Few things in life are more exhilarating than a brisk gallop on the beach next to the ocean with the waves breaking beside you, the salt spray flying and the horses full of exuberance.
Such opportunities are rare in the US today as good beaches here are usually popular with many people so that if horses aren’t forbidden completely, there are strict restrictions on their use. Fortunately we have discovered one outstanding exception in this ride in Oregon where you can have fine beach riding and follow spectacular trails inland. Aside from that, for good beach riding you will have to travel a bit. A great place is only a short flight to the south in Costa Rica where the uncrowded, palm lined beaches or the Caribbean offer an ideal path for horses. Costa Rica was recently named world’s most popular tourist destination in a Global Tourism Monitor Survey so if you want an enjoyable vacation in a delightful setting with some excellent horseback riding on the beach, this would be a good choice.
Ireland is the most famous destination for beach riding with many long stretches of uninhabited beach with great footing for the horses. Donegal, on the remote northwest coast, offers a spacious beach irresistible for long, fast canters next to the breaking waves of the North Atlantic.The tides in Ireland do cause huge fluctuations and you or your guide have to time it right as some sections are impassable at high tide. Little known Mozambique has one one of the longest stretches of beach in the world, extending hundreds of miles where often no other people are even in sight. Those endless golden sands and azure sea will blow you away and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean are perfect for swimming with the horses all year. Another place where you can swim seasonally with your horse is Crete, where there is the added bonus of being surrounded by treasures of ancient history.
The North Island of New Zealand, where the climate is mild enough to allow riding in any season, also has some wonderful beaches for riding. You can have a fabulous gallop here for several miles without seeing another soul, while the might waves of the Pacific crash on one side and huge sand dunes line the other. The Sunshine Coast Ride in Australia near the Great Barrier Reef offers splendid opportunities for riding both on beaches and in the forests of the interior. It was listed No. 1 by Outside Magazine in their top ten trips “down under.” You might also consider the Boomerang Trail near Sydney, where you can ride well-trained endurance horses on beaches. The Emerald Coast of Uruguay is another ideal spot for beach riding. Here one can ride along the sandy coat and visit nearby estancias where you can ride with the colorful gauchos whose history dates back two centuries longer than that of the American Cowboy.
A favorite is the ride along the beaches and through the vineyards of Bordeaux. Here you visit the most famous wine country of the world, tasting superb wines and seeing fabulous castles. The firm sand makes perfect footing for the horses, and vineyards often come close to the sea. Other areas in Europe with rides which include exciting horseback riding on the beach are Spain, Portugal, and Sardinia.
The rides we offer all last for a week and they include the chance to see the hinterland as well as ocean beaches.