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Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail Ride

The horse riding center sits on the west coast north of the Algarve. The region is called Alentejo and is part of Portugal's largest nature reserve and is protected from development. This is a paradise for riders where there are hundreds of kilometers of sandy roads connecting the small-whitewashed villages.

This is a fast-paced trail ride where the horses are left in pastures along the road overnight while you are driven "home" to the stud farm each evening. If you are energetic in the evening you can finish the day with a swim in the ocean.

Your hosts are Claudia and her family. Claudia is an accomplished dressage rider who has trained many young horses and competed up to intermediate level. Now she has chosen to focus on trail rides. She raises Anglo Arabs which she breaks in and trains, but her main interest is making her trail riders as content as possible. Claudia's expert guides will lead the trail rides. 

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Program - Beach & Cork

4 nights, 5 days ride with 2h to 3 hours of riding per day. Minimum number of riders are 4 and the maximum number is 6-8 riders. 

Preliminary day-by-day program

Day 1 – Arrival
Monday - 10:00 am - Lisbon Airport Gathering
Transfer from the Airport to the riding centre. Arrival approx. 12:30 pm (Check-in). Transport to a local restaurant for lunch. Nothing like starting your first day with Pessegueiro Island in the background. After lunch you start the tour towards the southwest and pass by the beach of Ilha do Pessegueiro, soon afterwards you will discover the impressive Forte do Pessegueiro. You will then begin to feel the salty breeze of the Atlantic, while you can see Praia do Queimado and Praia dos Aivados, with their impressive dunes. At Aivados beach you will have the opportunity to make beautiful gallops. During this afternoon, you have created the first contact and knowledge with your friend and brave horse. At a time to be arranged, transport from the riding centre to a local restaurant, where dinner will be served.

Day 2 – From the charms of Porto Côvo to the Morgavel dam
After breakfast you will head north, you can see traces of a Neolithic Necropolis. You head towards the small fishing village of Porto Côvo, where the streets end at the sea. You continue along the coast where the cliffs overhang the beaches with their fresh water sources. The ground is soft and amazing, for long and pleasant strokes, before you find the first cork oaks. You then make a stop for an appetizing and pleasant picnic near the Morgavel dam. After the picnic , you will have a time of socializing and resting. You continue the journey back to the riding centre, to spend the night with the horses and watch your companions playing freely. At a time to be arranged, transport from the riding centre to a local restaurant, where dinner will be served.

Day 3 – Praia do Malhão - Mifontes - Cabeça da Cabra.
After breakfast you will ride towards the southwest along the coast, passing Malhão with its impressive dunes. You stop for a delicious picnic in a pine forest, surrounded by lavender and thyme. On the way back, you will be invaded by the vastness of the coastal plains, you continue to ride inland until you reach the Cabeça da Cabra mill, where the horses will spend the night. You will have transport back the riding centre. At a time to be arranged, transport to a local restaurant, where dinner will be served.

Day 4 – Cabeça da Cabra - Through the mountains 
After breakfast transfer back to the horses at Herdade to Cabeça da Cabra. Starting at the windmill, you ride through the mountains where you can observe various insects, butterflies and birds, in a practically uninhabited area. You cross the Matinha valley and head inland through cork oaks where light and shadows play. In the valley of Sela Vermelha, you pass close to the old iron mines of Cercal, where at the top of the plateau you have a spectacular view of the region. You rest for the picnic in the shade of cork oaks and pines. After the picnic you will have a time of socializing and resting. In the afternoon, you find the plain of Ribeira da Azenha, where you will have the opportunity to some gallops, among the eucalyptus forests, you arrive again at the riding centre where the horses will spend the night. At a time to be arranged, transport to a local restaurant, where dinner will be served.

Day 5- Aivados Beach 
After breakfast a farewell ride, you go back to Aivados beach with its impressive dunes. You will have one more opportunity to make beautiful gallops along the coast, through the plain where you can enjoy the last gallops before you return to the riding centre. Lunch at a local restaurant. Transfer to the airport.

Horses

Mainly Lusitanos that are excellent for trail rides. Relaxed but still sensitive and lively. Height at the withers 150-165 cm (59 – 65 in). The horses have English saddles and bridles and yuo can brush and saddle the horses if you would like to. Some of the horses have saddlebags.

Accommodation and Food

Accommodation and Food

The farm has six apartments consisting of one double bedroom, kitchen with refrigerator, fireplace and a bathroom. Each apartment has its own sheltered patio. Here you can sit in the evening and watch the sun go down.

Single: It is possible to book a single room (price for single supplement available under Dates & Prices). If you are willing to share rooms, you will not have to pay a single supplement if you are allocated a single room.

Breakfast and dinners you eat at the family restaurant located by the sea, 800 meters (2,600 ft) from the riding center. You can be driven there, if you do not want to walk. The breakfast consists of coffee, tea, juice, bread with ham, cheese, marmalade. Dinner consists of three dishes. Given all the small fishing villages located nearby, you will be served many tasty seafood dishes. Wine and beer is payable locally. For dessert, you will be treated to dishes such as chocolate or almond pie. The picnic lunch is substantial and good, and includes hot food.

The Program - Atlantic Trail Ride

You ride 4-6 hours per day at changing tempos, about 200 km (124 miles) in total. 
Minimum number of riders are 4 and the maximum number is 6-8 riders. 

Preliminary day-by-day program

Day 1 Arrival. Enjoy a welcome dinner in the evening.

