Riders and Merens horses in the Pyrenees on a trail ride

Languedoc Roussillon - The Three Countries

A long and adventurous trail ride through breathtaking scenery riding through valleys and across mountains. Taking in the three countries of Spain, France and Andorra, this is a technically challenging ride with difficult passages on horseback whilst being supported by pack mules.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Pack Trip
9 days/ 7 days riding
From £1,155

From the horse’s mouth

  • Languedoc Roussillon - The Three Countries
    September 2019 Jane
    An exhilarating trail ride through stunning mountain scenery on strong, sensible and well-kept horses who really know their job. Lots of walking and leading on descents. Be prepared for sudden changes in the weather ( we went from 24 degrees sun to 2 degrees and snow - and back again). Mine was Cazar. Kind, patient,... Read all
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Itinerary

Highlights

- A horseback journey with difficult terrain to negotiate and long days in the saddle
- Ride through breathtaking scenery on the borders of France, Spain and Andora
- Discover the beautiful Meren horse, an ancient breed native to the Ariege
- The atmosphere of an equestrian expedition supported by pack mules on remote passes
- Ride up high into the mountains and see chamois and vultures circling
  • Day 1 1: EUROPE - CAMURAC - No riding

    Flights to Toulouse are not included. Your flight must arive by 14:00.

    On arrival at the airport you will be collected and transferred to Camurac to meet the rest of the group. After being shown to your room, there will be time to meet the horses before dinner with your guide. This transfer is not included, €75 payable locally.

    Alternatively, you can take a train to d'Ax les Thermes where you will be collected at 17:30.
  • Day 2 2: CAMURAC - CHIOULA - 4 hours

    Your first day of riding into the mountain landscape, you will have breathtaking views of the central Pyrenees.
    Make your way to the central Chioula refuge.
  • Day 3 3: CHIOULA - LUZENAC - 4 hours

    Leave the refuge of Chioula for a ride along the mountain ridges where you will enjoy the spectacular scenery. Descend to Unac and Luzenac.
  • Day 4 4: LUZENAC - REFUGE RULHES - 6 hours

    Ride up into the valley where the mares and foals spend their summers at Luzenac Estivant. Climb up to high altitudes, riding to the peaks, takle technical sections and follow tracks to cross the base of Didorte. Continue to the Rulhes refuge for the evening. There will be magnificent views across a lake through to the Peak of Rulhes. You do not have a back up vehicle escorting you this evening, so the pack mules will carry your equipment and each rider will have a bundle of belongings for the evening. Calou, the refuge keeper will make you dinner.
  • Day 5 5: REFUGE DU RULHES - SOLDEU - 4 hours

    Continue riding high up in the mountains through a very technical but beautiful route to the border with Andorra. Descend the Inclès valley to Soldeu where you will be back to civilisation. Spend the night in a four star hotel in Soldeu where your luggage will be waiting at the hotel.
  • Day 6 6: SOLDEU - ANGOLASTER - 4 hours 30

    Today enjoy the beauty of Andorra start at the ski resort of Tarter then discover Rigoller of Bordes, a beautiful traditional Andorran valley. You will see the picturesque Lake Engolaster from a viewing balcony dominating the valley of Andorra la Vella.
  • Day 7 7: ENGOLASTER - CAP DEL REC - 6 hours

    Today you will follow an ancient path, there will be some technical passages to navigate before you arrive in Madriou. Start your climb towards the Spanish border at over 2,500 meters high and descend on a pathway to Refuge du Cap del Rec for the night. You will have a fantastic view of one of Spain's most beautiful mountain ranges, the Sierra de Cadi .
  • Day 8 8: CAP DEL REC - PORTE PUYMORENS - 6 hours

    Start the day descending into the valley to join the Portella Llosa / la Blanca, a pass that borders the three countries. Descend on the French side through the valley of Campcardos, then ride along the valley up to Porta where you will find the cottage Worn -Puymorens.
  • Day 9 9: PORTE PUYMORENS - EUROPE - No riding today

    After your breakfast you will be driven to Puymorens train station (train from 10am) or to Toulouse airport (flight from 3pm)

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights are not included. Transfers from Toulouse are not included but cost €75, approx. £65 per person. Alternatively a transfer from Ax les Thermes/Puymorens can be organised at no extra charge.

- Groups are composed of 4 - 12 riders

- Single accommodation is not possible in the gites and refuges.

- Young accompanied riders aged 14+ are welcome to the ride, provided they are good enough riders.


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

- Special diet supplement: €30/£26 per person for the duration of the trip.
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 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider
1 vehicle and driver
Pack horses or pack mules

Inland transport

Transfers from Ax-les-Thermes/Puymorens train station

Accommodation

2 person tents
Double room in a private home

Meals

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

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverages and personal extras

Transport

Airport transfers from Toulouse: see dates and prices
International flights that we can book for you upon request

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.
  • September - October 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    11/09/2021 19/09/2021 £1,155 Open Book now

Equestrian info

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

Minimum riding ability

These rides are suitable for competent riders. You should be able to control a horse outside at all paces and over varied terrain. You should be able to mount and dismount without assistance.

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

Pace

There are plenty of opportunities to trot and canter, but the terrain in the heart of the mountains dictates when you can do this.

Tacking ability and participation

You will tack and untack your horse and assist with feeding and watering.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You will need to be fit as you will be required to lead your horse on some of the steep descents, and will need to be comfortable walking on rough ground. Be prepared for changing weather due to the altitude.

A previous trail riding holiday over several days is required. Riders who do not ride regularly are requested to get fit prior to the ride.

Equestrian equipment

Water bottle holders are provided along with saddle bags.
Comfortable English tack.

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

The nights are spent in gites or guarded refuges. These refuges are located along the trails and offer dormitory accommodation and a meal cooked by the caretaker who is on duty. Some nights are spent in hotels. Please bring your own sleeping bag.

Meals

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

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

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.

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 logistic team.

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.

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. Goretex is preferred.

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!
- You should carry a copy of your passport and insurance policy with you

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.

Customer reviews

Customer reviews

All of our reviews are real, honest opinions from riders who have recently travelled with us. Upon their return, our riders will receive an email inviting them to share their experiences from their trip. Good or bad, each review will be published on our website, provided that they respect our editorial guidelines.
  • Jane Radstock 3 trips
    September 2019
    An exhilarating trail ride through stunning mountain scenery on strong, sensible and well-kept horses who really know their job. Lots of walking and leading on descents. Be prepared for sudden changes in the weather ( we went from 24 degrees sun to 2 degrees and snow - and back again). Mine was Cazar. Kind, patient,... Read all
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide