Ask a Question

Check Availability

Azores - Faial Island Trails

Overview

This welcoming quinta, based on the island of Faial in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean, offers a choice of trails. Guests are accommodated in a comfortable lodge or guesthouse whilst on the trail, sampling local Azorean cuisine and riding a beautiful Lusitano or cro…

Highlights

  • Flexible packages and choice of trails
  • Fabulous new lodge with great Atlantic views
  • Well schooled, sure footed horses including Lusitano
  • Host of other activities including whale watching

Essential Facts

  • 2 itineraries available
  • Max 9 riders per group
  • Average of 20 - 25 kilometres riding per day
  • Weight limit: 95kg / 210 lbs / 15 st

Description

This welcoming quinta, based on the island of Faial in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean, offers a choice of trails. Guests are accommodated in a comfortable lodge or guesthouse whilst on the trail, sampling local Azorean cuisine and riding a beautiful Lusitano or crossbreed around the island. Faial is famed for the beautiful hydrangeas which bloom across the land and it offers magnificent scenery from the blue ocean to the bright green meadows and black basalt beaches. The Azores are also one of the best places for whale/dolphin watching as the large marine mammals migrate past the islands - if you are lucky you may see them from the clifftops whilst riding - or you can book a whale-watching boat trip for closer sightings.

The week-long trails that circumnavigate the island and these are on offer all year round with no set arrival day. During the trail rides, the horses are stationed at paddocks or stables along the riding route each evening, whilst riders return to the guesthouse. The trails are primarily suited towards intermediate riders and above but less experienced riders may be accommodated by prior arrangement.

Faial is a wonderful island to explore and can offer a host of other activities such as diving, hiking, golf, sailing, swimming, water sports and even whale watching! This makes it a great choice for couples or families who may have different interests. You can also do a bit of 'island hopping' and visit Pico and Sao Jorge nearby. The climate is warm and mild (though humid) with temperatures suitable for riding all year long.

Horses & Riding

Tack

The horses are all ridden in purpose-made Prestige trekking saddles, which are incredibly comfortable for long hours of riding. Some of the horses are ridden in bitless bridles and all are accustomed to a loose rein. Saddlebags and Australian raincoats are available for guests to use.

Horses

The horses are all Lusitanos and Lusitano Crosses (Cruzado). The horses are calm, well-mannered, fit for the trails and able to cope with the hilly and varied terrain. They live out together all year long in the meadows or in a large open barn if a shelter is needed during the wettest winter weather.

Riding

There are 2 itineraries:

  • Faial Island Trail is a based ride
  • New Year Ride is a based ride

Ages

Riders must be 16 or older (please request if you child is younger).

Health

General good health recommended.

Weight

95kg / 210 lbs / 15 st

Food & Accommodation

Food

The quinta serves delicious organic meals with most of the ingredients being produced on the island. Everything is fresh, natural and healthy, such as juice from Faial's fruit, milk from the local farmer, warm bread from the village bakery and homemade marmalades and yoghurt.Lunch is often a picnic carried in saddlebags, consisting of typical Azorean snacks.

Dinners are cooked by the quinta's chef and are accompanied by local wines. Ingredients include high quality fish and meat alongside fresh vegetables and salad grown in their own garden. Dessert is usually fruit or a sweet made by according to a traditional recipe. Portuguese coffee is served afterwards.

Accommodation

Accommodation is in a new lodge which has been designed using local materials in a traditional style. There are five rooms with wonderful views of the Atlantic and the three neighbouring islands as well as a lovely garden to relax in. This is a great place to admire the marvellous views.

Itineraries

Faial Island Trail Standard accommodation.

New Year Ride Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

Diving, hiking, whale watching, sailing, cycling, golf, walking, mountain climbing, fishing. There is plenty for non riders and it is possible for bikers to join the horse riders for a picnic lunch.

Travel

Faial is located in the central group of the Azores archipelago. You can arrive only by plane. There are direct flights with SATA-Air Azores between Lisbon and Faial (Horta Airport). Transfers are included at the start and end of the riding programmes.

FlyTap (Air Portugal) also offer code-share flights to Horta so you can add your UK-Lisbon flight with no layover.

