From the horse’s mouth
- 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
- Comfortable and unique accommodation - converted farmhouses and quality hotels
Day 1 1: LONDON - LISBON - GRANDOLA - No ridingBarradas Da SerraYour 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 Barradas de Serra. Here you stay in a rural house with typical Alentejana architecture. This pleasant herdade has charming staff and a relaxed atmosphere where you can swim in the pool or rest in the comfortable rooms before your first day of riding.
Dinner and overnight at Herdade das Barradas da Serra.
Day 2 2: GRANDOLA - SANTIAGO DO CACEM - 4 hours ridingMonte XistoYour first day of riding takes you through hilly landscapes to Santiago do Cacem. After your first few canters you will notice how characterful and sure-footed your Lusitano horse is.
You will stop for lunch in the shade where a picnic with grilled meat or fish, salad, bread and wine will be prepared for you.
In the afternoon you continue riding through forests of pine and cork trees until reaching Quinta da Ortiga where the horses will be stabled. You are transferred a short distance to your hotel, Minte Xisto Here you have dinner and spend the night.
Day 3 3: MONTE XISTO - 4-6 hours ridingMonte XistoToday you traverse forests of eucalyptus, with their distinctive perfume as the horses' hooves crunch through the fallen leaves.
Stop for lunch near Morgavel's reservoir where there is time for a short siesta!
In the afternoon there are opportunities for some fast canters along the sandy tracks as you return to your hotel for a second night.
Day 4 4: MONTE XISTO - SANTO ANDRE - 3-4 hours ridingVila ParkToday, either in the morning or the afternoon, you wil be transferred c. 30mins to the Sado River where you will join a 2hr boat trip into the estuary to look for dolphins. Dolphin sightings can not be guaranteed but are very likely. Please note that the boat trip is subject to weather conditions.
For your half day ride you will explore sandy trails through fields and forests, allowing for several canters. You ride past Santa Andre lagoon where you may see flamingoes and storks. Continue past rice fields, which in summer are an astonishing shade of green, until reaching your hotel - the Vila Park.
Day 5 5: BEACH RIDE - 4-6 hours ridingVila ParkToday you ride from your hotel to the beach. Between June and September this ride is at dawn to avoid holiday makers on the beach - it's a beautiful ride as the sun rises over the dunes. There should be opportunities for beach canters (tides permitting) before reaching your picnic spot amongst the pine forests. There may be a chance to swim in the sea before riding back through the dunes to your hotel.
Diner will likely be in a local restaurant tonight.
Day 6 6: MELIDES - GRANDOLA - 4-6 hours ridingBarradas Da SerraTodays ride takes you from the coast towards Grandola. There are many opportunities for faster riding today as you pass through the pine forests. Red paths alternate with sandy paths and you may encounter herds of sheep or cows being tended by their owners.
Return to Herdade das Barradas da Serra where there may be time for a refreshing swim before dinner.
Day 7 7: GRANDOLA - 4-6 hours ridingBarradas Da SerraYour final day of riding is through the Sierra of Grandola - a rolling landscape dotted with picturesque villages. Stop for a final picnic lunch and siesta before continuing your circuit back to Barradas da Serra for a farewell dinner.
Day 8 8: GRANDOLA - LISBON - LONDON - 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 c. 140 Euro for a private transfer to the airport.
Dates & prices
- Rides are confirmed for a minimum of 3 riders and a usual maximum of 10 riders, plus your guide
- IMPORTANT - there is a small group supplement payable if the group size is fewer than five riders
If there are 3 riders, the supplement is 25%, and 10% if there are 4 riders.
- There is a single supplement of £450 (€510) if you end up in a single room. This is refunded if we find a sharer for you.
- Transfers are provided as long as you arrive before 16:30 and depart after midday. 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. There is a discount for an accompanying non-rider. Please contact us.
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 support vehicle
1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle
Airport transfers if arriving at set times
Price doesn't include
International flights bookable on request
Small group supplement (between 2-4 riders)
March - April 2021
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 07/03/2021 14/03/2021 £1,320 Full 21/03/2021 28/03/2021 £1,320 Guaranteed departure Book now
September - October 2021
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 10/10/2021 17/10/2021 £1,350 Full 24/10/2021 31/10/2021 £1,350 Guaranteed departure Book now 31/10/2021 07/11/2021 £1,350 Guaranteed departure Book now
Minimum riding ability
Minimum riding ability
There is a rider weight limit of 85kgs/13.3 st/187 lb
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.
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
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.
Visas from 1 January 2021
The rules for travelling or working in Europe will change from 1 January 2021:
- you will be able to travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa 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 limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel would count towards the 90-day limit
- The 90-day limit for visa-free travel will begin on 1 January 2021. Any days you stay in Portugal or other Schengen countries before 1 January 2021 will not count towards the 90-day limit.
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.
The rules on travel will stay the same until 31 December 2020.
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.
Passport validity from 1 January 2021
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
You will be treated on the same basis as a Portuguese resident, but you might have to make a patient contribution to the cost of your care. If you have to make such a payment, you may be able to seek reimbursement for this cost when you are back in the UK if you are not able to do so in Portugal. It is important that you ensure you are treated by a state healthcare provider, as you will not be covered for private healthcare. You should be particularly careful if the healthcare arrangements have been made by a hotel or travel representative. 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?
Portugal produces more than 50% of all cork in the world and the best quality cork is produced in the south of Portugal - the Algarve and Alentejo.
Cork is the outer bark of the cork oak tree and you will ride through forests of cork oak on this trail ride in Portugal. The outer layer of bark is harvested every 9-10 years in late spring and summer, and is still harvested by hand. The men who harvest the oak cork are among the highest paid agricultural workers in the world, which reflects their level of skill.
The average cork tree yields one tonne of cork in its lifetime - that's equivalent to 65,000 stoppers, and 340,000 tonnes of cork stoppers are produced each year. A natural cork is able to maintain its full sealing capacity for more than 100 years owing to its elasticity and the waxes and fatty acids in its composition.
It is not uncommon to see dead cork oak trees standing within a forest (or montados) as it is illegal for a landowner to cut down a cork oak tree in Portugal, regardless of whether it's dead or alive!