Vale de Ferreiros riding holiday in Portugal - Far and Ride
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Vale de Ferreiros, Portugal





Reviews



Overall, the gracious and amicable nature of the hosts and the friendly staff at this destination ensures that it is the perfect getaway for both individuals and small intimate groups looking for a relaxing experience with good company, great food and a welcoming atmosphere. I must admit that I enjoyed a rather short but certainly very sweet break here, where I encountered some of the highest class of hospitality from a riding trip and made friendships I shall not forget easily (both of the human and equine variety!). I would whole heartedly recommend this destination and hope to make a return venture in the very near future in order to further improve my riding and visit new found friends.

Natalie Garner, Far and Ride, Read review
Very Enjoyable. Beautiful equestrian centre, good horses, lovely accommodation and food. Hosts were very pleasant and welcoming. Location is very central in a very attractive and interesting part of Portugal. (Favourite memory?) Evening meals on the balcony and fascinating day trips taken to places like Tomar and Marvão. Horses were good and equipment was in perfect condition. Instructors are extremely helpful.

Noreen & Peter H.
IT WAS AMAZING!!!! Incredibly good, people were very very very nice, instructors, everybody! Very good food, very nice and comfortable rooms, super good horses... so I'm very pleased!! As I have a young new horse now I had the chance to practice the flying changes with a horse that can already do them very well, so now I'm ready to try with my horse in Milan!

Laura D.
It was Fabulous! None of us wanted to leave. Vitor was a pleasure to meet and made us all feel welcome at his beautiful facility. The accommodations were first class - modern, very clean and charming. The food was wonderful - every meal was special. Vera, the manager, could not have been nicer or more accommodating. Paulo was an excellent instructor - I feel I really learnt a lot from him. (Favourite memory?) Being able to ride a Grand Prix level Stallion.

Susan B.
This is a lovely facility with a homey feel. The equine centre is wonderful, with fabulous horses, great training and wonderful footing in the arenas. Everything was fabulous. The food was exceptional and Vitor could not have been a better host. The horses were lovely, they were well trained yet provided enough of a challenge to demand learning and improvement from the rider. Paulo (instructor) was very good. He was patient, but demanded we accomplish something with the horses.

Debra H.
Everything I'd hoped it would and more! Before we went I had a silly dream of riding a Lusitano stallion - not only did I get to do that (on the first day) I was thrilled to ride Grand Prix dressage movements on him! Holly's horse was absolutely perfect for her. All horses were clearly very happy and well looked after. (Favourite memory?) Riding a canter half pass on the schoolmaster stallion. Seeing my sister improve so much. Paulo the fab instructor - firm but fair. He clearly wanted us to learn and get something from all our lessons.

Jessica & Holly H.
Our stay was amazing! It's a beautifully run establishment with wonderful horses, great facilities and inspirational instruction! I've never learnt so much in one riding lesson, let alone the seven I had! Horses were incredible! Fit, healthy and wonderfully schooled. Tack, stables, everything was immaculate! Filipa and João both excellent. João's dressage lessons were amazing - he really challenges to get the best out of horse and rider!

Kathy T. (March 2019)
We wanted you to know we had an absolutely fabulous time in Portugal and wouldn’t change a thing! Lovely staff, accommodations, food, horses, scenery and riding facility. Trip of a lifetime!

Kate M. (April 2019)
Great horses, amazing staff & instructors. Superb accommodation, lovely home cooked food.

Beverley G
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Lusitano & Warmblood horses

Nature of horses:

Well schooled & responsive

Height of horses:

15-17 hh

Weight limit:

None within reason

Tack type:

English

 

Travel Advice



Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.
 

Ride Description

This small, family-run equestrian centre offers dressage and jumping tuition with top quality horses and facilities, also acting as a venue for both national and international level competitions. The centre is located approximately 150 km from Lisbon in the central Portuguese region of Santarém and is owned and run by Vitor and his daughter Filipa, a keen competitor on the Portuguese showjumping circuit. Accommodation is provided in their modern guesthouse or one of two private cottages which are decorated in the traditional style, all furnished to a high standard, whilst meals comprise delicious local ingredients served as typical regional dishes. The local wine is also not to be missed! Of course guests also have use of the swimming pool when not in the saddle.

