Two riders on Lusitano horses in 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 £1,575
  • Two riders on a riding holiday in Portugal
    Discover Portugal in the saddle
  • Group of horseback riders letting their horses have a drink in Portugal
    Enjoy a lovely trail riding holiday in sunny Portugal
  • Two riders on Lusitano horses in Portugal
    Ride beautifully well-schooled Lusitano and Lusitano cross horses
  • Group of riders trail riding through the fields and orchards of Portugal
    The trail runs in the spring when the meadows are full of flowers
  • Group of horseback riders with a loose horse
    Horseback holiday in Portugal
  • Riders riding Lusitano horses in Portugal
    Kingdom of the Lusitano trail ride, Portugal
  • Groups of riders enjoying drinks and dinner during their trail riding holiday in Portugal
    On a riding holiday there are no strangers - only friends you haven't met yet!
  • Riders riding out of an hacienda in Portugal under blue skies
    Is there a better way to holiday in Portugal?
  • Mares at Alter real stud, Portugal
    Mares at Alter real stud, Portugal
  • Mare and foal at Alter real stud
    A chance to visit the Alter Real stud and view the new foals



- Beautifully well-schooled Lusitano and Lusitano cross horses
- 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 : HOME - 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 - hHOME - No riding

    After breakfast, transfer back to Lisbon and departure. You should book a flight departing after midday from Lisbon. Earlier flights can be accommodated but you will have to pay for a private transfer - please contact us.

Dates & prices

Price details

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

- 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.

- 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 of approx. €650/£575/$720. 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.

- 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 at a special rate of €1060/£935/$1175.
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

Private bus


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


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


Beverage and personal extra
Meals on day 1 and 8 depending on your flights


International flights bookable on request
Return airport transfers


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


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.



Single room supplement
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    05/05/2024 12/05/2024 £1,575 €1,811 $1,953
    12/05/2024 19/05/2024 £1,575 €1,811 $1,953

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/13.3 st/187 lbs. Heavier riders please contact us.


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


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.


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?

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.

On the blog

The Lusitano is one of the oldest saddle horses in the world and a guest favourite on our riding holidays in Portugal.
To understand the breed, and the devotion of the Portuguese for this horse, one must grasp how the history of the land, the people and the horse are intertwined. In this blog post we will highlight some meaningful chapters of this breed’s history that helped shape Portugal, and discover the “New World”.

Read more on the blog: click here.