Lusitano Trails riding holiday in Portugal - Far and Ride
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Lusitano Trails, Portugal





Reviews



The holiday was fantastic! By far, this is the best, most organised riding holiday we've been on. There was plenty of riding out on the trails and spending time with our horses, but it never felt like too much or too little. The trails were fantastic and each stop made the trip feel very unique. The horses were exquisitely cared for and very loved. My friends and I had a GREAT time!

Lori T.
Really good trip - Kristin takes good care of all guests and her horses are a delight to ride! Cantering on a windy beach with a well-mannered horse was pretty special. Food and accommodation all first class. Tack excellent. Kristin was informative, caring, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and patient!

Kate G.
Kristin provided beautifully schooled, obedient, forward-going and interesting horses that are very well cared for. The dressage-based training gave me a new insight and taught me a lot. The holiday was just as described! (Favourite memory?) Riding very nice horses through small towns and villages, visiting lovely quintas and other places we would never have seen otherwise, especially the winery! Also learning horsemanship from Kristin. V. good food, wine and beer, fantastic. The horses and tack were very good and Kristin was very good, well-informed and interesting. She made every effort to show us the people and the country.

Valerie C.
I arrived back from my amazing tour in Portugal. Imagine, I had the opportunity to ride Casique, that fantastic and lovely creature :) I enjoyed every minute of the tour. All the members of the group were very friendly, we had so much fun together and even were lucky with the weather. Kristin was beyond peradventure the best rider and tour guide I have ever ridden with. Also the horses were the most well trained and softest horses I have ever ridden on a riding tour. Kristin and Pedro were very nice and made every effort possible to make us satisfied. I won't ever forget the dishes we had together. Furthermore I have to admit that this tour had the highest standards regarding the accomodations and supply - I have never experienced such attention and delicate service. While everything went fluently, in the same time everything was at ease.

Lili C.
A super ride! Great horses, great trails, fine tack, a very congenial and capable host, lots of good/long long canters, the food was good and accommodations comfortable. The horses were likely the best trained horses we have ever ridden on vacation and that is after 50+ riding vacations so that really is a great compliment. They were such a pleasure to ride. Kristin has obviously spent a lot of time on the careful planning of this ride and we really appreciated that.

Judy and Ben
Very organised and beautiful thought through itinerary to provide variety throughout the holiday, with interesting insight into the area and culture if the region. My horse - Quartzo! Grumpy with other horses but lovely with me. Our "home" accommodation was especially excellent. Kristin bent over backwards to ensure our comfort.

Sheila L.
Kristin has put a lot of thought into this trail, providing diversity, interest, great accommodation and wonderful food in equal measure. Probably the best riding holiday I have ever had.

Roger T.
Very good - better than that! (I loved) my horse Ricardo (Richard I called him) and Conrad the dog! Wonderful - nothing overlooked. She (Kristin) was great, could not do more for us and good fun to be with!

Chris D.
Terrific. Wonderful and thoughtful hosts, varied rides, plenty of excellent food and wine, delightful horses (willing & easy to handle). Great accommodation (at the base in particular).

Jan J.
Every day was a new adventure. First and foremost, Kristin and her staff and horses are fabulous - what wonderful hosts each of them were.

Adele I.
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Lusitano

Nature of horses:

Very well-trained and friendly

Height of horses:

15 - 16.2hh

Weight limit:

90kg

Tack type:

Traditional Portuguese.

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

This beautiful trail ride is a chance to explore and discover the real Portugal from the back of a noble Lusitano horse, a native breed famed for their willing nature, friendly characters and soft paces. The qualified guide, Kristin, leads small groups on a journey through the most unspoiled locations of the Ribatejo region, travelling through open countryside, cork forests, vineyards, villages, valleys and even for a day at the beach!

Groups consist of no more than six riders, ensuring that everyone can enjoy a quality holiday on a well-trained horse. The horses are fit and very capable of long trots and enthusiastic canters, meaning that they are a joy for experienced riders. Each night you return to the base quinta or to a charming rural guesthouse, experiencing real Portuguese culture and traditions as well as enjoying the hours spent on horseback.

