Riding in front of the chateau
A misting morning at the chateau
One of the stables
A jumpng lesson
Hacking out at the chateau
Horses at the lake
Saddles hanging up
Riding in front of the chateau
Grazing outside the chateau
One of the rooms in the chateau
A bedroom in the chateau
View from the terrace
Breakfast at the chateau
Mist over the fields

A wonderful French chateau set in 100 acres of rolling grounds with on-site stables and training centre. The chateau dates from  the 19th century and its original features have been lovingly preserved. Modern comforts are blended seamlessly with antique furniture and original art making for a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. Glorious views from all the windows over rolling countryside or the schooling arenas and all weather gallop. Rooms are individually decorated.
The riding is suitable for all abilities and levels with some super schoolmasters. Spend the morning exploring the miles of beautiful rolling countryside interspersed with substantial woods and use the afternoon to relax in the on-site spa. The food is above average with a choice of menus ranging from "market" to "gourmet".

Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.

Review received from LD of Werribee on 11/07/2019

Ride Summary
Fantastic
What was your overall impression of the holiday

Unicorn Trails sales staff
Professionalism     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Friendliness     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Speed of response     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Efficiency     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Knowledge     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Other(please specify)     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Riding tour leader
Professionalism     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Horsemanship     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Pacing of Ride     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern for Safety     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Leadership     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Friendliness/availability     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Culture     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Flora/Fauna     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern with Environment     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Language skills     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Additional Comments

Horses and Tack
Condition of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Condition of Tack     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Performance of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Additional Comments

Meals
Meal Quantity     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Quality     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Punctuality     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Accommodation
Camping Equipment     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Hotels/Lodges/Inns     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Hygiene standards     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Miscellaneous
Transfer arrangements     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (X) N/A
Other office staff     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (X) N/A
Other ride staff     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Weather     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
The only negative was that there was way too much food and not all French Cuisine is child friendly
Was there anything you should have known and were not told?     (X) NO     (   ) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:

What could we do to improve this ride?
Add kids meals and we would go back again
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
0
Please explain why you scored it as you did:

Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
Everything was great
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Any other comments:
My 9 yo wants to improve her riding and loves to have a lesson and the ability to hack out
Unicorn comments: Thank you for your feedback. Glad you had a great time! :)

There is no fixed itinerary for this ride. The programme includes 2 hrs riding and more riding can be booked and paid for on site. Additional riding can be booked on site (subject to availabilty). This costs 35 € per hour as of 2019.
On arrival the instructor will discuss your riding programme with you and work out a riding schedule according to your wishes/goals and the other riding centre activities already planned.
Riding out: there are lovely rides on the 100 acre estate or in the immediate surroundings. The riding is relaxed and steady, taking in the beautiful countryside and a wonderful addition to your chateau break. Riding facilities include 2 schooling arenas, a covered ménage, an all-weather gallop and a horse walker, as well as paddocks, grazing and bridleways throughout the chateau grounds. You can even swim with your horse in the lake!
The countryside consists of rolling hills and open fields are interspersed with woodlands. There is some roadwork to get to the big forests (about 10-15min), there are many country tracks with good going even in wet weather and local drivers are quick to pull over, switch off engines and wait for the horses to pass by, usually taking the opportunity for a chat - as this area is not a tourist area, a very friendly atmosphere prevails and tourists are greeted with interest and curiousity.
All tack is English and there is a range of riding helmets available. The horses vary in height from 12hh ponies to 17hh and are well schooled, friendly, always ready for a good canter but equally happy to slow down - most are just as comfortable jumping as hacking.

 

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

The chateau has a stable yard with loose boxes and there are currently 15 horses available for riding. The main activities of the yard are training young thoroughbreds and rehabilitating/schooling horses.

The horses are all very relaxed and friendly and an atmosphere of calm prevails. The mental and physical health of the horses is cared for with great attention to detail. 

