A donkey ride to the Saint-Félix de Montceau abbey? It is possible with the association Beau Nez d'Âne in Gigean. Whether you want to offer a unique souvenir to your child(ren) or have a donkey as a hiking companion, Mireille and Christian will be happy to share their passion with you and recommend the best routes. Are you ready? Saddle up!
On the back of a donkey
As soon as you arrive at the Beau Nez d'Âne association in Gigean, you will be greeted by Eliot, the donkey of the group. César and Rosalie will also be eager to come and see you to get their share of scratches.
But beware, because the whole troupe will soon be asking for their due: Nanette, Fanny, Zébulon, Mély and her mother Lolita, Carolin, sweet Manon, mischievous Malicia, Paprika and Margot. This is the welcome that Mireille and Christian's donkeys have in store for you!
Once the introductions have been made, let your child(ren) choose their favourite donkey, unless it is the donkey(s) that choose(s) it. You will then be helped to prepare him/her and to put his/her pack-saddle on.
Once your child (from 2 years old) or your luggage (maximum 35 kg for the well-being of the animal) is on the donkey's back, you will be given a roadmap with some friendly advice for a smooth ride, as well as a small map of the recommended paths. You are now on your way to the Saint-Félix de Montceau abbey for 1 hour, 2 hours, half a day or the whole day.
Once there, let us tell you the history of this essential building of the Thau Archipelago before going back to the village, having a picnic or simply returning to the association.
A little history
Benedictine and then Cistercian, Saint-Félix de Montceau Abbey was built on the foothills of the Gardiole in 1092 and at one time even welcomed nuns.
Nowadays, it shows the traces of its past in the ruins that stand opposite the Thau lagoon, in particular the cloister buildings, a pretty Romanesque chapel and even the medieval gardens, the reconstruction of which is the work of volunteers who have been working since 1970 to enhance the religious building.
In the company of your donkey, don't hesitate to continue your walk in the surroundings to find other interesting and sometimes even botanical paths.
The little farm
On your return, take shelter with your donkey under the Aleppo pines, the olive trees and the oaks, then take advantage of these few moments to reward him with dignity. You can then go and meet the other donkeys, but also go to the small farm of the association.
Prepare your caresses because horses, ponies, llamas, goats, sheep and geese will be eager to ask for your full attention.
When the weather is fine, the Beau Nez d'Âne association organises various themed walks and events with their stars. For example, it is possible to go for moonlight walks in the evening, or you can opt for a day dedicated to children. Here is an overview of the programme:
- Reception of the children from 10 am.
- Preparation of the donkeys (brushing and putting on the pack-saddle) and constitution of the groups until 11am.
- Walk during 1 hour.
- Picnic on the site of the Saint-Félix de Montceau abbey.
- Visit of the religious building and games around it.
- Another walk of 1h30 in the Gardiole massif.
- Return at 3.30 pm.
- Care of the donkeys before departure.
Of course, the team is open to any proposal if you wish to organise this typical day differently.
A few tips
To make this donkey ride a memorable experience, here are some tips:
- Even in summer, bring good walking shoes.
- For any ride, it is necessary to reserve.
- Dogs are not allowed, as they scare the donkeys and can cause an accident.
- 1 adult per donkey.