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North Portugal Dressage & Wine Estate

Overview

This beautiful rural hotel and wine estate is set on the edge of the stunning Serra da Estrela National Park in northern Portugal. Offering guests the chance to discover the delights of artisan wine making, the traditions of sheep herding and cheese making in this farming mountain region and the wo…

Highlights

  • Sample the beautiful wines produced on the estate
  • Ride well schooled lusitano horses
  • Ample personal attention with one-to-one instruction
  • Enjoy delicious locally sourced and seasonal dishes
  • Relax in the peaceful surroundings of the Serra Estrela

Essential Facts

  • 2 itineraries available
  • Max 4 riders per group (10 in camp)
  • Average of 2 hours riding per day
  • No weight limit.

Description

This beautiful rural hotel and wine estate is set on the edge of the stunning Serra da Estrela National Park in northern Portugal. Offering guests the chance to discover the delights of artisan wine making, the traditions of sheep herding and cheese making in this farming mountain region and the wonders of the Lusitano horse breed - a horse synonymous with Portugal and its history.

The hotel was opened in 2012 by the estate's present owners who purchased the old farm property and its acres of vineyards 5 years prior. The purchase was a culmination of a lifelong dream to return to a simpler and more traditional lifestyle - a project that respects the natural world and ancestral history of the region. The modern realisation of this dream allows for the owners to share their passion for the old wines, delicious produce and sympathetic farming practices that have thrived in this region for centuries. The farm houses not only the vineyards (some dating back 40+ years), but also ancient olive groves, fruit orchards of apple and pear, peacefully grazing herds of sheep and lusitano horses, as well as stray dogs rescued from the local area too.

Riding guests can enjoy the stunning surroundings of the farm while refining their dressage skills, or enjoying a more relaxed combination of dressage lessons and cultural tours within the farm. Riding groups are limited to 3-4 riders at a time allowing for plenty of personal attention with one-to-one tuition available. The ten riding horses are mostly Lusitano purebred, both stallions and mares, at various stages in their training. Three of the lesson horses are trained to Grand Prix level and others are available for less experienced riders too. Lessons are taught by Portuguese dressage rider Nuno Carvalho who competes his own horses at Prix St Georges to international level as well as training young horses and ensuring the continued education of the riding school horses.

Horses & Riding

Tack

The horses are ridden in good quality English style tack with dressage saddles used during dressage lessons. Riders have the option to ride in either a snaffle or double bridle according to preference and level of training. The horses are ridden in simple snaffles or traditional double bit (a weymouth and bridoon).

Horses

The horses are predominant Lusitano, with one Warmblood and one Friesian. They are well schooled and vary in age from youngsters just starting out their training to older, calm natured school horses well suited to less experienced of nervous riders. Three of the school horses are trained to Grand Prix level.

The horses receive turn out each day, either on their own or with a companion to ensure their wellbeing.

Riding

There are 2 itineraries:

  • Dressage Programme is a based ride
  • Intensive Dressage Programme is a based ride

Health

General good health recommended.

Food & Accommodation

Food

During your stay at the hotel you will be able to enjoy a variety of delicious fresh cooked dishes which incorporate many ingredients grown of produced on the farm. For this reason dishes served in the restaurant are often seasonal, taking advantage of fresh, locally sourced ingredients that are available at different times of the year.

Enjoy tasty olive oils made from olives harvested in the olive groves, or a variety of tasty sheep cheeses made using milk form the flock which graze between the vineyards and, of course, a wide range of wines distilled in the winery on-site.

Breakfast will consist of a selection of cheeses, breads, cakes and jams (also made from the fruit from the orchards), as well as fresh fruit, homemade yogurt and eggs cooked to your preference.

Lunches and dinners will be 3 courses including a starter, main and desert and can be accompanied by your choice of wines.

Specific dietary requirements can be accommodated with prior notice.

Accommodation

The hotel was opened in 2012 and features several beautifully appointed double/twin rooms, suites and master suites for a truly comfortable stay. All guest rooms have en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning, TVs, Wifi access, hairdryers, safes and a mini fridge, as well as balconies or patios from which to enjoy the views of the wine estate and the surrounding Serra da Estrela national park.

Please note: The hotel is pet friendly and welcomes guest's own pets. There are also two friendly resident cats who are often found in the reception area of the hotel (they are not permitted in guest bedrooms or the restaurant). The farm also runs a dog shelter and there are 94 resident dogs on the property of varying breeds and size. The dogs are mostly kept in enclosed areas away from guests, although you may encounter friendly dogs around the stable yard.

