Loire Castles Escape Ride

Loire France: (IT-LOESC)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/france_loire_escape.aspx

Loire France
An exploration of the famous Châteaux of the Loire Valley. Visit Chambord, Chenonceau, Saumur and Chinon!

The ride is designed for travelers looking for a relaxed and cultured getaway. Take memorable photographs and be spoiled by the mouth watering French cuisine! Overnights are at exquisite castle and manor houses, each with its own charm and history. The riding tour leads you to and inside some of the most famous Loire castles without the tourist crowds. Guided by locals with good knowledge and warm smiles, you will enjoy the pleasures of riding in all the beautiful landscapes of the Loire Valley. Each stop is promised to be unique; sometimes it will be a guided tour, other times a garden festival, a horse show, a wine tasting or self guided exploration on your own. Here you will truly taste and experience the French "art de vivre"! Each of the 6 evenings will be in private castles, where you will have an intimate dinner with the owners, taste the heralded gastronomy from the "Heart of France" in excellent  quality gourmet restaurants, quaint picnics on the trail with foie gras, and discover several entertaining shows in the castles at night. This is a luxury program that is designed for those who wish to have personalized care and therefore is limited to eight riders per departure. There are two week long itineraries available:

Saumur to Villandry (iti. 6) - 5 riding days

Starting at Saumur we ride through beautiful vineyards, by troglodytes caves and to the famous castles... We follow the great history of Plantagenets, Alienor of Aquitaine, Valois, Jane of Arc... French aristocrats welcome us at their private châteaux and we continue our ride across wonderful landscapes, along orchards, through immense forests and along the rivers Loire, Vienne, and Indre. Finally we finish at the wonderful Chateau de Villandry and its famous gardens.

Beauregard to Amboise (iti. 3) - 4 riding days
In the steps of french aristocracy and around the most famous castles of the Loire - Chambord, Beauregard, Cheverny, Blois, Chenonceau, Amboise.. These wonderful Renaissance castles bring us
into the heart of French history. We start this ride in the favorite hunting forests of the renaissance Fench kings, then along the wonderful banks of River Cher and then finish with the chestnut
trees of Amboise forest.

There are also shorter 3 night getaways available: Renaissance Castles Getaway


Saumur to Villandry (iti. 6): This is a progressive ride, so nights are spent in different locations. You will be staying in 5 different locations total.
Beauregard to Amboise (iti. 3): This is a progressive ride, so nights are spent in different locations. You will be staying in 4 different locations total. Description
Accommodations are always located close to the castles we visit and combine the charm with comfort. You will be staying mainly in 4-star chateaux and some charming 3-star hotels. 17th century Renaissance: you will enjoy the magic of old-stoned dwellings, of hundred-year-old trees, and sometimes the Lords' authentic and cordial welcome. Comfortable and refined twins rooms with private bathroom are waiting for you. Many of the accommodations offers a heated swimming pool. WIFI is available at all locations. Laundry is not available.

Accommodation Itinerary

Saumur to Villandry (iti. 6) 

Night 1 & 2: Château de Beaulieu
Built in the 18th century, this castle is recognized for the beauty and charm of its architecture, and is designated a Monument Historique. The château and its bedrooms are beautifully decorated in charming French style. Also, you’ll be able to enjoy the heated swimming pool, the Billiards Room, and the terrace.

Night 3: Domaine de Mestré of the Abbaye
Formerly, the hotel"De Mestré was the main farm of the Abbey of Fontevrault. It remains three main buildings from the 12th and 13th centuries, including a chapel. Each room has unique characters with traditional French inspiration.

Night 4: Chateau de Ternay
The castle of Ternay is a private residence, inhabited by the d’Aviau de Ternay’s family since 1606. The family castle has opened its five guest-rooms to the public to share authentic French hospitality. You can enjoy the swimming pool on the property.

Night 5: Hotel Gargantua of Chinon
The Hostellerie Gargantua is a character hotel steeped in history located right in the center of the medieval town of Chinon. A total of 7 comfortable rooms are located within the 15th century Palais du Bailliage. All of the rooms offer an LCD satellite television and a telephone.

Night 6: Chateau de Gizeux
Fall in love with the Medieval and Renaissance ages while you stay at this castle. Amazingly preserved, you are sure to feel like royalty! At the heart of the castle, our rooms are both authentic with their antic furniture and modern in their comfort to welcome you in an environment of serenity and coziness. There is a pool onsite.


Beauregard to Amboise (iti. 3)

Night 1 & 2: Relais de Chambord
Relais de Chambord, newly restored with full respect for the exceptional location, offers the charm of a large country house combined with the sovereign comfort of a warm and contemporary hotel. Even if every room is different, the most striking thing, when one enters, is the light, so particular to the Loire Valley, which generously envelops and highlights the different spaces.

Night 3: Coté Loire in Blois
Lulled by the royal river flowing at its feet, our small 16th century inn, now a 2-star hotel, is a haven of peace in the heart of old Blois. Our eight rooms, our restaurant and our pleasant patio embody the sweetness of life of our beautiful region and invite to discover it from our charming hotel.

Night 4 & 5: Chateau de l'Isle near Chenonceau 
The 3-star Hostellerie du Château de l’Isle is an 18th century mansion set within a 14 hectare park. This domain offers 12 comfortable rooms in a traditional setting with a country landscape as a backdrop. You can stroll around the wooded park, the perfect setting for a relaxing break.

Night 6: Chateau de Pray A mile west of the town center, this château from 1224 resembles a tower-flanked castle on the Rhine. This castle hold 19 unique rooms with comfortable furniture and TVs. There is a swimming pool and Michelin starred restaurant onsite.

Please note that hotels and guesthouses are subject to change!

Room Occupancy
Single supplement is mandatory if we are unable to find another rider to share.


All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 7. We offer you a taste of genuine gastronomy from Heart of France : picnics with foie gras, traditional food of the region, possibility of dining in a Michelin star restaurant, and gourmet dinners in private chateaux. You will taste and experience the French art de vivre. All gourmet meals with 2 glass of wine included.

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

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


The choice of our horses has been motivated above all, by the strong desire to make you enjoy your trip in total safety. Our horses are quiet and generous. They are mixed breed horses trained for the trail riding. Your trek companion is chosen for you according your level, height and weight.

Itinerary #3 
Pace: moderate - 4 riding days from 3h to 4h per day in the saddle.
For riders who want to combine horse riding with visits of the most famous chateaux of the Loire.

Itinerary #6
Pace: fast - 5 riding days from 4h to 6h per day in the saddle.
This is a trip best suited for experienced riders that ride on a regular basis and are comfortable and in control of their horse at long and fast canters.


Saumur to Villandry (iti. 6)  - Subject to changes
Saumur -  Abbaye de Fontevraud - Chinon - Villandry (5 riding days)

Day 1: Arrive
Arrival and transfer (not included) from Saumur train station to Château de Beaulieu in Saumur. Check-in after 4:00pm. Dinner and briefing at the Chateau de Beaulieu at 7:00pm.

Day 2: Champigny cellar - Chateau de Montsoreau 
AM - about 2 hours on horseback
This morning we set off riding from our chateau passing local vineyards and magnificent views of the Saumaur château until we reach the Champigny troglodyte (cave) cellar where we partake in an unforgettable wine tasting (according to the season). Represented are some of the most illustrious labels from this great wine producing region.  Following the wine tasting we gather for a gourmet lunch in a nearby restaurant. PM - about 2 hours on horseback
In the afternoon we ride another two hours along the Champigny vineyards and along the forest to chateau de Montsoreau, which inspired well known French writer Alexandre Dumas for his book "la dame de Montsoreau". Dinner and overnight at Château de Beaulieu.

Day 3: Chateau de Brézé - Abbaye de Fontevraud
AM - about 2 hours on horseback
We will ride through the vineyards and the countryside to the Chateau de Brézé, where we will stop for lunch in the old stables.
PM - about 2 hours on horseback
After the visit, we ride again through the vineyards, the gorgeous countryside and forests until we reach the Abbaye de Fontevraud. We enjoy a magical entrance on horseback to the abbey which was once, before the French Revolution, the richest and most important monastery in France. During the 12th century this abbey gained great prestige and was supported by the Plantagenet family, Counts of Anjou and Kings of England. The church here is as majestic as a cathedral and was edified at the start of the 12 century. Its Roman façade was renewed in 1504 in a more flamboyant style but converted back to its original state in 1901 under the guise of architect Lucien Magne. Dinner and overnight at Domaine de Mestre, which is the old farm of the abbey.

Day 4: Abbaye de Fontevraud - Chateau de Ternay
AM - about 2 hours on horseback
This morning we ride in the traditional French countryside to the Chateau de la Roche Martel, a private and historical chateau where we are welcomed by the owners for a picnic and visit. This chateau has undergone a lot of construction throughout the years, but the main buildings of the 15th century remain: an entrance through fortified walls and a wooden gallery, inscribed to the Registrar of Historic Buildings.
PM - about 2 hours on horseback
In the afternoon, ride in the countryside and woods to private Chateau de Ternay. We receive a cordial welcome by the Count and Countess of Ternay. This castles was built in 1439 but became property of the Ternay family in the early 19th century. Important restoration work was completed from 1861 - 1884 and a renowned feature is the Gothic vault, known for its exceptional decorative carvings. Dinner and night in Chateau de Ternay.

Day 5: Chinon - Ussé - Azay le Rideau
AM - about 2 hours on horseback
Through the forest of Chinon, we ride on soft trails to the Chateau d'Ussé - the sleeping beauty castle, called so for its majestic towers. First fortified in the eleventh century, this castle was once the stronghold at the edge of the Chinon forest. It is a gem of Flamboyant Gothic style mixed with Renaissance motifs, with its completion taking over two hundred years and spanning the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. Affects from all eras are evidenced in its completed state. It is in this greatly historical setting that we enjoy lunch.
PM - about 2 hours on horseback
In the afternoon, unforgettable long canters along the Indre River. Traveling through the cool forest trails and orchards we reach Azay le Rideau. Transfer and visit of Chinon. Night in a medieval hotel of Chinon.

Day 6: Azay le Rideau - Villandry
AM - about 2.5 hours on horseback
In the morning we ride to the Chateau de Villandry, known for the most infamous gardens of the Loire, where we will have an exquisite lunch. Completed in 1536, Chateau Villandry was the last of the large chateaus built in the Loire Valley during the Renaissance, so it is only fitting we spend our last day here.
PM -
We spend the afternoon visiting the wonderful garden and Chateau de Villandry before a transfer to the imposing but impressively private Chateau de Gizeux. where three generations of the Laffon family live. We are warmly welcomed while we explore this new castle before settling in for dinner an our overnight.

Day 7: Breakfast and departure
Transfer (not included) to TGV Tours Saint Pierre des Corps station.

Please note this itinerary is only suitable for riders able to do long canters and may be changed in small amounts due to weather and seasonal conditions.


Beauregard to Amboise (iti. 3) - Subject to changes
Chambord - Beauregard - Chenonceau - Amboise (4 or 5 riding days)

Day 1: Arrival
Arrival to Relais de Chambord for 2 nights. Check-in after 4:00pm. Dinner and briefing at 7:00pm. D

ay 2 : Chambord
AM - about 3 hours on horseback
Beginning of the ride from Chambord  along the "grand Canal" with spectacular views on the Château de Chambord. We then continue through the large alleys of Boulogne forest around Chambord, then back to Château de Chambord on horseback : Royal ! lunch in Chambord.
PM -
Visit Chateau de Chambord (horse show in Chambord not included). Gourmet diner and night at Relais de Chambord.

Day 3 : Beauregard - Cheverny
AM - about 3 hours on horseback
Beginning of the ride from Chambord to chateau de Beauregard by the Boulogne forest. We have the privilege to enter by the front path of the chateau : an unforgettable experience ! Visit of chateau de Beauregard, and discovering of his famous "gallerie des illustres", intact since XVII century. Picnic with foie gras in chateau de Beauregard.
PM - about 1 hour 30 minutes on horseback
We leave to chateau of Cheverny on horseback by the countryside and Cheverny vinyards. Visit of Château de Cheverny and transfer to Blois. Gourmet diner in Blois, and night at Coté Loire, charming guest house in front of Loire river in Blois.  Night light show of chateau de Blois in season.

