Classical Dressage in Portugal

The perfect riding holiday for the dressage lover or for those who wish to discover this magnificent art. Just outside Lisbon, stay at this dressage centre and have lessons on their highly schooled Lusitano horses from one of their experienced instructors.
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Dressage stays
8 days / 7 riding
From £1,178

From the horse’s mouth

  • Classical Dressage in Portugal
    June 2024 Frederikke aged 26
    Had the pleasure of riding Garcia, Caramelo and Jozedo who were all incredibly well kept, talented and happy horses, very suitable to teach the proper riding (signals, position etc.) to the rider, as they knew all exercises (flying changes, passage, piaffe, spanish walk, half pass etc.) but would only do them when... Read all
  • Classical Dressage in Portugal
    October 2023 JULIE
    Well trained; rode multiple horses so could experience different personalities and skills
  • Classical Dressage in Portugal
    October 2022 Mary aged 71
    A lovely situation. Superb instruction on well trained horses. Accommodation and food the best. I learnt more in a week than I imagined. Instructors Sergio and Mario were so patient and understanding. Already trying to plan a return visit. All horses exceptional for their purpose.
  • Classical dressage in Portugal
    Classical dressage in Portugal
  • Lusitano horse ridden at sunset in front of a traditional mill, Portugal
    A lovely dressage holiday in Portugal

Itinerary

Highlights

- Classical dressage, Portuguese Equitation lessons in small groups of 2 or 3 riders (maximum 4 in a group)
- Choose to have one or two lessons each day (each lesson lasts between 50 and 60 minutes)
- Beautifully schooled Lusitano horses, some of whom are capable of high school movements
- Non riders are welcome
- Plan your week to allow time to visit some of the surrounding area such as local monasteries, Lisbon city or the Portugese School of Equestrian Art at Queluz.
  • Day 1 1 : HOME - LISBON - No lesson

    Alcainca
    Your flight to Lisbon can arrive at any time, although please note that there is no discount if your late arrival means that you miss dinner on the first night.

    You will be met on arrival at Lisbon airport and transferred to the equestrian centre which is located just 25km from Lisbon. Alternatively you may prefer to hire a car and drive yourself to the centre - we can provide driving directions.
  • Day 2 2 : DRESSAGE - 1 or 2 lessons

    Alcainca
    You will have pre-booked either one or two lessons today.
    Each lesson comprises 2 - 3 riders and lasts between 50-60 minutes.

    The morning lessons start around 09:30 and the afternoon lessons start around 16:00, although this can vary depending on the time of year and weather.

    Lessons usually start in walk with the chance to practice shoulder-in, leg yielding and travers before moving onto trot and canter. For those with prior dressage experience if may be possible to practice Spanish walk, piaffe, passage or pirouettes. Classical dressage is particularly focused on lightness, beauty and expression.

    If you have chosen only one lesson today, then this could be either in the morning or the afternoon and the rest of the day can be spend relaxing at the centre, by the pool or perhaps off-site visiting Lisbon, Mafra or Sintra.

    Please note that over the duration of your stay, you migh take lessons with different instructors, depending on your riding abilities and language preferences.
  • Day 3 3 : DRESSAGE - 1 or 2 lessons

    Alcainca
    Again you will have booked either one or two dressage lessons for today. It is not always possible to request additional lessons once you have arrived so you should be certain to book enough in advance.
  • Day 4 4 : DRESSAGE - 1 or 2 lessons

    Alcainca
    Again you will have booked either one or two dressage lessons for today. It is not always possible to request additional lessons once you have arrived so you should be certain to book enough in advance.
  • Day 5 5 : DRESSAGE - 1 or 2 lessons

    Alcainca
    Again you will have booked either one or two dressage lessons for today. It is not always possible to request additional lessons once you have arrived so you should be certain to book enough in advance.
  • Day 6 6 : DRESSAGE - 1 or 2 lessons

    Alcainca
    Again you will have booked either one or two dressage lessons for today. It is not always possible to request additional lessons once you have arrived so you should be certain to book enough in advance.
  • Day 7 7 : DRESSAGE - 1 or 2 lessons

    Alcainca
    Again you will have booked either one or two dressage lessons for today. It is not always possible to request additional lessons once you have arrived so you should be certain to book enough in advance.
  • Day 8 8 : LISBON - HOME - No lesson

    Transfer to the airport so you can catch your flight home.

Dates & prices

Price details

IMPORTANT: THERE ARE NO LESSONS ON SUNDAYS

- Flights or transportation to your destination (international/domestic) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin or double room during the ride.

- Dates are flexible and you can arrive/depart on any day and stay for as long as you like with discounts for longer stays. We recommend arriving on Sundays as there are no lessons on Sundays. Please contact us for a personalised quote.

- The rate listed includes one lesson each day except on arrival/departure days, but there is the option to add a second lesson for a supplement - please ask for more information so that we can book your preferred programme.

- There is no single supplement if you are willing to share a room with another guest of the same sex. To guarantee your own room there is a single supplement of approx. £210/€245/$270

- Transfers are not included but can be arranged (invoiced before departure):
From the airport to the dressage centre approx. £95/€110/$125 return (1-3 passengers);
From the city centre to the dressage school costs approx. £115/€130/$145 return (1-3 passengers).
Alternatively you may prefer to hire a car and drive yourself - we can provide driving directions.

- Riders from 12 years are welcome if they have the required riding level and a good level of concentration, and if accompanied by their parents.