Day 2: After being introduced to your mount for the week, you begin the trail riding north you can see traces of a Neolithic Necropolis before crossing the small fishing village of “Porto Côvo”, where the streets end at the sea. Following the cliff tops from where you can see the many small beautiful beaches that line the coast. Then the terrain flattens and softens for amazing long and enjoyable canters before entering the cork oak forest where you have a long lunch near the ”Morgavel” dam.  And while the horses rest, you can have a refreshing swim. After lunch, the ride on the way back is a panorama of unspoiled and vast great plain filled many species of wild flowers. Arriving at the riding centre, the horses take a bath and go to their rest where you can watch them play, while enjoying a drink at the bar, then heading to a typical Alentejo dinner. During this day we created the first contact and knowledge with our friend and brave horse.

Day 3: You ride southwest you will see the delightful scenery of the “Ilha do Pessegueiro” and the impressive Pessegueiro Fort.With the salty Atlantic breeze for company, you reach to the beaches of   “Aivados” and “Malhão”, with their impressive dunes and trails of compact sand, ideal for long gallops. You stop for a delicious picnic in a pine forest, surrounded by lavender and thyme. After the well-deserved rest, you'll be invaded by the vast plains, between small towns and sighting mountains, and arrive to the windmill where the cereals were milled in the village of “Cabeça da Cabra”, where the horses overnight. Back to the riding centre, you go to dinner at a time to be arranged.

Day 4: On this day you ride East, passing by centuries-old cork oaks and stone pines we reach the “Campilhas” dam, a freshwater lake where the silence is deep and where only birds are heard, you will enjoy a magnificent picnic by the water. After a nap, you follow the historic trail of the Rota Vicentina, along clay paths between eucalyptus trees and green valleys towards a farm in Serra do Cercal where the horses overnight. Back to the riding centre, you go to dinner at a time to be arranged.

Day 5: Starting from the farm in Cercal you ride  through the “Sela Vermelha Valley” where you ride over the ridge of “Cercal”, which gives a spectacular view of the región in all directions,you pass close to the old iron extraction mines of Cercal. You rest for a picnic in the shade of huge centenary cork oaks. In the afternoon, you will do some gallops among the cork oak forests and eucalyptus trees and you will once again reach the goat's head mill where the horses will spend the night. Back to the riding centre, you go to dinner at a time to be arranged.

Day 6: Starting from the windmill you ride direction south and ride through Vale dos Godins, until you reach the sand dunes and the sea.  Lunch is served near  the town of “Milfontes”. After lunch you will start feeling the salty breeze from the Atlantic while you cross the remote “Malhão” beach with sand dunes from where you can see up to the coastal plain. On the way back you will be amazed at the sparkling clear bluish green waters of the Atlantic Ocean - you ride up the coast and then cross over the coastal plain to reach the farm, where you say goodbye and thank you to the horses and go to the restaurant for the farewell dinner.

Day 7: Breakfast and transfer to the airport.

(Subject to change due to local circumstances.)


(Riding on the beach is prohibited from 1 June until 15 September.)

Climate

Travel Information

Ability description: Trail Ride level 2-3 >>

Included in the price: 6 nights, 5 days riding, breakfast, full board incl. non alcoholic beverages.

Not included: Flights, alcoholic beverages, insurance and extras not mentioned.

Travel: Fly to Lisbon. 

Transfer: Book in advance with HorseXplore.
From: From Lisbon airport, about 2 hours drive to the ridingcentre.
Price: 95 EUR per person, return. Payable on spot.
Meeting time Atlantic Trail Ride: At 17.00 from Lisbon airport, arrivals at Starbucks.
Meeting time Beach & Cork Ride: At 10.00 am from Lisbon airport, arrivals at Starbucks.

Departure Atlantic Trail Ride: Depart from the riding centre at 10.00am. Back at the airport approx. 12.00. 
Departure Beach & Cork Ride: Depart from the riding centre at 15.00. Back at the airport approx 17.00.

Bus: If you want you can take bus from Sete Rios buss station in Lissbon to Porto Cova. You can see time table and prices at  rede-expressos.pt.
From Lourinha you take a taxi to the riding center, about 8 km (5 miles).

Riding: Trail ride where you are driven back to the farm every night, but the horses are left at different location every night. Riding on the beach is prohibited from 1 June until 15 September.

Group size: Min. 4 max 6-8

Currency: EUR
Credit card: Yes accepted by riding center.
Tipping: Not required.

Wifi: Yes
Electricity jack: EU standard

Group size:
Age limit:
12 years old
Weight limit: 85 kg

Closest village: 7 km away
Beach: 900 metrers away
Pool: None

Misc.:
Riding equipment to borrow: Helmet
Saddle bag available: Yes
Special diet: Inform when booking.

Feedback from our travellers

Dates and prices

DateDaysName of tripPrice from
10/03/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
17/03/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
31/03/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
07/04/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
14/04/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
21/04/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
05/05/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
12/05/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
19/05/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
26/05/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
27/05/20245Portugal, Alentejo - Beach & CorkEUR 1,525Book on request
02/06/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
09/06/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
15/09/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
22/09/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
29/09/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
06/10/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
13/10/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
20/10/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
27/10/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
03/11/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
10/11/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
17/11/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request
24/11/20247Portugal, Alentejo - Atlantic Trail RideEUR 1,830Book on request

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