Adventure vacations in Portugal

Portuguese Traditions & Culture


The riding itinerary in central Portugal has been carefully designed to give you the best equestrian, cultural and natural experiences the region has to offer. Riding here will introduce you to the heart of Portuguese culture, so steeped in agricultural traditions.

You start from a competitive Lusitano stud farm and stop at towns and farm guesthouses along the way, including the property of Manuel Veiga, whose stud farm produced one of the four basic Lusitano lineages. End your stay in Golegã, “the capital of the horse,” and home to the great national equestrian festivals. We also offer an itinerary which includes a visit to the fair in November.

Your mounts are pure Lusitanos and your hosts knowledgeable and friendly as they guide you through this tour highlighting the wonderful traditions and riding in Portugal.

Accommodations are in farms, or Quintas, that have been modified as guesthouses. This is an authentic glimpse into typical Portuguese lives, and as such they each have a unique character with their own quirks and charm.

Meals are served at guesthouses and quintas or picnics along the riding route. Food is of the typical generous Portuguese style.

  • Overview:
    All horses used are purebred Lusitanos. Many have been bred at the stud farm which hosts you, and most have basic dressage training. Trail specific dressage saddles with saddle bags and snaffle bits are used.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Pure Lusitanos
  • Trip Pace:
    The pace can be modified to suit the group, typically all paces
  • Tack:
    High quality English tack
  • Weight limit:
    200 lbs

There are no separate activities organized for non-riders, but they are welcome to independently enjoy the region and accommodations.

Lisbon airport

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival at Lisbon airport and at 6pm transfer north to the stud farm where the horses are based to enjoy a homemade welcome dinner and get a brief overview of the week ahead. Drive a short distance to your first guest house, Casa do Alfaro, to overnight.

Day 2

After breakfast at Casa do Alfaro transfer back to the stud farm and start the day with a tour of the farm and an explanation of the breeding program. Then off on your first ride aboard your fine Lusitano. You will ride through the surrounding forests and vineyards to arrive at an open field for a countryside meal, prepared by a local cook on the grill, at a table set for you under the shade of a big cork tree. In the afternoon, cross the village of Azambuja and on back to the farm. You will be riding along the historic path traveled by Christopher Columbus when he went to meet King John II. The king had taken refuge in the Vale do Pariso to escape the scourge of the plague and here he received Columbus who had come to propose the journey to India which eventually led to the European discovery of the Americas.

Upon arrival at the farm, transfer back to Casa do Alfaro for dinner and overnight.

Day 3

Today you ride towards the Tejo river, arriving in the fishing community of Valada. Here you have a traditional lunch with fresh river fish. After lunch you will continue riding toward Porto de Muge, where you will have dinner and overnight at Quinta das Palmeiras.

Day 4

Cross the Tagus River by boat, with lunch served on board and take a look at the unique island inhabited by horses and the island filled with many birds of many different species and kinds, before visiting the historic fisherman’s villages and become acquainted with their culture. Continue riding to Santarem, the gothic capital of Portugal. The town was conquered from the Moors by D. Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, on March 15, 1147. This conquest was crucial from a military point of view, as it allowed later the winning of Lisbon and the establishment of the kingdom of Portugal.
Dinner at the “Quinzena” restaurant and overnight at the lovely Casa da Alcacova. This is a beautiful historic manor house that affords a panoramic view of the Tagus River valley and Santarem.

Day 5

Open fields greet you during your ride today as you pass through Quintas, stopping for a picnic lunch beside the river Alviela. Continue riding to Quinta da Broa, the stud farm of Manual Veiga and one of the pillars of Lusitano breeding. Enjoy dinner and overnight here.

Day 6

Today you visit a traditional saddle maker at Pombalinho, with lunch at a local restaurant. You spend the night again at Quinta da Broa.

Day 7

Ride toward Golega, through the nature reserve of Paul do Boquilobo. After reaching the town, known as the “capital of the horse,” you will dine at the restaurant Lusitanus, with views over the main arena for the yearly horse festival. Take the afternoon off from riding to sightsee in the town. Your dinner and overnight are at the luxurious 4 star Hotel Lusitano.

Day 8

After a final breakfast, bid Portugal’s Ribatejo farewell as you transfer back to Lisbon airport.

Itinerary Addendum

This itinerary is flexible and changes may occur at the guide's discretion due to unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

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Portuguese Traditions & Culture
May 21, 2024
January 1, 1970
January 1, 1970

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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  

Ritchie, 2015