From the horse’s mouth
Azores, Horse Riding Trail on the Blue Island
Azores, Horse Riding Trail on the Blue Island
- Ride full Lusitano and Lusitanian /Portuguese crosses through beautiful and occasionally lunar countryside
- Enjoy varied landscapes with a combination of volcanoes and coast line trails
- Add a extension to your ride with the opportunity to go whale watching or go swimming with dolphins
Day 1 1 : EUROPE- LISBON -HORTA - No ridingPatio LodgeYou will be met at the Horta airport on Faial Island by a member of our team. Outside of June and August we recommend you spend the night before in Lisbon and take the 2,5 hour flight the following day. We can take care of you reservations in Lisbon upon request. You can also fly to Sao Miguel and from there to Horta with SATA/Azores Airlines.
From the airport, you will be taken to your accommodation in Quinta (30 minutes) where you will be based for the rest of your stay and that evening you will have your first Azorean meal at the lodge.
Please note that the arrival and departure dates are very flexible: contact us with your requirements and we will check availability for you.
Day 2 2 : QUINTA DO MOINHO - FAROL - QUINTA - 4-5 hours ridingPatio LodgeYour first days ride will give you your first experience of this beautiful and remote landscape where every once in a while you'll cross a farmer herding their animals. The Island's backdrop is the gleaming, reflected light from the Atlantic Ocean.
Your destination is Cabouco park where a typical Azorean picnic will be waiting for you. In the afternoon, you will canter along hedgerows teaming with hydrangea to arrive at the old lighthouse, Farol da Ribeirinha - from which you have a breathtaking view of neighbouring island, Pico, and its impressive volcano.
In the evening, you will have dinner at the lodge.
Day 3 3 : ALMOXARIFE - HORTA - 4-5 hours ridingPatio LodgeToday's morning ride will take you along the east coast and the lava beaches of Praia Almoxarife.
In the afternoon, you will ride to Quinta Sao Lourenco farm where the local Lusitano horses, you may be riding, are bred. The farm is located next to Horta, the island's capital city, which you will have enough time to explore a little. Take a walk to the colorful harbor and to the very popular European/American Peter Café Sport where you can try the best gin and tonic in the Atlantic Ocean!
On your arrival back at the lodge, your Azorean dinner will be served.
Day 4 4 : FLAMENGOS VALLEY - VARDOURO - QUINTA - 4-5 hours ridingPatio LodgeThe day's ride continues through beautiful, lush, green valley of Flamengos. If you breathe deeply, you will note that the air is delicately perfumed by thyme and mint. You will canter along long straight paths through the forest to reach the prairie where you will stop for your picnic lunch.
In the afternoon, you will head out towards the tropical bay of Varadouro with its beautiful orchards enclosed by ancient walls of black volcanic stone. You will leave the horses there for the night and be driven back to the lodge for a dinner of delicious local produce.
Day 5 5 : CAPELINHOS - CABECO VERDE - QUINTA - 4-5 hours ridingPatio LodgeThe day's trail will lead you to the impressive and almost lunar volcanic landscape of Capelinhos. You will ride past ruins of houses long buried in the ash after the volcano's eruption in 1957. You will also get a sense of why the area has been used in the filming of a number of sci-fi films.
You will head to a lighthouse, underneath which is a museum about the volcano which you may visit if you wish. You ride over volcanic ash and enjoy a break close to a small volcanic cave.
Your day will end with cantering around the green volcano, Cabeco Verde, to the horses' paddock. In the evening, you will be able to relax and enjoy another Azorean meal.
Day 6 6 : CAPELO - FAJA - QUINTA - 4-5 hours ridingPatio LodgeRiding along the black spit of Faja and cantering through a eucalyptus forest, you will reach the vineyards of Norte Pequeno and the cliff coast of the small wine village, Faja. Here the mix of the tended vineyards and the wild nature of the untouched countryside create an area of incredible beauty.
After a relatively short day's ride, you will have the afternoon to swim in the ocean and take a walk around Quinta. There is a natural rock pool about 2 km from the Quinta.
Day 7 7 : ROBEIRA FUNDA - CEDROS - QUINTA - 4-5 hours ridingPatio LodgeYour last riding day will take you from the dry southern part of the island to the verdant north. Along the way you will have spectacular views across terraced meadows down to the blue of the Atlantic Ocean. For lunch, you will stop at the highest located village of Faial's Ribeira Funda from where you will overlook one of the most beautiful views of neighbouring Miradouro Island. Sat on sun-warmed rocks you will picnic to the sounds of soft breezes, distant waves and buzzard calls.
Little by little, you will make your way to an old whalers watch and hopefully catch a glimpse of whales or dolphins out in the ocean. At the end of the day, you will head back to your lodge to have a farewell dinner.
Day 8 8 : HORTA-EUROPE - No ridingAfter having an early breakfast, you will fly out to Lisbon.
We recommend booking the earliest flight possible to Lisbon so you can catch your connecting flight back to Europe.
You can also continue your trip with a extension to other islands, a whale-watching trip or perhaps the chance to swim with dolphins. Please contact us for details.
Dates & prices
- Please note that the arrival and departure dates are very flexible: contact us with your requirements and we will check availability for you.
