Cote d'Argent Ride

Landes France: (IT-FRAN08)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/france_argent.aspx

Introduction
Landes France
Where the Atlantic Ocean crashes onto the coast of south-west France lies the Côte d'Argent. Here you will find a ribbon of silver sand, 150 miles in length, which is popular with surfers, anglers, families, and celebrities in search of a little privacy - and now also for horseback riding enthusiasts.

Exhilarating gallops on fine sandy beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see: this is the Côte d’Argent. The Pays de Born stretches out in the middle of the biggest forest of Europe. Come and discover! Ride between the wild marshes and ponds in the company of our horses, mostly Anglo-Arabs, and enjoy the flora and fauna that makes this area of France so special.

In this abundance of greenery, dominated by the fragrant flowers in bloom in the spring and the purple heather in autumn, we ride on paths that have the mixed fragrance of many blossoms. Each day we can see deer, stags, squirrels, hare, and heron whilst meandering along the paths. Throughout your holiday we lead you along the coast with its rivers and canals. We help you discover the country as it is- tied to its traditions, its history, and whose rural habitat and picturesque areas are still a living testimony. We would be amiss if we did not mention the excellent gastronomy of the Côte d'Argent region, which is influenced by the bountiful nature of the land!

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a stationary ride, so you will be staying at the same location every night (except for 1 night spent at a nearby B&B or camping - depending on the time of the year).

Description
You will be staying at the guesthouse beside the riding center during most of the nights. We can accommodate up to 17 people total.
Our guesthouse is divided into 2 buildings:
- the main guesthouse building has 6 rooms for single, double/twin, and a family suite. Each room has its own bathroom.
- the Guesthouse's annex building has a big dormitory (capacity of 4-7 people) and 2 shared bathrooms
The guesthouse has an outdoor swimming pool and free Wi-Fi access.

If we do not have enough space, single riders will stay in a hotel in Mimizan Beach or at another guesthouse close to the riding center.
If you would like to guarantee a double/ twin/ single room, additional costs apply.


Bivouac (only during the summer months: July & August) 
We organize 1 night camping in very nice surroundings, besides a river with very clear water where it is possible to swim. The participation of the riders is welcome for the camp set-up.  
It is a wild campsite in the middle of the nature and the horses are staying on the opposite river bank. Toilet facilities and showers are available at the campsite.
We spend the evening around the fire, eating barbecue, drinking local made Sangria, and having a great time.
Tents, comfortable mattresses, clean pillows, sheets to cover mattresses, shelter, tables and chairs for dinner and breakfast are all provided.
We recommend for the clients to bring their own sleeping bag! We may offer sheets and blankets if some riders are missing them!!   

Manor of Tireveste (when the night is not spent camping)
This elegant mansion has 5 rooms (for 2-4 people) equipped with bathrooms and a lovely garden with a swimming pool. There is internet access and a TV that guests are welcome to use.


Meals
In 2019:
5 days of full-board and 2 days of half-board are included in order to give riders the opportunity to visit Mimizan Beach and find some nice restaurants. Lunch is on your own for Day 2 and Day 7. Dinner is included on the arrival day.
Breakfast is served at the guesthouse before we head out on our rides.
Lunches are a real meal, with tables and chairs. We provide French aperitif and appetizers, Bordeaux red wine, soup or salad according to the weather, chicken or meat and veggies, French cheeses, dessert and coffee or tea. 
For dinner, we indulge our taste buds by visiting different types of restaurants (Spanish, seafood, Moroccan, French, etc.). 1/4 wine or soda and coffee are provided in all restaurants during the week.

Only breakfast is included for non-riders (lunches and dinners ~ €25 each per meal).

In 2020:
All meals are included from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on Day 1, except for lunch on Day 2.
Breakfast is served at the guesthouse before we head out on our rides.
Lunches are a real meal, with tables and chairs. We provide French aperitif and appetizers, Bordeaux red wine, soup or salad according to the weather, chicken or meat and veggies, French cheeses, dessert and coffee or tea.
Dinners are served either at the guesthouse or at local restaurants. We try to offer as much variety to guests as possible.