It is also possible to get to Pico Island with SATA from Lisbon and then take a ferryboard to Faial (30 minutes)

Testimonials

Kate M. (Sept 2018), Jan. 25, 2019

An incredible experience - beautiful place, lovely people, stunning views, amazing rides and loved the horses! Couldn't fault the horses at all! Equipment was more than adequate - was surprised at how comfortable the saddles were. (Favourite memory?) The canters down these beautiful paths and the bond you build with your horse. The holiday was perfect - nothing to improve.


Malcolm T., Oct. 9, 2015

Horses and tack were perfect. Guides perfect and friendly. (Favourite memory?) The superb scenery.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

You will arrive on one of the most attractive Azorean islands, on the early flight from Lisbon. You will be transferred by land rover to your accommodation. You will enjoy lunch or light snack. You can meet the horses and have a brief introduction before enjoying a typical Azorean dinner at the Qui

Day 2

Riding: 20 - 25 kilometres

Trail to the old lighthouse. Today you will have your first experience of this beautiful landscape surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. You will arrive at the forest park Cabouco where a typical Azorean picnic is waiting for you. You will canter through meadows surrounded by hedges full of hydrangea flowers and arrive at the old Lighthouse Farol da Riberinha.  From here the view of the Pico volcano is stunning. The horses will spend the night in a quiet paddock and you will be driven back to the lodge where  the day ends with a nice dinner.

Day 3

Riding: 20 - 25 kilometres

Trail to Horta the Sailors Town of the Azores. This morning you will continue the trail along the East coast. The Erica bushes along the way look like gigantic broccoli. You will ride on to the black lava beaches for which the islands are famous and stop for lunch in front of the black beach. In the afternoon you will ride to the Quinta São Lourenco - a Lusitano stud  close to the pretty capital city of Horta. There will be time to visit the town and perhaps visit the colourful sailor's harbour and enjoy a break at the most popular bar between Europe and America  Peter Cafe Sport. Here you can try the best gin and tonic along the Atlantic Ocean. You will enjoy another delicious dinner back at the lodge

Day 4

Riding: 20 - 25 kilometres

Trail along the South Coast. The trail continues through the beautiful green valleys and the air is full of thyme and mint aromas. Long straight dusty roads invite nice canters. After a picnic in the meadows you will arrive at the tropical Bay of Varadouro,  full of fruit gardens and old black stonewalls. You will ride through a thick tropical forest and reach the paddock where you leave your horse. You will return for another delicious meal at the lodge.

Day 5

Riding: 20 - 25 kilometres

Trail to the Volcano of Capelinhos. Today the trail leads us to the impressive and bizarre desert volcanic landscape of Capelinhos. The landscape is so lunar like that it has been used as a location for the filming of science fiction movies in the past. Ruins of old houses are buried with ash from the 1957 eruption. You can visit the lighthouse and underneath, the famous underground Volcano Museum.You will ride over parts of the new volcano and enjoy a break in a lonely volcanic cave.
In the afternoon long canters around Cabeço Verde - the green volcano, lead you back to the horses paddock for the evening. The day ends with a delicious food and drinks back at the lodge.

Day 6

Riding: 20 - 25 kilometres

Trail to the Black Beach of Faja. Today is a slightly shorter day. After a beautiful canter in a eucalyptus forest you descend down to the charming black sand of Fajã. Vineyards, gardens and wild romantic places are located in this beautiful site. You will ride to the black beach and, weather permitting, there may be fresh fish on the barbecue for lunch. After a nice canter back to your camp in the afternoon there is time to relax in the gardens at your lodge.

Day 7

Riding: 20 - 25 kilometres

Trail to the old whalers watch out - Vigias. Today is the last part of your trail. You will cross the island from the dry south to the green north. You will enjoy views over terraced meadows down to the blue ocean. At lunchtime you will arrive in the highest located village on the island; Ribeira Funda. Here you will enjoy a picnic at the Miradouro viewpoint. Sitting on a stone bench warmed-up by the sun, you will listen to the wind and to the buzzards. After a stop at the old Whale-Watching-Point of Vigia dos Cedros you will finally complete your Island-Round-Trail and arrive again at the lodge. Tonight you will have a big farewell dinner.

Day 8

Riding: No riding.

Departure. After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight. With the early flight from Faial back to Lisbon you should connect with an afternoon flight home.

