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Alentejo Retreat

Overview

This family-run farm has been a place for breeding and raising horses for generations. Having recently been restored it is now a modern-feeling equestrian centre for training and enjoying spending time with horses. The farm is located approximately 150 km from Lisbon in the central Portuguese regio…

Highlights

  • Beautiful countryside location with off road trails
  • Private accommodation perfect for families or groups
  • Personal attention from an experienced coach and guide
  • Relaxed & flexible riding to suit all abilities
  • Flexible board packages to suit your needs!

Essential Facts

  • 3 itineraries available
  • Max 4 riders per group
  • Average of 1 - 2 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90 kg / 198 lbs / 14 stone 2 lbs - riders over this limit may be accepted provided they are balanced in the saddle (please ask)

Description

This family-run farm has been a place for breeding and raising horses for generations. Having recently been restored it is now a modern-feeling equestrian centre for training and enjoying spending time with horses. The farm is located approximately 150 km from Lisbon in the central Portuguese region of Alentejo and is owned and run by Laura and her family.

Laura manages the smooth running of her riding retreats. The modern equestrian centre offers excellent infrastructure for horses and riders, composed of 8 stables with plenty of natural light, an indoor school (20 x 40 m), an outdoor obstacle course (60 x 70 m) with silica sand footing, an electrical horse walker and 6 large paddocks. The horses can enjoy turnout most of the year, with time in nature and plenty of freedom. In addition to the training facilities, the region is also fantastic for trail riding and you will be able to take advantage not only of the 300-hectare farmland but also all the stunning surrounding landscapes that are classified as a National Ecological Reserve. It's possible to enjoy trail rides of several hours without ever crossing paved roads, passing through dams, and traversing the typical landscape of the Alentejo, with its typical cork oak and olive tree-dotted meadows - a rural and natural environment.

The horses here are predominantly retired competition horses from the fields of dressage and show jumping and the centre can cater for riders of a novice level right up to intermediate. Laura and the other instructors speak very good English. Laura has been a show jumper competing in classes up to 130 cm for some 15 years and a keen endurance rider, competing over distances up to 120km on her own horses.

Laura is above all a horse lover and is passionate to teach how in a natural and balanced way, humans and horses can enjoy each other's company.

Horses & Riding

Tack

The horses are ridden in good-quality English tack.

Horses

During your stay, you will have the chance to meet some Lusitano and Lusitano Cruzado horses, as well as German and French warmbloods that are now retired from the worlds of competitive dressage or showjumping.

Riding

There are 3 itineraries:

  • Ride & Relax Clinic is a based ride
  • Riding & Yoga is a based ride
  • Riding & Art is a based ride

Ages

Nones within reason. Riders under the age 18 must be accompanied by and adult.

Health

No specific requirements for riders, but you should be moderately fit and happy to ride for up to 3 hours per day.

Weight

90 kg / 198 lbs / 14 stone 2 lbs - riders over this limit may be accepted provided they are balanced in the saddle (please ask)

Food & Accommodation

Food

The programmes offered here are on a self-catered board basis. The house has a fully equipped kitchen available, so guests can prepare their own meals during their stay. There are several local supermarkets in neighbouring towns and Laura is always happy to take guests who do not have their own transport to town to shop if she is heading this way as well. Those with a hire car might like to visit a local restaurant for lunch or in the evening (your hosts are always happy to make recommendations).

For one or two days you might choose to take a meal with your host, Laura, and her family. There is a small extra charge for this, which is paid locally. The menu will vary according to the time of year and what's available each season. There is also a lovely organic vegetable garden at the farm and you are welcome to sample some of the homegrown produce if you wish. Vegetarian or special dietary requirements can be catered to with prior information.

Accommodation

During your stay, you will be accommodated at the small yet beautiful country house which is located at the heart of this little country estate. Offering 360-degree views of natural beauty, it is a place where you can appreciate the silence. The house has been sympathetically renovated to preserve the traditional characteristics of an Alentejo home. It has two suites and a living room with a fireplace and a fully equipped kitchen. The living room opens onto a porch with a lovely sunset. The home is decorated with a traditional wood-fired clay-tiled floor.

Itineraries

Ride & Relax Clinic Standard accommodation.

Riding & Yoga Standard accommodation.

Riding & Art Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

There are several activities for when you’re not in the saddle and for non-riders: you may like to take a ceramics or painting workshop, yoga or meditation classes. When it becomes hot, you might like to take a refreshing dip in the swimming pool!

