Provence to Camargue

Provence France: (IT-FRPV03)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/france_provence_carmargue.aspx

Introduction
Provence France
Ride to the Mediterranean: From the mountain of Luberon, down to the Mediterranean sea!

Heading out with the horses from a little riding centre found in the nature park of Luberon, known as the 'Heart of Provence,' we will follow along ancient Roman roads and cross Van Gogh's Hills, the "Alpilles," riding into the rural villages nearby where the horses can stop and drink from the courtyard fountain while we chat with the locals. Imagine cantering through sweet fields of lavender framed by the snow-peaked Alps and the ink-blue Mediterranean waters, and then tethering the horses nearby as we break for a picnic of French breads and cheeses paired with local wines! You are on a trail towards the famous region of the Camargue: a land of marshes, pink flamingos, black bulls and white horses! With accommodations in quaint, country inns (4* hotel upgrade available), this is a horseback trail rich in beautiful Provencal landscapes, curious history and foreign culture, ending as we emerge from the marshlands onto the open sands, for an invigorating gallop upon the Mediterranean coastline!

Accomodation

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

Description
Overnights during the trail will be in small and private rural guesthouses and inns. While they are rather simple facilities, they have been selected for their beautiful setting and friendly atmosphere. Rooms have private bathrooms. There are no laundry facilities while on trail. All accommodations have WIFI.

Standard Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Mas de Recaute (standard option) or Les Gargoulettes (upgrade) in Lauris
Night 2: Bastide de Roquemaliere near Mallemort
Night 3: La Sarriette in Eygalières  
Night 4: Mas de Syl Vereal near Astouin  
Night 5: Le Maset in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer  
Night 6: Mas de Recaute (standard option) or Les Gargoulettes (upgrade) in Lauris

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.

Bastide de Roquemaliere near Mallemort
This Provencal country house offers comfortable accommodation in simply decorated bedrooms all equipped with Wi-Fi access and a private bathroom. Guests can go for a stroll in the garden or enjoy a swim in the outdoor swimming pool.

La Sarriette in Eygalières
This guesthouse provides simple accommodations in 2 private bedrooms and a dormitory (8 single beds). Bathrooms are shared and Wi-Fi is available free of charge. There is a common area whit a TV and a fireplace and a terrace with view over the garden.

Mas de Sylvereal near Astouin
This beautiful 400 years old country house welcomes guests in tastefully decorated bedrooms with private bathroom. WiFi is available in all areas and is free of charge. There is also a garden with a sitting area where guest can relax.

Le Maset in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
This hotel offers 11 modern bedrooms all fitted with a TV, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and a private bathroom. The beach is just a few hundred meters away and there is an outdoor swimming pool accessible to all guests.


Upgraded Accommodation Itinerary (3-4 star hotels) - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Hotel Domaine de Fontenille in Lauris  
Night 2: Moulin de Vernegues in Mallemort  
Night 3: La Bastide d'Eygalieres in Eygalières  
Nights 4 & 5: Auberge Cavaliere in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer 
Night 6: Hotel Domaine de Fontenille in Lauris  

Hotel Domaine de Fontenille in Lauris
This charming Provencial bastide from the 18th century has been recently restored in order to provide guest with a comfortable stay. It is surrounded by a lovely park and vineyards. Each of the 18 bedrooms feature a mix between rustic charm and modern facilities (safety box, TV, free Wi-Fi and private bathroom). The surrounding park includes an outdoor swimming pool, a hammam and a fitness center.

Moulin de Vernegues in Mallemort  
This 17th century property was recently renovated to offers guest comfortable and modern bedrooms. All air-conditioned rooms come with a TV and an ensuite bathroom. There is a beautiful outdoor swimming pool and an onsite spa center (extra costs).

La Bastide d'Eygalieres in Eygalières
This hotel is housed in a typical Provencal house and offers 15 simply decorated guestrooms. All rooms are fitted with A/C, a phone, a TV and a private bathroom. There is a lovely patio with an outdoor swimming pool.
 
Auberge Cavaliere in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
This stylish auberge features accommodations in the main house and in small cabins. The rooms come equipped with all creatures comfort including free Wi-Fi access, a private bathroom, a TV and a terrace. Other amenities include 2 outdoor swimming pools, , a tennis court, a spa area with a sauna and hot tub.

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. Wine is not included with dinner for the upgrade to 3-4 star hotels.

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 trip- Subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival
Meeting at Marseille airport or Aix-en-Provence train station, or directly at Mas de Recaute. Welcome aperitif and presentation of the trail ride. You will be introduced to your guide and spend a first friendly dinner at he «host’s table». Overnight at Mas de Recaute.

Day 2: From Lauris to Mallemort
Ride at the foot of the Luberon mountain in pine and oak forests to the Durance valley where we will cross the river.  Picnic brought by our assistant on the other side of the Durance river. In the afternoon, we will ride along the Alpilles canal to the farm where the horses will stay for the night. Transfer with minibus to our lodging Dinner at the host’s table. Overnight in a bed & breakfast.  (On certain dates, return to the Mas de Recaute in the minibus).

Day 3: From Mallemort to Eygalieres
In the garrigue of Provence , we will enter in the Alpilles Nature Park. You will then make your way out of the valley, towards Van Gogh’s country : the Alpilles. We will reach the Roman village of Eygalière late in the afternoon, and stop by the beautiful « Chapel St Sixte », to take pictures. Dinner and overnight at a guesthouse near Eygalieres.

Day 4: From Eygalieres to Les Baux de Provence
A cultural day as you will ride in the landscape Van Gogh liked to paint. You will stop near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, in front of the hospital in which Van Gogh stayed and made his most famous paintings. Admire beautiful Roman monuments, before you make your way towards lunch, by a gorgeous little lake, hidden in the hills. The afternoon ride will take you on the crests of the Alpilles : striking panorama on the surrounding area. We will even see the gleam of the mediterranean sea in the distance. At the end of the trail, discover a breathtaking sight on the medieval village of «Les Beaux-de-Provence ». Load the horses in the truck to meet them later on at the hotel...in front of your room ! Visit of the village and transfer to Astouin, the gate of Camargue. Dinner and overnight in a typical Camargue house.

Day 5: From Astouin to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
A stunning day ride to discover more of Camargue. You will cross the « Small Rhône » river on a ferry boat to reach a very protected part of the Nature Park. The marsh land will slowly give way to sand dunes and pine forests as you ride towards wild beaches: unforgettable canters and gallops. You will feel lost in the wild, as you ride in this remote part of Camargue, off the toursist track. Admire the rich wildlife among which the pink flamingoes and herons. End of the day at « Les Saintes Maries de la Mer », right by the sea. Time for a visit of the village and shopping. Dinner in a restaurant. Overnight in a hotel near the village.

Day 6: A morning ride on the beaches
Nice gallops and walk in the sea. The lunch will be prepared at the hotel by your assistant, and the afternoon you will ride along the Vacares lake: you will discover a lot of flamingos and wild birds on a pleasant trail. Transfer to Mas de Recaute in Lauris, for a last dinner all together, share memories, pictures, addresses ...

Day 7: Departure
End of the trip after breakfast. Transfers to Aix-en-Provence train stations and Marseille airport.

--Subject to changes--

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

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

Day 1: Arrive
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 de Recaute for overnight.

Day 2: From Lauris to Mallemort
Meet at 9:00am at Mas Recaute. Ride at the foot of the Luberon mountain in pine and oak forests to the Durance valley where we will cross the river.  Picnic brought by our assistant on the other side of the Durance river. In the afternoon, we will ride along the Alpilles canal to the farm where the horses will stay for the night. Transfer with minibus to our lodging Dinner at the host’s table. Overnight in a bed & breakfast.  (On certain dates, return to the Mas de Recaute in the minibus).