Only breakfast and dinner is included for non-riders (lunches can be purchased for ~ €26 each).

1/4 litre of wine or soda and coffee is provided during lunches and dinners. Other drinks need to be purchased locally directly by the client.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to vegans and vegetarians with prior notice.

This trip includes some wine with dinner and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Level
This trek requires a rather good, fit intermediate rider confident at all paces and able to ride several hours over varied and sometimes challenging terrain. This ride is of moderate pace with frequent occasions of trots and gallops. We ask riders to keep a minimum of 30 m distance between each other on the faster sections. To give more comfort, trotting or galloping is generally individually or by group of two, whether it is in forest or on the beach. Some group gallops on the beach are of course available.    

Pace
During the 6 riding days of this trip, we cover between 30 and 40 km per day, spending between 5 and 6 hours in the saddle each day.

Horses 
We have 30 horses (mostly Anglo-Arabs) and 5 ponies. Most of them are born in our family farm.
Beauty, blood, intelligence, frankness, kindness, and generosity are the essential qualities we seek in the choice of our horses. Our horses are safe, brave and easygoing; well trained and very well-balanced. They horses live in herds in the outdoors. We take great care in providing horses with a good quality of life.

Staff
Guidance is guaranteed by qualified /certified equestrian guide of tourism (French professional certification: A.T.E., CQP ASA or BPJEPS Tourisme Équestre) having good regional knowledge and willing to let you discover the beauty of this area.

Children
Participants as young as 12 years old can join the ride as long as they are accompanied by an adult. From 15 years old, participants are welcome to join the ride non-accompanied.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary 2019 - Subject to changes.

This 6-day riding days program consists of a 5-day trail with one extra day of riding around the riding centre.

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival
Pick-up from the Bordeaux Airport (at 4:00pm) or Bordeaux train station (at 5:00pm) and transfer to Mimizan. You should arrive at the guesthouse around 7:00pm. Dinner is at a restaurant (around 9:00pm).

Day 2 (Monday): First Ride
You will be driven to Mimizan Beach for 10:30am to explore the village and the beach. Here you can choose to do some shopping before selecting your own restaurant to have lunch.
We'll pick you up at 1:30pm from the Tourism Office to take you back to the guesthouse. Once getting back, we'll have a brief meeting at 2:00pm before starting our first ride. This ride enables you to get accustomed to our horses and allows us to learn everyone's riding ability and expectations. We will make sure each rider is paired with a horse that suits their level and needs. The surrounding landscape is very beautiful and the sights from the top of the natural dunes gives you a preview of the ocean.
Riding approx. 3 hours (about 20 km)

Day 3, 4, 5, and 6:
We enjoy breakfast from 8:00am to 8:30am every morning.
We leave for 4 days passing over the beach either in the morning or in the evening depending on the tide of the ocean. We finish the fourth day on the beach with the sunset. The landscape and the nature is changing every day, offering all the various angles of “ The Landes”.We are going to ride around 35- 45 km by day in 5 to 6 hours with spending as much time with walking as with cantering or galloping. This means, this trek requires rather good and fit intermediate riders confident at all paces and able to ride several hours over varied and sometimes challenging terrain.
The ground of our forest is often very clean and offers us the opportunity not to ride in one line. The canters and gallops in the forest or on the beach are individually done by the riders, starting one by one, or two by two, and very rarely in group. This allows you to gallop at your own speed and comfort without having anyone block your way.
Riding: 5-6 hours per day

If the weather is fine from June to the end of September our riders have the opportunity to play and swim in the lake with and without their horses.

Day 7: Today is a half-day trail, the last day ride, which enables riders to enjoy the Atlantic Ocean for a last time and have a last exciting gallop along the beach. 
The other half-day either in the morning or in the evening, according to the tide, gives to the  riders the time to relax, visit the village and do some shopping, sunbathe on the beach, or have a swim in the ocean before leaving for home.

If the weather is fine from June to the end of September our riders have the opportunity to play and swim in the lake with and without their horses.

