River ride Lot France
Getting to know your horse in France
Sunny ride below a cliff in Lot, France
View of the gite and swimming pool in Lot, France
Local wines in Lot, France
Bedroom 3 in the gite, Lot France
Swimming pool deck in Lot, France riding holiday
Trotting along in a field in Lot, France
Getting to know your horse on your riding holiday
Getting ready after a lunch break on a riding holiday in Lot, France
Leading your horse through a medieval village in Lot, France
Fireplace and dining area in Lot, France
Horses resting in their paddocks
Terrace and pool deck in your gite
Mas-de-Peyrelongue

Enjoy a relaxing short break  in this hilly region of rural France, in the Causses du Quercy Regional Natural Park overlooking the Cele Valley in Lot, Occitanie, staying in a beautifully restored traditional farmhouse with a small group of guests. This area is steeped in history and there is time for sightseeing in the programme. Your hosts are food lovers, cooking with authentic fresh regional produce, with wine tasting and a gourmet restaurant experience included. There is also a session with a professional equestrian photographer, so you can have your portait taken with your horse as a lovely momento.

For keen photographers, there is also a 3-night photography short break option with a day horseback riding and a day of photography workshops, including critique to improve your technique, and a trip to an American horse farm for the chance to capture a range of beautiful images. 

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 HB of Bristol on 19/06/2024

Ride Summary
It was a lovely experience with a good variety of rides and great food! The hosts are very welcoming and the horses are well looked after.
What was your overall impression of the holiday
Overall impression
Unicorn Trails sales staff

Riding tour leader

Additional Comments
The guide, Apolline, was very good. Apolline managed the rides well, making sure everyone was safe and clear instructions on what was to happen or look out for.
Horses and Tack

Additional Comments
Meals

Accommodation

Miscellaneous

Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
The trip is as described but with more attention to detail than you would expect. The hosts go out of their way to make you feel welcome and to accommodate your needs.
Was there anything you should have known and were not told? NO
Please give more details to explain your response:
See above
What could we do to improve this ride?
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
6
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
It was mainly walking with short trots and canters. It would have been nice to have had some longer canters but understand the terrain limits this opportunity.
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
YES
Any other comments:
Unicorn comments: Thank you for your feedback. Glad you had a great time! :)

Day 1 Saturday
Arrive at the farmhouse in the late afternoon. After a tour of the property, meet the horses then share a drink and dinner.

Day 2 Sunday  (4 hours riding)
After breakfast set off for a lovely day's riding through the forest and grasslands of the rewilded Puy-Blanc, which is now a protected natural habitat on the site of an old clay quarry. Picnic beside the lake and watch the wildlife.
Relax at the farm before our gourmet dinner. 

Day 3 Monday (4 hours riding)
Breakfast at the Mas followed by a ride to Chrisophe, the host's favourite wine merchant, for a tasting of local wines, followed by a picnic of local produce. After lunch, the group carry on riding through the valley before returning to the Mas in the late afternoon, in time to freshen up before enjoying dinner.

Day 4 Tuesday (4 hours riding)
After breakfast we have a full day of riding. Descending into the valley and then through the pretty French village of Corn, we ride past the mysterious spring of Bual, then take a forested trail which makes up part of the Compostella Route, the Way of James. Lunch break at the Priory of Espagnac.
In the afternoon, ride up the south side of the valley to walk along the ridge and enjoy the far-reaching views before returning home along a different route. Enjoy a farewell gourmet dinner at the farmhouse.

Day 5 Wednesday
Departure after breakfast.
If you wish to extend your stay and explore the region, you host will advise you on the best sites to visit, restaurants to discover or other accommodation options in the region.

 

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 farm has about 30 horses from different sizes and breeds of which 12 are used for guests to ride. They are between 150 and 155cm (15-15.2hh) and very well adjusted - they live in a herd in large paddocks on the property.

Saddles are English and saddle bags are provided. Riding helmets are compulsory and available to borrow on site, body protectors are available for teenagers only.

The pace of the ride is fairly slow mainly due to the terrain which can be steep and hilly with beautiful views. There is usually trotting and occasionally cantering where possible. 

Your  guide is one of the owners, Gwladys, who is a riding instructor, behaviourist and long distance rider with more than 8000 km throughout the world on long journeys under her belt.


Rider requirements

Comfortable at a walk, trot and canter in open country on a good horse.
Competent child riders are welcome to ride along from the age of 12 onwards.
The weight limit for this ride is 90kg.