Accommodation

Each night is spent at the newly renovated lodge with 5 guest rooms which offer views over the Atlantic ocean.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate onwards, capable of riding at all paces over a variety of different terrain.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 9
Departure windows

Feb. 10, 2021 - Feb. 17, 2021

March 7, 2021 - March 14, 2021

At any time during: April 1, 2021 - Oct. 31, 2021  (Flexible arrivals/departures)

Nov. 14, 2021 - Nov. 21, 2021

Pricing

2021
Low Season (November - March); Sharing
£1195 $1690 €1395
2021
High Season (April - October); Sharing
£1280 $1815 €1495
Included 7 nights accommodation in a double bedroom, all transfers during the programme, airport transfers, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, house wine and soft drinks with picnic lunch, 6 days riding with an experienced trail guide and activities as described in the itinerary.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, other drinks, extra activities, tips and personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Single Supplement, High Season (April-October) £270 $380 €315
Paid to Far and Ride
* Must be paid by anyone travelling alone.
2021 - Single Supplement, Low Season (November-March) £196 $275 €225
Paid to Far and Ride
* Must be paid by anyone travelling alone.
2021 - Group booking discount 15% discount for groups of 4 or more travelling together.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

You will be collected from the airport and transferred to your accommodation at Patio Lodge. In the evening there is a welcome dinner with your group.

Day 2 - The trail to the old lighthouse

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today you will have your first experience of this beautiful landscape surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. You will arrive at the forest park Cabouco, where a typical Azorean picnic is waiting for you. Canter through meadows surrounded by hedges full of Hydrangea flowers and arrive at the old Lighthouse Farol da Riberinha. From here the view of the Pico volcano is stunning. The day ends with a nice dinner back at the lodge.

Day 3 - The trail to Capelo

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

This morning you will ride up a mountain ridge and canter along with great views of the island forests. In the village of Ribeira Funda, you stop for a delicious lunch in a small island tavern. In the afternoon green fields will take you to the mysterious zone of Capelo, where you will ride through the jungle like trails towards the paddock for the evening. Dinner will be served for you at the end of the day back at the lodge

Day 4 - The volcano trail

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today the trail leads you to the impressive landscape of the Capelinhos volcano. You will see the lighthouse made famous by the pictures of the 1957-58 eruption and also ride past the ruins of buildings covered by the eruption. There is also an award winning underground Volcano Museum. After a lunch break and a drink, you will have a long canter around the green volcano, Canbeço Verde. The horses will settle to their paddock for the night and you to be able to return to the lodge to unwind and enjoy a wonderful evening meal with typical Azorean products.

Day 5 - Horta and New Year

Riding: No riding.

Today the horses will have a rest day and you will visit the port town of Horta. There will be a chance for a sight-seeing tour and to walk through the streets, visit the harbour and then take lunch near the beach of Porto Pim. As a conclusion to the tour, you can enjoy a gin & tonic in the world-famous sailing club "Peter Café Sport". In the early afternoon, you will drive back to the lodge. Time to relax. In the evening you go back to the city ready to enjoy the Azorean New Year's Eve menu in a cosy restaurant. Just before midnight, the New Year fireworks in the harbour light up with music and sparkling wine. During this special night, you are looking forward to 2021 with a view of the endless ocean.

Day 6 - Brunch and New Year ride

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

This morning after being served brunch you will ride out to the black sand beach of Fajã. The area is surrounded by both tropical gardens and vineyards. Afterwards, you will ride back to the lodge in time for dinner.

Day 7 - The mountain village of Ribeira Funda

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today is the last part of your trail. You will cross the island from the dry south to the green north, enjoying views over terraced meadows down to the blue ocean. At lunchtime you will arrive in the highest located village on the island; Ribeira Funda. Here you will enjoy a picnic at the Miradouro viewpoint. Sitting on a stone bench warmed-up by the sun, you will listen to the wind and to the buzzards. After a stop at the old Whale-Watching-Point of Vigia Dos Cedros, you will ride back to the lodge for a delicious farewell meal.

Day 8

Riding: No riding.

In the morning you will have one last breakfast before heading on to the airport for your flight home.

Accommodation

Each night is spent at the newly renovated lodge with 5 guest rooms which offer views over the Atlantic ocean.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate onwards, capable of riding at all paces over a variety of different terrain.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 9
Departure windows

Dec. 26, 2021 - Jan. 2, 2022

Pricing

2021
Sharing
£1280 $1815 €1495
Included 7 nights accommodation, 5 days of riding, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, a drink with meals, activities as described, airport transfers.
Not included Flights, additional drinks, extra activities, insurance, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Single Supplement £196 $275 €225
Paid to Far and Ride
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.