Colorado Provence Ride

Provence France: (IT-FRPV06)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/france_provence_colorado_ride.aspx

Introduction
Provence France
Over the hills and through the villages, come discover the mysterious “Colorado Provencal”, filling your senses with the fragrance of lavender and the unique “Provencal herbs” and savoring the cuisine. The Luberon hills, one of the most exquisite areas in Provence, is a Regional Nature Park which provides huge vistas and stunning scenery at every turn. With its forest of green and white oaks, cliffs of limestone, and typical drystone villages, the Luberon displays a picturesque landscape well described in the famous Peter Mayles ’ novel:

"The Luberon Mountains rise up... to a high point of nearly 3,500 feet and run in deep folds for about forty miles from west to east. Cedars and pines and scrub oak keep them perpetually green and provide cover for boar, rabbits, and game birds. Wild flowers, thyme, lavender, and mushrooms grow between the rocks and under the trees, and from the summit on a clear day the view is of the Basses-Alpes on one side and the Mediterranean on the other. For most of the year, it is possible to walk for eight or nine hours without seeing a car or a human being".

To the north stands the majestic mountain panorama of the Vancluse hills and Mont Ventoux. To the south lie the beautiful oak and pine covered Grand and Petit Luberon mountains. The Luberon valley is a majestic scene of vineyards, cherry orchards and lavender fields enhanced by the little and quaint hilltop villages. Not only is the area beautiful on the natural surface, but our exploring will introduce you to the gourmet delights of the region: locally produced fruit, cheese, honey and other tempting delights! Many local vineyards produce excellent wines, such as Cotes de Ventous and Cotes du Luberon, and locally produced fabrics and pottery abound and several villages in the area have art galleries where you can purchase the works of local artists. 
 

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a progressive ride, so you will be staying in different locations during the trip. You will be staying in 4 different locations total.

Description
Accommodations during the trail will be in guesthouses and country inns. They are basic, but clean.  We select our accommodation according to its beautiful setting and friendly atmosphere, for riders to enjoy a pleasant stay. There are no laundry facilities while on trail. All accommodations have WIFI.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Auberge des Seguins in Buoux  
Night 2: Auberge de Rustreou or Le Chateau in Rustrel
Night 3: La Florentine or Hostellerie L'Aiguebelle in Céreste  
Night 4: Auberge des Seguins in Buoux 
Night 5: Mas de Recaute (standard option) or Les Gargoulettes (upgrade) in Lauris 

Auberge des Seguins in Buoux
This 16th-century stone house building offers a total of 27 rooms plus a dormitory that can host up to 20 people. The rooms are simple but comfortable and all come equipped with heating and free Wi-Fi. Bathrooms can be private or shared depending on the room. There is a garden and an outdoor pool where guests can relax and enjoy the view. There is no cellphone coverage here.

Auberge de Rustreou in Rustrel
This old relay station dating back to the 18th century now offers 7 bedrooms equipped with a TV, free Wi-Fi and a private bathroom. Guests can also relax on the outdoor patio.

Gite Le Chateau in Rustrel
This beautiful 17th-century castle has recently been renovated to offer dormitory style bedrooms (2, 5 and 6 beds in each dormitory) with shared bathrooms. There is free Wi-Fi access in some parts of the Gite.

La Florentine in Céreste
La Florentine offers accommodations in guestrooms (double or triple) and dormitory style rooms. Some rooms have their own bathroom and others have shared bathrooms. There is free Wi-Fi access.

L'Aiguebelle in Céreste
This charming hotel offers 12 simply decorated bedrooms (double or triple) each fitted with a TV, free Wi-Fi access and a private bathroom.

Mas de Recaute in Lauris
Your accommodation is a simple and lovely guesthouse inn at the heart of Provence - Luberon with excellent cuisine! Set in a beautiful natural surrounding, this old farm has been restored and operates as guesthouse accommodations with the option to choose between private bedrooms (5 rooms) and beds in a dormitory. The rooms are simple but comfortable. The dormitory is quite basic and can accommodate up to 12 people. Bathrooms are private or shared depending on the room.