Kristin, originally from Germany, is a passionate horsewoman with a particular love of Iberian horses. She started riding as a young girl, enjoying lessons and riding holidays, and soon realised that riding amongst nature with a horse as a partner is a wonderful feeling! In 2011 she left her job and decided to follow her dreams and work with horses full time - she travelled and worked with different stables to gain experience, taking the time to become a certified riding guide, before starting out offering these fantastic rides in Portugal. Kristin strongly believes that good, happy horses must be turned out to run in the fields sometimes and she is convinced that training the horses for both dressage and trail riding results in an excellent riding horse who is easy, forward-going and controllable. Her favourite thing is to see happy guests who are enjoying riding her horses.

If you're looking to ride top quality horses and see authentic Portugal then this could well be the ride for you!

NB. Kristin's partner, Pedro, is a professional rider who can offer a high standard of classical dressage and working equitation tuition. We can create a combination package to involve lessons with Pedro and rides out with Kristin or you could add some lessons on before or after this trail.

Also, if you are looking for a Lusitano to buy then Kristin and Pedro can help you! They have several Lusitanos in for training at a time and they are happy to find your perfect partner. You can stay with them and try the Lusitanos for sale. The level of training here is exceptional and they only sell top quality horses from respected breeders.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

You are accommodated at the base quinta ('Quinta dos Pinheiros') or in charming rural guesthouses. The accommodation offers double or twin rooms with private showers and toilets, though there may be one or two nights when these facilities need to be shared.

The programmes include full board. Lunches are usually picnics eaten in beautiful places whilst dinners are taken in the garden during summertime or at a big, sociable table in front of a warm fireplace during winter. Occasionally dinners are in typical traditional restaurants.

The programme also includes drinks during the ride and with your meals (water, coffee, tea, beer and wine).

 

Activities

This riding programme is crammed full of riding so there isn't much time for other things! We can organise additional days with riding tuition (dressage and classical Portuguese style riding). There is sometimes also the possibility to add on trips to the local Golega fair.

 

Further Details

Languages: German, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

Health requirements: General good health recommended.

Age limit: 12+

Tuition: Yes - classical dressage and working equitation tuition can be added!

Included: Lisbon airport transfers (at a set time), accommodation, full board and guided riding.

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, tips and extra services.

 

Travel Information

It is just a 40 minute drive from the airport to the quinta and set-time Lisbon airport transfers are included in the trail prices, as per the timings below. Transfer can also be provided from/to the nearby station of Santarem at no additional cost, from where you can take an easy train to Lisbon.

Lusitano Trail:

On arrival day the pick-up is at 14:00 and on departure day your flight should leave 15:00 or later.

Atlantic Coast Trail:

On arrival day the pick-up is at 14:00 and on departure day your flight should leave 12:00 or later.

Airport: Lisbon

 

Programmes


7 Day Lusitano Trail



A six night trail ride through the Ribatejo region of Portugal with riding everyday, including arrival and departure day. Riders enjoy well-trained Lusitano horses and the chance to experience authentic Portugal, its countryside, culture and traditions. There's no better way to explore the country than on the back of a native horse!

Itinerary:

Day 1: Riders are transferred from Lisbon airport to Quinta dos Pinheiros, a drive of around forty five minutes. After a welcome drink you will get straight onto the horses to enjoy your first ride on one of these magnificent Lusitanos. You will ride through cork and eucalyptus trees and can start to relax and get to know your horse, your equine partner for the week. On returning to the Quinta there will be some time for relaxation before dinner which is eaten in front of the the fireplace during the winter or out in the garden during the summer months. Overnight tonight at Quinta dos Pinheiros or Quinta da Cabrita (depending on the number of participants). 

Day 2: Today is the start of the trail! For this day there are two beautiful alternatives, depending on the number of participants. 

A) You will ride out from the Quinta in the direction of Alcanoes, passing through this typical Portuguese village. There are wonderful views all around you as you continue on through green meadows which are used by a bull and horse breeder. Whilst the countryside starts with rolling hills and patches of cork trees it will soon start to open up. You will reach the Tejo valley, home to impressive vineyards, and the flatter terrain brings lovely opportunities to canter. The shore of the Tejo River is the ideal spot for a picnic and you can take the time to eat, relax and enjoy your lovely surroundings. After the lunch break your ride continues into some mountain areas with excellent views over the river before making your way back to Quinta Boa Vista.  Dinner tonight is in the quinta or at a traditional restaurant in Santarem. Riding time is around five hours.

