Horseback Riding in Portugal

Portuguese Traditions & Culture with Golegã Fair


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 to Golegã, “the capital of the horse,” and home to the great national equestrian festival, which you take part in at the end of your stay.

Along the way you will enjoy the hospitality of farm guesthouses. Visit the property of Manuel Veiga, whose stud farm produced one of the four basic Lusitano lineages. 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. For a stay without the festival, you can consider the standard program.

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 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.

Lunch is a picnic near the foals’ pasture, with traditional delicacies prepared on site. In the afternoon, cross through the village of Azumbuja and its nearby fields.

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

Day 3

Today you ride towards the Tejo river, before stopping for a lunch with fresh river fish at a local restaurant. After lunch you will continue riding toward Porto de Muge, where you will have dinner and overnight at Quinta da Marchanta.

Day 4

Cross the Tagus River by boat, with lunch served on board before visiting a unique island inhabited by horses. After your visit continue riding to 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. Dinner at the restaurant “Taberna d’O Quinzena” and overnight at the lovely Casa Da Alcacova, with a great view over the river Tejo.

Day 5

Ride north through vineyards, stopping for a picnic lunch beside the river Alviela. After lunch ride to Quinta da Broa, home to Manuel Veiga Stud, one of the foundational breeders of the Lusitano. The farm was founded 180 years ago by the “prince of Portuguese farmers,” Rafael Jose da Cunha, the great grandfather of Manuel Veiga. Veiga has revolutionized the breeding of Lusitanos in Portugal. You’ll overnight here after dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 6

Today you visit a traditional saddle maker at Pombalinho, with lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch return to Quinta da Broa for a tour of the family museum. Dinner at a restaurant and overnight at Quinta da Broa.

Day 7

Ride toward Golega, through the nature reserve of Paul do Boquilobo, with a stop for a picnic lunch. After reaching the town, known as the “capital of the horse,” take the afternoon off from riding to sightsee. For dinner you will dine at the restaurant Lusitanus, with views over the main arena for the yearly horse festival. Overnight at boutique house “Villa Reis.”

Day 8

Today is free to be spent in Golega (meals not included), with a transfer back to Lisbon at 9pm.

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
Oct 30, 2022
Nov 6, 2022

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $2,710
  • Single Supplement
  • $700

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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