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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.
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.
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.
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.
The lodge has three tiny houses, sea view offering one double alcove bed, a shower room, a minibar, a kitchenette, and free Wi-Fi.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Diogo is born on Faial Island. Since he was a young child he is riding. He made his professional Trainer License in Lisbon, Portugal. Since 6 years he is working with PÁTIO and is our Partner. He is in charge for the Horse Management and guide all tours.
Laura is our german Trail Guide. She is leads all our Horse-Trails
The trail will take place on Faial Island, Portugal.
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 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.
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.
Before or after a week on horseback, Faial offers more fascinating activities to extend the holiday. Please ask for the optimal extension program:
A must-do! Discover with marine biologists the fascinating cetacean.
The ultimate experience. Swimming with dolphins in their natural environment.
Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site at the foot of the 2.351 meters high Pico Volcano.
Pure Jurassic Park. 400 meters deep into the sleeping volcano of Faial Island.
Lisbon Portela Airport
Transfer not provided
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).
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