Type of horses:
Lusitano or Lusitano x Arab
Nature of horses:
Good natured and sure footed
Height of horses:
14 - 16 hh
85kgs / 188 lbs / 13.5 stone
Portugese military saddles with comfortable sheepskin seats and English style bridles
The beautiful Quinta do Almargem has been home to a sport horse stud since 1990. Your host, Luis, breeds both Lusitano and Arab horses, as well as some cross Luso-Arabs. A keen endurance rider, he competes over distances up to 160km on his own horses. He is also a qualified vet and looks after his horses to very high standards.
The Quinta is located only 15km from the sandy beaches of the Atlantic ocean, with a backdrop of the Serra de Grandola hills. This combination of hills with long sandy tracks and beaches is the ideal training ground for his endurance horses, allowing for long canters and gallops as well as strenuous walking terrain to increase their fitness.
Riding into the hills you pass cork trees which have grown for centuries as well as eucalyptus and pine forests. In the opposite direction lie the beaches, sand dunes and lagoons of the coast. This riding holiday combines both landscapes, as you spend the first half of the week riding in the hills, and the second half riding along the coast. There are plenty of opportunities for long loping canters or occasional gallops as well as relaxing and watching the landscape unfold around you.
The Lusitano horses are calm and easy to ride so you do not need to be an expert rider, but do need to be in balance in all three paces as well as confident riding outdoors. There are horses to suit all abilities, with more forward going mounts for more competent riders.
Instead of moving on each night, you change hotels just once, so can unpack and relax after each day of riding. There is even a rest day in the middle of the week so that you can really feel like you are on holiday.
Short breaks/Long weekends (Thursday-Sunday) are also possible on request for groups - please contact us for prices and availability.
Good hotels, pousadas, country houses and private estates - you can choose a luxury option or more standard option. Both double and single rooms are available. Each hotel has a swimming pool too. See individual itinerary for more information.
You will eat typical Alentejo cuisine including fresh fish and local meats. Vegetarians can be catered for with advance notice.
Lunch is usually a picnic out on the trail, which includes grilled fish or meat with fresh salads and breads. Portugese wine is included with lunch.
Dinner is in local restaurants or at the hotels and will include local specialities - your guide will advise you. Water is provided with dinner but other drinks are to your own account so you can choose a wine or whatever you fancy.
When not riding you can relax at the hotels or take a walk in the neighbouring countryside - forests, farmland etc. There are swimming pools at the hotels and on a couple of days there may be possibilities to swim in the sea at lunch stops.
Non-riders are accepted (please enquire for prices) but no specific activities are arranged. You can relax at the hotels and explore the locality or hire a car to venture further afield.
Languages: English, French and Portugese.
Health requirements: None specific, just general good health
Age limit: 16 years and over. Please contact the office if the child is an experienced rider under that age
Included: Riding, accommodation, food, drinks at breakfast/lunch, transfers at set times
Not included: Flights, insurance, drinks with dinner
Transfers from Lisbon airport are included at set times. There are many flight options from the UK to Lisbon with airlines such as TAP (Air Portugal), British Airways and EasyJet.
The "Meeting Point" is on the right after collecting your luggage and exiting into the main airport vestibule - there is a large hanging sign. Your guide will meet you there.
Day One: Saturday
You will be met at Lisbon airport at 17:30 and transferred c. 120km south to your accommodation in Grandola, which is only 1.5km from the sea. Your charming rural hotel has friendly staff and is equipped with the same comforts as a modern hotel - either Uva do Monte or Serenada. You can take a dip in the pool or rest in your room before dinner which is at a typical Alentejo restaurant "Tia Rosa" - this restaurant is a short car journey from your hotel and their speciality is Arroz de Pato (Duck Rice)
Day Two: Sunday
After a short drive to the stables, the horses are allocated and you set off on your first ride through the hills of Grandola with beautiful panoramic views of the ocean. After the first few canters you will appreciate how sure footed and characterful the horses are. Lunch will be a picnic with grilled meats and salads accompanied by fresh bread and Portugese wine. After resting for a while, you continue riding through the forest to Coudelaria Quinta do Almargem where the horses spend the night.
You are transferred back to your hotel where you can refresh or take a swim before dinner. Tonight you dine at Fadista restaurant in Melides.
Day Three: Monday
Today's ride heads through eucalyptus forests where you will inhale the distinctive perfume whilst hearing the bark crunching under your horses hooves. Lunch is taken at Santo Andre lagoon where again their will be a grilled speciality - perhaps fresh fish or meat. After lunch there are some fast canters on the many sandy trails which cross this area. Return again to your hotel for another delicious dinner.
Day Four: Tuesday
Before departing on today's ride you pack up your belongings as you will be at a different hotel tonight (your luggage transfers by vehicle).
Your ride this morning is along the beach which is often a glorious ride as the sun rises - be prepared for an early start! If everyone is happy then there can be some fantastic canters before reaching your picnic spot in shade of the pine forest. If you wish, you can take a swim in the sea or just relax. After lunch, ride through the dunes to Brejo da Amada or Sublime Comporta where you have dinner and spend the night.
Day Five: Wednesday
Today is a rest day for the horses so you can either relax at the hotel or take a walk through the pine forest or hire a bike. There is an optional visit to the old village of Alcacer do Sol where you can visit one of the oldest handmade saddlery establishments in Portugal.
Day Six: Thursday
Set off riding from your hotel, through the rice fields and down onto the beach of Comporta. Again this ride may be at first light to beat the crowds and there are chances for fabulous canters before reaching your picnic spot amongst the dunes. After lunch to ride back to the same hotel for another night, but dinner will be taken in a local restaurant.
Day Seven: Friday
Your final day of riding takes you to the Sado River. There are many opportunities for fast riding through the pine forests on alternating red earth or pale sand paths. You may pass sheep or cattle as you go. Lunch is taken in a restaurant at Carvalhal before you ride back to your hotel for a farewell dinner and overnight.
Day Eight: Saturday
After breakfast you are transferred back to Lisbon airport for your flight home.
You can choose to stay in comfortable local hotels, or luxurious hotels, depending on your budget.
You spend the first half of the week in one hotel and then change to a second hotel.
"Standard" hotels are:
Uva do Monte: http://uvadomonte.pt/
Brejo da Amada: http://www.brejodamada.com/
Luxurious hotels are:
A Serenada: http://www.serenada.pt/
Sublime Comporta: http://www.sublimecomporta.pt/
|Minimum group size:||4|
|Maximum group size:||10|
|Ability description:||You need to be at least an intermediate rider who is happy on a well behaved horse in the outdoors, at all paces. There are plenty of opportunities for faster riding.|
|Type of ride:||Two centre trail ride|
|Total riding time:||8 days / 7 nights / 5 days riding|
25 February-4 March, 25 March-1 April, 8-15 April, 6-13 May, 3-10 June, 1-8 July, 9-16 September, 30 September-7 October (FULL), 7-14 October (FULL), 4-11 November.
Standard accommodation: £1406 per person (shared room)
Luxury accommodation: £2403 per person (shared room)
Single room supplement: £213