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 usually have ensuite bathrooms. There are no laundry facilities while on trail. All accommodations have WIFI.

Standard Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1 & 2: Les Gargoulettes in Lauris
Night 3: La Sarriette in Eygalières  
Night 4: Mas de Sylvereal near Astouin  
Night 5: Le Maset in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer  
Night 6: Les Gargoulettes in Lauris


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.

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 and we don't find anyone to share, then the single supplement will apply.



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. It features hot drinks with bread, butter, jam and honey.
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: Provence to Camargue Mediterranean Ride - subject to changes

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival
Meeting at Marseille airport or Aix-en-Provence train station, or directly at your accommodation in Lauris. Welcome aperitif and presentation of the trail ride. You will be introduced to your guide and spend a first friendly dinner.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Les Gargoulettes in Lauris

Day 2 (Monday): 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, in Lauris.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Les Gargoulettes in Lauris

Day 3 (Tuesday): Mallemort to Eygalieres
After breakfast, transfer to the horses. This morning, we ride through a rich valley among fruit trees, to Lamanon where we will enjoy our lunch buffet. We then ride into the Alpilles Nature Park, making our way out of the valley, towards Van Gogh’s country. We will reach the Roman village of Eygalière late in the afternoon.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Guesthouse near Eygalieres

Day 4 (Wednesday): 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 making your way towards our lunch break. The afternoon ride will take you on the crests of the Alpilles: striking panorama on the surrounding area. At the end of the trail, we load the horses in the truck for a transfer to Camargue.
You then have the choice between visiting the Baux de Provence medieval village or the Lumière quarries with an exceptional multimedia show. After this break, minibus transfer to Sylvereal, the gate of the Camargue. Night in an old Abbaye turned into a hotel and dinner at the hotel's typical Camargue auberge.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel near Astouin

Day 5 (Thursday): Bull Cattle Drive to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
After an hour on horseback in the heart of the Camargue, we will arrive at a "manade", a bull and horse ranch. A passionate "guardian" (Camargue cow-boy) welcomes us in front of the enclosure of one of his bull herds. We accompany him on horseback to "grab" the bulls, that is to say push them through the marsh to a sorting enclosure. Then he tells us about the Camargue bull and horse breeds. After sorting a few bulls in front of us he ends his performance by offering us an aperitif "the friendship glass". Picnic on the spot, prepared by our assistant. Then we leave on horseback to Les Saintes Maries de la Mer. After your installation at the hotel, you can go for a walk in the the village streets and do some shopping, take a stroll to the beach, or enjoy the hotel swimming pool. Meeting for dinner in a lively bodega in the village. Night at the hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel near Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Day 6 (Friday): 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 ...
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Les Gargoulettes in Lauris

Day 7 (Saturday): Departure
End of the trip after breakfast. Transfers to Aix-en-Provence train stations and Marseille airport.
Meals included: Breakfast





Non Riders
Non-riding companions are welcome to join this trip. It is best to have a car in order to do some sightseeing while the rest of the group explores on horseback.


Rates and Dates for Provence to Camargue

Rates include:

Standard accommodation, All meals with wine for lunch and dinner, Transfer from/to Marseille Airport or Aix-en-Provence Train Station at set times & 5 riding days

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20247 day trip (standard accommodation)€1800$1980
  • B
    20247 day trip - Luxury Option on request (inquire for rates - min 5 pax required)€0$0
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.1

Rates Note:


For 1 pax booking as willing to share: 25% off single supplement rate will be applied if we don't have anybody to share with you
It is possible to book extra nights before or after the tour - please inquire

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Rates Note:


For 1 pax booking as willing to share: 25% off single supplement rate will be applied if we don't have anybody to share with you
It is possible to book extra nights before or after the tour - please inquire


Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2024 Free transfer from/to Marseille Airport or Aix-en-Provence Train Station at set times for 7-day trips 0 $0
2024 Non-rider -- 50% discount 0 $0
2024 Taxi transfer from/to Marseille airport, one way, per car (3-4 pax)
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
150 $165
2024 Taxi transfer from/to Aix-en-Provence TGV station, one way, per car (3-4 pax)
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
130 $145
2024 Taxi transfer from/to Aix-en-Provence central train station, one way, per car (3-4 pax)
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
100 $110
2024 Single supplement 400 $440
2024 Discount if coming by car (Monday morning arrival & Friday afternoon departure) -50 $-55

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2024 05/26 - 06/01 7d / 6n 7 day trip (standard accommo... 4 /8 Expired
A 2024 06/02 - 06/08 7d / 6n 7 day trip (standard accommo... 4 /8 Expired
A 2024 06/09 - 06/15 7d / 6n 7 day trip (standard accommo... 4 /8 Expired
A 2024 06/16 - 06/22 7d / 6n 7 day trip (standard accommo... 4 /8 Expired
A 2024 06/23 - 06/29 7d / 6n 7 day trip (standard accommo... 4 /8 Expired
A 2024 09/01 - 09/07 7d / 6n 7 day trip (standard accommo... 4 /8 Sold Out
A 2024 09/08 - 09/14 7d / 6n 7 day trip (standard accommo... 4 /8 Sold Out
A 2024 09/15 - 09/21 7d / 6n 7 day trip (standard accommo... 4 /8 Sold Out
A 2024 09/22 - 09/28 7d / 6n 7 day trip (standard accommo... 4 /8 Sold Out
A 2024 09/29 - 10/05 7d / 6n 7 day trip (standard accommo... 4 /8 Sold Out
A 2024 10/06 - 10/12 7d / 6n 7 day trip (standard accommo... 4 /8 Reserve
A 2024 10/13 - 10/19 7d / 6n 7 day trip (standard accommo... 4 /8 Reserve
A 2024 10/20 - 10/26 7d / 6n 7 day trip (standard accommo... 4 /8 Reserve
A 2024 10/27 - 11/02 7d / 6n 7 day trip (standard accommo... 4 /8 Reserve
A 2024 11/03 - 11/09 7d / 6n 7 day trip (standard accommo... 4 /8 Reserve

Dates Note:
The Luxurious Option is available every week on request (starting on Sunday) from January to June and from September to mid-November

Rates do not include:

Beverages outside of mealtimes & Gratuities
For the Luxurious option, drinks are not included at all (no wine with lunch or dinner)

Other Info
Meeting: Lauris
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

Luggage is limited to 1 piece per person. It can be a regular suitcase or a bag but dimensions should not exceed 90cm x 65cm x 35cm and 15kg!
If you wish to bring an extra luggage, please advise us, as we may need an extra vehicle, and a supplement may be asked.