Are you looking for an equestrian centre near Aix-en-Provence, in the Vaucluse or in the Alpes de Haute-Provence? These not-to-miss spots are sure to charm you.
An Iconic Detour
Located on the Rhône delta, between beaches and lagoons, the Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue remains a hub of equestrian tradition. Thoroughbred white horses are raised free range in “manades” (ranches) by “gardians” (cowboys.) In particular, you can explore the natural protected area of the nature reserve des Marais du Vigueirat, with its bull breeding and more than 300 bird species. In the heart of the Camargue, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer is an ideal starting point for an excursion on a horse… or in a carriage. For example, head to the Centre Equestre Les Arnelles.
A Natural Escapade
Located east of Tarascon and classified as a regional natural park, this chain of limestone hills covered by garrigue is ideal for horse-riding – or a pony ride for younger riders. From Maussane-les-Alpilles (Centre Équestre Le Petit Roman) or Graveson (Les Écuries de Cadillan), head off to explore the side roads of this low-altitude massif, bordered by olive trees and vineyards. There, you will discover a colourful and lush vegetation where saskatoon berries, ephedras and wild tulips mix.
Land of Biodiversity
In just a few years the Luberon has become a very popular destination for urbanites due to its juxtaposition of very diverse natural environments. From Provence Hipposervices in Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt or the Centre Equestre La Florentine in Céreste, nestling in the heart of the Parc naturel régional, take a ride on a horse or in a buggy to explore the Massif des Ocres or the mines of Bruoux. To travel across the bucolic pine and cedar-sprinkled landscape of the Alpes de-Haute-Provence’ montagne de Lure, mosey over to the Centres de Randonnée Équestre Janssaud ou Les Crins de Gaïa in Forcalquier.
Tour with a Donkey
Unexpected, but just as pleasing, slow walks at a donkey’s pace (between 3 and 4 km/ hour only) are accessible to all. For a half or a full day, this tender and intelligent companion – contrary to its reputation! – will guide you along paths, carrying toddlers and even your picnic. These amazing outings can be carried out particularly on the paths of the Montagne de Lure – via Les Granges hiking centre – or in the Garlaban massif from the Domaine de la Font de Mai.
The Provence Verte
A Haven of Nature
In the Var, many equestrian centres offer horse and pony rides in the wild. Go to the Ecuries de la Renarde in Brignoles, the Centre Equestre de Nans-les-Pins or La Reserve in Entrecasteaux. You can cross alfalfa fields, taste wild mirabelles or cool off when crossing a river. Wherever you roam, the verdant scenery of Provence Verte, made up of vines, tall grasses and shrubs, will charm you.