Trail riders in the Azores

Azores, multi-activity programme

On this multi-activity riding holiday, discover Faial Island in the Azores, an archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Mix trail rides or riding lessons with other activities: hike into a crater, rent a scooter to explore the island or go on a whale-watching excursion. Plan your week as you see fit and enjoy the tranquility and peacefulness of this beautiful place.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Centre based holidays
8 days / 6 riding days -
From £0
Family holidays
from 12 y.o
Open to non-riders

From the horse’s mouth

  • Azores, multi-activity programme
    April 2018 Rebecca
    I had the best time on my riding holiday in the Azores! The scenery was spectacular and the horses were amazing. The other activities were great as well- we got to see a Blue Whale and climb volcanoes! I rode Trevor and Devil who were both amazing, very gentle horses!
  • Azores, multi-activity programme
    April 2018 Danielle aged 24
    Faial is a very special place. Although Patio is located fairly rurally, there was not a single moment where we felt bored. The lodgings were sophisticated and modern, all the staff were friendly, and the horses were all happy and healthy. I will definitely be returning to the Azores! My horse, Diana, was an extremely... Read all
  • A rider training a Lusitano horse in Portugal
    Ride wonderful and well-trained Lusitanos
  • Hikers in the caldera of Faial Island
    Non-riders are welcome and can enjoy other activities
  • Comfortable accommodation at Patio Lodge
    Stay in a modern lodge, with the loveliest views!
  • Hiking trail on Faial Island, Azores
    Faial Island also offers excellent hiking
  • Whale watchers on a trip in the Azores
    A whale-watching trip is a unique experience
  • Dolphin-watching on a riding holiday on Faial
    Dolphin spotting - you can also swim with them!



- A very flexible programme, ideal for groups of friends and families including non-riders
- Discover everything Faial Island has to offer: hiking, swimming with dolphins, whale-watching excursions...
- Enjoy comfortable accommodation in picturesque surroundings
- 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
  • Day 1 1 : EUROPE- LISBON -HORTA - No riding

    Patio Lodge
    You will be met at Horta airport on Faial Island by a member of our local team. Outside of June and August we recommend you to spend the night before in Lisbon and take the 2,5 hour flight the following day. We can take care of your 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 Cedros (30 minutes) where you will be based for the rest of your stay. 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 : FAIAL - Flexible riding hours

    Patio Lodge
    Pre-purchased activity vouchers are exchanged on site for riding lessons, rides or trails. You stay flexible and can ideally adapt the riding to your holiday programme and budget. This programme is B&B only, lunch and dinner is yours to organise (there is an on-site restaurant). A half-board option with dinners included is possible, and there are other options available within walking distance.

    You are welcome to organise your holidays as you see fit:
    - Riding lessons 45 min. (1 unit)
    - Trail Riding 90 min. (3 units) or 3h (4 units)
    - Full-Day-Horse-Trail (6 units)
    - Whale Watching (3 units)
    - Dolphin swimming (3,5 units)
    - Island Tour (4.5 units)
    - Hiking in the volcano crater (2,5 units)
    - Rent-a-Scooter (2,5 units)
  • Day 3 3 : FAIAL - Flexible riding hours

    Patio Lodge
    Today is yours to organise as you wish. Beginner riders and people who have not been in the saddle recently may like to book a riding lesson in the morning, and a trail ride in the afternoon.
  • Day 4 4 : FAIAL - Flexible riding hours

    Patio Lodge
    You may like to go for a longer trail ride around the lodge, on their safe Lusitano and Cruzado Portuguese horses. A guided tour of 90 min or 3h will give you a good glimpse of this beautiful island. In the afternoon, swim with dolphins in their natural element. The gentle animals approach you up to one meter. Marine biologist and skipper accompany you.
  • Day 5 5 : FAIAL - Flexible riding hours

    Patio Lodge
    After a few days riding, why not look into some of the other activities on offer. For instance, you may like to go on a tour of the Island in a Jeep or Van, a day full of highlights from the Island crater, the sleeping volcano Capelinhos, and the city of Horta.
  • Day 6 6 : FAIAL - Flexible riding hours

    Patio Lodge
    This morning, follow your hiking guide in the crater, lying at a depth of 400 meters. In the afternoon, go on an exciting whale-watching trip - Faial Island is very famous for the huge sea mammals that abund off the coast. A team of marine biologist and skipper will accompany you.
  • Day 7 7 : FAIAL - Flexible riding hours

    Patio Lodge
    For your last day, why not go on a full-day trail ride. For example, the guide 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 (included), 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.
  • Day 8 8 : HORTA-EUROPE - No riding

    After 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 or Lisbon. Please contact us for details.