B) If your group is a minimum of four riders then Kristin will try to include this option... a ride to the vineyard! On these lovely Lusitanos you will ride out from the quinta in the direction of Povoa de Santarem. The riding is over rolling hills with beautiful views before you come to the narrow historical roads of a typical Portuguese village. After around two hours riding you will reach Quinta da Ribeirinha where you will receive a warm welcome, a wine tasting and a delicious lunch. After visiting the winery you will make your way back through the olive trees and by a lake before returning to Quinta Boa Vista.  Dinner in a traditional restaurant in Santarem or at the quinta. Approximate riding time of four hours. 

Day 3: Today you will enjoy riding in the Tejo valley, experiencing the charm of the Ribatejo region. There are excellent opportunities for long trots and canters which are a pleasure on these comfortable horses! Upon leaving from Quinta Boa Vista the trail route takes you to ride upon the banks of the Alviela River before you once again reach the Tejo with its delightful sandbanks and beaches. You will pass by some old farmhouses before reaching your picnic spot, a calm and peaceful place where you can rest amidst the nature and simply enjoy the fresh air and good company. 

In the afternoon the ride leads you through huge corn fields, following twisting paths until you arrive in Azinhaga. This is renowned as being one of the most typical Portuguese villages in the region and is also your overnight point. You will be welcomed into a friendly guesthouse by the owner, Raquel, and the horses will also spend the night here. There is time for a swim in the pool or simply to relax in the bar before coming together for a delicious dinner. Approx. riding time today is five hours. 

Day 4: This day begins with a short ride to Quinta da Broa which is home to the famous and longstanding Veiga Lusitano Stud farm. You will stop here for a brief visit before mounting back up and riding through the stud meadows, where you can see the mares and foals grazing, in the direction of the natural reserve of Boquilobo. After approximately three hours of riding you will arrive in Golega, the 'capital of the horses'. Here you will stay with the horses in a lovely guesthouse. Golega has a very long tradition and is famous for its annual horse fairs. You will enjoy a delicious lunch with views over the main square, with time in the afternoon to discover the little roads and hidden traditional shops of the town. Riding time today is approximately three and a half hours. 

Day 5: Today is another great day in the saddle. You begin your ride by leaving the horse town of Golega following small roads, heading back in the direction of the Tejo river. During the morning you will pass the Tejo corn fields and will come to understand why this area is known as the 'garden of Lisbon'. After approximately two hours you will recognise the lovely buildings of the Veiga stud farm. For lunch you will stop in the restaurant of a small village whilst the horses wait outside - the meal is a typical Portuguese lunch served in an authentic atmosphere. After a good rest you will ride on by eucalyptus and old cork trees, crossing a small river, and then on through cow herds before arriving at Quinta Alpompé. You will be picked up here and driven back (15 minutes) to Quinta do Pinheiros or Quinta da Cabrita (depending on numbers), where the swimming pool and a good dinner are waiting for you. Today's riding time is approximately five and a half hours. 

Day 6: This is a special highlight and a wonderful way to spend your last full day in the saddle. Today you will drive with the horses to the beach (approximately one hour away) where you can enjoy some fantastic riding and scenery on the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean! Miles and miles of open sandy beaches stretch out for you to enjoy. You can play with the horses in the lagoon and enjoy great canters on the beach. On the way back you will have lunch in a local restaurant with a great view over the lagoon. By late afternoon you will arrive back at Quinta dos Pinheiros. Approx. riding time today is four hours. 

Day 7: After breakfast there is time for one final ride of around two hours, a chance to say goodbye to your trusty Lusitano horse. Once you have said farewell and packed your bags then you will be transferred back to Lisbon airport for your journey home. 

NB. At the discretion of the guide this itinerary may vary according to the abilities of the group, the number of participants and the weather conditions. 



