France - Valley of the Kings
This valley in Touraine has charmed the Kings of France with its natural beauty. They built sumptuous residences surrounded by magnificent gardens in the Loire-, Cher- and Indre Valleys. During this ride you will have the opportunity to visit the castles and gardens at Chenonceaux, Bourdaisiere, Villandry, Azay le Rideau and Abbaye de Fontevraud where Henry Plantagenet and Queen Elinor d'Aquitaine have their final resting places. You will finish the ride in Saumur, the home of the National Equestrian Academy.
The information on this page is specific to this ride. Click here for more information >>
Day 1 - You will be met at the Chenonceaux train station at 6.30 p.m. and taken to your B&B Prieuré de la Chaise in Saint-Georges-sur-Cher.
Day 2 - After introductions and assignement of the horses, you leave the « Prieuré de la Chaise » to ride to Montpoupon castle, where you have picnic. You take the
time to visit this fortress from the Middle Ages and its hunting museum, testimony of the gentlemen's way of life before getting back on the road to Reignac-sur-Indre, overnight stop for the horses. Dinner and night at « Le Manoir de Chaix » in Truyes.
Day 3 - Leaving Reignac-sur-Indre, you ride across the valley of the Indre river to reach the picnic spot in Cormery, carolingian city with its famous abbey founded by ITHIER, abbot of Saint-Martin de Tours. Visit of the abbey after lunch before heading on, going through villages and typical landscapes of the area to finally
stop in Truyes. Dinner and night at « Le Manoir de Chaix » in Truyes.
Day 4 – Relocation of riders and horses in the morning. Visit of the Villandry castle before lunch. The Villandry castle, completed in1536, is one of the last castles built during the Renaissance in the Loire Valley. The last owners rehabilitated the grounds as they were originally and therefor the magnificent gardens are really a must-see. After the picnic, you leave Villandry to ride across forests and vineyards to get to Azay-le-Rideau. Built on an island in the middle of the Indre during the reign of François1 (between 1518 and 1528), it still has a remarquable unity of style. Dinner and night at the hotel in Azay-le-Rideau.
Day 5 - Leaving Azay-le-Rideau behind, you ride in the middle of the Natural Parc of Loire-Anjou-Touraine to reach the picnic spot in St-Benoit-La-Forêt. After lunch, you head towards Chinon, city overlooked by its medieval castle and approuved « City of Art and History » with its beautifully preserved historical center.
Dinner and night at hotel in Chinon.
Day 6 - In the morning, visit and introduction of the « Cadre Noir » in Saumur. Starting point for the Saint Jacob of Compostella pilgrimage, the Touraine has many impressive religious buildings. Riding along the Vienne, you stop and visit at Fontevraud Royal Abbey. From the 12th to the 18th cent, 36 prioresses looked after this fabulous momument, where many Plantagenet funeral tombs are being kept.
Dinner and night at hotel in Fontevraud-L’Abbaye.
Day 7 - After breakfast, you ride to Montsoreau, labeled « most beautiful village of France » and a UNESCO world heritage site. There you’ll enjoy its castle, wines, mills, caves or even a mushroom farm. You then go to Turquant, village with colourful alleys in a typical valley of the Saumuroise coast. Wine tasting.
Dinner and night at hotel in Fontevraud -l’Abbaye.
Day 8 - Transfer to Saumur train station after breakfast.
We reserve the right to make any changes to the riding program, including change of hotels. The program is subject to change due to local circumstances beyond our control.
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Flight to Paris.
From Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, take the train to Chenonceaux train station (change required).
Train times and tickets atwww.sncf.fr.
On the return journey, take the train from Saumur train station back to Paris.
Transfer: Meeting time Chenonceaux train station is 6.30 p.m. Price: 20 EUR per person round trip.
Misc.: Entrance fees and wine tasting are not included and is paied direct. Approx. 75 EUR.