Horseback Riding in Portugal

Portuguese Traditions & Culture

Overview

The riding itinerary in central Portugal has been carefully designed to give you the best equestrian, cultural and natural experiences the region has to offer. Riding here will introduce you to the heart of Portuguese culture, so steeped in agricultural traditions.

You start from a competitive Lusitano stud farm and stop at towns and farm guesthouses along the way, including the property of Manuel Veiga, whose stud farm produced one of the four basic Lusitano lineages. End your stay in Golegã, “the capital of the horse,” and home to the great national equestrian festivals. We also offer an itinerary which includes a visit to the fair in November.

Your mounts are pure Lusitanos and your hosts knowledgeable and friendly as they guide you through this tour highlighting the wonderful traditions and riding in Portugal.

Accommodations are in farms, or Quintas, that have been modified as guesthouses. This is an authentic glimpse into typical Portuguese lives, and as such they each have a unique character with their own quirks and charm.

Meals are served at guesthouses and quintas or picnics along the riding route. Food is of the typical generous Portuguese style.

  • Overview:
    All horses used are purebred Lusitanos. Many have been bred at the stud farm which hosts you, and most have basic dressage training. Trail specific dressage saddles with saddle bags and snaffle bits are used.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Pure Lusitanos
  • Trip Pace:
    The pace can be modified to suit the group, typically all paces
  • Tack:
    High quality English tack
  • Weight limit:
    200 lbs

There are no separate activities organized for non-riders, but they are welcome to independently enjoy the region and accommodations.

Lisbon airport

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival at Lisbon airport and at 6pm transfer north to the stud farm where the horses are based to enjoy a homemade welcome dinner and get a brief overview of the week ahead. Drive a short distance to your first guest house, Casa do Alfaro, to overnight.

Day 2

After breakfast at Casa do Alfaro transfer back to the stud farm and start the day with a tour of the farm and an explanation of the breeding program. Then off on your first ride aboard your fine Lusitano. You will ride through the surrounding forests and vineyards to arriveat the local winery, “Casal da Fonte,” for a wine tasting and lunch of a local delicacy, torricado.

In the afternoon, cross the village of Azambuja and on back to the farm. You will be riding along the historic path traveled by Christopher Columbus when he went to meet King John II. The king had taken refuge in the Vale do Pariso to escape the scourge of the plague and here he received Columbus who had come to propose the journey to India which eventually led to the European discovery of the Americas.

Upon arrival at the farm, transfer back to Casa do Alfaro for dinner and overnight.

Approximately 4 hours total riding time today.

Day 3

Ride to visit the mares and foals on pasture in Bafoa, and from there ride toward the Tejo river. Stop at the palace Vala Real before a picnic lunch by the river. After lunch, ride back to Bafoa and transfer to Casa do Alfaro for dinner and overnight.

Approximately 5 hours total riding time.

Day 4

Cross the Tejo river by boat to with lunch served on board to visit the unique island inhabited by horses and many different species of birds. Afterward you will be transferred to Quinta da Broa, belonging to Manuel Veiga, whose family is one of the original foundational breeders of Lusitanos. Next visit the town of Golega, the national capital of the Lusitano horse, with a free afternoon to enjoy the town. You’ll have dinner at the restaurant, “Lusitanus,” with a good view over the town’s central riding arena. Overnight at Hotel Villa Reis.

Non-riding day.

Day 5

Ride through the Natural Reserve of Paul do Boquilobo, with a stop for a picnic lunch. Continue riding to Quinta da Boavista for dinner and overnight.

5 hours riding time.

Day 6

Ride through the vineyards north of Santarem toward the historical Ribeira de Santarem. Arrive in Santarem, the gothic capital of Portugal. The town was conquered from the Moors by D. Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, on March 15, 1147. This conquest was crucial from a military point of view, as it allowed later the winning of Lisbon and the establishment of the kingdom of Portugal. After lunch at “Taberna do Quinzena,” have the afternoon to visit the town. Spend the night at the lovely Casa da Alcacova. This is a beautiful historic manor house that affords a panoramic view of the Tejo river valley and Santarem.

3 hours riding time.

Day 7

After a final breakfast, bid Portugal’s Ribatejo farewell as you transfer back to Lisbon airport at approximately 9am.

Itinerary Addendum

This itinerary is flexible and changes may occur at the guide's discretion due to unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

Departure Dates

Trip Starts
Trip Ends
Feb 13, 2022
Feb 19, 2022
Apr 3, 2022
Apr 9, 2022
May 1, 2022
May 7, 2022
Sep 11, 2022
Sep 17, 2022

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $2,370
  • Transportation
  • Transfers from Lisbon airport at 6pm on Day 1, and back departing at 9am on Day 8 are included. Outside of these times transfers are $85 per vehicle each way.

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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