Explore Southern Portugal
on horse back or on foot
Horse riding and walking holidays in the Alentejo, Southern Portugal
Available all year our rides and walks take in some of the most beautiful and spectacular scenery in Southern Portugal, only 40 minutes from the Algarve coast. We have a selection of horses suitable for all ages and levels.
About Us and Our Horses
The rides and lessons are led by Martyn who has over 40 years experience with horses and is an FEI internationally qualified instructor. Martyn is currently working as a freelance instructor and guide so you'll be riding from the paddock not a traditional style riding stables.
The horses we use are mainly Lusitanos and Lusitano crosses. The Lusitano is the Portuguese national breed, famed throughout the horse world for its obedience and reliable nature. All our animals are very well schooled, perfectly mannered with beginners yet will give the more experienced a truly exhilarating ride. For those of you with a sense of adventure, we also offer the chance to practice your jumping or dressage on our German Warmblood or our classically trained Purebred Lusitano. For the romantics out there, how about an unforgettable wedding on horseback in sunny Southern Portugal or a moonlight ride?
We offer one, or two hour rides and half day barbecue rides for novice and experienced riders from the age of 5. Our riding breaks last from one day to one week and can be tailored to riders of various levels with hours of riding through stunning, unspoilt countryside. Collection and return to your hotel or Faro airport is possible- please ask us for more information.
Adventure Rides for experienced riders! For the experienced rider looking for something a little different, we offer a range of special adventure rides of from 1 to 3 days. These rides are fun and challenging and you will cover up to 60kms per day, depending on the terrain. We also offer a 4 hour Night Ride when there is a full moon and the countryside by moonlight is something really special. Maximum numbers for any of these rides is 4 people. Please contact us for further details and prices as the rides vary with the time of year.
All rides and walks are accompanied and we offer the choice of English or traditional Portuguese saddles whichever you prefer. We provide riding hats and chaps if you do not have your own.
Santana is home to one of Southern Portugal's foremost bullfighters - Tito Semedo - and, by arrangement, it is possible to visit and watch his Lusitano stallions being trained.
About the Area
The Alentejo is the rural heart of Southern Portugal. We are situated in the Serra Caldeirão close to the picturesque village of Santana da Serra in the Southern Alentejo approximately 40 minutes drive north of Albufeira and the Algarve Coast. The magnificent Santa Clara Lake, one of the largest man-made lakes in Europe, is only 4 kilometres away and the whole area abounds with a wide variety of plants and wildlife.
The area around Santana da Serra has changed very little in the past 200 years, despite the efforts of modern day living. This is the real Portugal that gave birth to some of the worlds greatest explorers.
The village itself has been in existence for over 700 years and still has many houses dating from the early 1700s. The surrounding countryside, similarly, has changed little over the centuries. Cork and stone oaks, medronhal, olive, almond and fig trees abound and many of the old montes are still inhabited by descendants of the original families that built them, in many cases still practising the old traditional crafts in traditional ways.
During your stay, you will stay in a simple, local farmhouse where you'll be welcomed and treated you as one of the family. Here at one of the highest points in southern Portugal you'll discover an area with stunning views, spectacular sunrises and sunsets and the clearest of star-filled night skies.
You will be able to take in the natural beauty of the area, both day and night and thrill to the sight of eagles or storks overhead and all manner of harmless animals roaming the nearby hills and valley as well as enjoying superb weather almost all year round.
You will live as we do, eating fresh local meat and fish together with homegrown fruit and vegetables and enjoying local wines and pastries
If you wish, you can spend some time camping by Santa Clara lake.
There will be ample time for swimming or fishing in the lake and learning about some of the traditional local activities such as cork, olive and grape growing and stone carving.
It is also possible to arrange for some excursions to the Algarve or other parts of Portugal (at extra cost), with prior notice.
Our aim is to make your stay in Southern Portugal a haven from the stresses and strains of everyday life and we try at all times to cater to your specific requirements and tailor your holiday to your needs
Details and Booking
Algarve and Alentejo, Southern Portugal
Activities and Prices:
Half Day Nature Walk 35
A guided walk in the foothills of Serra de Calderão, suitable for families, if you wish our mule can carry your belongings and a barbecue is available for a small additional charge
Horse Riding: for beginners and experienced riders
1 hour ride in the countryside 30, 2 hours 45
Half Day Barbecue Ride 65, a scenic three hour ride followed by a delicious barbecue
Day Treks and Holidays: rides and breaks for riders of all levels.
A full day's scenic riding 110; including a picnic lunch of fresh local food on the shores of Santa Clara Lake
2 day camper 170; 10 to 12 hours trekking through spectacular scenery, camping on the shore of Santa Clara Lake and delicious meals.
3 day mini break 220; a real taste of rural Portugal- 5 to 6 hours riding a day, one night's accommodation in the guest house and one night camping, meals
One week riding holiday 480, a horse-lover's dream, 7 day's riding and working with our horses including approx. 40 hours riding, accommodation, meals. You have the option of riding lessons and will have free time to explore the area or just relax- these holidays can be tailored to your own requirements just tell us what you're looking for. A day version is also available at 360.
We can arrange other activities in the area on request
Transfers We can arrange transfers from the Algarve, a transfer for up to 4 people costs 20 euros return from Albufeira or 35 euros return from Faro or Portimao. Please ask for quotes for other areas.
Yes, you can stay in a friendly local farmhouse or camp by Santa Clara lake.
We speak English, Portuguese and German.
Beginners are welcome.
Children are welcome, to ride you must be over 5 years old.
Please use the form below to contact us
Thank-you for your interest in walking and horse-riding in Southern Portugal and we hope to see you soon!