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Trail riding and dolphin spotting in Portugal

Dolphin Trail

8 days / 6 days riding from £ 1,240

Riding levels

Each of our trips is assigned a minimum level of riding ability required. This reflects whether there is technical riding required; the terrain to be covered; the liveliness of the horses; the length of the riding days and the riding fitness required.




For novice riders, these riding holidays will give beginners the chance to get used to being in the saddle. In general, a beginner/ novice hasn't learned how to canter and has not yet mastered rising trot. They are able to mount safely and to control a horse at a walk. 



For intermediate riders who are at ease at 2 paces (walk and rising trot and are starting to canter in a forward seat) out in open countryside. The intermediate rider is able to mount and dismount their horse unassisted, use basic riding aids, ride at a rising trot for at least 10 minutes, to change and control the pace from a walk to a trot and comfortably canter over short distances.



For experienced riders who have mastered all 3 paces (walk, rising trot, canter in a forward seat) over uneven terrain. The experienced rider rides regularly, has a good seat and is confident of their own ability. They are able to control the horse at speed and change direction of their horse at any pace and in any circumstance as needed.



For advanced riders who have mastered all 4paces (walk, rising trot, canter gallop in a forward seat) over uneven terrain on all types of horses including those that are very spirited. The advanced rider rides regularly has good physical fitness, has good soft hands and has the ability to gallop for long stretches without getting tired.



For all riders, whether they are novices, intermediate level, experienced or advanced. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance training, natural horsemanship, trail riding orcentre based safaris.



For beginners and intermediate level riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capability of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For beginners, intermediate level  and experienced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For intermediate level and experienced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtraining,endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For intermediate level, experiencedand advanced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtrainingendurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For experiencedand advanced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtraining,endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.

Comfort

Each of our rides has been assigned an expected level of comfort

Nights in luxury or boutique accommodation. Rooms have private bathrooms. 

 

EQUUS JOURNEYS Fingerpost Cottage
Hopton Wafers
Shropshire, DY140NA. UK
Phone : +44 (0) 1905 388977
INFO@EQUUS-JOURNEYS.COM

Imprimer

PORTUGAL-Dolphin Trail

8 days / 6 days riding from 1240£


Activity :

Level :

Comfort :

A circular trail ride starting in the lush, green coastal mountains of Grandola, rich with pine and cork forests, to the inviting turquoise waters and beaches of the coast. Explore the beautiful and wild Alentejo region in Portugal on horseback, enjoying exhilarating canters along the sandy beaches of the "Costa Azul"! A boat trip to discover dolphins in the estuary is included and accommodation is in traditional farmhouses and comfortable hotels.

Strengths

- Beautifully well-schooled Lusitano and Lusitano cross horses
- The chance to canter/gallop down a deserted beach (please note that in the summer months, this may be at dawn)
- Convivial and friendly guide
- The chance to view dolphins in their natural environment on a boat trip in the estuary
- Comfortable and unique accommodation - converted farmhouses and quality hotels

Itinerary

Day 1: LONDON - LISBON - GRANDOLA - No riding

Accommodation : BARRADAS DA SERRA

Your flight to Lisbon should arrive by 16:30 to allow time for you to collect your luggage.

At 17:30 you will be transferred south c. 100km to Barradas de Serra. Here you stay in a rural house with typical Alentejana architecture. This pleasant herdade has charming staff and a relaxed atmosphere where you can swim in the pool or rest in the comfortable rooms before your first day of riding.

Dinner and overnight at Herdade das Barradas da Serra.

Day 2: GRANDOLA - SANTIAGO DO CACEM - 4 hours riding

Accommodation : MONTE XISTO

Your first day of riding takes you through hilly landscapes to Santiago do Cacem. After your first few canters you will notice how characterful and sure-footed your Lusitano horse is.

You will stop for lunch in the shade where a picnic with grilled meat or fish, salad, bread and wine will be prepared for you.

