Atlantis and Green Island Trail - Azores

Atlantis Ride

4 star rating   1 December 2018

Rocky who has been on 21 In The Saddle rides. Good but probably not my preferred type of location | I asked to keep riding the same horse - and they granted my request. As I had recently been riding Western, they offered me a Western saddle - which I accepted. The last two days had good lengths of trots and canters and were almost all off road. I enjoyed them but the early week was dreary with a lot of road work - which I hate. As I had opted for 17 hours not 24, the junior member of staff on Monday and Tuesday rides treated me like a child/beginner. I am not the world's best rider but I have a lot of experience so this was extremely irritating. I do not need telling how to go up and down slopes multiple times. I do not want an "OK?" after 100m of slow trot.
The tack was beautifully simple and uniform, a snaffle on every horse and not a spare piece of leather anywhere. However, I did find the lack of a saddle bag irritating. I don't own one - and what type would I buy to fit an unknown saddle? It would also take me out of hand luggage travel weight (10kg). There was nowhere to keep my sketch book or paints and nowhere to put a discarded garment or keep a bottle of water. The last two did not matter in winter, but it summer would be important. One of the other riders had fainted with dehydration on a previous visit.
The immaculate appearance of the horses was maintained. When they rolled at lunch, they were groomed before the afternoon remount.

The Riding

How well were you matched with the right horse for your ability?
5 star rating
How would you rate the variety of riding, pace or terrain?
2 star rating
How would you rate the overall standard of the horses, tack and stables?
4 star rating

The Accommodation

How would you rate your room(s) for comfort and facilities?
4 star rating
How would you rate the standard of the food?
5 star rating

Do you have any comments about the accommodation and food?

Food was excellent - inspired at times and plenty of good ingredients. Lovely to open the hatch from restaurant to stables during dinner to give the horses their carrots. The room had everything I needed and the basket of fruit and chocolates with a bottle of wine was very welcome. I did find it dark and gloomy - partly because my own home is very light and also because of the time of year. It is a very old building and would be shady and cool in summer sun.

Before Your Holiday

Did you have all of the information you needed to:

Plan and prepare for your holiday?
5 star rating
Feel comfortable about your transfers and what to expect?
4 star rating

Do you have any other feedback for us?

I was made very welcome but as the other riders were on their 5th visit, I did not always know what was going on. However, most worked out OK apart from the weather. Low cloud is not good for mountain views and wind prevents boats sailing to look for whales. It also tended to spook my horse. The afternoon in Ponta Delgarda was a waste of time as the museum is shut on Mondays in winter. Shops are difficult to find as only pharmacies are labelled. The ones I found were full of Christmas tat. For me, the location was too suburban and over-populated - but I am glad to have been. The green and blue crater lakes were invisible in cloud but the botanical gardens were magnificent.