiting the crest of Pradel and having spent a magnificent day riding at altitude enjoying spectacular views, you will make your way down to your refuge at Chioula at 1,600m.

Day 5 : CHIOULA - D'APPY - 4 hours riding

After riding downhill form your cabin towards Marmare, you will then lead your horse through Caoussou Valley and make your way through several picturesque villages overhanging the hillside above the Ariege valley. The Romanesque churches in these high altitude villages are truly a remarkable sight.

Your ride will then continue following a path overlooking the Tabes massif and then in the evening you will arrive at gite at d'Appy.

Day 6 : D'APPY - FOURCAT - MONTFERRIER - 6-7 hours riding

The day's ride will start out on a steep path towards Mount Fourcat; you will discover and appreciate your horse's skills in dealing with this tricky terrain. You will climb, with relative speed, to the top of Mount Fourcat that stands at over 2,000m high. At the summit, the view is truly breathtaking and you will be able to see the central Pyrenees on one side and the valley on the other.

To make your way down from the peak, you will dismount and descend on foot to the 'Couloir' (corridor) where you will then mount up once more to ride towards your gite at Fremis, Montferrier. In the evening, from your gite, you will be able to enjoy stunning views of the chateau at Montsegur.

Day 7 : MONTFERRIER - MONTSEGUR - CAMURAC - 6 hours riding

Leaving Montferrier, you will ride through the valley at the foot of Montsegur chateau. This high citadel was the location that witnessed the end of the crusade against Cathares - with nearly 200 people burned at the stake during the conflict.

Riding down to the village of Montsegur and crossing through another pass, you will reach the hamlet of Pelail and the gorges of Frau. The gorge's limestone cliffs are a towering 400m above the valley floor and will line your path as you make your final climb back up to the Aillou plateau.

You will then enjoy some final exhilarating canters across the plateau before reaching Camurac and the end of your trail.

Day 8 : CAMURAC - LONDON - No riding

After breakfast, depending on your travel plans, you will either be transferred to Ax-les-Thermes train station or to Toulouse airport for your flight back to the UK.

Your return flight needs to have a departure time after 15:00.


Price details

- Flights are not included. Transfers from Toulouse are not included. Return transfers cost €75 (approx. £65) and leave from the airport at 14:00

- If you choose to take the train from Toulouse to arrive at Ax-les-Thermes, a return transfer is possible at no extra charge

- Groups are composed of 4-10 riders

- There is no single accommodation on this ride

- Special diet supplement: €30/£26 per person for the duration of the trip.

- Riders over 80 kg / 12.5 st / 176 lbs, please contact us before booking.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

PRICE INCLUDES

Support Team

1 English speaking horse guide

Logistics

1 vehicle and driver
1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider

Inland transports

Transfers to and from Ax-les-Thermes train station

Accommodation

Simple mountain huts
2-man tents

Meals

Full board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on the final day

PRICE DOESN'T INCLUDE

Meals

Beverages and personal extras

Transport

Extras

Tips to the local team

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurance are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked in case of cancellation.

TIPS

In France it is customary to tip - usually this is by rounding up the price when you are satisfied with the service in a restaurant. You may wish to leave a tip with the guide who can split it amongst all members of the team.

HORSES

The horses are local Meren mountain horses, bred for their ability to navigate the tough mountain terrain. They will take you safely through the region. They live out high up in summer pastures as a herd before being brought into work, which gives them their sure footedness and hardiness. The horses are ridden in English saddles.

MINIMUM RIDING ABILITY

You need to be an experienced rider who is fit enough to ride across varied terrain for several hours.

Riders over 80 kg / 12.5 st / 176 lbs, please contact us before booking.

PACE

The pace will be mixed and includes walking, trotting and cantering. There are some good opportunities for fast canters across the plateaus. You will also have to dismount and lead your horse downhill for some difficult sections in the mountains.

TACKING ABILITY AND PARTICIPATION

You will be expected to groom, tack and untack your own horse, as well as assist with feeding and watering.

TRIP CONDITIONS AND REQUESTED EXPERIENCE

You need to be fit. This ride is at altitude and you need to be in good physical condition as some sections have to be walked on foot. There are some particularly technical bits, especially at the top of Mt Fourcat, and long hours in the saddle.