Les Gargoulettes in Lauris
Your host welcome you in their lovely country house. Each room has its own theme and decor with air-conditioning, a TV, free Wi-Fi access and ensuite facilities. There is an outdoor swimming pool, a Jacuzzi and a sauna that guests are welcome to use.

Room Occupancy
Triple occupancy is available at most accommodations. If not available, we can book one double and a single without the supplement.
If traveling as a single rider willing to share: half single supplement rate will be applied if we don't find anyone to share.


Meals
All meals are included in your package and typical Provençal meals are on the menu.

Breakfast will be provided by the accommodations we stay in.
At lunch, our assistant will prepare a substantial buffet. A “pastis”, a glass of red wine, a barbecue by a mountain stream, a refreshing salad, a nap before leaving again : many small pleasures which will add to the enjoyment of our rides.
In the evening everyone meets around the table, to discover local food - or should we say "cuisine" - don't count on losing any weight.

Wine is included with lunch and dinner for the standard accommodations.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to dietary restrictions with prior notice.

This trip includes some wine with dinner and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Level
In order to make the most of the ride, we require riders to be at ease with walk, trot and canter, in outdoor riding.

Pace
This program includes 2/2.5/4.5 riding days depending on the option you choose. You will ride an average of 5 hours every day (about 2-3 hours in the morning and again 2-3 hours in the afternoon). The pace will vary according to the terrain.

Horses
Most of our horses are Barb and Spanish crosses. They have been trained for trail riding and are sure-footed. They live together as a herd, all year long.
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.

Riding Group
Groups are made out of 5 to 8 riders. This limited amount of riders, often including several nationalities, allows each person to make the most of the trip.

Staff
Two members of staff will accompany you on your trip: 1 guide on horseback who speaks English and French and 1 person in charge of transporting luggage and setting up the lunch buffets.
Guides are certified, and friendly. They made a job out of their passion and enjoy sharing their passion with guests. Whether on the Alpes or on the beaches of Camargue, amongst odorant thym, rosmary and lavander, our guides are here to keep riders safe. All guides speak English.

Itinerary

6-day Sample Itinerary- Subject to changes

Day 1: From Lauris to Buoux

Transfer on Monday morning from the airport or train station to the 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 through the Luberon rolling hills, towards the beautifull perched village of Bonnieux. The houses, all made with stones, form a striking harmony of earth-toned colours 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 on 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 the Aiguebrun river down high cliffs famous for climbers. Overnight in a nice Auberge along the river, sometimes with a swimming pool.

Day 2: From Buoux to Rustrel
Undulating hills covered with nice pine forests, cherry orchards and vineyards drive you to the Calavon valley. You will meet your assistant at lunch who will have prepared a nice buffet under pine trees, made with fresh local products. In the afternoon you will go by the hills among Rosmary and Thyme sents, before heading to Rustrel, riding in the bed of the Doa river, a cool and beautiful itinerary. You will spend the night at a hotel in Rustrel and the horses will stay near the village.

Day 3: From Rustrel to Cereste

Rustrel is the gateway to the “Provence Colorado”. In the morning you will spend some time among the amazing cliffs and hills of ocher. The colorful morning will totally disorient you. Heading back to the foothills of the Luberon, the itinerary will then take you through the beautiful village of Viens. You will then ride down to the Calavon river. You will spend the night in a guesthouse or in a hotel in Cereste.

Day 4: From Cereste to Buoux.
After breakfast, chance to have a tour at the local street market. After preparing your horse, you will follow the foot of the Luberon, ride along vineyards, and all kind of fruit trees: cherry, apricot, peaches all blooming in April and May. You will cross an other charming perched village, Auribeau, before going down to the Aiguebrun rever and ride down cliffs in a green canyon before arriving to a typical stone built guesthouse in the heart of the Luberon mountain.

Day 5: From Buoux to Lauris.
You will ride up to the crests of the Luberon to discover an exceptional landscape on all the Provence and a view on the Alps to the North, on the Mediterranean to the South. Then, you will ride down to Lourmarin. Picnic and visit the village and its 12th century castle, a charming Provencal village that inspired the famous American writer, Peter Mayle, who is now living near the village. You will then ride back to Mas de Recaute through the olive trees and cherry orchards, with nice views on the Sainte Victoire mountain, “Cezanne’s mountain”. Dinner at Mas de Recaute and overnight at Mas de Recaute or in a nearby hotel.

Day 6: Farewell Breakfast

End after breakfast, transfer to the airport or train station.

Note: The above 'Sample Itinerary' is subject to changes at the tour operator's discretion. 


-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sample Itinerary - 3-day trip (Part 1) - Subject to changes

Day 1 - Monday: From Lauris to Buoux.
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 through the Luberon rolling hills, towards the beautifull perched village of Bonnieux. The houses, all made with stones, form a striking harmony of earth-toned colours 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 on 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 the Aiguebrun river down high cliffs famous for climbers. Overnight in a nice Auberge along the river, sometimes in an other accomodation without a swimming pool (depending on dates).

Day 2 - Tuesday: From Buoux to Rustrel.
Undulating hills covered with nice pine forests, cherry orchards and vineyards drive you to the Calavon valley. You will meet your assistant at lunch who will have prepared a nice buffet under pine trees, made with fresh local products. In the afternoon you will go by the hills among Rosmary and Thyme sents, before heading to Rustrel, riding in the bed of the Doa river, a cool and beautiful itinerary. You will spend the night at a hotel in Rustrel and the horses will stay near the village.

Day 3 - Wednesday: From Rustrel to Cereste. 
Rustrel is the gateway to the “Colorado Provencal”. In the morning you will spend some time among the amazing cliffs and hills of ocher. The colorful morning will totally disorient you. Heading back to the foothills of the Luberon, the itinerary will then take you through the beautiful village of Viens. You will then ride down to the Calavon river. You will be transferred back to Mas de Recaute late in the afternoon and this will be the end of your ride around 6:00pm.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sample Itinerary - 3-day trip (Part 2) - Subject to changes

Day 1 Wednesday:
Meeting in Lauris at 5 pm. or Aix-en-Provence train stations, or Marseille airport. Transfer to Cereste.

Day 2 Thursday: From Cereste to Buoux.
Your ride will follow the foot of the Luberon, ride along vineyards, and all kind of froot trees: cherry, apricot, peaches all blooming in April and May. You will cross an other charming perched village, Auribeau, before going down to the Aiguebrun rever and ride down cliffs in a green canyon before arriving to a stonebuilt farmhouse in the heart of the Luberon with an exceptional view on mountains and valleys.

Day 3 Friday: From Buoux to Lauris.
You will ride up to the crests of the Luberon to discover an exceptional landscape and a view on the Alps to the North, on the Mediterranean to the South. Then, you will ride down to Lourmarin. Picnic and visit the village and its 12th century castle, a charming Proven- cal village that inspired the famous American writer, Peter Mayle, who is now living near the village. You will then ride back to Mas de Recaute through the olive trees and cherry orchards, with nice views on the Sainte Victoire mountain, “Cezanne’s mountain”. Overnight at Mas de Recaute or in a nearby hotel.

Day 4 Saturday: Departure 
Transfer to the airport or train station.


Rates and Dates for Colorado Provence Ride

Rates include:

5 (or 2) nights standard accommodations in guesthouses (2) and inns (3) with private bathrooms, all meals with wine for lunch and dinner, 2/ 2.5/ or 4.5 riding days

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20206 day trip, AP (4.5 riding days)€1300$1495
    • Single supplement€250$290
      Discount for use of dormitories(€100)($115)
      Upgrade bedroom for last night near the equestrian centre with swimming pool, hammam, jacuzzi, dbl, pp€35$40
      Upgrade bedroom for last night near the equestrian centre with swimming pool, hammam, jacuzzi, single€310$355
  • B
    20205 day trip, AP (4.5 riding days)€1200$1380
    • Single supplement€200$230
      Discount for use of dormitories(€100)($115)
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.15

