Portugal

Kingdom of the Lusitano

A fabulous trail ride through hilly meadows full of wild flowers, culminating in a visit to a national Portugese stud farm where you can view the new foals, mares and stallions. Well schooled horses and plenty of opportunities for canters make for a wonderful trail ride.
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Trail Riding
8 days / 6 days riding
From £1,435
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Itinerary

Highlights

- Beautifully well-schooled Lusitano and Lusitano cross horses
- A chance to visit an 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 riding

    Monte Do Padrao
    Your 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 riding

    Monte Dos Aroeirais
    Meet 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 riding

    Varandas de Alter
    Todays 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 riding

    Varandas de Alter
    Today 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 riding

    Monte Dos Aroeirais
    Leave 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 riding

    Monte Do Padrao
    Today 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 riding

    Monte Do Padrao
    Today 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 riding

    After breakfast, transfer back to Lisbon and departure.

    You should book a flight departing after noon from Lisbon.

Dates & prices

Price details

- 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.
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

1 English speaking horse guide

Logistic

1 support vehicle
1 cook
1 assistant cook
1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle

Inland transports

Private bus
Airport transfers outward and return within set hours

Accommodation

Double room in hotel standard 3/4*
Double room in Guesthouses

Meals

Full board from first diner to last breakfast. Water, wine and soft drinks are included at lunch. Drinks with the exception of water are not included at dinner.

Extra equipment

First aid kit

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverage and personal extra
Free meals on day 1 and 8 depending on your flights

Transports

International flights bookable on request

Extra

Small group supplement (between 2-4 riders)
Tips to local team

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurances are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend to take out an insurance policy as soon as your travel is booked in case of cancellation.

Optional

Accommodation

Single room supplement
  • May - June 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    09/05/2021 16/05/2021 £1,435 Open Book now
    16/05/2021 23/05/2021 £1,435 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

You ride the beautiful and calm Lusitano and Lusitano cross-bred horses which are bred in Portugal. They are well-schooled and a pleasure to ride. There are calm and quiet horses for intermediate riders and more spirited mounts for experienced riders. You ride in English style tack with comfortable sheepskin covered saddles.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You need to be at least an intermediate rider, capable of riding a sensible horse at all paces in the outdoors. There are more spirited horses available for experienced riders.

There is a rider weight limit of 85kgs/13.3 st/187 lbs. Heavier riders please contact us.

Pace

The pace is varied to include trots, canters and possible gallops. Some of the canters can be long and across varied terrain so you need to be secure in the saddle.

Tacking ability and participation

You will be asked to assist with grooming, tacking and un-tacking your horse.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You should have experience riding outdoors on trails and be confident riding in open spaces. You need to be fit enough for some long canters in the sometimes hot Portugese sun.

Equestrian equipment

English tack.
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.

Travel info

Comfort

You stay in renovated farmhouses or local hotels. Some of the hotels are of a high standard and level of comfort. The rooms are double/twin and have en-suite bathrooms. Most of the hotels have swimming pools.

Meals

Lunches are picnic - usually BBQ meats or fish with salads and bread. Red wine is provided.
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.

Climate

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

Your guide is Miguel and he has been guiding in this area for many years and helped discover the routes you ride. He was a prestigious dressage instructor before choosing to guide trails instead and speaks fantastic English. He is supported by a back-up vehicle driver who meets you for lunch each day and transports your luggage.

Tips

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

Packing list

Head
- 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

Upper body
- Long sleeved shirts to provide protection from the sun
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm polar fleece or equivalent
- Waterproof jacket - rain can be difficult to predict and it's better to be prepared.

Legs
- 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

Nightwear
- Pyjamas etc

Our Recommendations
- 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

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


Visa & Health

Formalities

British citizens: other nationalities, please contact us.

Passport validity
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.

Visas
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.
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
    75116 PARIS
    Tél. : 01.47.27.35.29
    Fax :
    mailto@embaixada-portugal-fr.org
  • Ambassade de France
    Rua Santos-o-Velho 5
    LISBONNE
    Tél. : +351 21 393 9100
    Fax :
    contact@ambafrance-pt.org

Health

Make sure you take your EHIC card with you.
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.

Insurance

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.

Voltage

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?

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.