Bernard SYMZAK ( GTE, AQA)
Véronique Dargier de Saint Vaulry

Centre Equestre de Montcharlon 
58 170 CHIDDES

Tel/Fax : 33 3  86 30 42 78

Châteaux de la Loire
8 days riding trip

Trip description Description of hotels Riding level required
Equipment required
Trip description
1st day: (Sunday)

The Loire valley, known as « La douce France » (« the soft France ») has privileged weather: never too cold, never too warm. That explains why during the Renaissance period the kings of France decided to live there.  At that time, they ordered the construction of outstanding and unique castles that they used to visit on regular basis. Today we will be the kings who will arrive on our horses to visit these magnificent properties during 6 days.

We will start at Blois, a city full of history, which you will also be able to visit on your own before or after our horse trip, if you wish to do so.

Our horses will be waiting for us at the National Harass known for its beauty, elegance and charm. From there on, our only means of transportation will be the horses, all the way to the doorstep of the castles we will visit.
2nd day: (Monday)

A long day along the Loire River will take us through the forests and fields that lead to the well-known « Château de Chaumont ». This magnificent property dominates the River.  Marie de Medicis once offered it to Diane de Poitiers in exchange for the Chenonceau Castle. Needless to say that women at that time did not stop surprising us.

After our meal nearby the Chateau, we will visit it. A short ride in the after noon will take us to the Castle of La Haute Borde where we will spend the night in order to get used to old castle life style and charm.


3rd day: (Tuesday)

We will then discover the marvelous machines invented by Leonard de Vinci. To do so, we will spend half a day riding in order to reach « le Clot Lucé » at Amboise, where the inventions are exhibited.
In the after noon, we will leave the Loire valley and we will follow an affluent river, the « Cher ». To do so, we will ride across the Amboise forest where the kings loved to hunt. We will ride down this River in order to reach the « Château de l’Isle » where we will spend the night. 

4th day: (Wednesday)

The fourth journey will be shorter in terms of distance but richer in terms of adventures and discoveries. Our horses will take us to the « Château de Chenonceau ». You will finally understand why Diane de Poitiers was so unhappy to leave this castle.
In the afternoon, a short ride through the forest will take us to the « Château de Chissey ». This property was built in the fifteenth century. Before us, this castle was the home of two kings of France, Charles VII and Louis XI, as well as the home of General de Gaulle and the French Government in 1940.
You will be able to appreciate the old concept of luxury and the modern concept of comfort, as evidenced by the new swimming pool.

5th day: (Thursday)

Between the Loire and the Cher Rivers, you have a wild region covered y trees, lakes and sandy fields full of vegetables (leeks, asparagus, carrots,…). This region is called La Sologne. To reach the Loire we must cross across this region. We will pause once during this long journey. Indeed, we will visit a typical hotel of the region known for its outstanding regional cuisine. 

6th day: (Friday)

As we reach the Loire River, we will find again the castles again. At lunchtime, we will visit Cheverny, one of the most prestigious horse hunting spots in France, to this date.
In the after noon, we will ride, gallop and run through forest and valleys until we reach the Loire River and its famous Manoir du Bel Air where we will indulge ourselves with their local specialties.

7th day: (Saturday)

On Saturday we will spend most of our time getting acquainted with of the most splendid castles of the Loire Valley: Chambord, the masterpiece of François Ier. Thanks to a special permit granted to us on exceptional basis, we will have the privilege of living an unforgettable moment: galloping all the way down the canal that leads to the gate of the castle where our meal will be waiting for us. 
In the afternoon, we will cross the Valley of Cosson in order to reach the Manoir du Bel Air.

8th day: (Sunday)

Departure after breakfast


Description of hotels

Holiday Inn

You will be welcome by your guide for dinner at 8 PM. During the day, you are free to visit Blois at your won leisure. The four-facet castle will give you an idea of the masterpieces that you will see during our horse trip. Walking circuits and museums are waiting for you in Blois.

1st and 7th nights
Holiday Inn
26 Avenue Maunoury
41 000 Blois
Tel : 33 2 54 55 44 88

Château de la Haute-Borde

On the Valley of the Kings Road, close to the Festival Gardens, the « Château de la Haute-Borde » greets you and offers you a very pleasant stay.

2nd night
Château de la Haute Borde
41 150 Rilly sur Loire
Tel : 33 2 54 20 98 09

Château de l’Isle

Located in the middle of a 14 acres park along the Cher River, this is a Tourangelle authentic home of the 18th century. The welcome is friendly, simple and warm. We will enjoy the comfort of the pretty and cozy rooms, the quality of the various dishes that will be crafted for us by the well know Chef, and the exceptional scenery in the middle of the Tourraine wine region. 

3rd night
Château de l’Isle
Civray de Touraine
37 150 Chenonceau
Tel : 33 2 47 23 63 60

Château de Chissay

If walls could talk, they will whisper the names of Charles VII, Louis XI, Charles de Gaulle, … who where once the guests of this prestigious and magnificent Middle Age property. Completely restored, this castle seats in the middle of a beautiful park, offers the comfort of a swimming pool, luxury rooms and regional gastronomic cuisine at its renowned restaurant « La Table du Roy .

4th night
Château de Chissay
41 400 Chissay en Touraine
Tel : 33 2 54 32 32 01

L’Auberge du centre

Located at the heart of a typical Sologne village, this hotel will enable you to discover the charm and the softness of this region.

5ième nuitée
L’Auberge du centre
Place de l’Eglise
41 120 Chitenay
Tel : 33 2 54 70 42 11

Manoir de Bel Air

15 km from Blois, the Manoir de Bel Air dominates the Loire River.  This grand and comfortable property will welcome you and greet you with its gastronomic specialties and its amazing wine menu.

6ème nuitée
Manoir de Bel-Air
1 route d’Orléans
41 500 Saint-Dyé-Sur-Loire

Riding level required

Our horses are easy riding horses and very well behaved, the itinerary does not have any special difficulties, the riding material are adapted for this type of riding. However, the distance between the castles we will visit will range between 25 to 40 km. We will trot and run often. Only riders that feel comfortable walking, trotting and running will be able to fully enjoy this riding trip. Riders will be asked to look after their horses and will be assisted as required by the organizers.

Equipment required

Comfortable and outsider riding clothes are suggested. It is recommended to have a hat that protects you from the sun and the rain. 
The scenery will be green and we all know that to maintain these marvelous green tones, water is needed. Fortunately, nature takes care of watering these green fields. Therefore, we may have some rain during the week. We suggest taking a raincoat along with you. 

Appropriate dress code will be required for our evenings at the castles.

Our experience has proven us that those riders that have the less baggage miss the fewer things.