The horses here are Lusitano, some trained up to Grand Prix level dressage. Instructor Joao Cavaco is a dedicated instructor and dressage rider who has trained under many Classical Portuguese masters, as well as with International and Olympic level dressage riders such as Tina Layton and Emile Faurie. Joao has also had the honour of teaching at the famous Contessa school in the UK for the last few years and was recognised for his skill in coaching by the Association of British Riding schools, who awarded him the "Golden Spur Award" in 2016 and 2017. He is a very experienced rider and ensures the continued education and training of each of the riding centre's horses. He speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese fluently.

Filipa is the instructor for the jumping lessons - the horses are Warmblood (KWPN and Selle Francais) that compete in jumping classes up to 1m and, in some cases, are capable of jumping courses up to 1m30. The centre can cater for riders of a novice level right up to intermediate for show jumping and dressage, with a chance to experience many different types of horse. The instructors speak very good English.

After your lessons, you may prefer to ride in the sun on a relaxing hack, along the c. 26km of trails, which lead you through the surrounding pastures and cork woodlands, or into the village close-by. It is possible to switch lessons for hacks and to and take a relaxed stroll along the banks of the Tagus or up above the centre, to enjoy the full panorama of the surrounding countryside.

The area itself is known as a terrific producer of the fabulous Lusitano Horses as well as fine cuisine, delicious olive oil and robust wines. The great river Tagus flows freely through the region and ensures a constant supply of fresh water to help crops, livestock and wildlife flourish. The picturesque town of Golega is located just 45 minutes drive from the centre and is the site for the annual Lusitano horse fair - a true celebration of the breed Portugal has become so famous for. The national Lusitano stud farm at Alter do Chão is also an hour drive from the riding centre and well worth a visit.

Far and Ride team member Natalie has ridden at this destination, including visiting world-famous Golega Horse Fair, and highly recommends their excellent tuition and warm hospitality.

LUSITANO HORSE SALES: For those interested in purchasing a purebred Lusitano horse, these stables can offer viewings and tailored sales advice to help you find the perfect horse for you. Please let us know if this is of interest at the time of booking and we can arrange this for you.

GOLEGA: Golega Horse Fair runs in November and can be incorporated into your stay.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Accommodation is provided either in the modern, renovated guesthouse or one of two private cottages in the traditional style, which have all been finished to a high standard. 9 rooms are available in total and all are large, modern, comfortable double or twin rooms generally with en-suite bathrooms. Most can also be offered for single use and all are located around 200 meters (650 ft) from the riding centre itself - an easy 5-minute walk.

All rooms have wifi access, cable television, towels, linen and shower gel. Some have bathtubs with a shower head and others have only a shower. One room on the ground floor has been modified in order to accommodate guests in a wheelchair and includes an adjoining accessible bathroom.

Meals are generally taken in the comfortable dining room on the ground floor of the main guesthouse, or on the patio outside when the weather is good. Your hosts may join you for the meals and it is a great chance to get feedback on your riding lessons or to talk about the local area. Breakfast is usually served between 7:30 am and 9:00 am on weekdays, and later on weekends. However, later meals times can be arranged and discussed with your hosts on arrival.

The main house also has a swimming pool which guests are more than welcome to use when not riding (typically open May to October).

The food is usually regional Portuguese cuisine, which is cooked at a local restaurant. Dishes typically include steak, pork and fish with seasonal vegetables and local produce. The menu will certainly depend on what is available at the time of year and vegetarian or special dietary requirements can be catered to with prior information. Evening meals will be served with local wine (usually one bottle per 4 guests) and other drinks can be ordered and paid for on site.

 

Activities

There are many facilities for non-riders including use of the Swimming pool, TV room with satellite TV and wifi available throughout the accommodation buildings. The surrounding area is wonderful for walking, jogging or bike riding, through the extensive, beautiful, unspoilt countryside, quiet lanes and well-marked leisure routes too. The riding centre's close proximity to the Tagus river means that there are a number of options for routes to enjoy bird watching and the local town of Abrantes features a delightful Moorish Castle which is well worth a visit. Cultural visits to other nearby towns, such as Tomar and Fatima, as well as other notable castles, can also be organised. It is even possible to schedule cookery classes 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 multitude of activities to entertain you when out fo the saddle. The following a few examples;

The Lakes: Visit a beautiful waterpark on the edge of a large lake and enjoy swimming, boating and a variety of watersports.

Boat Trip down the Tagus: Take a guided boat trip down the Tagus river with a picnic or restaurant lunch (as preferred). This offers a unique and phenomenal view of the region from the water.

Please contact us for prices and availability.

 

Further Details

Languages: English and Portugese

Health requirements: No special requirements.

Age limit: None within reason. Riders under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Tuition: Yes

Included: Accommodation, full board meals, wine with meals (1 glass per person), horse riding according to your chosen programme and use of the pool on the property.

Not included: Flights, transfers, extra drinks, as well as any other activities not mentioned in the programme.

 

Travel Information

If you fly into Lisbon we can arrange your transfer by taxi (at an additional cost of approximately 165 euros for a standard car, each way and 200 euros for a 7 seater van, each way). The journey takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Alternatively, it is very simple to take the train from Lisbon Oriente railway station direct to Abrantes. You will need to take the metro or a taxi from the airport to the trains station, which takes around two minutes. The train trip will take around one and half hours with a direct intercity service, or longer on a regional service and then you can be collected from the station or take a taxi to the guesthouse (approximately 10 minutes away).

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.

Airport: Lisbon

 

Programmes


Jumping Programme



The perfect opportunity for those wishing to improve their show jumping technique with a personalised training programme tailored to your needs and wishes. 

During the Showjumping lessons, you will have the opportunity to ride one of a number of lovely warmblood horses from jumping backgrounds, including Dutch KWPN horses, Selle Francais and German Oldenburg during your lessons. These horses are at various stages of their training and most are able to jump from courses 80 cm -  1 m or more with varying degrees of difficulty. During the lessons, you will be taught by Filipa who as well as managing the riding centre and accommodation is also a very experienced showjumping instructor and keen competitor. She speaks near perfect English. 

The programme includes a week-long, six night package with five days riding. You can choose to have 1 or 2 lessons per day depending on wether you book the intensive or regular riding options. You can choose to arrive and depart on any day of the week. A lesson can usually be swapped for a trail ride if you are interested in doing this as well.

The preference is for individual, private lessons but there are some situations in which instruction will be given for two riders of a similar level at the same time.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 5
Ability description: Novice to advanced level.
Type of ride: Lessons but a short hack is also possible.
Total riding time: 10 lessons on intensive programme or 5 lessons on regular programme
Departure dates: 2019/20: Dates to suit all year round, including Christmas and New Year.
 
Pricing: 2019/20:

High Season (1st April - 30th June & 1st September - 10th November):

Intensive Programme (six nights; two lessons each day; ten lessons in total):
Single occupancy £1245 per person
Double occupancy £1116 per person

Regular Programme (six nights; one lesson each day; five lessons in total):
Single occupancy £970 per person
Double occupancy £842 per person


Mid Season (1st July-31st August, 22nd December - 4th January):

Intensive Programme (six nights; two lessons each day; ten lessons in total):
Single occupancy £1224 per person
Double occupancy £1095 per person

Regular Programme (six nights; one lesson each day; five lessons in total):
Single occupancy £936 per person
Double occupancy £807 per person


Low Season (11th November - 21st December & 5th January - 29th February):

Intensive Programme (six nights; two lessons each day; ten lessons in total):
Single occupancy £1202 per person
Double occupancy £1073 per person

Regular Programme (six nights; one lesson each day; five lessons in total):
Single occupancy £902 per person
Double occupancy £773 per person

Included: 6 nights full-board accommodation & riding as described.

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.



