Dolphin Coast Ride
Alentejo / Blue Coast Portugal: (IT-PTPATD)
Alentejo / Blue Coast
The Costa Azul or "the Blue Coast" encompasses the stunning southern stretch of Portugal's west coast. It is just as long and beautiful as the Algarve (Portugal's very popular south coast), but while the Algarve is overcrowded with tourists, one finds tranquil deserted beaches and pristine countryside all along the west, even during the peak summer months. The mouth of the resident river Rio Sado is a sanctuary of 57,500 acres where you will find that many dolphins play! From here on south, you'll find 36 miles of secluded beaches only interrupted by lovely and calm lagoons and quaint fishing villages. Discover this traveler's jewel region on the back of a handsome, first class Lusitano horse. Ride from the lush and green coastal mountains of Grandola, overgrown with pine and cork-oak forests, to the inviting beaches and turquoise waters of the Azul. The rides are filled with delicious picnics, swimming, fresh seafood dinners, playful dolphins and of course endless memories!
We offer this ride with different accommodations on specific dates
- The Dolphin Coast Ride offers accommodations in 3 and 4-star accommodations for people who prefer the most comfort, while
the Dolphin Escape Ride departure dates are offered for the more economical traveler, with lodgings in 2-star hotels and country inns. The itinerary otherwise is identical for both riding options.
Both trip packages include all your meals and drinks at lunch time. Drinks with dinner are not included!
Dolphin Coast Ride
The accommodations throughout the trip are in a comfortable hotels, a rural home equipped as a modern hotel (both with pool) and a charming local farmhouse (Jacuzzi).
Herdade das Barradas da Serra
Located at the foot of the mountain range of Grândola. A forest of cork, extended to mountains and valleys, is shelter to several animals and plants. Ten comfortable rooms, decorated in warm colors to enjoy the hospitality and feel the tranquility of the countryside.
Hotel Caminhos de Santiago, Santiago do Cacem
Located in Santiago do Cacém, in the heart of coastal Alentejo, the hotel offers a stunning view of the sea, the castle and the historical town of Santiago. It is close to the beaches on the Alentejo coast extending from Porto Covo to Tróia. With 33 rooms, two suites and a swimming pool, the hotel has a menu and wine list that combine the flavours and aromas of fusion cuisine with traditional Alentejo gastronomy. The chef in the "O Peregrino" restaurant is José Júlio Vintém.Amazing hotel, one of the best designer hotels in the area, it's gorgeous and irreverent. The bedrooms are modern, all different from
each other and not impersonal at all as is usual in high-end hotels.
Great bathroom with hairdryer. The bedroom have a balcony with
chairs where you could stay, facing a gorgeous landscape.
Quinta Moinho Velho, Grandola
Nine delightful rooms - each has a private entrance, that opens to the central garden. Indoor and outdoor dining area. Jacuzzi The tv room and lounge has games, satellite television and DVD for evenings "in" - especially cozy in the winter with a log fire burning in the grate.
Dolphin Coast Escape Ride
Accommodations in rural hotels and guesthouses.
Monte das Faias
Only 20 km from the coast Monte das Faias is a typical country hotel set in the heart of the
Alentejo. Accommodation comprises 3 suites and 7 houses, each detached
with a suite, living-room and kitchenette. Guest facilities include a
restaurant, spa, tennis court, bar, children`s playground and
indoor/outdoor swimming pools.
downtown Santiago, Cacém, Albergaria D. Nuno is located in one of the
richest regions in history, heritage and natural beauty. Equipped with
75 rooms with tv / stereo, telephone and air conditioning, this modern
hotel unit also has a swimming pool, an inviting bar.
Hotel Vila Park
In Vila Nova de Santo Andre, you will find the Hotel Vila Park, located between the cities of Sines and Santiago do Cacém. It consists of 79 rooms with full
bathroom, equipped with television, radio, telephone, air conditioning,
This trip includes
and can accommodate special dietary requests.
