Trail riders in the French region of Alsace

Alsace - Mountains and vineyards of Alsace

Experience a trail riding holiday in Alsace, riding the Vosges Massif and through Alsatian vineyards. On this horseback holiday in France, discover the stunning mountainous Vosges countryside and explore the region's chateaus and their beautiful wooded estates. From the saddle, you will ride through well-known villages along the 'route des vins', such as Ribeauvillé and Dambach, making sure to stop for a wine tasting and a visit to the cellars! Enjoy a varied programme with ascents, gallops, comfortable accommodation and local Alsatian cuisine.
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Trail Riding
7 days / 5 days riding
From £1,065
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Itinerary

Highlights

- Enjoy an itinerary that leads you through the beautiful scenic French countryside, woodlands and forests
- Discover Alsace by travelling along the vineyard roads and enjoy a wine-tasting ...or two!
- Ride horses that have been carefully chosen to match your level and riding style
- Visit the medieval cities, chateau ruins and fortified chateaus of Alsace, rich in history and cultural significance
- In the evening, enjoy local Alsatian cuisine in restaurants or around your hosts' table
  • Day 1 1 : ARRIVE AT THE HORSE FARM AND GITE

    On your arrival at the equestrian centre, between 18:00 and 20:30, you will be met with a traditional Alsatian meal and you will have the chance to meet the other riders in your group, as well as your guide. You will spend the night in a gite at the equestrian centre.

    Transfers are possible from either the airport or train station in Strabourg or Colmar, or the train station in Selestat, Fouday or St Blaise de Roche - these transfers are at an extra charge and are payable locally. For more information see Price Details.
  • Day 2 2 : BELMONT - CHAMP DU FEU - BELMONT - 4 hours riding

    Your first day will give you the chance to explore the equestrian centre's stables and you will explore the grounds of Champ du Feu, at an altitude of 1099 metres.

    This ski station and the surrounding area is classed as a Natura 2000 site and is the culmination point of the Bas-Rhin. The region is known for it's lush peat bogs, mountainous grass and scrublands.

    Your guides will have you move through the paces and possibly ride several horses in order to find the one that best suits your riding style and level for the days to come.

    You will have you lunch at the equestrian centre and in the afternoon, you will ride down to Val de Villé, known in Alsace for its fruit brandy. You will have you dinner and spend the night in a comfortable gite.
  • Day 3 3 : BELMONT - THANNENKIRCH - 5-6 hours riding

    In the morning, after breakfast, you will ride out towards Thannenkirch, a small village high above sea level. You will ride through the mountains and enjoy the spectacular views looking out across the Alsace plains. You will stop for your picnic lunch in the ruins of the chateau at Frankenbourg, built on an ancient site dating back to Gallo-Roman times. In the afternoon, you will stop to visit the renowned fortified Alsatian chateau of Haut Koenigsbourg. You will spend the night and have your evening meal at a gite in Thannenkirch.
  • Day 4 4 : THANNENKIRCH - RIBEAUVILLE - 5-6 hours riding

    After breakfast, you will ride out and leave the mountain countryside behind you to make your way towards Alsatian vineyard country. You will ride to Ribeauvillé, an ancient medieval city that is still encircled by its original ramparts and is the site of a majestic chateau high on the mountainside overlooking the French countryside.

    Your afternoon will be spent discovering the village of Ribeauvillé and visiting one of the village's wine cellars. You will enjoy a local Alsatian dinner and spend the night in Ribeauvillé.
  • Day 5 5 : RIBEAUVILLE - SAINT PIERRE - 5-6 hours riding

    In the morning, you will ride through the vineyards passing through small Alastian villages typical to the region such as Bergheim, Kintzheim, Dambach la-Ville and Mittelbergheim. Only fittingly, a visit to a wine cellar is on the cards!

