- 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
- Cheaper accommodation than the similar Dolphin Trail
Day 1 1: HOME - LISBON - GRANDOLA - No ridingMonte Das FaiasYour 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 Grandola . Your hotel, the Monte das Faias has comfortable rooms and a refined ambience. You will have dinner with your guide and the group in preperation for your first day of riding tomorrow.
Day 2 2: GRANDOLA - SANTIAGO DO CACEM - 4-5 hours ridingAlbergaria Dom NunoToday you ride through hilly landscapes to your first destination in Santiago do Cacém. After the first few canters, you will notice the Lusitanos’ wonderful character and sure-footedness. For lunch, a picnic will be prepared with grilled meats or fish accompanied by salad, fresh bread and local wine.
In the afternoon, rested after lunch and perhaps a siesta, you ride through the forests of pines and cork to Quinta da Ortiga where the horses will spend the night. There is a short transfer to your hotel, Albergaria D. Nuno, which has a swimming pool. Dinner will likely be taken at a local restaurant eating typical Portuguese food.
Day 3 3: SANTIAGO DO CACEM - MORGAVEL - 4-6 hours ridingAlbergaria Dom NunoLeaving from Quinta da Ortiga you ride through forests of eucalyptus, with their distinctive perfume and the sound of the bark crunching underneath the horses’ hooves. Near Morgavel’s Reservoir you stop for a picnic and a relaxing siesta.
Afterwards, there are plenty of opportunities for canters along the sandy tracks across the Portuguese countryside.
Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at Albergaria D. Nuno.
Day 4 4: SANTIAGO DO CACEM - SEBUTAL - 3-4 hours ridingVila ParkToday, either in the morning or afternoon, you will have a short transfer of c. 30 minutes to Sebutal where you will join a two hour boat trip to see the dolphins play in the Sado river estuary. Dolphin sightings cannot be guaranteed but are very likely. Also please note that the boat trip is subject to weather conditions.
Todays ride will explore sandy trails through fields and forests, allowing for several long canters. You ride past the St. Andre Lagoon where you may see flamingos and storks. Continue riding past the rice fields of the area, which in late summer, prior to harvest, are an astonishing colour of green. Your accommodation is at the modern and comfortable Hotel Vila Park, where you can relax and take a swim in the pool.
Day 5 5: BEACH RIDE - 4-6 hours ridingVila ParkThis mornings ride will be in the direction of the beach. Please note that from June to September this ride will be at dawn to avoid the holiday makers on the beach. There should be opportunities for long canters and gallops on the beach (tides permitting).
After lunch, ride through the forests of pines and hills of the Atlantic coast, close to the Lagoon of St. André. Later in the afternoon you arrive at the stables of the St. André Riding Centre where the horses will spend the night.
You will be transferred back to your hotel for dinner at a local restaurant with traditional Portuguese food.
Day 6 6: ST ANDRE - GRANDOLA - 4-6 hours ridingMonte Das FaiasToday you ride from St. André towards Grândola. Along the route there are many opportunities for long canters. You may meet herds of cows and sheep being tended by shepherds as you traverse a mixture of red and sandy paths. Dinner and overnight at Monte das Faias**.
**Please note that on the trail of August 9th this hotel will be replaced by Hotel d. Jorge Lencastre in Grandola.
Day 7 7: GRANDOLA - 4-6 hours ridingMonte Das FaiasToday you ride near the Serra of Grândola through a beautiful landscape of picturesque Portuguese villages. Stop for the last picnic of the trail where both horses and riders can take a siesta after lunch. Return to your hotel for a farewell dinner and to overnight.
**Please note that on the trail of August 9th this hotel will be replaced by Hotel d. Jorge Lencastre in Grandola.
Day 8 8: GRANDOLA - LISBON - HOME - No ridingAfter 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 for a private transfer - contact us for rates.
Dates & prices
- Rides are confirmed for a minimum of 5 riders and a usual maximum of 10 riders, plus your guide
- Please note: the ride will also confirm for 3-4 riders on payment of a supplement. This is 25% of the rate for 3 riders, 10% for 4 riders. Once the group has reached 5 people, we will remove this supplement from your invoice and refund you if you have already paid it.
- If you sign up to the ride as a solo rider and there are no other riders likely to share your room, you will be charged a single room supplement. You will then be reimbursed if a sharer is found for you at a later date.
> Low season: €300/£265/$360
> High season: €390/£345/$460
- Transfers are provided as long as you arrive before 16:30 on day 1 (on time for your 5:30 pm transfer) and depart after midday on day 8. If you wish to book flights outside of these times then a private transfer can be arranged but is a taxi at your own cost.
- 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. The rate is €800/£705/$950 (low season) and €850/£750/$900 (high-season)
- All meals are included as well as drinks during picnic lunches. All evening drinks are payable locally to the hotels/restaurants. It is usual that those who wish to drink wine will split the bill - this will be discussed with your guide on day one
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 assistant cook
1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle
Airport transfers at set times
Price doesn't include
Your meals on day 1 and 8 depending on your flights
Small group supplement (between 3-4 riders)
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 27/02/2022 06/03/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,507 Guaranteed departure Book now
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 27/03/2022 03/04/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,507 Open Book now
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 26/06/2022 03/07/2022 £1,200 €1,413 $1,644 Guaranteed departure Book now
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 10/07/2022 17/07/2022 £1,200 €1,413 $1,644 Guaranteed departure Book now 21/08/2022 28/08/2022 £1,200 €1,413 $1,644 Full 28/08/2022 04/09/2022 £1,200 €1,413 $1,644 Guaranteed departure Book now
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 02/10/2022 09/10/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,507 Full
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 13/11/2022 20/11/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,507 Open Book now
Minimum riding ability
Minimum riding ability
There is a rider weight limit of 85kgs.
Tacking ability and participation
Trip conditions and Requested experience
Saddlebags are not provided.
We recommend all our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.
Most of the hotels have swimming pools.
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.
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.
Guide and local team
- 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
- Long sleeved shirts to provide protection from the sun
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm polar fleece or equivalent
- Waterproof jacket - rain can be difficult to predict and it's better to be prepared.
- 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
- Pyjamas etc
- 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
- 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
Visa & Health
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.
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 - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal
Addresses of consulates
- Ambassade du Portugal
3, rue de Noisiel
Tél. : 01.47.27.35.29
- Ambassade de France
Rua Santos-o-Velho 5
Tél. : +351 21 393 9100
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.
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.
Budget and money
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.
Telephone and jetlag
The time zone is GMT +1
Did you know?
Did you know?
Bottlenose dolphins can be found worldwide and they can survive in cold, temperate and tropical waters. However, the dolphins of the Sado estuary are a unique population as they can be observed in the estuary year-round.
The oldest recorded sighting of dolphins in the estuary was in 1863 and there has been a resident population since this time. Studies were carried out on the dophins in the 1980's when there were almost 40 members in the pod. Sadly this number is decreasing and there are currently around 27 dolphins in the group. Species reproduction is slow, with a gestation period of 12 months and the mother caring for her single calf for 3-5 years before agreeing to mate again.
Each of the dolphins in the Sado estuary has been photo-identified and named - each one is unique with different sized and shaped dorsal fins and scarring.
You should be lucky enough to view the Sado's dolphins on this trail ride in Portugal as well as on our Dolphin Trail ride.