On-site facilities include: in addition to paddocks, grazing land and bridlepaths throughout the ground there are 2 outdoor all-weather arenas, a covered manège, a lunging ring, an 800m all weather gallop, a horse walker and jumps. A cross country course is available nearby. You can even swim with your horse in the lake!

The countryside consists of rolling hills and open fields are interspersed with woodlands. There is some roadwork to get to the big forests (about 10-15min) and there are many country tracks with good going even in wet weather. Local drivers are quick to pull over, switch off engines and wait for the horses to pass by, usually taking the opportunity for a chat - as this area is not overrun with tourists a very friendly atmosphere prevails and tourists are greeted with interest and curiosity.

Additional riding can be booked on site (subject to availabilty). This costs 35 € per hour as of 2019.

All tack is English and there is a range of riding helmets available. Riding helmets are compulsory. The horses vary in height from 12hh ponies to 17hh and are well-schooled, friendly, always ready for a good canter but equally happy to slow down - most are just as comfortable jumping as hacking.


Rider requirements

Beginner riders onwards can be accommodated. There are ponies for children aged 4/5 years onwards, you can be led around the grounds. Older children can take lessons or ride out on the lead rein/independently according to their ability.

This holiday is ideal for singles, couples and families looking for a relaxing luxury break with some riding to compliment their holiday.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 198 lb/90 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

The chateau has been lovingly restored in a traditional manner with great attention to detail. Antique furniture and original art have been used to create a relaxed welcoming atmosphere. The rooms are beautifully appointed, each individually decorated and many offer sweeping views. The rooms all have en-suite facilities with either a bath or shower, heated towel rails, flat screen TV's and a mini bar.

There are 4 room types: standard, comfort, superior and deluxe, varying in size and views. A third bed can be placed in the larger roms for a small supplement.

Classic Room: these rooms are furnished in typical country residence style. They are north-facing and offer a view of the horse training tracks. Each room features a bath or shower, free WiFi Internet access, a flat-screen TV, a mini-bar and a reversible air-conditioning system. Double bed (either standard or king size), 13 to 22 sq. m.

Pavilion Room: these rooms in the Garden Pavilion (next to the Château) are furnished in typical country residence style. They are located on the ground floor and lead out directly onto the gardens. These rooms are ideal for guests with pets and are also popular for their accessibility and direct access to the grounds. Each room features a bath or shower, one double or two twin beds, a flat-screen TV, a mini-bar and a reversible air-conditioning system. One of the rooms is fully equipped to disabled accessibility standards. Double bed (standard double or king-size) or 2 twin beds, 13 to 22 sq. m.

Comfort Room: the Comfort rooms are south or north-facing and offer a panoramic view over either the Bourbonnais woodlands or the horse training tracks. Each room features a bath or shower, one double or two twin beds, free WiFi Internet access, a flat-screen TV, a mini-bar, a courtesy tray and a reversible air-conditioning system. King size bed or 2 twin beds, 16 to 26 sq. m.

Superior Room: the Superior rooms are south or north-facing and offer a panoramic view over either the Bourbonnais woodlands or the horse training tracks. Each room features a bath, free WiFi Internet access, a flat-screen TV, a mini-bar, a courtesy tray and a reversible air-conditioning system. King-size double bed or 2 twin beds (1 single and 1 king-size double), 22 to 27 sq. m.

Deluxe Suite: this is the Château's flagship room and is ideally situated at the end of the main building's west wing. It boasts views from three sides (south, west and north) and overlooks the magnificent Bourbonnais woodlands. It features a bath, free WiFi Internet access, a flat-screen TV, a mini-bar, a courtesy tray and a reversible air-conditioning system. King size double bed, 35 sq. m.

Catering & Menus 

The catering service is both refined and friendly and is guaranteed to satisfy even the most demanding customers. Enjoy the views across the grounds, flower-lined gardens and ancient trees from the windows of the Directoire room or the Chasse dining room.

