How To Go Horseback Riding in Portugal

This article will tell you everything you need to know for your next adventure doing horseback riding in Portugal

Today I’ll be taking you to Portugal! It is known for navigators and explorers who pushed the boundaries of their worlds. And of course for its incredible horses. Portugal is a fitting destination for any Equestrian Adventuress. I’ll be telling you how you can go horseback riding in Portugal! What should you see? And how can you gain the confidence to have an incredible experience on your next horse riding adventure? Read on!

Author: Eleanor Carrano

For more details about where to go horseback riding in Portugal, be sure to check out our Horse Riding in Every Country catalogue. It’s like a phone book of stables around the globe. Clickable links, contact info, and verification badges will give you the confidence and resources you need to go horseback riding in Portugal.

A woman is galloping a horse along a beach while horseback riding in Portugal
An Equestrian Adventuress galloping along a beach in the Alentejo region of Portugal. Photo credits: Lisa Prager

Are you looking for even more inspiration on horseback riding adventures around the world? Be sure to pick up our World Travel Guide for Equestrians. You can either order a paperback on Amazon or download a FREE ebook version.

Son of the Wind

Why should Portugal be on your bucket list as a rider? For one thing, Portugal is a land with a rich equestrian history. Horse lovers around the world are familiar with the famed Lusitano. This Portuguese breed is renowned for its willingness, balance, and of course, beauty. Equestrian Adventuresses who have ridden Lusitanos in Portugal rave about their willingness, adventurous nature, and comfort on trail.

A beautiful dark horses is standing wearing an ornate bridle. Make sure you can ride a Lusitano when you go horseback riding in Portugal.
A Lusitano in a traditional Portuguese Baroque bridle

Did you know that the famous general Hannibal (yes, the one that used elephants) supposedly used 12,000 Lusitanos for his campaign against Italy? Or that the Moors invading the Iberian Peninsula were so impressed by the Lusitano that they dubbed it the “Son of the Wind”? Just imagine it – you could be riding one of these incredible horses on your horse riding adventure in Portugal!

Capital of The Horse – A must-see when horseback riding in Portugal

If you do go to Portugal, be sure not to miss the famed annual horse fair in Golegã. This city is known as Portugal’s “Capital of Horses”. Held every November, the fair occurs over a period of ten days. One of the days must be November 11th, the Feast of Saint Martin. On this day, locals indulge in wine and roasted chestnuts and dress up in their finest traditional riding costumes.

Horses and riders are performing in the main arena of a horse festival. Horseback riding in Portugal at its best!
A performance at the annual horse fair in Golegã

The fair is an incredible opportunity for tourists to witness riding exhibitions and games on horseback. You can also purchase traditional tack, foods, and antiques. On top you’ll meet local Lusitano breeders in their “Casettas”, which are small wooden houses set up for entertaining guests. You get the chance to sample olives and wine, and see representative horses from each stable up close!

Super-comfortable, traditional Portuguese saddles. Photo credits: Jane Lee

So Much More

Besides horses, what does Portugal have to offer? If you’re wanting to see something else besides horses (shocker!), or toting along a less horsey friend, Portugal is the perfect destination. Not to be missed are examples of Portugal’s intricate Manueline architecture. It is showcased to perfection in the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Lisbon and the Convento do Cristo in Tomar.

The inside of a Portuguese monastery with tall columns and arches
Incredible interior architecture of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

For the more physically adventurous, there is the opportunity to kayak the Lisbon coast, hike the gorgeous Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês, or even venture off mainland Portugal to the archipelagoes of Madeira (known as the “mini Galapagos”) and the Azores (a fleet of volcanic islands perfect for adrenaline junkies).

A small island with a central lagoon surrounded by blue water off the coast of the Azores
Islet of Vila Franco do Campo in the Azores

And of course, don’t forget to indulge in a little wine-tasting while on your adventure horseback riding in Portugal! Be sure to visit the Alentejo and Ribatejo regions. Both of them are famous for their wines, as well as their gorgeous scenery and beautiful historic towns.

Travel Guide for Equestrians

Horseback Riding in Portugal: When to Go and What to Expect

Great times to visit Portugal are the spring (starting in February), and early autumn (September to October). Of course, if you’re planning on attending the Golegã horse fair, you’ll want to be there in the first part of November. While central Portugal can get scorching hot and winter can be stormy, Portugal is considered a year-round destination.

A selection of local wines ready for a vineyard lunch. Photo credits: Jane Lee

To prepare yourself for your Portuguese riding adventure, check out our essential packing list. It’s a compilation of recommendations from equestrian adventuresses around the world. They have used these products in real life and under some pretty intense conditions!

Nervous Solo Traveller? We Got Your Back!

Want to go horseback riding in Portugal but are nervous about travelling solo as a woman? Or maybe you’re a seasoned traveller but haven’t been in the saddle for a while? Whatever your need, I suggest that you check out our Equestrian Adventuresses online courses.

These courses will help you to confidently – and most importantly, safely – navigate your way around the world as a solo female traveller. You’ll learn horsemanship from FEI II-level accredited instructor and Equestrian Adventuresses founder. Prepare yourself! So your biggest worry on your next equestrian adventure will be only how many gorgeous photos your camera will hold! And remember, be sure to share your photos and experiences in the Equestrian Adventuresses facebook group!

Horse Welfare Disclaimer

We are passionate about animal welfare, and have made every effort to ensure that destinations we recommend put the welfare of the horses first. That being said, please do your research when looking to book horse riding tours in different countries. A great way to do this is to join the Equestrian Adventuresses Facebook group. There, you can ask around the community to get first-hand accounts from women who have actually ridden at the stable or in the country you are planning on visiting. There are plenty of members who have been horseback riding in Portugal!

Grab your books and audiobooks now! Incredible true stories of horse riding travel adventures around the world.

And if you do end up horseback riding in Portugal, please share your experiences on the Facebook group! Your photos, advice, and impressions will all help other women make the best choices when booking their next adventure.

Of course, our Horse Riding in Every Country catalog and World Travel Guide for Equestrians provide verification badges for the stables we’ve physically gone to and can assure you have high horse welfare standards.

Planning a riding holiday in Portugal? Why not extend your trip to next-door Spain! Check out our podcast on riding in Spain!

Everything you'll need to know for horseback riding in Portugal.
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Published by Krys Kolumbus Travel

Krystal Kelly is a California girl on a Quest to see every country. She is a professional equestrian adventuress and has worked internationally with horses since 2010. Since then she has worked at professional competition and riding stables in Egypt, Italy, Romania, India and Bhutan! "I love travelling and I love horses and I am very blessed to be able to do both of my passions for a living!" She now has her own company, Krys Kolumbus Travel where she strives to empower women to travel and provides resources, tips and online courses to encourage women to travel SOLO to unique destinations. www.kryskolumbustravel.com www.krystal-kelly.com

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