    After your stop for lunch, you will get back in the saddle and take the trails leading towards the village of St-Pierre. The paths you will take are perfectly suited to long gallops and you will kick on and watch the countryside fly past. You will have dinner and spend the night in a gite in St-Pierre.
  • Day 6 6 : SAINT PIERRE - BELMONT - 5-6 hours riding

    After breakfast, you will leave the Alsace plains and head out once more along the mountain paths until you arrive once more at Champ du Feu situated at an altitude of 1000m. You will stop for your picnic lunch in the ruins of Spesbourg Chateau before riding back to the equestrian centre. On your way, you will pass the waterfalls at Hohwald, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Alsace.

    You will have your evening meal at the equsestriqn centre and have a chance to relax with your guides and enjoy a final Alsatian meal. You will spend the night in a gite on the centre's grounds.
  • Day 7 7 : RETURN TO THE UK

    After a hearty breakfast, it will be time to say goodbye to the horses and your guides as you start your journey back to the UK.

    Transfers are possible from either the airport or train station in Strabourg or Colmar, or the train station in Selestat, Fouday or St Blaise de Roche - these transfers are at an extra charge and are payable locally. For more information see Price Details.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights to your destination are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a standard double or twin room (triple rooms are a possibility).

- Groups are made up of 4 to 10 (max.) riders

- Children from the age of 8 are welcome on this ride as long as they are accompanied by a parent and meet the riding level requirements for the trip

- Transfers to and from the equestrian centre are available at an additional cost, payable locally.
From Strasbourg or Colmar airport or train station - £96 (€110) per car each way - this cost is shared out over the number of riders in each transfer group
From Sélestat train station - £55 (€60) per car each way - this cost is shared out over the number of riders in each transfer group
From Fouday train station - £18 (€20) per car each way - this cost is shared out over the number of riders in each transfer group

- Individual rooms are available on payment of a supplementary charge of £180 (€210). If you are travelling alone and someone to share a room with you cannot be found, the supplementary single room fee will be charged on-site.
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 guide

logisitcs

1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider

Inland transport

Support vehicule

Accommodation

6 nights in a comfortable gite

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverages and personal extras

Transport

Transfers to and from the airport or train station
International flights

Extras

Tips to local team
Entry fees to parks, museums and other sites

Insurance

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

Optional

Accommodation

Single room supplement
  • July - August 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    30/08/2020 05/09/2020 £1,065 Open Book now
  • September - October 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    06/09/2020 12/09/2020 £1,065 Open Book now
    13/09/2020 19/09/2020 £1,065 Open Book now
    20/09/2020 26/09/2020 £1,065 Open Book now
    27/09/2020 03/10/2020 £1,065 Open Book now
    04/10/2020 10/10/2020 £1,065 Open Book now
    11/10/2020 17/10/2020 £1,065 Open Book now
    18/10/2020 24/10/2020 £1,065 Open Book now
    25/10/2020 31/10/2020 £1,065 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

Our stables are home to a wide range of breeds:
- Icelandic horses, ideal for beginners wishing to start learning to ride.
- Fjord horses that are ideal trekking and trail-riding horses, both calm and sure footed.
- Irish cobs, known to excel as cart and carriage horses but are equally well suited as trail-riding horses
- Pure-blood English horses, great for riding outdoors and known for being calm yet reactive. Mounts ideal for experienced riders who enjoy athletic treks.
- Pure-blood Arabs, highly regarded for their prowess in endurance competitions they also make wonderful trail-riding mounts for experienced riders
- Pure-blood Spanish horses, skilled in dressage with their majestic pacing, they are also enjoyable trail-riding horses for experienced riders

Each rider will be paired with the horse that is best suited to their riding level.
If you weigh over 90kg/ 14st / 198lbs and wish to ride, please contact us before booking.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

For this ride, you need to have mastered all 3 paces (walking, rising trot and galloping in a forward seat) across uneven terrain.

