Provence is situated in the sun-blessed southeast corner of France, edged to the south by the Mediterranean. Formerly it was, to the French, a place of indolent country folk. To tourists, it was an idyllic spot, but one reserved for the rich or artistic. Today, it is, more than any other region, where the French would choose to live and work.
Provencals are the most generous and warmest hosts and there is an all pervading “Frenchness”, which means that people are polite and punctual. Traditions are important to the people and local crafts are not hobbies but well respected and time honored occupations. Relationships span generations in Provence.
Some of the most attractive architectural features of Provence are the perched villages. They rise like jagged summits on the hilltops where they were built for safety in the political turmoil of the Middle Ages. They kept vigil over the hinterland as well as the coast. They were built around castle keeps and wrapped in thick ramparts, a huddle of cobbled streets, steps, alleys and archways.
You will enjoy long trots and canters through the countryside that inspired Cezanne and Van Gogh and each day return to the mas for a warm homemade Provencal dinner served with wonderful French wine and the traditional Pastis.
2024 Dates: Aug. 4-10, Aug. 11-17, Aug. 18-24, Aug. 25-31
Rates: $2,165.00 USD per person (Single Supplement: $495.00 USD)
- 6 nights accommodation
- 5 days of riding
- Horse and all tack
- All meals
- Wine with meals
- Luggage transfers
- Train or airport transfers at pre set time
- 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
Monday: From Lauris to Bonnieux. Transfer on Monday morning from the airport or train station to the Mas de Recaute Equestrian Center. You will have an introduction to the trail ride and lunch.
In the afternoon, you will be introduced to your horse and will start the trip westward through the Luberon rolling hills, towards the beautiful perched village of Bonnieux. The houses, all made with stones, form a striking harmony of earth-toned colors and shapes. Some superb residences dating back to the 16th, 17th, and 18th century serve as a reminder that Bonnieux was a wealthy village when this region, the Comtat Venaissin, belonged to the Popes. Several bishops also chose to live here and as you ride through the village streets you will no doubt marvel at the architecture and history on display.
Take a glimpse at Lacoste, the village of the sadly known Marquis de Sade. Beware and follow your guide very closely so you do not get lost anywhere near his castle. After the picturesque village of Bonnieux, the trail goes down in the Valley of Apt. Cherry orchards and vineyards then lead you to Bonnieux, where you will spend the night in a charming guesthouse (with swimming pool). Before dinner, visit to the famous village of Roussillon and its ocher cliffs.
Day 1: Arrival
Arrival to Provence and transfer at pre set time to Lauris.
Dinner and overnight at the guesthouse.
Day 2: Lauris - Buoux
Departure of the horseback riding in the Luberon.
Following the foot of the southern slope of the Luberon, we go to Lourmarin, a famous village where Albert Camus lived and is buried.
A wonderful lunch buffet will be waiting for us near the village. After a nice rest, we begin climbing to the crests of the Luberon to discover a superb view: the peaks of the Alps to the north, and the Mediterranean to the south.
Night in an inn lost in the heart of the Luberon. On certain dates, in case of unavailability of the hostel, the riders can be transferred to Lauris, the horses and the guide stay at the hostel.
Day 3: Buoux - Céreste
We will start the day by discovering the prehistoric sites of the Gorges de l'Aiguebrun. After which we will reach a very pretty Provençal village and take a break at the village fountain to water the horses.
Lunch break under the large and shady oaks.
In the afternoon, ride on trails crossing scented scrubland before arriving at Céreste, gateway to Haute Provence. Dinner and night in an inn in the heart of the village.
Day 4: Céreste – Simiane-la-Rotonde
After a break to discover the 11th century Priory of Carluc, we will resume our horseback riding leaving the Luberon towards Oppedette.
On horseback in the Provençal hills and along the fields of sage and wheat covered with poppies, we'll enjoy nice trots and canters before finding our assistant who will be waiting for us with a pleasant buffet in the shade of the truffle oaks, on the edge of the Canyon d'Oppedette.
You may want to stroll through this typical village of Haute-Provence, before setting off on horseback in the shade of the holm oaks.
Arrival at the bed and breakfast at the foot of the perched village of Simiane-la Rotonde, in time to enjoy the swimming pool before dinner.
Day 5: Simiane-la-Rotonde - Le Revest du Bion
You set off again on horseback on the Monts de Vaucluse.
Picnic under the chestnut trees, whose leaves are used to wrap the delicious Banon goat cheeses that we will taste accompanied by a Côtes du Luberon - a very special treat!
In the afternoon, the ride winds its way between fields of lavender and sage, before arriving at the equestrian gite, bed and breakfast. On your arrival, you can choose: swimming in the swimming pool of the gîte or strolling and shopping in Sault, the capital of lavender in Provence!
Day 6: Le Revest-du-Bion - Montbrun les Bains
Departure on horseback through moors and forests - a very fun morning ride before reaching our picnic lunch near Sault.
In the afternoon, we set off again on horseback towards Aurel, a charming medieval village at the foot of Mont Ventoux. surrounded by green hills and overlooking a pretty little plain planted with fragrant lavender. The lavender is harvested at the end of July so in August a few fields remain, the perfume continues to delight you!
Arrival at the end of the afternoon in Montbrun-les-Bains, facing Mont Ventoux, one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Transfer by minibus,(horses by truck) to return to Lauris and spend the last evening.
Day 7: Departure
End of your horseback riding after breakfast. Transfer to Aix en Provence TGV station or Marseille Provence airport.
* Indicative program that can be modified if necessary due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.