Bottlenose trail ride, Portugal

Bottlenose Trail

This circular trail ride follows the same riding route as the Dolphin Trail but you stay in larger, more affordable hotels, making this a budget-friendly option. Ride through rolling hills and pine forests to the shores of St Andre lagoon, canter down the beach and view dolphins playing in the estuary.
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Trail Riding
8 days / 6 days riding -
From £0

From the horse’s mouth

  • Bottlenose Trail
    February 2023 LINDA aged 56
    A fantastic riding holiday experience and experience of Portugal. The beach ride was unforgettable and the whole holiday just fantastic. My horse Epico was excellent.
  • Riders riding on the beach on the Bottlenose trail ride
    The Bottlenose trail is a lovely trail riding holiday
  • Two smiling horseback riders cantering on an open track
    Enjoy lovely, sunny canters on this riding holiday in Portugal
  • Bottlenose dolphin spotted in Portugal
    The Bottlenose dolphin
  • Horseback riders on a calm ride by the beach in the Alentejo
    Trail riding in the Alentejo, Portugal
  • Trail riding in Portugal
    Discover the Alentejo on horseback
  • Horseback rider having fun on the beach with an exhilarating gallop
    Memorable beach canters!
  • Horseback riding in Portugal
    A relaxing trail riding holiday for intermediate and advanced riders
  • Trail riders enjoying a picnic with horses in the background
    Enjoy delicious picnic meals on this trail riding adventure
  • Lead guide Miguel on the Bottlenose trail ride in Portugal
    Beach riding is a highlight of this trail!
  • Trail riders riding under a canopy of trees in Porugal, Alentejo
    You ride on average for 4-6 hours a day



- Beautifully well-schooled Lusitano and Lusitano cross horses
- 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
- Cheaper accommodation than the similar Dolphin Trail
  • Day 1 1: HOME - LISBON - GRANDOLA - No riding

    Monte Das Faias
    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 south c. 100km to Grandola . Your hotel, the Monte das Faias has comfortable rooms and a refined ambience. You will have dinner with your guide and the group in preperation for your first day of riding tomorrow.
  • Day 2 2: GRANDOLA - SANTIAGO DO CACEM - 4-5 hours riding

    Albergaria Dom Nuno
    Today you ride through hilly landscapes to your first destination in Santiago do Cacém. After the first few canters, you will notice the Lusitanos’ wonderful character and sure-footedness. For lunch, a picnic will be prepared with grilled meats or fish accompanied by salad, fresh bread and local wine.
    In the afternoon, rested after lunch and perhaps a siesta, you ride through the forests of pines and cork to Quinta da Ortiga where the horses will spend the night. There is a short transfer to your hotel, Albergaria D. Nuno, which has a swimming pool. Dinner will likely be taken at a local restaurant eating typical Portuguese food.
  • Day 3 3: SANTIAGO DO CACEM - MORGAVEL - 4-6 hours riding

    Albergaria Dom Nuno
    Leaving from Quinta da Ortiga you ride through forests of eucalyptus, with their distinctive perfume and the sound of the bark crunching underneath the horses’ hooves. Near Morgavel’s Reservoir you stop for a picnic and a relaxing siesta.
    Afterwards, there are plenty of opportunities for canters along the sandy tracks across the Portuguese countryside.

    Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at Albergaria D. Nuno.
  • Day 4 4: SANTIAGO DO CACEM - SEBUTAL - 3-4 hours riding

    Vila Park
    Today, either in the morning or afternoon, you will have a short transfer of c. 30 minutes to Sebutal where you will join a two hour boat trip to see the dolphins play in the Sado river estuary. Dolphin sightings cannot be guaranteed but are very likely. Also please note that the boat trip is subject to weather conditions.

    Todays ride will explore sandy trails through fields and forests, allowing for several long canters. You ride past the St. Andre Lagoon where you may see flamingos and storks. Continue riding past the rice fields of the area, which in late summer, prior to harvest, are an astonishing colour of green. Your accommodation is at the modern and comfortable Hotel Vila Park, where you can relax and take a swim in the pool.
  • Day 5 5: BEACH RIDE - 4-6 hours riding

    Vila Park
    This mornings ride will be in the direction of the beach. Please note that from June to September this ride will be at dawn to avoid the holiday makers on the beach. There should be opportunities for long canters and gallops on the beach (tides permitting).

