France - A Taste of Provence
Ride through the heart of Provence, the part of France that has the highest number of sunny days per year and a special light that gives the whole landscape a fantastic sheen. At this time of year, artists and painters want to be here. Discover landscapes painted by Cezanne and get to know the locals at a time of year when they can share their culture, language and themselves. It is even possible to book to language lessons.
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Arrival at the equestrian center between 6.00pm and 8:00pm. Dinner and overnight at the farm.
In the morning, you meet the horses and take a short ride through the adjacent wind farms. You will have lunch when you return. In the afternoon, you will ride on a 1½ hour tour along the rolling hills at the foot of the Luberon mountain range. You will ride past the white oaks, olive trees and breathe in the aromatic fragrance of Provence. A good dinner is waiting at the farm when you return. The surroundings here played an important part in two famous French films, Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, based on the writer Marcel Pagnol’s novels. These two films are shown in the evening after dinner. If you prefer to relax with a drink by the fireplace or go to a local bar, that's also fine.
In the morning, you will go by minibus to Montagne Sainte-Victoire and around the beautiful city of Aix-en-Provence and see the locations the famous artist Cezanne painted. You will spend the rest of the morning in Aix-en-Provence’s famous street market, which is the best place to buy local produce and crafts. You will then eat lunch at one of the nice local restaurants (not included). You will meet up and be driven back to the farm. You can now choose to ride and continue to explore the area around the farm, among all the lovely scents of Provence herbs such as thyme, rosemary, wild lavender, etc. Dinner and a relaxed evening mark the end of this day.
Today you ride to the banks of the River Durance where you will have a lovely picnic lunch with an aperitif, cheeses, salad, local pies, wine and coffee. You then descend from the hills and discover the Durance Valley and get a glimpse of the village of Lauris, clinging to the cliff edge. It is a relaxed ride back through farmland with the best and most fertile land for producing wine, asparagus, olives, truffles, cherry, apricot, melon ... Provence treasures. When you return to the farm, you will take care of the horses and then another good dinner awaits.
This morning is set-aside for you to get to know all the local produce. In the courtyard, around a large fire, you may try olive oil, olives, honey, and roasted chestnuts. Everyone can join in and prepare lunch, the famous truffle omelette that you then enjoy with a good local wine. In the afternoon, there will be a half-day ride up into the Luberon hills with beautiful views over the adjacent mountains and valleys. By late afternoon you are back at the farm.
This morning you will visit villages such as Lauris, Lourmarin and Cezanne’s local street market where Peter Mayle - author of A Year in Provence - now lives. In the afternoon, you can enjoy your last ride to a local wine cellar that produces Cotes du Luberon. The famous American wine writer Robert Parker has mentioned this small family-owned cellar. You then continue through pine forests and take your horses to a meadow where they can rest for the weekend. A farewell dinner awaits you at the farm.
After breakfast, transfer to Aix-en-Provence train station or Marseille airport.
We reserve the right to make any changes to riding program, including the cancellation or changing of hotels.
The program is subject to change due to local circumstances beyond our control.