There’s nothing better than being able to go on holiday and still do the thing you love most, especially if that thing is horse riding. Luckily, there are some incredible riding holidays that you can experience that will take you to far-flung destinations and exotic locations. Here’s a roundup of some of the most exciting horse-riding holidays and holiday destinations in the world.
Explore the Beauty of the Camargue
The Camargue region in the South of France is renowned for being a place of natural beauty and one of the most popular European destinations for equestrians, no doubt due to the wild horses that roam through the heather here. Riding holiday specialists In the Saddle (www.inthesaddle.com) run a marvelous seven-night trail-riding holiday, which begins in Marseille before heading to the ancient village of Lauris where you’ll meet your equine companion. The trail itself takes you across the delta with its pink flamingos, through plenty of fortified medieval villages, traverses the Alpilles mountains and ends deep in Provence and the Rhône Valley.
Experience Rural Rajasthan
Whether as a riding holiday or not, India is one of the most exotic destinations that we are lucky enough to be able to visit, but the experience is even more special when done so on horseback. Exploring the deserts of Rajasthan from the saddle sounds like a dream come true for any rider with an adventurous spirit, and thanks to Wix Squared (www.wixsquared.com), it can be a reality.
The company runs a seven-night itinerary, which is tailor-made to suit different riding abilities. You can expect to spend at least three days on a riding safari in Rajasthan, traveling via the local horse breed Marwari and discovering this fascinating part of the country.
Trail Riding in Las Vegas and Nevada
Vegas is, of course, synonymous with high-rolling poker and casinos. And while it’s no secret that it’s one of the top destinations for poker players, it should also be on your radar as being an excellent place for its proximity to the Red Rock Canyon. Various operators, including Cowboy Trail Rides, run two to four-hour tours of the area on horseback, which are ideal if you’re traveling with non-equestrians.
For the more experienced riders, however, head to northeastern Nevada to the Cottonwood Ranch. A working cattle and horse ranch in the heart of this remote wilderness, it offers a range of riding activities to holidaymakers, including pack trips for horse and cattle drives.
Visit Spain’s Finest in Jerez
Jerez, Andalusia, is known for being the epicenter of equestrianism in Spain. Home to the world-famous Royal Andalusian Riding School and the National Andalusian stud farm, it’s another must-experience destination for keen equestrians. Equestrian-Escapes (www.equestrian-escapes.com) run seven-night holidays in the region that provide plenty of riding opportunities and visits to the renowned riding school and stud.
You can even visit a nearby bodega for some sherry tasting, which is another export of Jerez. The best time to head is in May where you can get the chance to ride in the official celebrations for the Feria del Caballo.Unleash Your Inner Genghis Khan on the Steppes of Mongolia
Mongolia is well and truly a fascinating and mysterious place, and its open skies and vast plains make it the ideal holiday destination to indulge in some traditional riding and roaming a la Genghis Khan. Wild Frontiers (www.wildfrontierstravel.com) runs an epic, 14-day getaway that takes in a tour of Ulaanbaatar — the cultural city of Mongolia — and a trek throughout the southern Siberian taiga. You’ll get the opportunity to stay in nomadic encampments and get a glimpse of the nearby snow-capped mountains and beautiful rivers, all from the saddle.Dragon Hunting in Bhutan
Bhutan is an ancient country located between Tibet, Nepal and Northeast India. A place steeped in mythology, if you’re an experienced rider, you can try and unravel some of its mysteries for yourself with a riding tour, again organized by Wild Frontiers. This twelve-day trip begins in Delhi before flying out to the sacred valley town of Paro.
After a day or two spent exploring this hillside town, including a trip to Paro Taktsang, the spectacular Tiger’s Nest Monastery, you’ll head to Bumthang to be assigned your mount. You’ll spend a total of five days in the saddle trekking through remote villages and mountain passes as well as exploring the ancient town of Jakar. You can even spend the night in a traditional Buddhist dzong (monastery) before continuing by foot to The Palace of Great Happiness in Punakha (Bhutan’s former capital) and the new capital city, Thimphu.
Find out more about exciting Equestrian Vacations right here on Equine Info Exchange.