Dressage Programme



During the Dressage programme, you will have the opportunity to ride one of the centre's beautiful horses and take dressage lessons from an experienced and knowledgeable instructor.

During the Dressage lessons, you will have the opportunity to ride one of the centre's beautiful schoolmaster horses, many of which are pure-bred Lusitano. These horses are of differing training levels, but range up to Grand Prix. You may be offered the chance to establish the basics of lateral work and straightness, before developing towards the collection and extension of paces. The emphasis is placed on the correct training of horse and rider in order to achieve a balanced, supple and relaxed partnership. You will then be able to enjoy the pleasure of riding a well-schooled horse.

The programme includes a week-long, six night package with five days riding. You can choose to have 1 or 2 lessons per day depending on wether you book the intensive or regular riding options. You can choose to arrive and depart on any day of the week. A lesson can usually be swapped for a trail ride if you are interested in doing this as well.

The preference is for individual, private lessons but there are some situations in which instruction will be given for two riders of a similar level at the same time.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 5
Ability description: Novice to advanced level.
Type of ride: Lessons but a short hack is also possible.
Total riding time: 10 lessons on intensive programme or 5 lessons on regular programme
Departure dates: 2019/20: Dates to suit all year round, including Christmas and New Year.
 
Pricing: 2019/20:

High Season (1st April - 30th June & 1st September - 10th November):

Intensive Programme (six nights; two lessons each day; ten lessons in total):
Single occupancy £1245 per person
Double occupancy £1116 per person

Regular Programme (six nights; one lesson each day; five lessons in total):
Single occupancy £970 per person
Double occupancy £842 per person


Mid Season (1st July-31st August, 22nd December - 4th January):

Intensive Programme (six nights; two lessons each day; ten lessons in total):
Single occupancy £1224 per person
Double occupancy £1095 per person

Regular Programme (six nights; one lesson each day; five lessons in total):
Single occupancy £936 per person
Double occupancy £807 per person


Low Season (11th November - 21st December & 5th January - 29th February):

Intensive Programme (six nights; two lessons each day; ten lessons in total):
Single occupancy £1202 per person
Double occupancy £1073 per person

Regular Programme (six nights; one lesson each day; five lessons in total):
Single occupancy £902 per person
Double occupancy £773 per person

Included: 6 nights full-board accommodation & riding as described.

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.



Tuition & Trails Programme



This option is perfect for those wishing to combine some high level tuition with relaxed hacking. You will be able to take advantage of a combination of lessons and short trail rides in the countryside surrounding the equestrian centre.

The programme includes a week-long, six night package with five days riding. You will have 6 riding lessons of up to 1 hours each, as well as 4 hacks in the surrounding countryside (up to 1.5 hours duration). You can choose to arrive and depart on any day of the week. You can concentrate on either dressage or jumping during your lessons or choose a combination fo both disciplines.

The preference is for individual, private lessons but there are some situations in which instruction will be given for two riders of a similar level at the same time. Please note that the hacks are slow-paced, usually no faster than walk.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 5
Ability description: Novice to advanced level.
Type of ride: Tuition & Trails
Total riding time: 6 lessons and 4 hacks (10 sessions in total)
Departure dates: 2019/20: Dates to suit all year round, including Christmas and New Year.
 
Pricing: 2019/20:

High Season (1st April - 30th June & 1st September - 10th November):

(six nights; six lessons & four hacks; ten sessions in total):
Single occupancy £1176 per person
Double occupancy £1048 per person

Mid Season (1st July-31st August, 22nd December - 4th January):

(six nights; six lessons & four hacks; ten sessions in total):
Single occupancy £1155 per person
Double occupancy £1026 per person


Low Season (11th November - 21st December & 5th January - 29th February):

(six nights; six lessons & four hacks; ten sessions in total):
Single occupancy £1134 per person
Double occupancy £1005 per person


Included: 6 nights full-board accommodation & riding as described.

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.



Combination Programme



This option is perfect for those wishing to combine some high level dressage tuition and improve their show jumping technique. You will be able to take advantage of a combination of lessons and learn either on a one-to-one basis or as part of a small group.

