Alright, let’s not beat around the bush, globetrotters: does the prospect of learning all there is to know about Portugal’s pride and joy, the Lusitano horse, on a point-to-point ride through its gobsmackingly-scenic native territory have you BUZZING with excitement? If so, then you absolutely cannot miss this riding holiday! You’ll spend six days looking through the ears of your pure or crossbred Lusitano steed, taking in the picture-perfect farmland, ancient cork forests and wildflower-filled meadows of the Alentejo region.
Lusitano horses are noble and powerful, with great intelligence and a willing nature. Their gaits are agile and elevated, while still being quite comfortable to ride. You’ll feel like you’re in another world as you canter over endless rolling hills and sun-speckled forests, before slowing down to local time as you siesta in the shade of a pine tree.
And be sure to loosen your belt buckles, globetrotters, because Alentejan cuisine is to die for! You’ll enjoy local specialties such as bacalhau (cod fish), caldo verde (soup) and feijoada trasmontana (a hearty meat stew). OH and on top of all of that, you’ll get to visit the royal Lusitano stud farm, where the BEST Lusitanos are bred, trained and competed! What more could you want?
- Horse Breed:A mixture of purebred and cross-bred Portuguese Lusitanos.
- Pace:The pace varies on a daily basis from a walk right through to a fast canter whenever the terrain is suitable. There will be plenty of opportunities to trot in between.
- Weight Limit:Maximum of 85kgs / 187lbs
- Type of tack:Comfortable sheepskin covered Portuguese military saddles.
- Seasons:Low season is February, March, June, October & November. High season is July.
- Group size:A minimum of 4 and a maximum 10 riders.
- Time in Saddle:On average between 4 to 6 hours each day.
- Riding Ability:This ride is suitable for intermediate to experienced riders.
- Accommodation:You will experience a wonderful variety of accommodation on this ride, including pousadas (traditional manor houses), comfortable hotels in the heart of the countryside as well as private estates. You can expect to have an en suite bathroom and in most locations an on site pool is also available.
- Ride Length:8 days, 7 nights with 6 riding days
- Inclusions:The price includes twin share accommodation, all meals (from dinner on day one through to breakfast on day eight), riding, luggage transfers and an English speaking guide, round trip transfer service to/from Lisbon Airport at set times, water, wine and soft drinks at lunch.
- Exclusions:The price does not include international or regional flights and travel insurance (compulsory), drinks with dinner (apart from water) and bar drinks, staff tips (expected, but the amount is to be decided at your own discretion).
DEPARTURE DATES & RATES
|10th May 2020||17th May 2020||SOLD OUT!|
|17th May 2020||24th May 2020||Limited|
PLEASE NOTE: solo globetrotters will be required to pay the single rider rate if we do not have another guest willing to share.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price includes twin share accommodation, all meals (from dinner on day one through to breakfast on day eight), riding, luggage transfers and an English speaking guide, round trip transfer service to/from Lisbon Airport at set times, water, wine and soft drinks at lunch.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price does not include international or regional flights and travel insurance (compulsory), drinks with dinner (apart from water) and bar drinks, staff tips (expected, but the amount is to be decided at your own discretion).
Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all card payments.
Why is the price quoted in EUR?
With our riding destinations, the currency is dictated by our ride partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.
ItineraryExpand AllCollapse All
*Please note, this is a suggested itinerary only and subject to change at the discretion of your guides due to weather and other influencing factors.
Today you’ll arrive in Lisbon and be picked up by your hosts at 5:30pm. You will travel roughly 150 kilometres northeast to the town of Figueira e Barros, where you’ll have time to settle into your room at Monte do Padrão, a renovated farmhouse hotel. The custodian of this historic hotel is very welcoming, and may even invite you to enjoy some of the wines from his cellar. Later, at dinner, you will be introduced to your guides and learn all about what the next week has in store for you before tumbling into bed.
Yippee! Today you get to meet your horses! After the first of many satisfying breakfasts that typically include freshly baked pastries, fresh fruit, still-warm bread, local honey and homemade jam, you’ll meet the Lusitano horses who will carry you on your journey. Well-schooled, responsive and with a naturally proud head carriage, these powerful steeds will have you feeling like Portuguese royalty as you ride them over hilly meadows and down towards a river. The properties here are large and there are few fences and roads, creating a sense of seclusion that is rare in Europe these days. Most of the stone bridges you’ll clip-clop across date back to the Romans. Lunch will be prepared by the river, a delicious picnic featuring grilled meats or fish with salad, accompanied by fresh bread and local wine.