In the afternoon you continue riding through forests of pine and cork trees until reaching Quinta da Ortiga where the horses will be stabled. You are transferred a short distance to your hotel, Minte Xisto Here you have dinner and spend the night.

Day 3: MONTE XISTO - 4-6 hours riding

Accommodation : MONTE XISTO

Today you traverse forests of eucalyptus, with their distinctive perfume as the horses' hooves crunch through the fallen leaves.

Stop for lunch near Morgavel's reservoir where there is time for a short siesta!

In the afternoon there are opportunities for some fast canters along the sandy tracks as you return to your hotel for a second night.

Day 4: MONTE XISTO - SANTO ANDRE - 3-4 hours riding

Accommodation : VILA PARK

Today, either in the morning or the afternoon, you wil be transferred c. 30mins to the Sado River where you will join a 2hr boat trip into the estuary to look for dolphins. Dolphin sightings can not be guaranteed but are very likely. Please note that the boat trip is subject to weather conditions.

For your half day ride you will explore sandy trails through fields and forests, allowing for several canters. You ride past Santa Andre lagoon where you may see flamingoes and storks. Continue past rice fields, which in summer are an astonishing shade of green, until reaching your hotel - the Vila Park.

Day 5: BEACH RIDE - 4-6 hours riding

Accommodation : VILA PARK

Today you ride from your hotel to the beach. Between June and September this ride is at dawn to avoid holiday makers on the beach - it's a beautiful ride as the sun rises over the dunes. There should be opportunities for beach canters (tides permitting) before reaching your picnic spot amongst the pine forests. There may be a chance to swim in the sea before riding back through the dunes to your hotel.

Diner will likely be in a local restaurant tonight.

Day 6: MELIDES - GRANDOLA - 4-6 hours riding

Accommodation : BARRADAS DA SERRA

Todays ride takes you from the coast towards Grandola. There are many opportunities for faster riding today as you pass through the pine forests. Red paths alternate with sandy paths and you may encounter herds of sheep or cows being tended by their owners.

Return to Herdade das Barradas da Serra where there may be time for a refreshing swim before dinner.

Day 7: GRANDOLA - 4-6 hours riding

Accommodation : BARRADAS DA SERRA

Your final day of riding is through the Sierra of Grandola - a rolling landscape dotted with picturesque villages. Stop for a final picnic lunch and siesta before continuing your circuit back to Barradas da Serra for a farewell dinner.

Day 8: GRANDOLA - LISBON - LONDON - No riding

After breakfast you will be transferred back to Lisbon airport for your flight, which should depart after midday.

Please note that if your flight departs before midday then you will have to pay c. 140 Euro for a private transfer to the airport.


Price details

- International flights are not included

- Rides are confirmed for a minimum of 3 riders and a usual maximum of 10 riders, plus your guide

- IMPORTANT - there is a small group supplement payable if the group size is fewer than five riders
If there are 3 riders, the supplement is 25%, and 10% if there are 4 riders.

- There is a single supplement of c. £270 (€300) in 2018, or £450 (€510) in 2019 if you end up in a single room. This is refunded if we find a sharer for you.

- Transfers are provided as long as you arrive before 16:30 and depart after midday. If you wish to book flights outside of these times then a private transfer can be arranged for approx. £120 (€140) per journey

- There is a rider weight limit of 85kgs - please contact us if you weigh more than this.

- Competent children aged 10 and over can join the ride as long as they are comfortable riding horses (there are no ponies) and are accompanied by an adult. There is no discount for children

- Non-riders are welcome but no activities are provided - they can travel in the support vehicle and meet the group for lunch, or relax at the hotels. There is a discount for an accompanying non-rider. Please contact us.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

PRICE INCLUDES

Support Team

1 english speaking horse guide

Logistic

1 cook
1 assistant cook
1 support vehicle
1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle

Inland transports

Private bus
Airport transfers if arriving at set times

Accommodation

Double room in hotel standard 3/4*

Meals

Full board from first diner D1 to last breakfast D8

Extra equipment

First aid kit

OPTION

Accommodation

Single room supplement £190 HS/£165 LS

PRICE DOESN'T INCLUDE

Meals

Beverage and personal extra

Transports

Airport transfers at others schedules
International flights bookable on request

Extra

Tips to local team
Small group supplement (between 2-4 riders)

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurances are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend to take out an insurance policy as soon as your travel is booked in case of cancellation.

