STATIONARY RIDES: Kings Trail at Moulin de Labique OR Lot Valley at Chateau de Rouffiac
ITINERARY 1: Kings Trail at Moulin de Labique: www.moulin-de-labique.net Located in the Dordogne and Périgord regions, the Moulin de Labique www.moulin-de-labique.net is the perfect place to get away from it all. Its central location in the hills and rolling countryside between the Dordogne and Lot Rivers, allows us to pick from a wide variety of trails and sites to visit. The architecture and history of this area date mostly from the medieval ages and the Hundred Years War (1337 - 1453) between the kings of France and the kings of England. This area is known not only for its natural beauty, but also for its fine cuisine, cheese, wine and “foie gras”. This surely is rural France at its best.
NON RIDER ACTIVITIES: GOLF www.vslgolf.com GOLF, BIKING, HIKING........ The Moulin de Labique is not just designed for riders; non-riders are also welcome to join us as they will have the opportunity to go golfing, biking, hiking or just relax at the pool. The nearby Golf de Castelnaud (15 minutes’ drive - needs your own transportation) is an 18 hole course measuring 6679 yards and with water in play on 7 holes (green fees are at your own expense). Bikes are also available for rent at the Moulin de Labique (also at your own expense).
Day 1: You will be met upon arrival at Bergerac Railway station or airport and taken to the Moulin de Labique (50 minutes drive) for dinner and the evening.
Day 2: After breakfast and allocation of the horses, this half day of riding will be through quiet woodlands and countryside, circling north and coming back to the Moulin for a wonderful lunch. After a short rest in the afternoon, wandering around the gardens of this 20 hectares property, or relaxing at the pool with a nice drink, you will be transferred to the medieval village of Monflanquin, built in 1256 by Alphonse de Poitiers, brother of the French King Louis IX (more commonly known as King St Louis). Enjoy a visit of this 13th century bastide, before dinner at a local restaurant, where you will have the opportunity to try some of the area’s wonderful cuisine.
Day 3: Today’s ride will take you south, winding through woods and farmland, before stopping for lunch at the golf course of Castelnaud. We will enjoy a relaxing lunch at the course’s restaurant. After the afternoon ride, guests can relax around the pool or on the terrace, before the evening’s meal at our accommodation’s restaurant. An optional visit of the nearby medieval village of Villeréal, with its fortified church, also built by the Alphonse de Poitiers in 1267, can be organized before dinner.
Day 4: Today we take a break from riding and enjoy a day of sightseeing in the Dordogne. Our first stop will be at the beautiful medieval town of Sarlat, on market day, an exceptionally preserved city with more than 1000 years of architecture living in the lanes, walls and buildings of the old town. Growing up around a Benedictine Abbey, Sarlat has more medieval, Renaissance and 18th century facades, carved doorways, fountains, turrets, gables and unusual roofs-capes than can be photographed in a week of fine days. The local shops provide a good hunting ground for souvenirs, particularly the gastronomic products of the region. After a morning wandering through the old town center and its market, you can enjoy some of the local specialties during lunch at one of the many restaurants in town. After lunch we drive to Beynac Castle built on top of a cliff in the 12th century by the Barons of Beynac and owned for a short period by the King of England, Richard the 1st (well known as Richard the Lion Heart). Visit this medieval fortress, classified as a Historical Monument and used in many movies, like “Joan of Arc” from Luc Besson. At the end of the day, guests will return to the Moulin. Dinner tonight will be in one of the gastronomic restaurants of the region.
Day 5: Heading east today, the ride takes you through the countryside and, from time to time, along the famous St James Pilgrimage Trail of Santiago de Compostela (originally from the 10th century). By mid-day, we will arrive at Biron Castle, whose architecture spans eight centuries and is one of the best preserved castles in Europe. Lunch will be in a restaurant at the foot of the fortress and followed by a visit to the castle. Ride into the Dordogne in the afternoon to Monpazier, a bastide famous for its superb architecture, which was founded in 1284 by Edward the 1st, King of England. After our ride, riders will have an opportunity to visit this medieval village before being transferred back to our accommodation for another wonderful dinner.
