Horseback Riding in Portugal

Dolphin Trail

Overview

The Dolphin Trail takes place south of Lisbon near the coast as you stay in wonderful modern country hotels. On experienced Lusitano horses you will follow the winding trail through cork and eucalyptus forests that brings you to the beach for a day.

The schedule includes a half day visit by boat to see dolphins in their estuary habitat. Flamingos and storks may also be spotted, as the sandy tracks you ride upon bring you past lagoons and small farms. This is horseback riding tour in Portugal offers ideal terrain for good canters on horses that are happy to oblige, and you also enjoy meandering walks with lovely views of the countryside. Each day of riding includes a relaxing lunch with grilled meats or fish, while both you and your mount can enjoy a siesta. In the evenings the comfort of your accommodations and a generous savory dinner awaits.

Accommodations are in rural hotels that are comfortable and modern with regional charm.  All accommodations have private bathroom facilities and some have swimming pools.

Meals are in the traditional Portuguese style and are taken at the hotels or a local restaurant, with picnic lunches grilled and served along the ride route.

  • Overview:
    All horses used are Lusitano and Lusitano crosses. McClellan saddles with foam and sheepskins are used, and two water bottles are provided on each saddle. Bridles use French style snaffle bits or hackamores and all horses direct rein.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Lusitanos and Lusitano crosses.
  • Trip Pace:
    Walk, trot and canter with some lengthy canters
  • Tack:
    McClellen saddles with comfortable foam and sheepskin, and English style bridles.
  • Weight limit:
    188 lbs

There are no separate non-rider activities, but non-riders are welcome to book and join riders for meals and any other activities in the itinerary that don't include riding.

Travel between three separate accommodations, riding to the new area one day and then in the vicinity the next. The itinerary follows a generally triangular route in the south of Lisbon.

Lisbon airport.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Lisbon and transfer at 5:30pm. You will be driven south approximately 100 km to the region of Grândola and your accommodations, a rural hotel in the typical “Alentajana” architecture. Enjoy the comforts of this modern and charming guest house, including having a swim in the pool before enjoying dinner and retiring for the evening.

Day 2

Ride through the hills in forests of cork and pine, noticing your Lusitano horse’s wonderful character and sure-footedness. Stop for a delicious picnic lunch of grilled meats or fish, along with salad, fresh bread and local wine. This afternoon enjoy a few more canters on sandy tracks as you continue towards the horses’ stable, passing briefly through the local villages. After settling the horses for their evening, you will be driven about 30 minutes to your new accommodations, a modern, luxury hotel. Here you can also enjoy the pool and comfortable rooms before having dinner.

Day 3

Today you will traverse forests of eucalyptus, enjoying their distinctive perfume and hearing the sound of the bark crunching beneath the horses’ hooves. Stop for lunch near a large reservoir and enjoy another refreshing lunch and siesta. Bring your swimming suit along if you’d like a swim in the reservoir. After mounting back up, you’ll have the opportunity for a few more fast canters on your way back to the stable. Dinner and overnight as previous.

Day 4

Today is a half day of riding, and depending on the weather you will be transferred either in the morning or afternoon about 30 minutes to the north to the Sado River where you will enjoy a two hour boat trip to see the dolphins in the estuary. Dolphin sightings can not be guaranteed, but are very likely. Lunch is a picnic today, and the ride explores sandy trails through fields and forests, allowing for several long canters. You will pass the Santa Andre Lagoon, which may have flamingos and storks, and rice fields with a rich green color in late summer.
Dinner and overnight in different accommodations tonight, a larger three star hotel.

Day 5

This morning you will ride from your hotel to the beach. Between June and mid-September this is an early ride to avoid the other holiday makers on the beach. It’s beautiful to watch the sun rise over the dunes before enjoying the beach riding with possibilities of canters. Your picnic lunch is served under the shade of pine trees and you can swim in the ocean afterwards. Continue your ride through the dunes in the afternoon and return home to your hotel, where you spend the night as previous after dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 6

Ride today back toward Grândola with more opportunities for faster riding. Ride through pine forests where red earth paths alternate with those of sand and you may meet herds or cows or sheep tended by shepherds. Return back to your first accommodations and enjoy a refreshing swim before enjoying dinner and overnight.

Day 7

The group will ride today by the Sierra of Grândola through a rolling landscape of picturesque villages. Stop for a final picnic on the trail and you and your horse can both enjoy a siesta. Your ride this afternoon will take you back to your hotel where you say goodbye to your horses. Enjoy your farewell dinner and final night in Portugal.

Day 8

After breakfast, transfer back to Lisbon for your departing flights.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

There are also trips that follow the same itinerary but use different accommodations that are less expensive. These trips take place in February, March, June, July, August and September. Please inquire for exact dates and prices.

Departure Dates

Trip Starts
Trip Ends
Mar 8, 2020
Mar 15, 2020
Mar 22, 2020
Mar 29, 2020
Mar 29, 2020
Apr 5, 2020
Sep 27, 2020
Oct 4, 2020
Oct 4, 2020
Oct 11, 2020
Oct 18, 2020
Oct 25, 2020
Oct 25, 2020
Nov 1, 2020

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $1,715
  • Other Options
  • The ride will run with 3 riders with an additional supplement of 25%, and with 4 riders with an additional supplement of 10%.
  • Single Supplement
  • $605

Departure Dates

Trip Starts
Trip Ends
Mar 7, 2021
Mar 14, 2021
Mar 21, 2021
Mar 28, 2021
Mar 28, 2021
Apr 4, 2021
Oct 10, 2021
Oct 17, 2021
Oct 24, 2021
Oct 31, 2021
Oct 31, 2021
Nov 7, 2021

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $1,805

  • Other Options
  • The ride will run with 3 riders with an additional supplement of 25%, and with 4 riders with an additional supplement of 10%.
Additional Pricing Information:
Prices are based on the dollar/euro exchange and are subject to change. Ride price is set, guaranteed, and final at the time deposit is paid.


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Contact Megan Barrett

I had a great time with our hosts in Portugal in September. The horses were in beautiful condition and so solid in a range of challenging conditions.  Our host and his team went the extra mile to make us feel at home and they handled the details so everything went smoothly and our safety was protected.  Our guide and ground crew rode or drove the trails the night before so they were sure the path was passable, they coordinated with a team stop traffic when we had large roads with fast traffic to cross and they were mindful of our comfort throughout.  Professional from start to end. I will remember the great warmth from our host and guides, as well as the Lusitanos, and the beauty and generosity of Portugal and her country people that few tourists are likely to experience.   We found it everywhere. Thank you to the entire Equitours team for a horse vacation I’ll never forget. And now that I’ve done a point-to-point ride like this I wonder if there is really any other way to see another country and know its people!   Can’t wait for the next trip.

Ritchie, 2015