- A linear trail so you end in a different place to where you began!
- The trail runs in both directions so you can choose whether to ride south to north or north to south
- The chance to canter/gallop down a deserted beach (please note that in September this may be at dawn)
- Convivial and friendly guide
- Comfortable and unique accommodation - converted farmhouses and quality hotels
Day 1 1: HOME - LISBON - MELIDES - No ridingVila ParkYour flight to Lisbon should arrive by 16:30 to allow time for you to collect your luggage. Flights are not included but we can book them for you on request.
At 17:30 you will be transferred south c. 135km to the town of Santo Andre, and the hotel where you will spend the night.
Have dinner with your guide and the rest of the group.
Day 2 2: BEACH RIDE - 5 hours ridingVila ParkToday you will meet your horse and ride towards the beach. In September, this ride will likely be at dawn to avoid the holiday makers on the beach. If everyone is comfortable and secure on their horses, then there is the possibility of a gallop or canter on the beach before reaching a lovely picnic spot in the pine forest where your horses rest while you may swim in the sea and later have lunch.
Lunch is a picnic prepared with grilled meats or fish accompanied by salad, fresh bread and local wine.
After lunch, ride through the dunes and return to your hotel. Dinner is at a local restaurant.
NB. This ride also runs in reverse. Less confident riders are advised to choose the reverse itinerary where the beach ride is on the final day - this gives you the opportunity to get to know your horse before riding on the beach.
Day 3 3: SANTO ANDRE LAGOON - QUINTA DA MALMEDRA - 5 hours ridingQuinta de MalmedraToday you ride in the direction of Santiago do Cacém, past the Santo André Lagoon, where you may see flamingos and storks. Ride past the rice fields of the area, which in late summer prior to harvest are an astonishing colour of green. Stop for a picnic in the pine tree forest.
After lunch, continue riding towards the Quinta da Ortiga where you stable the horses for the night. A short transfer of takes you to your hotel, Quinta da Malmedra, where you have dinner and spend the night.
Day 4 4: CERCAL - 5 hours ridingToday you continue to ride southwards towards Cercal, always with the sea in sight. Climbing the mountain through the ‘montados’ you ride through one of the last unexploited regions of Portugal.
In the afternoon you arrive at your accommodation at Casas Verdemar. This is a beautifully renovated tavern with individual rooms and cottages around the gardens. There is a pool, fruit trees and plenty of places to relax and enjoy the countryside. Take your meals either on the veranda or inside in the dining room. Your hosts are Christine Nijhoff, a specialist in antiques restoration and Nuno Vilas Boas Lebreiro, artist and cook.
Day 5 5: CERCAL - VILA NOVA DE MILFONTES - 2,5 hours ridingToday you have a morning ride exploring the fields around the farm and trails into the mountains of Cercal.
The afternoon is free to visit the fishing village of Vila Nova de Milfontes which is a popular seaside resort in the summer months. There is time for shopping, sightseeing or relaxing on the beach.
Dinner and overnight at Casas Verdemar.
Day 6 6: CERCAL - CAMPILHAS - 5 hours ridingAfter breakfast you set off into the mountains of Cercal, close to the dam of Campilhas where you have lunch. The scenery is varied and interesting and after some trots and canters you return to Casas Verdemar. Relax and enjoy the quiet of a typical ‘monte alentejano’ after a dip in the pool.
Dinner and night at Casas Verdemar.
Day 7 7: CERCAL - NOSSA SENHORA DAS NEVES - 4-6 hours ridingFor your last day’s ride you continue exploring the mountains of Cercal. You will ride to the chapel of Nossa Senhora das Neves from where you have a splendid view of the surrounding area.
After lunch, you return to Casas Verdemar.
Farewell dinner and overnight at Casas Verdemar.
Day 8 8 : LISBON - HOME - No ridingIn the morning, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight. Your flight should leave after noon.
If you decide to book an earlier flight, a private transfer can be organised (payable locally, please ask for price)
Dates & prices
- Rides are confirmed for a minimum of 5 riders and a usual maximum of 10 riders, plus your guide
- Please note: the ride will also confirm for 3-4 riders on payment of a supplement. This is 25% of the rate for 3 riders, 10% for 4 riders. Once the group has reached 5 people, we will remove this supplement from your invoice and refund you if you have already paid it.