Previous experience of riding a mountainous trail of several days is required. Riders who do not ride regularly will need to get back into the saddle before joining this trail.

EQUESTRIAN EQUIPMENT

Water bottle holders are provided along with saddle bags.

We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit

COMFORT

Overnight accommodation will either be camping or staying in gites or shepherds refuges. Please bring your own sleeping bag and mattress.

CLIMATE

The region can experience different weather patterns.

In the foothills of the Arieg valley towards Tarascon and Pays de Sault the weather is mediterranean, with hot and sunny weather likely.
In the Pyrenean valleys the weather is more volatile with the possibility of storms and high temperature differences between day and night.

Rain can be possible all year round, particularly on the northwest facing slopes and snow is common above 1,000m.

Meals

Picnic lunches are cold and carried in saddle bags.
Evening meals are cooked by your hosts and guides.

There will be supplement to pay if you have any specific diet (vegetarian, gluten free, etc). Please see dates and prices.

Support Team

Guide and local team

The owner of the horses and trail riding company - Sylvain - is local to the area and is a certified guide for both climbing and horse riding. He is a geographer and specialist in ecotourism and will share his passion of mountains, horses and outdoor sports with you.

Whilst Sylvain normally guides this ride it may be possible that another member of his team guides and he works with the logistics team.

Packing list

Please keep in mind this is an altitude trail and the weather can be unpredictable - anything from hot sunshine to hail and even snow. Please be prepared and bring appropriate clothing and gear.

Head
- Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana for protecting your neck and face from the sun and dust

Upper body
- Thermals in case of cold weather
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun, which can be fierce at altitude
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm polar fleece or equivalent (plus a spare in case one gets wet)
- Waterproof jacket - rain can be difficult to predict and it's better to be prepared. In the mountains the weather can change quickly

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Waterproof over trousers
- Casual clothes for the evenings (jeans or walking trousers)
- Thermals (can also be used as nightwear)

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Lightweight shoes or trainers for the evenings
- Several pairs of warm socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding

Nightwear
- Sleeping bag with a minimum comfort rating of minus 5 celsius - you may find minus 8 - minus 10 more comfortable.
- Sleeping bag liner adds an extra layer - either cotton, fleece or silk
- Self inflating mattress such as Thermarest for comfort
- Pyjamas or tracksuits or thermals for sleeping in


Other useful items
- Towels (camping towels pack lighter and dry quicker)
- Swimsuit - for swimming/bathing in rivers
- Small backpack for accessing items required during the day (carried by support crew)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Wet Wipes or equivalent (for when washing facilities aren't available)
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)

In your luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag.
- Swiss army knife or equivalent

In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

Our Recommendations
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided with a capacity of 60-80 litres. We recommend taking a backpack or similar. The luggage limit on the ride is 15kg per person.
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- Please take a copy of your insurance policy and passport with you

ENTRY FORMALITIES

The UK is leaving the European Union. The rules for passports, entry requirements, driving, EHIC cards and more may change after Brexit.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-brexit

ACTIVITY :Trail Riding

LEVEL :Help

COMFORT :Help

This trail ride takes you high onto the Aillou plateau deep in the Pyrenees. Ride past mountain lakes and along crystal clear streams through the wild landscapes of the high mountains, far from civilisation. The soft, green turf invites you to canter as you pass the remains of Cathare castles.

  • Cantering in the mountains
    Cantering across the Pyrenees
  • Explore the Pyrenees on horseback
    Riding trail in the Pyrenees
  • Riding through the French Pyrenees
    Horseback riding in the pyrenees mountains
  • Stunning mountain trails in the Pyrenees
    Horseback expedition in the Pyrenees
  • Sure-footed horses taking you safely to the top!
    Horse riding trail in the french mountains

STRENGTHS

- Discover the Meren and Casillon horses
- Explore the small villages in the Pyrenees high altitude and the plateau of Aillou
- The chance of seeing wild chamois goats along the way, and vultures riding the thermals

ITINERARY

Day 1 : LONDON - CAMURAC - No riding

You will fly into Toulouse airport where you will be collected and transferred to your gite. To arrive in time for the transfer, your flight needs to land before 14:00.

