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8 Days Discover the Natural Beauty of Serra de Aire and Candeeiros Horse Riding Holiday in Portugal

Cooking and Nature, Rua Asseguia das Lages nº 181, 2480-032 Alvados, Portugal

Trail Horse Riding Holiday Portugal

Get ready for a unique horse riding experience tour at Serras de Aire and Candeeiros. Centro Hipico de Alcaria team has many years of experience with specific training in the area. Discover the people, the culture, and the natural beauty of the national park while riding on a comfortable Puro Sangue Lusitano horse or Portuguese crosses. In the heart of the mountain, Alcaria will be the starting point of every daily tour. Alcaria is a typical mountain village that preserves its secular houses and lies at the park’s core thus becoming a natural visiting place.

Key information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 209 pounds / 95 kilograms
  • Horse Height Range: 144 centimeters - 168 centimeters / 14.2 - 16.5 hands
  • Tack Type: English dressage and jumping saddles
  • Horse Breed: Lusitano, Portuguese sport horses

Highlights

  • 6 riding days
  • 4 to 5 hours riding a day
  • Moderate pace with good chances to canter
  • Explore the natural diversity of Aire and Candeeiros Mountain
  • Supervised by licensed and experienced professionals
  • Roundtrip airport transfers from Lisbon Airport (LIS)
  • Personal and civil responsibility insurance included
  • 7 nights accommodation with lunch and dinner

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


6 days with instruction
Group size: 2-6 participants
Airport transfer included: Lisbon Portela Airport
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Accommodation

Cooking & Nature Hotel

Against a backdrop of mountains enfolding an enchanted valley nestles a truly special hotel where emotions flow freely both inside and out, where colors and textures mingle, and the sounds of birdsong and the caress of the breeze invite you to be at one with nature. Enjoy the freedom to explore a menu of 12 emotions, savoring them slowly one by one - the Hotel Cooking and Nature welcomes you.

Cooking & Nature - The Nest

This hotel is currently being renewed but will be open to the public really soon. The hotel offers six Íris (Deluxe) bedrooms and two Charme rooms. Their names are Green, Blue, Brown, Bordeaux, Red, Yellow, Fire, and Earth. The hotel has a pool with breathtaking views over the mountain, a lawn for outdoor games, a large living room with a fireplace and a natural park to discover. There are also two apartments available.

Program

All riding activities are supervised by licensed and experienced professionals. Personal and civil responsibility insurance fees are included. Training or mixed program as well as under 12 years program are available. Non-riders program is also available.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival

Day 2 - Trail: Pia do Ovelha

  • Highlights: Pia da Ovelha, Roman Road, and Porto de Mós Castle
  • Distance: 32 kilometers / 20 miles
  • Riding: 5 hours
  • Departure: 10:00 a.m.
  • Lunch: Picnic at Pia da Ovelha
  • Expected Arrival: 5:00 p.m.

The trail passes between dry rocky hillocks and fertile valleys where the manmade stone walls divide the small cultivated fields, arriving at Pia da Ovelha, a natural cave where the ancient shepherds took their sheep to drink water.

The Roman road is located in Alqueidão da Serra. It is one of the most remarkable examples of local cultural heritage in this region. Alqueidão is a word of Arab origin that means passage or road. Visiting time is 20 minutes.

Porto de Mós Castle was built over the ruins of a Roman watchtower, enlarged by the Arabs and conquered by D. Afonso Henriques, the first Portuguese king, in 1148. It survived two major earthquakes and underwent various modifications until it became the unique fairy tale architectural work it is today. It provides astonishing views over the village and surrounding hills. Visiting time is 10 minutes. Price is 1.51 EUR.

Day 3 - Trail: Charcoal ways

  • Highlights: Charcoals ways, Fórnea, and Cova da Velha
  • Distance: 22 kilometers / 14 miles
  • Riding: 4 hours
  • Departure: 10:00 a.m.
  • Lunch: Picnic at charcoals way
  • Expected arrival: 4:30 p.m.

Fórnea is a natural 500-meter diameter and 250-high amphitheater, unique in Portugal, and one of the best preserved in Europe.

Cova da Velha is a cave in the middle of Fórnea slope, only accessible walking (about 1 kilometer). Visiting time is 25 minutes walking.

Charcoal way is the ancient Porto de Mós thermo-electrical power station, built in the 1930s. It was fuelled by the charcoal mined in Minas da Bezerra and carried to the station by railway. This trial provides astonishing views over the Porto de Mósvillage and surrounding hills.

Day 4 - Trail: freshwater springs

  • Highlights: Freshwater springs, Alviela’s source, and Fluvial Beach
  • Distance: 25 kilometers / 16 miles
  • Riding: 4 hours
  • Departure: 09:00 a.m.
  • Lunch: Picnic
  • Expected Arrival: 1:00 p.m. - free afternoon in Fluvial Beach or hotel
  • Pedestrian trail: 2 kilometers, 1-hour duration, easy difficulty

Alviela river spring lies between the rocky Estremenho Limestone Massif and the sandy Lower Tagus Basin. Its main source is subterranean, but temporary springs are formed in rainy periods. The most important of these is “Olhos de Água” (“eyes of water”), after which the place is named. This spring was Lisbon’s main water supplier from 1880 until very recently.

Day 5 - Trail: Castelejo

  • Highlights: Landscape
  • Distance - 28 kilometers / 17 miles
  • Riding: 5 hours
  • Departure: 10:00 a.m.
  • Lunch: Picnic
  • Expected Arrival: 4:00 p.m.

The way to Castelejo is a steep climbing through the Alvados slope, a geological depression, formed by tectonic subsidence, differences in level may be up to 300 meters.

Besides the geomorphology, riding across Santo António’s plateau will provide the opportunity to have the benefit of the richness and variety of its vegetation. As you approach Chainça and Covões Largos, the landscape changes and wilderness gives way to manmade loose stone walls, separating tilled grounds.

The descent allows the sight of Castelejo the most important and one of the largest slopes of the limestone massif. The diversity of the landscape - slopes, geological faults, bushes olive trees, oaks, and urban areas - origins a variety of birds including falcons, quails, beccaficos, and finches are common and easy to spot.

Day 6 - Trail: Pia do Urso

  • Highlights: Pia da Urso, Moeda Grotto
  • Distance - 30 kilometers / 19 miles
  • Riding: 5 hours
  • Departure: 10:00 a.m.
  • Lunch: Piadussa restaurant
  • Expected Arrival: 5:00 p.m.

Pia do Urso is a fully preserved traditional village. Its houses are made of stone and timber. It is located at the heart of the Pia do Urso Sensorial (fully equipped for the blind) Eco-Park. Visiting time is 60 minutes.

Moedas Grotto is a maze of subterranean galleries (about 350 meters long and mean depth is 45 meters), full of limestone formations. Visiting time is 25 minutes. Price is 6 EUR.

Day 7 - Trail: Polje Mira Minde

  • Highlights: Landscape
  • Distance - 28 kilometers / 17 miles
  • Riding: 5 hours
  • Departure: 10:00 a.m.
  • Lunch: Picnic
  • Expected Arrival: 4:00 p.m.

With 4000 meters long and 1800 meters high, Mira Minde Polje is one of the biggest. In winter, it feels with water transforming into a big lake that can reach in some places, 8 meters deep. In summer time, it dries making it possible to ride.

Day 8 - Departure

Location

National Park of Aire and Candeeiros Mountain offers the visitor dazzling rocky scenery originated in the Jurassic and carved by millennia of water and air erosion. Because this park’s fauna and flora are extremely rich, housing rare or even unique species, it is cherished by all those who privilege wide, bright, and unpolluted horizons. The pleasure of this intimacy with nature is matched with the hospitability of the local people thus providing the visitors with the sense of peace and harmony that has become so infrequent.

Food

The following meals are included:

  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 6 riding days
  • 6 lunches and 6 dinners
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Personal and civil responsibility insurance
  • Roundtrip airport transfers

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Lisbon Portela Airport Airport transfer included: Lisbon Portela Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Availability

This tour is available all year round with arrival every Saturday. The first riding day is usually on Sunday.

 

Low season
  • November to March

 

High season
  • April to October
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

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