Lusitano horse running free in the bullpen at Alcainça, Portugal

Classical Dressage in Portugal

The perfect riding holiday for the dressage lover or for those who wish to discover this magnificent art. Just outside Lisbon, stay at this dressage centre and have lessons on their highly schooled Lusitano horses from one of their experienced instructors.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Dressage stays
8 days / 7 riding
From £995
Open to non-riders
  • Classical dressage in Portugal
    Classical dressage in Portugal
  • Training under Georges Malleroni at Alcainça school of dressage, Portugal
    Enjoy classical dressage lessons in small groups of 2 or 3 riders
  • Two Lusitano horses and a rider on a dressage holiday at Alcainça, Portugal
    Discover the Lusitano - a friendly breed with wonderful dressage aptitudes
  • Lusitano horse ridden at sunset in front of a traditional mill, Portugal
    A lovely dressage holiday in Portugal
  • Dressage rider doing dressage movements at Alcainça in Portugal
    Ride schoolmasters and improve your dressage skills in Portugal
  • Rider enjoying a dresssage lesson with Georges Malleroni at Alcainça near Lisbon
    There are three main dressage instructors, all extremely competent
  • Lusitano horse running free in the bullpen at Alcainça, Portugal
    The dressage horses are all pure-bred or part-bred Lusitanos
  • Beautiful Portuguese horse used for the dressage holidays at Alcainça in Portugal
    Enjoy a dressage vacation in Portugal, near Lisbon.
  • Horse looking outside of his stable at Alcainça school of Dressage
    Enjoy a lovely, relaxed dressage holiday in sunny Portugal
  • Ceramic tiles at Alcainça school of dressage in Portugal
    Dressage holiday in Portugal for riders of all abilities



- Classical dressage lessons in small groups of 2 or 3 riders (maximum 4 in a group)
- 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 lesson

    Your 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 lessons

    You 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 lessons

    Again 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 lessons

    Again 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 lessons

    Again 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 lessons

    Again 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 7 7 : DRESSAGE - 1 or 2 lessons

    Again 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 8 8 : LISBON - HOME - 1 lesson

    Provided 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

Price details

- Flights are not included.

- 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.
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

English speaking instructors under the leadership of Mr Georges Malleroni


1 horse equipped with classical dressage saddle and bridle (the horse can change during the stay)


Double room in Guesthouses (7 nights)


Full board from first dinner to last breakfast during the ride

Price doesn't include


Beverage and personal extra


International flights


Tips to local team


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



Single room supplement


Airport transfers on destination
  • 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

Equestrian info


There are approximately 20 horses available for guests and they are all pure-bred or part-bred Lusitanos. Some are stallions but mainly they are geldings. The horses are at varying levels of training, so there are schoolmasters for intermediate riders or those just starting out in dressage as well as horses capable of producing high school movements for experienced riders.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You should be able to walk, trot and canter and be a confident rider.
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.


Depending on your experience you will work in all three paces and may include movements such as shoulder-in, travers, half pass, piaffe etc.

Tacking ability and participation

You will be expected to assist with grooming, tacking up and untacking your horse each day but grooms are available to assist you if necessary.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

No special difficulties, but a prior knowledge of basic dressage is required. You will get more out of the tuition if you have some experience of basic dressage terms, such as shoulder-in.

Equestrian equipment

Spurs and sticks will be made available to you if the instructors feel you require them.

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.

Travel info


The guesthouse at the dressage centre has four twin rooms on site, each with private bathroom and located close to the stables. There are also an additional three twin rooms just over the road. The dining room, communal living area with TV and bar, as well as the unheated swimming pool are all available year round.


You eat all your meals in the dining room at the riding centre, which overlooks the indoor arena.

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.


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.

Guide and local team

There are two main instructors and it is likely that you will have lessons with one of them throughout your stay for continuity and consistency in your training.

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.


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

Packing list

- A helmet is mandatory. Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses

Upper body
- Long sleeved shirts to provide protection from the sun
- T-shirts
- 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

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

Our Recommendations
- 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


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 -

Addresses of consulates

  • Ambassade du Portugal
    3, rue de Noisiel
    75116 PARIS
    Tél. :
    Fax :
  • Ambassade de France
    Rua Santos-o-Velho 5
    Tél. : +351 21 393 9100
    Fax :


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.

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.


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.


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

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.

Telephone and jetlag

The dialling code for Portugal is +351

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.