Itineraries

Dressage Programme Standard accommodation.

Intensive Dressage Programme Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

As well as the riding, during your time at the hotel you might like to take advantage of some of the other activities offered here. These include;

- Wine tasting
- Cheese tasting
- Shepherd experience (herding and milking; seasonal)
- fruit harvest (seasonal)
- carriage rides
- swimming pool (seasonal)
- massages

The local area also offers a variety of interesting sights, including several ancient monasteries and castles as well as museums and, of course, the Serra da Estrela national park itself. Just a few minutes drive away you will find the start of many popular hiking routes with varying levels of difficulty to choose from. Route maps can be provided for you at the hotel and a picnic lunch is available with prior arrangements.

Travel

Porto in the north of Portugal, is the closest international airport to the hotel, with a journey of around 2 hours each way.

We are able to organise airport transfers for guests through a local taxi company at an extra cost, or you may prefer to hire a car and self drive. We can provide driving directions in this case and having access to your own transport means you are able to explore this amazing region independently when not riding.

Due to the remote nature of the hotel there are very few public transport options for guests to take. The nearest train station is Mangualde (about 20-25 minutes by taxi from the hotel) and this is reachable from Porto by taking a connecting train in Coimbra.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

Arrive in the afternoon, check-in to your room and take some time to relax in the beautiful surroundings before dinner is served in the restaurant that evening.

Days 2 to 6

Riding: 1 hours

Breakfast will be served in the restaurant each morning before you head to the stables for your lessons over the next 5 days.

Lunch is again served in the restaurant and the afternoons are yours to explore the local area, relax at the hotel or perhaps book an excursion or tour of the winery.

Dinner will be served in the restaurant each evening - you may like to sample some of the delicious wines made right here!

Day 7

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast this morning you are free to depart.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

All levels of rider can be accommodated, from novice through to experience.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 4
Accommodation for up to 10.
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2024 - Dec. 31, 2024  (Dates to suit dependent on availability.)

Pricing

2024
Rider; Standard room; Single occupancy
£1110 $1410 €1300
2024
Rider; Standard room; double occupancy
£940 $1190 €1100
2024
Rider; Suite; single occupancy
£1315 $1670 €1540
2024
Rider; Suite; Double occupancy
£1110 $1410 €1300
Included 6 nights accommodation, full board meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, use of the facilities at the hotel and 5 dressage lessons.
Not included Flights, transfers, travel insurance, drinks, other activities such as guided tour of the farm or wine and cheese tastings, tips and any other personal expenses.

Extras

2024 - Porto Airport Transfer (1-3 pax) £154 $195 €180
Paid to Far and Ride
Cost is per car, each way, based on 1-3 passengers.
2024 - Porto Airport Transfer (4+ pax) £197 $245 €230
Paid to Far and Ride
Cost is per car, each way, based on 4 or more passengers.
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.

Arrive in the afternoon, check-in to your room and take some time to relax in the beautiful surroundings before dinner is served in the restaurant that evening.

Days 2 to 6

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

Breakfast will be served in the restaurant each morning before you head to the stables. You will ride twice per day over the next 5 days.

Lunch is again served in the restaurant and in your free time you may like to explore the local area, relax at the hotel or perhaps book an excursion or tour of the winery.

Dinner will be served in the restaurant each evening - you may like to sample some of the delicious wines made right here!

Day 7

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast this morning you are free to depart.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Predominantly intermediate and experienced dressage riders who are riding regularly. Less experienced riders may be accepted, but should be fit enough to ride fairly hard twice per day.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 4
Accommodation for up to 10.
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2024 - Dec. 31, 2024  (Dates to suit dependent on availability.)

Pricing

2024
Rider; Suite; Single occupancy
£1570 $1995 €1840
2024
Rider; Suite; Double occupancy
£1315 $1670 €1540
2024
Rider; Standard room; double occupancy
£1110 $1410 €1300
2024
Rider; Standard room; Single occupancy
£1365 $1735 €1600
Included 6 nights accommodation, full board meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, use of the facilities at the hotel, 9 dressage lessons. and one trail ride on the farm property
Not included Flights, transfers, travel insurance, drinks, other activities such as guided tour of the farm or wine and cheese tastings, tips and any other personal expenses.

Extras

2024 - Porto Airport Transfer (1-3 pax) £154 $195 €180
Paid to Far and Ride
Cost is per car, each way, based on 1-3 passengers.
2024 - Porto Airport Transfer (4+ pax) £197 $245 €230
Paid to Far and Ride
Cost is per car, each way, based on 4 or more passengers.
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.