Minimum group size: 3
Maximum group size: 6
Ability description: Intermediate and above. Riders should be comfortable at walk, trot and canter and able to rise to the trot and ride at a canter for long periods of time. The trail depends on riders being fit and experienced.
Type of ride: Trail.
Total riding time: 5 full days riding (4 - 6.5 hours per day) and a short ride on both arrival and departure day (1 - 2 hours).
Departure dates: 2017: 19 - 25 March, 16 - 22 April, 7 - 13 May, 4 - 10 June, 2 - 8 July, 16 - 22 July, 3 - 9 September, 14 - 20 September, 1 - 7 October (fully booked), 22 - 28 October.

Programme usually runs Sunday to Saturday. Usually we require a minimum of 3 participants to run a programme, but if you are just 1 or 2 then please get in touch as we can match you up with other riders. Other dates are sometimes available on request, especially for small groups.
 
Pricing: 2017:

The price is £1397 per person.
Single supplement - please enquire.

This includes set time Lisbon airport transfers, 6 nights of double or twin room accommodation, all meals, drinks during the rides and meals (inc. water, coffee, tea, beer and wine), 5 full riding days (4 - 6.5 hours per day) and a short ride (1 - 2 hours) on both arrival and departure day.



6 Day Atlantic Coast Trail



A beautiful new five night trail to the Atlantic Coast riding on noble Lusitano horses. This ride includes lots of riding hours with long trots and enthusiastic canters, taking you from the stables near to Santarem all the way to the beach. The trail includes wonderfully varied terrain, typical Portuguese villages and lots of stunning views.

The ride includes five nights of accommodation, four full days in the saddle and also a short ride on arrival day. Full board is included with all drinks during meals and the rides (coffee, tea, water, beer and wine). Lunch is eaten as picnics in beautiful places along the way whilst dinners are a social affair with typical Portuguese cuisine.

A chance to see real Portugal, ride an impressive Lusitano and enjoy many riding hours on this exciting new trail!

Pick-up is at 14:00 from Lisbon airport on arrival day and flights on departure day should leave at 12:00 or later. 

Itinerary (subject to change): 

Day 1 - Monday:

Pick-up from Lisbon airport at 14:00 with transfer to Quinta dos Pinheiros, home to your hosts and horses. A late lunch is served before an introduction to the horses - on hot days the first ride will be later in the day, meaning you have time to relax and enjoy the swimming pool or simply admire the stunning Lusitanos living on site. You will be allocated a horse and will mount up in the indoor school, taking a few minutes to get used to them and to make any tack adjustments required. Then you will head out on a short ride through the neighbouring cork forests and fields, usually for around 1 - 1.5 hours, to see that you are well-suited. 

You will return back to Quinta dos Pinheiros and will have time to shower before heading to a local restaurant for dinner. Overnight at Quinta dos Pinheiros. 

Day 2 - Tuesday: 

Breakfast is usually from around 8:30 onwards as this is the earliest your hosts can collect fresh bread! Once you have eaten and are ready for the day, you will mount up for your first full day ride. Today is quite varied, taking you from Santarém, across local farmland and on to your picnic stop in the shade of a tree, overlooking vineyards. The horses are tended to first with their lunch and riders generally hold their horse for this before sitting down to enjoy a picnic. 

After lunch you will continue on towards Ribeira de Saõ Joäo. The ride this afternoon offers beautiful views and great tracks for canters! You will finish today’s ride at the stud farm Quinta da Ferraria (depending on the time of year you may see the mares and foals in their paddocks). From here you and the horses are transported back to Quinta dos Pinheiros for dinner and overnight. You should pack your things tonight or the next morning as your luggage will need to head to your next accommodation when you leave. 

Day 3 - Wednesday: 

After breakfast you and the horses will head back to Quinta da Ferraria to start the next leg of your journey. Today you are heading for Casais da Serra and will start out on some country tracks before the scenery and terrain becomes quite varied and more remote. You begin to have the feeling you are closer to the coast. The soil changes all the way and you will ride through eucalyptus plantations and areas of pine and low shrubs. Then you delve into thicker forest and follow the tracks of the stream, a lovely route which offers some welcome shade on hotter days. 

The tracks before you reach the lunch stop are steep and stony at times, really showing the fitness of your horse as they climb. After some light woodlands you will reach a restaurant in a small, old fortress where you will feed and tie the horses outside before joining the buffet. 

