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Alentejo Coastal Trails

Overview

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 …

Highlights

  • Wonderful Lusitano Horses
  • Ride from the hills down to the coast, with lovely view
  • Ride along deserted white sand beaches
  • Canter on long sandy tracks and through the lagoon
  • Enjoy great local, fresh food and wines

Essential Facts

  • 2 itineraries available
  • Max 10 riders per group
  • Average of 4 - 6 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90kgs / 198 lbs / 14st 2lbs.
    more info Only two horses can carry this weight.

Description

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 a high standard - you can be guaranteed a well-cared-for, responsive horse on these fantastic rides.

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. This is a great option for those who enjoy an energetic ride!

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.

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.

This destination was visited by Cathy from Far and Ride in October 2017 and she'll be happy to tell you all about it.

Please note that whilst riding on the beach is always possible, cantering is dependent on tides as the sand is very deep. If you cannot canter on the beach then there are still plenty of opportunities near the lagoon, through the sand dunes and forests etc.

Horses & Riding

Tack

You will ride in English-style saddles and English-style bridles.

Horses

The horses are mostly Lusitano crosses. They are calm and easy to ride, so although you do not need to be an expert rider, you should be comfortable and in balance at all paces as well as confident riding outdoors. There are horses to suit all abilities, with more forward-going mounts for those riders who would like them.

Riding

There are 2 itineraries:

  • Alentejo Coastal Trail is a trail ride
  • Short-Break is a based ride

Ages

16 years and over. Please contact the office if the child is an experienced rider under that age

Health

None specific, just general good health

Weight

90kgs / 198 lbs / 14st 2lbs. Only two horses can carry this weight.

Food & Accommodation

Food

You will eat typical Alentejo cuisine including lots of fish and local meats. Vegetarians can be catered for with advance notice.

Lunch is usually a picnic taken out on the trail. Dinner will be in local restaurants or served at the hotel 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 to drink wine or whatever you might fancy.

Accommodation

You stay in good hotels or pousadas which are clean and comfortable. Both double and single rooms are available. The hotels have swimming pools. See individual itineraries for more information.

Itineraries

Alentejo Coastal Trail Standard accommodation.

Short-Break Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

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 but no specific activities are arranged. You can relax at the hotels and explore the locality or hire a car to venture further afield.

Travel

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.

For both rides you should arrive by 4.30pm to allow time to collect your luggage before the transfer which departs at 5.30pm.

For the week long trail, your departure flight should leave midday or later to allow time for the road transfer, which takes 2-3 hours.
For the short break, your departure flight should leave in the evening so that you can enjoy the morning ride and lunch before heading to the airport (which again takes 2-3 hours).

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 usually meet you there, but we will confirm this with you.

Testimonials

Janet F., Oct. 11, 2021

The horses were lovely and well trained. Luis was a great guide and was knowledgable in the local area. We were lucky that there was only the two of us riding with Luis. His family were the backup crew and they would provide a picnic lunch. We stayed in an amazing hotel and the breakfasts were amazing - these were delivered in a basket each morning. We ate in two different restaurants in the vicinity of Melides and then on the last night ate in the hotel. The swimming pool was great too and was much used. Favourite memory? Riding along the sand dunes and beach of Melides.


Anne S., June 24, 2019

The horses were in good condition - they don't sweating after we had trot or gallop. And there were well cared for! The horses behaved well - they were all very nice. Luis was a great guy! Without him the trip wouldn't have been so stunning. He had a good sense of humour, we laughed a lot! We enjoyed a lot! He did everything to make our holiday such a success as it was!


Susan R., May 29, 2018

We had an excellent time. Luis took us on great rides every day - beach rides were fantastic - I had never seen such pristine shoreline. <Favourite Memory?> Beach riding and going up the sand dune hill on the horse. <Food and Accommodation?> Luis' family welcomed us and lunches prepared by Luis' mom were excellent. Accommodations were outstanding at both Nomade and La Serenada. <Guide?> Luis was an excellent guide. He was very attentive to us, our comfort and the horses as well.


Tracey S., May 2, 2018

Amazing from start to finish - didn't want it to end! Good company, good food, good weather and fantastic accommodation, horses and guide. Too many favourite memories to choose just one - riding in the sea, great canters and gallop, good evening entertainment etc. Luis and his family couldn't have been nicer or done anything more for us.


Joy V., Oct. 17, 2017

Loved every Minute!! Had an amazing time. (Favourite memory?) The peaceful feeling of being on the beach with the horses. I also loved how much we all laughed and enjoyed each day. Hotel and food were excellent. Luis was a delight as a guide. He was relaxed, kind to the horses and kind to us.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

You will be met at Lisbon airport at 17:30 and transferred c. 120km south to your accommodation in Grandola, which is only 15km from the sea. Your charming rural hotel has friendly staff and is equipped with the same comforts as a modern hotel - likely A Serenada but alternative hotels of a similar standard may be used. 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 2 - Sunday

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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 3 - Monday

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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 there 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 4 - Tuesday

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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 tides allow and 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 back to the horses paddocks.