There is a maximum rider weight of 90kg/ 14st/ 198 lbs. If you weigh more than this and wish to ride, please contact us so we can arrange a suitable mount.

Pace

The base pace of the ride is a walking pace interspersed with trots and gallops. This region's terrain is well suited to long gallops.

Tacking ability and participation

You will be asked to participate in the tacking, untacking and feeding of the horses. You will also be responsible for signalling any injuries or issues with your horse to your guide and then aiding in any necessary treatment.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

This trip is suited to intermediate and experienced level riders who ride regularly. You need to be in good physical condition and be able to ride for several days in a row without tiring.

Equestrian equipment

English saddles are provided.

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

Travel info

Comfort

Throughout the trip, you will spend 3 nights in a gite on the horse farm and 4 nights in double or twin rooms in a comfortable and charming gite or hotel.

Meals

Throughout the ride, your lunches will either be picnics made from local products (and transported by the support vehicle) or had in restaurants, depending on the weather. You dinners will be had in restaurants specialising in Alsatian dishes or you will have your evening meals around you host's table.

Climate

Alsace has a continental climate with cold and dry winters and hot, often stormy, summers. The months in-between - from April to May and September to October - are usually warm and agreeable.
Spring in Alsace gives you the opportunity to make the most of the lengthening days and discover a beautiful countryside coming out of hibernation. In the autumn, the region is coloured by the vibrant hues of the growing vineyards. Summers in the region can be very hot and are the best season to take refreshing dips in the tranquil lakes and the ride through Vosges.
From the beginning of November, the cooler temperature and fogs that roll out across the countryside create an enjoyable atmosphere to ride through. Mid and late winter can be harsh with frequent frosts.

Guide and local team

Throughout your trip, you will be guided by either Marco, Jessica, Luc or Lucie - all qualified horse-riding tourism guides. They speak French, English and German and know the area and its trails like the back of their hand!

Tips

In France, it is customary to tip - usually this is by rounding up the price. You may wish to leave a tip with the guide who can split it amongst all members of the team - this is not obligatory and is entirely at your discretion.

Packing list

Head
- A riding helmet is compulsory and we recommend that you take your own to ensure a correct fit. Helmet makers (GPA, HKM, LAS Helmets, Lamicell, Troxel, Equithème) now offer horse-riding helmets that are ventilated, strong, light and comfortable.
- 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, wind or rain
- Warm hat for cold evenings/days

Upper body
- Thermals in case of cold weather
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun or extra warmth
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Waterproof jacket (made from Goretex or equivalent) and/ or (depending on the season) a waterproof vest that covers you thighs. No ponchos!!

Legs
- 2 pairs of 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 (made from Goretex or equivalent), especially if you don't have a long waterproof coat
- Casual clothes for the evenings (jeans or walking trousers)
- A swimming costume may be useful for impromptu dips in the lake
- Non-irritant cotton or synthetic underwear

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

Other useful items
- Water bottle (1.5 litres or 2 equivalent)
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Toiletries
- Protein or cereal bars for the longer stretches of riding
- Ear plugs (may be useful)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- A pair of binoculars

Medical kit
Make sure any allergies (to medication or otherwise) and clearly stated in your medical kit
- Any medication you regularly take
- Painkillers
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhea medication
- Vitamin C tablets
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Eye drops
- Hydrating/ soothing cream
- Plasters
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc..
- 10cm wide bandage
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

Our Recommendations
- 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, lip balm etc)
- A soothing cream may be useful to treat areas irritated by long hours in the saddle
- 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!
- In your hold luggage: Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant over 100 ml and all bottles can be decanted into small, clear, plastic Ziplock bags. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- In your hand luggage carry any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.

Visa & Health

Formalities

UK citizens - other nationalities please contact us:

Passport validity
Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.

The rules on travel will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

Visas
If you hold a British Citizen passport, you don’t need a visa to enter France.

The rules on travel will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

For up-to-date information please visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france/entry-requirements

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.