Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.
Review received from FJ of Sheffield on 26/10/2018
Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.
The horses are all pure bred Lusitanos. These horses are about 16hh, light boned, warm blooded and responsive. They have a naturally proud head carriage and are well schooled. They are easy to ride and very responsive. Military saddles well covered with seat savers and sheepskin are utilised on this ride and make for a comfortable ride. The bridles are English. You cover 200km during the ride along hills, easy going tracks and beaches.
• Comfortable spending up to six hours a day in the saddle.
• The riding is at all paces depending on riding ability. There are many opportunities to trot, canter and also to gallop.
• Must be over 12 years of age and be capable of controlling a horse at a walk, trot and canter.
• Riders are expected to look after their horse but help is on hand for those who need it.
Weight limit: 188lb (85 kg).
The weight limit for this ride is 13 st/188 lb/85 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
There are a wonderful variety of accommodations and meals on this ride. Your accommodation includes a historic pousada, you then enjoy excellent hotels in the heart of the country and near the coastline by the Lagoon of Santo Andre. Each lodging has a different character. The pousadas are Portugal’s traditional manor houses and as well as offering very comfortable, even luxurious, accommodation, give an insight into the history of Portugal. Here your hosts can provide an introduction to Portuguese life and have many interesting tales of the culture and history of the Pousada and region. The hotels are very comfortable and well located. All have en-suite bathrooms and on nights 2,3,4 and 5 there is a swimming pool available. The food on the ride is above average. Dinners start with an aperitif, followed by at least a three course meal. The cuisine is selected to ensure an introduction to many Portuguese specialties. Your hosts usually join you round the table. Lunches are extensive picnics brought to the lunch area by vehicle and eaten at a table.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.
A valid passport is required for travel to Portugal. Visas are not required for U.K. or other European nationals. In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on
0207 008 0232/0233 or at www.fco.gov.uk
The British Consulate in Lisbon is at Rua de Sao Bernardo 33, 1249 –082, Lisboa. Tel 351 21 392 4040. email: Consular@Lisbon.mail.fco.gov.uk
The best time to take part in the trek is between March and October. The climate is temperate. The average temperatures and rainfall are indicated on the chart.
No special health precautions are required for visits to Portugal, for further details please see your local doctor.
For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org.
We do advise taking plenty of sunscreen!
Voltage is the same as in the UK and most appliances such as battery chargers for videos, hair dryers etc. can be plugged in with appropriate 2 pronged adapters. These are available for purchase at most airports and travel shops.
There will be an opportunity to recharge digital cameras and video equipment in the evenings with appropriate adaptors.
Good quality film is widely available for purchase as well as batteries (normal, alkaline and lithium).
We have put together a suggested packing list for your trip. This should be used as a guideline as requirements may very according to your programme and preferences.
• Riding Helmet - we strongly recommend that you wear a properly fitted riding helmet of the current standard which is PAS015 or BSEN1384.
• Jodhpurs - jodhpurs, breeches or other comfortable trousers (jeans may rub and can also be quite hot)
• Riding Boots - it is important to have correct shoes or boots for horse riding. Jodhpur or ankle boots with a rubber sole are recommended but sturdy shoes with a definite heel are acceptable (such as walking boots)
• Half Chaps - these are great when worn with ankle boots and help prevent the stirrup leathers rubbing against your legs
• T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts
• Fleece - Although the weather is generally very warm, the evenings can be a bit cooler
• Warm layers - At times the evening temperature drops significantly
• Casual Clothes - for when out of the saddle
• Water Bottle - it's very important to drink a lot of water when it's hot, especially when doing physical activities
• Raincoat - it is always a wise idea to pack a waterproof/ windproof jacket!
• Personal Items - toiletries, any medicines you require and please be sure to take inset repellent and plenty of sun cream
• Camera and Spare Batteries/Charger - an absolute must! It is also a good idea to take a camera case you can strap around your waist or onto a belt for whilst you are riding
• A copy of your passport
• A bum bag or saddlebags (these are not provided)
This is an 8 night/7 day programme with 6 days riding on set departures from March through to November. Please enquire for private group departures.
2019: 24 Feb; 17, 24 Mar; 16, 23 Jun; 6, 20, 27 Oct.
|Riding days||Product item description||£|
|2019||8d/7n||6||third person (child up to 12 yrs) in room||1,119|
|2019||8d/7n||6||non rider third person (child up to 12 yrs) in room||669|
|2019||8d/7n||6||small group supplement for group of three||329|
|2019||8d/7n||6||small group supplement for group of four||135|
|Riding days||Product item description||€|
|2019||8d/7n||6||third person (child up to 12 yrs) in room||1,239|
|2019||8d/7n||6||non rider third person (child up to 12 yrs) in room||739|
|2019||8d/7n||6||small group supplement for group of three||365|
|2019||8d/7n||6||small group supplement for group of four||145|
|Riding days||Product item description||$|
|2019||8d/7n||6||third person (child up to 12 yrs) in room||1,445|
|2019||8d/7n||6||non rider third person (child up to 12 yrs) in room||859|
|2019||8d/7n||6||small group supplement for group of three||425|
|2019||8d/7n||6||small group supplement for group of four||169|
|Riding days||Product item description||SEK|
|2019||8d/7n||6||third person (child up to 12 yrs) in room||12,979|
|2019||8d/7n||6||non rider third person (child up to 12 yrs) in room||7,745|
|2019||8d/7n||6||small group supplement for group of three||3,795|
|2019||8d/7n||6||small group supplement for group of four||1,519|
The Portuguese: The Land and its People by Marion Kaplan.
Rose Macaulay's ‘They Went to Portugal’
You could also pack the Landscapes of Portugal series by Brian & Eileen Andersen, which features both car tours and treks in various regions, and the more detailed Walking in Portugal by Bethan Davies and Ben Cole.
For the equestrian traveller who would like to see what is possible on horseback visit www.thelongridersguild.com also a fantastic place to acquire your equestrian travel books is www.horsetravelbooks.com
Cultural activities, walking and hiking.
It is possible to see wild pigs and foxes. Flora includes forests of Cork and Pine trees, eucalyptus and an abundance of wild flowers.
The Portuguese have historically been the intrepid explorers of the world. In the 15th Century they discovered the sea route to India, via the Cape of Good Hope. Vasco da Gama reached India in 1498 and Pedro Cabral, trying to reach India, discovered Brazil two years later (1500). Other Portuguese explorers reached the Far East, China and Japan. The first circumnavigation of the globe was led by Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan.
Portugal has a rich seafaring past, superb beach resorts, wistful towns and a landscape wreathed in olive groves, vineyards and wheat fields. Littered with UNESCO World Heritage sites and graced by one of Europe's most relaxed and attractive capitals.
Savouring life slowly is a Portuguese passion, and much of the best is humble - traditional folk festivals; simple, honest food drowning in olive oil; music that pulls at the heart strings, recalling past love and glories; and markets overflowing with fish, fruit and flowers.
Portugal is in the GMT time zone and they use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram.
The international dialling code is +351
If you are hiring a car, you will need to know about how to pay any toll fees as these are done automatically and not on the road. This is a new system from January 2012 and the method for how to pay this will change throughout the year. Please check this website for current information: http://www.amoita.com/node/1414