- A chance to visit Alter Real stud and view the new foals
- The trail runs in the spring when the meadows are full of flowers
- Plenty of opportunities for good, long canters
- Convivial and friendly guide
- Comfortable and unique accommodation - converted farmhouses and quality hotels
Day 1 1 : LONDON - LISBON - FIGUEIRA E BARROS - No ridingMonte Do PadraoYour flight to Lisbon should arrive by 16:30 to allow time for you to collect your luggage.
At 17:30 you will be transferred north-east c. 150km to the town of Figueira e Barros. For your first night you stay in a renovated farmhouse, the Monte do Padrão. This lovely historic accommodation has a very welcoming host who may invite you to enjoy some of the wines from his cellar.
You will have dinner with your guide and the rest of the group.
Day 2 2 : FIGUEIRA E BARROS - MONTE DOS AROEIRAIS - 4-6 hours ridingMonte Dos AroeiraisMeet your horses and ride over hilly meadows and down to a river, where you stop for lunch. This is a large-scale land-holding and there are few fences and roads. Most of the stone bridges over the numerous rivers date back to the romans.
For lunch, a picnic will be prepared with grilled meats or fish together with salad, fresh bread and local wine.
In the afternoon, continue riding along the banks of the river – it may be necessary to dismount and lead your horse over some particularly rocky sections.
The day ends at Monte dos Aroeirais where you can spend the evening and dinner in the beautiful garden by the pool.
Day 3 3 : MONTE DOS AROEIRAIS - ALTER DO CHAO - 4-6 hours ridingVarandas de AlterTodays ride takes you from Monte dos Aroeirais to the town of Alter do Chão, through meadows where they raise wild bulls. After a picnic lunch and siesta you arrive at the Alter Real stud farm where the horses are stabled.
You are transferred a short distance to your accommodaiton at Varandas de Alter, where you have dinner.
Day 4 4 : ALTER DO CHAO - 2 and a half hours ridingVarandas de AlterToday in the morning you will ride through the vast flower-filled meadows on the lands of the stud farm. After lunch at the hotel, you will visit Alter do Chão, the stud and breeding farm. Horses bred here are very famous and traded under the name Alter. This is often a highlight and not only for horse-lovers. In this idyllic location, hundreds of mares and their colts graze on large meadows filled with flowers. You should also get the opportunity to see some of the stallions and young horses.
Return to the town of Alter where, time allowing, we stop at a Portuguese tack shop where you can buy local riding products such as leather chaps, boots or belts. Dinner and overnight at Varandas de Alter.
Day 5 5 : ALTER DO CHAO - RIBEIRA DA SEDA - 4-6 hours ridingMonte Dos AroeiraisLeave the stud farm behind and ride to Ribeira da Seda through large meadows with only one remote farmhouse to remind you of the presence of people. The horses will stay in Monte do Padrão whilst you will be transferred to the manor of Monte dos Aroeirais.
Dinner and overnight at Monte dos Aroeirais.
Day 6 6: MONTE DO PADRAO - 4-6 hours ridingMonte Do PadraoToday you ride through the fields of the 3,000 hectare farm of Monte do Padrão, exploring the great plains of the upper Alentejo, which are home to extensive fruit and olive orchards.
Dinner and overnight at Monte do Padrão.
Day 7 7 : MONTE DO PRADRAO - MARANHAO LAKE - MONTE DO PRADRAO - 4-6 hours ridingMonte Do PadraoToday you ride from Monte do Padrão. towards Lake Maranhão through the private hunting grounds of the Calatrava, consisting of open fields and cork forests. There is lots of opportunity for long trots and canters. You enjoy lunch on the banks of the dam before returning to the farm by a similar route. Farewell dinner and overnight at Monte do Padrão.
Day 8 8 : MONTE DO PRADRAO - LISBON - UK - No ridingAfter breakfast, transfer back to Lisbon and departure.
You should book a flight departing after noon from Lisbon.
Dates & prices
- International flights are not included.
- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a double or twin room.
- Rides are confirmed for a minimum of 5 riders and a usual maximum of 10 riders, plus your guide.
- If you sign up to the ride singularly and there are no other riders likely to share your room, you will be charged a single room supplement of approx. £510 (€580). You will then be reimbursed if a sharer is found for you at a later date.
- IMPORTANT - there is a small group supplement payable if the group size is less than five riders. This is 25% of the rate for 3 riders, 10% for 4 riders.
- Transfers are provided as long as your flights arrive before 18:00 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.
- There is a rider weight limit of 85kgs - please contact us if you weigh more than this.
- 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 and benefit from a reduction. 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 horse equipped with saddle and bridle
Airport transfers outward and return within set hours
Double room in Guesthouses
Price doesn't include
Free meals on day 1 and 8 depending on your flights
Tips to local team
Minimum riding ability
Minimum riding ability
There is a rider weight limit of 85kgs/13.3 st/187 lbs. Heavier riders please contact us.
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
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?
The Alter Real is a strain of Lusitano which is only bred at the Alter Real State Stud in Portugal. Founded in 1948 by the Portugese royal family the stud provided horses for royal use and the national riding academy. The Portugese School of Equestrian Art exclusively uses Alter Real Lusitano's in their performances.
The Alter Real strain was developed from 300 Iberian mares imported from Spain in 1747. When Napolean invaded Spain the Alter Real strain deteriorated rapidly with the introduction of Thoroughbred, Arab and Hanoverian blood, but was re-established later in the 19th century with the re-introduction of Spanish blood. During the 1910 revolution the Alter Real almost faced extinction as records were burnt, stallions gelded and the stud closed.
Ruy d'Andrade, a specialist Iberian breeder, saved two stallions and several mares and was able to re-establish the strain once again, turning over his herd to the Portugese Ministry of Agriculture in 1942. The Portugese state re-opened the stud and still maintains ownership, continuing to breed horses for use in high school dressage.
On this trail ride in Portugal you visit the Alter Real stud to view the mares and foals, stallions and youngstock.