Horseback Riding Tours in Europe
Horseback Riding In Tuscany, Italy
The Tuscan countryside has a
stillness about it because many of the farms and buildings are abandoned as
people have migrated to the cities. The fortresses and castles which were so
important in medieval times are now partially in ruin. Much of the land is
returning to nature, which is all the better for riding and the soft beauty of
the landscape is enhanced. Situated in a tranquil region southwest of Siena, the
circular stone walls of the Castello di Tocchi serve as a hospitable
central base for either full or half-day rides into the surrounding countryside.
From the lovingly restored suites of this medieval hamlet, which was built on
the foundations of a 12th century castle, riders have an opportunity to
experience the enduring magic of Tuscany on one of three distinct itineraries.
The beautiful unspoiled Chianti region between Florence and Siena, which gave its name to the wine, is the setting for two rides through the lovely countryside of rolling, forested hills, vineyards, picturesque villages and ancient castles. Your host and guide's comfortable 17th century farmhouse is the starting point for both rides. One itinerary proceeds to several different locations during the week, staying in charming hotels typical of the region, while the other is based at the farmhouse.
Horseback Riding in Spain and Portugal
Horseback Riding in France
France is ideally suited for a horseback riding vacation. It was here that the idea of equestrian travel was reborn and is most highly developed. Ride leaders in France must take long courses and pass exams on leading riding tours and horsemanship. The countryside in many parts of France is unspoiled and beautiful with many rights-of-way kept open which makes riding through it on horseback a real pleasure. Riding trails in France usually avoid paved roads. Spectacular castles, walled towns and ancient monasteries are everywhere. It is a thrill to ride into a castle courtyard on horseback like a traveler of old. Each region has a unique character with its own history, cuisine, wine, architecture and topography. French food and wine are justly famous and you will have every opportunity to savor them with an appetite made keener by an active day of horseback riding. Accommodations vary from small village hotels to châteaux, but are generally picturesque and comfortable. Some of our French riding vacations use Western saddles which is not so surprising since southern France borders Spain where our own Western riding traditions originated. France is still the most popular country in the world for vacations
WESTERN RIDING IN FRANCE: The four following riding vacations use Western and McClellan-type saddles and are led by a friendly and well informed Frenchman who will give you a warm welcome and a good introduction to the history and culture of these areas
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