Wine & Castles Trails

Bordeaux France: (IT-FRABR01)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/france_bordeaux_wine_castle_trails.aspx

Introduction
Bordeaux France
Imagine discovering the great wines of Bordeaux, some of the world’s most famous vineyards, from the very best vantage point in the gorgeous French countryside - the back of a horse!

Exceptional horseback riding with the discovery of the great wines of Bordeaux, the world’s most famous Vineyard. You will ride through prestigious Vineyards that will not leave you indifferent. These are Médoc, Côtes de Blaye, Côtes de Bourg, Fronsac, Lalande de Pomerol, St Emilion, l’Entre deux mers, Premières Côtes de Bordeaux, Graves and Sauternes. All the human heritage such as the Citadelle de Blaye, built by Vauban at the 18th century, the medieval city of Saint Emilion, the chateau de Rauzan and the English bastide of Cadillac (13th century) is also waiting for you.

The alternate Medoc Beach & Wine Ride . This trip is by the ocean side, mythical wine châteaux, vast forests, a place redolent of history and famous food. On one side the Atlantic Ocean. On the other, the Gironde estuary and the immense Landes Forest, the Médoc is about a third of the Gironde Department (its North-West). It is first of all world renowned for its vineyards, however its landscapes have a lot of variety, from the marsh areas of Lower Médoc to the large straight beaches of the Atlantic with the ocean breakers. Going by the Graves headlands where the waters of the Gironde and those of the Atlantic Ocean merge, the Landes forest and its mind boggling pine woods stretch as far as the eye can see, a succession of lakes (Hourtin, Carcans, Lacanau) from North to South.

Accomodation

Accommodation is in B&B or hotels. Double or Twin room, possibility of single but with supplement. We try our best to match you with a roommate, but if this is not possible you may be placed in single room with a supplement to be paid.

Bring your swimsuit because some hotels during the ride may have swimming pools! 

Lodgings are usually at the following hotels, however changes are possible based on vacancy availability.


Sample hotel list: Bordeaux Wine and Castles Trail: 
Day 1:  Domaine de Quittignan Brillette
Day 2 : Blaye - Porche Hotel.
Day 3:  Domaine de la Gravette
Day 4:  La Tour Hotel in Libourne.
Day 5:  B&B in Saint Jean de Blaignac- La Riviere
Day 6:  B&B at the castle of Broustaret
Day 7:  Hotel 23 at Sauternes

Sample hotel list: Medoc Beaches and Wine Trail:
Day 1   Domaine de Quittignan Brillette
Day 2:  Hotel de France et d'Angleterre
Day 3:  Hotel les Vieux Acacias
Day 4:  Hotel Les Pins Soulac
Day 5:  Hotel le Martin at Montalivet
Day 6:  Hotel Les Pins Hourtin
Day 7:  Domaine de Quittignan Brillette


MEALS 
All meals are included. Continental breakfasts served at your accommodation. The lunches are buffets with a wide choice (adapted to particular diets) with wine. Dinner in the bed and breakfast, restaurant or hotel (wine not included for dinner, and other extras).

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Ability
This ride is for the experienced rider who has mastered all 4 paces (walk, rising trot, canter/gallop in a forward seat) on a varied terrain, in open spaces. The experienced rider rides regularly, has good physical fitness, has good soft hands, a good attitude, and self-confidence. You should be able to control the speed and direction of the horse in all circumstances and be able to ride long distances including gallops of several minutes in open terrain.
There are certain sections of the trail where we might need to lead the horses. It is recommended that you be in good physical condition in order to participate.
Previous experience of trail rides over a number of days would be beneficial but is not required.
Riders who, on their own initiative, ask not to ride during the stay will be charged 300 euros for the transport of the horse.

Pace

The pace is varied depending on the terrain, with long periods of walk and plenty of opportunities to canter and gallop. We ride around 5-6 hours riding each day

Horses
Most of our horses were born on the farm. They live in herds in a 70 acre field and this is what makes them strong. This social lifestyle is very close to their ideal living conditions, which is a natural environment.
Every horse has its own character, but all are gentle, balanced, and multi-talented.
The horses are a mixture of purebred Arabian and Paint horses as well as Arabian/Paint crossbreds and Thoroughbreds.
The relationship with the riders and our horses is crucial. Above all, we place attention on the welfare and education of our horses.

Tack & Equipment
Our saddles are a French trail saddle (JMS brands), which blend the best of English and western styles to make the perfect trail saddle. Horses will work in bridles with Myler bits.
Saddlebags, poncho, and water are provided. Helmets are not mandatory but are strongly recommended.

Logistics
There is a support van for the transport of luggage and riders. It is possible for a rider or a non-riding companion to follow along the horse riders in the van.
We ask the riders to have only one suitcase (size 69x47x27) and one handbag.

Group Size & Staff
Riding groups have a minimum of 5 and maximum of 10 riders, plus the Guide and the Translator.
David (GTE/ BPJEPS TE) is a certified Equestrian Tour Guide. He creates the routes and leads all the riding tours. He is also a trainer of apprentice instructors in Equestrian Tourism.
Britta is your riding companion and translator (English, Dutch, German, and Spanish). She is always available to facilitate any language concerns.

Facilities
The Farm covers 30 hectares (75 acres) of woods and meadows and facilities include a covered riding arena, rolling pastures, a round pen, cross country terrain, as well as a multitude of riding and hiking trails.

Itinerary

Sample-Itinerary:
Bordeaux Wine & Castles Trail


Day 1:
We welcome the riders either at the Bordeaux airport at 6:30pm (Meeting is in Hall B at the "Brioche Doree" snack bar.). Transfer to the bed and breakfast Domaine de Quittignan Brillette in Moulis.

Day 2:
Breakfast at 8:00am, transfer to the horses at 9:00am and departure on horseback at 10:00am in a flat landscape between vineyards and forests. Picnic will take place on the borders of the Gironde, and the tasting of Medoc after lunch. We will cross the Gironde, with our horses, on a ferry, towards Blaye (crossing time of 40 mn). Upon arrival we will visit on horseback the citadelle Vauban (18th century). Night at the Porche hotel.

Day 3:
Breakfast at 8:00am, departure from the hotel at 9:00am and on horseback at 10:00am. We will ride through the Côtes de Blaye and the Côtes de Bourg in a hilly landscape. Picnic at a wine producers’ place at the Chateau Lamothe and tasting of a Côte de Bourg. Departure at 3:00pm towards Cubnezais, through a flatter landscape, with passages in humid zones without vineywards. The evening will be held at the winegrower of the vineyard Gravette’s. Tasting during the meal. Night onsite.

Day 4:
Breakfast at 8:00am, departure on horseback at 9:30am. It is a region where vineyards alternate with little forests which will lead us to the castle Mayne Veil, for the picnic and tasting of Fronsac wine. Towards Libourne, we will pass through the famous region of Pomerol. We leave the horses in Pomerol. It is at the castle Belles Graves to taste the famous wine Lalande de Pomerol. We will spend the evening at the La Tour hotel in Libourne.

Day 5:
We go in the direction of Saint Emilion passing through the famous properties of château Pétrus, Cheval Blanc and château Figeac. Picnic in Saint Emilion with tasting of this wine, followed by a free visit of the city of St Emilion. In the afternoon we will leave St Emilion to ride through the large valley of Dordogne and arrive near the Chateau Courros (tasting wine). by 7:00pm. We leave the horses and transfer to Saint Jean de Blaignac. We will spend the night there in a Bed and Breakfast.

Day 6:
Breakfast at 8:00 am, departure on horseback by 9:30am. We are now in the region of the l'Entre deux mers, with its varied landscapes, hilly and wooded, and its beautiful wineries. We pass next to the castle of Rauzan (13th century). In the afternoon we will ride through slightly hilly landscapes where vineyards alternate with forests, which will lead us to the castle of Broustaret (Bed and Breakfast). We will have dinner in the city of Cadillac where we will taste the Premières Côtes de Bordeaux, and later enjoy a nocturnal visit of the city.

Day 7:
Breakfast at 8:00am, departure on horseback at 9:30am. Until Cadillac, the region is very hilly. Then we will pass through the valley of Garonne to reach the vineyards of Graves and Sauternes. Picnic at the castle of Myrat, the Comte of Pontac will show us his castle and will propose a tasting of this gold-coloured wine. In the afternoon gallops between vineyards and forests will lead us to Sauternes. During the meal we will taste the wine of Graves and spend the night at the hotel.

Day 8:
After breakfast and according to the riders’ train or plane schedules, transfer of the riders. There will be a single transfer to Bordeaux airport.

--The above sample itinerary is subject to changes at the tour operator's discretion.--

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Sample-Itinerary: Medoc Beach and Wine Trail

Day 1:
We welcome the riders either at the Bordeaux airport at 6:00-6:30pm (hall B at the "Brioche Doree" snack bar). Transfer to Moulis en Médoc. Overnight at the B&B Domaine de Quittignan Brillette.

Day 2:
Departure from Moulis through the vineyards of the Listrac and Moulis Appellations. Picnic and wine tasting Château Lannessan. End of the afternoon at Pauillac.

Day 3:
Through the Pauillac Appellation vineyard, we pass not far from Lafite Rothschild (first Grand Cru Classé Pauillac) whose vineyard dates from the XVII century, or Cos d’Estournel (Saint Estephe appellation) dating from 1811. Then, we’ll head for a visit and picnic at the archaeological dig site of Brion. There used to be a Gallo-Roman villa there. Afternoon through vineyards, we’ll then reach Begadan (Bordeaux, Bordeaux superior appellation).

Day 4:
We’ll head northward on the Palus to get to the banks of the estuary. “Palus” are land ridges between marshes and streams of water. We’ll head for the picturesque seaport of Goulée. Picnic and visit of the Richard lighthouse. From its top (18 m high) we’ll have a beautiful view on the river. Overnight at the hotel a few meters from the ocean.

Day 5:
Today we will ride westward to Soulac. The landscape looks like Camargue; vast expanses of meadows with lakes and horses on the range. Visit of the church of Our Lady of Land’s end. Then the beach: a very large one to L’Amélie for picnic. Same route in the afternoon, long canters on the beach to Montalivet. Night in a hotel.

Day 6:
Southward, beach or forest depending on the tide, picnic at the Pin Sec. In the afternoon on the Gironde moors we’ll make it a day at Hourtin, a small yachting harbour.

Day 7:
Eastward, forest, forest…. Long canters on sandy lanes where we may spot deer or stags. The fragrance of the pine trees is inebriating, the forest is engulfing us. Picnic in the hamlet of Bernos. In the afternoon we’ll go southwards to get back to where we started. Dinner and overnight.

Day 8:
End of the trip. Transfer to the Bordeaux airport after breakfast.

--The above sample itinerary is subject to changes at the tour operator's discretion.--


Map:  Black lines = Wine & Castles Trail    Blue lines= Medoc Beach & Wine Trail



Rates and Dates for Wine & Castles Trails

Rates include:

7 nights accommodations, all meals, wine with lunch, 6 riding days

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20198 day trip, AP - Bordeaux Wine & Castles Trail€1795$2155
  • B
    20198 day trip, AP - Medoc Beach and Wine Trail€1795$2155
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.2

Rates Note:

Single supplement will be applied if we cannot find another rider to share.

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Rates Note:

Single supplement will be applied if we cannot find another rider to share.


Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2019 Transfer from Bordeaux airport at set times on Day 1, roundtrip, pp
- to be paid locally
20 $25
2019 Single supplement 425 $510
2019 Non-rider rate 1,295 $1,555

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
B 2019 09/22 - 09/29 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP - Medoc Beach... 5 /10 Expired
A 2019 10/05 - 10/12 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP - Bordeaux Wi... 5 /10 Expired
B 2019 10/13 - 10/20 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP - Medoc Beach... 5 /10 Expired
A 2019 10/26 - 11/02 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP - Bordeaux Wi... 5 /10 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Beverages including wine and coffee in hotels and restaurants, transfers, tastings (~16 Euros), entrance fees, gratuities

Other Info
Meeting: Moulis en Medoc
Airport: Bordeaux Mérignac airport
Transfer: Bordeaux Mérignac airport

Climate:
                                                Bordeaux area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

50

53

59

63

70

76

80

80

75

67

57

51

Average Low Temperature (°F)

37

38

41

45

51

56

60

59

55

50

42

38

Average High Temperature (°C)

10

12

15

17

21

24

27

27

24

19

14

11

Average Low Temperature (°C)

3

3

5

7

10

14

15

15

13

10

6

3

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

12

10

10

10

10

8

6

7

8

10

12

11

Source: NOAA


Seasons
Bordeaux, within Frances’s famed Aquitaine wine region, is located on the bend of the Garonne River in the south west of France. It enjoys a mild climate which is ideal for wine growing, making the region one of the world’s top wine producing areas. The average temperature range in the area sits at around 13 to 25 degrees Celsius, with July being the hottest month. The evenings are cooled by a pleasing Atlantic wind which leaves the area enjoying delightful cool summer nights. Due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the area is protected from temperature extremes.

Spring
The months from March until May bring balmy temperatures. However, it is not unusual for weather conditions to relapse back to winter and as a result there are occasional cold snaps interspersed with drizzles of rain.

Autumn
Weather in Autumn is similar to Spring (minus the blossoming flowers!) however the majority of the wineries close their doors in October whilst grape harvest takes place, so keep that in mind if you want to take in what Bordeaux’s wine region has to offer.

Summer
Summer in Bordeaux is glorious, clear blue skies and sunny days are made all the more enjoyable when taking the atmosphere with a glass of the regions finest red wine.

Winter
Winters in Bordeaux are short and not too cold but have a tendency to feel quite ‘damp’. November through to January is when the region receives its greatest rainfall.

What To Bring:

The luggage is transported in vehicle and transferred to each accommodation. We ask that riders only bring one suitcase (69x47x27) and one handbag.

…  this list is only a guideline for you
Hidden Trails Travel Documents and Trip Voucher (contains important local tour contact info.)
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)

RIDING GEAR
Riding pants or Jodhpurs
Riding boots (short) + Minichaps
Riding helmet (recommended for all trips)
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection
Lightweight Rain coat
A riding helmet is not provided by us, but is is recommended for adults and mandatory for minors during the horse ride. 


PERSONAL CLOTHING
Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Pyjamas
Bag for dirty clothes
Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
Swimsuit


ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection - mosquitos may be around in the evenings and early mornings.
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
Torch/ Flashlight
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and extra film or batteries
Belt pack
Address book and pen (for postcards!)
Sun glasses with strap
Sun protection lotion and lip balm