During this week you will be exploring this unique island. On the ride, you will leave the horses each night and return each evening to your base where you eat dinner and breakfast. About 3-6 hours riding / day total of approximately 120 km. Minimum one rider, a maximum of 10 riders.
Preliminary day-by-day program
Day 1. Transfer from Horta airport to your accommodation. Dinner at the riding center near the village of Cedros.
Day 2: History of Whales - Trail
< 20km, +800m, -700m, 4-5 h riding time >
Today you will learn a lot about whales and their history on the island of Faial during the briefing. Then you will get to know your horse and your equipment. We start on gently rising
meadow paths. After a short time, we begin the first trot and canter. We reach a whale watching point. With a little luck and when the sea is calm, we can see whales and dolphins. We come back to the lodge along the steep coast. A delicious lunch is waiting here. In the afternoon we reach two small whaling harbours. If the weather is good, you can
swim. The horse resting place for the night is in a small hamlet. We drive back to the lodge. The first day of the trail ends with a drink at the bar.
Day 3: Lighthouse-Trail and Whale Watching
14km, +550m, -450m, 3 h riding time
Today you can learn about the impact of the 1998 earthquake on Faial. We go to the horses early in the morning. Today's morning trail begins riding along the coast through blue
hydrangea hedges, to the island's former lighthouse, which was destroyed in the earthquake. The nearby village still has a crumbling church that testifies to the power of the
earthquake. Around noon we reach the horses rest area. Time for a saddlebag picnic. Then we drive to the town of Horta to meet a team of marine biologists. Together with them
we go out to the ocean in a powerfully motorised zodiac. More than 30 different whales and dolphins can be encountered in the ocean surrounding Faial. It is a wonderful experience to be so close to the largest mammals in the world. If the weather and season do not allow whale watching, you will find enough time to discover this colourful and cosmopolitan port town. Walk along the sailing harbour and find secluded spots in the town. Maybe a gin and tonic in the famous Peter Café Sport Bar?
In the evening we drive back to the lodge, where dinner is waiting for us
Day 4: Caldeira of Faial - Trail
30km, +1.100m, -1.100m, 5-6 h riding time
Also today we start early to one of the top highlights of the Azores, Faial’s crater, the Caldeira. It is located at an altitude of over 1,000m in the center of the island. A real
challenge for rider and horse. Sometimes we meet farmers on the way to their cows. Heather tree along our route looks like giant broccoli. The Atlantic Ocean glitters in the sun.
We slowly ride our way up to the crater rim of Faial via switchback tracks. One of the top highlights of the Azores lies majestically here. The 400m deep and 2,500m wide crater. After the saddlebag picnic you ride through the lonely and wild landscape of the high mountains. Our trail leads us over farm roads down to a small volcano whose inner crater we can reach on foot through a small tunnel. A very special atmosphere awaits us in this tunnel. We arrive at the Jungle Camp in the late afternoon. The transfer to the lodge is already waiting here. An exhilarating day on the trail lies behind us. Horses and riders have certainly earned today's dinner.
Day 5: The Fajã Bay-Trail
17km, +620m, -620m, 4 h riding time
Faja-Bay is a hidden bay where the islanders have grown wine and fruit for 500 years. On the way there we pass small adegas, wine houses with their vineyards. Riding through
dense jungle we reach the black lava beach of Fajã Bay. A magical, romantic world of its own. Small lava stone houses, well-tended gardens and a wild sea await us. Our saddlebag
picnic area is right by the sea. A wonderful gallop takes us back to the jungle camp in the afternoon. Today, like every evening, there is a thematic dinner that brings us closer to the
tasty cuisine of the Azores.
Day 6: Volcano of Capelinhos-Trail
20km, +670m, -670m, 4-5 h riding time
Today the trail leads us through a mystical jungle landscape. We enjoy fantastic gallops close to the coastline. Extensive vineyards, but also small adegas line our way. Via narrow
tracks close to the shore we reach another top highlight of the Azores, the volcano of Capelinhos, which erupted in 1957. Desert-like solitude awaits us. An old whaling village
covered with the ashes of the volcano. Hidden under the buried lighthouse is the modern interpretation center that reports on the volcanism of the Azores and the eruption of the
volcano. We combine a saddlebag picnic with a visit to this attraction. Riding over parts of the volcano, we reach the Jungle Camp in the late afternoon. The transfer back to the lodge is already waiting here.
Day 7: Canyon-Trail with picnic and wine tasting
17km, +550m, -700m, 4-5 h riding time
Today is the last day of the trail. We cross the island from the dry south to the green north. Magnificent views over terraced pastures down to the blue ocean. Extended gallops lead to the highest village on the island, Ribeira Funda. A typical Azorean picnic is waiting for us directly above the 300m deep canyon. We let the sun warm us, listen to the wind and the
wild cries of the buzzards circling over the deep gorge. In the afternoon the route takes us along yam fields through a small, wild and romantic valley after 6 days of riding back to the Lodge. A big farewell dinner with wine tasting in the lodge closes the fascinating trail week.
Day 8: Breakfast and departure to the airport.
All trail itineraries are general guidelines and in order to offer the guests the best-riding holiday experience they may do changes