Discover the Loire castles on horseback. This horseback trail ride through the landscapes of the Loire and its tributary the Cher, with their vast forest areas is a history horseback trip. The Middle Ages and especially the Renaissance are the backdrop. At that time, the royal house of Valois-Orleans-Angoulême had sufficient power and resources to build pleasure castles instead of fortresses. There are hardly any villages or chains of hills that are not decorated with these sumptuous buildings. But the Loire Valley offers even more. The climate is mild, the soil fertile, here grow the vine, roses and queens-claudes. The rivers reflect the alleys of poplars. Behind the cedars and pastures are monasteries, cathedrals and even more and more castles. You will discover the Cheverny, Chambord, Villemasin, Beauregard, Chaumont sur Loire, Chenonceau.
THE LOIRE CASTLE TRAIL RIDE
INDICATIVE ITINERARY *
Day 1: Welcome riders in Pontlevoy. Late afternoon transfer from Montrichard train station.
Day 2: After the presentation and distribution of the horses, we leave to reach Fougères sur Bièvre. We have lunch at the foot of the castle. It offers the ideal image of a small castle of the end of the 15th century with a curtain wall, a dungeon, gunboats, a walkway and machicolations. At the end of the afternoon, the beautifully furnished Cheverny Castle welcomes us for the visit. This estate is a seigneurial property that has belonged to the same family for more than six centuries. From the Botanical Park to the splendid interior of the castle, from the Tintin exhibition to the forest park, the owners invite you to discover a fantastic heritage, authentic and alive. Dinner and overnight in bed and breakfast or hotel.
Day 3: In the morning, we take the direction of Chambord, where the picnic will be prepared by the assistant. Chambord is the largest of the Loire castles. It is an architectural feat unparalleled with its central staircase double revolution, a marvel of elegance, located in the heart of a vast forest of 5,440 hectares where deer is the king of places. We will visit the castle after lunch. We will continue our ride to the castle of Villesavin, dating from the 16th century. It was built by the same French and Italian masters and workers who built the great royal mansions. It has survived, through four centuries, in almost perfect integrity. Dinner and overnight in a bed and breakfast.
Day 4: We will ride through the forest up to Beauregard castle, a stop for our picnic. Former hunting lodge Chambord, built on the orders of Francis I, it has always been known for its famous Gallery of Portraits. Monumental work of 3 generations with 327 portraits of famous people, a remarkable ceiling lapis lazuli (7 times the value of gold) and an exceptional pavement of 5600 tiles of Delftware. After the visit of the castle, we leave with our horses to the village of Candé-sur-Beuvron. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 5: We will reach by the banks of the Loire the village of Chaumont sur Loire. Charming town, listed on the World Heritage List of the U.N.E.S.C.O, Chaumont is also known for its feudal castle overlooking the valley and the village. Picnic near the castle. Dating from the late fifteenth century, it illustrates both the defensive architecture of the Gothic era and the architecture of Renaissance amenity. Do not miss the stables of the nineteenth century, considered the most luxurious in Europe for the time. After visiting the castle, we cross the Bois de Sudais to reach our evening accommodation in the countryside. Dinner and overnight in a bed and breakfast.
Day 6: Departure at 10h on horseback. We go along the Loire by the bank, then we go back on the hillside and discover some areas of vineyards and cereal crops. Arrive in Amboise for the picnic and visit the castle. The fifteenth century is the prosperous period of Amboise that the Kings Louis XI, Charles VIII, and François I ° enlarge and embellish. In the afternoon, we cross the Amboise foest. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 7: After breakfast, we ride to the magnificent Chenonceau castle. It is built on the Cher, whose waters reflect the unique beauty of its Renaissance architecture. Named "Château des Dames" for the history of France, built in 1513 by Katherine Briçonnet, embellished successively by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis, Chenonceau was saved from the rigors of the Revolution by Madame Dupin. It is the flagship of the Loire Valley. We will have lunch on the site and a visit of the castle. In the early afternoon, we will leave the banks of the Cher to join the evening accommodation. Dinner and overnight in bed and breakfast.
Day 8: End of your ride after breakfast. Transfer to Montrichard.
On certain dates, the hike is done in reverse.
* Indicative program which may be subject to modifications if necessary.
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