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Question for anyone who has gone on RS South of France/Loire Valley tour

I signed up for Sept 11, 2022 South of France/Loire Valley tour. I am considering this activity for the free afternoon in Arles: I want to go trail riding in the Carmargue. I have found (online) a couple stables that appear acceptable for horses and sightseeing. Rough research tells me it is less than 1 hour drive (hiring a driver) each way plus 2+ hour ride. Do you think this is doable? In your experience can the RS guide facilitate hiring a driver?
Thanks!

Posted by
8266 posts

Oh my gosh...that sounds wonderful! I'd say if the guide can't, the hotel that RS uses, Le Calendel, may be able to. I stayed there for 5 nights on a Road Scholar tour (sniff, sniff....my last tour pre-pandemic, lol!) and the folks at the desk were very helpful. I'd probably want to arrange it ahead of time, though. I'd consider contacting the hotel as soon as you get the full list of your lodging about a month out from your travel date or confirming with the RS office that this will be the hotel for 2022.

https://www.lecalendal.com/en/home

I'll also add that your estimated time frame sounds about right, depending on where exactly in the Camargue the stables are.

I thought this area was fascinating with the Camargue white horses plus their specially bred bulls and best of all...flamingoes! I saw the biggest collection of them at the Ornithological Center but I did see them in the drainage ditches around the rice fields. Our tour was supposed to have a demo by a Camargue Cowboy but it was bucketing down rain so we just watched him do a few maneuvers on his horse with the long staff they use. Very flat and low countryside (thus the rice growing, lol!) and very different from other areas I've visited.

Posted by
1259 posts

Pam and Janis, riding along the sea and seeing flamingoes does sound like fun, doesn’t it? Thank you for sharing your experiences and providing the links.

Posted by
1875 posts

I can't say a definite yes, but our guide for that tour Virginie More facilitated a driver for a group of us when we had mentioned we wanted to visit the Lascaux Caves while in Sarlat. My RS tour experience is only one tour but based on that if you give the guide enough advance warning he/she will try and make it happen or offer you options.

During our free afternoon in Arles, we had mentioned to Virginie that we may not make it back for the group dinner because we were heading to Avignon. 10 minutes later she had come back to us with a list of train times and instructions on how to get there and back.

Posted by
1259 posts

Thanks Allan. I was hoping you’d weigh in since I knew from your trip report that the guide had helped you organize free time.