cool off 2
mor 1
Forest ride
Relaxing riders
mor 3
Lunch along the way
mor 2
fun at the lake
Perfect partners

This 7-day horseback riding vacation explores the numerous lakes of the beautiful Morvan Natural Park, discovering the unspoilt and natural environment that seems to be frozen in time.  Ride well-trained endurance horses, many who were born and bred on site. This is the ideal equestrian break for intermediate riders upward who enjoy faster horseback riding on a trail that is shorter than the full Tour de Morvan. Riders are accompanied by a qualified equestrian tourism guide who is passionate about the region.

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Day 1
Welcome and transfer from Autun or Le Creusot TGV stations (or direct arival). Meet the team and the horses and discuss the upcoming ride over dinner, overnight at the team base.

Day 2
After breakfast the horses are allocated to the riders and the group heads out on the first stage of the adventure, riding through unspoilt, natural environments. From forests to hedgerows and picturesque hamlets, head east toward the Lac de Chamboux. Spend the night in the small town of Saulieu at a local hotel or B&B. (33km riding)

Day 3
Enjoy breakfast before heading along the bridle paths of the Saulieu National Forest. Lunch is on the shores of Lac de Saint Agnan and enjoy a refreshing dip (weather permitting). Overnight at the rustic, riverside Chalet du Montal (or similar) (32km riding)

Day 4
After breakfast, head to the largest, and best-known lake in the Morvan, Lac des Settons. Enjoy fast riding on the slopes of Le Breuil and Saut du Gouloux. Enjoy lunch and a dip (weather permitting) before spending the afternoon climbing to the village of Brassy en Morvan. Overnight at the Hotel du Nord Stage (or similar). (36km riding)

Day 5
After breakfast, ride through a landscape between hedged farmland and forests. Start with a ride along the Lac de Chameçon on the way to Lac du Crescent. Descend to the west and spend the night on the shores of the lake at Plainefas, staying in a gîte (or similar). (30km riding)

Day 6
A shorter stage today. After breakfast, ride through Lormes and the many small lakes along the way, ending at a gîte where the group will spend the night. (26km riding)

Day 7
After breakfast round off this horseback adventure with a fairly hilly route to Lac de Panneciére for lunch and a swim (weather permitting). In the afternoon head back to Chateau Chinon where transport will be waiting to transfer riders (40km) back to the start point. (30km riding)

 

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

Riders will use the same horse for the entire trail and the horses will be assigned on the first day. All the horses used on this trail are from the first stud to breed endurance horses in France. They are pure-bred Arabs or part-Arabs. All are forward-going, responsive and safe, and have been selected and trained specifically for endurance. The tack used is mainly endurance saddles although some comfortable trail saddles are also used.



2024: weight limit is 95kg, but heavier riders up to 110kg can book with prior arrangement dependent on height, fitness level and sporting ability. Younger riders from 16 years accepted if accompanied by an adult. Luggage is transported by vehicle between the overnight stops for the riders, and will be accessable at lunch times if needed.


Rider requirements

This is an exhilarating trail for good, fit riders only who enjoy riding at speed.

The trail covers mixed terrain and in some places you will need to dismount and lead your horse downhill in hand for a short period of time, at other times you will be able to canter and gallop.

You need to be an accomplished rider and ideally have been been on a trail ride previously. Riding hats are compulsory and are available to borrow.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 209 lb/95 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

Accommodation is at handpicked hotels or guesthouses within the national park (all the hotels within the park have a minimum of 2 stars). There are 4 twin rooms in a hotel or B&B with shared bathrooms. 2 nights are spent in gites with 2/3 rooms and shared bathrooms for two nights. Single supplements cannot be guarateed for these nights.



All meals are included. Breakfasts and dinner will be at the accommodation. Lunches are prepared by a steward. Vegetarian and some food allergies can be catered for - please advise when booking. An aperitif is included with lunch, and an aperitif and 250ml of wine is included with dinner on the 1st, 5th and 6th evenings.