Dates & prices

Price details

No departure for this destination. Please contact our travel advisers for more information.
- International flights are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.   

- Rate based on accommodation in a double room, B&B only, with 20 activity units to be used as follows below.

- 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.

- If you sign up to the ride as a solo rider, you will be charged a single room supplement (see below).
> In 2021/2022, the single supplement is €228/£200/$280 in the low season November to March) and €315/£280/$380 in the high season (April to October)

- There is a rider weight limit of 95kgs/ 15stone/ 209 lbs - if you weigh more than 95kg and wish to ride, please contact us

- In season (from April to October) there is the option of staying in tents rather than the lodge, for a reduced price, or pay a supplement to upgrade to a private cottage with a small kitchen (all year-round). Please contact us.

Riding lesson 45 min. (1 activity unit)
Improve your riding seat, become a safe rider, learn to ride in the open terrain, learn to lead a hand horse, and much more. Determine your personal workload with your guide / trainer.

Lusitano - Trail (Beginner/Re-Starter) | 3 Units
After riding introduction you will ride 1.5h in walk on a gentle ride around the Lodge.

Half-Day Trail (Experienced) | 4 Units
We will ride in all gaits through the upper hills of the north coast, pass the high cliffs and visit a Whale Spotter Point.

Full-Day Trail to Highlights of Faial (Experienced) | 7.5 Units
Trail-Riding in all gaits at the Top-Sites of Faial Island. Including picnic and all transports of horse and rider.

Whale Watching with Marine Biologist | 3.5 Units
Observe the biggest mammals in the Ocean. More than 20 species living around Faial. A absolute must-do!

Swimming with Dolphins in the ocean | 3.5 Units
Swim with dolphins in the ocean. The gentle animals approach up to one meter. Marine biologist and skipper accompany you.

Descent into the crater of a volcano | 4 Units
Hike into the crater of Faial with a PÁTIO Nature Park Guide. 400m deep inside „Jurassic Park“ is waiting for you.

Full-Day Tour around Faial Island | 4.5 Units
Discover with your guide the Top Faial Highlights. Horta Town, Volcanoes, small harbours, whalers outlooks. Picnic included.

Full-Day Tour on Pico Island | 7.5 Units
The UNESCO World Heritage Vineyards, highest Mountain of Portugal, picturesque whalers villages and mystic caves (not available all year round, please enquire)

- Additional units can be pre-booked: €200/£180/$245 for 10 units.

- 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.

- Extend your journey and explore Lisbon. Consult us for the accommodation in the heart of Lisbon.
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


1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider
1 vehicle and driver

Inland transport

Airport transfers


Double or twin room at the lodge


Breakfast from day 2 to day 8

Additional equipment

Saddle bags

Price doesn't include


Beverages and personal extras
Lunch and dinner


International flights


Tips to the local team
Park, museum and tourist site fees


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



Single room supplement
Half-board supplement


Additional units
Australian coat rental: €5/day
We are currently updating our dates and prices they will be online soon. If you want details of this holiday, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Equestrian info


A herd of gentle and well-schooled pure Lusitanos or Lusitano-Cruzado Portuguese cross horses await you on Faial Isle. They spend the year round out on the prairies and are worked with daily. Their average height is 15.2hh and they can carry a maximum rider weight of 95kg/ 15stone/ 209 lbs.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You should be able to ride in all paces and in all kinds of terrain. Less experienced riders are welcome too and will benefit from riding lessons, please contact us.


Experienced riders will be taken on rides with some trot and some canters. Beginner riders will be on a separate group and will progress at their own pace.

Tacking ability and participation

Each rider grooms and tacks their own horse.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

A reasonable level of fitness is required, but you can make your own programme as relaxed or as adventurous as you'd like.

Equestrian equipment

Prestige trail saddle, saddlebags and Australian raincoats.
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.

Travel info


You will stay in the comfortable Patio Lodge built on the property in 2016. Cosy and inviting to come back to after a day’s riding, you will be able to enjoy the accommodation’s terrace and garden. The rooms are double or twin. You can also request a single room at an extra charge.

In 2020, the Lodge also added a lovely "Tiny House" to their offer, perfect for couples looking for a little more intimacy.

There is also a cosy cottage perfect for families and groups of friends that can sleep up to 4 (at a supplementary cost).

If all accommodation options at the lodge are fully booked at the time of your booking, you will be given the option to stay at a local guesthouse instead.