Please note: We can’t always ride on the beach when it’s really low tide during the 4-day trail. If we can canter on the hard sand, it’s not possible to canter in the sea-water because of the tack, and the wet sand that goes between the girth and the skin and may injure the horse during the day. The target of that last day is to offer to the rider the opportunity to be on the beach (in the morning or in the evening) at the best moment according to the tide. The beach is sometimes 200 m wide and we often have it only for ourselves. Then we can offer to canter or gallop in the sea water without restriction and have great fun. 

---

Sample Itinerary 2020 - Subject to changes.

This 6-day riding days program consists of a 5-day trail with one extra day of riding around the riding centre.

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival
Pick-up from the Bordeaux Airport (at 4:00pm) or Bordeaux train station (at 5:00pm) and transfer to Mimizan. You should arrive at the guesthouse around 7:00pm. Dinner is at a restaurant (around 9:00pm).

Day 2 (Monday): First Ride
After breakfast, we have a small briefing about the program and then clients are transferred to Mimizan beach for 10:30am. Time to visit the village and the beach and lunch in the village (not included in the package) before being picked up at 1:30 pm from in front of the Tourism office center.
At 2:00pm we go to meet the horses and tack them up. At 4:00pm we will meet in the arena for a short 30 minute ride to make sure that everyone gets along with its mount. Then we set off for a first hack in the area surrounding the riding center.
At 7:00pm we are transferred back to the guesthouse (only about 10 minutes drive) and have some time to relax before dinner (around 9:00pm).
During the summer months (July and August) the overnight at the manor is replaced by a night in tents.
Riding approx. 3 hours (about 20 km)

Day 3 (Tuesday): Ride to St Julien
After breakfast we are transferred top the riding center and we expect to start our ride around 10am. Today's ride will be through forests and along the coast. We will ride among high sand dunes, and if tides allow us, we will enjoy some riding on the beach.
We should be back at the guesthouse around 7pm, in time to relax before going out for dinner.
Riding approx. 5 hours (about 30 km)

Day 4 (Wednesday): St Julien to Lesperon
After breakfast (around 8am) we pack our luggage and get transferred to the horses to continue our ride. We will stop for lunch (around 1:30pm) at Levignacq. On today's ride we will discover the ever changing landscape of the Landes with wonderful ground for canters and gallops.
During the afternoon, we will ride along a river until we reach the Moulin de Caremonge. the horse will stay in a nearby field for the night and the riders will be transferred to their accommodation: the Manor of Tireveste.
Riding approx. 5 hours (about 35 km)

Day 5 (Thursday): Lesperon to Bias
After a good night's sleep and a delicious breakfast, we are transferred back to the horses. We will ride through beautiful and wild landscapes until we reach Uza, where we stop for our lunch break in a small restaurant. Uza is home to a bird reserve and the famous Chateau Ychem vineyard.
In the afternoon, we will ride for a few more hours through varied landscapes. We will reach Bias after crossing a lovely forest. The horses spend the night in Bias while riders are transferred back to the guesthouse.
Riding approx. 4.5 hours (about 30 km)

Day 6 (Friday): Bias to the Ocean
Today's riding schedule will depend on the tides. We will ride during half of the day (either in the morning or afternoon) and relax during the other half.
Our trail includes a ride through the forest leading to the Ocean. If the conditions are right we will enjoy some gallops on the beach.
Weather permitting, from June to September, we have the opportunity to swim and play in the Ocean with or without the horses.
Riding approx. 4 hours (about 20 km)

Day 7 (Saturday): Aureilhan Lake Ride
After breakfast, we prepare the horses on go for our last ride. We will discover the protected area surrounding Aureilhan Lake and ride along the river to Mimizan beach. We end our ride with a sunset ride in the forest or the beach.
Today's program is tide dependent.
Riding approx. 5 hours (about 30 km)

Day 8 (Sunday): Departure
After breakfast transfer to Bordeaux airport or train station.

 ---Subject to changes at the tour operator's discretion---

Non riders welcome. 

Extra activities:
- Tennis
- Bicycle
- Swimming pool
- Numerous water sports 


Rates and Dates for Cote d'Argent Ride

Rates include:

Accommodation in guesthouse, all meals except two lunches, 1/4 wine or soda and coffee are provided in all restaurants, 6 riding days, English-speaking guide.
During July and August trips, 1 night is spent camping

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20198 day trip, AP (High)€1450$1740
    • Double/ twin bedroom supplement, pp€105$125
      Single supplement (requested)€210$255
      Non-rider rate in dbl/tpl (only breakfast included)€505$580
  • B
    20198 day trip, AP (Mid)€1250$1500
    • Double/ twin bedroom supplement, pp€70$85
      Single supplement (requested)€150$180
      Non-rider rate in dbl/tp (including dinner)€500$575
  • C
    20198 day trip, AP (Low)€1100$1320
    • Double/ twin bedroom supplement, pp€70$85
      Single supplement (requested)€70$85
      Non-rider rate in dbl/tp (including dinner)€325$375
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.2

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2019 Transfer from Bordeaux airport (return, pp)
- to be paid locally
90 $105
2019 Pick-from from Morcenx train station on Day 2 (1 pax)
- to be paid locally
30 $35
2019 Pick-from from Morcenx train station on Day 2 (2+ pax), per car
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
15 $20
2019 Small group supplement (3 pax), pp 150 $180

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
B 2019 09/08 - 09/15 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Mid) 4 /12 Expired
B 2019 09/29 - 10/06 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Mid) 4 /12 Expired
C 2019 10/06 - 10/13 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 4 /12 Expired
C 2019 10/20 - 10/27 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 4 /12 Expired
C 2019 11/03 - 11/10 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 4 /12 Expired
C 2019 11/10 - 11/17 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 4 /12 Expired

Dates Note: July 8-15, July 15-22, July 29- August 5th, August 12-19, and August 19-26 is 1 night camping and 6 nights hotel.

Rates do not include:

Lunch on Day 2 and 7. Extra drinks. Transfers.

Other Info
Meeting: Mimizan
Airport: Bordeaux
Transfer: Bordeaux airport

Climate:
                                            Mont-de-Marsan area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

11

13

16

18

22

25

28

28

25

20

14

11

Average Low Temperature (°F)

1

2

4

6

10

13

15

15

11

8

4

2

Average High Temperature (°C)

51

55

61

65

71

78

82

82

77

68

58

52

Average Low Temperature (°C)

34

35

39

42

49

55

59

58

52

47

40

36

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

11

9

9

10

10

7

6

6

6

9

10

10

Source: NOAA


Seasons
The Landes climate could be classified as oceanic-temperate, with moderate temperatures in both winter and summer. There are on average 2,000 hours of sunshine per annum. The nearby Atlantic Ocean has a major effect on the difference between day and night temperatures. You should be expecting cool nights, even in the summertime.

The best time to visit is between April and October, excluding the months of July and August which can get very crowded and hot. June is a very good time to visit, while September and October are also good months to visit. Winters tend to be wet and mild.

What To Bring:

This list is only a guideline for you

 

Travel documents and Voucher

Flight tickets

Passport

Visa (check with your consulate)

 

RIDING GEAR

Comfortable riding jeans or jodphurs

Riding boots (short) + Minichaps

Riding helmet  (recommended for all trips)

Riding gloves

Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection

Lightweight Rain coat

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING

Jacket or sweater for cool evenings

Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts

Jeans

Shorts

Underwear and socks

Pyjamas

Bag for dirty clothes

Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes

Swimsuit

 

 

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING

Sleeping bag (July and August only)

Personal Toiletries

Insect protection

Personal medications

Sore cream (for an emergency)

Flashlight

Handkerchiefs

Adapter for electric appliances

Camera and enough extra films and batteries

Belt pack

Address book and pen (for postcards!)

Sun glasses with strap

Sun tan lotion and lip balm  


Sheets and towels are provided at the hotels and guesthouse. The riding center provides saddle bags.

All along the way during the trip,  people can swim in the lake or  the river during the Lunch time. Please keep swimming clothes in your saddle bag!

**Luggage is transported to your accommodations day by day with our minibus which also follows the group to provide lunch**