Portugal ~ Alentejo
South West Portugal’s coastal Alentejo province, with its shady forests of cork oak, pine and eucalyptus, its lush valleys and winding coastal tracks, is a wonderful year-round riding destination. Tiny farms and patchwork fields give way to sandy coastal plain; high cliffs and Atlantic breakers crash against rocks and white sand beaches. Starting from a riding centre close to Ilha de Pessegueiro, a tiny island on the Atlantic coast, north of the fishing village of Porto Covo and the bigger town of Milfontes, rides use homebred Lusitano horses to explore wind swept beaches and never ending sandy tracks that provide perfect going, forested ridges, spectacular cliff tops and golden dunes that provide glorious views. Accommodation is in small apartments and comfortable guest rooms at the riding base.
6 night itineraries are offered from Sunday to Saturday throughout the year, except for the month of August. 4 night itineraries are also possible on request, Mondays to Thursdays.
Riding: 4-6 hours a day
Horses: Lusitano and Lusitano / Portuguese crosses.
Pace: moderate, with good chances to canter.
Riding ability: intermediate to experienced riders
Weight limit: 85kg (13st 5lbs)
Accommodation: comfortable guest rooms at the ride base.
Group size: maximum 6
Season: Year round, except August (no riding on the beach between 1st June and 30th September)
Horses: The horses are well schooled pure or crossbred Lusitanos, the native horse of Portugal. Most are between 15hh and 16hh and are of a medium build. They have all been carefully selected and schooled by your guide and are good natured, forward going and responsive to ride. Tack is English style and saddle blankets with pockets for personal belongings, are provided. The horses are prepared for you each morning but you are encouraged to help un-tacking and tacking up at lunch time - although there is always help on hand if you prefer not to.
Hours: There is usually between 4½ and 6 hours riding a day.
Pace and experience required: The rides are aimed at fit and regular riders. To take part you must have a reasonable amount of previous riding experience and you should be secure, comfortable and relaxed on a horse at all paces in open country and over varied terrain. You should also be riding regularly and should have a fairly good level of riding and general fitness. The horses are well schooled and the pace is moderate overall, although there are plenty of chances for good, long canters. There is a weight limit of 85kgs (13st 5lbs).
Accommodation on the rides is in the farmhouse at the ride centre. There are six apartments, each with their own bathroom with shower and loo, a small living room and one or two bedrooms. Rooms are simple but comfortable. There are small fireplaces in each apartment for winter months and also a fridge and electric kettle. The farmhouse is about 10 minutes walk from the beach.
Alentejo Coast Ride (6 nights) - Euros 1270
Rates include - riding, twin bedded accommodation, all meals, and collection and return to Lisbon with the group at set times.
Prices are quoted in Euros. Payments to us can of course be made in pounds sterling if you wish and we can give you a sterling rate at the time of booking.
On request, most weeks January to July and September to December
|Itinerary in brief - 6 nights, Alentejo Coast, Portugal
|Day 1||Met at Lisbon airport at 17.00 on the first day and driven to the base, Herdade de Pessegueiro, 15 minutes or so from the town of Milfontes. A welcome dinner at the local restaurant.|
||Breakfast at the restaurant, looking out over the Atlantic, then set off riding north through the fishing village of Porto Covo, then along the cliff tops. Picnic lunch by a dam, then ride on to an old windmill where the horses spend the night. Drive back to base for dinner and the night.|
||Rejoin the horses and from the windmill, ride to the ridge of Cerval with spectacular views. After lunch ride to the green Roncao valley with plenty of chance to canter through the forest. Leave the horses at the windmill for a second night and drive back to base for dinner and the night.|
||Ride south through the Godins valley, then across a plain with sandy tracks. Pass close to Milfontes and ride across the bridge over the Mira river. A picnic near the river and ride on to the village of Almograve where horses spend the night. Drive back to base for dinner and night.|
||A short drive to Almograve and ride towards the coast. The picnic spot today is on the cliff top overlooking the spectacular Alentejo coastline and in the afternoon ride on along the cliffs and over dunes back to Almograve. Leave the horses and stop for a drink in Milfontes on the way back to base.|
||Rejoin the horses and ride along a farm track to the dunes and the sea. Cross the Mira River and after lunch ride along the coast and cross the coastal plain to reach Herdade de Pessegueiro. Farewell dinner in the restaurant.|
||Breakfast and transfer at 10am to arrive Lisbon airport 12 noon.|
|Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on tel (+44) (0)1837-82544 / 825440 for further information, detailed itineraries, dates and answers to questions.|
The meeting point for the rides is Lisbon airport (transfers / meeting can also usually be arranged in Faro). There are direct flights to Lisbon from London with British Airways, Air Portugal and Easy Jet (from Luton and seasonal flights from London Stansted). Ryan Air has flights to Faro from London and also a number of UK regional airports. Flybe also fly from several regional UK airports to Faro. Fares vary with the season and airline but budget around £150 to £250 economy return.