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France - La Camargue
Full and varied week of riding and dining!

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Horse Riding Holidays France – La Camargue Luxury Farmhouse

PRICES & DATES top

La Camargue Luxury Farmhouse: 2019 Prices

Suitable for riders & non riders. A great choice for a special romantic break, like a honeymoon or anniversary.

Rates are quoted per person sharing, based on a Double room “Charme”. There are bigger rooms and suites also available.

3 night Package

Low Season – £720/€800/$910
High Season – £770/€855/$975

5 night Package

Low Season – £1,195/€1,325/$1,510
High Season – £1,270/€1,410/$1,610

Single supplement is 45%.

Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our ‘Terms & Conditions’ for full details.

La Camargue Luxury Farmhouse: 2019 Dates

Open from 12th April to 3rd November, 2019.

High Season is predominantly 1st June to 15th September, all Saturday dates, plus 30 March – 3 April, 27 April – 2 May, 4 – 12 May & 18 – 21 May.

Low Season are all the remaining dates.

Included

3 night package – Half Board Accommodation in a Charm Double Room, breakfast and dinner, a 2 hour ride in the Camargue and a 2 plus hour ride with the Gardians, called the ‘Gardian Experience’ (herding bulls, cutting the cattle and loading them into a lorry to market.

5 night package – Half Board Accommodation in a Charm Double Room, breakfast and dinner, 3 – 2 hour rides in the Camargue and a 2 plus hour ride with the Gardians, called the ‘Gardian Experience’ (herding bulls, cutting the cattle and loading them into a lorry to market.

There is also the option to add in a Beach Ride, where the horses are boxed up and you spend the morning riding in the dunes, along the beach, culminating with a picnic on the beach.

Excluded – Flights, tips, transfers, lunches & drinks.

Getting there – There are lots of airports serving this region, Marseille is probably the biggest, with more flights to choose, but you may also consider, Montpellier, Nimes & Avignon which are all relatively close.

Transfer
We recommend hiring a car and driving to the Farmhouse Hotel. It will also enable you to drive to places like Arles for a great day out or to Saint Maries de la Mer. We can also easily organise an airport transfer for you, please request at time of booking.

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

SUMMARY OF THE TRIP top

The late Jacques Bon was born and bred on this farmhouse property, where in the nineties, him and his wife Lucille decided to open up their farmhouse and invite the world in to experience their unique and fascinating life working and living off the land in this distinct region of France called the Camargue. His legacy resonates throughout the property and along with his passionate son, Frederic and his long serving staff, they continue to keep his dream and work alive. Frederic inspired by his father, brings with him, new plans to develop some further out buildings in 2019 and offer more of their unique and stunning accommodation.

This luxury 17th century property lies in the heart of Camargue, where you can enjoy one of the most unique riding holidays in the world, riding across the flat marshlands of this windswept land, riding the indigenous horses, called the Camargues.

The riding is spectacular and you have the choice of riding out for hours across the delta marshlands taking in the scenery and spotting wildlife or joining in on the work with the ‘gardians’, the Camargue cowboys; this is great fun, (you must ride well, intermediate plus level to join the ‘gardians’ as the work can be dangerous, on account of the fast pace, the skittish bulls and big horns) It’s a fantastic cultural experience and one the ‘gardians’ love showing off, wearing their unique Camargue saddles and colourful shirts.

The house hotel itself is impressive and very up-market, set amid beautiful gardens with a lovely swimming pool area and terrace. The interior is very stylish and adorned with personally chosen French antiques. It’s an unassuming place, where rather than having the reception at the entrance, it sits in a room off the hallway, offering clients the upmost of privacy when checking in or arranging activities.

The food also deserves a huge mention – the restaurant is very well regarded and most ingredients, including the rice, are grown on the estate. It’s an intimate affair served in their large country kitchen in front of an open fire in the colder months and in the garden when the sun shines.

Camargue Festivals
Throughout the year, Frederic organises Camargue festival days, which are a fantastic occasion to join. Dates are as follows for 2019;

Sunday 28 April
Sunday 2 May
Thursday 23 May
Sunday 9 & 30 June
Sunday 22 September

You will learn about the daily work of the “gardians” which still takes place today on horseback. You will participate in their leisure activities and games that have become a tradition, and taste a leg of bull slowly roasted over an open fire, accompanied by Camargue rice.

10:30 a.m.: You will be greeted by the ‘gardians ‘ on horseback with a welcoming speech.
Traditional branding – a young bull will be branded with an iron bearing our ‘Manade’ stamp
‘Gardian’ games – Demonstration of Camargue riding skills and the game of the ‘bouquet’.
12:30 am: Drinks and lunch at the Cabano Dis Ego – Leg of bull roasted over an open fire.
3:00 pm: ‘Cocarde’ bull games.
5:00 pm: Finish

There is also plenty of other sight seeing activities to keep you amused – visit nearby Arles, famed for its art galleries and Van Gogh, watch flocks of flamingos stalking the salt lakes, canoe down the Petit Rhone, cycle along sandy tracks through the marshes, or simply enjoy the empty beaches on the coast and swim.

