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Azores and Portugal - Atlantis and Green Island Trail
The Azores are an archipelago of nine islands in the Atlantic Ocean. São Miguel is the largest island in the Azores and measures 81 km long and 15 km wide at its maximum points.
Your base for this riding holiday is Quinta da Terça on the south of the island not far from the main town of Ponta Delgada. The historic house of the Quinta (farm) is one of the oldest homes on the island and dates from the 17th Century.
The Green Island Trail is a seven night itinerary offering riding on six days (about 24 hours total). You have three all day rides with up to six hours in the saddle and three half day rides leaving time to explore the island. Some non-riding excursions are included.
The Atlantis Ride follows a similar itinerary to the Green Island Trail, but with four half day rides and one full day ride (about 17 hours total). There are more non-riding excursions included in the itinerary, which makes this a great itinerary for those wishing to see more of the island.
São Miguel has an extensive network of tracks for riding. They have been built throughout the centuries around and through the countryside and most are still used by farmers going about their daily routines.
On the all day rides, you explore the south coast or ride eastwards from the Quinta up and over the hills with views back along the coast. There is a full day ride to Sete Cidades, an extinct volcano crater, almost 18 km in circumference, has two lakes, one blue in colour and the other green.
There is much to do when not riding. Ponta Delgada is home to some examples of Portuguese architecture dating back to the 17th Century. You can have a guided personal tour to explore some of the sights of the island. You may wish to have some dressage lessons or to go on a whale and dolphin watching trip (extra payable locally).
The horses are sometimes transported to the start of the ride or brought back to the Quinta at the end of the day so that you have the maximum time riding in different areas of the island.
The riding centre has around 20 much loved horses. They are all well-schooled and a pleasure to ride, whether in the arena or out on the trail.
For the Green Island Trail you should be a competent rider in control of your horse at walk, trot and canter across sometimes rugged terrain (Intermediate +).
The Atlantis Trail is suitable for Intermediate riders who are happy riding outdoors at all paces, or for those wanting less hours in the saddle.
Hard hats are mandatory.
The tack and riding style is English.
The Quinta da Terca house is one of the oldest buildings on the islands. You should ask for a tour of the private parts of the house, which is really worth seeing.
There are five guestrooms each with private bathroom (shower). Three have double beds and two have twin beds.
You have meals in the welcoming dining room converted from a former stable. There are plenty of places to sit and relax, either indoors or on the veranda or in the gardens adjoining the horse paddocks.
If travelling from the UK there are flights from London Gatwick or Stansted directly to Ponta Delgada on Saturdays (between April and October) - so most people from the UK do stay Saturday to Saturday at this time of year.
Travellers from other countries may find direct flights on different days of the week.
Select your preferred arrival date:
|GREEN ISLAND TRAIL||ATLANTIS RIDE|
|(7 nights/c. 24 hr riding)||(7 nights/c. 17 hrs riding)|
|2019: 1 Jan - 31 Mar||£1,249.71||£630.56||£1,193.51||£675.35|
|2019: 1 Apr - 31 Oct||£1,350.71||£686.77||£1,283.96||£732.44|
|2019: 1 Nov - 31 Dec||£1,249.71||£630.56||£1,193.51||£675.35|
INCLUDES Seven nights accommodation; full board (dinner on your day of arrival through to breakfast on your day of departure); wine with dinner; riding as per itinerary; non-riding excursions as per itinerary; airport transfers.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT £194.97 (refunded if we find you a sharer).
PAYABLE LOCALLY Spirits; tips; whale watching trip; lunch on your arrival or departure day if required.
NEAREST AIRPORT Ponta Delgada.
TRANSFERS Included from Ponta Delgada.
NOT INCLUDED International flights.
The riding is on São Miguel, the largest island in the Azores in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The various trails take you to dramatic areas of the island.
The Azores have a mild temperate climate with average temperatures ranging from 14ºC to 22ºC. However the weather is changeable and it is not uncommon to experience four seasons in one day. During the summer months it can become very humid.
The horses were fit, light, forward going and well mannered so I enjoyed them immensely. Seeing the island from horseback was a delightful and unique introduction – I’ll be back for more.
Jane, East SussexOverall rating: 4/5
This is a really lovely riding holiday. The island of São Miguel is beautiful with exotic flowers and lush vegetation. It's also steeped in history, since it was a stopping point for all the ships which sailed from Portugal to the "new world".
A whale watching trip is a great adventure. There is a high chance of seeing dolphins and you may be lucky enough to see whales!