Two riders riding in front of Chambord in the Loire Valley

Short riding break in the Loire Valley

On this short equestrian break in the Loire Valley, explore some of the most fascinating castles from the French Renaissance. Every day, you will ride out to a different castle, including Cheverny, Villesavin, and of course Chambord castle. This slightly shorter horseback adventure works well for riders already holidaying in France, or who would like to combine this with one of our other French riding holidays.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Centre based holidays
4 days (4 on horseback)
From £590
Family holidays
from 12 y.o
  • Cheverny castle in the Loire Valley, western France
    Cheverny Castle, Loire Valley
  • Riders riding across vineyards in France
    Riding holiday in the Loire Valley, France
  • Riders on a horseback vacation having a picnic lunch
    Sitting-down picnic lunches on a trail riding holiday in the Loire Valley
  • Chambord Castle, France
    Chambord Castle, France
  • Group of riders riding to Chambord in the Loire Valley
    Discover the château of Chambord on horseback
  • Group of riders, on foot, in front of Chambord castle in France
    Posing in front of Chambord castle
  • Castle in France
    Castle in the Loire Valley

Itinerary

Highlights

- An excellent selection of horses, most of them born and trained at the farm. Some of them compete at TREC events at the high level.
- Every day, ride out a different castle. Chambord, Cheverny and Villesavin are always on the programme (entrance tickets not included) but the visits are flexible to accommodate the group's wishes.
- Accommodation is in a comfortable guesthouse or hotel.
- A mobile, 7-day trail ride is also available: please see "Castles of the Loire Valley"
  • Day 1 1 : EQUESTRIAN FARM - CHEVERNY - COURMENIN - 4-6 hours riding

    Note: this programme is designed for riders who are planning on extending their stay with a few days before or after the ride, which is why the itinerary starts on the morning of the first day. If you need us to organise additional nights just before/after the ride, as well as transfers from Blois, this is possible: please see "dates and prices".

    You are expected at the equestrian centre for around 8:00 a.m. on the first day. You meet the team who will introduce you to the horses and give you a short briefing. At 9:30 a.m. everyone should be in the saddle and ready to go! You will follow bridle paths across hunting grounds - perhaps you will see deer or wild boar. You reach the village of Cheverny at noon, where a picnic lunch is planned on the edge of the forest. You let the horses get some rest before a very short drive to the Castle (optional and payable locally). Marlinspike Hall, Captain Haddock's country house in the Adventure of Tintin, was modelled after the central section of Cheverny. After the visit you ride back to the equestrian centre in Courmenin. Dinner and overnight at the guesthouse or hotel.
  • Day 2 2 : CHATEAU DE VILLESAVIN - 4-6 hours riding

    Today's visit is to the Chateau de Villesavin (ticket not included), a 16th-century country house, which is privately owned with several museums open to the public. Lunch in the Castle's grounds before an optional guided or non-guided tour of the castle. You ride back in the evening via the village of Fontaines en Sologne to see its beautiful 12th century church. Dinner and overnight at the guesthouse or hotel.
  • Day 3 3 : CHATEAU DE CHAMBORD - 4-6 hours riding

    Another day on horseback across the Sologne, punctuated by lovely rivers and forests. This morning, you ride to the village of Bracieux and its beautiful covered market (16th century). After a picnic lunch alongside the Nizeron river, you finally reach the magnificent Chambord! A hunting lodge built by Francis I of France in the XVIth century, Chambord boasts a very distinctive French renaissance architecture and is the largest chateau in the Loire Valley. Optional visit (1h30) of the chateau before you rejoin with the horses.

    Dinner and overnight at the guesthouse/hotel.
  • Day 4 4 : COURMENIN - DEPARTURE - 4-6 hours riding

    Today's programme is flexible depending on the group's wishes. You can either ride to Beauregard castle, Fougères sur Bièvre castle, or perhaps visit a chocolate-making factory. Departure from the equestrian centre at around 6:30 for your onward travels.

    Additional nights and transfers can be booked on request, please see "dates and prices".

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights and travel to your destination (the equestrian centre in Courmenin) are not included. Please contact us if you require our help organising transfers or transportation.

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a double or twin room.

- Groups are made up of 2 to 8 international riders, plus guides.