The surrounding area is wonderful for walking, jogging or bike riding, through the extensive, beautiful, unspoilt countryside.

Cultural visits to other nearby towns, such as the UNESCO World Heritage City of Évora (located just a 45-minute drive from the farm). It's even possible to schedule olive oil and wine-tasting visits with local producers.

During the summer months, the days can be too hot for riding other than the early morning or evening. During the day your hosts can suggest a visit to Alqueva — The big lake (a 1-hour drive) where you can enjoy swimming, a boat trip and a variety of water sports; or to the beach (c. 1-hour drive) of Comporta, Carvalhal and Pego.

Travel

Lisbon will be the closest airport to this destination and from here we can arrange your transfer by shuttle at an additional cost. The journey takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Alternatively, it is very simple to take the train from Lisbon Oriente railway station direct to Casa Branca or Évora. You will need to take the metro or a taxi from the airport to the Oriente train station, which takes around 10-15 minutes. The train journey from Lisbon to Evora will take around 1 hour and 30 minutes on a direct intercity service (longer if you take a rural service). Your hosts will be able to collect you from Casa Branca or Evora stations (approx. 45 minutes from the Quinta).

You may prefer to hire a car as car rental is fairly cheap in Portugal. Hiring a car will enable you the flexibility to explore further in this wonderful area when you are not riding. Driving directions and GPS location can be provided on request.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

You will be welcomed to the charming farmhouse accommodation on your arrival. A transfers form Lisbon airport can be organised for you if you require it on this day.

If time allows, then you may be able to enjoy a first introductory ride this day. If time is limited, then you will be able to ride before departure instead.

Days 2 to 6

Riding: 1 - 3 hours

This six-night programme is perfect for those who want to learn about horses. Your host, Laura, is an experienced and keen horse rider who loves to teach people the joys of riding and living daily with horses. You will enjoy a wonderful introduction to the world of horses as well as a chance to explore this beautiful country farm. Enjoy learning correct riding principles through a mixture of classic tuition, starting from grooming and tacking to learning about horse behaviour, with all the respect that the horse's nature and emotions require. You will take some relaxing trail rides in the surrounding National Ecological Reserve which is just stunning. Traverse the typical landscape of the Alentejo, with its Cork Oak forests and Olive groves, in a rural and natural environment.

The riding schedule is flexible and can be tailored to suit your needs and preferences. Normally you will ride in the mornings when the temperatures are cooler and have the afternoons free to relax or explore the local area.

Day 7 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast with fond memories of your time in Alentejo. For those who have time, you may be able to enjoy a final ride out with your newfound friends.

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

All levels and experiences of riders can be accommodated at this destination, from very beginners to experienced equestrians who enjoy a relaxed and easy-going holiday.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 4
Departure windows

At any time during: May 1, 2023 - Oct. 31, 2023  (* Dates available to suit with flexible arrival and departure days.)

Pricing

2023
Non-rider; Sharing
£240 $290 €270
* Price includes no meals or drinks, but you will have use of a fully equipped kitchen during your stay.
2023
Rider: Sharing
£910 $1100 €1025
* Price includes no meals or drinks, but you will have use of a fully equipped kitchen during your stay.
Included 6 nights of accommodation in a 2 bedroom cottage and 6 days of riding (c. 1-3 hours per day).
Not included Meals, drinks, flights, travel insurance, transfers, other activities, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Lisbon Airport Transfer £178 $215 €200
Paid to Far and Ride
The cost is per vehicle, each way.
2023 - Children aged 2 and under Children and babies aged up to 2 years will stay free of charge.
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 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

You will be welcomed to the charming farmhouse accommodation on your arrival. Transfer from Lisbon airport can be organised for you if you require it on this day.

If time allows, then you may be able to enjoy a first introductory ride this day. If time is limited, then you will be able to ride before departure instead.

Days 2 to 3

Riding: 1 - 3 hours

Over the next 2 days, you will enjoy riding, yoga and/or meditation sessions, allowing for a few relaxed and restorative
days. The stay is also a chance to strengthen your relationship with horses and reconnect with nature. Taking place in the heart of the Alentejo, you will find that the farm is an ideal setting in which to find tranquillity and focus your body and mind.

Your host, Laura, is an experienced and keen horse rider who loves to teach people the joys of riding and living daily with horses. You can enjoy a wonderful introduction to the world of horses as well as the chance to explore this beautiful country farm on horseback. Surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes classified as National Ecological Reserve is stunning, traversing a typical landscape of the Alentejo, with its Cork Oak forests and Olive tree groves - a rural and natural environment.

Yoga and/or meditation classes will be taken out in the countryside or on your cottage porch. A focus will be placed on improving your posture for riding, focusing on building your concentration and balance as well as feeling centred. Guests can choose between a yoga or meditation class each day.

For more information about the Yoga ashram that provides the classes, please visit: www.yogaevora.com

Day 4 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast with fond memories of your time in Alentejo. For those who have time, you may be able to enjoy a final ride out with your newfound friends.

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

All levels and experiences of riders can be accommodated at this destination, from very beginners to experienced equestrians who enjoy a relaxed and easy-going holiday.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 4
Departure windows

At any time during: May 1, 2023 - Oct. 31, 2023  (* Dates available to suit with flexible arrival and departure days.)

Pricing

2023
Non-rider; sharing
£120 $145 €135
* Price includes no meals or drinks, but you will have use of a fully equipped kitchen during your stay.
2023
Rider: Sharing
£640 $780 €725
* Price includes no meals or drinks, but you will have use of a fully equipped kitchen during your stay.
Included 3 nights of accommodation in a 2-bedroom cottage, daily riding (c. 1-3 hours per day) and 2 days of yoga or meditation.
Not included Meals, drinks, flights, travel insurance, transfers, other activities, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Lisbon Airport Transfer £178 $215 €200
Paid to Far and Ride
The cost is per vehicle, each way.
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 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

You will be welcomed to the charming farmhouse accommodation on your arrival. A transfer from Lisbon airport can be organised for you if you require it on this day.

If time allows, then you may be able to enjoy a first introductory ride this day. If time is limited, then you will be able to ride before departure instead.

Days 2 to 3

Riding: 1 - 3 hours

Over the next 2 days, you will enjoy a combination of relaxed riding and specialised art classes for a programme perfect for those who want to learn about horses and find their inner artist.

Your host, Laura, is not only an experienced horse rider who loves to teach people the joys of riding and living daily with horses, but also an artist with a Master's degree in Visual Arts from the University of Évora. As Laura's guest you will enjoy relaxing rides in the surrounding countryside, traversing a typical Alentejo landscape, with its Cork Oak forests and Olive groves in a rural and natural environment. In the studio (which, by the way, is in the stables), you will learn to make traditional, ceramics or painting techniques of your choice.

Ceramics:
You will start by learning what clay is, what its characteristics and properties are and how to manipulate it in order to build different shapes. All the clays used are Portuguese natural clays. Throughout this workshop, you will learn free modelling and different decoration techniques. Finally, you learn - theoretically - about the final step of ceramic making; the firing process. When your work is fired and ready, Laura will send photographs or, if you wish, it can be shipped to you (at extra cost).

Painting:
In this workshop, you can choose between several painting techniques using mediums such as; gouache, aquarelle, oil or acrylic. You will have canvases of different sizes and different kinds of paper at your disposal. Plein air painting is encouraged. And, if you don’t know how to draw, don’t think you can't still paint!

For more information about Laura's portfolio and CV please visit: www.lauravitorinorebelo.art

Day 4 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast with fond memories of your time in Alentejo. For those who have time, you may be able to enjoy a final ride out with your newfound friends.

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

All levels and experiences of riders can be accommodated at this destination, from very beginners to experienced equestrians who enjoy a relaxed and easy-going holiday.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 4
Departure windows

At any time during: May 1, 2023 - Oct. 31, 2023  (* Dates available to suit with flexible arrival and departure days.)

Pricing

2023
Non-rider; Sharing
£120 $145 €135
* Price includes no meals or drinks, but you will have use of a fully equipped kitchen during your stay.
2023
Rider; Sharing
£590 $715 €665
* Price includes no meals or drinks, but you will have use of a fully equipped kitchen during your stay.
Included 3 nights of accommodation in a 2-bedroom cottage, daily riding (c. 1-3 hours per day) and 2 days of painting or ceramics making.
Not included Meals, drinks, flights, travel insurance, transfers, other activities, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Lisbon Airport Transfer £178 $215 €200
Paid to Far and Ride
The cost is per vehicle, each way.
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.