Provence Lavender

Provence France: (IT-FRPV04)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/france_provence_lavender.aspx

Introduction
Provence France

A Unique Trail in Provence - On the Road of Lavender

A trip itinerary rich in fragrance and color, from the South Luberon to Provencal areas famous for their production of lavender: Plateau of Claparèdes, Plateau of Albion, the Country of Banon, and the foothills of the Lure Mountain. At the end of the third day, you will leave the scented lavender country to discover the historical forest surrounding Peyruis and its two chapels, “Sainte Magdeleine” and “Saint Donat”. The ride will end on the Plateau of Ganagobie and the charming village of Lurs, dominating the Country of Forcalquier and the Durance Valley, the gateway to the Plateau of Valensole, another important place for lavender, to be discovered next time!


Accomodation
Accommodations during the trail will be in guesthouses and country inns. They are basic, but clean and with character and charm. We select our accommodations according to the beautiful settings and friendly atmosphere and ambiance for riders to enjoy a most pleasant and authentic stay.

For lunch, the assistant will prepare a substantial buffet. A “pastis”, a glass of red wine, a barbecue by a mountain stream, a refreshing salad, and then have a quick nap before leaving again! The many small pleasures which will add to the enjoyment of our rides. In the evening everyone meets around the table to discover the delicious local foods - or we should say "cuisine" - don't count on losing any weight!

Riding

You will ride an average of five hours everyday. The pace will vary according to the terrain. In order to make the most of the ride, we require riders to be at ease with walk, trot and canter, in outdoor riding. Groups are made out of 5 to 12 riders. This limited amount of riders – often rich of several nationalities – allows each person to make the most of the trip.

Guides are certified, and are friends who made a job of their passion. They apply themselves to share this passion and the pleasure of trail riding. Whether on the Alpes or on the beaches of Camargue, amongst odorant thym, rosmary and lavander, our guides insure riders safety in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. All the guides speak English.

During the ride, we advise you to take care of your horse in order to get to know him better and to create a  special relationship with him.



Itinerary
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Lavender Road and Wine Trail Route

Lavender Road


Sunday: Arrival to Mas de Recaute around 6 p.m., or transfer from airport or train station. Meet your guide and assistant who will tell you about the ride around a welcome drink.

Monday: Lauris - Buoux.  The ride starts on the southern side of the small Luberon. A small rocky trail will take you up on the hills of the Luberon. Nice view on the Monts Ventoux (localy called "the giant of Provence") and the Lure Mountain. A dense green oak forest will then guide you towards the Plateau of Claparèdes, famous for its production of lavender. Lunch in the hills. On the afternoon, you will ride down to the Aiguebrun Gorges, the border between Small Luberon and Big Luberon.

Tuesday: Buoux - Simiane la Rotonde. This morning you are riding back up on the Plateau of Claparèdes and follow lavender fields and dry stone walls and " bories " (small shepherds' pen). You will stop in the perched village of Saignon to water the horses at the fountain. Ride down towards the Valley of Apt on ancient paved trails. After lunch you will follow a forest trail above the ochres of Rustrel and Gignac, before climbing the Vaucluse Mounds, across a dense forest of white oaks. Beautiful view on the perched village of Simiane la Rotonde and its fields of lavender. Dinner and night in a guesthouse.

Wednesday: Simiane la Rotonde - Saint-Trinit. After taking your breakfast, we will be driven to the village, to discover its donjon, its narrow little streets, its local shop, and of course, its local “chestnut beer”.  Then, we will ride up the Albion Plateau, which will offer us great opportunities for canters and more and more fields of lavender. Discover the forest of chestnut trees and its different use: the chestnut beer and the famous goat cheese of “Banon”, wrapped in chestnut leaves. Lunch by a meadow, under oak trees. After a good nap, we will ride to the village of Revest du Bion. Stop at the fountain to water your horse, and why not stopping as well for a drink at the local bar ? After this last stop, ride in an enchanted stretch of Provence’s natural beauty to a farm near St Trinit, where the comfort of a host table and a swimming pool welcome us.

Thursday: Saint-Trinit - Montbrun-les-Bains. This morning we will have a chance to visit a lavender distillery. We ride in the direction of Sault, the Provence capital of lavender. Crossing  the village on horseback. The lunch will wait for us in the shade at the foot of the village. After lunch, you can walk in the streets and have some shopping. In the afternoon, we leave in the direction of Aurel, charming medieval village at the foot of the Mount Ventoux. In the afternoon, the colors of lavenders, fields of cereal and the shadows of the Mount Ventoux may tempt you to imitate the numerous painters who felt in love with this region. We will arrive late the afternoon near Montbrun-les-Bains, surrounded with green hills and dominating a plain of perfumed lavenders: one of the most beautiful villages of France. 

Friday: Montbrun les Bains - Buis les Baronnies.  This morning, we follow the foot of the Giant of Provence: the Mount Ventoux. We follow the Toulourenc, pleasant refreshing stream, we cross the magnificent villages of Savoillan, Brantes and Plaisians and enter the Provence Drôme: an alternation of woods and lavenders. We ride towards Buis-les-Baronies where the truck and the minibus are waiting for our transfer back to  Lauris, and Mas de Recaute.

Saturday: End of the ride after breakfast. Transfer to Marseille airport or Aix en Provence train station

 

 


Rates and Dates for Provence Lavender

Rates include:

6 nights accommodations in guesthouses and inns with private bathrooms, meals, 5 riding days

Packages and Options





Transfer and Other Options:



 Description
2012 Transfer from Marseille Airport or Aix-en-Provence Train Station included at set times

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Beverages outside of mealtimes, gratuities

Other Info
Meeting: Mas de Recaute
Airport: Marseille
Transfer: Marseille

Climate:

A Mediterranean climate is witnessed in the Rhône valley south of Valence and the coastal areas of Languedoc and Provence at the foot of the southern Alps. The glamour, class and fame of this region is accompanied by a glorious typical climate of warm summers and mild winters. The hottest summer days are broken up by the evening sea breezes which waft over the cities and provide a cooling break from the heat and creating an ideal atmosphere to enjoy what this alluring picturesque region has to offer.

Along the coast, summers are hot, with scarce rain for a 3 month period in the midst of summer. However, when it rains – it pours and often associated with thunder. Sunshine is plentiful - up to eleven to twelve hours a day in summer and around five in midwinter. Winters in the region are generally mild and sunny but this pleasant weather is often interrupted by very unsettled cold and squally weather brought in by the famous northerly ‘mistral’ wind. The mistral blows with particular strength through around Marseille and through the Rhône Valley.


What To Bring:  
This list is only a guideline for you

 

Travel documents and Voucher
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)

 

RIDING GEAR
Jodhpurs or comfortable jeans (used if possible!)
Riding boots and mini chaps
Riding helmet 
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strap) for sun protection
Lightweight Waterproof

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING
Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Pyjamas
Bag for dirty clothes
Jacket
Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
 
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
Handkerchiefs
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and extra batteries
Sun glasses with strap
Sun tan lotion and lip balm