- Rides are confirmed for a minimum of 1 rider and a usual maximum of 9 riders, plus your guide.
- There is a single supplement of c.£200 (low-season), £215 (mid-season) and £280 (high-season) if you end up in a single room. In 2020, this: €228/£200 (low season: 19.-26.01.2020 | 02.-09.02.2020 | 23.02.-01.03.2020 | 22.-29.03.2020 | 12.-19.04.2020 | 01.-08.11.2020 | 22.-29.11.2020 | 13.-20.12.2020) and €315/£280 (high season). This is refunded if we find a sharer for you.
- Non-riders are welcome (half-board) and benefit from a reduction. Please contact us for a detailed quotation.
- Please note that the transfer between Lisbon and Faial island can be very long out of summer. Therefore you may overnight in Lisbon, if so take the opportunity to explore the city.
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.
1 vehicle and driver
Price doesn't include
Park, museum and tourist site fees
March - April 2020
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 12/04/2020 19/04/2020 £1,185 Guaranteed departure Book now 19/04/2020 26/04/2020 £1,185 Guaranteed departure Book now 26/04/2020 03/05/2020 £1,185 Full
May - June 2020
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 03/05/2020 10/05/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 10/05/2020 17/05/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 17/05/2020 24/05/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 24/05/2020 31/05/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 31/05/2020 07/06/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 07/06/2020 14/06/2020 £1,270 Full 14/06/2020 21/06/2020 £1,270 Full 21/06/2020 28/06/2020 £1,270 Full 28/06/2020 05/07/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now
July - August 2020
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 05/07/2020 12/07/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 12/07/2020 19/07/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 19/07/2020 26/07/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 26/07/2020 02/08/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 02/08/2020 09/08/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 09/08/2020 16/08/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 16/08/2020 23/08/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 23/08/2020 30/08/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 30/08/2020 06/09/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now
September - October 2020
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 06/09/2020 13/09/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 13/09/2020 20/09/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 20/09/2020 27/09/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 27/09/2020 04/10/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 04/10/2020 11/10/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 11/10/2020 18/10/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 18/10/2020 25/10/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now 25/10/2020 01/11/2020 £1,270 Guaranteed departure Book now
November - December 2020
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 01/11/2020 08/11/2020 £1,185 Guaranteed departure Book now 08/11/2020 15/11/2020 £1,185 Guaranteed departure Book now 15/11/2020 22/11/2020 £1,185 Guaranteed departure Book now 22/11/2020 29/11/2020 £1,185 Guaranteed departure Book now 29/11/2020 06/12/2020 £1,185 Guaranteed departure Book now 06/12/2020 13/12/2020 £1,185 Guaranteed departure Book now 13/12/2020 20/12/2020 £1,185 Guaranteed departure Book now 20/12/2020 27/12/2020 £1,185 Guaranteed departure Book now
Rider weight limit: 95kg/ 15stone/ 209 lbs.
Minimum riding ability
Minimum riding ability
Tacking ability and participation
Trip conditions and Requested experience
With Azorean airline SATA riding equipment is free of charge up to 10 kg.
Helmets are mandatory. We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.
Due to individual sizing needs and security reasons, we recommend you bring the following equipment : waterproof trekking footwear, wind and waterproof jacket and trouser, and a small refillable bottle.
Lunchtime is either a picnic or a light lunch in a local bar (with selected drinks).
Guide and local team
Diogo is native to the Island and has trained in Lisbon. He is a competent horseman and a great lead guide. He's always happy to take you around his island and tell you about its secrets. He speaks Portuguese and English.
Carla will be looking after your meals and make sure you get a taste of the traditional Azorean cuisine.
Several interns complete the team in the summer, helping out at the stables and as back up guides.
- Helmets are mandatory and you should bring your own. There are many lightweight options available nowadays
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana
- Thermals (long or short sleeved)
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and are an extra layer
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm fleece or jumper (and a spare in case one gets wet)
- Warm and waterproof jacket - it can rain at any time of year and the evenings can be particularly cold
- 2 Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Casual trousers for the evenings, such as jeans or tracksuit bottoms
- Waterproof over trousers
Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps as an extra layer against inclement weather. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Waterproof shoes/boots can be useful for abundant dew in the mornings or when it rains
- Trainers or equivalent light shoes for evenings
- Several pairs of warm, thick socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, cold or rain whilst riding. Waterproof gloves can be particularly useful
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (passport, 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
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Swiss army knife (or equivalent)
- Small plastic bags for rubbish
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)
In your hold luggage
- take 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. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Any medication you regularly take
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- 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
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
Visa & Health
Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.
If you hold a British Citizen passport, you don’t need a visa to enter Portugal.
The rules on travel will stay the same until 31 December 2020.
Please visit for the FCO website for up-to-date information - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal
Budget and money
Did you know?
Did you know?
The Azore's pony
With less than a thousand Azores ponies worldwide, this is a rare breed that mainly has been living wild. Although the origins are uncertain, this pony comes from oriental horses that were imported onto the island. The very roots of the Azores pony have been altered over time due to the poor nutritional properties of the island.
With a similar look to a Lusitanian but smaller, they are bright with a good mind and can be very obedient. They are usually black or bay and can be used for agricultural work, pulling carts and trekking.