Tack: The saddles that you will be using are mostly Portuguese Army saddles covered with sheep skin which are very comfortable and well-suited for the purpose of long distance rides.
English style bridles are used.
Horses: You will be riding purebred and cross-bred Lusitano horses.
The Lusitanos, which come from the same origin as the famous Andalusians, are to be considered as some of the finest horses in Europe. Together with their Spanish brothers, the Lusitanos were the first horses which were brought to the New World and thus became ancestors of all American breeds. The Lusitano horses were at their full grandeur when the classical dressage of 'Haute école' was having its era throughout the last centuries, before the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) requested the performance of extension in modern dressage. This is a movement, which can only be performed in a limited way by Lusitanos as these horses were never chosen for being great movers in respect to long strides. They are instead known for their splendid abilities and extreme glamour while performing the disciplined collected movements.
You can indeed look forward to getting a mount which is not only well-tempered and of a docile character but who will allow you to explore the great feeling of riding an exceptionally well-trained riding horse.
More details on the Lusitano Horse
Day 1: Arrival in Lisbon and transfer at 5:30 pm to Herdade das Barradas da Serra (100 km south). This rural house integrates a building of typical ‘alentejana’ architecture and is located in the region of Grândola. It is in a very accessible environment with charming personnel and equipped as a modern hotel. Here you find an elegant atmosphere where you can swim in the pool or relax in the comfortable rooms before the first day on horseback. After dinner you will have your first night in Portugal.
Escape Ride accommodation option: Monte das Faias (100 km south) is the local where the group will stay the first night. This rural house integrates several buildings of typical ‘alentejana’ architecture and there you will find a very local ambient where you can slacken in the comfortable rooms to rest from your journey and before the first day on horse back.
Day 2: We ride through hilly landscapes to our first destination in Santiago do Cacém. After the first few canters, you will notice the ‘Lusitanos’ wonderful character and how sure footed they are. A tasty picnic is to follow, as our driver usually has something grilled and fresh salads. In the afternoon, rested after the midday pause, we ride through the forests of pines and cork oaks. We reach Hotel Caminhos de Santiago with its personal charm and a swimming pool in which you can take your first swim. Spoil yourselves with delicacies during the evening and sleep in very comfortable rooms.
Escape Ride accommodation option:
You reach Quinta da Ortiga where the horses will rest. A small transfer to Albergaria D. Nuno, a local hotel with its personal charm and a swimming pool in which you can take your first bath. Spoil yourselves with a delicious dinner in the Albergaria eating typical Portuguese food and sleep in very comfortable rooms.
There is a large breakfast to start the day. Today we cross forests of eucalyptus, and hear the cracking under the shoes of your mounts. Near Morgavel's Water Reservoir we stop for a picnic and a relaxing Siesta. Afterward we have the opportunity for some fast canters on the sandy tracks that cross the Portuguese country. Waiting for dinner we can profit the swimming pool. Evening and overnight as the day before.
Day 4: After a good breakfast we start a long ride towards St.Andre. Primarily sandy trails lead us through fields and forests, allowing several fast canters. Your sure-footed horse takes you through the woods of the cork oak forests. We pass the Lagoon of Sto. André and rice fields. In the afternoon, the horses get a rest and we have the opportunity to visit wild dolphins in their natural habitat, in the Sado River near the town of Setubal. We will have a small half an hour transfer to Setubal and after the visit you will return to Quinta Moinho Velho, at the edge of the Lagoon of Stº André.
Note: Depending on the weather, the
program can be changed, maybe the visit to the Dolphins in the
morning and the riding program in the afternoon. If the sea does not allow
the use of the boat (very rarely) we will spend the time visiting the
Tonight we stay in this beautiful and charming farm house.
Escape Ride accommodation option:
You will transfer to Hotel Vila Park, at the edge of the Lagoon of Stº André. Tonight we have a superb dinner in the hotel.