In the afternoon you’ll 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, a guesthouse on the outskirts of the pretty riverside town of Fronteira. Here you can spend the evening in the beautiful garden or take a dip in the pool before enjoying dinner al fresco.
Today you’ll leave the guesthouse and ride to the town of Alter do Chão. The ride will take you through the meadows where the locals raise wild bulls, which you’ll see grazing in the sun. After another delicious picnic lunch and siesta, you’ll ride on to Coudelaria de Alter, or Alter Real Stud Farm, home of the Lusitano. Founded by the King of Portugal in 1748, the farm occupies 800 hectares of the surrounding countryside and is dedicated to the nobility and purity of the Lusitano horse. But more on that tomorrow – for now, you’re leaving your horses to be stabled here like the royalty they are and heading to your accommodation. You’ll reach your comfortable, four-star hotel, Varandas de Alter, in time to have a swim in the pool or sit back with a book before tucking in to a delicious Portuguese dinner.
This morning, you will meet your horses at Alter Real Stud Farm and ride through the farm’s vast, wildflower‐filled meadows. Then, after lunch at the hotel, you will finally get to discover the many delights of the stud farm itself! The horses bred here are famous the world over, and are traded under the name of the stud, rather than simply as Lusitanos. This visit is a major highlight of the itinerary, offering an unparalleled insight into the world of the Lusitano. Head to the museum to learn about the breed’s history, walk around slack-jawed taking in the state-of-the-art arenas and stables, or just meet some of the hundreds of mares, foals, stallions and young horses in training who graze in the meadows and pop their heads over the stable doors.
In the afternoon, you’ll return to Alter do Chão where, time allowing, your guides will bring you to a Portuguese tack shop where you can buy local riding products such as leather chaps, boots and belts. Finally, your thirst for Globetrotting bliss quenched, you’ll return to Varandas de Alter for dinner and a good night’s sleep.
Today, waving a fond farewell to the stud farm, you will ride to Ribeira da Seda, a beautiful riverside area near the village of Seda. On the way you’ll pass through seemingly endless meadows, with only one remote farmhouse suggesting the presence of people. There will be plenty of chances to trot and canter in these wide open spaces. You’ll enjoy another delicious picnic lunch, resting in the shade of a tree while your horses do likewise, before riding on. Tonight the horses will be stabled at a property called Monte do Padrão, while you and your guides take a short transfer to your country manor accommodation, Monte dos Aroeirais, where you will sit down to another meal of fresh, seasonal cuisine.
After breakfast, you’ll return to Monte do Padrão to explore the 3000 hectare property. Here you’ll find yourself on the great plains of the upper Alentejo, which are home to extensive fruit and olive orchards. By now you’ll be fully immersed in the slow-and-steady rhythm of Portuguese life, where nothing is ever done in a hurry and enjoyment is the order of the day. The contrast between the Alentejo’s quiet, sunny fields and its vibrant culture and history is vivid. After soaking up the sweeping views, golden plains and sun-dappled orchards, you’ll bring the horses to their stables and head to Monte do Padrão’s guesthouse for another evening of food, laughter and relaxation.
For your final day in the saddle, you’ll head out from Monte do Padrão towards Lake Maranhão through the private hunting grounds of the Calatrava, which consist of open fields and cork forests. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy long trots and canters as you make the most of this last ride on your Lusitano steed. Lunch will be enjoyed on the beautiful banks of Lake Maranhão, which is in fact a huge dam built to supply water and electricity to the local region. After lunch and a siesta, you’ll take a similar route back to Monte do Padrão, where you’ll share stories and memories as you tuck into your farewell dinner.
After breakfast you will be transferred back to Lisbon airport for onward travel. Please don’t book departing flights until after 12 midday (1pm or later is preferred).
Complimentary transfers at set times are provided to/from Portugal’s main international airport in Lisbon. Pick up time is 5.30pm on day 1 of the ride (please ensure your flight arrives no later than 4.30pm). The meeting point in Lisbon’s airport is located to the right after leaving the luggage collection area. You’ll be welcomed there by a ride representative. The transfer will depart your accommodation on the final day after breakfast at 10.30am. No flights are to be booked before 12 midday on departure day (1pm or later is preferred).
Globetrotting is happy to provide a competitive quote on international flights, travel insurance, car hire and hotels before and after your ride.