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All-Inclusive Horse Riding Tour in Portugal

This listing has the most popular offer available in in Portugal

Ecotura counts already with 20 years of experience ans invites you to join a different ride in one of the most beautiful natural landscapes where you will make trips on horseback in the beautiful setting of Peneda Gerês National Park. The itinerary for this beginner week tour can be adapted to the weather or other local conditions but during your stay, there will be a combination of half-day and full-day learning. Please note that the following are example itineraries and are not exhaustive.

Key information

  • Weight limit: 85 kilograms / 187 pounds
  • Tack type: English tack
  • Horse breed: Lusitano, Árabe cross or Garrano horses

Meet the instructors

Pedro & Mariana de
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Highlights

  • 6 riding days, upto 4 hours daily
  • Learning with sweet and well-trained Lusitano, Árabe cross or Garrano horses
  • Observation of wild Garrano horse herds during the rides
  • Ride in the wild and beautiful nature of Peneda Gerês National Park
  • Small groups of riders
  • Excellent food and wine during the 3-course meals
  • Complimentary airport transfers

Skill level

  • Beginner

Styles


6 days with instruction
Airport transfer included: Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
15:00
Check-out Time:
10:00

Facilities

  • Dining area
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Terrace
  • Yoga studio
  • Free bicycle
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Internet access
  • Meeting room
  • Wireless internet

The Ecotura Country House is a traditional mountain house, built in the early 20th century and recently restored. Although in essence maintaining the original features, the Ecotura Country House is equipped with all modern comforts that enable visitors pleasant moments of leisure.

Located in the historic village of Castro Laboreiro in the Peneda-Gerês National Park, this house is surrounded by the purest nature that you can find in Portugal. Ideal for a retreat and rest from the stress of the city, the place allows you to enjoy a fully deserved holiday with your family. It is still the premier venue for your adventures on the mountain.

Once lodged in Ecotura Country House, you can take advantage of special prices for all outdoor activities of Ecotura. The house is equipped with central heating, a fireplace, free Wi-Fi, a TV with cable channels, and a fully equipped kitchen.

Program

This is a beginner’s program for those who want to learn quickly but with sensitivity. Pedro is your host and instructor and an experienced horse rider who loves to teach people the joys of riding in a fun, fast, and secure way.

It is a wonderful introduction to the world of horses as well as a chance to explore this beautiful area. You will learn correct riding principles through a mixture of classic tuition, learning about horse behavior, observing wild horses, and enjoying relaxing rides amongst the nature of Peneda-Gerês National Park. This will be very different from the strict methods used on some beginner courses – Pedro aims to introduce you to the lovely world of horses with careful and thoughtful steps.

“In the last 10 years, I needed to find the best way of teaching my guests who, sometimes despite not knowing anything about riding or horses, wanted to explore the region on horseback. My primary goal has always been to take them out on the trails feeling happy and secure. With this in mind, I created a teaching process that allows everyone to learn how to ride (on a basic level) at a faster pace than usual.

In the last years, I have taught hundreds of riders and all of them left with an immense enthusiasm for horses, returning every year to ride in the mountains”.

Itinerary

Day 1: Saturday

  • No riding.

Transfer from the airport at 3:00 p.m. and travel to the village of Castro de Laboreiro. The evening is free to settle into your accommodation before dinner. Dinner at Ecotura Country House

Day 2: Sunday

  • Riding: 1 - 2 hours

Breakfast ingredients are left for you to have your own breakfast at a place and time to suit you. At 10:00 (normally), you will be collected and taken to the stables at on the other side of Castro Laboreiro (a drive of about 10 minutes).

In the morning, you will be learning how the horses think and how you should behave around them (body language) to ensure safety. Viewing the horses as companions instead of slaves! You will start to learn about handling horses from the ground and about the tack (saddles and bridles) and how all the equipment works as your first riding experience. You will learn the importance of balance, body position, and your hands, as well as how to use your legs and hands to drive the horses.

You will have lunch at the gardens of the guest house. Then in the afternoon, visit the visitor center of the National Park and learn more about the area through which you will be riding. Dinner will be at Ecotura Country House.

Day 3: Monday

  • Riding: 2 - 3 hours
  • Morning and afternoon: Today you will ride outside for a walk to practice your learning from the first day and to become more comfortable in the saddle.
  • Lunch: At the mountains
  • Dinner: At Ecotura Country House

Day 4: Tuesday

  • Riding: 2 - 4 hours
  • Morning: Learning how to put the halter and manage the horse on foot and learning how to trot.
  • Lunch: At the gardens of the guest house.
  • Afternoon: There is a non-riding visit to the old historical Melgaço village which is known for its old churches and castle. Along the way, you stop at the Alvarinho Centre to sample the wonderful, fresh local white wine. A typical Portuguese wine, the Alvarinho wine is one of the most important varieties of the Tart Wine Region. A true top-quality wine.
  • Dinner: At Ecotura Country House

Day 5: Wednesday

  • Riding: 2 - 3 hours
  • Morning and afternoon: Riding outside at walk and trot to practice what you have learned so far, during this ride you will find and observe the behavior of wild horses.
  • Lunch: At the mountains
  • Dinner: At Ecotura Country House

Day 6: Thursday

  • Riding: 1 - 2 hours
  • Morning: Riding and learning how to canter
  • Lunch: At the gardens of the guest house
  • Afternoon: A non-riding visit to Castro Laboreiro medieval Castle and Peneda pilgrimage sanctuary and village. This huge and beautiful sanctuary in the middle of the mountain was built in the 18th century
  • Dinner: At Ecotura Country House

Day 7: Friday

  • Riding: 3 - 4 hours
  • Morning and afternoon: A trail ride in the mountains to practice and enjoy all the knowledge you have gained during the riding clinic.
  • Lunch: At the mountains
  • Dinner: At Ecotura Country House

Day 8: Saturday

  • No riding.
  • Transfer to Porto airport after breakfast.

Included excursions

  • A non-riding visit to Castro Laboreiro medieval Castle and Peneda pilgrimage sanctuary and village (Day 6)

Instructors

Pedro Alarcao

Mariana de Alarcão

Location

Peneda Gerês National Park in Portugal is a beautiful region in the top north of the country at the border with Galicia in Spain. World's leading destination in 2017, Portugal offers an outstanding country to travel to, offering tourism of excellence.

The national park is the “jewel of the crown” when you speak about nature or wild or stunning landscapes. Due to its unique characteristics and the value that nature conservation contains, this region has won from UNESCO the higher award that a green area can receive biosphere reserve.

In this mountain territory, you can travel from the old oak forests in the valleys, full of creeks and old Roman bridges, to the high pics where the mountain landscape reveals the wild horse herds grazing peacefully in the natural pastures. In this tour, you will connect these two areas of the mountain, from the valley to the summit, traveling by ancient paths used for centuries by smugglers and shepherds, when they move the cattle between the winter and the summer pastures.

Food

Daily meals are included in the price. Vegetarian, vegan, lactose and gluten free diets are always available at dinners and picnic lunches. The diets information should come in the booking form.

You will have available in the house, in a trust system, different kind of snacks and drinks (including wine).

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcoholic beverages

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

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Lactose Free
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 7 nights with breakfast
  • 6 days of riding according to the day-to-day schedule
  • 7 dinners with 3 courses of Portuguese cuisine
  • Wine included in the meals
  • 6 lunches (some in local restaurants, some in nature)
  • Transfer from and to Porto airport
  • One yoga class and one meditation class

What's not included

  • Drinks or snacks outside the meals
  • Items of a personal nature including beverages, laundry, phone calls, etc.
  • Plane tickets

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO). The organizer will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price. The transfers are always on Saturdays at 3:00 p.m.

Airport: Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport Airport transfer included: Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 14 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
8 days / 7 nights
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Availability

This holidays are available from 1 of April until 16 of December.

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