- The chance to encounter herds of wild horses
- Enjoy typical Portuguese meals, including local wines
- With a little luck, spot wildlife such as deer, wild boar, fox, or rarely, wolves
- Discover Portuguese heritage and ancient mountain villages
Day 1 1: EUROPE - PORTO - ARCOS DE VALDEVEZ - No ridingValdevez InnFly from the Europe to Porto. You should aim to arrive before 4pm if possible to allow time to settle in before dinner. It is also possible to arrive into the Spanish airport of Vigo if you prefer.
On arrival at Porto you will be met and transferred c. 1 hour to the equestrian centre in Arcos de Valdevez. You will be shown around the stables and the horses and will have time to freshen up before dinner in a local restaurant with your guide and the group.
Day 2 2: ARCOS DE VALDEVEZ - PENEDA-GERES NATIONAL PARK - 5 hours ridingValdevez InnAfter breakfast at 8am, head to the stables and saddle up for your adventure, aiming to depart at 10am.
You start by riding through the medieval town of Arcos de Valdevez towards the national park of Peneda-Geres. Wild horses live on these mountain pastures and you will likely spot some during your week. You pass through traditional stone mountain villages and on trails through gorse and broom, which are bright with yellow flowers during the spring.
After a picnic lunch, continue riding along sandy trails past the pre-historical remains of ancient civilisations until reaching the Information centre for the national park. Here the horses will stay overnight in forestry nursery fields whilst you are transferred back to the quinta to overnight. Dinner is taken at the Quinta, and you can expect a typical Portuguese meal.
Day 3 3: PENEDA-GERES NATIONAL PARK - FERREIROS - 5 hours ridingValdevez InnAfter breakfast at 8am you are transferred back to the horses to saddle up. Ride uphill through the woods of the national park and out onto the open plains. As well as the wild horses, the park is also home to deer, wild boar and wolves.
Today’s trails are at an altitude of c. 1,000m and offer spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. After a picnic lunch beside a mountain lake, you drop downhill on an ancient track known as the "Trail of the Deceased" - so called because mountain village inhabitants used this trail to access cemeteries in the valleys.
On arrival at the village of Ferreiros you leave the horses at a farmhouse and transfer back to the quinta for the night and dinner.
Day 4 4: FERREIROS - ARCOS DE VALDEVEZ - 5 hours ridingValdevez InnTransfer back to the horses and at 10am start riding along the typical valley countryside of farm pastures and oak forests. Follow the shore of the Vez river, and reach Arcos de Valdevez where you will have lunch at a tavern.
If water levels are low enough you will cross the river on horseback; if water levels are high then you will make a short detour to a bridge. Ride through the town of Arcos de Valdevez, clattering along 17th century roads and admiring the historical architecture before arriving at the quinta and equestrian centre. Dinner in town and overnight at the quinta.
Day 5 5: ARCOS DE VALDEVEZ - CORNO DE BICO - 5 hours ridingValdevez InnSet out from the equestrian centre in the opposite direction and into the woods of Corno de Bico - a protected landscape. The forest trails are full of wildlife - foxes, deer, mountain cows, wild horses, wild boar and wolves. Lunch is taken in a local tavern in the heart of a small village with only 6 houses and 16 inhabitants!
After lunch continue riding uphill to a lookout where on a clear day you can see the Atlantic ocean. Today you are mostly riding through ancient forest and the trails are ideal for canters.
Following the trail that leads to the village of Bico, you will leave the horses overnight and head back to the quinta for dinner.
Day 6 6: PAREDES DE COURA - CORNO BICO - PAREDES DE COURA - 5 hours ridingValdevez InnAfter breakfast, you will head to Bico to reunite with the horses. You will explore the protected Natural Reserve at Corno de Bico. There are a variety of trails that will offer a full day of discovery. This memorable experience will include searching for the herds of wild horses. Within the park you will be able to sense the untouched beauty of nature, free from human footprint. You will carry your lunch in your saddlebags, and stop at the charming village of Grijo. You will then trail back to Bico to allow the horses to rest in the field one more night, whilst you head back to the Quinta.
Day 7 7: CORNO DE BICO - ARCOS DE VALDEVEZ - 5 hours ridingValdevez InnToday, you will ride through the old forestry trail, exploring the beauty that is preserved and cared for. You will ride past the wild horses' shelters, which are comprised of groups of 50 to 60 trees planted in the woods. The trees are planted in a way that protect the wildlife in harsh winters and hot summers. You will most likely meet the wild horses grazing on their pasture grounds and then stop at the edge of the forest, by the water, for your picnic lunch. They call this place "The Enchanted Forest of Miranda", and for good reason! After lunch, your journey continues as you start descending towards the Quinta for a relaxed late afternoon, where you will have the chance to enjoy the pool. Dinner at Portuguese restaurant.
