Fields of lavender and the wonderful smells of fresh rosemary, thyme and olive trees are just a few of the pleasures that await you each day on the wonderful ride. Riding Spanish Barb and Selle Francais horses, you will see this fertile area in the south of France the way the villagers did 200 years ago.
This part of the Luberon region of Provence is very friendly, sun drenched and will leave your taste buds overflowing with wonderful experiences. It is often a favorite and many clients have repeatedly chosen this ride as the area is even today, virtually undiscovered by tourists.
Each day you will ride through vineyards, olive groves and forests where you arrive to find lunch waiting you. You will continue after lunch on old Roman roads built over 2,000 years ago and if the day is clear, you will see the Mediterranean Sea on one side and the snow capped Alps on the other with the quintessential Provencal villages spread out beneath you.
The ride will take you through the lower part of the French Alps and along part of the unspoiled areas of France. This is the France of Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gaugin and more recently, the home and setting of Peter Mayles’ famous novel “A Year in Provence”.
Dates: July 19-25, July 26-Aug. 1, Aug. 2-8, Aug. 9-15, Aug. 16-22, Aug. 23-29, Aug. 20-Sept. 5
Rates: $1,750.00 USD per person sharing (Single Supplement: $455.00 USD)
- 6 nights accommodation
- 5 days of riding
- Horse and all tack
- All meals
- Wine with meals
- Luggage transfers
- Support Staff
- Guiding services
- All local taxes
- Travel insurance
- Gratuities for the team at the end of the stay
- Beverages outside of meals
- Visits or tips not outlined in the itinerary
Sunday: The group will gather after 6 pm at the “Mas de Recaute” in Lauris. Dinner and night at the Mas (“Mas” means farmhouse in the local traditional dialect).
Monday: Following the foothills of the southern side of the Luberon mountain range, you will reach Lourmarin, a famous village where Albert Camus the French novelist once lived and where his body now lies. Picnic near to the village, before mounting the crests of the Luberon to discover a wonderful view: the peaks of the Alps to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Night in a stone farmhouse dating from the XII century, lost in the heart of the Luberon.
Tuesday: Through the prehistoric sites of the “Gorges de l’Aigebrun” you will pass through a very pretty provincial village to offer the horses a drink at the fountain. Picnic under the oaks, then follow bridleways though the perfumed garrigues to reach Cereste. Night in an inn in the heart of the village.
Wednesday: After a pause to discover the priory of Carluc dating from the XI century, you will ride towards Oppedette. Cross the superb village, typical to Haute-Provence, perched on the cliff. There will be opportunities for some great gallops on the way to Simiane. Night in a “chamber d’hotes” (bed and breakfast).
Thursday: Picnic under the chestnut trees, their leaves used to wrap the delicious goat cheese, a specialty from Banon, which you will taste accompanied with a “Cote de Luberon” wine. Ride through fields of lavender and sage, before arriving at the “gîte”.
Friday: The morning ride is your introduction to the Alpine views of Haute Provence. The change in the landscape is subtle and refreshing. From your horse, enjoy the sumptuous views over the Luberon Mountain Range and the Southern Alps, an area covered with chestnut trees often used in local goat cheese recipes. Riders will appreciate their horses’ stamina and surefootedness as the horses climb to the Pas de Redortiers (alt. 3,800 feet). From there riders will appreciate a great view of the pre-Alps. The weather is cooler, the view outstanding and there is grass for your horse. You will ride along the ridges of the Lure Moutain and discover the “Jas” and “bories”, dry-stone constructions used by shepherds and travelers. You will end the ride on the hillside of the moutain, in Le Contadour where Jean Giono, famous Provence writer, used to live. Transfer to Mas de Recaute via minibus, with dinner and your last night at the Mas de Recaute.
Saturday: Transfer to the airport and train station after an optional stop at the Aix en Provence market.