There is a small fitness centre with a pool.


Continental breakfast is included.

Lunch and dinner are not included, but there are some restaurants and snack-bars within walking distance, or a taxi can be organised to Horta. Those who would like to cook for themselves can request an upgrade to the private cottage, that comes with a small kitchen.


The Azores have a maritime climate with mild temperatures ranging from 16°C (60°F) in winter to a comfortable 26°C (79°F) in summer. The sea is warmed by the Gulf Stream and sea temperature varies from 14ºC to 22ºC. On average there is about three to four hours of sunshine a day in winter and seven to eight in summer. Rainfall is distributed around the year, but is heavier and more frequent in winter. Characteristic for the Azores is the wide variety of weather conditions within a short period; a single day can be windy and calm, sunny and showery in any combination! A typical and true remark is that if you don’t like the weather, you just have to wait 10 minutes!

Guide and local team

Victor and Anja stumbled across this beautiful little island years ago, and decided to make a life for themselves here. They bought an old Quinta, renovated it beautifully and soon added rooms to the structure. They are German and speak perfect English and Portuguese. Victor is occasionally seen leading the trails, while Anja looks after the horses and manages the facilities.

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.


Tipping is not compulsory but will be very much appreciated if you enjoy the services provided by the team. Tipping is totally at your discretion but we recommend €50 (€30 for the trail guide and €20 for the lodge team)

Packing list

- 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

Upper body
- Thermals (long or short sleeved)
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and are an extra layer
- T-shirts
- 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
- Thermals
- 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 and/or hiking shoes for the other activities you may choose to do
- Several pairs of socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, cold or rain whilst riding. Waterproof gloves can be particularly useful

Other useful items
- 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)

Medical kit
- 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

- 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!
- You should also bring a copy of your passport/insurance in case you lose your documents. You can also save a copy into your mobile phone.

Visa & Health


British citizens: other nationalities, please contact us.

Visas - you should be aware that the rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:
- you can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training
- if you are travelling to Portugal and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days

At border control for Portugal, you may need to:

- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay, and
- use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing
- Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit.

Passport validity

From 1 January 2021, you must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland).
If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You will need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

Please visit for the FCO website for up-to-date information -


UK Citizens: A UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in the European Union (EU).

It’s important to take out appropriate travel insurance for your needs. A GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both before you travel. It does not cover all health-related costs, for example, medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment.


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.

Budget and money

The Azores is a part of Portugal and the currency is Euro as well. Most of the restaurants, hotels and car-renting companies accept common credit-cards. But don't expect credit cards to be accepted in smaller restaurants and residencies. Be sure to carry small bills. There are places that it can be a problem to change bigger notes. Most banks accept Visa/MasterCard's. Most banks have employees who speak English or French.

Did you know?

Did you know?

Whale hunting
Whale hunting no longer operates on any island of the Azores. Until about 1980 whale hunting was one of the most important sources of income in the Azores. However, all whale hunting practices ended in the mid 80s. Today there are two whale hunting museums on the island of Pico, which is very interesting to visit. You can also see some of the old lookout points used by whale hunters on certain rides. Furthermore it is possible to go on a whale-watching excursing from Faial, Pico and Sao Miguel after your equestrian vacation in the Azores. It is possible to come very close to the many different kinds of whales and dolphins that live in the waters very near the Azores – whale-watching is one of the options offered by this multi-activity riding holiday.

On the blog

Not many people have heard of the Azores, a small Portuguese archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Earlier in the year, Iris decided to bring a couple of friends on a riding holiday and our multi-activity programme in the Azores was the way to go: plenty of riding, but also plenty of opportunities to try out other activities! Read her full account on the blog. 

Customer reviews

Customer reviews

All of our reviews are real, honest opinions from riders who have recently travelled with us. Upon their return, our riders will receive an email inviting them to share their experiences from their trip. Good or bad, each review will be published on our website, provided that they respect our editorial guidelines.
  • Rebecca Deerfield 2 trips
    April 2018
    I had the best time on my riding holiday in the Azores! The scenery was spectacular and the horses were amazing. The other activities were great as well- we got to see a Blue Whale and climb volcanoes! I rode Trevor and Devil who were both amazing, very gentle horses!
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide
  • Danielle aged 24 Headingley 1 trip
    April 2018
    Faial is a very special place. Although Patio is located fairly rurally, there was not a single moment where we felt bored. The lodgings were sophisticated and modern, all the staff were friendly, and the horses were all happy and healthy. I will definitely be returning to the Azores! My horse, Diana, was an extremely... Read all
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide