This valley of Touraine has charmed the kings of France by its natural beauties. They built sumptuous residences surrounded by magnificent gardens . A beautiful ride among the castles and gardens of the kings of France in the Loire, Cher and Indre valleys. During this trip we will have the opportunity to visit the castles and gardens of CHENONCEAUX, the BOURDAISIERE, VILLANDRY, AZAY LE RIDEAU and the ABBAYE DE FONTEVRAUD where Henry Plantagenet and Queen Aliénor d'Aquitaine rest for eternity. We will finish our trip in Saumur where the national riding school is based.
Day 1:Arrival of the riders at the Montrichard train station, transfer to the hotel Château de Vallagon at 6:30pm. Transfer of the riders towards to the Castle hotel of Vallagon, or in the hotel to Montrichard.
Day 2: Breakfast at 8 am. Introduction of the horses. Departure at 10 am towards Chenonceau castle, we will ride through Montrichard city and follow the Cher river. Picnic at the castle of CHENONCEAU (16th century) and visit of the castle and the gardens of Catherine de Medicis and Diane de Poitiers. Chenonceaux, known as the « castle of the ladies », was occupied for more than 400 years by the kings’ legitimate wives as well as by their favourites. Afternoon rides along the river Cher to reach our destination for the night. Meal and night at the hotel.
Day 3: Departure by 10am. A magnificent ride along the Cher river. We will picnic and visit the castle of la BOURDAISIERE (16th century) and its nursery gardens, where 650 varieties of tomatoes are grown. Built by François 1st's wish for his mistress Marie Gaudin, it is an example of the important role of women in the history of France. In the afternoon we will ride along the Cher in the region of TOURS, where we will spend the night at a hotel of the city centre.
Day 4: Departure at 10am. We will be escorted by the mounted police of the city to ride through Tours. Picnic and visit of the castle of VILLANDRY. It is one of the last big castles built along the Loire during the Renaissance (1536). It has one of the most beautiful gardens of France. Then we will leave the Loire to reach AZAY LE RIDEAU on the banks of the river Indre. Dinner and night at a hotel in town.
Day 5: Departure after the visit of the castle of AZAY LE RIDEAU (15th century). Its architecture is a perfect mix of traditional elements and features taken from Italian art. Picnic before heading south, through the national forest, towards CHINON. We will spend the night at a hotel in town.
Day 6: We will leave Chinon following the river INDRE to the picnic stop close to the ABBAYE DE FONTEVRAUD which we will visit, as well as its monastic medieval gardens. Built around 1047 in the region of Anjou, Touraine and Poitou, it is one of the most important abbeys remaining in France. The building contains the tombs of the Plantagenet. It will take us 2 hours on horseback to get to our destination in TURQUAN, on the banks of the Loire. Night at a Bed and Breakfast.
Day 7: We will head to SAUMUR through wooded and hilly landscapes. Picnic will be held in SAUMUR. We will visit the castle transformed into a leisure residence in the 14th century. It became a luxurious castle-palace. In the afternoon we will ride through Saumur and shortly afterwards we will get close to the national riding school. Meal and dinner at the hotel in Saumur.
Day 8: Hotel across the SAUMUR railway station, free departure for riders to reach the train station (for riders who have their own car, or by hiring a taxi, it is possible to visit the national riding school according to the showtimes).