There’s something about the image of galloping wild and free down an empty beach that sets our globetrotting hearts ablaze. Sun, sand, surf and a willing steed – life doesn’t get much better than that. It’s why we’ve carefully amassed such a varied collection of coastal horse riding holidays in destinations all around the world. From the tropical paradise of Indonesia to the serene coastline of Australia, each of these vacations has its own distinct flavour – but they’re all infused with plenty of sea salt.
The Margaret River Ride, Australia
Western Australia’s coastline is a bit of a best-kept secret among the locals, and you’ll understand why when you see the turquoise waters and the long, sandy beaches. On The Margaret River Ride you’ll be hosted by Paul and Fiona at their property, where they grow grapes, produce wine, host guests and breed exceptional Australian Stock Horses. Talk about living the dream! Join them for five days spent exploring this magical and diverse region, from the vineyards to the wildlife-filled bushland to the sweeping coastline.
The Shoalhaven Ride, Australia
The Shoalhaven region of New South Wales is just a two-hour drive from Sydney, making it almost too easy to be whisked away on this indulgent adventure. With three and five day itineraries available and all departures accommodating just four guests, The Shoalhaven Ride is the perfect minibreak for families or groups of friends. It’s a celebration of the finer things: naturally trained Arabian horses, spectacular scenery, luxurious accommodation, exceptional wine and plate after plate of sumptuous food. Oh – and Seven Mile Beach is pure heaven!
The Rainbow Beach, Bush & Cattle Ride, Australia
This is a ride for those globetrotters who like a little bit of everything: adventure, relaxation, dusty cattle yards, magnificent mountains and technicolour beaches. From your campsite at the top of Mount Goomboorian, you can see all the way to the coast, and for either three or five days your guide Andrew and his herd of athletic Quarter Horses will show you around their home turf. You’ll muster cattle, try your hand at the sport of campdrafting, explore the beautiful bush and spend an unforgettable day with your horse on the aptly-named Rainbow Beach.
The Camargue Ride, France
Okay, this is not your typical beach ride! The Camargue region of France is a massive river delta that trickles gradually out to sea through a network of lagoons, marshes and sandbars. The ghostly white Camargue horses are also known as the Horses of the Sea, and have lived here for thousands of years. Your hosts, the wonderful Bon family, still work the black Camargue bulls from the backs of their noble steeds as they have done for generations. This is real, globetrotters. Prepare to be blown away by this wild region and the people and animals who call it home.
The Sumba Ride, Indonesia
Did someone say tropical island paradise?! Because that’s exactly what this holiday is! The Sumba Ride is the epitome of luxury, starting with the resort you’ll have at your disposal: Nihi Sumba. Crowned Best Hotel in the World for two years running, it literally doesn’t get any better than this. The horseback delights include ocean swims, endless beach gallops, and riding to Sumbanese villages. Off the horse you’ll be able to enjoy every luxury you could possibly imagine, from a private pool in your personal villa to full-day spa treatments. Yes. Please.
Twin Coast Adventure, New Zealand
New Zealand is best known as Lord of the Rings country, and it’s hard to imagine a hobbit relaxing on the beach… but hidden away at the northern tip of New Zealand are landscapes that look like they belong in the Caribbean. Think butter-yellow sand dunes, tumbling waves and an endlessly varied coastline of inlets, hills, cliffs, grassland and forests. Your hosts, Jane and Ken Dromgool, are two of New Zealand’s top equestrian clinicians and you’ll fall in love with their herd of friendly, responsive horses. Keep your eyes peeled for wild horses in the forest!
Costa Azul, Portugal
We love riding in Portugal so much that we have three itineraries on offer there, two of which offer beautiful snapshots of the coastal way of living. Costa Azul is known as the Blue Coast and you’ll understand why when you see the long, deserted, heavenly beaches. This itinerary also takes in the surrounding countryside, where you’ll ride through the most incredible scenery from forests of cork, pine and eucalypt to dreamy, rolling meadows and charming fishing villages. Lagoons, rivers, hills and valleys complement glimpses of the glittering sea.
Alentejo Coast, Portugal
Although it explores a similar area of Portugal, the Alentejo Coast ride is markedly different from the Costa Azul ride; in fact, they would make a fantastic pair if one week of riding in Portugal simply isn’t enough for you! This itinerary sees you spend a little more time on the coastline, kicking off with a sunrise beach ride and continuing along coastal routes that flow across mountains, rivers, forests and farmland. The Portuguese way of life is infectious and it won’t be long before you relax into the easy-breeze flow of the Alentejo Coast astride your Lusitano steed.
Catalan Coast Trail, Spain
This eight day ride through Catalonia is incredibly diverse, with each day bringing dramatic changes of scenery. From the sunny coast to dense, wild forests to gobsmacking mountains to picturesque farmland, there is no better way to experience Catalonia. You’ll bask in traditional Catalan hospitality, savour sumptuous local cuisine, splash through salty ocean waves and fall head over heels in love with your Andalusian mount. This ride is perfect for globetrotters with less experience or fitness, as the average time spent in the saddle each day is three to five hours.
Which one takes your fancy, globetrotters? It’s a tough choice, that’s for sure! But one thing is certain: nothing can compare to the feeling of the wind in your hair, the reins in your hands, sea salt on your cheeks and an empty expanse of sand beneath your horse’s hooves.