Provence Explorer

Provence France: (IT-FRPV02)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/france_provence_explorer.aspx

Introduction
Provence France
We are happy to offer several new itineraries in Provence this year. Ride along ancient Roman roads, into villages where the horses drink from the fountain and chat with the locals. Then canter through fields of lavender, gaze at the snow-topped Alps and the ink-blue Mediterranean at the same time! With the horses tethered nearby, we picnic on French bread, cheese and local wines - this is what our rides in Provence are all about. The rides begin at Mas de Recaute, located in the heart of Provence, in the Regional Natural Park of the Luberon and at the foot of the south side of the massif. From here we will take you through Luberon into the Upper Provence.

From the Luberon to Upper Provence: From Luberon Nature Park to the foot of Mount Ventoux, discover the heart of Provence. A trail ride filled with the enchanting lights and scents between the Alps and the Mediterranean. Along the way, you will travel through ancient villages and along the fields of lavender. This ride deserves a special mention for the quality of the cuisine and lodging!

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a progressive ride, so you will be staying in different locations during the trip. You will be staying in 5 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.

Room Options

Provence Explorer standard accommodations
Night 1 & 6: Le Mas de Recaute  
    -Total of 5 rooms accommodating 1-3 people per room
    -1 dorm room accommodating 20 people
    -Double or single beds
    -Shared bathrooms
Night 2: Auberge des Seguins   
Night 3: La Florentine or Hostellerie L'Aaiguebelle
Night 4: La Fontaine
Night 5: Le Petit Labouret 

Transhumance Ride standard accommodations
Night 1 & 6: Le Mas de Recaute  
    -Total of 5 rooms accommodating 1-3 people per room
    -1 dorm room accommodating 20 people
    -Double or single beds
    -Shared bathrooms
Night 2: Auberge des Seguins   
Night 3: La Florentine or Hostellerie L'Aaiguebelle
Night 4: La Fontaine
Night 5: Grand Champ

Upgraded accommodation for first and last night
Night 1 & 6: Les Gargoulettes www.chambres-hotes-vaucluse-gargoulettes.fr/
    -5 rooms total accommodating 1-2 people per room
    -Double or queen beds
    -Private bathrooms
    -Air conditioning, WIFI, TV, kettle
    -Pool, Jacuzzi, sauna

Please note that hotels and guesthouses are subject to change!

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
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 at lunch and dinner.

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 2/3/5 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


Sample Itinerary 7-day Luberon to Upper Provence - Subject to changes

Upper ProvenceDay 1 Sunday: Meeting from 6.00 pm onwards at the “Mas de Recaute” in Lauris. Dinner and overnight at the Mas. (“Mas” means farmhouse in the local traditional dialect)

Day 2 Monday: Lauris - Buoux.
Following the foothills of the southern side of the Luberon mountain range, you will reach Lourmarin, a famous village where Albert Camus the French novelist once lived and where his body now lies. Picnic near to the village, before mounting the crests of the Luberon to discover a wonderful view: the peaks of the Alps to the north and the Mediterranean sea to the south. Night in a stoneauberge, lost in the heart of the Luberon.

Day 3 Tuesday: Buoux – Cereste.
Through the prehistoric sites of the “Gorges de l’Aigebrun”. Pass through a very pretty provincial village to offer the horses a drink at the fountain. Picnic under the oaks, then follow bridleways though the perfumed garrigues to reach Cereste. Night in an inn in the heart of the village.

Day 4 
Wednesday: Cereste – Simiane.

After a pause to discover the priory of Carluc dating from the XI century, you will ride towards Oppedette. Cross the superb village, typical of Haute-Provence, perched on the cliff. Opportunities for some great gallops on the way to Simiane. Overnight in a “chambre d’hotes” (bed and breakfast).

Day 5 Thursday: Simiane – Saint-Trinit.
Picnic under the chestnut trees, their leaves used to wrap the delicious goat cheese, a specialty from Banon, which you shall taste accompanied with a “Cote de Luberon” wine. Ride through fields of lavender and sage, before arriving at the “gîte”.

Day 6  Friday: Saint-Trinit – Le Contadour - Lauris.
The Lure Mountain. The morning ride is your introduction to the Alpine views of Haute-Provence. The change in the landscape is subtle and refreshing. From your horse, enjoy the sumptuous views over the Luberon Mountain Range and the Southern Alps, an area covered with Chestnut trees often used in local goat cheese recipes. Riders will appreciate their horses’ stamina and surefootedness as the horses climb to the Pas de Redortiers (alt. 3,800 feet). From there, appreciate a great view of the pre-Alps. The weather is cooler, the view outstanding and there is grass for your horse. You will ride along the ridges of the Lure Moutain and discover the “Jas” and “bories”, dry-stone constructions used by shepherds and travelers. You will end up the ride on the hillside of the Moutain, in Le Contadour where Jean Giono famous Provence writer used to live. Transfer to Mas de Recaute with minibus. Dinner and night at the Mas de Recaute.

Day 7 Saturday: Departure. Transfer to the airport and train station.

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

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


Day 1 Sunday: Arrival
Pick-up from Marseille Airport (5:00 PM), Aix-en-Provence TGV Station (5:30 PM), or Center Station (5:45 PM) and drive to Mas Recaute for overnight.

Day 2 Monday: Lauris - Buoux.
Following the foothills of the southern side of the Luberon mountain range, you will reach Lourmarin, a famous village where Albert Camus the French novelist once lived and where his body now lies. Picnic near to the village, before mounting the crests of the Luberon to discover a wonderful view: the peaks of the Alps to the north and the Mediterranean sea to the south. Night in a stoneauberge, lost in the heart of the Luberon.

Day 3 Tuesday: Buoux – Cereste.
Through the prehistoric sites of the “Gorges de l’Aigebrun”. Pass through a very pretty provincial village to offer the horses a drink at the fountain. Picnic under the oaks, then follow bridleways though the perfumed garrigues to reach Cereste. Night in an inn in the heart of the village.

Day 4 Wednesday: Cereste – Simiane-la-Rotonde.
After a pause to discover the priory of Carluc dating from the XI century, you will ride towards Oppedette. The ride will stop near Simiane la Rotonde, typical Provence village, perched on the cliff. Opportunities for some great gallops on the way to Simiane. Rides finishes around 6:00pm.

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

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

Day 1 Wednesday: Arrival
Meeting in Lauris at Mas de Recaute at 5 pm. Transfer to Simiane la Rotonde. Dinner and night in a guesthouse.

Day 2 Thursday: Simiane-la-Rotonde – Saint-Trinit.
Picnic under the chestnut trees, their leaves used to wrap the delicious goats cheese a speciality from Banon, which you shall taste accompanied with a “Cote de Luberon” wine. Ride through fields of lavender and sage, before arriving at the “gîte”.

Day 3 Friday: Saint-Trinit – Le Contadour - Lauris.
The Lure Mountain. The morning ride is your introduction to the Alpine views of Haute Provence. The change in the landscape is subtle and refreshing. From your horse, enjoy the sumptuous views over the Luberon Mountain Range and the Southern Alps, an area covered with Chestnut trees often used in local goat cheese recipes. Riders will appreciate their horses’ stamina and surefootedness as horses climb to the Pas de Redortiers (alt. 3,800 feet). From there - appreciate a great view of the pre-Alps. The weather is cooler, the view outstanding and there is grass for your horse. You will ride along the ridges of the Lure Moutain and discover the “Jas” and “bories”, dry-stone constructions used by shepherds and travelers. You will end up the ride on the hillside of the Moutain, in Le Contadour where Jean Giono famous Provence writer used to leave. Minibus transfer to Mas de Recaute. End of the ride. Overnight at Mas de Recaute.

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

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

Sample Itinerary 7-day Spring Transhumance- Subject to changes

Day 1:

Meet at Marseille airport, Aix en Provence TGV train station, or directly at “Mas de Recaute” in Lauris. Welcome drink and presentation of your trip. Overnight at the Mas. (“Mas” means farmhouse in the local traditional dialect)

Day 2: Peyruis (herd winter pastures) - Cruis
Transfer by minibus (about 1h30) to the horse pasture in upper Provence. Gathering the herd, preparing the horses, checking the gear... Our assistant will prepare a pleasant buffet for us. After lunch, we leave, riding south of the Lure mountain to join our guesthouse  near Cruis. It has stunning views of the lavender fields.

Day 3: Cruis - Simiane-la-Rotonde
Early departure for a relatively long day (about 7 hour riding) through the lavender fields with the Lure mountain in the background. Nice mid-stop lunch break before heading back to Simiane-La-Rotonde through green oak forests. Arrival at your pleasant guesthouse at the foot of the village, for a lively meal at the host table.

Day 4: Simiane-la-Rotonde - Céreste
Departure to Oppedette among the lavender fields, crossing the beautiful village, typical of the upper Provence. Our assistant will wait for us with a pleasant Provencal meal (a ratatouille) at the edge of the Oppedette Canyon, at the entrance of the Luberon nature park. We ride to the Carluc Priory, of the 11th century where we take a break before joining the accommodation where our friend Olivier awaits us for an aperitif. We enjoy a festive dinner and  night in his bed and breakfast or in a small hotel in the heart of the village.

Day 5: Céreste - Buoux
Breakfast and departure on trails through the fragrant Provencal scrubland, with its thyme and rosemary scents. Then we will join a very pretty Provencal village and take a break at the fountain of the village. Lunch break under oak trees. We reach the prehistoric sites of the Gorges de l'Aiguebrun and join the Auberge des Seguins, nestled at the foot of the impressive cliffs along the Aiguebrun stream: a peaceful haven in the heart of the Luberon !

Day 6: Buoux - Lauris
We ride on the crests of the high Luberon from where we discover a superb point of view on a clear day: from the alpine peaks in the north, to the Mediterranean in the south! Picnic near Lourmarin, classified village where Albert Camus is resting. The return to Mas de Recaute is along the foot of the Luberon. The trails are pleasant, in the pine forests and along vineyards and orchards of peach, apricot, cherry and almond trees that are already blooming. We enjoy great views over the Durance valley and the Sainte Victoire mountain, so dear to Cézanne. Last festive evening and night in our bed and breakfast at the Mas de Recaute.

Day 7:
End of your trip after breakfast. Free transfer to Aix en Provence center, TGV train station or Marseille airport.

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

Sample Itinerary 7-day Autumn Transhumance- Subject to changes

Day 1:
Meet at Marseille airport, Aix en Provence TGV train station, or directly at “Mas de Recaute” in Lauris. Welcome drink and presentation of your trip. Overnight at the Mas. (“Mas” means farmhouse in the local traditional dialect)

Day 2: Lauris - Buoux
After breakfast, we choose the horses and start riding along the foot of the Luberon. The trail is pleasant, going through pine forests and along vineyards and orchards that take their fall colors. We have great views over the Durance valley, ant the beautiful Sainte Victoire mountain, so dear to Cezanne. Picnic near Lourmarin, classified village where Albert Camus (famous French writer) lived and was burried. Then, we ride to the Luberon crests from where we discover a superb point of view on a clear day: from the alpine summits in the north, until the Mediterranean in the south. Then, we godown in the Aiguebrun canyon where we reach the Auberge des Seguins, nestled at the foot of the impressive cliffs : a peacefull haven in the heart of the Luberon ! Dinner and overnight at the inn.

Day 3: Buoux - Cereste
After breakfast we go discovering the prehistoric sites of the Aiguebrun Gorges on a pleasant trail along the only stream crossing the Luberon: the Aiguebrun. Then we will join a beautiful Provencal village and take a break at the fountain of the village. Lunch break under the oaks. Later, we leave on trails through the fragrant Provencal scrubland, with its scents of thyme, rosemary ... to join our accommodation near Cereste. Dinner and party with our friend Olivier.

Day 4: Cereste - Simiane-la-Rotonde
Departure for the 11th century Carluc Priory where we take a break before joining Oppedette. We leave the Luberon nature park among lavender fields, crossing beautiful villages, typical of upper Provence. Our assistant will be waiting for us with a pleasant Provencal meal, (a ratatouille) at the edge of the Oppedette Canyon. After lunch, we leave to join our evening accommodation: a beautiful guest house in the middle of the lavender fields at the foot of Simiane la Rotonde . Aperitif and dinner at the host table and overnight in charming bedrooms.

Day 5: Simiane-la-Rotonde - Cruis
Departure for a relatively long day (about 7 hour riding) through the lavender fields with the Lure mountain in the background. Pleasant mid-stop lunch break before heading to Cruis through the evergreen oak forests. We reach the guesthouse and its pleasant guestrooms near Cruis, overlooking the lavender fields. Dinner at the host table.

Day 6: Cruis - Peyruis (herd winter pastures)
Departure on horseback south of the Montagne de Lure to join the horse winter pastures around noon. Here, a pleasant buffet prepared by our assistant awaits. After this break, we release the horses. Riders are then transferred by minibus to Lauris. Aperitif and festive evening at Mas de Recaute.

