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Prehistory on the Malbec Trail : A Ride Through Time
This riding trip traverses a part of France considered by National Geographic and many others to be one of the worlds “unspoiled and undiscovered earthly paradises”. Starting in the vineyards of ‘Cahors’ with its famous Malbec grape, located along the Lot valley and intermixed with chateaux, small country villages, woods and pastures; you will ride into more and more wild and isolated country. You will ride to the famous prehistoric caves of Pech-Merle and visit its incredible Magdalenian cave paintings. Your journey will take you along rivers, up into the hills, with breathtaking views, passing troglodyte houses perched on towering cliffs, as you traverse the isolated and picturesque Célé valley. In this isolated region of France, within the cliffs that prehistoric man inhabited, you will feel like you have stepped through time. By the end of the week, you will have been immersed into a world of rugged beauty, history, culture and dined on the fine cuisine of the region - truffles, cheese, foie gras, magret, wine.......


ITINERARY
Day 1: Day 1:
You will be met upon arrival at Bergerac Railway Station or Airport and taken to your very comfortable B & B in the countryside (1h30 minutes drive) equipped with a swimming pool and beautiful grounds. After settling in, you will enjoy a classic French dinner coupled with excellent local wines.
Day 2: Day 2:
After breakfast and allocation of the horses, we will ride head east, through the woods and many of the area’s vineyards. We then stop at the Chateau Chambert, an award-winning Cahors vineyard that has produced Malbec wine since the 12th century. Before lunch, we will visit the cellar and taste the Chateau’s wines. The afternoon ride heads off through vineyards, forests and the hillsides of the area, stopping at a very quiet secluded chateau where you will spend the night. Dinner will be at a gastronomic restaurant in a medieval village nearby.
Day 3: Day 3:
After breakfast, the ride crosses the calcareous and wild plateau of the Lot with a midday stop at the small 13th century village of Le Montat. After a long morning ride, enjoy a marvelous lunch and then a short ride through varied countryside, valleys and oak woods to arrive at Chateau Hautes-Serres, another award-winning Malbec vineyard, for a visit and a taste of wine. After the wine tasting, you are transferred to a nearby charming B & B located in the center of the Quercy black truffle region. At dinner you will taste the “Black Diamond” truffle which is world renowned, famous for its delicate and rich flavor. The truffles are paired with wonderful local French wines, making your dining experience heavenly. Enjoy the overnight stay at this B & B.
Day 4: Day 4:
Our day starts with a morning ride to the small village of Cremps. Enjoy a quiet walk around the village and its 12th century church before having a delicious picnic lunch in the village. In the afternoon, we head north to the wondrous 13th century village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, perched on a cliff face with a commanding view of the Lot valley. After settling in at your hotel in the village, you will visit this village which is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in all of France. Dinner will be at one of the local restaurants where you will have one more opportunity to dine on traditional French cuisine.
Day 5: Day 5:
We stay close to the Lot River, riding off to the Chateau de Cénevières, an 11th century chateau with an impressive addition and renovations from the 14th et 16th centuries. Located further east along the Lot valley, the day's ride will cross the plateaus above the valley before arriving at the chateau for lunch. After lunch, you will enjoy a guided tour of this private chateau. Our ride then continues along the river valley back to Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, where you will enjoy another evening in this beautiful village. (As an option: possibility of a day off from riding).
Day 6: Day 6:
A spectacular morning ride along the cliffs, crossing the Lot River, to the prehistoric caves of Pech-Merle, decorated with Magdalenian rupestrine (on the stone) paintings. Visit the caves after enjoying another picnic lunch. In the afternoon, we will ride through the beautiful Célé valley before stopping for the day in Cabreret. The peaceful village of Cabreret is built in the middle of a cirque of cliffs, with amazing troglodyte houses. This evening you will transfer to Cahors to spend your final night and farewell dinner.
Day 7:  Day 7:
Your accommodation is very near the Cahors train station, so you may depart from there at any time. Before to leave Cahors, it's recommend to take the time to enjoy wander through the tiny streets of the medieval downtown on this Saturday morning market day. Also don't miss the great opportunity to see and walk on the Valentré Bridge, a remarkable example of medieval architecture built on the Lot River at the 14th century and now registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostela.
2017 TOUR DETAILS
2017 TOUR DETAILS
Departures: May 14 - 20, June 18 - 24, October 8 - 14
Length of Ride: 7 days, 6 nights, 5 full days riding
Accommodations: 3 star

Price: 2590 €
Single Supplement: 410 €

Amount of Riding Each Day: 4 - 6 hours
Weight limit: 200 lbs (90 kg)
Group size: Minimum 2 riders, Maximum 7 riders
Pace: Moderate
Riding Ability: Intermediate

*MEETING POINT: - Bergerac Train Station 3:30 pm, (130 € for transfer at time different than specified) - Or Bergerac Airport.
*DEPARTURE POINT: - Cahors Train Station at any time - Or Bergerac Airport (2h30 minutes drive).

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