NB. Tides may mean that canters are not possible on the beach as the dry sand is very deep, but there are still plenty of canters through the dunes and forests.

Day 5 - Wednesday

Riding: No riding.

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. Meals are not included today so that you can take advantage of the different restaurants on offer, but your guide will happily make suggestions.

Today you will also pack up your belongings as you will be at a different hotel tonight.

Day 6 - Thursday

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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 before reaching your picnic spot amongst the dunes. After lunch ride back to the same hotel for another night, but dinner will be taken in a local restaurant.

Day 7 - Friday

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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 8 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast you are transferred back to Lisbon airport for your flight home.

Accommodation

You stay in comfortable local hotels in twin/double rooms with private bathrooms.

You spend the first half of the week in one hotel and then change to a second hotel. Your guide chooses from a number of different hotels depending on availability and the group dynamic, but popular options are A Serenada, Ponte Pedra or Nomade

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

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.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

Feb. 18, 2023 - Feb. 25, 2023

March 4, 2023 - March 11, 2023

March 25, 2023 - April 1, 2023

April 15, 2023 - April 22, 2023

May 13, 2023 - May 20, 2023

May 20, 2023 - May 27, 2023

June 24, 2023 - July 1, 2023

Sept. 23, 2023 - Sept. 30, 2023

Oct. 7, 2023 - Oct. 14, 2023

Pricing

2023
Rider, sharing
£1500 $1840 €1750
Included 7 nights accommodation, 5 days of riding, all meals (except on rest day), drinks at breakfast & lunch, transfers at set times
Not included Flights, travel insurance, drinks with dinner, meals on rest day, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Single Supplement £255 $315 €300
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable unless a sharer is found
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 - Thursday

Riding: No riding.

Arrive in Lisbon International Airport and transfer South at 17:30 for approximately 120km, to your accommodation in Grândola, 1.5km from the sea. Here you will find a relaxed atmosphere where you can swim or rest in the comfortable rooms before your first day in the saddle. Dinner on the first evening is at a typical Alentejo restaurant “Tia Rosa” which is 5 minutes by car from your hotel, where the speciality of the house is Arroz de Pato Duck Rice.

Day 2 - Friday

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Today starts with a short drive to the stables where the horses are. Start riding from here through the hills of Grândola with beautiful panoramic views of the sea. After the first few canters, you will notice that the horses are sure footed and have a wonderful character. Lunch will be a delicious picnic prepared with grilled meats and salad accompanied by fresh bread and of course great Portuguese wine! After a rest, ride back through the forest to Coudelaria Quinta do Almargem where you stable the horses. A short transfer of 10 mins will have you back at your hotel, where you can refresh, have a swim in the pool and prepare for dinner - this evening you will likely be going to Fadista Restaurant in Melides.

Day 3 - Saturday

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Today you will ride through Eucalyptus forests, enjoying their distinctive perfume and hear the bark crunching underneath the horses’ hooves. Lunch will be at the Lagoon of Santo André where you can eat the grilled specialities of the house (fresh fish or meat). Afterwards, you ride down the almost deserted beach and up into the dunes. There is the opportunity for some fast canters on the sandy trails that cross this part of the Portuguese countryside. You'll leave the horses at purpose built paddocks amongst the eucalyptus and transfer back to your hotel for dinner and to overnight.

Day 4 - Sunday

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

Today you ride from the paddocks and back along part of the beach, before heading inland to the village of Melides. There will be more opportunities for faster riding through the pine forests on red earth paths alternating with those of sand - you may meet herds of cattle or sheep. Lunch will be at a local restaurant in Melides. After lunch, transfer to Lisbon International Airport for departure. Flights should depart in the evening to allow time for the transfer of 2.5 hours.

Accommodation

You stay in a comfortable local hotel with private bathroom. This is usually Uva do Monte but may vary depending on availability.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

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.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

Feb. 23, 2023 - Feb. 26, 2023

March 9, 2023 - March 12, 2023

March 23, 2023 - March 26, 2023

April 13, 2023 - April 16, 2023

May 11, 2023 - May 14, 2023

June 22, 2023 - June 25, 2023

Sept. 21, 2023 - Sept. 24, 2023

Oct. 12, 2023 - Oct. 15, 2023

Pricing

2023
Rider, sharing
£805 $990 €940
Included 3 nights accommodation, 2.5 days of riding, all meals from dinner on arrival day until lunch on departure day, drinks at breakfast & lunch, transfers at set times.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, drinks with dinner, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Single Supplement £171 $210 €200
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable by anyone in a single room.
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.