Day 7:
End of your trip after breakfast. Free transfer to Aix en Provence center, TGV train station, and Marseille airport.


Rates and Dates for Provence Explorer

Rates include:

6 (or 3 or 2) nights standard accommodation in country guesthouses and inns, all meals with wine for lunch and dinner, 5 (3 or 2) riding days

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20197 day trip, AP€1400$1680
    • Single supplement€250$300
      Discount for use of dormitories(€50)($60)
      Upgrade bedroom for first and last night near the equestrian centre with swimming pool, hammam, jacuzzi, dbl, pp€70$85
      Upgrade bedroom for first and last night near the equestrian centre with swimming pool, hammam, jacuzzi, single€120$145
  • B
    20193 day trip, AP- Part 1 (3 riding days)€800$960
    • Single supplement€120$145
      Discount for use of dormitories(€50)($60)
  • C
    20193 day trip, AP- Part 2 (2 days riding)€650$780
    • Single supplement€120$145
  • D
    2019Transhumance Ride€1390$1670
    • Single supplement€250$300
      Upgrade bedroom for first and last night near the equestrian centre with swimming pool, hammam, jacuzzi, dbl, pp€70$85
      Upgrade bedroom for first and last night near the equestrian centre with swimming pool, hammam, jacuzzi, single€150$180
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.2

Rates Note:


** For 1 pax booking as willing to share: half single supplement rate will be applied if we don't have anybody to share with you

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Rates Note:


** For 1 pax booking as willing to share: half single supplement rate will be applied if we don't have anybody to share with you


Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2019 Transfer from Marseille Airport or Aix-en-Provence Train Station included at set times 0 $0
2019 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
290 $350
2019 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
280 $335
2019 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
2019 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
2019 Non-rider -- 50% discount 0 $0
2019 ** For 1 pax booking as willing to share: half single supplement rate will be applied if we don't have anybody to share with you 0 $0

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2019 07/21 - 07/27 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 5 /8 Expired
B 2019 07/21 - 07/24 4d / 3n 3 day trip, AP- Part 1 (3 ri... 5 /8 Expired
C 2019 07/24 - 07/27 3d / 3n 3 day trip, AP- Part 2 (2 da... 5 /8 Expired
B 2019 07/28 - 07/31 4d / 3n 3 day trip, AP- Part 1 (3 ri... 5 /8 Expired
A 2019 07/28 - 08/03 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 5 /8 Expired
C 2019 07/31 - 08/03 3d / 3n 3 day trip, AP- Part 2 (2 da... 5 /8 Expired
A 2019 08/04 - 08/10 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 5 /8 Expired
B 2019 08/04 - 08/07 4d / 3n 3 day trip, AP- Part 1 (3 ri... 5 /8 Expired
C 2019 08/07 - 08/10 3d / 3n 3 day trip, AP- Part 2 (2 da... 5 /8 Expired
B 2019 08/11 - 08/14 4d / 3n 3 day trip, AP- Part 1 (3 ri... 5 /8 Expired
A 2019 08/11 - 08/17 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 5 /8 Expired
C 2019 08/14 - 08/17 3d / 3n 3 day trip, AP- Part 2 (2 da... 5 /8 Expired
A 2019 08/18 - 08/24 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 5 /8 Expired
B 2019 08/18 - 08/21 4d / 3n 3 day trip, AP- Part 1 (3 ri... 5 /8 Expired
C 2019 08/21 - 08/24 3d / 3n 3 day trip, AP- Part 2 (2 da... 5 /8 Expired
B 2019 08/25 - 08/28 4d / 3n 3 day trip, AP- Part 1 (3 ri... 5 /8 Expired
A 2019 08/25 - 08/31 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 5 /8 Expired
C 2019 08/28 - 08/31 3d / 3n 3 day trip, AP- Part 2 (2 da... 5 /8 Expired
A 2019 09/14 - 09/20 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 5 /8 Expired
B 2019 09/14 - 09/17 4d / 3n 3 day trip, AP- Part 1 (3 ri... 5 /8 Expired
C 2019 09/17 - 09/20 3d / 3n 3 day trip, AP- Part 2 (2 da... 5 /8 Expired
D 2020 11/03 - 11/09 7d / 6n Transhumance Ride 5 /8 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Beverages outside of mealtimes, gratuities

Other Info
Meeting: Mas de Recaute
Airport: Marseille
Transfer: Marseille Airport or Aix-en-Provence Train Station

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 (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