The range of exquisite dishes, made from natural ingredients and using authentic, genuine flavours, is guaranteed to set your taste buds alight. Recipes are made using produce from the Chateau's vegetable garden, local farms and small producers, as well as Label Rouge Charolais meats and the freshest fish available. A particular emphasis is placed on the use of organically produced ingredients. 

The dishes change according to the latest harvests, with a seasonal menu and a Market Produce menu which changes every month.

Breakfast

Get your day off on the right note with a comprehensive buffet breakfast, featuring fresh and homemade produce. Start your day in the luxurious surroundings of the restaurant, with classical background music especially chosen to ease you into the day.

The Terrace

The terrace offers commanding views towards the Auvergne Volcanoes in the distance. It is drenched in sunlight from dawn until dusk, and is the perfect place to relax under a parasol. The terrace service operates between June and September (subject to favourable weather conditions).


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.

General information:

Visa are not required for U.K. or other European nationals. In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on travel insurance, passport and visas, health and vaccinations, legal issues and emergency issues. They can be reached on 0207 008 0232/0233 or at www.fco.gov.uk.

The British Consulate in Paris is at 35 rue de Faubourg St Honore, 75383 Paris Cedex 08. Tel + (33) 1 44 51 31 00. Email: webmaster.paris@fco.gov.uk.

The French Embassy in the U.K can be found at 58 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7JT. Telephone: (020) 7073 1000. Email: presse.londres-amba@diplomatie.fr.


Climate Summary

A typical inland climate prevails with big difference between day and night temperatures. Spring and autumn are delightful with perfect riding weather while summer days are perfect for lazing by the pool and long evenings on the terrace.

Climate Chart

Health

No special health precautions are required for visits to France, for further details please see your local doctor. We do advise taking plenty of sunscreen!

For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org.

Electricity

Voltage is the same as in the UK and most appliances such as battery chargers for videos, hair dryers etc. can be plugged in with appropriate adapters. These are available for purchase at most airports and travel shops.

Film and Camera Equipment

There is electricity for recharging camera and video batteries with appropriate 2 pronged adaptors. Please note that the WiFi in the Chateau can be intermittent due to the thick stone walls.

Packing List

Light summer clothing is needed on summer departure dates. We recommend you bring your own riding helmet which must stay on firmly and sunglasses with string. It is compulsory to wear a helmet and a range is available on site for those not arriving with their own.

Riding trousers
Riding boots
Half chaps (recommended)
Riding gloves
Jumper/fleece
Warm jacket (spring and autumn)
Shorts
Long sleeve shirts
T-shirts
Underwear
Raincoat
Swimsuit (seasonal)
Sun block
Camera on a shoulder strap with a pouch which can be secured to your belt

Neat casual clothing is required for the evening, it is not customary to dress formally for dinner. If you wish to ride with a body protector, please bring your own.

No need to pack a hairdryer as rooms are equipped with one as well as dressing gowns and slippers.

Programmes

Departure dates are available on request and are tailored to your requirements. The chateau is open year-round March to December, opening 7 days a week from April to October; closing on Sundays and Mondays from October to December.

Departure Dates

2019/20: Open 7 days a week from 1 March to 31 December; closed on Sundays and Mondays from October to December (apart from between 16 Oct and 4 Nov).
2019/20: Low season: 1 March - 30 April; 1 October - 31 December
2019/20: Mid season: 1 May - 30 June; 1-30 September
2019/20: High season: 1 July - 31 August
Discounted early Booking prices are available for bookings made 60 days or more in advance, please enquire

Pricing
Single supplement must be paid if booking alone.

Single options available for all room types, please enquire.
Dinner menu upgrade available, please enquire.