- If you sign up to the ride as a solo rider and there are no other riders likely to share your room, you will be charged a single room supplement of approx. €90/£80. You will then be reimbursed if a sharer is found for you at a later date. Depending on availability, a single room is not always possible.

- Return transfers from/to Blois Chambord train station are possible and are €40 each way, payable locally. There are no transfers on the morning of Day 1, so if you require transfers you will need to arrive a day early (see below).

- Entrance tickets to the Castles are not included. Count around €10-€20 per castle - bring cash as not every place will accept cards.

- There is the possibility to spend additional nights the day before or after the ride: €100/£90 per person, per person based on two sharing, or €135/£125 for a single room. This includes dinner and breakfast.

- Young riders 12 yo + are welcome on the ride if they are accompanied by an adult.

- There is a rider weight limit of 14.2 stone / 200 lbs / 90kg on this ride.
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 cook
1 support vehicle
1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider

Accommodation

Double room - guesthouse or hotels

Meals

Full board from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 4

Additional equipment

Saddle bags

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverages and personal extras

Transport

International flights

Extras

Site entry fees

Insurance

Visas and personal purchase
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

Transport

Transfers from the train station
  • March - April 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    25/03/2021 28/03/2021 £590 Open Book now
  • May - June 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    13/05/2021 16/05/2021 £590 Open Book now
    03/06/2021 06/06/2021 £590 Open Book now
  • July - August 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    08/07/2021 11/07/2021 £590 Open Book now
    31/07/2021 03/08/2021 £590 Open Book now
  • September - October 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    25/09/2021 28/09/2021 £590 Open Book now
    29/10/2021 01/11/2021 £590 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

A small herd of horses used to living outside. They are calm and patient and compete at TREC events at a high level.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You need to be at least an intermediate rider, capable of riding a sensible horse at all paces in the outdoors. There are more spirited horses available for experienced riders.

There is a rider weight limit of 14.2 stone / 200 lbs /90kgs.

Pace

The pace is varied to include trots and canters. Some of the canters can be long and across varied terrain so you need to be secure in the saddle.

Tacking ability and participation

You will be asked to assist with grooming, tacking and un-tacking your horse.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You should have experience riding outdoors on trails and be confident riding in open spaces.

Equestrian equipment

Comfortable trail saddles.
The saddlepads have pockets to store small items.

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

Nights will be in a comfortable guesthouse or hotel (depending on availability), twin or double rooms. This is a centre-based holiday, which means you will stay in the same place every night, with transfers out to the horses and back to the hotel every day.











Meals

Breakfast: bread, butter and jam, tea/coffee and juice.
Lunch: picnic lunches with quiches, salads, cured meats, cheese, dessert and coffee.
Dinner: dinners will be taken at the hotels. Wine offered in reasonable quantities and more drinks can be purchased directly at the restaurant.

Climate

The Sologne region has a continental climate that can be wet and cold in the winter, with warm, dry summers. Expect temperatures up to 25°C in the summer.

Guide and local team

Ken has been working with the equestrian farm for over 15 years. He knows the area extremely well and will be happy to share his knowledge with his guests. He is an excellent horseman and guide and has participated in several World TREC Championships, with gold medals in both the individual and team categories.

Tips

In France, it is customary to tip at coffees and restaurants - usually this is by rounding up the price and not mandatory. 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...) 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.

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)

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 socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding

Other useful items
- Swimsuit (some of the hotels have pools)
- Water bottle (1.5 litres or 2 equivalent)
- Small torch for moving around at night
- Toiletries
- Protein or cereal bars for the longer stretches of riding
- Small plastic bags for your rubbish
- Ear plugs (may be useful)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery

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

Other recommendations:
- In your hand 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.
- 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). Saddlepads have pockets for small items too.
- 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!

Visa & Health

Formalities

UK citizens - other nationalities please contact us:

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.

Visas from 1 January 2021
The rules for travelling or working in Europe will change from 1 January 2021:
- you will be able to travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training
- if you are travelling to France and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel would count towards the 90-day limit
- the 90-day limit for visa-free travel will begin on 1 January 2021. Any days you stay in France or other Schengen countries before 1 January 2021 will not count towards the 90-day limit.

At border control for France, you may need to:
- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay, and
- use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing
- Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit.

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

Passport validity from 1 January 2021
From 1 January 2021, you must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland).
If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You will need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

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.