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Horse Riding Holiday Portugal

This listing has one of the 10 most popular offers available in Portugal

Experience eight-day horse trail adventure trip with qualified trail guide with various accommodation alternatives. One of the most fascinating horse trails in Europe - Faial Island Trail - has been redesigned. With your Lusitano trail horse, you will get to know island routes that are determined by wine, whales, and volcanism. Riding along small vineyards and wine cellars, you will learn about

wine and cheese from Faial and Pico.

Key information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 210 pounds / 95 kilograms
  • Horse breed: Lusitano and Cruzado Portuguese

Meet the instructors

Diogo & Laura
Read more

Highlights

  • 6 days of horse riding
  • Approximate daily riding time: 3 to 6 hours
  • Ride around the island, to the volcano at 1,000 meters, and by the sea
  • Whale watching (season 2) and tour to Horta city and whaling museum (season 1)
  • Wine tasting with selected wines from the island of Faial and Pico
  • Friendly experienced English speaking guide
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Daily meals

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


6 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: German, Portuguese
Group size: 1-9 participants
Airport transfer included: Horta Airport
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Accommodation

Facilities

  • Kitchen
  • Terrace
  • Conference room
  • Free Wi-Fi

During the tour, you will stay at Patio Horse & Lodge. You can choose to stay in a double or twin room in the lodge, in an apartment, in a tiny house, or in a tent on the campsite.

Apartments

There are seven detached lodge apartments, sea and island views, equipped with a double be or two single beds, a shower room, a minibar, a kitchenette, a living room, a private terrace, and free Wi-Fi.

Rooms

There are four lodge rooms, sea and island view, equipped with a double bed or two single beds, a shower room, a minibar, and free Wi-Fi.

Tiny house

The lodge has three tiny houses, sea view offering one double alcove bed, a shower room, a minibar, a kitchenette, and free Wi-Fi.

Camp

The lodge has eight two-person tents (air or camp bed with pillows, your own sleeping bag required), a shared toilet and shower facilities with running hot water, and free Wi-Fi.

Double or twin rooms, apartments, tiny houses, and tents are only available for guests traveling and booking together due to their clean and safe standards. they do not offer half occupancy for single travelers looking for a roommate. Tiny houses are only suitable for single or couples due to their double bed. The trip is suitable for accompanying non-riders. In this case, they will charge proportionally accommodation and services used by the non-rider.

Program

Cantering along the coast, you will discover whale viewpoints and lighthouses. Marine biologists will join you on the ocean to observe whales and dolphins or you can get to know the cosmopolitan sailing and harbor town of Horta and its whaling history. You will encounter the volcanic top highlights of the Azores by horseback, the 1,000-meter high crater of Faial Caldeira, and the Volcano of Capelinhos, which erupted in 1957, after exciting rides through the jungle and the Faial mountains. During the Faial Island Trail, your horses stay overnight in three different camps on the island.

Daily itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

Arrival on Faial Island, transfer to PÁTIO Lodge, and first contact with the horses. Multimedia briefing of the trail week. Get to know the group and the guide. Allocation of horses. Welcome dinner.

Day 2: History of whales - Trail

  • Distance: 20 kilometers
  • Elevation: +800 meters, -700 meters
  • Riding time: four to five hours

Today you will learn a lot about whales and their history on the island of Faial during the briefing. Then you will get to know your horse and your equipment. You start on gently rising meadow paths. After a short time, you begin the first trot and canter. You reach a whale-watching point. With a little luck and when the sea is calm, you can see whales and dolphins.

You come back to the lodge along the steep coast. A delicious lunch is waiting here. In the afternoon, you reach two small whaling harbors. If the weather is good, you can swim. The horse resting place for the night is in a small hamlet. You drive back to the lodge. The first day of the trail ends with a drink at the bar.

Day 3: Lighthouse - Trail and whale watching

  • Distance: 14 kilometers
  • Elevation: +550 meters, -450 meters
  • Riding time: three hours

Today you can learn about the impact of the 1998 earthquake on Faial. You go to the horses early in the morning. Today's morning trail begins riding along the coast through blue hydrangea hedges to the island's former lighthouse, which was destroyed in the

earthquake. The nearby village still has a crumbling church that testifies to the power of the earthquake. Around noon, you reach the horses' rest area. Time for a saddlebag picnic. Then you drive to the town of Horta to meet a team of marine biologists. Together with them, you go out to the ocean in a powerfully motorized zodiac.

More than 30 different whales and dolphins can be encountered in the ocean surrounding Faial. It is a wonderful experience to be so close to the largest mammals in the world. If the weather and season do not allow whale watching, you will find enough time to discover this colorful and cosmopolitan port town. Walk along the sailing harbor and find secluded spots in the town. Maybe a gin and tonic in the famous Peter Café Sport Bar. In the evening, you drive back to the lodge, where dinner is waiting.

