- Choose to have one or two lessons each day (each lesson lasts between 1 and 1.5 hours)
- Beautifully schooled Lusitano horses, some of whom are capable of high school movements
- Non riders are welcome
- Plan your week to allow time to visit some of the surrounding area such as local monasteries, Lisbon city or the Portugese School of Equestrian Art at Queluz.
Day 1 1 : HOME - LISBON - One or no lessonAlcaincaYour flight to Lisbon can arrive at any time, although please note that there is no discount if your late arrival means that you miss dinner on the first night.
You will be met on arrival at Lisbon airport and transferred to the equestrian centre which is located just 25km from Lisbon. Alternatively you may prefer to hire a car and drive yourself to the centre - we can provide driving directions.
After settling into your room, and time permitting, you will have your first dressage lesson this afternoon (if you have selected the programme with 2 lessons a day)
Day 2 2 : DRESSAGE - 1 or 2 lessonsAlcaincaYou will have pre-booked either one or two lessons today.
Each lesson comprises 2 - 4 riders and lasts between 1 hour and 1h30.
The morning lessons start around 09:30 and the afternoon lessons start around 16:00, although this can vary depending on the time of year and weather.
Lessons usually start in walk with the chance to practice shoulder-in, leg yielding and travers before moving onto trot and canter. For those with prior dressage experience if may be possible to practice Spanish walk, piaffe, passage or pirouettes. Classical dressage is particularly focused on lightness, beauty and expression.
If you have chosen only one lesson today, then this could be either in the morning or the afternoon and the rest of the day can be spend relaxing at the centre, by the pool or perhaps off-site visiting Lisbon or Queluz.
Please note that over the duration of your stay, you migh take lessons with different instructors, depending on your riding abilities and language preferences.
Day 3 3 : DRESSAGE - 1 or 2 lessonsAlcaincaAgain you will have booked either one or two dressage lessons for today. It is not always possible to request additional lessons once you have arrived so you should be certain to book enough in advance.
Day 4 4 : DRESSAGE - 1 or 2 lessonsAlcaincaAgain you will have booked either one or two dressage lessons for today. It is not always possible to request additional lessons once you have arrived so you should be certain to book enough in advance.
Day 5 5 : DRESSAGE - 1 or 2 lessonsAlcaincaAgain you will have booked either one or two dressage lessons for today. It is not always possible to request additional lessons once you have arrived so you should be certain to book enough in advance.
Day 6 6 : DRESSAGE - 1 or 2 lessonsAlcainca
Day 7 7 : DRESSAGE - 1 or 2 lessonsAlcainca
Day 8 8 : LISBON - HOME - 1 lessonProvided your flight time allows you will have a final lesson this morning before being transferred back to Lisbon airport. Flights are not included but we can book these for you on request.
Dates & prices
- Prices quoted include one lesson each day except on arrival day, but there is the option to add a second lesson for a supplement - please ask for more information so that we can book your preferred programme. Rates details:
Rate for 8 days with 1 lesson of 1 to 1H30 per day:
January and February : €1000 - £890 - $1225
March to October (inc) : €1245 - £1100 - $1515
November and December : €1120 - £995 - $1370
Rate for 8 days with 2 lessons of 1 to 1H30 per day (except on the first and last day, 1 lesson only):
January and February : €1215 - £920 - $1265
March to October (inc) : €1515 - £1350 - $1855
November and December : €1365 - £1215 - $1670
Non rider rates for 8 days
January and February : €615 - £550 - $755
March to October (inc) : €770 - £685 - $945
November and December : €695 - £620 - $855
- Dates are flexible and you can arrive/depart on any day and stay for as long as you like with discounts for longer stays. The riding centre will confirm for one person and all departures are guaranteed. Please contact us for a personalised quote.
- If you return to the dressage centre a second time during the same year then there is a discount of 5% off the ride price (not including flights/transfers).
- There is a single supplement unless you are willing to share with another rider - c. €260/£230/$315 for the week.
- Transfers can be arranged from the airport or Lisbon city centre to the dressage centre at extra cost. From the airport to the dressage centre costs c. €110/£95/$130 return for the vehicle (1-3 passengers); from the city centre to the dressage school costs c. €115/£100/$135 return for the vehicle (1-3 passengers). These will be invoiced to you before your departure. Alternatively you may prefer to hire a car and drive yourself - we can provide driving directions.
- Christmas and New Year:
Departures for Christmas and New Year - £35 discount on programme 1 (1 lesson/day) and £75 on programme 2 (2 lessons/day). This reflects the fact that there won't be any riding on 24/12 - 25/12 - 1/01.
- Riders from 12 years are welcome if they have the required riding level and a good level of concentration, and if accompanied by their parents.
- A driver is available during your stay if you wish to take a local excursion, such as to the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art, Mafra or Lisbon - these excursions are at additional cost and payable locally.
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 doesn't include
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 28/05/2022 04/06/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Full 04/06/2022 11/06/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Full 11/06/2022 18/06/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Full 18/06/2022 25/06/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Full 25/06/2022 02/07/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 02/07/2022 09/07/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now 09/07/2022 16/07/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now 16/07/2022 23/07/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now 23/07/2022 30/07/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now 30/07/2022 06/08/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now 06/08/2022 13/08/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now 13/08/2022 20/08/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now 20/08/2022 27/08/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now 27/08/2022 03/09/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 03/09/2022 10/09/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now 10/09/2022 17/09/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now 17/09/2022 24/09/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now 24/09/2022 01/10/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now 01/10/2022 08/10/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now 08/10/2022 15/10/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now 15/10/2022 22/10/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now 22/10/2022 29/10/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now 29/10/2022 05/11/2022 £1,100 €1,295 $1,342 Guaranteed departure Book now
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 05/11/2022 12/11/2022 £995 €1,172 $1,214 Full 12/11/2022 19/11/2022 £995 €1,172 $1,214 Guaranteed departure Book now 19/11/2022 26/11/2022 £995 €1,172 $1,214 Guaranteed departure Book now 26/11/2022 03/12/2022 £995 €1,172 $1,214 Guaranteed departure Book now 03/12/2022 10/12/2022 £995 €1,172 $1,214 Guaranteed departure Book now 10/12/2022 17/12/2022 £995 €1,172 $1,214 Guaranteed departure Book now 17/12/2022 24/12/2022 £995 €1,172 $1,214 Guaranteed departure Book now 24/12/2022 31/12/2022 £995 €1,172 $1,214 Guaranteed departure Book now
Minimum riding ability
Minimum riding ability
Riders who have some prior experience of dressage will get the most from this holiday. An understanding of some basic terms, such as shoulder-in is required. The centre cannot cater for beginner riders. You will be expected to wear a hard hat when mounted and please note that we can not guarantee that your lessons will be with a particular instructor.
Rider weight limit - 89 kgs / 13.5 stones. Heavier riders please contact us.
Tacking ability and participation
Trip conditions and Requested experience
Riding helmets are mandatory. We recommend all our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.
Breakfast is continental and buffet style.
Lunch is light such as quiche and salad.
Dinner is usually fish or meat with salads and vegetables. The focus is on traditional Portugese cuisine and all is prepared locally by the chef.
All drinks and wine are included.
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
Mario Cardoso, who speaks English and Portuguese, is specialised in the training of young horses, as well as being a regional champion in Working Equitation.
An accomplished dressage rider, Mario has worked and trained with Bruno Carrilho (owner of the Lusitano sport horse stud farm Quinta dos Cedros), Miguel Ralão (dressage rider, Olympic), João Moreira, José João Dinis, Vasco Freire’s Dressage Plus (one of the most important stud farm of Lusitanian sport of the moment), as well as riding in shows alongside Miguel Fonseca (several times world champion of working horse) across all of Portugal.
Sérgio Henriques, who speaks English and Portuguese, is a rider with extensive experience in the Working Equitation Discipline. He has competed in the National Working Equitation Championship for several years, accomplishing a Bronze Medal in the Portuguese Working Equitation Cup. Currently, he is a judge in the Regional and National Championships and in the Portuguese Working Equitation Cup. He is also a Portuguese Equitation Judge.
More recently, Sérgio started competing in National Dressage Competitions. Sérgio has sought to evolve as a rider, participating in several classes and clinics with the riders, Eng.º Bento Castelhano, Pedro Torres, Jorge Sousa, Miguel Ralão Duarte, and Nuno Chaves de Almeida.
- A helmet is mandatory. Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Long sleeved shirts to provide protection from the sun
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm polar fleece or equivalent, particularly in winter
- 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
- 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 boots, particularly if you are used to riding in them.
- Shoes for the evenings
- Several pairs of socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding
- Pyjamas etc (something warm in winter as the nights can be cold)
Other useful items
- Swimsuit - the pool is open during summer months
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- 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
- 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 (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!
- Carry a copy of your passport and insurance policy with you.
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?
Nuno Oliveira (1925-1989) was a Portugese riding instructor, considered as the most important master of equestrian art in the 20th century. Fuelled by a love of equestrian culture and opera music, he approached riding as a true art and devoted his time to learning and teaching lightness and the love of the horse through his clinics and writing. Hypersensitive, quick-tempered, generous, independent and a genius he is still revered amongst lovers of classical dressage.