    After lunch, ride through the forests of pines and hills of the Atlantic coast, close to the Lagoon of St. André. Later in the afternoon you arrive at the stables of the St. André Riding Centre where the horses will spend the night.

    You will be transferred back to your hotel for dinner at a local restaurant with traditional Portuguese food.
  • Day 6 6: ST ANDRE - GRANDOLA - 4-6 hours riding

    Monte Das Faias
    Today you ride from St. André towards Grândola. Along the route there are many opportunities for long canters. You may meet herds of cows and sheep being tended by shepherds as you traverse a mixture of red and sandy paths. Dinner and overnight at Monte das Faias**.

    **Please note that on the trail of August 9th this hotel will be replaced by Hotel d. Jorge Lencastre in Grandola.
  • Day 7 7: GRANDOLA - 4-6 hours riding

    Monte Das Faias
    Today you ride near the Serra of Grândola through a beautiful landscape of picturesque Portuguese villages. Stop for the last picnic of the trail where both horses and riders can take a siesta after lunch. Return to your hotel for a farewell dinner and to overnight.

    **Please note that on the trail of August 9th this hotel will be replaced by Hotel d. Jorge Lencastre in Grandola.
  • Day 8 8: GRANDOLA - LISBON - HOME - No riding

    After 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 for a private transfer - contact us for rates.

Dates & prices

Price details

No departure for this destination. Please contact our travel advisers for more information.
- International flights are not included but can be booked for you on request

- 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 a solo rider and there are no other riders likely to share your room, you will be charged a single room supplement. You will then be reimbursed if a sharer is found for you at a later date.
> Low season: €320/£280/$340
> High season: €400/£350/$420

- Transfers are provided as long as you arrive before 16:30 on day 1 (on time for your 5:30 pm transfer) and depart after midday on day 8. 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. The rate is €830/£730/$875 (low season) and €875/£765/$920 (high-season)

- 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
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


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

Inland transports

Support vehicule
Airport transfers at set times


Double or twin room in hotel standard 2/3*


Full board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8. 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


Beverages and personal extras
Your meals on day 1 and 8 depending on your flights


Airport transfers at different schedules
International flights


Tips to local team
Small group supplement (between 3-4 riders)


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
We are currently updating our dates and prices they will be online soon. If you want details of this holiday, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Equestrian info


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.

Guide & 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.

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.


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 Portuguese 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


You stay in hotels and local guesthouses in twin or double rooms. Each room has an en-suite bathroom.

Most of the hotels have swimming pools.


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.


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.


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

Packing list

- 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.

- 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

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

Sustainable tourism

  1. 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!).
  2. Reduce plastic waste. Take your favorite reusable bottle with you. Avoid single-use bags, cups, or straws.
  3. 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.
  4. Choose your experiences carefully. Respect animal life by not participating in any activities that abuse wild animals (shows, elephant rides, etc.).
  5. Support local populations. Buy local handicrafts, be respectful of customs, and learn about the culture of local communities.
  6. Share! Raise awareness among your family and friends about sustainable tourism.

For more information please see this page.

Did you know?

Did you know?

Bottlenose dolphins can be found worldwide and they can survive in cold, temperate and tropical waters. However, the dolphins of the Sado estuary are a unique population as they can be observed in the estuary year-round.

The oldest recorded sighting of dolphins in the estuary was in 1863 and there has been a resident population since this time. Studies were carried out on the dophins in the 1980's when there were almost 40 members in the pod. Sadly this number is decreasing and there are currently around 27 dolphins in the group. Species reproduction is slow, with a gestation period of 12 months and the mother caring for her single calf for 3-5 years before agreeing to mate again.

Each of the dolphins in the Sado estuary has been photo-identified and named - each one is unique with different sized and shaped dorsal fins and scarring.

You should be lucky enough to view the Sado's dolphins on this trail ride in Portugal as well as on our Dolphin Trail ride.

Customer reviews

Customer reviews

All of our reviews are real, honest opinions from riders who have recently travelled with us. Upon their return, our riders will receive an email inviting them to share their experiences from their trip. Good or bad, each review will be published on our website, provided that they respect our editorial guidelines.
  • LINDA aged 56 warwickshire 3 trips
    February 2023
    A fantastic riding holiday experience and experience of Portugal. The beach ride was unforgettable and the whole holiday just fantastic. My horse Epico was excellent.
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide