Ride Overview - Costa Azul Coast Horseback Ride
A dreamy horseback riding vacation along the Blue Coast of Portugal! The Blue Coast (Costa Azul) encompasses the southern stretch of Portugal’s west coast. This coast is as long and beautiful as Portugal’s popular and world famous southern coast, the Algarve, but less crowded with tourists. Your trails lead you through the sun-sapped region of Alentejo where dry earth and olive trees embrace terracotta and brightly painted traditional villages. Your Lusitano horse will carry you across the coastal Grândola mountains coated with pine and cork forests to inviting turquoise waters and coastal beaches. Along the way, you will have many opportunities to canter. In addition, you will enjoy a non-riding boat excursion to the mouth of the Sado River to observe bottlenose dolphins in their natural environment. Your accommodations will include renovated traditional Portuguese farm homes as well as modern comfortable hotels. RIDING IN PORTUGAL
Ride Itinerary - Costa Azul Coast Horseback Ride
Day 1: Sunday
Arrival in Lisbon Airport and transfer at 5:30 PM. You will travel south to Barradas da Serra, approximately 100km. Your accommodation is a B & B – a typical ‘Alentejana’ architecture which is located in the region of Grândola. Here you will find a relaxed atmosphere where you can swim in the pool or rest in the comfortable rooms before your first day on horseback. You will meet your fellow riders at dinner.
Day 2: Monday
You will ride across the hilly landscapes to your first destination – Santiago do Cacém. This land is a blend of maritime coast, pine forest and Alentejan inspiration. From the summit of the Cercal hills, you can see the vastness of the sea to the West. As you canter, you will notice the Lusitanos’ wonderful character and their sure‐footedness. For lunch, a delicious picnic will be prepared with grilled meats or fish with salad accompanied by fresh bread, soft drinks and local wine. In the afternoon, your trail continues through the forests of pines and cork to Quinta da Ortiga where the horses will be stabled. A 1/2 hour transfer takes you to your modern countryside hotel.
Day 3: Tuesday
Your trail traverses through forests of eucalyptus. Here can breathe in the distinctive fragrance and hear the sound of the bark crunching underneath the horses’ hooves. Near Morgavel’s Water Reservoir, a picnic lunch will be served. Afterward, you will have the opportunity for fast canters on the sandy trails that cross this Portuguese countryside. Return to your hotel for dinner.
Day 4: Wednesday
Either in the morning or afternoon, you will be transferred north to the Sado River where you will enjoy a two-hour boat trip to see the dolphins play in the estuary. Dolphin sightings cannot be guaranteed, as they are in the wild. Also please note that the boat trip is subject to weather conditions. Afterward, you will ride across sandy trails, lush fields and tall forests. This trail will allow several invigorating canters. As you ride past the emerald Santa André Lagoon, you will see native flamingos and storks. Next, your horse will carry you past the rice fields which in late summer prior to harvest boast an astonishing color of green. Dinner and lodging will be in Santa André.
Day 5: Thursday
Your trail will lead you to the sandy beach. Between June 1st and September 15th, this ride is at dawn to avoid the tourists. It’s a beautiful ride at first light as the sun rises over the dunes. There is the possibility of a beach canter before reaching a lovely picnic spot in the pine forest where your horses rest while you may swim in the sea. After lunch ride through the dunes. Afterward, you will enjoy dinner in Santa Andre and return to your hotel.
Day 6: Friday
You will ride from sea town of Melides towards the picturesque farming village of Grândola. Many opportunities for faster riding occur today. Your Lusitanos will carry you safely through forests of pines. Red earth paths alternate with those of sand and your ride will pass herds of cows or sheep tended by shepherds. On your return, you can enjoy a nice refreshing swim in Barradas da Serra before dinner. Dinner and overnight in Barradas da Serra.
Day 7: Saturday
Today, your group rides across the rolling hills of the Serra of Grândola. Along the way, you will pass charming traditional villages. After a picnic lunch, you will ride to Barradas da Serra for a farewell dinner and lodging.
Day 8: Sunday
After breakfast, transfer back to Lisbon and departure.
Ride Details - Costa Azul Coast Horseback Ride
Dates: February 24th – March 3rd, March 17th – 24th, March 24th – 31st, June 16th – 23rd, June 23rd – 30th, October 6th – 13th, October 20th – 27th, October 27th – November 3rd
Best Months to Ride: March – May and September – October
Lisbon Airport at 5:30 PM
Riding Days: 6
Riding Hours: 4- 5
Horses: Lusitanos and Portuguese Cruzados
Riding Ability: STRONG INTERMEDIATE: Confident and in control at all paces including posting trots, two point canters and gallops in open country.
Group Size: 5 – 10
Accommodations: Trip Advisor 4**** hotels & B & B’s
Non-riding Activities: boat excursion to view dolphins
Price: $1,785.00 per person, double occupancy; $2,235.00 single package
*If the guide’s total ride size is under 5, a small group supplement will apply: 40% – 2 rides, 25% for 3 riders, 10% for 4 riders.
**This price will fluctuate with the USD/EURO exchange and will be fixed at your final payment.
Includes: lodging, riding, meals, tack, guide, dolphin boat ride, transfers to and from airport
Not Included: airfare
ANNUAL TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL:
Costa Azul Coast Horseback Ride: Gallery
Costa Azul Coast Horseback Ride