Day 3: From Mallemort to Eygalieres
In the garrigue of Provence , we will enter in the Alpilles Nature Park. You will then make your way out of the valley, towards Van Gogh’s country : the Alpilles. We will reach the Roman village of Eygalière late in the afternoon, and stop by the beautiful « Chapel St Sixte », to take pictures. Dinner and overnight at a guesthouse near Eygalieres.

Day 4: From Eygalieres to Les Baux de Provence
A cultural day as you will ride in the landscape Van Gogh liked to paint. You will stop near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, in front of the hospital in which Van Gogh stayed and made his most famous paintings. Admire beautiful Roman monuments, before you make your way towards lunch, by a gorgeous little lake, hidden in the hills. The afternoon ride will take you on the crests of the Alpilles : striking panorama on the surrounding area. We will even see the gleam of the Mediterranean sea in the distance. At the end of the trail, discover a breathtaking sight on the medieval village of «Les Beaux-de-Provence ». Rides finishes around 6:00pm.

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

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

Day 1: From Lauris to Mallemort
Pick-up from Arles train station for 6:30pm where you are driven to the accommodations for the night.

Day 2: From Astouin to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
A stunning day ride to discover more of Camargue. You will cross the « Small Rhône » river on a ferry boat to reach a very protected part of the Nature Park. The marsh land will slowly give way to sand dunes and pine forests as you ride towards wild beaches: unforgettable canters and gallops. You will feel lost in the wild, as you ride in this remote part of Camargue, off the toursist track. Admire the rich wildlife among which the pink flamingoes and herons. End of the day at « Les Saintes Maries de la Mer », right by the sea. Time for a visit of the village and shopping. Dinner in a restaurant. Overnight in a hotel near the village.

Day 3: A morning ride on the beaches
Nice gallops and walk in the sea. The lunch will be prepared at the hotel by your assistant, and the afternoon you will ride along the Vacares lake: you will discover a lot of flamingos and wild birds on a pleasant trail. You will be dropped off at Arles train station for 7:00pm.


Rates and Dates for Provence to Camargue

Rates include:

6 (or 3 or 2) nights standard accommodations with ensuite bathroom, all meals with wine for lunch and dinner, 5 (3 or 2) riding days

Packages and Options




Rates Note:

Accommodations upgrade requires minimum of 6 riders.
** 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:

Accommodations upgrade requires minimum of 6 riders.
** 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 Arrival transfers for Aix-en-Provence TGV Station, Center Station, or Marseille Airport (3 day trip "Part 1") included 0 $0
2019 Drop-off to Aix-en-Provence TGV Station, Center Station, or Marseille Airport (3 day trip "Part 1") (3-4 pax), per car
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
170 $205
2019 Transfer from Arles Train Station (3 day trip "Part 1 or 2"), included at set times 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
2019 Dormitory option for 7-day trip -50 $-60
2019 Upgrade accommodation of first and last night near the equestrian centre with swimming pool, hammam, jacuzzi, dbl, pp 70 $85
2019 Upgrade accommodation of first and last night near the equestrian centre with swimming pool, hammam, jacuzzi, single 120 $145
2019 Upgrade all nights in 3-4 star hotels and guesthouses (drinks not included), dbl, pp 850 $1,020
2019 Upgrade all nights in 3-4 star hotels and guesthouses (drinks not included), single 1,400 $1,680
2019 Optional Van Gogh show in Les Baux de Provence, pp
- to be paid locally
13 $15

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
F 2019 11/17 - 11/23 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Winter) 5 /10 Expired
F 2019 11/24 - 11/30 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Winter) 5 /10 Expired
F 2019 12/01 - 12/07 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Winter) 5 /10 Expired
F 2019 12/15 - 12/21 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Winter) 5 /10 Expired
F 2019 12/18 - 12/24 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP (Winter) 5 /10 Expired

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 sunny winters (possible frost during the night). The Mistral wind brings dry and cold air and blows on average 8 days per month.

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 GENERAL 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
Pajamas
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