In the afternoon you will ride out from the town of Rio Maior and on to country lanes interspersed with cork trees. Your overnight stop is the beautiful Quinta do Vale Formoso, home to a welcoming English couple who are keen on Eventing. Your luggage will be waiting for you. This is truly a wonderful setting with great facilities for the horses and spacious rooms for you too. You can take a dip in the pool or simply take a hot shower and enjoy a cold beer. Dinner tonight is very nearby in a small restaurant. 

Day 4 - Thursday: 

Breakfast is served in the quinta kitchen, after which you should head to the stables with your luggage which will be collected later on. Departure is generally around 9:30 - 10:00 and you will make your way towards Óbidos, a charming old town known for its festivals throughout the year. The route this morning offers views of open countryside and farmlands, as well as country lanes through orchards of fruit trees (maybe you can pick a sneaky apple for your horse!). 

A picnic lunch is served in a peaceful spot before you ride on for a few more hours to your next accommodation. This is a rural guesthouse located on the outskirts of town and owned by a delightful older man who organises everything himself, from the bookings to the breakfast. The horses stay on site with you and will have a good rest tonight. You might wish to take a swim, depending on the weather, or simply to shower ready for dinner out in the town. Overnight in the guesthouse. 

Day 5 - Friday: 

Today is your last riding day and you will be riding for the ‘Silver Coast’! Your host will serve a wonderful breakfast in the dining room, complete with fresh fruit and pastries as well as local meats, cheeses and fresh bread rolls. You will head down to meet your horses, mounting up ready to enjoy this last day. You will ride through parts of the town to get to the tracks running alongside the picturesque lagoon with many a great photo opportunity. The riding today is more easy-going and open with plenty of chance to feel the breeze as you come ever closer to the beach. 

The horses are fed and tied in the shade when you reach a restaurant with lagoon views. The fresh clams here make for a delicious lunch! After you and the horses are well-rested it’s time to head for the sea, enjoying some fantastic fast canters on the way. It’s often possible to see shoals of silver fish swimming and jumping in the lagoon waters as you ride by and the wild rosemary lining the tracks gives a pleasant scent. 

You will turn on to the sand and follow the edge of the lagoon waters, watching as the sand becomes more pale. Before you know it, you can hear the waves and then will find the blue ocean before you. This clean, picturesque beach is a wonderful end destination - depending on the sand, you may be able to enjoy some great canters there, feeling the power of your Lusitano horse. 

After enjoying some time by the sea, you will to a nearby bar to find a drink for the horses and yourselves. You will all be met by your transport who will take you back to Quinta dos Pinheiros where the horses can settle back in at home and you can prepare for a final dinner. This may be in a nearby restaurant or served on site. 

Day 6 - Saturday:

After a final breakfast and fond farewell to your horse, who you will find in one of the quinta's paddocks, it’s time to head back to Lisbon airport for departure. Flights should be booked for 12:00 onwards in order to take advantage of the transfers included but those leaving earlier or continuing travel in Portugal can take an easy train from Santarém station. There is sometimes time in the mornings for guests to book a riding lesson with Pedro Neves - please enquire with them if you are interested to take advantage of this opportunity.



Minimum group size: 3
Maximum group size: 6
Ability description: To enjoy this trail you should feel comfortable to ride in all three paces, walk, trot and canter, including longer periods of rising trot and canter. This trail is technical more demanding than our Lusitano trail and includes some even longer riding days. Your fitness and experience makes several hours in the saddle possible.
Type of ride: Trail.
Total riding time: 5 - 6.5 hours per day for 4 days, plus a short ride on arrival day.
Departure dates: 2017: 2 - 7 April, 24 - 29 April, 25 - 30 May, 22 - 27 June, 10 - 15 July, 24 - 29 July, 28 August - 2 September, 25 - 30 September, 9 - 14 October.
 
Pricing: 2017:

The price is £1312 per person.
Single supplement - please enquire.

This includes set time Lisbon airport transfers, 5 nights of double or twin room accommodation, all meals, drinks during the rides and meals (inc. water, coffee, tea, beer and wine), 4 full riding days (4 - 6.5 hours per day) and a short ride (1 - 2 hours) on arrival day.