Rates Note:


For 1 pax booking as willing to share: 25% off single supplement rate will be applied if we don't have anybody to share with you
It is possible to book extra nights before or after the tour - please inquire

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Rates Note:


For 1 pax booking as willing to share: 25% off single supplement rate will be applied if we don't have anybody to share with you
It is possible to book extra nights before or after the tour - please inquire


Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2020 Transfer from Marseille Airport or Aix-en-Provence Train Station at set times - Free 0 $0
2020 Pick-up (part 1) or drop-off (part 2) from Marseille Airport, Aix-en-Provence center train station, or Aix-en-Provence TGV station included 0 $0
2020 Drop-off (part 1) or pick-up (part 2) from Marseille Airport, one-way (3 day trip) (3-4 pax), per car
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
170 $205
2020 Drop-off (part 1) or pick-up (part 2) from Aix-en-Provence TGV station, one-way (3-4 pax), per car
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
225 $270
2020 Drop-off (part 1) or pick-up (part 2) from Aix-en-Provence center train station, one-way (3-4 pax), per car
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
240 $290
2020 Non-rider -- 50% discount 0 $0
2020 ** For 1 pax booking as willing to share: 25% off single supplement rate will be applied if we don't have anybody to share with you 0 $0

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 04/13 - 04/18 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
B 2020 04/13 - 04/17 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
B 2020 04/27 - 05/01 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
A 2020 04/27 - 05/02 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
A 2020 05/11 - 05/16 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Sold Out
B 2020 05/11 - 05/15 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Sold Out
B 2020 05/25 - 05/29 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
A 2020 05/25 - 05/30 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
A 2020 06/08 - 06/13 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
B 2020 06/08 - 06/12 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
B 2020 06/22 - 06/26 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
A 2020 06/22 - 06/27 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
A 2020 07/20 - 07/25 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
B 2020 07/20 - 07/24 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
B 2020 07/27 - 07/31 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
A 2020 07/27 - 08/01 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
A 2020 08/03 - 08/08 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
B 2020 08/03 - 08/07 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
B 2020 08/10 - 08/14 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
A 2020 08/10 - 08/15 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
A 2020 08/17 - 08/22 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
B 2020 08/17 - 08/21 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
B 2020 08/24 - 08/28 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
A 2020 08/24 - 08/29 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
A 2020 08/31 - 09/05 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
B 2020 08/31 - 09/04 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
B 2020 09/14 - 09/18 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
A 2020 09/14 - 09/19 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
A 2020 09/28 - 10/03 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
B 2020 09/28 - 10/02 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
B 2020 10/12 - 10/16 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
A 2020 10/12 - 10/17 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
A 2020 10/26 - 10/31 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
B 2020 10/26 - 10/30 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
B 2020 11/02 - 11/06 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
A 2020 11/02 - 11/07 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
A 2020 11/09 - 11/14 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve
B 2020 11/09 - 11/13 5d / 4n 5 day trip, AP (4.5 riding d... 5 /10 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Beverages outside of mealtimes, gratuities

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

Climate:
                                                  Lourmarin area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

50

52

59

64

72

80

85

83

77

68

57

51

Average Low Temperature (°F)

32

33

37

42

49

56

61

60

54

48

39

33

Average High Temperature (°C)

10

11

15

18

22

26

29

29

25

20

14

11

Average Low Temperature (°C)

0

0

3

6

10

13

16

16

12

9

4

1

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

5

4

4

5

4

2

1

2

4

5

5

4

Source: NOAA
 

Seasons
Thanks to its position in the South of France, the Provence region enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year. The region benefits from warm summers and mild winters.

Summer
The hot summer days are broken up by the evening sea breezes which provide a cooling break from heat and create an ideal atmosphere to enjoy what this alluring picturesque area 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 the rain is associated with thunder. Sunshine is plentiful - up to 11/12 hours a day in summer and around 5 in midwinter.

Winter
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
Riding boots and mini chaps or full 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