Rejuvenating weekend in the forest of Fontainebleau, between horseback riding, cooking and yoga

EXPERIENCE – An hour from Paris, the Fontainebleau forest offers a dream setting in which to learn about horse riding in a peaceful manner, with the added bonus of yoga and cooking classes. We have tested.

The sun filters through the branches of the trees, causing a light haze to vibrate. The air is fresh and crisp at the beginning of spring in the forest of Fontainebleau. At the Gorges de Franchard we are really in the heart of this area, which was once the hunting reserve of the kings of France. This haven of peace 55 kilometers from Paris is accessible by car, via the A6, and by train, Fontainebleau-Avon station is 40 minutes from Gare de Lyon. This morning, a small group of 6 people gathers in front of the Franchard Ecotourism Center for a 1h30 hatha yoga session with Alizée. This is followed by a cooking class, or rather “crusine”, ie preparations without cooking. We learn how to make cheesecake, chocolate cake or lemon cake without the oven. During lunch the same menu: fruit-based drinks, Buddha bowl, salad, made with fresh, local and seasonal products. This first morning is for everyone, riders or not. A good way to ease the tensions of the week and get to know this weekend’s participants better. After a quick coffee, head to Ury Riding School, right next to the Novotel hotel, a 4-star hotel in the heart of the forest, where you plan to spend the night.

On horseback along the royal paths of the Fontainebleau forest

The opportunity to give yourself a break and test the practice of yoga in our beautiful green environment. Caval&go / Fotopers

In this stable Ludivine welcomes riders who, depending on their level, will be divided into two groups, beginners and intermediate, ie already at ease in the 3 courses, outdoors. Ludivine has always ridden a horse and is passionate about the forest of Fontainebleau, of which she knows all the secrets. It teaches the practice of horseback riding and offers to enrich it with the discovery of the fauna, flora and heritage of the region. Cartoon, the brown gelding, Azzaro, with an Isabella coat, that is, sand-colored with black horsehair and the tips of his limbs, and Ulysses, the spotted horse, quietly wait for their rider in the meadow. They are walking professionals, experienced in walking, with firm hooves and a calm temperament. The equestrian center offers quality English soft furnishings, walking type, suitable for equestrian tourism activities.

Once brushed and saddled, the horses set out for a two-hour ride along the wide sandy tracks of the forest. Beginners can do this walk entirely on foot to gain confidence and learn the basics of horseback riding. Intermediate or experienced riders can trot or even gallop, depending on their level, along the bridleways built in the time of François 1er and Louis XIV. At around 4:30 PM, return to the stables, where the horses are cared for: they are brushed, cured and watered, the leather cleaned and stored, so many things to know if you’re going to trek for several days. At the end of the afternoon, meet at the hotel to enjoy the heated outdoor pool, sauna, spa treatments (upon reservation, at an additional cost), gym or simply relax before dinner.

second driving day

In the afternoon, the riders get back in the saddle for a two-hour ride in the woods, around the Grand Parquet, which was once the site of royal yachts. Caval&go / Fotopers

After a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, the riders meet for a meditation session, for those who wish, in the meadow next to the stables, weather permitting, under the benevolent gaze of the horses. Time to reconnect with nature. Then go for a yoga class in one of the rooms of the Ecotourism Center of the Gorges de Franchard, followed by lunch in the stables. In the afternoon, the riders are back in the saddle for a two-hour ride in the woods, around the Grand Parquet, once the site of royal hunts, which has now become a site dedicated to major equestrian events. The opportunity to discover the famous rocks of the forest of Fontainebleau during a two-hour loop and confirm what you have learned and the sensations of the day before. After a last snack at the stable everyone leaves with the promise to share another ride, now that the proof is in the horse could be open to everyone, or almost!

Weekend on horseback in the forest of Fontainebleau, yoga & spa offered by Caval&go. 2 days full board without delivery or transfer, €480 in high season, €460 in low season. Next dates May 21 and 22, 2022. Possibility to participate this weekend without horseback riding, a non-rider rate is available.

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