Victoria Marston from Horse & Hound magazine blogged about her stay in La Camargue in 2011 – here’s what she had to say.

And what did I do today? I was a freakin’ cowgirl baby!

This was no escorted hack with a man in a cowboy hat, either — I arrived at the stables, fetched my own horse in, (admittedly didn’t tack up because by the time I had figured out the saddle it probably would have been dark), was thrown on and expected to get on with it.

Oh, and I am pleased to report that I was riding a Camargue pony today, so they don’t think that I’m fat after all. His name was Elegant (or something along those lines when said with a French accent) and he is usually worked by the gardians (cowboys), so he was rather spritely and fun — at least he was once I had mastered the art of having little to no contact and he had stopped doing rein-back, that is.

So off we set on our mission to round up the herd of bulls which roam the estate. I was, understandably I thought, quite nervous about the horns and such like, but actually it turns out the bulls are more scared of the horses than I am of them. Who knew. I’d like to think that I kept up and joined in without getting in the way, amid much “Come on VictorIA!” when they thought I was hanging back too much, and we soon had the bulls safely in the pen we were headed for. Too soon for my liking.

At this point we began separating them. First we needed to choose three bulls and a couple of calves for the bull games this evening, then separate the rest of the bulls and calves. The bulls were turned back out, while the calves were kept in to be branded later today.

In fact, I really must stop blogging right about now, as much as I would love to go into more detail, as I am expected back at the stables in about half an hour for the branding and games. I have been assured that the games aren’t cruel, which is a relief — they just tie ribbons to the horns and then compete to collect them in an arena.

And hopefully I will be back in time for one last dinner in the restaurant here at Mas de Peint, which really is fabulous. The food, the wine, the service, the gypsy guitarists playing into the small hours… I’m really, truly not hoping that the ash cloud stops me from going home tomorrow. Honest.

The full article was published in Horse & Hound on the 30th June, 2011.

THE RIDING top

La Camargue : Horses – Home Bred Camargue Horses, plus some Andalusian Crosses.

La Camargue : Level of Riding & Pace – Beginner to Advanced.

Tack – Western style.

Weight Restriction – 16 stone / 102 kg / 224 lbs.

La Camargue : Group Size – Maximum 10.

ACCOMMODATION top

An absolutely beautiful 17th century, country farmhouse, fully restored with a mix of traditional & modern French decor, very tastefully designed. Includes a gorgeous terrace & swimming pool. But the big ‘wow’ factor at this hotel is the food, with a top class restaurant which uses fresh, local produce, some of which is their own home grown, organic delights. Be sure to rbing some of the delicious Camargue Olive Oil home with you and the local sea salt.

Here’s an example of one of their menus:

  • Amuse – bouche
  • Euf de poule mollet, parmesan, asperges, chips de pancetta, mouillette dorée
  • Poisson de la pêche locale cuit au plat, légumes grillés, un aïoli en accompagnement
  • Planchette de fromages régionaux
  • Pannacotta vanille – verveine, fraises de pays, une glace caramel sale

YUM!

Horse Riding Holidays in La Camargue are part of the Zara’s Planet collection of Horse Riding Holidays in France.

Please Ask About

  • Rodeos
  • Jeep Safaris
  • Bird Watching – over 400 species, including ‘Pink Flamingoes’
  • Cycling
  • Sightseeing
    • Arles
    • Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
    • Aigues Mortes

SAMPLE ITINERARY top

We can easily look at different options on request, add in more hours riding or other activities, like bird watching or a beach ride. Here is a suggested 3 Night Package example;

Day 1 – Arrival & settle into your room, have a walk round the gardens, have a late afternoon swim, before getting ready for dinner.

Day 2 – Breakfast, morning 2 our ride. Afternoon go out for lunch and sight see. Return to farmhouse for swim before dinner.

Day 3 – Breakfast, morning ‘Gardian Experience’ riding with the gardians, rounding up bulls, 2 plus hours depedning on the work. Afternoon go out for lunch and sight see. Return to farmhouse for swim before dinner.

Day 4 – Breakfast & departure

DESTINATION MAP top

Zara’s Planet Horse Riding Holidays Guarantee:

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

If you are having trouble finding exactly the right horse riding holiday for you from our horse riding holiday collection, please contact us directly using the form below and tell us in your own words what you would like to do and we will use our extensive knowledge to make sure we find that perfect horse riding holiday.

CHECK AVAILABILITY top

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France Holidays Testimonials

Alex Medhurst on Le Bourdil Blanc, France

This was a memorable holiday and as I took my last gallop up the hill back to Bourdil Blanc, my stomach full of cheese and my bottom now as comfortable in my saddle as in an old armchair, I wondered if I could just stay another week.

Alex Medhurst Horse & Hound Magazine