- A driver is available during your stay if you wish to take a local excursion, such as to the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art, Mafra or Lisbon - these excursions are at additional cost and payable locally.
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

English speaking instructors

Logistic

1 horse equipped with classical dressage/Portuguese saddle and bridle (the horse can change during the stay)

Accommodation

Double room in Guesthouses (7 nights)

Meals

Full board from dinner on day 1 to lunch on day 8

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverage and personal extra

Transport

International flights

Extra

Tips to local team

Insurance

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

Optional

Accommodation

Single room supplement

Transport

Airport transfers on destination

Extras

Private lessons - on request
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    21/07/2024 28/07/2024 £1,178 €1,355 $1,461
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    28/07/2024 04/08/2024 £1,178 €1,355 $1,461
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    04/08/2024 11/08/2024 £1,178 €1,355 $1,461
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    11/08/2024 18/08/2024 £1,178 €1,355 $1,461
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    18/08/2024 25/08/2024 £1,178 €1,355 $1,461
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    25/08/2024 01/09/2024 £1,178 €1,355 $1,461
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  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    01/09/2024 08/09/2024 £1,309 €1,505 $1,623
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    08/09/2024 15/09/2024 £1,309 €1,505 $1,623
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    15/09/2024 22/09/2024 £1,309 €1,505 $1,623
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    22/09/2024 29/09/2024 £1,309 €1,505 $1,623
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    29/09/2024 06/10/2024 £1,309 €1,505 $1,623
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    06/10/2024 13/10/2024 £1,309 €1,505 $1,623
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    13/10/2024 20/10/2024 £1,309 €1,505 $1,623
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    20/10/2024 27/10/2024 £1,309 €1,505 $1,623
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    27/10/2024 03/11/2024 £1,309 €1,505 $1,623
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  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    17/11/2024 24/11/2024 £1,178 €1,355 $1,461
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    24/11/2024 01/12/2024 £1,178 €1,355 $1,461
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    01/12/2024 08/12/2024 £1,178 €1,355 $1,461
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    08/12/2024 15/12/2024 £1,178 €1,355 $1,461
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    15/12/2024 22/12/2024 £1,178 €1,355 $1,461
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Equestrian info

Horses

There are approximately 12 horses available for guests and they are all pure-bred or part-bred Lusitanos. Some are stallions but mainly they are geldings. The horses are at varying levels of training, so there are schoolmasters for intermediate riders or those just starting out in dressage as well as horses capable of producing high school movements for experienced riders.

Guide & local team

There are two main instructors and it is likely that you will have lessons with one of them throughout your stay for continuity and consistency in your training.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You should be able to walk, trot and canter and be a confident rider.
Riders who have some prior experience of dressage will get the most from this holiday. An understanding of some basic terms, such as shoulder-in is required. The centre cannot cater for beginner riders. You will be expected to wear a hard hat when mounted and please note that we can not guarantee that your lessons will be with a particular instructor.

On some occasions, novice riders may be welcomed (special package), please enquire for further details.

Rider weight limit - 89 kgs / 13.5 stones. Heavier riders please contact us.

Pace

Depending on your experience you will work in all three paces and may include movements such as shoulder-in, travers, half pass, piaffe etc.

Tacking ability and participation

You will be expected to assist with grooming, tacking up and untacking your horse each day but grooms are available to assist you if necessary.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

No special difficulties, but a prior knowledge of basic dressage is required. You will get more out of the tuition if you have some experience of basic dressage terms, such as shoulder-in.

Equestrian equipment

Spurs and sticks will be made available to you if the instructors feel you require them.

Riding helmets are mandatory. 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

The guesthouse at the equestrian centre has four twin rooms and one double room , each with private bathroom and located close to the stables. There are also an additional three twin rooms just over the road. The dining room, communal living area with TV and bar, as well as the unheated swimming pool are all available year round.


Meals

You eat all your meals in the dining room at the riding centre, which overlooks the indoor arena.

Breakfast is continental and buffet style.
For lunch you will have traditional Portuguese food.
Dinner is usually fish with salads and vegetables. The focus is on traditional Portugese cuisine and all is prepared locally by the chef.
Wine is included.

Vegetarians can be accommodated. Please let us know in advance.

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.

Tips

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

Packing list

Head
- A helmet is mandatory. Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses

Upper body
- Long sleeved shirts to provide protection from the sun
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm polar fleece or equivalent, particularly in winter
- 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
- 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 boots, particularly if you are used to riding in them.
- Shoes for the evenings
- Several pairs of socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding

Nightwear
- Pyjamas etc (something warm in winter as the nights can be cold)

Other useful items
- Swimsuit - the pool is open during summer months
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- 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

Our Recommendations
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat 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!
- Carry a copy of your passport and insurance policy with you.

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?

Nuno Oliveira (1925-1989) was a Portugese riding instructor, considered as the most important master of equestrian art in the 20th century. Fuelled by a love of equestrian culture and opera music, he approached riding as a true art and devoted his time to learning and teaching lightness and the love of the horse through his clinics and writing. Hypersensitive, quick-tempered, generous, independent and a genius he is still revered amongst lovers of classical dressage.


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.
  • Frederikke aged 26 Copenhagen 1 trip
    June 2024
    Had the pleasure of riding Garcia, Caramelo and Jozedo who were all incredibly well kept, talented and happy horses, very suitable to teach the proper riding (signals, position etc.) to the rider, as they knew all exercises (flying changes, passage, piaffe, spanish walk, half pass etc.) but would only do them when... Read all
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide
  • JULIE BOTHELL 1 trip
    October 2023
    Well trained; rode multiple horses so could experience different personalities and skills
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide
  • Mary aged 71 CEHEGIN 1 trip
    October 2022
    A lovely situation. Superb instruction on well trained horses. Accommodation and food the best. I learnt more in a week than I imagined. Instructors Sergio and Mario were so patient and understanding. Already trying to plan a return visit. All horses exceptional for their purpose.
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide