Alentejo Trails - Portugal

Coastal Trail South to North

4 star rating   11 June 2023

Len who has been on 5 In The Saddle rides. Lusitano experience | Horses were superb, fast but calm, very comfortable and safe at all paces. These are the best horses I have ever ridden.
The first day was a 30km loop near the farm, so was the second day, so was the third day.
The forth day we rode off to the next venue. That was very much better. The fifth day was only half a days ride, but still very enjoyable. The last day was brilliant.
After the first day, there were never more than six on the ride, not always the same six. This made it difficult for Miguel, as we had two “empty horses” with us most days. We had no back rider guide, only Miguel who had to do everything. Fine when everyone is okay, but hard when you have non riders every day. There were four non riders on the last day.
The pace was good for me, the right balance of walk, trot and canter to give interest and excitement. However, I think it was too much for some riders who weren’t totally fit and who weren’t experienced in English type saddles and stirrups. (just an impression really they need to speak for themselves)
Overall the riding was great, Miguel went out of his way to help me beat a personal best and I’ve never seen better looked after horses. I loved it!

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?
4 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?
3 star rating
How would you rate the standard of the food?
3 star rating

Do you have any comments about the accommodation and food?

The food wasn’t important to me personally, which was just as well because some of the hotel and restaurant non garlic alternatives I was given were very poor. Lunch was always good, well organised and relaxed.
Accommodation was good for the first four nights in private cabins. Perfect really. The fifth night was a good hotel. The sixth and seventh nights were in a big family hotel, not well suited to this type of holiday. We were taken to the same restaurant for both the last two evenings (where I got the distinct impression that we were there to spend a lot money on wine)

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?
2 star rating

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

Pre holiday information was fine. However we were given little or no information whilst on the ride. When a rider, uncertain if she would be fit enough, asked how long the riding would last on that day, she was told “ It will take as long as it takes” she didn’t go.
We only found out when we were leaving for the airport on the Sunday morning, at 9.30 on Saturday night.
We were never introduced to our horses or told anything about them. I never actually found out how to pronounce my horses name.
Having said that, Miguel’s lack of “bedside manner” was more than made up for by his skill and care on the ride itself.

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

As usual, your own systems were exemplary. You provide holidays with good, safe, fit and exciting horses. The riding was always good, the rest matters very little.
I think I’d be careful not to overstate the food and accommodation on this ride, as these did not really reflect the quality offered. Although it was fine, it wasn’t anything special.

Do you have any other feedback for us?

This was relatively expensive, compared with, for example, North Macedonia. The horses alone justified this for me. They were the best! However, no back rider and maybe under vetting for fitness, let it down a bit.