Day 8 8: ARCOS DE VALDEVEZ - PORTO - EUROPE - No ridingAfter breakfast you are transferred to Porto airport for your flight home. Flights are not included, but we can book them on request. Departure is at 10:00 am, aiming to be at the airport for 11:30 - 12:00 noon.
It is also possible to depart from the Spanish airport of Vigo if preferred, which is also c. 1 hour away by road.
Dates & prices
- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin or double room;
- Groups are composed of a minimum of 4 international riders and a maximum of 8 riders.
- Please note: the ride will also confirm for 2 to 3 riders on payment of a supplement of c. €90/£80/$100 per person in 2023/2024. Once the group has reached 4 people, we will remove this supplement from your invoice and refund you if you have already paid it. On certain dates it may be possible to guarantee the ride with just one rider with the payment of a bigger supplement, please contact us.
- 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 €210/£185/$225.
- Porto Airport transfers €165 (approx. £145/$175) - each way, divided by the number of riders, and are payable locally on arrival
- Children from 15 years of age are accepted, provided they are accompanied by an adult
- Non-riders are welcome and benefit from a 20% discount.
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 doesn't include
Departure Return Price without flights Status 14/10/2023 21/10/2023 £1,270
Book now 28/10/2023 04/11/2023 £1,270
Departure Return Price without flights Status 11/11/2023 18/11/2023 £1,270 €1,435 $1,575Open Book now 25/11/2023 02/12/2023 £1,270 €1,435 $1,575Open Book now
Departure Return Price without flights Status 03/02/2024 10/02/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now 17/02/2024 24/02/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now
Departure Return Price without flights Status 02/03/2024 09/03/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now 16/03/2024 23/03/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now 20/04/2024 27/04/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now
Departure Return Price without flights Status 04/05/2024 11/05/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now 18/05/2024 25/05/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now 01/06/2024 08/06/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now 15/06/2024 22/06/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now 29/06/2024 06/07/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now
Departure Return Price without flights Status 13/07/2024 20/07/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now 27/07/2024 03/08/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now 31/08/2024 07/09/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now
Departure Return Price without flights Status 14/09/2024 21/09/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now 28/09/2024 05/10/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now 12/10/2024 19/10/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now 26/10/2024 02/11/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now
Departure Return Price without flights Status 09/11/2024 16/11/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now 23/11/2024 30/11/2024 £1,360 €1,578 $1,686Open Book now
The tack is English style GP saddles with snaffle or short-shanked English bridles. The horses are used to being ridden on a loose rein whilst walking.
Guide & local team
Minimum riding ability
Minimum riding ability
There is a rider weight limit of 110kgs/17.3 st/242 lbs.
Tacking ability and participation
Trip conditions and Requested experience
Previous experience on a trail ride is preferred but is not essential.
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.
Lunches are usually taken in a local taverna (salads, meats, cheese etc) or carried in your saddle bags (sandwiches)
Dinners are taken in local restaurants where there is often a choice. One night you have dinner with a local Portugese family.
Vegetarians and special diets can be accommodated with advance notice.
Typical temperatures throughout the year are:
Winter: 12 - 15c
Spring: 20 - 25c
Summer: 30 - 35c
Autumn: 15 - 20c
- You will be expected to wear a riding helmet and we recommend 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
- Thermal long-sleeved tops are a lightweight way of providing extra warmth, particularly in spring/autumn
- 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)
- Thermal leggings
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
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
In your hold luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant over 100 ml and all bottles can be decanted into small, clear, plastic Ziplock bags. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- 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 taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- In your hand luggage carry any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad 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!
- 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?
On this horseback trail in Portugal you may be lucky enough to view wild herds of Garrano horses.
The Garrano horse is an ancient breed from Galicia and northern Portugal. The breed has remained largely unchanged for thousands of years, but is endangered due to predation by wolves and the fact it is no longer popular for agricultural work.
Although the breed are usually used for agricultural work or as pack horses, it is generally considered that the Garrano is one of the ancestors of the Andalucian. They are sure-footed and can traverse difficult, steep and wooded terrain easily. They are strong and hardy with good temperaments and are of pony size, standing 10 - 14 hands high, with small ears, lively, large eyes and a long neck. They are deep and wide through the chest with short, strong legs and very hard hooves.
Equus Journeys' reply
Thank you for your feedback, Angela! I have spoken to Carlos and will get back to you directly regarding the missed hours of riding.