Ride to Versailles

Il-de-France France: (IT-FRABR03)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/ile_de_france_versailles_horseback_ride.aspx

Il-de-France France
Surprising horseback trips to the south of Paris, through the story of Louis XIV know as "Le Roi Soleil" and Nicolas Fouquet his superintendent. This horseback ride takes us from the Château de Versailles to Vaux-le-Vicomte via Courances, Chamarande and Breteuil. This region, right in the regional park of the Haute Vallée de Chevreuse, offers horseback rides in beautiful and unexpected landscapes, immense forests, magnificent castles surrounded by their gardens. We forget the tumultuous life of Paris a few kilometers away. The terrain and space are conducive to long gallops.


This is a progressive ride, so nights are spent in different locations.

Accommodation is in B&B or hotels. Double or Twin room, possibility of single but with supplement. 

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Day 1: Gîte Magny les Hameaux
Day 2: Gîte Magny les Hameaux
Day 3: Hôtel Saint Charles
Day 4: Château de Fontenay les Briis Or Hôtel Arpège
Day 5: Hôtel sur l’île de Saussay
Day 6: Hôtel de Charme in Fontainebleau
Day 7: Le Grand Monarque

Note: This trip also runs in reverse. Depending on the dates you choose, this sample list of hotels could be in reverse order.

Gîte Maison Prairie Bonheur in Magny les Hameaux
This charming house welcomes you in the quiet village of Magny les Hameaux, surrounded by a beautiful natural environment. The 5 guestrooms are simply decorated and all feature free Wi-Fi access, a TV and a private bathroom with hairdryer.

Hôtel Saint Charles in Rambouillet
This small hotel offers 14 modern rooms all equipped with free Wi-Fi, a TV and ensuite bathroom. It is ideally located between the park of the Rambouillet Castle and the beautiful forest of Rambouillet.

Château de Fontenay les Briis in Fontenay les Briis
This beautiful castle dates back to the 18th century and is surrounded by a beautiful park with many trees and even a pond. It has 30 bedrooms.

Hôtel Arpège in Arpajon
The hotel has recently been renovated in order to offer comfortable rooms to its guests. Each room is fitted with free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, a TV and a private bathroom.

Hôtel l’île du Saussay in Itteville
This hotel is located on the shore of the Essonne River, and offers great views of the surroundings. The 21 bedrooms offer a quiet and comfortable setting. All air-conditioned rooms are equipped with a private bathroom, free wireless internet, and a balcony.

Hôtel le Richelieu in Fontainebleau
This hotel is an old annex of the Fontainebleau Castle and features a beautiful architecture. The 17 rooms all come equipped with a TV, free Wi-Fi, a safe box and a private bathroom.

Le Grand Monarque in Melun
This hotel is surrounded by a 3-hectare park with many trees and even a tennis court. The rooms all offer a view over the park and include air-conditioning, a kettle, free Wi-Fi access and a private bathroom.

Room Occupancy
We try our best to match you with a roommate, but if this is not possible, the single supplement fee applies.

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).

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


Riding Ability
This ride is open to riders who are comfortable at all three gaits (walk, rising trot, canter), with an occasional fast gallop, and practice a regular habit of riding. There are certain sections of the trail where we 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.

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.

Most of our horses were born on the farm. They live in herds in the meadows 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 Arabian, Paint horses, and Arabian/Paint crossbreds.
The relationship with the riders and our horses is crucial. Above all, we place attention on the welfare and education of our horses.

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. Helmets are not mandatory but are strongly recommended.

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.

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.


Sample itinerary (Versailles to Vaux le Vicomte) - subject to changes.

Day 1: Arrival
Pick-up from Saint Rémy-les-Chevreuses train station for 6:30pm.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Gite in Magny-les-Hameaux

Day 2: Ride to Magny les Hameaux
Breakfast at 8 am. Departure on horseback at about 9:30 am. It is difficult to conceive that we are so close to Paris. Today, we are riding only a couple of kilometres away from the turbulences of the huge cities. We leave Magny les hameaux towards the forest of the Versailles domain, then to the Queenportal of the Versailles Castle - majestic, impressive, huge; we enter the park of the castle of the greatest king ever. We follow the Grand Canal and pass near the Grand Trianon. Picnic at the Saint Antoine garden center. Afternoon: return to our bed and breakfast at Magny les Hameaux. We ride over the parade grounds (place d’arme), the pièce d’eau des suisses water basin, as well as the Versailles domain forest.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Gite in Magny-les-Hameaux

Day 3: Magny les Hameaux to Rambouillet
Breakfast at 8 am. Departure on horseback at about 10 am. In the Chevreuse valley, we circumvent the city and its 11th century castle. Picnic and visit Breteuil Castle. Built in the 16th century in Louis XII style, the castle features marvellous furniture. The visit is led by 50 wax figures from the Grévin Museum. Exposition of the Counts of Perrault. Afternoon: riding through fields and forest, passage next to the Vaux de Cernay abbey, which was founded in the 12th century by Cistercian monks. Nowadays, the ancient abbey hosts a luxury hotel. In the evening, arrival at the Tour Pond, one of the huge water reserves conceived to supply the Versailles Castle with water.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel in Rambouillet

Day 4: Rambouillet to Fontenay les Briis
Breakfast at 8 am, transfer to the horses at 9 am. Departure on horseback at about 10 am. Crossing the Rambouillet Forest, we admire this royal hunting domain with its hundred-year-old oak trees. We will pass near Marais castle, which was the joy of a society of writers and important politicians hosted d by Mme Labriche in the 19th century. Picnic at the Rochefort Castle. Afternoon: slightly hilly region features beautiful forests here and there, as well as great plains with far horizons. The day ends at Courson.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel in Fontenay les Briis

Day 5Fontenay les Briis to Ile de Saussay
Breakfast at 8 am, riders meet at the horses at 9 am. Departure on horseback at about 10 am. Passing through a hilly region, we pass near the church Saint Sulpice de Favière. This sanctuary is known as the most beautiful of its kind in the entire region. The church was built in 1245 in gothic style. Picnic and visit of Chamarande Castle, built in the 17th century in Louis XIII style. This domain is known for supporting modern art. In the afternoon, beautiful trails lead us through beautiful forests here and there, up to Itteville. We leave the horses in a nice meadow surrounded by water.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel in Ile de Saussay

Day 6: Ile de Saussay to Fontainebleau
Breakfast at 8 am, riders meet at the horses at 9 am. Departure on horseback at about 10 am. Travel through farmland, great planes and forest, including a passage on an ancient Roman road. Picnic at Courrances Castle, visit of the 17th century gardens (one of the most beautiful examples of renaissance water gardens). In the afternoon, on a track suitable for galloping, we will discover varied and unique landscapes of the Fontainebleau forest. In the late afternoon, arrival at Franchard Canyon.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel in Fontainebleau

Day 7: Fontainebleau to Versailles
Breakfast at 8 am, riders meet at the horses at 9 am. Departure on horseback at about 10 am through the Fontainebleau Castle Park, and the Fontainebleau Forest, following a varied track which allows you to discover the particularities of the forest (landscape, rocks, sand, birch, oak, beech…). Picnic spot on the beach of the river Seine at Fontaine le Port. In the afternoon: Ride through semi-wooded area and fields to arrive on horseback at Vaux le Vicomte Castle, riding in the park. This castle built by Nicolas Fouquet in 1615 was used by Louis XIV as a model for the Château de Versailles. Transfer to Le Grand Monarque hotel. Visit of the castle in the evening or the following morning.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel in Versailles

Day 8: Departure
Transfer of riders to Melun station around 9 am or 12 noon.

Rates and Dates for Ride to Versailles

Rates include:

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

Packages and Options

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:

2019 Transfer from Saint Rémy les Chevreuse - drop off Melun train station on last day (or reverse) - roundtrip, pp
- to be paid locally
20 $25
2019 Single supplement 425 $510
2019 Non-rider rate 1,295 $1,555

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Wines and other extras of evening meals, transfers, visits or tastings, entrance fees, gratuities

Other Info
Meeting: Saint Rémy-les-Chevreuses or Melun train station
Airport: Paris
Transfer: Saint Rémy-les-Chevreuses train station or Melun train station

                                                    Versailles area














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Source: NOAA

The Ile-de-France region has an oceanic climate characterized by warm summers and cold winters, but without extreme temperatures thanks to the North Atlantic current.

Spring (March to May)
The best time to visit is probably Spring. At this time, temperatures are getting warmer and the trees are blooming.

Summer (June to August)
This season offers lovely sunny weather but you can expect to see many tourists.

Autumn (September to November)
Autumn is also a good time to visit as there are fewer crowds and the trees all start changing colors.

Winter (December to February)
It can be cold at this time of the year but snow is a rarity.

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
Visa (check with your consulate)

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. 

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 - 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