An amazing horse trip in Ile de France through the destinies of Louis 14th (the Sun King) and his finance minister Nicolas Fouquet.
From the Vaux le Vicomte castle to Versailles, going by Courances, Chamarande, the Vaus de Cernay Abbey and the castle of Breteuil, this region is full of unexpected and beautiful landscapes, vast forests, magnificent castles and their gardens. It’s far from being a flat country. The ground and the distances make long canters possible. We’ll visit castle, an abbey, many parks and gardens.
Day 1: Riders arrive at Melun train station around 2 pm.
Reception and transfer to hotel Germenoy. During the evening, we visit Château de Vaux le Vicomte. This castle built by Nicolas Fouquet in 1615 was used by Louis XIV as a model for the Château de Versailles. Dinner at the hotel at about 8 pm.
Day 2: Breakfast at 8 am, transfer to the horses at 9 am. Departure on horseback at about 10 am towards the Fontainebleau forest. Ride through semi-wooded area to the picnic spot on the beach of the river Seine at Fontaine le Port. Then ride through the Fontainebleau forest, following a varied track which allows you to discover the particularities of the forest (landscape, rocks, sand, birch, oak, beech…). Towards the end of the afternoon, we arrive at Franchard canyon. Night at Le Richelieu hotel (near Fontainebleau castle).
Day 3: Breakfast at 8 am, transfer to the horses at 9 am. Departure on horseback at about 10 am. Following a track suitable for galloping, we will discover varied and unique landscapes of the Fontainebleau forest. Picnic at Courances castle, visit of the 17the century gardens (one of the most beautiful examples of renaissance water gardens). In the afternoon: travel through farmland, great planes and forest, including a passage on an ancient Roman road. Night at the Ile de Saussay hotel at Itteville.
Day 4: Breakfast at 8 am, riders meet at the horses at 9 am. Departure on horseback at about 10 am. We leave towards Breuillet, a hilly region with sparse forests, where beautiful trails lead us up to the Chamarande castle. Picnic and visit of Chamarande castle, built in the 17th century in Louis XIII style. This domain is known for supporting modern art. Passing Chamarande forest, we stop at the church Saint Sulpice de Favière. This sanctuary is known as the most beautiful of its kind in the entire region. The church was built in 1245 in gothic style. The day ends at Breuillet, where we spend the night at « le nouveau monde » hotel.
Day 5: Breakfast at 8 am, transfer to the horses at 9 am. Departure on horseback at about 10 am. This slightly hilly region features beautiful forests here and there, as well as great planes with far horizons. We pass near Marais castle, which was the joy of a society of writers and important politicians received by Mme Labriche in the 19th
century. Picnic near the Rambouillet forest by Sainte Anne’s fountain. Afternoon: Crossing of the Rambouillet forest up to the Tour pond. Dinner and night at Saint Charles hotel.
Day 6: Breakfast at 8 am, transfer to the horses at 9 am. Departure on horseback at about 10 am. We leave Tour, riding through fields and forest, up to the Vaux de Cernay abbey, which was founded in the 12th century by Cistercian monks. Nowadays, the ancient abbey hosts a luxury hotel. Picnic and visit of Breteuil castle. Built in the
16th century in Louis XII style, the castle features marvellous furniture. The visit is led by 50 wax figures from the Grévin museum. Exposition of the counts of Perrault. Afternoon: In the Chevreuse valey, we circumvent the city and its 11th century castle. Night at a bed and breakfast ‘ Maison Prairie Bonheur ‘at Magny les Hameaux.
Day 7: Breakfast at 8 am. Departure on horseback at about 9:30 am. It is difficult to conceive that we are so close to Paris. Today, we are riding only a couple of kilometres away from the turbulences of the huge cities. We quit Magny les hameaux towards the forest of the Versailles domain, reach Saint Cyr l’école, then the royal portal of the Versailles castle - majestic, impressing, huge; we enter the park of the castle of the greatest king ever. We follow the grand Canal and pass near the Grand Trianon. Picnic at the Saint Antoine garden center. Afternoon: return to our bed and breakfast at Magny les Hameaux. We ride over the parade grounds (place d’arme), the pièce d’eau des suisses water basin, as well as the Versailles domain forest. Dinner and night at ‘ Maison prairie bonheur’Magny les Hameaux.
Day 8: Transfer at about 10 am to Saint Rémy les Chevreuse train station.
Valley of sands of Fontainebleau
Le Grand Trianon - versailles castle
Castle of Vaux le Vicomte
This route may be altered, depending on room availability in hotels, weather conditions and time spent visiting
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