Day 6: After breakfast, guests will be transferred back to the village of Monpazier, where the horses are waiting for them in a pasture beside the village, to start their day’s ride back to the Moulin. On the way, riders will enjoy a last lunch at a lovely, family run duck farm for a special tasting of the farm’s products, including “foie gras” and local sweet white wine from Monbazillac. After lunch, your guide will lead you back to the Moulin de Labique where guests will enjoy a last farewell dinner.
DAY 7: After breakfast, transfer to Bergerac Railway Station or Airport (50 minutes drive).
Day 1: You will be met upon arrival at BergeracTrain Station or Airport and taken to the Chateau de Rouffiac (1h30 minutes drive) for cocktail, dinner and the evening.
Day 2: After breakfast and allocation of the horses, the day’s ride will be through the quiet woodlands and countryside north of the Lot River. At the end of the morning we will ride through the quiet village of Frayssinet, with its ancient convent, church and covered passageways, before stopping at a small lake on the outskirts of the village. After a delicious picnic lunch, riders will remount and circle back through the forest to the Haut Baran. Tonight’s dinner will be at a nearby restaurant where you will have the opportunity to try some of the areas wonderful cuisine.
Day 3: Today’s ride will take you eastward, winding through the woods and farmland on the plateau above the Lot River before stopping for lunch and a private wine tasting at the Domaine du Theron. The Domaine du Theron, one of the most modern vineyards in the Lot region, offers outstanding wines and an equally beautiful view from the doors of the winery. After the afternoon's ride, guests can relax around the pool or soak tired muscles in the Jacuzzi before the evenings meal at the manor house.
Day 4: Today we take a break from riding and enjoy a day of sightseeing in the area. Our first stop will be at the beautiful medieval town of Sarlat on market day, an exceptionally preserved city with more than 1000 years of architecture living in the lanes, walls and buildings of the old town. Growing up around a Benedictine Abbey, Sarlat has more medieval, Renaissance and 18th century facades, carved doorways, fountains, turrets, gables and unusual roofscapes than can be photographed in a week of fine days.The local shops provide a good hunting ground for souvenirs, particularly the gastronomic products of the region. After a morning wandering through the old town center and its market, you can enjoy some of the local specialties during lunch at one of the many restaurants in town. After lunch we drive to the magic caves of Cougnac. Discovered just 50 years ago, the caves of Cougnac contain one of the greatest collections of concretions known today and some of the oldest paintings yet dated in the world. There are over 300 motifs/paintings located within its deepest chamber, dating between 25 000 and 14 000 BP. At the end of the day, guests will return for another wonderful dinner with their hosts.
Day 5: Heading south today, we cross the Lot river, riding through the valley and many of the areas vineyards. The countryside is dotted with small medieval villages and farms to enjoy, before stopping at Chateau Chambert. During lunch, we will have the opportunity to try the chateaux wine before a private visit of the cellar. The afternoons ride heads back into the valley and towards the medieval village of Puy L'Eveque, considered one of the most picturesque places in the Lot valley. Ride beneath it's ancient houses of ochre-yellow stone, overlooked by its 13th century keep. Dinner this evening will be back in Puy-Leveque at its finest restaurant, which overlooks the Lot river and valley.
Day 6: Today’s ride heads into the woods north of the Lot valley, towards the Chateau de Bonaguil, a medieval fortress built on a rock face in the fifteenth century. Before visiting the castle, riders will enjoy a last lunch in a café- restaurant just at the feet of the castle. Dating back to the Hundred Years War, Chateau de Bonaguil was classified as a Historical monument in the 19th century, and is a remarkable castle to explore. After the visit, your guide will circle back to your accommodation for the evening. After returning to the Chateau de Rouffiac, guests will enjoy a last farewell dinner.
Day 7: After breakfast, transfer to Bergerac Train Station or Airport (1h30 minutes drive).