Type of horses:
Mostly Portuguese Lusitano crosses (some other breeds and crosses also used).
Nature of horses:
Well schooled, suitable for dressage and show jumping tuition as well as hacking.
Height of horses:
14 - 17hh
90kg / 14st 2lbs
English and Dressage.
This is a modern, family run riding centre in the rural, southern Alentejo part of Portugal where you can enjoy a peaceful riding holiday. Instruction is primarily offered by the experienced horsewoman Pru Clayton-Mead, an Enlightened Equitation level 3 teacher and a BHSII, BETCM instructor. Along with her husband Julian, and instructor Luis, Pru offers lessons in classical dressage (to Grand Prix level) and show jumping on extremely well schooled horses. Alternatively you can enjoy the wonderful countryside, embarking on trail rides which run for miles through the surrounding area. The region offers up historic tracks, eucalyptus woods and meadows full of sheep and Alentejo's famous black pig. It is also a magnificent location for birdwatchers who can spot the colourful bee-eaters and the storks that fish in the nearby lake.
The riding centre is open all year round and boasts a covered menage so guests are able to ride whatever the weather. The horses are mostly Lusitano or Portuguese Cruzado and riding holidays are offered to suit all abilities. Despite its rural location, there is plenty to do nearby. Supermarkets are less than a ten minute drive away and excellent restaurants are within 2km - as you will eat out in the evenings it is a good idea to have access to a hire car, otherwise your hosts can help you to book taxis in order to get around. The beaches of the Algarve and the West coast are less than an hour's drive away and extra activities can be organised including stud farm visits, bicycle hire, wine tasting or spending time on the family yacht.
Accommodation at this destination is in a two bedroom cottage, situated on the private grounds of the riding establishment (45 acres). The cottage has wonderful views over the countryside and is a peaceful location from which to base a fantastic riding holiday. When not riding you can enjoy the Portuguese sunshine on a sun lounger in the garden.
The cottage was originally built in 2007 and has since been refurbished to a higher standard, providing character as well as comfort. There are two twin rooms, each with en suite shower rooms, and a small additional bed can be provided on request. The cottage also features a sitting room with leather sofas, air conditioning/heating, TV and freeview and DVD player. There are French windows opening out onto the raised terrace, a dining area and a galley kitchen which comes equipped with electric oven gas hob, dishwasher, fridge and microwave.
Also available on site is broadband internet, washing machine and use of the swimming pool on the yard.
Rooms are also available in the main house if required.
Delicious home-cooked meals are served with lunch being eaten at the yard and dinner can be taken in a variety of delightful local restaurant. Lunches consist of salads, cheeses and cold meats wand may feature nibbles, nuts and dips followed by a pudding. An example might be homemade spinach and ricotta cannelloni with carrot frappe and an avocado and green leaf salad, followed by strawberry cheesecake for dessert. Another might be a BBQ with fresh piri piri prawns, chicken and chorizo kebabs with salad and baked potatoes followed up by figs braised in honey or maybe peach crumble as an alternative.
Breakfast foods will be brought to the cottage for you to enjoy at your leisure in the mornings. These may include cereal, fresh bread, cheese and cold meats, as well as fresh fruit and yogurt.
Drinks with meals are included and there is a mini bar in the cottage as well as on the yard.
Other activities in the area include walking, cycling, swimming, bird watching, wine tasting, stud farm visits, sailing or even drives to the beach.
Languages: English, Portuguese.
Health requirements: No special requirements.
Age limit: None within reason.
Included: Accommodation, meals (breakfast and lunch), drinks with meals and riding.
Not included: Flights, insurance, airport transfers, dinners and extra drinks and services.
Faro is the nearest airport (1hr 15m) followed by Lisbon (2hrs). The nearest train station is Funcheira.
We recommend car hire to make the most of this destination, but transfers are available from and to Faro airport at €50 each way, with arrival between 9am and 9pm (or 90€ each way outside of these hours).
Alternatively, you can take a train from Lisbon to the nearest town of Funcheira and transfers from here are charged at 10€ each way.
Alternative Airport: Lisbon
A week stay including seven nights of accommodation and daily tuition or hacking with experienced and knowledgeable instructors.
On your first day at the stables your first introductory lesson will help your instructors to establish your riding confidence and to assess your level in order to be matched with a suitable horse(s) for your stay. After this, you will have 9 further riding opportunities which can either be lessons or relaxing hacks in the surrounding countryside.
Lessons are generally one hour in duration and are most commonly on a one to one basis - on occasion there could be two participants instead. Hacks are usually between one and one and a half hours duration for a maximum of four riding guests with two accompanying guides.
|Minimum group size:||1|
|Maximum group size:||4|
|Ability description:||All levels are welcome.|
|Type of ride:||Based stay.|
|Total riding time:||Introductory lesson of 1 hour, followed by 9 lessons or hacks as preferred.|
|Departure dates:||2017: dates can be arranged to suit.|
£619 per person.
Price includes 7 nights twin/double room accommodation in the cottage, breakfast and lunch each day, as well as 10 riding opportunities during your stay (these can be lessons or hacks, as preferred).