The Alentejo Coast of Portugal is an ideal destination for riding Lusitano horses while staying in outstanding accommodations. This point-to-point itinerary includes one day of riding on Costa Azul’s beaches, and the other days take you through the coastal mountains, affording beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.
Visit fishing villages and ride by flamingos as you enjoy the scenery from the back of a well-trained trail horse who will inspire your confidence. The varied terrain allows for some lengthy canters at a fast pace, as you ride over sandy tracks and the red earth of farm roads. Each evening is spent in the comfortable luxury of well-appointed country hotels, and meals are a hearty mix of picnics on the trail and carefully catered meals at your accommodations. This horseback riding holiday in Portugal will offer you some of the best in horses, meals and accommodations.
The itinerary runs as below, North to South, on the May 26-June 2 and September 8-15, 2019 dates. On the other dates it will run in reverse, from South to North.
Arrival in Lisbon and transfer at 5:30pm. You will travel to the south to the town of Melides, approximately 135kms. Settle into your room in a beautiful Portuguese country hotel. Later at dinner your guide will brief you on what to expect in the week ahead. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.
This morning you meet your horse and ride towards the beach. Between June 1st and September 15th, this ride is at dawn to avoid the holiday makers on the beach. It’s a beautiful ride at first light as the sun rises over the dunes. If everyone is comfortable and secure on their horses, then there is the possibility of a gallop or canter on the beach before reaching a lovely picnic spot in the pine forest where your horses rest while you may swim in the sea and later have lunch. For lunch, a delicious picnic will be prepared with grilled meats or fish with salad accompanied by fresh bread and local wine. After lunch, you ride through the dunes, returning to the hotel. Dinner is at a local restaurant and overnight as previous.
The ride today goes in the direction of Santiago do Cacém, past the Santo André Lagoon. Here you may see flamingos and storks. Ride past the rice fields of the area, which in late summer prior to harvest are an astonishing color of green. Stop for a picnic in the pine tree forest.
After lunch you continue towards the Quinta da Ortiga where the horses are stabled. A short transfer of 30 min takes you to your hotel, a modern, luxury rural hotel, where you have dinner and spend the night.
Mount up from the Quinta and continue to ride southwards towards Cercal, always with the sea in sight. Climbing the mountain through the ‘montados’ you ride through one of the last unexploited regions of Portugal.
In the afternoon you arrive at your accommodation. This is a beautifully renovated tavern with individual rooms and cottages around the gardens. There is a pool, fruit trees and plenty of places to relax and enjoy the countryside. Take your meals either on the veranda or inside in the dining room. Your hosts are a specialist in antiques restoration and an artist and cook. Enjoy dinner and overnight here.
The morning ride explores the fields around the farm and trails into the mountains of Cercal. The afternoon is free to visit the fishing village of Vila Nova de Milfontes which is a popular seaside resort in the summer months. There is time for shopping, sightseeing or relaxing on the beach. Dinner and overnight as previous.
After breakfast you set off into the mountains of Cercal, close to the dam of Campilhas where you have lunch. The scenery is varied and interesting and after some trots and canters you return to your accommodations. Relax and enjoy the quiet of a typical ‘monte alentejano’ after a dip in the pool. Dinner and overnight as previous.
For your last day’s ride you continue exploring the mountains of Cercal. You will ride to the chapel of Nossa Senhora das Neves from where you have a splendid view of the surrounding area. After lunch, you return to your hotel where you will enjoy a farewell dinner after bidding your equine friends goodbye.
After breakfast, transfer back to Lisbon for departure.
This itinerary is flexible. Changes may occur due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
Trip Dates & Pricing
The itinerary either runs north to south, or south to north, alternating dates.
Additional Pricing Information:
Prices are based on the dollar/euro exchange and are subject to change. Ride price is set, guaranteed, and final at the time deposit is paid.
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I had a great time with our hosts in Portugal in September. The horses were in beautiful condition and so solid in a range of challenging conditions. Our host and his team went the extra mile to make us feel at home and they handled the details so everything went smoothly and... Read more