the beauty of Provence on horses
If you have ever been to Provence you will never forget the colors, the smells and the taste of that unique region that will make you want to go back for ever. If you have not you should visit it.
Why not on horses, slowly traveling through the beautiful landscape and truly experience Provence will all your senses.
The pleasant climate all year round allows you to appreciate this country of a thousand and one landscapes whenever you want… The crossing of the valley of Banon and its fields of lavenders as far as the eye can see, the Roman roads and the perched hamlets, the river of Lauzon and its “bathing” places, the Mountain of Lure, the remarkable architecture of the villages we go through (Forcalquier, Lurs, Sigonce), the geologic site of Mourres are some of the many assets of this beautiful region.
Day 1 : Sunday
Welcome of the riders at about 7 pm at the riding centre, or transfer at 6:15 pm from the station of “La Brillanne Oraison”- lines TER Marseille / Briançon (approximately 30 minutes drive).
Our first meeting allows us to get acquainted with the other riders and also to receive precise explanations concerning the program of the week and the horses. Meal and evening at the riding centre, night in the dormitory of the guesthouse (upgrade to single/double room possible depending on availability, 10€/person to be paid on the spot).
Day 2 : Monday
Today, we leave for a beautiful loop ride around the riding centre to get acquainted with our horses. In the morning we follow the valley of Lardiers with its beautiful lavender fields. For lunch, we stop at the source of the village to picnic. In the afternoon, nice tracks in beautiful forests and inbetween lavender fields will give us the possibility to canter.
Tonight, we have dinner and night at the riding centre’s guesthouse (upgrade to single/double room possible depending on availability, 10€/person to be paid on the spot).
Day 3 : Tuesday
This morning we leave in the direction of the woods of Seigne and its nice tracks, riding through villages and hamlets with a remarkable architecture. After lunch break on a usually sunny spot on the hills, we arrive in Forcalquier by the hill of Zinzine and ride through its historical town center. We spend the evening in the guest house “La Parise” in a comfortable dormitory.
In July and August, this stop can be replaced by an itinerary higher up in the mountains where we appreciate the freshness of beech groves. The evening is planned in that case in a pastoral sheep barn or in a guesthouse in the Lure mountains (depending on availability and weather).
Day 4 : Wednesday
Today we go to the stunning geological site of the Mourres, with its rocks shaped like human faces or like mushrooms… it’s not Cappadocia yet, but there is a certain resemblance… We continue through the valley of Pierrerue where we can do some canters. The place where we picnic today is magic, as we will stop by the falls of Menyssargue (swimming is possible in summer).
During our afternoon ride, we pass by the famous village of Lurs, where we make a small, well-deserved break.
We spend the evening at the Pré Giraud with our friends the goat breeders, who will make us taste some of their homemade goat cheese. Accommodation in comfortable rooms of 3 and 5 beds (upgrade to single/double room possible depending on availability, 10€/person to be paid on the spot).
Day 5 : Thursday
After breakfast we leave for a lovely route high up from where we can admire a beautiful view of Provence. Our steps then lead us to Sainte Etienne les Orgues, a village famous for its numerous herbalists. In the afternoon we will ride in the Lure Mountains where we will discover a 12th century chapel just before arriving at the mountain refuge where we will spend the night at 1500 m (upgrade to single/double room possible depending on availability, 10€/person to be paid on the spot).
Day 6 : Friday
Today we continue on the crests and through mountain pastures. If we are lucky, we may be able to see a flock of chamois or even a golden eagle.
After a small deviation to the peak of the Pré de Fau at 1700 m, we go back down to the valley through the Combe de la Sapiée and its magnificent beech wood.
Picnic will be at the sheep barn of the Gros Chêne (big oak tree) and we will have a short nap under a majestic tree. On our way back we come through the valley of Banon and its lavender fields.
Dinner and night at the riding centre (upgrade to single/double room possible depending on availability, 10€/person to be paid on the spot).
Day 7 : Saturday
Breakfast at the riding centre and possible departure from 09:00 am.
The riders travelling by train will be transferred to the train station of Brillanne to take the 10:54 am train arriving in Marseille at 12:22 pm.
team, accomodation, horses
our guide tony
Tony is a professional horseman, used to guide trails in the area and very fond of the region. He will make you discover the wonderful landcapes and historical sites under the best possible conditions. Toni is also the owner of the horse farm and livingly caring for his horses and you.
Transportation of luggage and equipment will be made by our support vehicel. The back-up team also prepares meals.
Accommodation is simple, but comfortable. On the 6 nights included on that trail, we spend 5 nights in guesthouses in small dormitories and 1 night in a mountain refuge or camping, depending on the season.
Possibility to have a hot shower every day except the night in the mountain refuge/tent where you can wash with cold water.
Picnic lunch will be taken from the saddlebags.
For dinner, our support vehicel will join us with the luggage and a hot meal.
This itineray is communicated as a rough guide. According the weather conditions during the ride, we can take a different circuit in the same region. We might take a route a little higher up in the mountains to find some freshness, with certain nights of bivouac, in a sheepbarn or mountain refuge.
Please note that there might be short distances where you have to get off the horse and lead it through a difficult passage. Please adapt your footwear.
horses & tack
Our horses are issued from varied breeds. They are used to live and go on the trails together and are perfectly adapted to the ground and the climate.
English style trail saddles with saddlebags.
We ride about 5-6 hours everyday, so you should be comfortable at all paces and have good stamina to ride 25 to 30km a day.
We can take 1 maximimum 2 inexperienced riders per tour… be quick!
We will ask you to take care of your horse : brush, saddle, unsaddle.
Closest airport / train station:
Meeting on Sunday evening around 7 pm at the riding centre.
Possible access by train from La Brillane train station. Trains from Marseille / Aix en Provence.
If you arrive by train, we’ll pick you up at the train station on Sunday at 6.15pm and we’ll drop you off at the station on Saturday for the 10.54 am train.