- If you sign up to the ride as solo rider and there are no other riders likely to share your room, you will be charged a single room supplement of approx. €580/£510/$610. You will then be reimbursed if a sharer is found for you at a later date.
- Transfers payable locally (€100 per person, in cash) as long as you arrive before 16:30 (on time for your 5:30 pm transfer) and depart after midday. If you wish to book flights outside of these times then a private transfer may be arranged (on request) 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. The rate for a non-rider is €1060/£935/$1170.
- All meals are included as well as drinks during picnic lunches. All evening drinks are payable locally to the hotels/restaurants. It is usual that those who wish to drink wine will split the bill - this will be discussed with your guide on day one.
- Please note that this trail also runs in reverse. Some dates start in the north and heads south, whereas other dates start in the south and returns north. Less confident riders are advised to choose the trail which starts in the south and heads north so that they have an opportunity to get used to their horse before riding on the beach. Please contact us and we will check for you.
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
Price doesn't include
Meals on day 1 and 8 depending on your flights
Return airport transfers
Tips to local team
Departure Return Price without flights Status 17/03/2024 24/03/2024 £1,470 €1,661 $1,823Open Book now 24/03/2024 31/03/2024 £1,470 €1,661 $1,823Open Book now 07/04/2024 14/04/2024 £1,470 €1,661 $1,823Open Book now 14/04/2024 21/04/2024 £1,470 €1,661 $1,823Guaranteed departure Book now
Departure Return Price without flights Status 26/05/2024 02/06/2024 £1,470 €1,661 $1,823Guaranteed departure Book now 02/06/2024 09/06/2024 £1,470 €1,661 $1,823Full
Departure Return Price without flights Status 08/09/2024 15/09/2024 £1,470 €1,661 $1,823Open Book now 15/09/2024 22/09/2024 £1,470 €1,661 $1,823Guaranteed departure Book now 29/09/2024 06/10/2024 £1,470 €1,661 $1,823Open Book now 06/10/2024 13/10/2024 £1,470 €1,661 $1,823Open Book now
Guide & local team
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.
- Equus Journeys strongly recommend take your own helmet 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
- Travel light. It's a little known fact, but the lighter you pack, the better for the environment as heavy bags will produce higher emissions (when flying a plane or driving a car!).
- Reduce plastic waste. Take your favorite reusable bottle with you. Avoid single-use bags, cups, or straws.
- Preserve nature. Always take your rubbish with you during the ride and recycle them. Leave all the flowers or plants as you found them, and never get too close when observing wildlife. Make sure to use eco-friendly products such as body wash or laundry detergent (if camping) to protect both your skin and the environment.
- Choose your experiences carefully. Respect animal life by not participating in any activities that abuse wild animals (shows, elephant rides, etc.).
- Support local populations. Buy local handicrafts, be respectful of customs, and learn about the culture of local communities.
- Share! Raise awareness among your family and friends about sustainable tourism.
Did you know?
Did you know?
Port wine (Vinho do Porto) or more simply "Port" is a Portugese fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro valley in northern Portugal.
Traditionally a sweet red wine which is often served after dinner, there are actually many varities, including white port which is usually served chilled before a meal and is more similar to sherry.
Port, like wine, is made from grapes, but is fortified by the addition of a neutral grape spirit called aguardente which stops the fermentation process, leaving a higher sugar and alcohol content. The spirit is stored and aged in barrels:
Ruby Port - the most well known and widely produced is stored in concrete or stainless steel barrels to prevent oxidisation and retain the rich red colour.
Tawny Port is aged in wood barrels to allow oxidation - this mellows the colour to golden-brown and adds a nutty flavour.
White Port is made from white grapes rather than red, but storage in wood barrels can darken the colour so that it's difficult to tell it apart from a tawny!
It is likely that you will be able to try port whilst on your riding holiday in Portugal, and you can buy really good quality ports for a fraction of the price you can find them in the UK. Your guide will advise you if you are keen to take some bottles home...