Dolphin Coast Ride

Alentejo / Blue Coast Portugal: (IT-PTPATD)

Alentejo / Blue Coast Portugal
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 Bottlenose Escape 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. 


This is a progressive ride so nights will be spent in different accommodations.

The accommodations throughout the trip are in a comfortable hotels and guesthouses. Wi-Fi access is available at all accommodations. Laundry facilities are available on this trip for an extra fee.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Herdade das Barradas da Serra in Grândola (in 2023); Hotel das Faias (in 2024)
Nights 2 & 3: Quinta de Malmedra in Santiago do Cacém
Nights 4 & 5: Hotel Vila Park near Natural Reserve of the Lagoons of Santo André and Santa Sancha
Night 6 & 7: Herdade das Barradas da Serra in Grândola (in 2023); Hotel das Faias (in 2024)

Herdade das Barradas da Serra in Grândola
Located at the foot of the mountain range of Grândola, this beautiful country Hotel has 10 comfortable rooms, all elegantly decorated. The rooms come equipped with air conditioning, a TV, private facilities and free Wi-Fi access. Guests are encouraged to go for a swim in the outdoor swimming pool and/or to walk around the beautiful cork trees that surround the property.

Hotel das Faias in Grândola
This small hotel is surrounded by cork trees. The rooms are spacious and include air conditioning, a TV, a private bathroom and free Wi-Fi access. 
The property has a lovely garden and an indoor pool where guests can relax in the evening. 

Quinta de Malmerda in Santiago do Cacém
This charming farmhouse is surrounded by nature and features both an outdoor and indoor pool. All of the 12 rooms are simply decorated and feature a TV, free Wi-Fi access, air conditioning as well as a private bathroom.

Hotel Vila Park near Natural Reserve of the Lagoons of Santo André and Santa Sancha
This hotel offers modern accommodations only a few steps away from a beautiful natural reserve. The 79 rooms are all fitted a TV, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi access and a private bathroom with hairdryer. There is also an outdoor pool where guests can cool off after a long day riding.

Hotel das Faias in Grândola
This hotel has an indoor pool and hot tub, which are open all year round. It has a common living room with a fireplace.
Each suite and vacation home features simple furnishings, each with unique decor. All are equipped with air conditioning, a TV and private bathroom with bathtub.

Room Occupancy
If we are unable to find another rider to share the room with you, the single supplement fee does apply.

The package includes all meals and drinks at lunch time.
The meals are usually traditional Portuguese food.

Lunches are eaten on the trail and usually included grilled food.
The dinners are eaten in local restaurants or in the hotels' restaurants.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to most dietary restrictions with advance notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.



You will be riding pure-bred and part-bred Lusitano Horses. The Lusitanos, which come from the same origin as the famous Andalusians, can 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. They are known for their splendid abilities and glamour performing the 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 a well-trained horse.

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.
We do not provide saddle bags. There is a bottle holder provided with each saddle.

Weight Limit
The weight limit for this ride is 85 kg / 190 lbs, but we can accept riders exceeding this weight if they are experienced (under confirmation).


Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Note: This is a sample itinerary only and subject to changes at the tour operator's discretion. Riding times and distances are subject to change due to group dynamic and rider levels.

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival
Arrival in Lisbon and transfer at 5:30pm. You will travel south to Barradas da Serra, approximately 100km. Your accommodation is a rural house – a typical ‘Alentejana’ architecture which is located in the region of Grândola. Herdade das Barradas da Serra is very pleasant with charming staff and is equipped with the comforts of a modern hotel. 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. After dinner you will have your first night in Portugal.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Herdade das Barradas da Serra (in 2023); at Monte das Faias (in 2024)

Day 2 (Monday): Ride to Santiago do Cacém
Today you will ride through hilly landscapes to your first destination in Santiago do Cacém. After the first few canters, 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 and local wine. In the afternoon, rested after lunch, we ride through the forests of pines and cork. You reach Quinta da Ortiga where we will stable the horses. A short transfer of 30 min takes you to your hotel, a modern, luxury hotel, where you have dinner and spend the night.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Quinta de Malmedra

Day 3 (Tuesday): Ride to Morgavel’s Water Reservoir
Today, you will traverse forests of eucalyptus, enjoying their distinctive perfume and hearing the sound of the bark crunching underneath the horses’ hooves. Near Morgavel’s Water Reservoir we stop for a picnic lunch and a relaxing siesta. Afterwards we have the opportunity for some fast canters on the sandy trails that cross this Portuguese countryside.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Quinta de Malmedra