TIPS

Tips are appreciated but not expected. You should give what you feel is appropriate and you feel comfortable with.

HORSES

You ride the beautiful and calm Lusitano and Lusitano cross-bred horses which are bred in Portugal. They are well-schooled and a pleasure to ride. There are calm and quiet horses for intermediate riders and more spirited mounts for experienced riders. You ride in English style tack with comfortable sheepskin covered saddles.

MINIMUM RIDING ABILITY

You need to be at least an intermediate rider, capable of riding a sensible horse at all paces in the outdoors. There are more spirited horses available for experienced riders.

There is a rider weight limit of 85kgs.

PACE

The pace is varied to include trots, canters and possible gallops. Some of the canters can be long and across varied terrain so you need to be secure in the saddle.

TACKING ABILITY AND PARTICIPATION

You will be asked to assist with grooming, tacking and un-tacking your horse.

TRIP CONDITIONS AND REQUESTED EXPERIENCE

You should have experience riding outdoors on trails and be confident riding in open spaces. You need to be fit enough for some long canters in the sometimes hot Portugese sun.

EQUESTRIAN EQUIPMENT

There are pockets in the saddle pads for you to keep some small items during the day, such as water bottles and sun cream.

COMFORT

You stay in renovated farmhouses or local hotels. Some of the hotels are of a high standard and level of comfort. The rooms are double/twin and have en-suite bathrooms. Most of the hotels have swimming pools.

CLIMATE

Portugal has a pleasant climate with mild temperatures all year round:
Winter: 12 - 15c
Spring: 20 - 25c
Summer: 30 - 35c
Autumn: 15 - 20c
There is rarely rain during the summer months, but rain is common in winter and can occur in spring also.

Meals

Lunches are picnic - usually BBQ meats or fish with salads and bread. Red wine is provided.
Evening meals are in the hotel and usually the dish of the day - typical Portugese cuisine and all fresh and locally produced. Drinks are payable locally.

Support Team

Guide and local team

Your guide is Miguel and he has been guided in this area for many years and helped discover the routes you ride. He was a prestigious dressage instructor before choosing to guide trails instead and speaks fantastic English. He is supported by a back-up vehicle driver who meets you for lunch each day and transports your luggage.

Packing list

Head
- Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana for protecting your neck and face from the sun and dust

Upper body
- Long sleeved shirts to provide protection from the sun
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm polar fleece or equivalent
- Waterproof jacket - rain can be difficult to predict and it's better to be prepared.

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Waterproof over trousers
- Casual clothes for the evenings (jeans or walking trousers)

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps or long boots.
- Lightweight shoes for the evenings
- Several pairs of socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding

Nightwear
- Pyjamas etc

Our Recommendations
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a waistcoat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Other useful items
- Swimsuit - there are pools on some nights
- Small backpack for accessing items required during the day (carried by support crew)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)

In your luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag.
- Swiss army knife or equivalent

In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel


ENTRY FORMALITIES

A passport valid for three months beyond the length of stay and issued within the past 10 years is required by British, Australian, Canadian and all other EU nationals.
Visas:
Nationals not referred to above are advised to contact their embassy for visa requirements.

BREXIT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the European Union (EU) with no deal.

After 29 March 2019:

You should have 6 months left on your passport from your date of arrival. This applies to adult and child passports.

If you renewed a 10 year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport's expiry date. These extra months will not count.