Day 5: The course of the morning excursion continues in direction of the beach. We will have long gallops along the beach. Ride through the forests of pines and by the hills of the Atlantic coast. This place gives one an extraordinary feeling of freedom and rest; quiet water, the flight of the birds above your heads and the green of the pines make it a very special sensation of tranquility. In the afternoon we arrive back at our accommodations where we can relax and freshen up before dinner. Dinner at a local restaurant and accommodation as the night before.
Day 6: Today we ride from Melides towards Grândola. Many opportunities for faster riding arise today. Our Lusitanos will carry us safely through forests of pines. Red earth paths alternate with those of sand, you meet herds of cows or sheep. On our return and after having watered our horses, we appreciate a good refreshing swim before the dinner in a local restaurant. Stay at Herdade das Barradas da Serra.
Escape Ride accommodation option: overnight at Monte das Faias
Day 7: Today the group rides by the Serra of Grândola through an undulating landscape and picturesque villages, where the noise of your horse's shoes attract the curious inhabitants of the village out of their houses. As usual, we make a pause for the last picnic of the trail. The horses and the riders take a nap after lunch and then we proceed to forests of cork oaks.
Dinner and overnight as on the previous night.
Day 8: After breakfast you will be transported to Lisbon.
Rates and Dates for Dolphin Coast Ride
Accommodations, all meals, 6 riding days - with English speaking guide, luggage transfers
Dolphin Coast Ride: A 4 star hotel, a rural home equipped as a modern hotel (both with pool) and a charming local farmhouse.
Escape Ride: all the same features as the Dolphin Coast ride, but alternate accommodations in rural 2--star hotels and guesthouses.
Transfer and Other Options:
Transfer from Lisbon airport at 5:30 PM included
Rates do not include:
Alcoholic beverages at dinner or from from bar
Transfer: From Lisbon airport included at 5:30PM
temperature along the coast is very pleasant for riding. However, be
prepared for quick showers, which may occasionally occur.
months of February, March, October and November it is advisable to bring
some protection against rain and a pullover or other type of warm cloth
for the evenings.
In the summer months it is advisable to have a hat for protection against the sun (if you don’t use a riding helmet).
What To Bring:
During the ride informal attire prevails.
Either English or Western riding gear is acceptable. For those of you who wish to ride in jeans we highly recommend the use of chaps or leggings underneath. And even though it is not required, we do recommend a riding helmet.
Casual sportswear is appropriate for the evenings. Do bring a sweater and jacket to be prepared for any cooler evenings.
There are no saddle bags available, but the riders will be met at picnic time every day by the car transporting the luggage. We do recommend that you obtain a belt pack to carry your valuables and other small items during the ride. We also like to carry along some leather thongs for tying things to the saddle.
Regular film can be obtained locally but special sizes may not be available, so bring plenty of your own.
Do not forget swimsuit and towel. When traveling in Europe it is always a good idea to bring a bar of soap since not all hotels supply it.
We recommend that you take two different suitcases/bags in order to leave all clothes which are not being used during the trail at the starting point of the trek; and only take the absolutely necessary equipment, while on the ride. This bag will be transported by the jeep from one stopover to the next.
|This list is only a guideline for you|
|Travel documents and Voucher|
|Visa (check with your consulate)|
|RIDING GEAR |
|Cotton shirts with long sleeves (protection against the sun!)|
|Riding pants or Jodhpurs (used if possible!)|
|Riding boots + Minichaps|
|Riding helmet (recommended for all trips)|
|Hat (with chin strap) for sun protection|
|PERSONAL CLOTHING |
|Jacket or sweater for cool evenings|
|Underwear and socks|
|Jogging suit / Pyjama|
|Light summer jacket|
|Swimsuit and towel|
|ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING |
|Sore cream (for an emergency)|
|Sewing kit |
|Adapter for electric appliances|
|Camera and enough extra films|
|Small bag to buckle on (for small items needed during the ride)|
|Spur straps (to tie sweater or parka onto the saddle)|
|Sun glasses with strap|
|Sun tan lotion and lip balm |