Sunday – Arrival
Arrival in Lisbon and transfer at 5:30pm. You will travel to the south to the town of Melides, approximately 135kms. Settle into your room at Hotel Vila Park, a nice country hotel. Later at dinner you will meet your guide and learn all about the trail. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Monday – Beach ride
Today you meet your horse and ride towards the beach. Between June 1st and September 15th, 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. If everyone is comfortable and secure on their horses, then there is the possibility of a gallop or canter on the beach before reaching a lovely picnic spot in the pine forest where your horses rest while you may swim in the sea and later have lunch.For lunch, a delicious picnic will be prepared with grilled meats or fish with salad accompanied by fresh bread and local wine. After lunch, you ride through the dunes, returning to the hotel. Dinner is at a local restaurant and overnight at Hotel Vila Park.
Tuesday – Ride past the lagoon
Today you ride in the direction of Santiago do Cacém, past the Santo André 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 colour of green. Stop for a picnic in the pine tree forest.
After lunch you continue towards the Quinta da Ortiga where we will stable the horses. A short transfer of 30 min takes you to your hotel, Quinta de Malmedra, a modern, luxury rural hotel, where you have dinner and spend the night.
Wednesday – Climbing the mountain
Today you continue to ride southwards towards Cercal, always with the sea in sight. Climbing the mountain through the ‘montados’ you ride through one of the last unexploited regions of Portugal.
In the afternoon you arrive at your accommodation at Casas Verdemar. This is a beautifully renovated tavern with individual rooms and cottages around the gardens. There is a pool, fruit trees and plenty of places to relax and enjoy the countryside. Take your meals either on the veranda or inside in the dining room. Your hosts are Christine Nijhoff, a specialist in antiques restoration and Nuno Vilas Boas Lebreiro, artist and cook. Dinner and overnight at Casas Verdemar.
Thursday – Visit tot Vila Nova de Milfontes
Today you have a morning ride exploring the fields around the farm and trails into the mountains of Cercal. The afternoon is free to visit the fishing village of Vila Nova de Milfontes which is a popular seaside resort in the summer months. There is time for shopping, sightseeing or relaxing on the beach. Dinner and overnight at Casas Verdemar.
Friday – Exploring the area around the dam
Today after breakfast you set off into the mountains of Cercal, close to the dam of Campilhas where you have lunch. The scenery is varied and interesting and after some trots and canters you return to Verdemar. Relax and enjoy the quiet of a typical ‘monte alentejano’ after a dip in the pool. Dinner and overnight at Casas Verdemar.
Saturday – Up towards the chapel
For your last day’s ride you continue exploring the mountains of Cercal. You will ride to the chapel of Nossa Senhora das Neves from where you have a splendid view of the surrounding area. After lunch, you return to Verdemar. Farewell dinner and overnight at Casas Verdemar.
Sunday – Bye bye
After breakfast, transfer back to Lisbon and departure.