Once at the gite, there should be just enough time for you to meet the horses before having dinner with your guide and discussing the programme for the days to follow.

Alternatively, you can travel by train to Ax-les-Thermes from where you will be collected at 17:30.

Day 2 : CAMURAC - BELVIS - 4-5 hours riding

Your day's ride will start out in a westerly direction, leaving Camurac behind and crossing the Boum plains. Passing Pas de l'Ours, you will be able to see the chateau of Montsegur as you climb up above the gorges of Frau.

From the peak of Langarail, you will stop for your picnic lunch and take in the magnificent views down the valley. You will ride down to the Sault plateau and canter across the lush green turf before reaching your gite for the night.

NB. Please note, this itinerary may run in reverse.

Day 3 : BELVIS - D'OURTISSET - 4 hours riding

There will be plenty of opportunities for canters in the morning as you cross the Sault plateau before riding down to the small valley of Rebenty. You will then climb up to the village of Rodome, from where you will set off into the high mountains, passing the summer grazing pastures at Mazubi where you may be able to see your guide's mares and foals enjoying the sunshine.

In the evening, your ride will come to an end just below the peak of Ourtisset (1,993m) where you will find your cabin in the middle of lush meadowlands. Relax and take in the stunning views from the cabin before turning in for a well-deserved night's sleep.

Day 4 : D'OURTISSET - CHIOULA - 5-6 hours riding

The pace will be mixed and includes walking, trotting and cantering. There are some good opportunities for fast canters across the plateaus. You will also have to dismount and lead your horse downhill for some difficult sections in the mountains.

Leaving the cabin behind, you will take paths through the open pastures home to grazing flocks of sheep and towards the pass at Paillheres at 2,000m.

From Paillheres, you will follow a ridge offering splendid views of the Dent d'Orlu (2,222m) and the whole Ariegeoise mountain chain. After summiting the crest of Pradel and having spent a magnificent day riding at altitude enjoying spectacular views, you will make your way down to your refuge at Chioula at 1,600m.

Day 5 : CHIOULA - D'APPY - 4 hours riding

After riding downhill form your cabin towards Marmare, you will then lead your horse through Caoussou Valley and make your way through several picturesque villages overhanging the hillside above the Ariege valley. The Romanesque churches in these high altitude villages are truly a remarkable sight.

Your ride will then continue following a path overlooking the Tabes massif and then in the evening you will arrive at gite at d'Appy.

Day 6 : D'APPY - FOURCAT - MONTFERRIER - 6-7 hours riding

The day's ride will start out on a steep path towards Mount Fourcat; you will discover and appreciate your horse's skills in dealing with this tricky terrain. You will climb, with relative speed, to the top of Mount Fourcat that stands at over 2,000m high. At the summit, the view is truly breathtaking and you will be able to see the central Pyrenees on one side and the valley on the other.

To make your way down from the peak, you will dismount and descend on foot to the 'Couloir' (corridor) where you will then mount up once more to ride towards your gite at Fremis, Montferrier. In the evening, from your gite, you will be able to enjoy stunning views of the chateau at Montsegur.

Day 7 : MONTFERRIER - MONTSEGUR - CAMURAC - 6 hours riding

Leaving Montferrier, you will ride through the valley at the foot of Montsegur chateau. This high citadel was the location that witnessed the end of the crusade against Cathares - with nearly 200 people burned at the stake during the conflict.

Riding down to the village of Montsegur and crossing through another pass, you will reach the hamlet of Pelail and the gorges of Frau. The gorge's limestone cliffs are a towering 400m above the valley floor and will line your path as you make your final climb back up to the Aillou plateau.

You will then enjoy some final exhilarating canters across the plateau before reaching Camurac and the end of your trail.

Day 8 : CAMURAC - LONDON - No riding

After breakfast, depending on your travel plans, you will either be transferred to Ax-les-Thermes train station or to Toulouse airport for your flight back to the UK.

Your return flight needs to have a departure time after 15:00.

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Early bird discounts
Get 3% off all trips booked before 31/12/2019 for a departure in 2020.
Terms and conditions:
  • This 3% early bird discount applies to the cost of the trip, and excludes transfers & supplements, international or domestic flights, and any additional services.
  • This offer cannot be combined with any other current discount.