Royal Horse Trails

Alto Alentejo Portugal: (PG-PATA)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/portugal_alentejo_royal_horse.aspx

Introduction
Alto Alentejo Portugal
Lazy rivers and babbling creeks meander through the rolling hills and pastures of Portugal's largest breeding area of fighting bulls, providing enough fresh water to make this central region the greenest of Portugal. This is classic horse country with soft trails through a scenic, lush countryside. You will overnight in beautifully renovated private estates, once the homesteads of European nobles. Lots of antique furniture and a very special atmosphere make them a true cultural and historical highlight of the Royal Horse Trails ride.

The journey takes you over hilly meadows without fences or roads to the Maranhão Lagoon. You cross several bridges, most of which had been built by the old Romans until you reach Alter do Chão and visit one of the two National Stud Farms that has its headquarters here. This is certainly a highlight for all lovers of Portuguese horses, but the view from the farm over the surrounding countryside is no less impressive. Hundreds of mares and their colts graze on huge meadows. Travel through meadows and fields, where only a few remote farmhouses remind you of the presence of people.

No doubt - this is one of the best rides in Europe!
 

Accomodation

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

Description
The accommodations throughout the trip are in country inns and private estates.
Laundry facilities are available in Alter do Chão (nights 3 & 4) for an extra fee.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Monte do Padrão in Figueira e Barros
Night 2: Monte Dos Aroeirais in Fronteira
Nights 3 & 4: Varandas de Alter in Alter do Chão
Night 5: Monte Dos Aroeirais in Fronteira
Night 6 & 7: Monte do Padrão in Figueira e Barros

Monte do Padrão in Figueira e Barros
This recently renovated farmhouse is surrounded by a 1300-hectare park. It has 7 double rooms.

Monte Dos Aroeirais in Fronteira
This charming property offers elegantly decorated bedrooms, that all come fitted with a TV, air conditioning, a private bathroom and free Wi-Fi access. The property is surrounded by olive groves and offers a small outdoor swimming pool. Guests are also welcome to relax on the terrace or to read a book in the lounge, by the fireplace.

Varandas de Alter in Alter do Chão
This small hotel offers simply decorated bedrooms fitted with a TV and an ensuite bathroom. The hotel amenities include an outdoor pool and a sauna (extra charge). Free Wi-Fi is available in public areas.

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



Meals
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.

Riding


Horses

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.

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.
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).

Itinerary


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
Transfer around 5:30 PM from Lisbon to the town of Figueira e Barros, approximately 150kms. Dinner and overnight in a farm house. A large number of manors with original furniture were renovated to promote tourism. Visitors are pleasantly surprised about the personal atmosphere and warmth of these former private homes.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Monte do Padrão


Day 2 (Monday): Introductory Ride
You ride over hilly meadows. This is a large-scale land-holding and the fences between meadows are miles apart. The landowners prevented road construction on their properties and you will seldom run into roads in this part of Alentejo. Most of the stone bridges over the numerous rivers date back to the Roman’s Empire. 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, you continue along the banks of the river – it may be necessary to dismount and lead your horse over some particularly rocky sections. The day ends near Fronteira. Enjoy an evening in the beautiful garden by the pool.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Monte dos Aroeirais


Day 3 (Tuesday): Monte dos Aroeirais to Alter do Chão
Departure from Monte dos Aroeirais in direction of Alter do Chão and its Horse Breeding Farm, with a ride through endless meadows full of colours where raise cattle, sheep. Picnic and more riding in the afternoon.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Varandas de Alter


Day 4 (Wednesday): Alter do Chão Horse Breeding Farm
Today in the morning you will ride through the vast flower‐filled meadows on the lands of the stud farm. After lunch at the hotel, you will visit the Alter do Chão Horse Breeding Farm, one of the two national stud farms. The horses bred here are so famous that they're traded under the name Alter. This is often a highlight and not only for horse‐lovers. In this idyllic location, hundreds of mares and their colts graze on large meadows filled with flowers. You should also get the opportunity to see some of the stallions and young horses. The town rises 500 m over sea-level and you can enjoy a panoramic view over the landscape. We then transfer to the town of Alter, for a stroll before dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Varandas de Alter


Day 5 (Thursday): Ride to Ribeira da Seda
Through large meadows, past fields, and with only one remote farmhouse that reminds us of the presence of people, you ride to Ribeira da Seda. The original, regional Portuguese cuisine offers you a varied and delicious menu.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Monte dos Aroeirais


Day 6 (Friday): Monte do Padrão Ride
Today you will ride inside the fields of Monte do Padrão that is 3000 ha large with cork trees and a huge olive oil trees fields.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Monte do Padrão


Day 7 (Saturday): Calatrava Ride
You ride back across large meadows, you’ll see millions of colours towards Lake Maranhão through the private hunting grounds of the Calatrava, consisting of open fields and cork forests. There is lots of opportunity for long trots and canters. You enjoy lunch on the banks of the dam before returning to the farm by a similar route.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Monte do Padrão


Day 8 (Sunday): Departure
After breakfast transfer 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 Royal Horse Trails

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals, 6 riding days, Transfers & Luggage transfers

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20248 day trip€1840$2025
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:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2024 Transfer from Lisbon airport at 5:30 PM
- to be paid locally
100 $110
2024 Single supplement 650 $715
2024 Non-rider 1,060 $1,165

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Alcoholic beverages at dinner or from from bar & Gratuities

Other Info
Meeting: Padrao
Airport: Lisbon
Transfer: Lisbon airport incl 5:30PM

Climate:
                                            Fronteira area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

56

58

63

66

73

83

90

90

83

71

62

57

Average Low Temperature (°F)

46

46

49

50

55

63

67

67

65

58

51

48

Average High Temperature (°C)

13

15

17

19

23

28

32

32

28

22

17

14

Average Low Temperature (°C)

8

8

9

10

13

17

19

20

18

15

11

9

Source: NOAA


Seasons
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).

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

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

Autumn:
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, although since tack is English style, we feel that breeches and high boots are most comfortable for the long hours in the saddle. And even though it is not required, we recommend a riding helmet. For those of you who wish to ride in jeans we highly recommend chaps or leggings. Casual sportswear is appropriate for the evenings. Do bring a sweater and jacket for the 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 also like to carry along some leather thongs for tying things to the saddle. 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
Passport
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)
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strap) for sun protection
Rain coat

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING
Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Jogging suit / Pyjama
Light summer jacket
Comfortable shoes/sneakers
Swimsuit and towel
 
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
Handkerchiefs
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
Flash light