Horse Riding Week
“Tailor made week of relaxed horse riding between equestrian centres as you
follow a guide into north Portugal’s wild and untamed protected landscapes”
DESCRIPTION OF HORSE RIDING HOLIDAY IN PORTUGAL
There’s just something about horse riding in Portugal that encourages travellers to relax and enjoy the beautiful surrounding countryside. This eight day tailor made horse riding holiday is absolutely no exception with beginners as well as more established riders getting to make the most of their time away at a pace and daily distance that suits them.
Riders will be ‘fitted’ with their perfect equine partner at the start of the holiday so as to ensure both horse and human are as comfortable as possible so as to best enjoy the untouched natural landscapes of Peneda-Geres National Park.
Several other activities can be combined within this horse riding holiday itinerary with family fun on the trail ensuring everyone gets to have a great experience as well as keeping healthy, happy and relaxed throughout each and every day.
This area of Portugal is renowned for its food and as such you’ll be invited to fill your saddle bags with all manner of goodies as well as visiting nearby towns and villages in order to make the most of picnic lunches and evenings out.
Although the itinerary below is based upon an eight day horse riding holiday in Portugal it’s also possible to shorten your time away with less time in the saddle also an option for those who prefer two feet to four. Just ask.
DAY-BY- DAY ITINERARY
Day 1: Welcome at airport and then transfer by Car/Minibus from Oporto (Portugal) or Vigo (Spain) to Arcos de Valdevez. After one hour of travelling arrival to the Equestrian Center and Cottage, tour along the stables and meet all the horses and at dinner time be decided the horse/rider Team pairs.
Day 2: The day starts early and breakfast 8.00 AM, after that follows horse preparation and starting the adventure trip at 10:00 AM. Starting just above the medieval Town of Arcos de Valdevez, the journey makes us cross it and follow in direction to the borders of Peneda-Geres National Park, castles mountain plains were wild horses live and amazing landscapes of old traditional stone mountain villages are the scenery of this day. Lunch at Local Mountain Tavern, followed by a horse riding trail that leads to pre-historical remains of old civilizations, and afterwards take direction to the National Park interpretation Center, were all the information about the park can be seen and discovered. This location is also the place to leave the horses resting overnight, in the old forestry nursery fields. Following a transfer back to the Equestrian Center Lodging were afterwards we leave to have dinner at Typical Portuguese Restaurant in Arcos de Valdevez town and go back to Equestrian center to rest.
Day 3: 8.00 Am, following transfer to horse mount location, prepare the horses anddepart into the woods of the national park, going uphill to plains of old pasture fields and home of wild horses and all the wildlife Peneda-Geres National Park… Journey develops along this scenery all day thru old commerce trails between mountain villages, at 1000 meters of altitude were all the horizon is free from any human presence. Lunch takes place near a mountain lake and is followed by journey that takes us down to the ancient Trail of the Deceased (used in ancient times to take the mountain people back down to the bottom of the valley cemeteries, near the main mountain villages) Arrival to the Village of Ferreiros, stable the horses in the old farmers houses & transfer back to the Equestrian Center Lodging/ Cottage, afterwards leaving to Dinner at Typical Portuguese Restaurant at Arcos & return to rest.
Day 4: Wake up and breakfast at 8.00Am, transfer to Ferreiros Stables, prepare the horses and at 10:00Am start the journey along the valley countryside farming fields and oak tree forests, arriving to the Vez river shores and following at his side thru fisherman trails back down to the Historical Town of Arcos…the lunch takes place by the river side, depending the river level the journey can take the horses to cross the river or make a detour to the nearest old bridge, if the water level of the river don’t allow the horse river passage. Arriving to Arcos de Valdevez, a tour thru the old town takes place thru the 17th century roads and all their story, spirit and arquitecture. Leaving afterwards to the equestrian center and there put the horses resting and preparing to evening dinner…
Day 5: After breakfast and horse preparations, the journey starts in direction to the woods above of equestrian center, Protected Landscape of Corno de Bico, the trails are full of forest wildlife, were wild horses, mountain cows, foxes, wild boars and even Deer’s & wolfs can be part the sight-seeing during the journey…the lunch happens in a local tavern in the heart of a small and wonderful village with only 6 houses and 16 habitants. Afterwards the journey continues uphill to a place where if the sky is clean the seashore of the Atlantic coast is part of our horse riding scenery…next destination is the core of the protected landscape of Corno de Bico…and a quick stop in the sightseeing post of the old forestry guard, that in ancient serve the purpose of surveillance in this wonderful protected nature landscape. Descending from the forest scenery, we take a trail that leads to the old villages in the vicinity of this Forest Park, there we leave the horses in the fields of an ancient manor house and stay overnight also in this manor house. Dinner happens in the Town of Paredes de Coura, and clients will have the possibility to taste the famous river Coura Trout, after dinner return to the manor house and rest.
Day 6: Surrounding the manor house the landscape is full of amazing places this day is mainly a Free Ride Day Tour, here all options are available, even if clients wish to enjoy the amenities of the resting house and leave their ride rest. For all those that wish to discover the landscape, the tour will happen inside of the Protected Area of Corno de Bico, were trails are so many and so full of contrasts that the experience of discovering them and go in search of the herds of wild horses is without any doubt a memorable experience. Due the natural territory that is the space of the journey and the absence of human presence, the meals are carried in the saddle bags of the horses…and enjoyed during the adventure inside of the forest landscape. In the evening the journeyheads back to the manor house, were the owners will provide a traditional Portuguese homemade dinner, and the owners will also join us during the meal…
Day 7: Wake up and breakfast, prepare the horses and around 10:00 leave the manor house, heading to another wonderful landscape, thru the old forestry guards trail, that will show all the beauties that they were meant to preserve and care….the natural wild horses shelters, made groups of 50 to 60 trees planted in the woods, in a way that protected the wildlife in harsh winters and hot summers. Along the way…the meeting with the wild horses is inevitable and from their pasture grounds we head down the mountain, to the little mountain village called Grijó, were lunch is provided by the logistics of the horse riding journey. After lunch the journey develops thru rural landscape and thru the woods and forests that are spread in between them…and create a natural balance between wildlife and the human presence in the mountain landscape. The journey will also pass thru an old Castle built on top of a Granit stone settlement, and in the 15th century served as a watch-post for preventing incoming invasions from Spain Borders. From their continue down descending the hillside in direction of the Equestrian center were all started seven days ago…
Day 8: Waking up and after breakfast, say goodbye to the horses and place all luggage in the transfer vehicle. Head to (Portuguese airport) Oporto or (Spanish) Vigo Airport…(both of them 100kms away from the Equestrian center.
8 DAYS EXCLUDING FLIGHTS
More info: Includes, accommodation, breakfast, guides, meals, horses, airport transfer. We use English saddles and most of the time we ride with long reins, this casual way of riding permits the enjoyment of all the surrounding .
We also organize trekking programs for clients. Tell us just where you would like to hike and explore and we can suggest various routes and rails through this beautiful region.
Book your tour and enjoy yourself.