1 Week Riding Holiday

The following is a tried and tested formula for our 1 Week Riding Holiday, with a guaranteed minimum of 15 hours riding over 5 days.  To enjoy this holiday you need to be riding fit and confident to canter in groups.

The majority of our riding tracks are through beautiful country side and the only time you will be on tarmac is to cross a road to get to more stunning country side!  Wild Life is abundant and at various times you may see hoopoes or griffin vultures and sometimes eagles soar overhead.  There are partridge strutting around and sometimes a mongoose or wild boar crosses the track.  You may find swallows nest in the stables and at certain times they love to dive bomb horses and riders!

 

 

Itinerary

Day One – Arrive at Faro airport.  Transport available to QPA but we do suggest car hire which is inexpensive and allows you time to look around when not riding.  Plenty of time to look around, meet the horses and dogs, have a swim or stroll around the valley.  Depending on your arrival time, we can fit in a one hour welcome hack in the afternoon.

Day Two – In the morning we ride up into the hills through the wonderful scented eucalyptus woods, emerging at the top by the old windmill from where you have the most stunning 360º view; south over Lagos to the sea, west to the village of Bensafrim and north and east over endless hills.  Continuing up and down through the hills you finally descend to the valley, riding through the backyard of an old tumbledown farmhouse only vacated after the 2003 fires, before QPA appears over the hill.  In the afternoon, choose between a lesson in the ‘picadeiro’ if you want a bit of ‘brushing up’ or a ride down Mad Valley.  This is a long winding roller coaster of a track.  Where the horses and riders enjoy a good canter.  We return along the winding contour tracks cleared years ago for the planting of the umbrella pines.

Day Three – We take a leisurely 2-hour ride through quite different countryside.  It’s a fast ride with plenty of tracks for trotting and ‘blasts’ up the hills.  We pass through Palm Tree Farm, a range of deserted buildings dominated by a lone Palm tree and surrounded by almond trees (see the confetti-like blossom in spring!) and fig trees (pick your own!).

Day Four – Restaurant Ride day.  We take the stunning ride up to the local restaurant called “Solar do Pincho” where cook Sandra will serve us some traditional Portuguese dishes such as duck rice, fish pie or even wild boar! The ride to the restaurant takes about 2 hours along the hills, with amazing views.  The horses have their own spot by the restaurant and will enjoy some lunch at the same time we do.  Luckily they get to carry us back and not the other way around!  The ride back home is through a valley with many river crossings and is the easy route home – ensuring you can enjoy lunch and a drink without worry!

Day Five – Rest day.  A day for you to discover the many delights of Lagos, a trip to the hills of Monchique or to ‘worlds end’ at Cape St Vincent.

Day Six – ‘Westward Ho!’ day.  Approx. 4 hours through the National Forest to the dramatic West Coast.  Apart from crossing the main road in Bensafrim you are unlikely to see or be seen by anyone until you emerge at the coast – don’t worry your guides do know the way!  A light lunch followed by plenty of time to ride on the beach.  Horses and riders stay in Carrapateira for the night.  Although out of the way there are several good restaurants worth visiting with the freshest of fish on the menu.

Day Seven – We have to make our way back to Bensafrim and QPA…!  The countryside is different yet again, this time mostly giant cork oaks shading the tracks.  The horses are always in a hurry to get home but are quite used to stopping for a refreshing drink on the way through the village.

Accomodation

Accommodation is at the Quinta unless fully booked when we can arrange rooms nearby.  Breakfast and light lunch are included.  You have free access to the pool and satellite TV.  Non riding partners are welcome.

Prices

POA – please contact us for details

For bookings or more information please click here.