Day 4: Caldeira of Faial - Trail

  • Distance: 30 kilometers
  • Elevation: +1100 meters, -1100 meters
  • Riding time: five to six hours

Also today you start early to one of the top highlights of the Azores, Faial’s crater, the Caldeira. It is located at an altitude of over 1,000 meters in the center of the island. A real challenge for rider and horse. Sometimes, you meet farmers on the way to their cows. Heather tree along your route looks like giant broccoli. The Atlantic Ocean glitters in the sun. You slowly ride your way up to the crater rim of Faial via switchback tracks. One of the top highlights of the Azores lies majestically here, the 400-meter deep and 2,500-meter wide crater.

If you want to extend your trail vacation, you can descend into the depths of the crater with a nature park guide in an extension program. After the saddlebag picnic, you ride through the lonely and wild landscape of the high mountains. Your trail leads you over farm roads down to a small volcano whose inner crater you can reach on foot through a small tunnel. A very special atmosphere awaits you in this tunnel. You arrive at the jungle camp in the late afternoon. The transfer to the lodge is already waiting here. An exhilarating day on the trail lies behind you. Horses and riders have certainly earned today's dinner.

Day 5: The Fajã Bay - Trail

  • Distance: 17 kilometers
  • Elevation: +620 meters, -620 meters
  • Riding time: four hours

Faja-Bay is a hidden bay where the islanders have grown wine and fruit for 500 years. On the way there, you pass small wine cellars, wine houses with their vineyards. Riding through dense jungle, you reach the black lava beach of Fajã Bay. A magical, romantic world of its own. Small lava stone houses, well-tended gardens, and a wild sea await you. Your saddlebag picnic area is right by the sea. A wonderful gallop takes you back to the jungle camp in the afternoon. Today, like every evening, there is a thematic dinner that brings you closer to the tasty cuisine of the Azores.

Day 6: Volcano of Capelinhos - Trail

  • Distance: 20 kilometers
  • Elevation: +670 meters, -670 meters
  • Riding time: four to five hours

Today the trail leads you through a mystical jungle landscape. You enjoy fantastic gallops close to the coastline. Extensive vineyards, but also small wine cellars line your way. Via narrow tracks close to the shore, you reach another top highlight of the Azores, the volcano of Capelinhos, which erupted in 1957. Desert-like solitude awaits you. An old whaling village covered with the ashes of the volcano.

Hidden under the buried lighthouse is the modern interpretation center that reports on the volcanism of the Azores and the eruption of the volcano. You combine a saddlebag picnic with a visit to this attraction. Riding over parts of the volcano, you reach the jungle camp in the late afternoon. The transfer back to the lodge is already waiting here.

Day 7: Canyon - Trail with picnic and wine tasting

  • Distance: 17 kilometers
  • Elevation: +550 meters, -700 meters
  • Riding time: four to five hours

Today is the last day of the trail. You cross the island from the dry south to the green north. Magnificent views over terraced pastures down to the blue ocean. Extended gallops lead to the highest village on the island, Ribeira Funda. A typical Azorean picnic is waiting for you directly above the 300-meter deep canyon.

You let the sun warm you, listen to the wind and the wild cries of the buzzards circling over the deep gorge. In the afternoon, the route takes you along yam fields through a small, wild, and romantic valley after six days of riding back to the PÁTIO Lodge. Big farewell dinner with wine tasting in the lodge closes the fascinating trail week.

Day 8: Extension or traveling back home

Patio Horse & Lodge takes guests who do not individually extend their stay with them to the airport or the ferry port on the island of Faial after breakfast.

Requirements

You should be able to ride the three gaits in the open field. Light trot, easy seat in canter, sporty. They expect support from you with the care of the horses, with saddling and grooming, as well as tidying up and cleaning your personal trail equipment.

Horse-trail guides

Your horse trail guides are dedicated and experienced. They speak English and mostly a second or third language. As trained riders and guides, they have extensive knowledge of nature, history, and island life. Safety is the top priority for you and them.

Horses

Up to 20 horses are living in their herd the whole year-round at the meadows and the free barn of PÁTIO. Their Lusitano and Cruzado Portuguese horses are on average seven years young. Due to adequate animal housing and their daily training, their horses are relaxed, well-balanced, and persistent.

The hierarchy is already clarified on the meadow and will not be clarified during the trail. Anja, their horse specialist and trainer (Horse Academy of Cologne, Germany) and Victor, trail-guide (German Trail-Rider-Academy) are training their horses carefully and permanently. In that way, they are becoming cooperative, hard-working, and relaxed companions.

Equipment

They use equipment approved by the German Trail-Rider Academy. Their most important piece of equipment is the trail saddle. They only use the first-class trekker-saddle from the Italian saddlery Prestige. Seating, safety, and correct fit are without comparison. All saddles are equipped with a Prestige saddle bag for personal stuff and tension belts for your coat.

Instructors

Diogo

Laura

Location

The trail will take place on Faial Island, Portugal.