Day 4: Free day
Transfer to charming Chateau de l'isle near Chenonceau for 3 nights. Dinner, briefing and night in Chateau de l'isle.
Option B (continued): Ride for 2.5 hours in the country side of Sologne to medieval chateau of Fougères sur Bièvre. Visit of the medieval château of Fougères sur Bièvre lunch in Fougères sur Bièvre. Afterwards, we ride for 3 hours to Chaumont sur Loire in the country side until Candé on Beuvron, then folowing the Loire river to renaissance château of Chaumont sur Loire. Visit of renaissance château of Chaumont sur Loire or garden festival. Transfer to chateau de l'Isle near Chenonceau. Dinner and night in chateau de l'Isle.

Day 5 : Chenonceau - Nitray
AM - about 1 hour on horseback
Beginning of the ride to Chenonceau from chateau de l'isle by the banks of the beautiful Cher river. Visit of chateau de Chenonceau, and gardens of Catherine de Medicis and Diane de Poitiers. Lunch in chateau of Chenonceau.
PM - about 3 hours on horseback
We have a wonderful ride along the Cher river to chateau de Nitray. We discover Chateau de Nitray from our horses, and have then a visit of the outsides of the chateau, caves and have a wine testing. Gourmet dinner at the Chateau de l'isle.

Day 6 : Pagode de Chanteloup - Amboise
AM - about 2 hours30 hours on horseback
Beginning of the ride from chateau de l'isle to Pagode de Chanteloup by the countryside, vineyards and the Amboise forest. We discover Pagode de Chanteloup on horseback and have our picnic with foie gras in front of the Pagode. Visit Pagode de Chanteloup and his little museum.
PM - about 1 hour on horseback
We ride to chateau d'Amboise by the old town of Amboise - Special arriving to Chateau d'Amboise on horseback by "la porte des Lions", the medieval king's door! We have then a private guided visit of the very historical Château d'Amboise where Leonardo da Vinci is buried. Dinner and night at chateau de Pray, a famous gastronomic restaurant of Amboise.

Day 7 : Departure
Breakfast at chateau de Pray - Departure

**Itineraries are subject to changes at the tour operator's discretion.

For Info on Shorter Trip Options - See Renaissance Castles Getaway (IT-LOESC-2)

Rates and Dates for Loire Castles Escape Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations in private castle or manor house, all meals with 2 glasses of wine for dinner, 4 or 5 riding days ~4 hours per day, all entrance fees and evening shows.

Packages and Options

  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    20197 day trip, AP- Saumur to Villandry (iti. 6)€2540$3050
    • Single supplement€590$710
  • B
    20197 day trip, AP- Beauregard to Amboise (iti. 3)€2540$3050
    • Single supplement€800$960
      Option B: Extra ride on day 4€295$355
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.2

Rates Note:

Entrance fees to the castles and wine with meals (limited) are included.

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Rates Note:

Entrance fees to the castles and wine with meals (limited) are included.

Transfer and Other Charges:

2019 Meet at the Château on Day 1 0 $0
2019 Small group supplement (4 riders), pp 150 $180
2019 Small group supplement (3 riders), pp 300 $360
2019 Small group supplement (2 riders), pp 700 $840
2019 Non-rider -- please inquire 0 $0

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
B 2019 08/19 - 08/25 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP- Beauregard t... 5 /10 Expired
B 2019 10/09 - 10/15 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP- Beauregard t... 5 /10 Expired

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:


Other Info
Meeting: # 6: Saumur
# 3: Blois
Airport: Paris
Transfer: Take a taxi from Blois or Samur train stations (depending on your itinerary #).

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Source: NOAA

The Loire region benefits from a mild climate created by mild breezes blowing in from the Atlantic. The Loire is often the line of demarcation in France's weather, between the Northern climate and the Southern.

You can expect frequent showers in the spring months, whereas the summer brings humid heat. The balmy autumn season produces brilliant red and gold foliage, and lively festivals take place in many towns and villages to celebrate the grape harvest. A damp chill settles over The Loire Valley in winter, and many of the chateaux close for the season.

What To Bring:
The general atmosphere is relaxed during your ride. Please bring some smart casual clothes for dinner.

This list is only a guideline for you


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


Riding pants or Jodhpurs (used if possible!)
Riding boots (short) + Minichaps
Riding helmet  (recommended for all trips)
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection
Lightweight Rain coat


Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Underwear and socks
Bag for dirty clothes
Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and enough extra film and batteries
Belt pack
Address book and pen (for pictures postcards!)
Sun glasses with strap
Sun tan lotion and lip balm