The programme includes a week-long, six night package with five days riding. You can choose to have 1 or 2 lessons per day depending on wether you book the intensive or regular riding options. You can choose to arrive and depart on any day of the week. A lesson can usually be swapped for a trail ride if you are interested in doing this as well.

The preference is for individual, private lessons but there are some situations in which instruction will be given for two riders of a similar level at the same time. 



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 5
Ability description: Novice to Experienced riders.
Type of ride: Lessons but a short hack is also possible.
Total riding time: 10 lessons on intensive programme or 5 lessons on regular programme
Departure dates: 2019/20: Dates to suit all year round, including Christmas and New Year.
 
Pricing: 2019/20:

High Season (1st April - 30th June & 1st September - 10th November):

Intensive Programme (six nights; two lessons each day; ten lessons in total):
Single occupancy £1245 per person
Double occupancy £1116 per person

Regular Programme (six nights; one lesson each day; five lessons in total):
Single occupancy £970 per person
Double occupancy £842 per person


Mid Season (1st July-31st August, 22nd December - 4th January):

Intensive Programme (six nights; two lessons each day; ten lessons in total):
Single occupancy £1224 per person
Double occupancy £1095 per person

Regular Programme (six nights; one lesson each day; five lessons in total):
Single occupancy £936 per person
Double occupancy £807 per person


Low Season (11th November - 21st December & 5th January - 29th February):

Intensive Programme (six nights; two lessons each day; ten lessons in total):
Single occupancy £1202 per person
Double occupancy £1073 per person

Regular Programme (six nights; one lesson each day; five lessons in total):
Single occupancy £902 per person
Double occupancy £773 per person

Included: 6 nights full-board accommodation & riding as described.

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.



Short Break



This destination can also offer shorted breaks from a minimum of three nights. You can choose to shorten or lengthen any of our offered riding programmes to suit you.

Please contact us for detailed pricing for these programmes.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 5
Ability description: Novice to advanced level.
Type of ride: Lessons & hacking
Total riding time: Dependent on the chosen programme.
Departure dates: 2019/20: Dates to suit all year round, including Christmas and New Year.
 
Pricing: 2019/20:

All of our longer programmes can also be tailored to accommodate a short duration of stay, beginning from 3 nights. Please contact us for detailed pricing and to discuss your riding preferences.


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.



Christmas in Portugal (add-on)



Celebrate Christmas the Portuguese way with this fabulous add-on combining riding and cultural sightseeing opportunities. Designed to fit alongside any of our standard riding packages or short breaks, this add-on includes a choice of organised excursions and visits to enjoy some of Portugals best-known exports - wine, olive oil, leather boots and Lusitano horses.

For an average week, you may choose three different tours, which may be adjusted depending on the weather, opening times and availability, etc.

Example of three different available tours:

- Visit an olive oil factory (with olive oil tasting), followed by a visit to a cork factory and finally to the old town of Abrantes (with Abrantes castle and the museum entry included).

- Visit a local winery (with wine tasting) and then to Golegã the Portuguese capital of the horse. Here you will visit a local traditional bootmaker and enjoy some free time for shopping.

- Visit a farm where they raise bulls. An excellent opportunity to watch these amazing animals in their natural habitat.

Each one of these tours can be between 4-5 hours and so will take a full morning or afternoon.

The price for each tour is based on the cost for a car with a guide and will depend on the size of the group going. Listed below are the total costs, per tour, divisible between all passengers;

2-3 people in a car: 135€ (EUR)

4-5 people in a car: 155€ (EUR)

6-7 people in a car: 185€ (EUR)

There will also be special festive meals organised for Christmas (24th December) and on New Year's Eve (31st December). There will be an additional charge of 50€ (EUR) per person, per meal for these.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 7
Ability description: All levels of rider can be accommodated.
Type of ride: Lessons and hacking.
Total riding time: Dependent
Departure dates: 2019/20: Christmas and New Year dates available to suit.
 
Pricing: 2019/20:

This programme can be booked in combination with any of our other riding breaks (including the short break). Please contact us for a detailed price quote for your stay.

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.