No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room175
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room195
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room209
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room229
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite245
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-61
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room179
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room199
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room215
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room235
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite249
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-61
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room189
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room205
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room225
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room239
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite255
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-61
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room179
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room199
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room215
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room235
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite249
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-63
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room189
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room205
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room225
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room239
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite255
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-63
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room195
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room209
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room229
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room245
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite265
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-63
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room205
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room225
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room245
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room265
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite289
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-72
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room215
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room235
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room255
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room275
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite295
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-72
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room219
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room239
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room259
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room279
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite299
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-72
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room215
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room235
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room255
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room275
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite295
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-74
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room219
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room239
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room259
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room279
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite299
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-74
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room229
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room249
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room269
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room289
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite309
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-74
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room245
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room269
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room295
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room315
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite339
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-86
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room255
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room279
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room299
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room325
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite349
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-86
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room259
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room285
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room309
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room335
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite359
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-86
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room255
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room279
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room299
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room325
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite349
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-88
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room259
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room285
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room309
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room335
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite359
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-88
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room269
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room295
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room319
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room345
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite365
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-88
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room2,189
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room2,405
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room2,619
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room2,835
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite3,055
2019 - Low Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-775
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room2,265
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room2,485
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room2,699
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room2,915
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite3,129
2019 - Mid Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-775
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room2,345
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room2,559
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room2,775
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room2,989
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite3,209
2019 - High Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-775
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room2,265
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room2,485
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room2,699
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room2,915
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite3,129
2020 - Low Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-795
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room2,345
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room2,559
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room2,775
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room2,989
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite3,209
2020 - Mid Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-795
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Pavillion room2,419
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Classic room2,639
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Comfort room2,855
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Superior room3,069
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Double pp - Deluxe suite3,285
2020 - High Season per nightper night1Non-rider discount-795
Other Activities

On-site facilities include a steam room and spa facility, a heated swimming pool (unsupervised) open from June to September, bicycles, billiard table, fishing in the on-site fishing lake, educational vegetable garden, well-stocked library, music room and boating in the small rowing boat.

We recommend car rental for stays of more than 2 nights and this can be arranged from the chateau. The Allier is a Bourbonnais region that is bursting with activities and attractions. In fact, there's so much to do in this stunning, clean, peaceful land that you'll need to come back time and again to fit everything in. Activities include relaxation, spa treatments, swimming, walking, cycling, horse-riding, cookery lessons, exploring the rich Bourbonnais heritage (Romanesque churches, abbeys, medieval châteaux) and its remarkable gardens, several theme parks and leisure parks, the Saint-Pourçain vineyards and local produce, walks through Europe's most stunning oak forest and numerous listed villages.

Other Country Information

The French wrote the book on la vie en rose and gave the world champagne and camembert, de Beauvoir and Debussy, the Tour de France and the Eiffel Tower. It is a country steeped in history. Staggering monasteries and castles dotted all over the country are a reminder of a turbulent and often violent past, especially in the Carcasonne region where the Gnostic Christian organisation the Cathars held fast against a crusade launched in the 11th century by an angry and vengeful Catholic church for over twenty years. Despite their vow of non-violence they had a strong support base, including the Knights Templar, and their name often pops up in the legend of the Holy Grail.

The French character has undoubtedly been influenced by their past, today they are a proud and patriotic people famed for enjoying the finer things in life and displaying a great generosity character in their willingness to share their country with the millions of visitors they receive each year.

Food is very important in French culture, almost puritanical. Families eat dinner together late in the evening and their diet is usually very healthy, packed with home grown fruit and vegetables. You will hardly ever see anyone eating on the street; if you do chances are they're not French!

France is one hour ahead of GMT and they use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram. The international dialling code for France is +33.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Taxi transfer from Moulins sur Allier train station which is 2hr 20min fast train from Gare du Lyon, Paris.
Transfer:
2019/20: By taxi from the train station, approximately €39/vehicle one way, payable on site. Price is double on Sundays. Transfer time is approximately 30 minutes.
From Clermont-Ferrand Airport: €145 one way
Flight Guide:
Paris from £50 return, train to Moulin sur Allier from £30 return
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Riders in front of castles of the Loire Valley
France, Chateaux of the Loire
Ride past and visit all the magnificent Castles of the Loire...Read more >
from $2,215