Day 4 (Wednesday): Dolphin Watching & Ride to Santa Andre Lagoon
Today, either in the morning or afternoon, you will be transferred about 30 minutes to the 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 but are very likely. Also please note that the boat trip is subject to weather conditions. When you ride today you will explore sandy trails through fields and forests, allowing several long canters. You ride past the Santa Andre Lagoon -in this beautiful place you may see flamingos and storks. Ride past the rice fields of the area, which in late summer prior to harvest are an astonishing color of green.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel Vila Park

Day 5 (Thursday): Beach Ride
Today you ride from Hotel Vila Park to the beach. Between June 1and September15, this ride is at dawn to avoid the holiday makers on the beach. 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 and after lunch. After lunch ride through the dunes, to Hotel Vila Park.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel Vila Park

Day 6 (Friday): Melides to Grândola
Today we ride from Melides towards Grândola. Many opportunities for faster riding occur today. Our Lusitanos will carry us safely through forests of pines. Red earth paths alternate with those of sand and we may meet herds of cows or sheep tended by shepherds. On our return, we can enjoy a nice refreshing swim before in Barradas da Serra.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Herdade das Barradas da Serra (in 2023); at Monte das Faias (in 2024)

Day 7 (Saturday): Sierra of Grândola Ride
Today the group rides by the Sierra of Grândola through a rolling landscape of picturesque villages. We stop for the last picnic of the trail, horses and riders can take a siesta after lunch. Then we proceed to Herdade das Barradas da Serra. Farewell dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Herdade das Barradas da Serra (in 2023); at Monte das Faias (in 2024)

Day 8 (Sunday): Departure
After breakfast, transfer back to Lisbon and departure.
Meals included: Breakfast

Non Riders
Non-riding companions are welcome to join this trip. It is best to have a car in order to do some sightseeing while the rest of the group explores on horseback.

Rates and Dates for Dolphin Coast Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals, 6 riding days, Dolphin watching, Luggage transfers

Packages and Options

  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    20248 day trip (high)€1890$2080
    • Single supplement€600$660
  • B
    20248 day trip (low)€1710$1880
    • Single supplement€560$615
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.1

Rates Note:

Triple rooms are not possible.

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Rates Note:

Triple rooms are not possible.

Transfer and Other Charges:

2024 Transfer from Lisbon at 5:30
- to be paid locally
100 $110
2024 Small group supplement (4 pax only) +10% 0 $0
2024 Small group supplement (3 pax only) +25% 0 $0
2024 Small group supplement (2 pax only) -- please inquire 0 $0

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2024 06/16 - 06/23 8d / 7n 8 day trip (high) 5 /10 Expired
A 2024 06/23 - 06/30 8d / 7n 8 day trip (high) 5 /10 Expired
A 2024 07/07 - 07/14 8d / 7n 8 day trip (high) 5 /10 Expired
A 2024 08/18 - 08/25 8d / 7n 8 day trip (high) 5 /10 Sold Out
A 2024 08/25 - 09/01 8d / 7n 8 day trip (high) 5 /10 Sold Out
B 2024 10/20 - 10/27 8d / 7n 8 day trip (low) 5 /10 Sold Out
B 2024 10/27 - 11/03 8d / 7n 8 day trip (low) 5 /10 Sold Out
B 2024 11/10 - 11/17 8d / 7n 8 day trip (low) 5 /10 Sold Out

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Alcoholic beverages at dinner or from from bar, Gratuities, Airport Transfers

Other Info
Meeting: Grandola
Airport: Lisbon
Transfer: From Lisbon airport included at 5:30PM

                                    Santiago do Cacém‎‎ area














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Source: NOAA

The temperature along the coast is very pleasant for riding. However, be prepared for quick showers, which may occasionally occur.
In the 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).

Daytime temperature ranges between 12° and 20° C with many sunny days. Possibility of rain

Daytime temperature ranges between 22° and 28° C with many hot, sunny days.

Daytime temperature ranges between 17° and 22° C, with many sunny days. Possibility of rain.

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 recommend to carry along some leather thongs for tying things to the saddle. Regular film (if you still use cameras that use films) 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
Flight tickets
Visa (check with your consulate)


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)
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strap) for sun protection
Rain coat


Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Underwear and socks
Jogging suit / Pyjama
Light summer jacket
Comfortable shoes/sneakers
Swimsuit and towel
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and enough extra films or memory cards and batteries
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
Flash light