The new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-brexit

Addresses of consulates

  • Ambassade du Portugal
    3, rue de Noisiel
    75116 PARIS
    Tél. : 01.47.27.35.29
    Fax :
    mailto@embaixada-portugal-fr.org
  • Ambassade de France
    Rua Santos-o-Velho 5
    LISBONNE
    Tél. : +351 21 393 9100
    Fax :
    contact@ambafrance-pt.org

HEALTH

Make sure you take your EHIC card with you.
You will be treated on the same basis as a Portuguese resident, but you might have to make a patient contribution to the cost of your care. If you have to make such a payment, you may be able to seek reimbursement for this cost when you are back in the UK if you are not able to do so in Portugal. It is important that you ensure you are treated by a state healthcare provider, as you will not be covered for private healthcare. You should be particularly careful if the healthcare arrangements have been made by a hotel or travel representative. There are state health centres throughout the country (generally open from 0800 to 2000) where you can receive treatment for minor ailments and injuries, and major emergency hospitals in large towns which remain open throughout the night.
Even though pharmacies are well stocked, take a decent supply of medication with you, and be aware pharmacies are usually closed for two hours over lunchtime. Carry a legible prescription with you to show that you legally use the medication. If you wear glasses, take a spare pair and your prescription just in case you need to get new glasses made up quickly.

Vaccination against hepatitis B is sometimes recommended.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

TELEPHONE AND JET LAG

The dialling code for Portugal is +351

The time zone is GMT +1

BUDGET AND MONEY

Portugal has adopted the Euro (EUR, symbol: €) as its official currency. One Euro is divided into 100 cents, which is sometimes referred to as eurocents, especially when distinguishing them with the US cents.
Euro banknotes come in denominations of €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, €500. The highest three denominations are rarely used in everyday transactions. All Euro banknotes have a common design for each denomination on both sides throughout the Eurozone.
The Euro coins are 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, €1 and €2. Some countries in the Eurozone have law which requires cash transactions to be rounded to the nearest 5 cents. All Euro coins have a common design on the denomination (value) side, while the opposite side may have a different image from one country to another. Although the image side may be different, all Euro coins remain legal tender throughout the Eurozone.

VOLTAGE

230 volts AC, 50Hz. Continental two-pin plugs are in use.

ACTIVITY :Trail Riding

LEVEL :Help

COMFORT :Help

A circular trail ride starting in the lush, green coastal mountains of Grandola, rich with pine and cork forests, to the inviting turquoise waters and beaches of the coast. Explore the beautiful and wild Alentejo region in Portugal on horseback, enjoying exhilarating canters along the sandy beaches of the "Costa Azul"! A boat trip to discover dolphins in the estuary is included and accommodation is in traditional farmhouses and comfortable hotels.

  • Cantering on the seashores of Portugal
    Cantering on the beach in Portugal
  • Dolphin riding trail in Portugal
    Portugal on horseback
  • Riding on the clear beaches of Portugal
    Beach riding in portugal
  • Meeting the dolphins in the estuary
    boat trip to discover the dolphins in Portugal
  • Riding in the flowered meadows of Portugal
    Portugal on horseback
  • Horseback trail ride in Portugal on Lusitano horses
    Portugal horseback trail
  • A fun and exhilarating ride in Portugal
    Cantering on the beach in Portugal

STRENGTHS

- Beautifully well-schooled Lusitano and Lusitano cross horses
- The chance to canter/gallop down a deserted beach (please note that in the summer months, this may be at dawn)
- Convivial and friendly guide
- The chance to view dolphins in their natural environment on a boat trip in the estuary
- Comfortable and unique accommodation - converted farmhouses and quality hotels

ITINERARY

Day 1: LONDON - LISBON - GRANDOLA - No riding

Accommodation : BARRADAS DA SERRA

Your flight to Lisbon should arrive by 16:30 to allow time for you to collect your luggage.

At 17:30 you will be transferred south c. 100km to Barradas de Serra. Here you stay in a rural house with typical Alentejana architecture. This pleasant herdade has charming staff and a relaxed atmosphere where you can swim in the pool or rest in the comfortable rooms before your first day of riding.

Dinner and overnight at Herdade das Barradas da Serra.

Day 2: GRANDOLA - SANTIAGO DO CACEM - 4 hours riding

Accommodation : MONTE XISTO

Your first day of riding takes you through hilly landscapes to Santiago do Cacem. After your first few canters you will notice how characterful and sure-footed your Lusitano horse is.

You will stop for lunch in the shade where a picnic with grilled meat or fish, salad, bread and wine will be prepared for you.

In the afternoon you continue riding through forests of pine and cork trees until reaching Quinta da Ortiga where the horses will be stabled. You are transferred a short distance to your hotel, Minte Xisto Here you have dinner and spend the night.

Day 3: MONTE XISTO - 4-6 hours riding

Accommodation : MONTE XISTO

Today you traverse forests of eucalyptus, with their distinctive perfume as the horses' hooves crunch through the fallen leaves.

Stop for lunch near Morgavel's reservoir where there is time for a short siesta!

In the afternoon there are opportunities for some fast canters along the sandy tracks as you return to your hotel for a second night.

Day 4: MONTE XISTO - SANTO ANDRE - 3-4 hours riding

Accommodation : VILA PARK

Today, either in the morning or the afternoon, you wil be transferred c. 30mins to the Sado River where you will join a 2hr boat trip into the estuary to look for dolphins. Dolphin sightings can not be guaranteed but are very likely. Please note that the boat trip is subject to weather conditions.

For your half day ride you will explore sandy trails through fields and forests, allowing for several canters. You ride past Santa Andre lagoon where you may see flamingoes and storks. Continue past rice fields, which in summer are an astonishing shade of green, until reaching your hotel - the Vila Park.

Day 5: BEACH RIDE - 4-6 hours riding

Accommodation : VILA PARK

Today you ride from your hotel to the beach. Between June and September this ride is at dawn to avoid holiday makers on the beach - it's a beautiful ride as the sun rises over the dunes. There should be opportunities for beach canters (tides permitting) before reaching your picnic spot amongst the pine forests. There may be a chance to swim in the sea before riding back through the dunes to your hotel.

Diner will likely be in a local restaurant tonight.

Day 6: MELIDES - GRANDOLA - 4-6 hours riding

Accommodation : BARRADAS DA SERRA

Todays ride takes you from the coast towards Grandola. There are many opportunities for faster riding today as you pass through the pine forests. Red paths alternate with sandy paths and you may encounter herds of sheep or cows being tended by their owners.

Return to Herdade das Barradas da Serra where there may be time for a refreshing swim before dinner.

Day 7: GRANDOLA - 4-6 hours riding

Accommodation : BARRADAS DA SERRA

Your final day of riding is through the Sierra of Grandola - a rolling landscape dotted with picturesque villages. Stop for a final picnic lunch and siesta before continuing your circuit back to Barradas da Serra for a farewell dinner.

Day 8: GRANDOLA - LISBON - LONDON - No riding

After breakfast you will be transferred back to Lisbon airport for your flight, which should depart after midday.

Please note that if your flight departs before midday then you will have to pay c. 140 Euro for a private transfer to the airport.

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YOUR ADVISOR

Did you know?

Portugal produces more than 50% of all cork in the world and the best quality cork is produced in the south of Portugal - the Algarve and Alentejo.

Cork is the outer bark of the cork oak tree and you will ride through forests of cork oak on this trail ride in Portugal. The outer layer of bark is harvested every 9-10 years in late spring and summer, and is still harvested by hand. The men who harvest the oak cork are among the highest paid agricultural workers in the world, which reflects their level of skill.

The average cork tree yields one tonne of cork in its lifetime - that's equivalent to 65,000 stoppers, and 340,000 tonnes of cork stoppers are produced each year. A natural cork is able to maintain its full sealing capacity for more than 100 years owing to its elasticity and the waxes and fatty acids in its composition.

It is not uncommon to see dead cork oak trees standing within a forest (or montados) as it is illegal for a landowner to cut down a cork oak tree in Portugal, regardless of whether it's dead or alive!