The Azores Archipelago

The nine islands in Azores Archipelago are the tips of submarines gigantic mountains. Among the island the distance between the westernmost Flores and Santa Maria island (the eastern) is 600 kilometers. Pico is the highest point of the Portuguese territory (2,351 meters). The Azores archipelago is divided into three island groups. In the Central Group, there is the island of Faial with 14,800 inhabitants. Its highest point is the 'Cabeço Gordo' (1,000 meters), 80 kilometers of coastline and more than 250 kilometers horse trails.

Faial Island

Faial Island is part of the Azores Archipelago. With an area of ​​approximately 172 square kilometers, Horta city is the only county seat of the island. The island is designated as Blue Island by the abundance of hydrangeas bordering roads and dividing fields and pastures. Its location close to other islands produces a comfortable feeling of togetherness and a strong aesthetic impression. Pico, in particular, is a presence which greatly enhances ​​the landscape.

Features

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Whale watching

General

  • Bar
  • Barbeque facilities
  • Café
  • Concierge desk
  • Dining area
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Lounge
  • Restaurant
  • Terrace
  • Pet friendly

Services

  • Car rental
  • Ironing / ironing board
  • Laundry
  • Library
  • Tour assistance
  • Wireless internet

Food

The package includes seven breakfasts, five saddlebags or one large picnic, seven dinners, and selected drinks. You can choose between meat, fish, or vegetarian or vegan food.

Breakfast (8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.)

  • In or outside on the terrace
  • Pressed juices, coffee, and tea
  • Cereals, homemade yogurt, island cheese, and sausage
  • Homemade marmalade and honey
  • Bread out of the wood oven
  • Island butter and milk

Picnic

  • PÁTIO's famous picnics for take-away

Dinner (7:30 p.m.)

  • In or outside on the terrace
  • Traditional menu with a selection of fish, meat, or vegetarian
  • Additional: starter, salad, and dessert
  • Delicious house wine from the Azores

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda
  • Alcoholic beverages

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

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

Things to do (optional)

Before or after a week on horseback, Faial offers more fascinating activities to extend the holiday. Please ask for the optimal extension program:

Whale watching (from 60 EUR)

A must-do! Discover with marine biologists the fascinating cetacean.

Swimming with dolphins (from 65 EUR)

The ultimate experience. Swimming with dolphins in their natural environment.

Pico Island Tour (from 70 EUR from two people onward)

Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site at the foot of the 2.351 meters high Pico Volcano.

Descend into the crater (from 50 EUR)

Pure Jurassic Park. 400 meters deep into the sleeping volcano of Faial Island.

What's included

  • 6 riding days with a qualified English-speaking tour guide
  • Daily multi-media trail briefing
  • Wine tasting with selected wines from the island of Faial and Pico
  • Whale watching with marine biologists (season two), alternatively and (season one) visit to the city of Horta and visit to the whaling museum
  • 5 saddlebags or 1 large picnic
  • Special trail equipment (Prestige trekker saddles)
  • 7 nights accommodation (according to option)
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 7 dinners
  • Selected drinks
  • Choices between meat, fish, or vegetarian or vegan food
  • Entry to the Capelinhos Interpretation Center
  • All transfers according to the program
  • Friendly, persistent, and sure-footed Lusitano and Cruzado Portuguese horses
  • Fireplace, lounge, garden, and Wi-Fi

What's not included

  • Australian raincoat rental fee (5 EUR per person per day)
  • Drinks and meals, unless otherwise mentioned in the program
  • Tips (recommendation per week: 30 EUR for trail guide and 20 EUR for lodge team)
  • Other personal expenses
  • Travel insurance

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Horta Airport (HOR). International and low-cost airlines are flying several times per day to Lisbon (LIS). From Lisbon, either you continue your flight on the same day or you decide to have a short stop-over in the city of dreams at the Atlantic Ocean. If you fly to Lisbon, you can take a rest before continuing your journey to Horta Airport (HOR). In Patio Horse & Lodge's townhouse 'Casa Ajuda', you can stay directly at the Palácío da Ajuda in Lisbon. The old tramway stops even in front of the house and takes you to the old town of the city.

Only 15 minutes needs a taxi from 'Casa Ajuda' to the white Atlantic beaches. Patio Horse & Lodge will be happy to reserve some nights for you. Azores airlines approach the airport of Faial Horta (HOR) in summer three times per day from Lisbon. In the remaining time, you fly five times per week. You can also fly from several American or European airports directly to the island of São Miguel to the airport Ponta Delgada (PDL). From here, your flight takes you in 45 minutes two times per day to the island of Faial (HOR).

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

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Availability

This vacation is available all year round, please select an arrival date below.

Season 1

 

  • April – October: availability to suit your desired start date. Daily start of the trail. Daily individual arrival possible.

 

Season 2

 

  • November – March: fixed trail dates

 

Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 1 participants

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