Weight Limit

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

Jeremy is your host and responsible for all the fresh meals prepared on site. He is a professional equine photographer and will accompany you during the different cultural visits.

The meals are home cooked from regional fresh produce with regional dishes featured. Vegetarian and Vegan diets can be catered for with advance notice. Please advise when booking.

The accommodation is in a recently restored historic building. The ground floor features original paving made of Causse stones, a traditional fireplace (Cantou) and a lounge area leading directly onto a shaded terrace, the private garden and a large swimming pool with wooden deck.

On the first floor there are three double bedrooms which can be made up with twin or double beds, allowing a maximum of 6 participants. The whole atmosphere is warm and friendly. The bathroom, shared, is composed of two independent shower cubicles and the toilets are separate. There is a small reading area on the patio upstairs.


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements within reason can be accommodated with advance notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests before booking.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip.

NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures and requirements while travelling.

Passport and Visa requirements can change regularly 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 should you need a visa.

In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france

In the USA: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/France.html

In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/france

Climate Summary

France is at its best in spring, though winter-like relapses aren't unknown. Summer is warm and can be very hot. Summer showers are possible. Autumn is very pleasant for riding although the days become shorter towards the end of October.

Health

COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.

Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in France and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.


Please take along sun cream and anti-allergy medicine for possible insect bites.

The emergency phone number in France is 112. If you need to contact other emergency services, call 15 (medical), 17 (police) or 18 (fire).

Health (ride specific)

There are no specific health risk in this region.

Electricity

In France the supply voltage is 230V. If the appliance is a single voltage rated appliance, it will need to operate at the same voltage as the supply voltage of the country i.e. 230V. If this is not the case it should be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly.

Mobile, WiFi and charging

There is good mobile reception and wifi is available.

Packing List

- Riding Helmet - we strongly recommend that you wear a properly fitted riding helmet of the current standard which is PAS015 or BSEN1384
- Gloves
- Jodhpurs - jodhpurs, breeches or other comfortable trousers (jeans may rub and can also be quite hot)
- Riding Boots - it is important to have correct shoes or boots for horse riding. Jodhpur or ankle boots with a rubber sole are recommended but sturdy shoes with a definite heel are acceptable (such as walking boots)
- Half Chaps - these are great when worn with ankle boots and help prevent the stirrup leathers rubbing against your legs
- Warm layers - At times the evening temperature drops significantly
- Casual Clothes - for when out of the saddle
- Waterproof jacket
- Sunglasses
- Sunscreen
- Personal Items - toiletries, any medicines you require and please be sure to take insect repellent
- Refillable Water Bottle - it's very important to drink a lot of water when it's hot, especially when doing physical activities
- Camera, spare Batteries/Chargers - an absolute must! It is also a good idea to take a camera case you can strap around your waist or onto a belt for whilst you are riding

Provided by host
Small Trekking bags

Programmes

5d / 4n programme with 3 riding days on set dates. It is possible to book this location exclusively for private groups, please enquire.

Departure Dates

2024: Saturdays to Wednesday between 30 Mar - 22 Jun and 31 Aug - 19 Oct

Pricing
Single supplement must be paid if booking alone.
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
20245d/4n3double pp679
20245d/4n3single supplement129
20245d/4n3non rider sharing429
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
20245d/4n3double pp789
20245d/4n3single supplement149
20245d/4n3non rider sharing499
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description US $
20245d/4n3double pp919
20245d/4n3single supplement175
20245d/4n3non rider sharing579
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
20245d/4n3double pp9,515
20245d/4n3single supplement1,809
20245d/4n3non rider sharing6,025
Recommended Reading

Theodore Zeldin ‘The French’,



Francoise Sagan ‘Bonjour Tristesse’,



Peter Mayle ‘A Year in Provence’ and ‘Toujours Provence’,



Louis Stevensons ‘Travels with a Donkey’ and



For the equestrian traveller who would like to see what is possible on horseback, visit www.thelongridersguild.com. An excellent source of equestrian travel books is www.horsetravelbooks.com  



 


Other Activities

Guests can book a photography session after the riding day with the host, a professional equine photographer.

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 in their willingness to share their country with the millions of visitors they receive each year. Food is very important in French culture, almost a passion. 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):
Toulouse airport (TLS)
Transfer:
2024: €50 per person each way from Toulouse airport or train station, €30 each way from Cahors train station
Flight Guide:
London - Toulouse (TLS) from £75 return
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