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

From April to October Burgandy is generally warm, although it can be hot during the months of July and August. However, relative humidity is often low (except during unstable thundery weather). This means that day time temperatures for the region will rise from an average of 17 in mid April to 19 in May, 22 in June and 25 in mid summer. September is similar to June, whilst the temperatures really start to drop during the second half of October. Rainfall becomes more and more sporadic and linked to thunderstorms as you move from spring to summer, and this continues into the Autumn. On average there is rain on one in every three days, but this is often for relatively short periods. Autumn is often characterised by warm sunny days.

Climate Chart

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).

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 electricity available at each nights accommodation for charging cameras and batteries. Please note that before using a GoPro, check with the other riders if they are willing to be filmed.

Packing List

- Riding hat - we strongly recommend that you wear a properly fitted riding helmet of the current standard which is PAS015 or BSEN1384 (compulsory, available to borrow if you don't want to bring your own)
- Gloves
- 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)
- Jodhpurs - jodhpurs, breeches or other comfortable trousers (jeans may rub and can also be quite hot)
- Chaps
- Long sleeved shirts
- Thermals in case of cold weather
- Lightweight jumper
- Waterproof jacket and trousers
- Casual clothes for the evenings
- Lightweight shoes for evenings
- Several pairs of warm socks
- Swimsuit
- Sunglasses
- Sun cream
- Blister plasters
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel
- 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 hosts
- Riding hat

Programmes

7d / 6n programme with 6 riding days. Available on a set departure date. The last day finished at 5pm. An extra night is recommended.

Departure Dates

2024: 6 - 12 July
2025: 26 July - 1 August; 20 - 27 September

Pricing
No single supplement payable if willing to share with someone of same sex. Should you wish to book a single room, please see supplement price below.

4 nights can be confirmed. 2 nights are in gites and cannot be guaranteed

No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
20247d/6n6double pp1,735
20247d/6n6Extra Night (recommended)68
20247d/6n6Single supplement for 4 nights219
20257d/6n6double pp1,369
20257d/6n6Single supplement for 4 nights239
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
20247d/6n6double pp1,999
20247d/6n6Extra Night (recommended)78
20247d/6n6Single supplement for 4 nights249
20257d/6n6double pp1,599
20257d/6n6Single supplement for 4 nights279
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description US $
20247d/6n6double pp2,319
20247d/6n6Extra Night (recommended)90
20247d/6n6Single supplement for 4 nights289
20257d/6n6double pp1,859
20257d/6n6Single supplement for 4 nights325
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
20247d/6n6double pp24,089
20247d/6n6Extra Night (recommended)935
20247d/6n6Single supplement for 4 nights3,009
20257d/6n6double pp19,269
20257d/6n6Single supplement for 4 nights3,375
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  


Wildlife

The Morvan National Park is a fantastic place to spot some wildlife. While on the ride keep your eyes peeled for a sighting of one of Frances' largest birds of prey: buzzards, hawks, falcons, harriers, kites, even the serpent eagle and osprey can be seen circling high. Rare birds such as hops, red partridge, kingfisher, dipper, crossbill, flycatcher, hawfinch and ortolan can be observed alongside more common species of buntings, all kinds of swallows, woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatch, wren, common redstart, finches, goldfinches and of course culture birds as thrushes, sparrows, magpies, crows and jays are also frequent. Big game such as deer, wild boars, foxes and badgers are very commonly observed. So are smaller species such as rabbits and hares, polecats, martens and weasels. Squirrels, muskrat, different types of mice, and the lesser known dormouse (a combination of a mouse and a squirrel) are anything but rare. At dusk the bats are very active.

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):
Autun and/or Le Creusot TGV stations for transfer, or direct arrival from 5pm.
Transfer:
2024: For riders travelling by train transfers included from Autun. Transfers from Le Creusot TGV station €50 return
Flight Guide:
(2024) London - Paris £91 pp return
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