Atlantis and Green Island Trail - Azores

Green Island Trail

5 star rating   7 March 2020

who has been on In The Saddle rides. Relaxing, fun, superbly organised | The week began with a lesson in the indoor school - very worthwhile. It gave us a chance to get a feel for the horses and the instructor/guides an opportunity to assess our riding. Quite a lot of the terrain is either uphill or downhill, but the horses are familiar with the routes, know their jobs and seem happy in their work. Pace was varied throughout the day. Trots and canters were plentiful. Significant advance planning by the team made sure we rode a variety of different routes - not always starting or ending in the same place.

I rode 4 different horses across the week and enjoyed being able to swap. If nothing else, it eases any saddle/stirrup pressures and gives welcome variety. We rode out with 3 different guides and this was also a good thing. Each guide had something different to tell us, a slightly different approach/attitude, new conversation, etc. Without fail every guide was incredibly cheerful, helpful and great at balancing safety with excitement.

The Riding

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

Accommodation was comfy and clean. Our room was slightly dark and the bathroom a little tired. But generosity (in terms of edible and toiletry treats in our room) made up for that.

The food was good honest home cooking - varied, plentiful, tasty. I was pleasantly surprised at how varied (and hot!) the lunches were when we were out on full day rides. It might have been nice to have a daily hot drink at lunch (eg flask + tea/coffee sachets), but that's mostly because I chose not to drink alcohol at lunch and am not a huge fan of soft drinks. Evening meals were a treat and we never finished all that was available to us! Likewise there was no shortage of alcohol.

Before Your Holiday

Did you have all of the information you needed to:

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

How could we improve the quality of pre-holiday information that we send?

On the whole, the information was sensible, suitable and comprehensive.

One minor point - the pre-departure leafet indicated we would have 'evening meal on our arrival'. The times of our flight meant this wasn't possible (as we didn't get to the accommodation until 10pm). Luckily, I had checked this point prior to departure and helpfully Sarah confirmed that we would arrive too late for dinner. One other ITS customer hadn't checked, so was caught out. It might be helpful to others if you clarify in the brochure that dinner is included *if you arrive before 7pm* (or words that that effect).
[ITS comment: Thank you for the suggestion - we are always looking to improve our information.]

How could we improve the way we handled your booking and payment?

Perfectly happy, thank you.

Do you have any other feedback for us?

Just to say that the organisation at Quinta da Terca was flawless. At no point during the week did we have to wait for anything/anybody: quite some feat considering we and the horses were transported around the island frequently. Communication was great - we knew what was happening and when. Yet we were given input at times, eg about our options for sight-seeing, what time we left for the airport, etc. We were treated as adults, but could relax, knowing that the team had everything under control.

It was a very impressive, well oiled machine. Not an adventure of a lifetime, but a happy and relaxing holiday. Big thanks and well done to all involved.